Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Hey, look, news in the NYTimes Dealbook that doesn’t make me want to hang someone:

Just over 10 years ago, the private equity mogul Glenn Hutchins was on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. With his 25th Harvard College reunion near, he was thinking about how to put some of his wealth to good use.

One afternoon, clad in a T-shirt and board shorts, he stopped at an old whaling chapel, where Henry Louis Gates Jr., the prominent professor of African and African-American studies at Harvard, was leading a symposium….

Since then, Mr. Hutchins has strengthened his connection to Mr. Gates and the Harvard program. Their bond will become stronger on Wednesday, when Mr. Hutchins is expected to announce a gift of more than $15 million to create the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research, solidifying Harvard’s program as one of the top in its field…

The men took Mr. Hutchins’s nonagenarian mother to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington last month. Afterward, Professor Gates took Mr. Hutchins’s younger son to a meeting with President Obama. The financier’s older son took a class with the professor last school year, though the son concluded that while Professor Gates was “entertaining,” the course’s other leader, Professor Lawrence D. Bobo, was “really smart.”…

Now their work and Mr. Hutchins’s money will create the Hutchins Center, named at the insistence of Professor Gates. It will unite nine entities, including the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute and the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art.

All will be housed in a building on Harvard Square with a street front facade designed by David Adjaye, the prominent Ghanian-British architect, chosen at Professor Gates’s urging…

The new institute will hold a ceremony next month honoring individuals for their contributions to African and African-American studies, including Steven Spielberg, the director; Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court justice; Representative John Lewis, the civil rights veteran; and David Stern, the departing commissioner of the National Basketball Association. (It helps that Mr. Hutchins is a part owner of the Boston Celtics.)…

Yeah, it might be asked: Why Harvard, not Howard? But then, Harvard (and Boston) could certainly use a Big Serious Academic Statement that African & African-American studies are important, “real” fields of study, not just popcult timekillers for trustafarians and aspiring tokens. (And the whole process has undoubtably given Larry Summers another big sad, too.)






79 replies
  1. 1
    Sly says:

    But then, Harvard (and Boston) could certainly use a Big Serious Academic Statement that African & African-American studies are important, “real” fields of study, not just popcult timekillers for trustafarians and aspiring tokens. (And the whole process has undoubtably given Larry Summers another big sad, too.)

    More broadly, it helps to desegregate black history, which is probably the most important thing that needs to be done with it and many other fields.

  2. 2
    Warren Terra says:

    This may give Larry Summers a Sad.

    (Actually, I agree with Summers’s assessment of Cornel West’s later career, and West definitely hasn’t attempted since that controversy to buckle down to life as a serious working academic. But it wasn’t within the role of the President of the University to berate a tenured professor – or, really, any professor – like that!)

  3. 3
    Botsplainer says:

    I don’t see yet another vanity endowment to an Ivy as a program as a positive good. Whoopty shit, it will be exactly what you deem to be undesirable – a pop cult time killer for trustafarians and aspiring tokens.

    Gates would have done better to have encouraged the use of the money to enhance scholarship opportunities at middle tier public universities. The money would have stretched further and people would have been genuinely well-served. Instead, some greasy financial douchebag gets to pretend he’s the great white protector of people of color, while black Harvard students will feel some academic and peer pressure to join “their” program away from the business and government tracks.

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    The program may not be as beneficial as the founders hope but will probably be better than botsplainer fears. It could have been worse. Look at what the Kochs do with their money.

    I realize that the road to hell is paved with good intentions but still, intentions count.

    The new TV program, Low Winter Sun, seems to say that we’re all going to hell anyway [except for the residents of Detroit, who are already there]. Maybe we can do a little good along the way.

  5. 5
    Comrade Jake says:

    Lots of better ways to spend a cool $15M and make a real impact on society. Just sayin’.

  6. 6
    daveNYC says:

    It’s a better use for the cash then lobbying for cuts to the estate tax, but Harvard already has a fuckhuge endowment. Dude would have been better off setting up a scholarship to some state schools.

