Archive | Class War

We hear from one of Robert E. Lee’s descendents


I had no idea that my online colleague Karen Finney had such a complex background. This was so powerful, go read it all:

As the biracial daughter of Jim Finney, a black civil rights lawyer descended from enslaved Virginians, and Mildred Lee, a white social worker and the great-great-great-great niece of Confederate General Robert E. Lee — of whom statues stand in many cities and towns, including, now infamously, Charlottesville — my American story is complicated.

About a year ago, I made a discovery that reminded me of just how complicated both my family’s and our nation’s painful journey on race and equality has been. I found two letters that my maternal grandmother, also named Mildred Lee, had written to my father. In the first, four-page, single-spaced typed letter, she laid out arguments why my dad should leave my mom and not marry her as they’d planned. Not only was marrying illegal in their respective home states of Virginia and North Carolina, in 1967, their forthcoming interracial marriage, she explained, was against the “natural order of things,” in which black and white have their place.”

Quoting the Bible, she argued that their marriage would bring permanent disrepute, shame and irreparable damage not only to my mother’s life but also the lives of the whole family. A month later, my parents were married in a simple ceremony in New York City. In a second letter, sent less than a week before I was born, my grandmother described miscegenation as a sin and a stain that would never be made clean, quoting the Bible and invoking “the way of things.”

The woman who wrote these letters sounded nothing like the loving grandmother I knew and adored growing up, who always brought presents when she visited from North Carolina, and exhaustively searched to find me a beautiful doll that exactly matched my mocha skin color. But her underlying fear and anxiety at the time were bound up with a family tradition that had placed Lee on a pedestal — figuratively, if not literally — in the way she remembered and recounted the Lee family heritage, with great pride and even a sense of superiority. I grew up with heroically framed, but demonstrably false, stories about “The General”: that he was a reluctant warrior who didn’t really want to own slaves or fight the Civil War, stories that were consistent with the 20th century revisionist narrative of the “War of Northern Aggression,” rewriting Civil War and southern history.

Go read the rest.


Sabato: Trump should ‘fire all the white nationalists on his staff, starting with Steve Bannon’

US 57th & 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade - NBC Poll 11/8/16 Clinton President -  NBC : Larry Sabato: Clinton ahead in electoral college votes - 11/8/16 Clinton Wins

CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter spoke with Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, this Sunday about Trump’s refusal to condemn the white supremacists at the protests in Charlottesville over the weekend. Sabato had some advice for Trump, but don’t expect him to follow it. He’s never going to… Continue Reading →


Sending fewer juveniles to adult court

William Palmer Trial - Courtroom Drama 

Due to the increased use of community-based programs, Kings County, Washington, prosecutors are sending fewer juveniles to adult court than ever before. 

Several U.S. Supreme Court rulings since 2005 have stated that juveniles are “prone to immaturity and impetuosity, [and] often fail to appreciate risks and consequences” and gave discretion to judges to tailor their sentences for juveniles and not adhere to strict sentencing guidelines.

According to Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s juvenile-justice report, in 2016 police referred 67 juvenile cases in King County to prosecutors involving 16 and 17-years-old juveniles who were accused of violent crimes.

These crimes were: first degree robbery: 43.3%, murder: 26.7%, drive-by shooting: 16.7%, first degree assault: 6.7% and first-degree burglary: 3.3%. Of these, 34 were charged in juvenile court and 30 were sent to superior (adult) court.

Out of the 30 cases sent to adult court, the majority involved African American youths (43.3%), followed by Hispanic (26.7%), Asian/Pacific Islander (16.7%), and then Caucasian (6.7%) and Native America (3.3%).

King County prosecutors have broad discretion to decide which court the juveniles who commit these violent acts will be prosecuted and how lenient the court is with sentencing.

To decrease racial disparity that is apparent in Satterberg’s report, the county has been successfully using community-based programs to work with these youths outside the court system and decrease the number of cases filed against juveniles.

One such program is the weekend workshops in the 180 Program, which began in 2011 after conversations Satterberg had with Pastor Doug Wheeler. Held monthly and funded by the prosecutor’s office, the program has helped 1,500 youths avoid charges.

Successful completion of the program means that the misdemeanor charges will be waived before they are filed with the court system. In fact, there were 1,600 cases filed in 2016, 16% less than the year before, compared to 8,000 cases twenty years ago.

Using Satterberg’s report as well as individual court records of the cases, the King County Bar are tailoring prison sentences of juveniles whose cases get sent to adult court.

Automatically sending these juveniles into the adult system does increase recidivism, according to the Washington Institute for Public Policy. 

