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Preview: Fables of the reconstruction

Fables of the reconstruction

Law, politics, and Philadelphia.

Published: 2014-12-05T08:09:39-05:00


Police Brutality is a Fantastic Fundraising Opportunity, Though


Activist orgs and politicians love news frenzies like this because they can blast fundraising emails and people will give, thinking they are "doing something". Yep, you're giving money to people who may or may not do what you want them...

Nothing is Going to Get Better From the Killings of Brown and Garner


I'm glad people are protesting the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, because it shows there are some decent people left in the world, but - real talk now - nothing is going to improve as a result of...

Be Clear About Confiscating Guns


People who are disgusted by gun violence get peeved by gun nuts' finicky insistence on the correct use of terminology like "automatic" versus "semi-automatic." The gun nuts are just trying to derail the conversation and delegitimize the people who are...

Speaking Ill of the Dead


I really don't give a shit about any comedian/actor who offs himself. The outpouring of feeling when such things happen are a symptom of a societal illness in which people imagine that (a) the public personas of celebrities are somehow...

Russian Says It's Giving Assad Anti-Aircraft Missiles


In response to Britain and France lifting the embargo on arming the Syrian rebels, Russia has announced it's going ahead with selling a very potent anti-aircraft system to the Syrian government. This probably means no U.S. intervention: Russia will deliver...

Some Things to Understand About Guns and Gun Control in America


1. America is a major exporter of small arms. The powers that be in government know that and want to keep it that way. They have no intention of banning the manufacture of guns in the U.S. 2. Arms makers...

No Platinum Coin - Now, Let's Get to the Substance


I am not sorry about this development: The U.S. Treasury Department said on Saturday it will not produce platinum coins as a way of generating $1 trillion in revenue and avoiding a battle in Congress over raising the U.S. debt...

Shotgun Divorces


My opinion is that the only thing that could bring down the rate of gun violence - either in mass murders or the regular kind - is to reduce the number of guns in the country from the current 300...



Five years ago yesterday, Andy Olmsted was killed by a sniper in Iraq. It was a tragedy for the people who knew him, and for those of us who followed his blog posts. Since then, over 20,000 Iraqi civilians died...

When Tragedy Strikes, People Say Stupid Things: The "Let's Confiscate Guns" Edition


In 2007 (seems to be the last comprehensive effort to make an estimate), there were 270,000,000 guns in the United States of America possessed by civilians. Except for the relatively small number of fully automatic weapons (i.e., machine guns), these...

I Always Have My Powerful, Black, Ersatz Penis With Me, Just in Case


Duncan's experience is absolutely in accord with mine: People who carry concealed - and let you know it - are just looking for an excuse to use it. If they've been at it for any length of time, they've got...

Obama's Tech Team


Profiled here. Interesting read. Impossible to tell how much of it is true or accurate, of course. They're fucking geniuses, especially in retrospect. Of course. A couple of points: They are all dudes. You could weave a fucking rug with...

The Democratic Volunteer and Field Organizer Army


Four years ago, I was heavily involved in the Obama campaign in Philadelphia as a volunteer. I registered a lot of people to vote. And I was a slacker compared to many of the people who volunteered with me. I...

Demographics are Not Destiny


People talking about demographics have the wrong end of the stick. White conservatives don't vote for white conservative candidates because they're white, they vote for them because white supremacy is at the core of American conservatism. So long as Republicans...

The Rocket Science of Elections


So what have we learned from all this? 1. Money alone will not buy an election, especially when you tell your opponents you're trying to buy the election. 2. Having a based motivated soley by antipathy for the other guy...

Don't Take the Riverlink Ferry From Philly to Camden for a Concert


A kind of non sequitur to post about on here after such a long hiatus, but if you're going from Philadelphia to the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey, for a concert, don't take the Riverlink ferry that runs...

Comforting Sound




70 Years Ago


Two fateful mistakes: Launching the attack galvanized a nation that had been deeply divided on entering the war and transformed it into 133 million people who, as Barbara Tuchman put it, were so angry they were willing to swim to...

The Unflattering Truth


Avedon Carol provides an illustration of why liberals are so bad at politics: It's lost in the mists of time for me, but does anyone remember who came up with (and who promoted) the idea that liberal ideology is hard...

Message: They're Nuts


releasing Obama's long-form birth certificate won't quiet the crazies. I would guess the Administration thinks so, too, and thinks the GOP presidential candidates will have to continue to cater to them. The media will consider the settled matter really, really...

Worst Aspects of the Blogosphere: Two Examples


Item one: The law firm that Congressional Republicans hired to defend DOMA dropped the representation, and Jonathan Adler at Volokh Conspiracy engages in a little propter hoc, saying that the public outcry among gay groups caused the firm "to discard...

DOMA: Fantacism For its Own Sake


The law firm that House Republican hired to defend DOMA decided to drop the representation. The lawyer at the firm who agreed to take the case, Paul Clement, quit, saying: Defending unpopular positions is what lawyers do. The adversary system...

Actually, Republicans Did Vote to End Medicare


PolitiFact had no basis for saying otherwise. (I've lobbed an email in to them; I'm sure that will make them come around.) I figured the reason for this isn't just a mere fetish for false equivalence. Looking over their "Pants...

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!


If an undead, long-haired, doe-eyed hippie comes shamblin' toward you, push someone else in his way and run like hell.

Republican War on the Poor


Assholes: Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores. ... His explanation? “I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I...

See the Change


Pet peeve: Huge surges among Hispanic populations in the Deep South could mean a political sea change over the next two decades, as immigrants become naturalized and they and their American-born children register to vote. ... This is the correct...

Philly's Stadium Zone


Duncan laments the fact that the Phillies' ballpark was built where it was: As with many places, my stupid urban hellhole powers that be located the baseball stadium in-the-city-but-not-in-the-city, that is in a mostly isolated stadium complex not near anything...

150th Anniversary of Attack on Ft. Sumter


At 4:30 a.m., April 12, 1861, a rebel cannon fired the first shot of the Civil War at Ft. Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. This act plunged the nation into a war in which over 3 million American men fought...

Marketing [Insert Here] at Work


The perils of email marketing: