“I asked you the question, but I already know the answer…”

This might be the most cogent and devastating segment I have ever seen from Elizabeth Warren. And that is reeaaally saying something. You have GOT to see her just draw and quarter this guy in a Senate hearing! Precise, polite and *ruthless*.

I will give outgoing Equifax CEO Richard Smith credit only in that he does not back down or equivocate under her laser-focused questions. He has nowhere to hide and he knows it.

PS: Watch it twice… the second time, enjoy the costumed hero in the gallery.

UPDATE: ALL HAIL Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen… The Monopoly Man character is part of a protest to draw attention to forced arbitration clauses that are used throughout the financial industry and limit consumers’ ability to take disputes to court. Elizabeth Warren spoke out about this shameless practice previously, arguing in favor of a new CFPB rule against it.
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I <3 That NASTY Mayor

OMG YOU GUYS look what Carmen Yulin Cruz wore for a Univision interview today!! Double slam: This “nasty woman” who was supposedly “told by Democrats she must be nasty to Trump”. The OVARIES ON HER while other leaders kiss ass in fear of a Toddler Trump tantrum thrown their way. ❤ ❤ ❤
Today I wish I spoke Spanish well enough to truly cherish what she had to say about the visit, et al.
Annndd then look what she wore for her turn on MSNBC the same day. Clearly the same shirt under a zip-front fleece, with the statement less necessary, I guess? 
Y’all, I am really looking forward to voting for her for federal office someday soon when her urgent work in PR is done. *fingers crossed she moves to New York to represent the large Puerto Rican population here… and me*
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Puerto Rico = America and America’s responsibility

Puerto Rico is OUR RESPONSIBILITY. This video is insightful. Its economic and financial issues are a direct result of colonialist policies. These American citizens have been struggling for decades and we cannot further abandon them in the wake of catastrophic natural disaster.

AMERICANS ARE DYING ON AMERICAN SOIL. Shame on our government and leaders who are so passive, unconcerned, and in the worst cases, critical of Puerto Ricans desperately trying to survive, let alone recover. Our fellow citizens deserve clean water, power, cleared roads, food relief and basic medical and hygiene supplies. This is on us!! And will be for weeks and months to come!

Please stay aware and engaged in this crisis, just like we were and are for Texas, Louisiana and Florida. 

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The “Lost Cause” was never noble

Propaganda often masquerades as history… if it was obvious, it wouldn’t work. Arguments including “states’ rights” and “Lincoln was pro slavery” and “Lee was only reluctantly defending slavery” etc. are all whitewashing and apologism at *best*. But here is real, plain history from an expert historian — succinct and persuasively presented.

I am sorry to my black friends if essays like this are rough reading, but I’m not sorry to encourage white Southerners to better understand how they have been deceived and miseducated through their lives, in schools and the public squares. As someone educated K-12 in the public schools of DeKalb County GA, I’ve had to catch up, myself.

So yeah, y’all: It was not a noble difference of opinion and lifestyle that sparked and carried the Civil War, but Southerners’ economic and social dependence on the permanent enslavement and dehumanization of black people. It was evil, and it is shameful.

In each of my three books, I have discussed the origins and nature of the American Civil War. I have tried to … show that it was emphatically not a “War of Northern Aggression”—it was not a case of Southern states defending themselves from a threatening central government. Quite the contrary. Yet the current political discussion is bringing up long-discredited arguments that must be refuted. Yes, the war was emphatically about slavery.

…[S]lavery was not dying. The South was not a backwater. Total investment in *all* manufacturing and railroads in 1860 equalled about $2.2 billion, nationwide. The investment in slavery? About $3 billion. The white South was the richest part of the nation, per capita. Key parts of the Northern economy was dependent on cotton, and the South knew it. So you had a vibrant, successful economy with a tradition of providing national political leadership. The white South was proud, and felt strong.

Third, the events that led to secession were all about the effort of the South (let’s be clear—the white South) to *expand* slavery to territories in the west, and to enforce slavery nationally. Sometimes they spoke of the “equal rights of the States,” by which they meant the South deserved equal respect for its property and labor system—slavery—as the North did for its free-labor system. …

[T]he South started to secede almost immediately after Lincoln’s election, long before his inauguration (which was in March 1861). The fire-eaters turned the election of 1860 into a hostage negotiation, the hostage being the Union, the ransom being Southern extremist victory. When Lincoln won, they shot the hostage. They weren’t defending their own, they were demanding it all.

