Since January, Greg Kaufmann has been talking about poverty at The Nation. Good to see since we don't do that nearly enough. The excerpt below if from an interview with Kaufmann by Theresa Riley at BillMoyers.com:
Greg Kaufmann: I think the biggest takeaways from the recent numbers are that only the top quintile saw its income rise in 2011; the bottom four-fifths all saw a decline. Also, only the bottom and the top saw growth in the number of full-time, year-round workers ? which speaks to the proliferation of low-wage jobs and difficulty reaching the middle class. In short, I think the numbers speak to the fact that we need to stop looking at poverty as a separate phenomenon from the rest of the economy ? an economy with a proliferation of low-wage jobs and a weak and inequitable recovery. Finally, the number of people living below twice the poverty line ? less than about $36,000 for a family of three ? rose from 103 million to 106 million Americans. That?s a better representation of who is struggling in this economy than the 46 million people below the poverty line. Even at two times the poverty level people are making impossible choices between food, housing and healthcare ? and forget about savings for college, for example.?
Riley: What are some common misconceptions about poverty in America?
Kaufmann: That poor people don?t work and don?t want to work. That most people on assistance are African American (most are white). That we waged a war on poverty and poverty won (poverty would be twice as high as it is today ? nearly 30 percent ? if it weren?t for government assistance). That the solution to families headed by single mothers is marriage. And, generally, there is a lack of recognition that most people who turn to welfare are either working low-wage jobs, are temporarily unemployed, or they need safe, affordable childcare in order to work and it?s not available.
Riley: Besides the financial crisis, are there other systemic problems that are factors in the high rate of poverty?
Kaufmann: The proliferation of low-wage jobs is a huge problem. I think the fact that TANF (cash assistance) is administered differently by 50 states and we have no uniform minimum benefit or eligibility standards increases poverty, and also deep poverty. Prior to welfare reform for every 100 families with children in poverty 68 received cash assistance. Now it?s just 27, and the benefit averages about 30 percent of the poverty line. I think the lack of affordable childcare ? federal assistance for childcare currently reaches about one in seven of those who are eligible ? is a huge problem for workers and also in terms of improving outcomes for children in poverty.
Riley: Why aren?t people outraged by these numbers? What do you think it will take to capture the public?s attention???
Kaufmann: You got me. I thought the recession would make people more sensitive to how easy it is to fall into poverty. I don?t think that?s happened ? in fact, it seems like it?s probably increased the scapegoating. I?ve always believed it will take presidential leadership to a) educate people about poverty; and b) take aggressive action to eradicate poverty. But these days I?m thinking it?s more about us educating, agitating, organizing, and pushing ? not waiting on a president. To that end, I want to do a much better job finding out and reporting on what?s happening at the community-level.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007?The unique weirdness of the AG nomination:
First, there was the assurance from the nominee and his supporters that he'd respect the "rule of law." That used to be a fine phrase to toss out there without having to worry about it meaning too much one way or the other, until we learned that everything we once thought was a "law" was now a "hypothetical."
And now Senator Russ Feingold is testing the limits of the remaining currency of another shopworn but previously serviceable platitude -- the old throwaway explanation for a bad vote on a nominee:
He may be the best nominee we can get from this administration in this respect.Senator, I'm afraid I'm going to have to challenge you on that. This "administration" has taken us well past the point where stock phrasing will be sufficient.
I don't believe in those mass conspiracy theories, but something strange is going on. Conservatives suppressing the truth is nothing new. Why they decided to bury this report is obvious. It simply doesn't conform to their world view. Tax rates for the rich have no relation to overall economic growth. This was a no-brainer, but
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I don't believe in those mass conspiracy theories but something strange is going on. Conservatives suppressing the truth is nothing new. Why they decided to bury this report is obvious. It simply doesn't conform to their world view. Tax rates for the rich have no relation to overall economic growth. This was a no-brainer but
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A look at what the First 100 days of the Romney administration might mean to Americans.
How do you know it?s the last week before a presidential election?[...]
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The Friday before the election was, as expected, a fairly heavy polling day, as we logged a "Friday lite" record of 79 polls. On balance, it was a very good polling day for the president in the state polls, and a slightly more mixed one in the national polls, which is a mere perpetuation of a theme we have seen developing for what feels like years, at this point.
Even in the national polls, however, there is some movement. For the third consecutive day, Barack Obama held a lead in the "average" of national polls released today. Of course, the word "lead" is stretching it: today, that lead was 0.14 percentage points. In none of the three days in question was the lead over a single point.
