Archive for July, 2008

27
Jul
08

From the Field

Reporting live from New Orleans, where I’m sneaking a quick trip to the gym b/w meetings.  Since I’ve arrived I’ve seen this image (Geaux Obama!) and also a woman wearing a t-shirt with Obama’s image that says “Prince” beneath it.  (And no, I don’t think this means he’s named Prince as his running mate.)

I also just sat down with a public housing activist and resident, an older African-American man, who is not voting this year because, as a Clinton supporter, he doesn’t think Obama can get the job done, and he’s not voting for McCain.  He doesn’t think Obama can do the job like past Presidents, incl. Clinton, our first “black president,” he reminded me.  Obama will not be that, he told me.

What’s that now about bitter old white women??

Continue reading ‘From the Field’

23
Jul
08

Hello Dolly

Still just a Category 1 hurricane, Dolly nonetheless threatens to top the levees and devastate the rural, low-lying, poor areas around Brownsville, TX and in the Rio Grande Valley.  People forget that Katrina hit New Orleans at Category 3 force, and that it was levee failure much more so than Katrina’s organic strength that flooded and devastated the city – a city of above average concentrated poverty.  Dolly’s potential impact is similarly chilling:

Continue reading ‘Hello Dolly’

21
Jul
08

Notes on New Orleans

I just got home from six nights in New Orleans – a mix of business and pleasure (the city would have it no other way).  On my first morning there I joined several residents and activists in solidarity at another’s hearing at NO’s Criminal Court.  Some thoughts on that are here.

My relationship with New Orleans is a tense one – the intensity of the inequity is something this uptight, machine-politick-reared New Englander cannot abide.  My work there takes me through a morning at the Criminal Court, and I pass another listening to another former resident weep over the loss of her home and sitting with her through one family crisis after another.  In an effort to escape from the despair, I trundle over to Magazine Street and spend hours wandering the boutiques full of relatively inexpensive, funky and fun dresses (I marvel at the affordable and independent designs they have down there – I’m not aware of any equivalents up here in MA).  But it’s difficult to overcome the cognitive dissonance of watching families cope with trauma and injustice and then pay an excessive amount for two sandwiches and glasses of wine at an overpriced (if delicious) bakery shop decked out in fantastic pinks and blues.  Surreal is often a word folks use to describe their experiences in post-Katrina New Orleans, and they’re not wrong.

Continue reading ‘Notes on New Orleans’

14
Jul
08

You Don’t Count

I’m flabbergasted and outraged by this news – so I’m leaving it all for you as an enraging, insomnia-inducing bedtime story. Mean old Redstar. More of the MSM/Bush et al’s “nothing to see here, move along now…is that a terrorist fist bump over there? Have you seen the latest New Yorker cover??” [BTW: Atrocious. AJ Plaid at Racialicious guest blogs it as “Hipster Racism.”]  Excerpted from Firedoglake:

Census Bureau to Married LGBTs: You Don’t Count

Continue reading ‘You Don’t Count’

01
Jul
08

Sectoral and Organizational Democratic Primary Contributions

The second round of data on Democratic Primary contributions** is much less interesting than the gender breakdown (HERE), but there’s a few points worth mentioning, I think. The Top 20 industry sector contributions amounted to $79M for Clinton, $91M for Obama. The Top 20 organizational “bundles” (contributions from affiliated individuals) amounted to $5.5M for Clinton, $6M for Obama.

**Before I continue, this is the excel sheet I was using; it has the campaign breakdowns by industry, organization, and gender. It also compares expenditures. All info is originally taken from OpenSecrets.org.
Continue reading ‘Sectoral and Organizational Democratic Primary Contributions’

01
Jul
08

Gender and $$ in the Democratic Primary

Taking an opening from David Brooks (of all people), NYC Weboy has an important point to make about the influence of large donors on elections.  Following through to the original source about campaign donations, OpenSecrets.org, I took a more detailed look at Clinton and Obama’s campaign contributions.  Clinton raised about $229M all in, Obama almost $300M.

Unsurprisingly, there was a major gender gap in individual contributions to the two candidates.
Continue reading ‘Gender and $$ in the Democratic Primary’