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« Liberal Outrage: April 2014 | Main | Liberal Outrage: June 2014 »

Liberal Outrage

Cheaper to give homeless people homes

Matthew Yglesias links to a study and supporting info showing that it's cheaper by a factor of three to give homeless people homes than to let them languish in the streets and use up resources in emergency rooms and sending police to clear out public places. And the great part about that is that you don't need to create new spending to fix this problem; it would literally reduce costs in recognizable ways.

My first thought when seeing such spectacular results was that they might be due to the unique factor of the 2008 economic collapse, that because of that you had lots of capable people living on the streets who, if given a chance and a boost, could recover. And that outside of the (ongoing) 2008 crisis, you might not see such good results because then you're dealing solely with mentally ill people who just can't make it on their own. But that's actually not the case; the study includes assigning a case manager that ensures that people take their medication and make doctors visits and the like.

And credit where credit is due: this trial program was started under the Bush administration.


By fnord12 | May 30, 2014, 6:02 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Arthur Chu on Misogyny in Geek Culture

This post was written in reaction to a guy going on a shooting spree at a sorority after being "snubbed" by them.

Link

We (male) nerds grow up force-fed this script. Lusting after women "out of our league" was what we did. And those unattainable hot girls would always inevitably reject us because they didn't understand our intellectual interest in science fiction and comic books and would instead date asshole jocks. This was inevitable, and our only hope was to be unyieldingly persistent until we "earned" a chance with these women by "being there" for them until they saw the error of their ways. (The thought of just looking for women who shared our interests was a foreign one, since it took a while for the media to decide female geeks existed. The Big Bang Theory didn't add Amy and Bernadette to its main cast until Season 4, in 2010.)

This is, to put it mildly, a problematic attitude to grow up with. Fixating on a woman from afar and then refusing to give up when she acts like she's not interested is, generally, something that ends badly for everyone involved. But it's a narrative that nerds and nerd media kept repeating.

...

When this story broke, the initial mainstream coverage only talked about "mental illness," not misogyny, a line that people are now fervently exhorting us to stick to even after the manifesto's contents were revealed. Yet another high-profile tech CEO resignation ensued when the co-founder of Rap Genius decided Rodger's manifesto was a hilarious joke.

People found one of the girls Rodger was obsessed with and began questioning if her "bullying" may have somehow triggered his rage. And, worst of all, he has fan pages on Facebook that still haven't been taken down, filled with angry frustrated men singing his praises and seriously suggesting that the onus is on women to offer sex to men to keep them from going on rampages.



By min | May 30, 2014, 10:28 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Solar energy moves up to the "fight you" stage

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Mahatma Gandhi

Guess this is progress:

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states...

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates.

Hope so, anyway.

Alerted via this cartoon.


By fnord12 | May 27, 2014, 12:20 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations

This is a long form article.

It is as though we have run up a credit-card bill and, having pledged to charge no more, remain befuddled that the balance does not disappear. The effects of that balance, interest accruing daily, are all around us.

But if you read that and want more, here's his blog post showing his evolution of thinking on the subject.

Update:In terms of the mechanics of reparations, Coates' article only suggests that Congress approve John Conyer's bill setting up a study. But Matthew Yglesias has a more specific proposal.


By fnord12 | May 22, 2014, 3:44 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



We're not all recording all our phone conversations

Kevin Drum provides another example of why the Obamacare solution doesn't solve a lot of the problems with our healthcare system. Single Payer systems don't have to deal with this kind of nonsense.


By fnord12 | May 19, 2014, 10:05 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Ka-Zar strong like bear!

Digby embeds this video as part of a post on a different topic. But holy cow is this an awesome and surreal video.

But what if the bear isn't a Soviet Super Soldier and it instead represents Global Warming? Does the "we better be prepared even if some people don't agree it's a problem" argument still work?


By fnord12 | May 12, 2014, 2:28 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Obamacare hangs in there

There's a bit of triumphalism going on (see TPM and Krugman) on the left regarding Obamacare, but i don't really get where it's coming from. Republican opposition to Obamacare has always not been based on reality, and has always been hypocritical (it's a moderately conservative idea previously supported by the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney, not socialism). So their latest failure to get business people (insurance execs) to conform with their madness isn't really anything new. And no matter what happens in the 2014 elections, Obama will still be president so any attempts to repeal the law were going to get vetoed (if it even got that far). Most importantly, i don't see this latest wave of "defeat" on Obamacare affecting the Republicans' probability of winning the 2014 elections. There is still the two electorates problem for Dems and i'm more pessimistic than Josh Marshall that this doesn't change any time soon. So temporarily making Republican congressmen a laughing stock doesn't really seem to have any special significance.

The good news is that with more or less permanent gridlock in government, i've seen less reason to blog about politics. I know it doesn't seem like it, but it's true.

(It occurs to me that people may not have the background for what i'm talking about in terms of this debacle for Congressional Republicans. I guess this is a good primer, followed by this.)


By fnord12 | May 9, 2014, 9:58 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Welcome back to the starting line

Just thought i'd spoilsport last week's job numbers:

Especially now that we're nearing a return to 2008 job levels, it's easy to dismiss the past 6 years as just having "inconvenienced" some several million people for a while, but we're all better now. In fact, for many, this was a period of extreme economic hardship that devastated lives. And there is a spill-over effect even on people who didn't lose jobs for some of that period - cut hours, more work responsibilities, little or no cost of living increases. And then on top of that, the permanent economic damage shown by the chart. We are now forever 6 years behind where we should be in terms of the country's economic growth. More at Yglesias.

And the point is that this was all preventable. Here's Paul Krugman back in 2009 calculating the size of the stimulus needed to account for the economic catastrophe we had just been through, and ending with:

I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we're talking about now, is crafted to win those extra GOP votes. The plan limits the rise in unemployment, but things are still pretty bad, with the rate peaking at something like 9 percent and coming down only slowly. And then Mitch McConnell says "See, government spending doesn't work."

Let's hope I've got this wrong.



By fnord12 | May 5, 2014, 12:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



That sounds a little more like it

FCC Chairman Wheeler is possibly taking the pushback on their previous decision seriously.


By fnord12 | May 3, 2014, 2:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



"In the 1980s, Reagan gutted X"

Buried in the bowels of every article describing a problem in some city is a line like this:

It wasn't always like this -- not that long ago, Philadelphia was regarded as one of the cleanest big cities in America.

Up to the 1970s, the Streets Department employed more than 5,000 people, underpinned by millions in federal grants designed to beef up municipal workforces. That money helped the Sanitation Division pay for over 500 "block people" -- men with brooms who literally swept every block in the city by hand.

But in the 1980s, the Reagan administration gutted federal employment grants, just as middle class flight was decimating city revenues. Within a 10-year span, street-cleaning crews were cut in half.

This is in the context of apparently major flooding in Philly after the rain we've been having.


By fnord12 | May 1, 2014, 11:53 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



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