Of course, during the Romney "surge", his average national polling lead was similar in size (or lack thereof).
The bottom line is this: for the first time in a long time, the polls and the media narrative are starting to line up as the clock winds down towards Election Day. That is not good news for Mitt Romney, as the growing narrative is that Obama is riding somewhat of a wave as he heads into the final weekend of the 2012 election.
More on that, and if the numbers bear it out, after the jump. For now, though, on to the numbers:
NATIONAL (ABC/WaPo Tracking): Romney 49, Obama 48DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Ipsos/Reuters Tracking): Obama 46, Romney 46 (LV); Obama 47, Romney 44 (RV)
NATIONAL (PPP Tracking): Obama 49, Romney 48
NATIONAL (Purple Strategies): Obama 47, Romney 46
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama 48, Romney 48
NATIONAL (UPI/CVoter): Obama 48, Romney 48
NATIONAL (Zogby for the Washington Times): Obama 49, Romney 49
CALIFORNIA (Field Poll): Obama 54, Romney 39
COLORADO (Ipsos-Reuters Tracking): Obama 46, Romney 46
COLORADO (PPP for LCV): Obama 50, Romney 46
COLORADO (SurveyUSA): Obama 47, Romney 45
CONNECTICUT (PPP): Obama 55, Romney 42
FLORIDA (Ipsos-Reuters Tracking): Obama 48, Romney 46
GEORGIA (20/20 Insight for a Better Georgia): Romney 52, Obama 46
HAWAII (Merriman River for Civil Beat): Obama 61, Romney 34
INDIANA (Bellwether/Garin-Hart-Yang for the Howey Report): Romney 50, Obama 41
INDIANA (McLaughlin and Associates for the Mourdock campaign): Romney 54, Obama 41
INDIANA (Rasmussen): Romney 52, Obama 43
IOWA (Gravis Marketing--R): Obama 49, Romney 45
IOWA (Mellman Group for Americans United for Change): Obama 46, Romney 44
MAINE (PPP): Obama 55, Romney 42
MAINE-02 (Gravis Marketing--R): Obama 50, Romney 47
MAINE-02 (PPP): Obama 51, Romney 46
MASSACHUSETTS (Kimball Consulting--R): Obama 54, Romney 41
MASSACHUSETTS (PPP): Obama 57, Romney 42
MICHIGAN (Grove Insight for Project New America/USAction): Obama 48, Romney 41
MICHIGAN (PPP for LCV): Obama 52, Romney 46
MICHIGAN (Rasmussen): Obama 52, Romney 47
MINNESOTA (PPP for LCV): Obama 53, Romney 44
NEBRASKA (We Ask America--R): Romney 54, Obama 41
NEVADA (Mellman Group for Americans United for Change): Obama 50, Romney 44
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Gravis Marketing--R): Obama 50, Romney 49
NEW HAMPSHIRE (New England College): Obama 50, Romney 44
OHIO (CNN/ORC): Obama 50, Romney 47 (LV); Obama 52, Romney 45 (RV)
OHIO (Ipsos-Reuters Tracking): Obama 47, Romney 45
OHIO (Rasmussen): Obama 49, Romney 49
OHIO (We Ask America--R): Obama 50, Romney 46
OREGON (PPP): Obama 52, Romney 46
SOUTH DAKOTA (Nielson Brothers): Romney 50, Obama 42
UTAH (Dan Jones and Associates): Romney 69, Obama 26
VIRGINIA (Ipsos-Reuters Tracking): Obama 48, Romney 45
VIRGINIA (We Ask America--R): Obama 49, Romney 48
WISCONSIN (We Ask America--R): Obama 52, Romney 45
CA-SEN (Field Poll): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) 54, Elizabeth Emken (R) 33A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump ...