When combined with community custody or supervision, this approach has greatly reduced length of sentences that otherwise would have been much longer.

There is growing support among Washington lawmakers to decrease the number of crimes eligible for automatic jurisdiction in adult court. However, there are risks to being too lenient as the court will lose any jurisdiction over the minor when he or she reaches 21 years of age.

“Cases should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and even violent crimes should not be auto-declined to adult court,” said attorney Stephen Hamilton. “Other factors such as the juvenile’s age and case history should be considered; we should help these juveniles see a better future for themselves rather than automatically sending them to jail, where they will learn to be better criminals.”


Americans cross the border for cheap dental care in Mexico

Millions of uninsured Americans are rushing to this small Mexican border town for dental care––including Trump supporters.Welcome to Molar City:

Thousands of uninsured Americans are traveling to Mexico every day for dental care they otherwise couldn’t afford. Located just a few miles from California and Arizona, Los Algodones is a Mexican town of roughly 6,000 people — 600 of whom are dentists. The town is widely known as Molar City. Read more: How to find cheaper… Continue Reading →

The Kochs call the plays on tax ‘reform’

Charles and David Koch are at it again. This time they intend to release their Kochtopus on the political system and American voters for “tax reform.1” Of course it’s not tax reform for you or me. It’s tax reform for billionaires, but they intend to tell us it’s in our best interest. There’s really no reason… Continue Reading →

Trump says it’s too expensive to care for transgender service members. Here’s the truth

Breaking News: President Donald Trump Announces A Ban Of Transgender Individuals From Serving In The U.S. Military

President Trump on Wednesday announced that the military would no longer allow transgender people to serve, citing both “the tremendous medical costs and disruption” that would be caused by their integration into U.S. forces. ….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you -… Continue Reading →

John McCain loves the GOP, not you and your stupid healthcare

What Charlie Pierce said:

God, this is gorge-inducing. Alone, he could’ve stopped the process he so dislikes in its tracks. He could’ve done it in a way that echoed through the ages. But he said, “yes.”

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours.

Alas, this is an absolute lie, and an embarrassing one, and the Straight Talk Express is in the ditch. The Affordable Care Act was the product of endless hearings and at least 100 amendments proposed by Republicans. It was scored by the CBO. The Senate debated it for almost a month, and the senators knew what was in it. Right now, the bill that John McCain facilitated likely will be one that isn’t scored by the CBO, and the Freedom Caucus crackpots in the House are trying to defund the CBO and hand the job of scoring legislation to the Heritage Foundation. I would bet a substantial number of buffalo nickels that John McCain votes for whatever bill finally comes before him, no matter how many people’s lives that bill makes miserable.

I wanted this to be different. In 2000, I thought McCain might be the person to lead his party back to marginal sanity at least. But he wanted to be president, so he became like all the rest of them. Yes, he scolded that person who said Barack Obama was a Muslim, but he chose as his running mate a nutty person who still may believe he is. Yes, he put his name on a campaign finance reform bill, but he also voted for every member of the Supreme Court who subsequently eviscerated that law, and others like it, and he’s been absent from that fight ever since. There have been very few senators as loyal to the party line as John McCain. He has been a great lost opportunity to the country. Now, he will end his career as the face of whatever wretchedness is brought on the country by whatever the bill finally is.


By the end of the afternoon, the Democrats had taken over one of the wide marble staircases outside the Capitol. They had walked across the piazza and onto the East Lawn of the Capitol to talk to some protesters, many of whom are struggling with diseases and disabilities that would be covered under the Affordable Care Act, and certainly under the Cadillac healthcare plan enjoyed by John McCain. It was a nice gesture, and they were warmly received, but there was something of the stunt to it.

The Republicans have the votes now. Dean Heller and Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito have lined up with their party once, and the likelihood is their respective prices will be met again because this is not a policy issue any more, it is pure politics now, a promise made by an extremist majority to its unthinking base. That’s what the end of this ugly day looked like, a day on which the final bloody death of Barack Obama’s legacy was placed on the fast track by people who know better, and on which Susan Collins of Maine was more of a maverick than John McCain ever was. It was an ugly day in the U.S. Senate, and there was nothing but ruin everywhere you looked.

Senate votes to advance Obamacare repeal

McCain returning to Senate in time for health vote

I wish John McCain a long and painful death, the kind morphine doesn’t touch:

After high drama in the Senate beginning with protesters in the galleries shouting “Kill the Bill!” and being ejected, they proceeded to a vote to open debate on repealing Obamacare without knowing what was in the bill or what the actual outcome of the bill might be. As staged as a Trump rally, all Republicans voted… Continue Reading →

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