Monday, August 10, 2020

Caption Monday.

 TRUMP TO BASE: I'M A FAT IDIOT--JUST LIKE YOU! — Terence Hawkins


I need a caption for this picture. 

*Image from terence-hawkins.com 

Friday, August 07, 2020

Field Poll.

My photoDear Field Hands, as we approach the 2020 presidential elections, we are being bombarded with poll after poll. And, as is to be expected, they are all over the place. Most of them have Uncle Joe up on President Orange, but there are some polls that have the candidates pretty much even at this point. 

In the spirit of the season, I would like to conduct my own Field Negro poll to get a an idea of where we are at this point in the presidential horse race. 

Please simply leave a comment and tell me who you will be voting for and why. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 


   

Monday, August 03, 2020

Coronavirus 1 The Economy 0

TWEET MEKevin McCarthy was bragging on twitter today that Mr. trump is not done yet, and that just like he did in 2016, he might have some more tricks up his sleeve.

He might be right. I am sure that with the help of his friends in Russia, along with GOP voter suppression, anything is possible.  Although this virus is not going away, and it's starting to have an impact in the area that Mr. trump is proudest of when it comes to his time in office.

Here is an oped from Robert Reich regarding that very issue:

“The recovery has been very strong,” Donald Trump said on Monday. Then the commerce department reported the US economy contracted between April and June at the fastest pace in nearly three-quarters of a century, which is as long as economists have been keeping track. The drop wiped out five years of economic growth.

But pesky facts have never stopped Trump. Having lied for five months about the coronavirus, he’s now filling social media and the airwaves with untruths about the economy so he can dupe his way to election day.

The comeback “won’t take very long”, he reassured Americans on Thursday. But every indicator shows that after a small uptick in June, the US economy is tanking again. Restaurant reservations are down, traffic at retail stores is dwindling, more small businesses are closing, the small rebound in air travel is reversing.

What’s Trump’s plan to revive the economy? The same one he’s been pushing for months: just “reopen” it.

He wants the public to believe the shutdown orders that began in March caused the economy to tank in the first place, so reversing them will bring the economy back.
People can’t go back to work because there is very little work for them to do
Rubbish. It was the virus that caused the downturn, and its resurgence is taking the economy down again. The virus is surging back because governors reopened prematurely, before the virus was under control – at Trump’s repeated insistence.

The sequence of cause-and-effect is clear. The virus has surged most in states that were among the first to reopen, such as Florida, South Carolina, Texas and much of the rest of the sun belt.
Because of this resurgence, many states are pausing plans to reopen and some are reimposing restrictions. But these restrictions are not the reason the economy is slowing. They are the necessary consequence of allowing the pandemic to get out of control.

Even the White House’s own coronavirus taskforce concludes that 21 states have outbreaks serious enough to justify more restrictions.

Notably, the economy is sliding again even though the government has pumped trillions of dollars into it. What happens when the money stops?

We’re about to find out. Senate Republicans can’t agree among themselves, let alone with House Democrats, about more funding, while Trump says “we really don’t care” about reaching a spending agreement.

That means starting this week more than 30 million Americans will no longer receive $600 in extra weekly employment benefits. As a result, tens of millions will not be able to make rent or mortgage payments. More will go hungry, including children. The economy is likely to slide even further.
The White House argues that the extra unemployment payments have discouraged workers from seeking jobs because some are receiving more money in benefits than they would earn by working.
“We don’t want to create disincentives to work,” says Trump adviser Larry Kudlow.

More rubbish. A study by Yale economists finds “no evidence” that people who have lost their jobs are choosing to stay unemployed because of the extra federal aid. In fact, “workers facing larger [unemployment] expansions generally appear to be quicker to return to work than others, not slower.”
People can’t go back to work because there is very little work for them to do. Fourteen million more people are unemployed than there are jobs.

Related: Paul Begala on Trump: 'Nothing unites the people of Earth like a threat from Mars'
In fact, the extra benefits have been keeping some 3 million employed because the money has gone into the pockets of people who spend it, thereby sustaining economic activity. Shrinking those benefits will put less money into consumer pockets, with the result that millions more jobs will be lost.