CT-SEN (PPP): Chris Murphy (D) 52, Linda McMahon (R) 43
FL-SEN (Ipsos-Reuters): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 53, Connie Mack IV (R) 41
IN-SEN (Bellwether/Garin-Hart-Yang for the Howey Report): Joe Donnelly (D) 47, Richard Mourdock (R) 36, Andy Horning (L) 6
IN-SEN (McLaughlin and Associates for the Mourdock campaign): Richard Mourdock (R) 46, Joe Donnelly (D) 44, Andy Horning (L) 3
IN-SEN (Rasmussen): Joe Donnelly (D) 45, Richard Mourdock (R) 42
ME-SEN (PPP): Angus King (I) 50, Charlie Summers (R) 36, Cynthia Dill (D) 12
MA-SEN (Kimball Consulting--R): Sen. Scott Brown (R) 49, Elizabeth Warren (D) 47
MA-SEN (PPP): Elizabeth Warren (D) 52, Sen. Scott Brown (R) 46
MI-SEN (PPP for LCV): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 53, Pete Hoesktra (R) 40
MT-SEN (Rasmussen): Sen. Jon Tester (D) 49, Dennis Rehberg (R) 48
NE-SEN (We Ask America--R): Deb Fischer (R) 54, Bob Kerrey (D) 41
OH-SEN (Ipsos-Reuters): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 50, Josh Mandel (R) 42
PA-SEN (McLaughlin for the Smith campaign): Sen. Bob Casey (D) 46, Tom Smith (R) 46
UT-SEN (Dan Jones and Associates): Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) 63, Scott Howell (D) 26
VA-SEN (Ipsos-Reuters): Tim Kaine (D) 47, George Allen (R) 44
VA-SEN (We Ask America--R): George Allen (R) 50, Tim Kaine (D) 50
WI-SEN (Rasmussen): Tammy Baldwin (D) 48, Tommy Thompson (R) 48
WI-SEN (We Ask America--R): Tammy Baldwin (D) 49, Tommy Thompson (R) 46
IN-GOV (Bellwether/Garin-Hart-Yang for the Howey Report): Mike Pence (R) 47, John Gregg (D) 40, Rupert Boneham (L) 5
IN-GOV (McLaughlin and Associates for the Mourdock campaign): Mike Pence (R) 51, John Gregg (D) 39, Rupert Boneham (L) 3
MT-GOV (Mason Dixon): Rick Hill (R) 49, Steve Bullock (D) 46
MT-GOV (Mellman Group for the DGA): Steve Bullock (D) 47, Rick Hill (R) 40
UT-Gov (Dan Jones and Associates): Gov. Gary Herbert (R) 69, Peter Cooke (D) 24
GA-12 (20/20 Insight for A Better Georgia--D): Rep. John Barrow (D) 50, Lee Anderson (R) 44
HI-01 (Merriman River for Civil Beat): Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) 54, Charles Djou (R) 43
HI-02 (Merriman River for Civil Beat): Tulsi Gabbard (D) 73, Kawika Crowley (R) 15
NH-01 (New England College): Rep. Frank Guinta (R) 48, Carol Shea-Porter (D) 41
NH-02 (New England College): Ann McLane Kuster (D) 47, Rep. Charles Bass (R) 41
OK-02 (Oklahoma Poll): Markwayne Mullin (R) 45, Rob Wallace (D) 33, Others 4
SD-AL (Nielson Brothers): Rep. Kristi Noem (R) 50, Matt Varilek (D) 44
UT-01 (Dan Jones and Associates): Rep. Rob Bishop (R) 72, Donna McAleer (D) 15
UT-02 (Dan Jones and Associates): Chris Stewart (R) 44, Jay Seegmiller (D) 28
UT-02 (Mason Dixon): Chris Stewart (R) 55, Jay Seegmiller (D) 28
UT-03 (Dan Jones and Associates): Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) 68, Simon Sorenson (D) 18
UT-04 (Mason Dixon): Mia Love (R) 52, Rep. Jim Matheson (D) 40
David Callahan had a smart column in The American Prospect about natural and economic disasters, and why they must be met with the same level of urgency.[...]
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As Jon Stewart noted in the opening segment of The Daily Show this Thursday evening, the week before the general election, the people of New York might have it rough right now in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but they can be grateful for one thing -- that they're not living in "swing state hell" like the residents of Ohio are now.
As Stewart joked, between all the political ads, robocalls and politicians on the campaign trail that are inundating the voters in the state, they're going to need their electricity turned off to get some relief. Daily Show regular Wyatt Cenac "reported" from an "undisclosed bunker," since there was no where else to go to escape the ads, not even the neighboring states.
I did something now stuff is broke. My web guru is on it. So, I'm posting goofiness tonight. I thought that this commercial for something was funny. The following is a series of commercials for Spike TV that range from amusing to really funny.
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I can report that power went back on in much of Lower Manhattan between 5 and 6 this evening. The news reports I've seen suggest it's back up in most but not all of Lower Manhattan and in various parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. I can only report[...]
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