The Biden administration’s efforts to provide $4 billion in debt relief to minority farmers is encountering stiff resistance from banks, which are complaining that the government initiative to pay off the loans of borrowers who have faced decades of financial discrimination will cut into their profits and hurt investors.

Yup, you read that right. these are the same banks that have made millions on the backs of Black and minority farmers with predatory loans for decades. Don’t tell me racism doesn’t exist, and don’t tell me the free market is fair to everyone.

I voted for this administration to do things just like this. I hope they write some big fat checks and let the banks suck on it.

Date posted: May 19, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

My views on gun control are pretty well documented here, and I’ve linked to stories about how the NRA is clearly run by crooks who have wrapped themselves in the Second Amendment to enrich themselves and their friends. Turns out a judge in Texas has decided they’re crooks too, and won’t allow them to declare bankruptcy to avoid federal prosecution.

Date posted: May 12, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Gen. Webb didn’t realize that the president was going to be there, so he stood to give up his chair, and President Obama just motioned him, no, you sit right where you are. Gen. Webb had this little laptop, messaging somebody. And so the president pulled up this hardback portable chair right next to him.

Politico does a great oral history of the leadup to and the day of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden from the POV of the government officials who planned and executed it. It’s a fascinating look at how global decisions like that are made, and underlines the fact that they weren’t sure he was even there—they took a giant calculated risk, and it paid off.

Date posted: May 12, 2021 | Filed under history, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Last week there were a flurry of stories of police taking arrests way too far; an Army lieutenant was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed while Virginia cops searched his car with no probable cause. An Ohio man had snow forcibly shoved in his mouth during a February arrest.

Here in Maryland, a police Bill of Rights was enacted in 1974, ensuring police had extra protections unavailable to ordinary citizens, including time limits on alleging brutality complaints, allowing only other law enforcement officers to investigate misconduct, and allowing a delay before questioning an officer. Last week this was struck down by our state legislature over the objections of our Governor, ensuring that police will need to begin to rein in their worst impulses and be held accountable for their actions. I’m proud of our legislature this morning.

Date posted: April 12, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

In The Washington Post, three former Baltimore City health commissioners question Governor Hogan’s vaccine rollout and who exactly is getting it:

By our calculation based on the state health department data, White Marylanders are being vaccinated at a rate more than twice than that of Black Marylanders, and only around 4 percent of inoculations have gone to Latinos.

Hogan’s response has been less than helpful:

He asserted that “as of last week, Baltimore City had gotten far more than they really were entitled to.” The governor did not share data to justify this astonishing statement, nor did he address how it might even be possible for Baltimore to receive excess vaccine and yet have a vaccination rate among its residents lower than that of every one of its surrounding counties.

This is the same guy who, almost immediately after being elected, canceled a long-planned, federally backed improvement to Baltimore City’s mass transit system and diverted that money to building roads in rural white areas of the state.

Date posted: February 28, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This is also good Wednesday news: the Baltimore Sun, which has been owned by Tribune Publishing for years, could be sold to a nonprofit organization set up and funded by an area Democratic philanthropist. This would be fantastic for the organization, as the rest of the Tribune holdings would be bought by Alden Capital, a hedge fund with a history of buying and gutting local news outlets.

Date posted: February 17, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Flynn was ranting, seemingly infuriated about anyone challenging Powell, who had represented him in his recent legal battles.

Finally Herschmann had enough. “Why the fuck do you keep standing up and screaming at me?” he shot back at Flynn. “If you want to come over here, come over here. If not, sit your ass down.” Flynn sat back down.

Jesus Christ. This is from Axios’ podcast series called Off The Rails, which documents the final days of the devolution inside the Trump White House. I love the idea that a lawyer told a former Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army to sit the fuck down. And it’s terrifying to think about, if all of this is even 50% true, how completely detached from reality the President was and how close the nut jobs were to convincing him to declare martial law. I never thought I’d be this thankful to a lawyer for anything.

Date posted: February 2, 2021 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Here’s a handy list of Biden’s Executive Orders to date. Rejoining the Paris Agreement, banning LGBTQ discrimination, ending the border wall boondoggle, ending reliance on privately run prisons, expanding reproductive health care…this is all good stuff.

Date posted: January 28, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Maryland Representative Andy Harris walked through a magnetometer near the House chamber yesterday with a concealed gun. When he was confronted, he tried to get another Congressman to hold it for him—who wisely declined. Harris has been a House member since 2008; he was an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and also chief of obstetric anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. (Being a Hopkins-trained physician apparently does not prevent one from being a total fucking crackpot). Among other things, he supported Trump’s claims that the election was unfair, alleging “large-scale voting irregularities,” including “secret, unobserved vote counting in the swing states.”

This barking asshat represents my district, and I’m embarrassed.

Date posted: January 22, 2021 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »


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A post shared by Bill Dugan (@idiotking)

This still brings tears of pride to my eyes.

Date posted: January 20, 2021 | Filed under finn, politics | Leave a Comment »