Lies about the economy are harder to spot than lies about the coronavirus because the virus’s grim death count is painfully apparent while the economy is complicated. But Trump’s economic lies are no less egregious, and they’re about to cause a great deal of unnecessary suffering.
Trump and Senate Republicans may not like it, but that’s the painful truth." [Article]

Mr. trump is learning the hard way that you can't lie your way out of a pandemic. Science and facts can be really stubborn when it comes to these types of things.




Thursday, July 30, 2020

Down goes Mr. 9-9-9.


Rest in peace Herman Cain. 

You have to feel for a guy who jigged so hard for Mr. trump that it cost him his life. Imagine having cancer and attending a trump rally in the midst of the coronavirus with all those trump cult followers who chose to go without masks. And yet that's what the dearly departed Herman Cain did. (That's Herman and his friends in the colored section.)

Cain literally died from selling out to trump,and there are lots of other right-wing politicians who are dying a political death as a result of hitching their wagon to the most corrupt and incompetent leader in the history of these United States. (I see you Susan Collins.)

It has gotten so bad for Dear Leader that he is now calling for the postponement of the upcoming general elections because of his poor poll numbers. We should have known that a man like Donald trump would not go quietly into the night. His ego and his personality disorder will not allow him to accept such a public defeat. What's sad is that he has undermined the entire electoral process with this phony vote by mail scam he has going. He can prove none of what he is alleging, and it's all a big lie. But he knows that, and so do the other people in his camp who are going along with ridiculous pronouncements.

I am not sure what will happen in November. Four months is a long time in politics. But I do know one thing, and that's if Donald trump was leading in the polls today you would hear zero talk of voter fraud and moving back the elections.

Still, we should take heart. I am not an expert on the Constitution, but I know enough to know that Mr. trump's scheme could never fly. Unless, of course, he marshals his troops and tries to wage an all out war against the the American government. Don't laugh, there are folks who, like Herman Cain, are willing to give their lives for Dear Leader. 

The thought of that should keep us all up at night. 






Monday, July 27, 2020

Caption Monday.


Photo: White House
I need a caption for this picture.


*Image from gizmotable.com

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Cracking up.

TWEET MEImagine being the president of the United States and giving a shout out to an accused pedophile and sex trafficker.

Incredibly, that's what Mr. trump did at one of his press conferences this week. It was quite a surreal moment, and one we can't talk enough about. (Even though the so called journalists in this country seem to be ignoring the moment.

This is all now bordering on the absurd. It's like we wake up every day and find ourselves living in one huge SNL skit. The president does one dopey thing after another. If he isn't bragging about passing a test that is administered to people to see if they have dementia,  he is parading around a retired baseball pitcher ---and going on about his accomplishments--- in what was supposed to be a critical briefing to the country about the coronavirus.

 I know that I shouldn't, but I actually feel bad for the people who work for him. How do you spin what he is doing or try to make him seem sane? His press secretary gave it the old college try today but....

 "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempted to spin President Donald Trump’s well-wishes to former Jeffrey Epstein partner Ghislaine Maxwell on Fox News, Thursday. “The other day he was asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s being federally prosecuted for allegedly recruiting, grooming, sexually abusing underage girls. He said, ‘I just wish her well, frankly. I wish her well.’ 

That raises some eyebrows, Kayleigh,” declared Bret Baier to McEnany during the interview. “What the president was noting is that the last person who was charged in this case ended up dead in a jail cell and the president wants justice to be served for the victims in this case and he prefers this to play out in a courtroom,” the press secretary responded. Baier asked, “Have you talked to him about that?” to which McEnany replied, “I have spoken to him about that.” “Because a lot of people were saying it just seemed a strange answer,” Baier pushed, prompting McEnany to shoot back, “This president is the president that banned Jeffrey Epstein from coming to Mar-a-Lago. This president was always on top of this, ahead of this, noting this, banning this man from his property long before this case was even being played out in a court of law.” 

