The Roundup for Martin Luther King Day, 2012
I was unable to do any service projects Monday, though I have one scheduled for the weekend. But I think that, while King’s message of service is important, we trivialize him by highlighting ONLY that aspect of his character on this holiday. I feel he would regard telling uncomfortable truths as a public service.
• The AP looks at the deportation review currently underway in Baltimore and Denver. We don’t get a lot of details at what would stop a deportation from moving forward and what wouldn’t, out of this process.
• Shorter Newt Gingrich: you urban hipsters in your condos don’t get the pride that comes with having your house stolen from you by your bank!
• Speaking of the aforementioned criminal theft, here’s Abigail Field on why it’s not being prosecuted at the federal level.
• Looking forward to following this Dan Froomkin and Mark Blumenthal story on Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC satire. This is the first of a week-long series.
• I actually think this is a great idea by Phil Angelides, who always gets more maligned than he should. He’s basically trying to recreate a private version of the HOLC, since the government won’t do anything about the housing mess. Without him, we’d just have an endless repetition of these awful foreclosure auctions.
• Paul Krugman asks “How fares the dream?” and answers that we now have a problem of class (I would say added on to race, he would say supplanting it). Read also MLK’s own words on education. And Lyndon Johnson’s speech on the Voting Rights Act.
• After a week of protests in Nigeria, the government agreed to cut petrol prices, and now the protests and fuel strikes have been suspended. But I suspect the protests were less about petrol at the root and more about inequality and poverty, which have not at all been addressed.
• The idea that oil demand will lead to eventual production of the Canadian tar sands isn’t exactly a unique thought, and nor does it deal with the issue of whether to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to come into existence.
• The conservative British government said no to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s swell idea that, in a show that Britons will overcome austerity, they should give Queen Elizabeth a £60 million yacht that she didn’t even ask for. So this shows that the conservative British government is not yet entertaining thoughts of suicide.
• Some sunlight peeks through the clouds, as Herman von Rompuy of the European Council actually stresses growth and jobs in talking about the European crisis.
• The undisclosed financial relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies invites all kinds of corruption. This is a good move by the Obama Administration, to force transparency in these payments.
• A good summary of the topsy-turvy Congressional landscape after an independent commission redistricted California. Six of the 53 House members have already retired, many as a result of losing their nice gerrymandered seats.
• Marcy on our land of the free.
• The next Egyptian Prime Minister will be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, under a power-sharing deal announced today.
• The AP opened a bureau in Pyongyang, to bring news of North Korea to the world.
• This should be fun: Goldman Sachs will have to reveal the pay packages of all its staff in London.
• First I’ve heard of austerity protests in Romania.
• If anything needs to be occupied, it’s the World Economic Forum in Davos.