  7. 7
    Sly says:

    @Botsplainer:
    Institutes like these serve as major repositories of scholarship that other academic institutions (and not just post-secondary ones) can call on to expand their own curricula. That’s not something upon which a clear price tag can be placed, but I would wager it more than makes up for the $15 million in opportunity costs. And like it or not (and there are plenty of reasons for both), the imprimatur of Harvard gives institutions the kind of credibility that others don’t have and makes the resources they offer more desirous by those same middle-tier schools.

    @Comrade Jake:
    Lot’s of worse ways, too. And given the type of people who have $15 million to throw around, those “worse ways” occur far more often.

  8. 8
    Botsplainer says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    The program may not be as beneficial as the founders hope but will probably be better than botsplainer fears.

    Sadly, it happens this way every damn time. The arc is always the same, and as a society, we never learn.

    Broadening access gives more bang for the buck than enhancing the differences.

  9. 9
    Botsplainer says:

    @Sly:

    the imprimatur of Harvard

    Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    Visited my youngest daughter at college last night. There’s a tale in feminist circles going around about how damaging the white male elite culture of the school is to the women and people of color these days – the money took over again.

  10. 10
    Botsplainer says:

    Actually, this part made me laugh:

    The gift — part of a previously announced $30 million donation to the university whose uses had not all been specified — also bespeaks a friendship between two men unlike each other in many respects. One is a wealthy white financier whose firm, Silver Lake, is on the verge of taking over the computer maker Dell with its founder, Michael S. Dell; the other is a celebrated black professor who helped popularize African-American studies as an academic field and social phenomenon.

    I’m sure that will work out well. LOL

  11. 11
    MomSense says:

    Just in case any of you were wondering who the media would blame for the looming government shutdown, I just learned from Nicole Wallace, Morning Ho and Chuck Toad that it is the President’s fault for passing such an unpopular law, compromising on it until no one knows what is in it, and failing to defend it. Now, poor Agent Orange is stuck and the President should be showing some leadership and helping him but he has abdicated…. and then I tuned out because they are three incredibly annoying people and I couldn’t listen anymore.

  12. 12
    Botsplainer says:

    Wonder what name the feral pig posts under here?

    http://www.natureworldnews.com.....ht-cow.htm

    A feral pig ransacked a campsite and drank at least 18 cans cans of beer before getting into an altercation with a cow in Australia.

    Findley told ABC that that her crews are not equipped to deal with wild pigs, especially if they are drunk.

    The pig was last seen lying beneath a tree, potentially nursing a hangover.

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    But then, Harvard (and Boston) could certainly use a Big Serious Academic Statement that African & African-American studies are important, “real” fields of study

    Um, I think that battle has been won inside academia for 20 years, if not 30. It’s not like this is funding for the _founding_ of a department of African American Studies. It might be a good thing that this money is going to this purpose, but that’s not the reason why.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    He could have spent 15 million on pre-k or quality childcare that is affordable to workers who earn minimum wage to much greater benefit. There are a lot of public schools that could use some cash, too. Harvard has enough money to better fund that program without the help.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @MomSense: So you missed the 1st half hour with Joe quoting Maureen Dowd’s nasty take down of the prez?

  16. 16
    weaselone says:

    @daveNYC:

    Endowment funds generally come with restrictions on how the money can be spent. Creating a pool of funds devoted to African and African-American Research at Harvard is a good thing because it’s unlikely that much of the Harvard endowment is targeted at this area and almost certain that this area is not a priority for Harvard when it comes to spending its unrestricted funds.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    I could use $15 million.

  18. 18
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    Thankfully, yes!

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    Republicans are in such a weird political jam.

    As of January 1, the Tea Party implodes unless they stop that law. I don’t know if people realize to what extent the Tea Party is organized around a single issue.

    I think they’re trying to give them another issue (food stamps) but nothing will replace opposition to Obamacare.

    We have yet another fracture in Ohio around it. Anti-abortion activists in Ohio got everything they wanted (and more) because the Tea Party backed them and they had Kasich. Except they cut a deal with Kasich that they’d back Medicaid expansion if he signed all the laws targeting women. Now they have this enraged “Tea Party” holding them all hostage on Medicaid expansion, and Kasich has to run for re-election backing Medicaid expansion but powerless to pass it.

    Without Obamacare to rally around, they collapse.

