What if everything you knew about poverty was wrong?

Really interesting piece in Mother Jones about researchers who moved into the Camden NJ ghetto and stayed there for years:

Around that time, White discovered his girlfriend was pregnant. Ecstatic, he told his friends, “I just created a miracle!” White thought he’d overcome some pretty grim odds. “I’m going to be a dad, I’m 18, and I’m still alive! I’m passing a statistic,” he recalls.

White’s response to impending fatherhood was to look for an income. A number of the men in Edin’s book quit high school or college to work low-wage jobs trying to provide for their new children—giving up opportunities that would have helped them become better providers in the long run. Many turn to selling drugs because it pays better.

White began dealing as well. Eventually, he and his son’s mother split, and a few years later he had a daughter with another woman. But meanwhile, he’d started using drugs. At 24, he landed in a court-ordered drug treatment program and got clean. “My kids were my saviors,” he says. White’s girlfriend stuck with him, they had another daughter, and in 2006 they got married.

Today, White works full time at a screen-printing company, where he’s been for about 12 years, and spends his free time ferrying kids to sports practices and dentist appointments. He’s even got a house with a white fence—PVC, not picket—he put up himself.
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Trying to save Chris Hayes

First it was the hair, where they slicked it down and back. Then it was the Larry King glasses, and the suits that make him look like Liz Lemon’s man-child agent on 30 Rock. Now they have him booking wingnuts, I guess to make it more of a spectacle. I don’t even watch his show anymore — the thoughtful discussions that drew me in on his weekend show are reduced to sound bites. (I only watched this because someone sent it to me.)

So last night he has on Jennifer Stephano, former “reporter” (i.e TV microphone-holder) and director of PA’s Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, and she does what she does: Bullies and yells her way through the discussion. She’s a professional victim, and the woman makes my head hurt. She is exactly the kind of “frequently wrong, but never in doubt” conservative who wingnuts love. She’s an egregious bullshitter, and one of the professional IRS “victims” who was asked to document her teabag group’s 501(c) tax status. (Aww! Poor baby had to fill out paperwork. The horror! The oppression!)

We’ve all met people like this. They use the rhetoric of oppression and all the wingnut talking points, and they are often so very, very wrong. And you can’t have a good-faith discussion with them, because to them, it’s theology, not politics. So they turn on a dime, move the goalposts and throw ad hoc attacks.

(I just want to make one thing clear: Although frequently introduced as being from Philadelphia, she lives in Bucks County.) Upper Makefield, to be exact. I used to work there. It’s a hotbed of Republican assholism.

This kind of traveling circus is not going to save Chris Hayes’ show. People used to watch it on the weekends because they’d learn something. What do they learn now? That it’s time to change the channel.

Cleaning up their act

Speckled Sussex Hen

Doesn’t this fall under the category of locking the barn door after the horse is out? And I wonder which is the one company that refused?

Citing a potential threat to public health, the agency in December asked 26 companies to voluntarily stop labeling drugs important for treating human infection as acceptable for use in animal production. The FDA did not name the one company that has not agreed to withdraw or revise its drugs.

The companies will either withdraw the drugs from animal use completely or revise them so they would only be able to be used with a veterinarian’s prescription.

Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their animals antibiotics regularly to ensure that they are healthy and to make the animals grow faster.

Withdrawing the animal drugs is designed to limit antibiotic-resistant diseases in humans as that resistance has become a growing public health problem. Repeated exposure to antibiotics can lead germs to become resistant to the drug so that it is no longer effective in treating a particular illness.

How dare they

Citigroup Centre (1978)
Please, won’t you think about the poor shareholders?

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday rejected Citigroup’s planned payout to shareholders because of shortcomings found in its annual check-up of the financial health of the country’s biggest banks, the second time Citi was dealt a blow in the so-called stress tests.

Citi was among five banks that the Federal Reserve blocked from going through with planned payouts because of results from the stress tests.

The Fed also blocked plans for higher dividends or share buybacks submitted by the U.S. units of HSBC, RBS and Santander due to weaknesses in their capital planning processes. Zions Bancorp’s was the fifth bank whose plan were barred, though this was expected because Zions last week was the only bank to miss minimum hurdles for regulatory capital in a first tranche of the stress tests, which simulate a future crisis as severe as the 2007-09 credit meltdown.

… The five banks will not be allowed to move forward with proposed raises in dividends and share buybacks, though they can continue with shareholder payouts at the same pace as they did last year.

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