Morning Links for August 19, 2014.

The South.

  1. Left in Alabama reports on the State Democratic Executive Committee meeting in Montgomery on Saturday, where state party chair Nancy Worley was re-elected. Listen, the ADP is dead under this leadership. Until we get folks running the ADP that will take a progressive policy program and use it to connect to communities across the state, there might as well not even be a Democratic Party in the Heart of Dixie.
  2. Kartik Krishnayer writes for The Florida Squeeze on the need for the Florida Democratic Party to remember that, yes, there are also legislative races on the ballot this November, and they need the state party’s support, too. It can be difficult to keep that at the fore when close statewide races grab all the headlines, but politics and policy is something that mostly works from the ground up. The races that are the least sexy are also the races that are the most important.
  3. Katherine Helms Cummings writes at Rural and Progressive about the “Guns Everywhere” law and the story of a Texas woman killed by a stray bullet outside of a bar in Helen, Georgia over the weekend. While my own views on gun control are shifting (I will have a piece up on that sometime this week), the fact remains that it is just plain stupid to allow drunk folks to be holstered. The fact that this has to be explained to legislators and the governor should frighten us all.
  4. Bethany Bannister writes at Smart, Sassy, and Liberal about the Texas gubernatorial race, and how Battleground Texas’ approach to native Texans has been a big turn-off. Battleground Texas is run by the same folks who are running Empower Alabama, who are, in turn, working for Ready For Hillary and their push to have Hillary Clinton be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Yeah, y’all can keep that pyramid scheme as far as I am concerned.
  5. Michelle Duggar has gone from prolific mother and reality television star to vile, bigoted champion of discrimination, according to Lindsay Millar at the Arkansas Times. In opposing a measure before the city council that would ban discrimination based on housing, employment, and public services in Fayetteville, Arkansas (home to The University of Arkansas), Duggar recorded a robocall with all the familiar “sexual predators will pretend to be women so they can rape your daughters” tropes. What a vapid and disgusting individual.
  6. The blog at Kentuckians for the Commonwealth highlights a social club that is bringing together folks from across Eastern Kentucky, which is an area ravaged by poverty and health problems. These sorts of small social binds are what keeps the working class united in a time of unbelievable social strain and distress. May we all take a page from the people of Lynch, Kentucky on how to build community.
  7. I recommend Every Saturday Morning to everyone. It is a great blog that highlights the difficulties of doing abortion clinic escorting in the South.


  1. Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo reports for In These Times on efforts to restart the worker cooperative movement in New York City. Ifateyo says it better than I can, honestly: “Social and economic justice activists also favor worker cooperatives as a way of enabling workers to participate democratically in their workplace. Co-ops are seen as a key component of what is called the ‘solidarity economy.’ That term encompasses democratic, environmentally conscious and socially responsible companies, along with alternative exchanges such as trade and bartering—any economic system that emphasizes concern for people and economic justice over pure profit.”
  2. Timothy Williams pens a heartbreaking article for The New York Times on the effects of the Workforce Investment Act, which is another one of those “welfare to work” policies that never seemed to work out quite like its proponents promised. Even more insidious is that the policy is actually promoting the incursion of debt without any real promise of benefits or cost defrayment to the unemployed. Sickening.


  1. As President Obama continues to say a whole lot of nothing, and as the Missouri National Guard fails to end the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Wines and Erica Goode relate the Ferguson unrest to the civil disturbances of years past in today’s New York Times. I once discussed the 1992 Los Angeles Riots with my students before realizing that I was one of only three people in the classroom that was alive at the time of the riots, and likely the only one that remembers the event with any measure of clarity. Same is likely with the 2001 Cincinnati Riots, which I remember watching on the news every night.
  2. Thank you, Washington Post, for reminding me why I never read your worthless rag, and also why no one else should, either.
  3. Josh Eidelson at Bloomberg Businessweek highlights the areas with the highest levels of income inequality in America. The three metro areas with the fastest growth in inequality were: Albany, Georgia; Ithaca, New York; and Dalton, Georgia.


  1. Allison Sparling wrote at her blog Always Something about a local editorial in Halifax, Nova Scotia that, predictably, calls on everyone to adopt the same false equivalency as the op-ed writer. Sparling titles her post “Your Centrism Sucks”, which pretty much sums up the zeitgeist of The South Lawn on a daily basis. Definitely a recommended read.

The World.

  1. The Guardian reports that rail fares will be increasing upwards of hundreds of dollars per year for commuters. And yet, Labour steadfastly refuses to commit to renationalizing Britain’s rail lines. Unbelievable.
  2. The Irish Times reveals the harrowing story of a woman who was raped that the state forced to give birth to a child, even though she threatened to starve herself to death rather than give birth to a rapist’s child that she did not want. It is also accompanied by an editorial from Fintan O’Toole rightly calling out these abusive measures. Ireland’s laws on abortion are damn near dystopian in their conception and execution, but do not think for a second that America would not have those same laws if certain politicians got their way.