  20. 20
    Botsplainer says:

    @MomSense:

    He could have spent 15 million on pre-k or quality childcare that is affordable to workers who earn minimum wage to much greater benefit. There are a lot of public schools that could use some cash, too. Harvard has enough money to better fund that program without the help.

    For every Barack Obama or Sondra Sotomayor that comes out, Harvard seems to spew dozens of people like Jerome Corsi and Hugh Hewitt. I’ve known a bunch of Harvard grads (no women, none of color), and they’re nuttier than fruitcakes and borderline incompetent on a professional level.

    Give me a guy who worked his way through an average school any day of the week for quiet work ethic and competence.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    I agree that this is a case of the rich getting richer, and I agree that there’s a need for some explanation of how ‘good for Harvard’ in this case becomes ‘good, generally’. That said, AA life, art, and history is at the root of both the best and the worst of American life, art, and history, and understanding it better is, as a matter of fact, good, generally. Know thyself.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    Not for myself, of course, but for my foundation–the Institute for Balloon Juice Studies.

  23. 23
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    In this context, a plug for The Black Film Center / Archive here at Indiana University.

    The Black Film Center/Archive was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A’s primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions.

    http://www.indiana.edu/~bfca/home/

    My wife and I were for many years friends with the professor who founded it. I wrote a database app for her years ago that captured all her data for the second edition of her book indexing and describing the many Black films, and it printed out the camera ready copy for the book. Cool project at the time.

    She was also a Dean during the late 70’s, and instrumental in changing the Little Five Hundred bicycle race. Up until the tradition ran smack dab into her, the immovable object that she was, the women did their Friday face on TRICYCLES. Not after Pyhllis got through with them. Now the women have their own bicycle race the day before the men’s. Of course, if you are culturally deprived, and have never seen the movie “Breaking Away”, based on the town vs. gown mentality and built on the men’s Little Five Hundred, go watch it now.

    Somewhere in my memorabilia I have a tape she cut me of “The Bronze Buckaroo”, a traditional heroic cowboy western made in the late thirties, early forties. It could be a Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy movie, except all the characters are Black. There was a thriving underground of cinema and film for the Black community even then, its just that only they saw it, and most Whites did not even know it existed. Hey, there is an entry for Bronze Buckaroo on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031122/ .

    Phyllis is in her 90’s now, living with children in New York City. Her husband Bob, who was a music education professor, was one of the kindest, most entertaining men I ever knew. He used to go to basketball games with me, we even drove to Lexington for the Sweet Sixteen / Elite Eight games many years ago. Sadly, he passed away last year. We were sitting around the dinner table once and he was reminiscing, and it turned out he had once with Danny Kaye. I just leaned across the table and asked if I could touch him, thus putting me one degree of separation from Danny Kaye.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: Of course, the TV show was filmed here in Athens!

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @MomSense: Someone needs to send Joe a doll so he can point to the area where the President hurt him. What a jerk.

  26. 26
    sparrow says:

    @Botsplainer: I’m kinda with you on this one. Not to mention “financier” is synonymous with “crook” in my book. Don’t care how many vanity projects you fund with some tiny amount of your wealth when people shouldn’t even be able to have that kind of wealth in the first place.

  27. 27
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Um, I think that battle has been won inside academia for 20 years, if not 30.

    Well, most academics thought the “women can’t do science, their brains are not big or organized enough” theory had died a well-deserved death. But not the president of Harvard, Larry Summers — who has been accused of disrespecting African-American studies as well.

  28. 28
    Anya says:

    @MomSense: The good news is no one watches Morning Joe, except the Village and people who like to mock them. They don’t shape the public opinion, they just form a daily circle jerk.

    The financier’s older son took a class with the professor last school year, though the son concluded that while Professor Gates was “entertaining,” the course’s other leader, Professor Lawrence D. Bobo, was “really smart.”…

    Young Mr. Hutchins is pretty smart. I am not that impressed with Professor Gates.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I think the betrayal will be huge, because they really don’t have another issue and Republicans used them to at the state level to put in a whole host of plutocrat welfare provisions. They don’t give a shit about the tax code. They came into being opposing Obamacare. They were told the PPACA is unconstitutional. In Ohio, they were told they could amend the state constitution to stop it, and they succeeded in amending the state constitution, which of course won’t and hasn’t stopped it.