Baier promptly dropped the topic, concluding, “Kayleigh, we appreciate the time and the info and we will see the president today at 5 p.m. Appreciate it.” President Trump was condemned this week — including by House Republicans — for saying about Maxwell, “I just wish her well, frankly… I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach. I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well.”' 

 That folks, is not normal. And the fact that they actually expect us to believe that spin just goes to show you how little respect thy have for the rest of us. I mean at some point the people that he has doing all this sycophantic and cult like stuff for him have to just say, enough! I mean don't these people have families and friends? How could they let their reputations take a hit like this?

 Finally, speaking of people who used to be sycophants for Mr. trump. A Judge today entered an order that Michael Cohen should be let out of jail, because president trump's DOJ pushing to put him back in prison was just them retaliating against him for going forward with his tell- all book about 'Dear Leader'.

"On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein sided with a lawsuit from Cohen's attorneys saying that the conditions of Cohen's home confinement — that he not speak to the media or publish a book — violated his First Amendment rights. Hellerstein ordered Cohen to be released by 2 p.m. ET Friday.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons released a statement saying, "Any assertion that the decision to remand Michael Cohen to prison was a retaliatory action is patently false." It denied that his intent to publish a book played a role.

The statement said people being supervised at home have to accept certain conditions and "Mr. Cohen refused to agree to the terms of the program, specifically electronic monitoring." The bureau also noted that Cohen was argumentative and wouldn't accept rules on self-employment, access to the media and use of social media."

I am glad this Judge saw through William Barr and what he is trying to do on behalf of his boss: use the threat of jail to intimidate people who speak out against their cabal.

Personally,  I am looking forward to reading the book, although it won't tell us anything that we don't already know.

 Posted by field negro at 8:01 PM

Monday, July 20, 2020

trump's army.

TWEET MEA lot of people have been predicting that something like this would happen, but I have been holding out hope that they were wrong. I was hoping that fascism would never come to America. We know that this president is capable of, he has already shown us who he is. (Remember what happened on June 1st? ), but we were hoping that there were those around him who would try to temper his fascist urges. Man were we wrong. 

 The events in Portland, Oregon over the past few days should terrify every red blooded American. Imagine unidentified federal agents snatching up peaceful protesters from the streets of an American city and throwing them into unmarked cars. It doesn't get any more dystopian that that. And yet that is exactly what has been happening in the Northwestern city.

Mr. trump, who is way down in the most recent polls, has become more desperate with each passing day. His back is against the wall and there is no telling what he will do at this point to hold on to power. He has already said that he isn't sure if he will go peacefully into the orange night. Things could get ugly here in America. 

Just today Mr. trump threatened to send his federal officers  into other American cities. (At least I think they are officers. Frankly, I don't know what they are.)He named Oakland, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore as examples. Even though, for the most part, protests in these cities have been either non-existent or peaceful of late. But let's not kid ourselves, we know that this is all about. Just look at the racial makeup of these cities. I am proud to day that our leaders here in Philadelphia are not buying into Mr. trump's shenanigans.

"Both Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner criticized Donald Trump after the President said he may send federal law enforcement to Philadelphia and other cities run by Democratic leaders in order to deal with continued unrest and protests over police brutality. 

District Attorney Larry Krasner ..... released a statement in response to Trump’s comments. 

“My dad volunteered and served in World War II to fight fascism, like most of my uncles, so we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights and trying to make America a better place, which is what patriots do,” Krasner wrote. 

“Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office. At trial, they will face a Philadelphia jury. It’s the least we can do to honor those who fought fascism, including those who are fighting it even now.”''

The irony of all this is that some of these Second Amendment right-wingnuts who are so strongly into states rights, and who despise the federal government infringing on their rights, have been silent about Mr. trump's latest use of federal troops. Can you say Ruby Ridge boys and girls? Which just goes to show you that their movement is not about protecting the Constitution, it's about, at least in this case, protecting Donald trump. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The president and the N-word.