Sixth, the ordinances of secession (as well as the entire political discussion surrounding these events, and the Confederate constitution) made it clear that the South was seceding in order to enshrine slavery. Protecting slavery is why the white South seceded, period. During the war, Confederate army asserted this directly. When Robert E. Lee invaded Pennsylvania, he issued orders to capture and enslave free African Americans—even those who had been born free—with elaborate regulations on how they should be processed and distributed.

Please read the whole thing. It’s not very long but it is extremely well-presented.

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A different kind of Manchester United

1) Now this, THIS, is how you ally. Damn. (Not Lincoln. The working class of Northern England.)

2) Look deep inside yourself and ponder whether you could do as the people of Manchester and Liverpool did. I honestly don’t know, and I don’t like that about myself. I clearly have more work to do.

3) I hope some of my friends’ hearts are lightened a bit to learn that their enslaved ancestors had true friends across the Atlantic.

4) Another example that monuments should glorify what we’re most proud of, not our shames and mistakes.

5) It’s fantastic that Manchester has offered contextualization and additional learning through technology as a public service and resource. This kind of “augmented-reality” added value should be implemented throughout America… *especially* if controversial monuments remain in public spaces. Hopefully this would be a bridge to their eventual removal, but it could certainly serve as a first step of compromise. If you value history so much, let’s have some lessons, shall we? From a perspective beyond that of the Daughters of the Confederacy, obviously. And then see over time how many educated voters are willing to defend our treasonous trophies.

An abbreviated/excerpted version of the Facebook post linked above:

As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.

A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.

Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.

When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.

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We can’t just remove icons of Confederate glorification — we must add representations of Black empowerment, too

Hey, look, I know I post a lot, especially lately. But this essay is ESSENTIAL READING. Save it for later if you must. But please, please read it! There is so much to chew on here! This piece offers a truly different cultural POV than I’ve seen. It includes links to un-whitewashed history. And most eye-opening, to me, is the the shifted framework of seeking prideful displays of Black empowerment, vs. removing shameful markers of supremacist glorification. It seems activism has largely focused on the latter, which is necessary of course — but it’s the former that really will change everyday lives. This piece really shook me up, in the best way.


(but NOT LIKE THIS, ok??)

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Antifa and false equivalencies

The sudden appearance of articles “explaining” antifa and giving them threat-level equivalence to organized (and in some cases decades-old) white supremacist groups is living proof that there is no such thing as “the liberal mainstream media.” This is anti-left propaganda, and must be giving Nazis and Trump lemmings great joy.
Once the fuck again, respected news orgs are playing into Trump’s media strategy. Trump is hopelessly obtuse in innumerable ways BUT there’s no denying he is a next-level media savant who does with press manipulation what Rain Man did with card counting and People’s Court. He’s the king of all news cycles.
Sure enough, within hours of the moment he spouts off some fresh deranged newspeak (the “alt-left” was not a thing yesterday, but I assure you, it is now), here come the think pieces and explainers reinforcing his self-serving bullshit — where in the pursuit of “objectivity” they pathetically refuse to name and defuse the lie that it is.
Antifa are not a group or identity, they are a variable collection of individuals. They also disrupt gatherings and destroy property to create an unpredictable environment. Sometimes, they punch Nazis. OK, no, that’s not nice. On the other hand, white supremacists advocate for the disenfranchisement/deportation/elimination/systematic murder of queerfolk, Jews, POC and “race traitors” and they have allies in authority. (And have had for 150+ years.) They routinely use clubs, guns, fire, bombs, chemical sprays and motorized vehicles to terrorize, maim and murder. (And have for 150+ years.)
The violence is not equivalent, the motives are not equivalent, the goals are not equivalent, the numbers of participants are not equivalent. But right-wingers are suddenly acting like antifa is a unified occupying army raining random death and destruction on poor law-abiding churchgoers, shopkeepers and families out for a stroll. It’s painting a conflict between lawless uncivilized savages vs. law-abiding gentlefolk for the umpteenth time and it’s as American as baseball and goddamn apple pie.
Yo, media folks, sure would be great if you could do better. Media consumers, you can *demand* they do better. Subscribe, click, and comment like the paying customers that you are. Make responsible reporting the smarter business move.
There are lots of ways to fight Nazis — including delegitimizing all their arguments, precluding their claims of any victim status, naming and negating false equivalencies, and keeping them on the filthiest edge of social acceptability. Fuck Nazis. #resist
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