    The effect on their “base” will be like if Romney had won and Democrats failed to stop him from privatizing Social Security.

  30. 30
    Botsplainer says:

    @weaselone:

    Endowment funds generally come with restrictions on how the money can be spent.

    …while siphoning off other funds for the maintenance of the unpaid parts of the program.

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    @Kay: Seriously? Food stamps? And not… say… public education as a sign of the coming of the Antichrist? Cripes.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    Without Obamacare to rally around, they collapse.

    God, I hope so.

    They are just the ugliest individuals.

    What is so bad about giving people access to quality healthcare? We are all mortal.

  33. 33
    Anya says:

    I don’t get why the media is so invested in protecting John Boehner. They’re like an indulgent parent who will do anything to bail out their loser child. Their child is never responsible for screwing up things. It’s alway someone else’s fault. It’s the meanie Obama who’s making things hard for poor John Boehner or his unruly caucus. WTF am I missing?

  34. 34
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    @raven: I did not know that about the TV series. Nice data point. I might also, since this is an open thread, encourage anyone who has not seen it to see Gene Hackman in the movie “Hoosiers”. Really captures the feel of rural Indiana in autumn, and is one of the best movies ever about relations and team building.

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Chait had a good piece recently about the GOP vs. Obamacare. It really is an existential battle for them, and they know it, hence their desperation. The reforms are succeeding beyond even the administration’s estimates (reducing costs, shifting toward more provider accountability, etc.), and that’s driving the GOP even more batshit insane.

    The (p)Rick Scott administration down here in FL has really gone round the bend on the Obamacare issue: The wingnut AG is running around telling citizens not to trust the federal employees charged with enrolling people in exchanges (since the state bailed on that duty) because it will compromise their “safety and security.” Truly crazy shit. I hope it blows up in their faces so thoroughly they land in Belize.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @Anya: When they look at Boehner, they see themselves and they see the consequences of their own irresponsibility. Ain’t pretty.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    existential battle for them,

    I knew it back when the Ohio AG was afraid to tell them that the anti-Obamacare referendum they passed has no legal effect. He’s a horrible lawyer, I mean that seriously, he’s considered a bad lawyer, like, don’t hire him to handle your real estate closing, but he must know about preemption. I was thinking “how long can they put this reckoning off?” but of course the 2012 election was what they were banking on. Romney to the rescue!

    It’s so funny you point to Florida, too, because I just noticed that yesterday, how Ohio and Florida are exactly like the federal battle, but close-up.

    It’s now out in the open that Kasich planned to off-set the ridiculous abortion laws he signed with his “compassionate conservative” position on Medicaid, he did national cable shows on it and Politico printed an advertisement for him, but the Tea Party won’t let him.

    I know providers want the expansion, particularly rural providers, and he’s powerless to deliver it. His Democratic opponent is running around the state jeering at him for his inability to deliver Medicaid.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:
    The thing that’s really crazy about it is that at its core, opposition to Obamacare is about denying health care to tens of millions of Americans for no good reason. It’s a crazy, stupid, vicious, hateful policy, and the Republicans have bet the future of their party on it. That one sentence should (but sadly won’t) be enough to destroy the Republican Party as an institution.

  39. 39
    mantooth says:

    Are people complaining about this? Jesus, here’s an idea – go make $15 million of your own to give away. Maybe you guys can start brainstorming business ideas and how to better serve African Americans in education at one of your all-white Balloon Juice meetups.

  40. 40
    cmorenc says:

    @Botsplainer:

    For every Barack Obama or Sondra Sotomayor that comes out, Harvard seems to spew dozens of people like Jerome Corsi and Hugh Hewitt.

    Or, for that matter, Ted Cruz and Tony Scalia are Harvard Law grads, and Cruz’s undergrad degree was from Princeton.

  41. 41
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    When they poll the components of ObamaCare, Independents and Republicans love them and wonder why they weren’t included in ObamaCare (facepalm!). I do think that once it is in effect we will have 6 months of magnification of every little hiccup but overall it will be incredibly popular. The interesting thing to me will be to see the reaction when the changes to Medicare reimbursement are implemented. They will be fantastic for patient outcomes and cost reduction, but specialists, surgeons, manufacturers of medical equipment, and hospitals will hate them.

