A mayor’s ‘hunger awareness’ moment

The genius economists will tell you that soaring food prices don’t count as a measure of inflation, and so what if their dismal science has nothing to do with the reality of poverty:

As part of Hunger Awareness Month, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton chose to experience what life is like for the 1.1 million food stamp recipients in Arizona.

Last week, Stanton, a Democrat, took part in a community challenge to live on a food stamp budget — just $4.16 to buy food per day, or about $29 per week for one person.

Stanton said he was barely able to meet nutritional needs and lost four pounds, according to Fox 10 News Phoenix. He skipped meals and relied on ramen noodles, pasta and coffee, according to KTAR…

A record 46.7 million Americans used food stamps in June, according to government data. But hunger still is widespread. Nearly one in five Americans did not have enough money to pay for food at times last year, according to Gallup.

Thanks for a perfectly awful candidate

From the always quotable Matt Taibbi:

Romney is an almost perfect amalgam of all the great out-of-touch douchebags of our national cinema: he’s Gregg Marmalaard from Animal House mixed with Billy Zane’s sneering, tux-wearing Cal character in Titanic to pussy-ass Prince Humperdinck to Roy Stalin to Gordon Gekko (he’s literally Gordon Gekko). He’s everything we’ve been trained to despise, the guy who had everything handed to him, doesn’t fight his own battles and insists there’s only room in the lifeboat for himself – and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest.

But let’s not be too sure Dems won’t find a way to make this race go down to the wire. Taibbi’s article is as much about the incompetence and cowardice of the Democratic establishment as it is about the Romney’s lack of charm.

Subtle as a flying tomahawk

From Huffington Post:

The chief of the Cherokee Nation on Wednesday demanded an apology from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) for what he called an “uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of native peoples” by senior staff on his campaign and in his Senate office.

At a recent campaign rally, senior Brown staffers led a crowd of Brown supporters in a series of “war whoop chants” and “tomahawk chops,” an attempt to mock Elizabeth Warren for citing her Native American ancestry in a Harvard guidebook…

The Cherokees might wait a long time. Brown can’t distance himself from the Romneybot’s agenda. He took the low road out of desperation because he knows he can’t make a credible case for Republican wing-nut ideas.

Why Pakistanis hate America

Has it occurred to anyone in the Obama administration that it’s not a good idea to make millions of enemies in a volatile state that has a large cache of nuclear weapons?

A study by two leading U.S. universities is criticizing the U.S. administration’s use of drone strikes against militants in Pakistan as counterproductive. But Washington considers the strikes crucial to its war against terrorists.

The report titled “Living Under Drones” is based on nine months of research and more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, experts, and media reports.

Conducted by Stanford/New York University, the study says drone strikes targeting militants in northwest Pakistan kill civilians as well as militants, undermine international rule of law, and may motivate additional militant attacks…

Update on blindingly obvious cop misconduct

Remember the pepper-spray cop and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, the person ultimately responsible for the clownishly brutal treatment of students by campus cops? UC has agreed to settle the suit brought by students. From Truthdig:

The University of California on Wednesday reached a settlement with the 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during what was otherwise a peaceful demonstration last year in support of the Occupy movement.

Each of the protesters who were sprayed will receive $30,000 from the UC system. But wait, that’s not all.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The agreement, which must still be approved in federal court, also calls for UC to pay a total of $250,000 to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and set aside a maximum of $100,000 to pay up to $20,000 to any other individuals who join the class-action lawsuit by proving they were either arrested or directly pepper-sprayed, a university statement said.

…The settlement also calls for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to write a formal apology to each of the students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed or arrested

In total, the UC system will pay out nearly $1 million in the settlement.

I wouldn’t have settled unless the school agreed to fire Katehi.

Footnote: What happened to the pepper-spray cop, Lt. John Pike, after he became an Internet meme? Did the CIA hire him to work at a black ops site?

Damage control: NFL settles with refs

Greedy team owners, apparently shaken by public outrage over bad calls by scab referees during the first three weeks of the National Football League season, have agreed to let a little more of their enormous wealth trickle down to the referees union:

The locked-out NFL officials will return to work Thursday. The league announced a settlement was reached late Wednesday with the NFL Referees Association, which had been locked out for three months.

It is an eight-year deal, the NFL announced. Union members will vote on ratification on Friday.
The NFL and its referees strike a deal. Word comes two days after a controversial call made by a replacement ref in Monday night’s Packers-Seahawks game gave the story national exposure.

Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore will be the first game worked this season by union members, as the league lifted its lockout.

Greg Aiello, the NFL’s public relations man, reported via Twitter at about midnight ET that an agreement had been reached…

I’m sure the TV announcers — those glib, well-groomed ex-players in extra-large suits — heaved a huge sigh of relief at news of the deal. They will no longer be in the awkward position of having to implicitly criticize their masters by pointing out that the scab refs were destroying the credibility of the league.

Footnote: Don’t you wish the American public could direct some outrage at the Republican scum who are trying to break the unions of schoolteachers, firefighters, and other essential public servants?

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