In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Some modest good news this week from the Census Bureau [pdf]: for the first time since the Great Recession began, the poverty rate is down a little and the child poverty rate is down a little more. The latter was driven by a bit of job growth and—among families with children—higher income. But at this pace it'll take years for the poverty rate to get back down just to where it was in 2000.
On Friday, President Obama signed the 2014 farm bill into law, complete with a change to the food stamps program intended to save the federal government $8.7 billion. Republicans wanted much deeper cuts, and some of us liberals thought it was unwise to make any cuts to a vital, extremely effective antipoverty program (crazy bleeding hearts). So, yay compromise. If that’s your thing, you can join the president in praising Congress for being bipartisan, solving problems, etc.
Joe Klein: Blacks represent 13% of the population but commit 50% of the murders; 90% of black victims are murdered by other blacks. The facts suggest that history is not enough to explain this social disaster. Matthew Yglesias: Yet the disturbing truth, according to the FBI's most recent homicide statistics, is that the United States is in the wake of an epidemic of white-on-white crime.
"You don’t get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate. You get numbers like this from bullshit arrests for jaywalking and constant 'low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay.'”
Police overreach has long targeted black Americans. And in Ferguson, cops who don't seem to know what they're doing have massive firepower with which to do it.