TWEET MEIf you are surprised to hear that President trump used the N-word and made anti -Semitic statements in the presence of his niece you haven't been paying attention to Mr. trump's actions for the past three and a half years. His entire presidency has been built on a racist platform. In fact, his introduction to America was built on a racist lie.   I don't know about you, but for me personally, hearing that he casually dropped the N bomb around his family and friends was not a surprise. In fact, I am surprised that there has not been more revelations like this. Michael Cohen said that he heard him (trump) use the N-word, but I suppose because he was well on his way to jail no one believed him. 

The fact that 35% of Americans still believe in Mr. trump should be troubling to all of us. The country going through severe racial growing pains, which has led to racial unrest, is a direct result of Mr. trump's rhetoric and his actions. He has openly embraced the confederate flag, and his demonization of people of color in an attempt to scare white people into supporting him has been like the Willie Horton campaign on steroids.

One now wonders how much longer this can go on. The country seems to be at a breaking point, but  for a president who thrives on chaos and division this is just what the doctor ordered. The polls have him way down, but frankly, I believe that this election will be very close. What's interesting is that had he not exposed himself as an incompetent leader during this pandemic he would have been well on his way to winning a second term in office in spite of his racism. Or, maybe, and I hate to say this, because of it.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Caption Sunday.

Image result for trump with mask images 

I need a caption for this picture. 

Example: Tell me why are we wearing the black and not the white masks again? 

*Image from q13fox.com


Wednesday, July 08, 2020

A field Negro experiment.


I don't have a long post tonight, but as I do from time to time, I would like to conduct a little social experiment featuring a couple of videos that were recently in the news.

Please tell me your thoughts about this video and the interplay between these random strangers of opposite races in the state of Michigan.

And then tell me your thoughts on this one as well which happened in Old City, Philadelphia.

Again, random strangers of different races.

Thanks for your contribution, and stay safe in these divided states of America. 
    

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Is this a real woke moment, or just more of the same?

TWEET METhe NFL has announced that before every game they will sing the black national anthem, the AP will now capitalize the B when referring to black people, food brands are changing their "racially insensitive" names, and the football team in Washington is finally considering changing their name because of corporate pressure.

 Some folks would look at this and be impressed, but I am not one of them. These types of gestures and platitudes that go along with them, are all just window dressing that fails to address the real issues that can bring about meaningful change in society when it comes to matters of race.

If the NFL really wants to contribute to the fight for equality they will stop giving lip service to the Rooney Rule, and start taking serious steps to make sure that people of color are given a chance to be head coaches and general managers in a league that is seventy percent black.  They can also do a little soul searching and come to grips with why they black balled Colin Kaepernick and ran him out of the league. The same for all these corporations who have all of sudden found a conscience. 

Honestly, when it comes to all of these "gestures" of goodwill from corporations and organizations, I take the Missouri position. You have to show me. Talk is cheap, and it will get you to the next news cycle after America's woke moment is over. I am pretty sure, that as it has in the past, we will be going be back to square one, and we will have to visit these types of battles all over again.

Indeed as John Rice eloquently wrote for The Atlantic, there are degrees of racism. I think the days of witnessing first degree racism, while not over, thanks to cell phone cameras, are becoming less widespread. The other degrees of racism, however, will not easily go away.

Rice wrote:

"The final, most pernicious category undergirds the everyday black experience. When employers, educational institutions, and governmental entities do not unwind practices that disadvantage people of color in the competition with whites for economic and career mobility, that is fundamentally racist—not to mention cancerous to our economy and inconsistent with the American dream. For example, the majority of white executives operate as if there is a tension between increasing racial diversity and maintaining the excellence-based “meritocracies” that have made their organizations successful. After all, who in their right mind would argue against the concept of meritocracy?

When these executives are challenged on hiring practices, their first excuse is always “The pipeline of qualified candidates is too small, so we can only do so much right now.” Over the past 20 years, I have not once heard an executive follow up the “pipeline is too small” defense with a quantitative analysis of that pipeline. This argument is lazy and inaccurate, and it attempts to shift the responsibility to fix an institution’s problem onto black people and the organizations working to advance people of color. When asked why they have so few minorities in senior leadership roles, executives’ most common response is “There are challenges with performance and retention.” To reinforce their meritocracy narrative, white leaders point to the few black people they know who have made it to the top, concluding inaccurately that they were smarter and worked harder than the rest.

