The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it, as fast as I could, into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome, where we’re basically treating our underclass. The drug war is a war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning. David Simon (via paxamericana)

(via randomactsofchaos)

Pennsylvania Shuts Down Its Safety Net of Last Resort

Pennsylvania ended cash assistance today for very poor residents who cannot work and don’t qualify for other assistance, joining many other states that have scaled back or eliminated their General Assistance programs even as the need has grown. Roughly 60,000 childless adults (and the adult heads of some families) whom the state considers unemployable because of a disability or for certain other reasons — they are elderly, escaping domestic violence, or caring for a disabled family member, for example — got about $200 a month from the program.

(Source: abbyjean, via sarahlee310)

In the new American ghetto, the nightmare engine is bubble economics, a kind of high-tech casino scam that kills neighborhoods just like dope does, only the product is credit, not crack or heroin. It concentrates the money of the population in just a few hands with brutal efficiency, just like narco-business, and just as in narco-business the product itself, debt, steadily demoralizes the customer to the point where he’s unable to prevent himself from being continually dominated.

Matt Taibbi, Griftopia (2010)

reading this book now.  a lot of it is ‘facepalm’ obvious, but still smart and witty unlike freaking Thomas C Friedman, whom I would pay good money to STFU.

(via xmertz)

(Source: apoplecticskeptic, via xmertz-deactivated20130211)

There is a war going on in this country, and I am not referring to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am referring to the war waged by the wealthiest people in America on the shrinking middle class of our country. The nation’s billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more. Their greed has no end, and they are apparently unconcerned for the future of this country if it gets in the way of their accumulation of power and wealth. An impassioned call to action from the U.S. Senate’s lone independent, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Read more … (via utnereader)

pantslessprogressive:

How to handle fiscal priorities in Congress, the House GOP edition
Step 1: Preach fiscal responsibility.
Step 2: Protect oil subsidies for the five largest oil companies.

The bill would have cut $12 billion in subsidies for producing oil within the  United States for Chevron, Shell Oil, BP America, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile.  Another $6 billion would come from eliminating credits for taxes that the oil  companies pay to foreign governments, with the final $2 billion from blocking  them from writing off certain drilling and development costs. [source]

Step 3: Preach fiscal responsibility.
Step 4: Propose legislation to eliminate 12 percent from a federal food program that assists low-income mothers and children and 31 percent from an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development money for poor countries.
Step 5: Preach fiscal responsibility.
[photo via]

pantslessprogressive:

How to handle fiscal priorities in Congress, the House GOP edition

Step 1: Preach fiscal responsibility.

Step 2: Protect oil subsidies for the five largest oil companies.

The bill would have cut $12 billion in subsidies for producing oil within the United States for Chevron, Shell Oil, BP America, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile. Another $6 billion would come from eliminating credits for taxes that the oil companies pay to foreign governments, with the final $2 billion from blocking them from writing off certain drilling and development costs. [source]

Step 3: Preach fiscal responsibility.

Step 4: Propose legislation to eliminate 12 percent from a federal food program that assists low-income mothers and children and 31 percent from an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development money for poor countries.

Step 5: Preach fiscal responsibility.

[photo via]

(via pantslessprogressive)