Race, Republicans, and Charleston

1) Larry Wilmore nails it.  Seriously– watch it.

2) The Jon Stewart take that everybody is talking about, in case you somehow missed it.

3) The WSJ editorial page lets us know that institutional racism no longer exists.  Nice to learn this from rich, white guys.

4) Slate’s Justin Peters’ does a nice job on the absurd lengths Fox (barring an interesting and notable exception) has gone to in order to avoid talking about race.

5) For his part, Rick Perry is blaming drugs.

6) Chait on Jeb Bush’s (and others on the right) cowardice on the matter:

The mysteriousness of Dylann Roof’s motivations for allegedly murdering a room full of African-Americans, rated on a scale of 1 through 10, is zero. Roof has been described by people who knew him as obsessed with racial hatred, has been photographed with racist symbolism, told his victims he planned to murder them because of their race, and even let one live specifically so that she could let the world know the reason for his crime. It is entirely possible that some form of mental illness or adverse life event caused Roof to embrace violent racism, but there is zero doubt that racism directly motivated his actions.

Bizarrely, a number of conservative figures have treated Roof’s motives as unknowable. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley wrote, “we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.” The Wall Street Journaleditorializes today, “What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation beyond the reality that evil still stalks humanity.” …

It would be very easy to identify a confessed white-supremacist murderer without doing violence to the overall conservative worldview. It is not like admitting the persistence of racial discrimination by police or employers or school administrators or courts, all of which put pressure on conservative policies. Just say there are still a small number of racist murderers in America!

Roof’s actions are a completely sensible expression of his twisted worldview. It’s the failure to admit it that’s senseless.

7) An esteemed professor friend of mine on FB:

Wow. Bush’s response is really dismaying. How is it possible that the party of Lincoln has become so reliant on racially resentful whites’ support that its would-be standard bearer doesn’t feel like he can say the obvious, that this was a racially motivated slaughter. The perpetrator himself has said so.

8) The New Yorker cartoon:

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Get your kids out of the house

Okay, my oldest is only 15, but I worry about his ability to successfully navigate the adult world not all that long from now.  I was therefore especially intrigued by this 538 post from last month about how having young adult children living at home impacts parents:

A woman whose children have left home can expect to spend 10.5 hours a week on household and child care. However, when those children don’t leave home, she spends 18 hours a week, on average, on those activities. A man, on the other hand, spends 5.5 hours on home and child care, whether he has adult kids in the house or not. In other words, women with adult children living at home spend, on average, eight more hours a week on house and child care, whereas men are unaffected. [emphases mine]

Well, I guess this means my wife should be the one to really want David out of the house after college.  More interesting stuff:

When it comes to their sex lives, men without children in the home have significantly more sex each month than men with children of any age at home. Interestingly, the same is not true for women. Women with kids under the age of 18 at home have the most sex, followed by women without kids. Women and men with kids over 18 at home have the least amount of sex – about 10 minutes a month.4

Alright, I guess that means all the kids are moving out even if we have to rent an apartment for them :-).

Photo of the day

I love the “volcanic activity” themed Big Picture gallery.

Tthe Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile on April 22. The Calbuco volcano erupted for the first time in more than 42 years, billowing a huge ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile. (Diego Main/Aton Chile via Associated Press)

Priorities

The latest on the NC Budget:

While senators sparred over sales tax distribution and local tax options, the main point of contention was the proposal to cut 5,200 teacher assistants in the coming school year – a $57.5 million cut – while giving a corporate tax break of $109 million next year.

Republicans argued that the TA cut is needed to help pay for an additional 3,200 teachers to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through first grade – an $80 million item in the budget.

“We have a finite amount of money, and we want to spend that money the best way we can to educate kids in the classrooms,” said Sen. Dan Soucek, R-Watauga, arguing that studies show smaller class sizes are the most effective way to boost education outcomes in primary grades.

Democrats pointed to the corporate tax break as evidence the state could easily afford both the teacher assistants and the additional new teachers, and they tried repeatedly to amend the bill to reduce the tax cuts and redirect the money to education.

Geez, if only there was a way to pay for education without cutting education.  What a dilemma for the Republicans.  If only, there was some way they didn’t have to cut corporate income taxes.  (Among other things, the evidence seems pretty clear that most corporations are far more interested in the quality of education in a state than the corporate tax rate– they are not exactly flooding into Kansas these days).

Thomas Mills on our joke of a legislature:

Republicans often complain that government programs pick winners and losers. Nobody is choosing winners and losers more than the GOP Senate. Winners are quite clearly people who are already doing well. Losers are the rest of us.

Senate Republicans are following the model of their ideological soulmate, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. The tax cuts they promised would spur huge economic progress have failed to deliver so they are doubling down and cutting taxes more. To offset the transfer of the tax burden to the middle class, they are gutting the biotechnology center, ending driver’s education, and again stiffing our most experienced teachers and most other state employees.

Like the Senate itself, it’s an ideological document, not a practical one. It’s all about keeping money in the pockets of individuals and nothing about public investments that help the state as a whole. It’s governing by Ayn Rand…

The GOP ideologues are living in a fantasy world. They believe that if they just cut taxes and regulation low enough, they’ll create a business environment that will attract industry, spur innovation, and lead to massive economic growth. Unfortunately for them and for us, the rest of the country isn’t living in that world. Other states are investing in infrastructure, offering incentives, and using government investments to create an atmosphere attractive to industry and entrepreneurs. That’s where business will go, including some currently located here.

So far, the states living in the real world are winning. The ones trying to transform the country into a free-market utopia are losing. We’re competing with Kansas. Everybody else is playing on a different field.  [emphasis mine]

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