Organizations cannot be meritocracies if their small number of black employees spend a third of their mental bandwidth in every meeting of every day distracted by questions of race and outcomes. Why are there not more people like me? Am I being treated differently? Do my white colleagues view me as less capable? Am I actually less capable? Will my mistakes reflect negatively on other black people in my firm? These questions detract from our energy to compete for promotions with white peers who have never spent a moment distracted in this way. I wager that 90 percent of the white executives who read these last sentences are now asking, particularly after recent events, “How did we miss that?” This dimension of racism is particularly hard to root out, because many of our most enlightened white leaders do not even realize what they are doing. This is racism in the third degree, akin to involuntary manslaughter: We are not trying to hurt anyone, but we create the conditions that shatter somebody else’s future aspirations. Eliminating third-degree racism is the catalyst to expanding economic power for people of color, so it merits focus at the most senior levels of education, government, and business.

Employers whose efforts to increase diversity lack the same analytical and executional rigor that is taken for granted in every other part of their business engage in practices that disadvantage black people in the competition for economic opportunity. By default, this behavior protects white people’s positions of power. The nonprofit organization that I have built over the past 20 years, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, has advanced more than 8,000 students and professionals of color toward leadership positions, and we partner with more than 120 of the most aspirational employers to support their diversity strategy, as well as their recruiting and advancement efforts. Yet I have not seen 10 diversity plans that have the foundational elements that organizations require everywhere else: a fact-based diagnosis of the underlying problems, quantifiable goals, prioritized areas for investment, interim progress metrics, and clear accountability for execution. Expanding diversity is not what compromises excellence; instead, it is our current approach to diversity that compromises excellence and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We can increase the cost of this behavior by calling on major employers to sign on to basic practices that demonstrate that black lives matter to them. These include: (1) acknowledging what constitutes third-degree racism so there is no hiding behind a lack of understanding or fuzzy math, (2) committing to developing and executing diversity plans that meet a carefully considered and externally defined standard of rigor, and (3) delivering outcomes in which the people of color have the same opportunities to advance.

Companies that sign on will be recognized and celebrated. Senior management teams that decline to take these basic steps will no longer be able to hide, and they will struggle to recruit and retain top talent of all colors who will prefer firms that have signed on. The economic and reputational costs will increase enough for behavior and rhetoric to change. Then more people of color will become economically mobile, organizations will become more diverse and competitive, and there will be a critical mass of black leaders whose institutional influence leads to more racially equitable behavior. These leaders will also have the economic power to further elevate the cost of all other types of racist behavior, in policing, criminal justice, housing, K–12 education, and health care—systems that for decades have been putting knees on the necks of our most vulnerable citizens and communities.

Third-degree racism can be deadly. For at least the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandated that in order to get tested, you had to go to a primary-care doctor to get a prescription and then, in some areas, also get a referral to a specialist who could approve a test, because they were in limited supply. That process made it much harder for minorities to access tests, because they are much less likely to have  primary-care physicians. This is one of several reasons the hospitalization and death rates for minorities are disproportionately higher than those for whites. If the people who designed that process knew up front that they would be exposed as racist, fired, and ostracized if their approach put minorities at a greater health risk than white people, they would have designed it differently and saved black lives. Just having a critical mass of minorities in decision-making roles regarding that test-qualification process would have also saved many lives.

Rooting out third-degree racism is what will ultimately change the narrative about race. When white people see more black people on the same path as they are, when white people are working in diverse organizations, and when they are proximate to black leaders beyond athletes and entertainers, only then will they stop fearing and feeling superior to the black people they don’t know." {Source}

All these so called changes being made in corporate thinking is fine, and it all sounds and looks good from a public relations standpoint. But unless there is a real effort to tackle the type of institutionalized racism that has been implemented over decades, this too shall pass. And years from now, long after Donald trump, we will be right back to square one wondering how we ever got back to this point.