    I think it is important to note that Republicans have been incredibly cynical in their opposition to ObamaCare especially in the public protestations about the mandate. That is their policy from the Heritage Foundation to the alternative proposal to Clinton’s health care proposal, and of course RomneyCare. What they really objected to were the patient protections and the medical loss ratio.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:

    @MattF:

    Food stamps are tried and true. They can go to a poor, rural area and bemoan the welfare queens and the poor there think they are not talking about them but some “urban” ahem moochers.

    We have seen this movie before.

    ETA: Ronald Reagan starred in it.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The only quibble I would have is with “existential”, in the sense that they’re looking at this long-term. I think liberals and Democrats are tracking that.

    What if it’s just a straight, short-term political calculation? Rand Paul and Cruz etc. rode the Tea Party in a wave election. They have to keep that alive because without it what do they run on? There really isn’t a “libertarian” base in the GOP. Rand Paul is dependent on the “Tea Party”.

    The most interesting part to me is that the Tea Party “is” whatever the individual Republican who is using them wants it to be. It’s “libertarian”, it’s social conservatives, it”s handy for the plutocrat set. What if it’s just organized around opposition to Obamacare and has none of this other lofty and global “platform” that individual conservative politicians are insisting it has?

  44. 44
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    Oh FFS, I finally read it. I avoid her screeds because if you apply even the least bit of critical thinking you realize that she is a complete hack.

  45. 45
    sparrow says:

    Since this is an open thread, I’d like to point out that Greece is ready to explode. My Greek partner is very stressed about this. The fascists are always there at some percentage it seems, and it just takes tough times to bring them out.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-20.....op-singer/

    “ATHENS, Greece Police raided the offices of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party Wednesday following a fatal stabbing by a man who authorities said admitted being involved in the party, the most serious instance of violence attributed to the extremist group.

    Pavlos Fyssas, 34, a hip-hop singer identified by friends as an anti-fascist activist, died in a state hospital early Wednesday after being stabbed outside a cafe in the Keratsini area west of Athens. He suffered at least two stab wounds to the heart and ribs, authorities said.

    A 45-year-old man who was arrested after being found in possession of a knife admitted to the attack, and to being involved in Golden Dawn, police said in a statement.”

  46. 46
    MattF says:

    @MomSense: True enough. I’d missed the connection with St. Ronaldus.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And the kicker is that the Tea Party is primarily people already receiving most of THEIR healthcare through the US government they despise, even though they’re convinced they have paid for every penny of benefits in advance. Although most are getting 2-3 times more benefits than they paid in.

    I really hope this takes the GOP down, and faster than we think.

    And then when you think that this “no compromise with anyone, ever” mantra came in on the heels of an influx of Christianists and Moral Majoritians … allegedly with love of the Lord and good in their hearts …

    The GOP cannot sink fast enough. It’s taken too long already.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @MattF:

    And before he was bashing welfare queens and young bucks gaming the welfare system, he was hired by the AMA as part of their “operation coffee cup” opposition to Medicare!

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    @cmorenc:

    We can add W to the list as he gradumuated from the business school. And the Romtron went to both the business school and the law school while struggling to live off his investment income.

  50. 50
    daveNYC says:

    @weaselone: Their endowment is freaking $32 billion. This guy’s cash would have been better spent on nearly any other sector of our education system.

  51. 51
    cmorenc says:

    @MomSense:

    Food stamps are tried and true.

    Something most people frequently encounter that aggravates the negative perception of food stamp recipients far more often than any actual encounters with alleged “welfare queens” are all the convenience stores which prominently post signs saying “EBT accepted here”. Most of these stores predominately sell junk-food snacks and vanishingly little in the way of what most people consider bona fide nutritious groceries. True, there are qualifications for what items within these stores can and cannot be purchased with food stamps (can’t buy a 6-pack of beer, for instance), but given the overwhelming predominance within most of these stores of junk-food indulgence items, it’s understandable why the ability of food stamp recipients to spend them in this type of store instinctively rubs a great many people the wrong way.

  52. 52
    sparrow says:

    @cmorenc: Of course if you drive out to East Baltimore, you will find the so-called “food desert” phenomenon, and these little shops are basically the only places you will find bread, meat, cheese… etc. And the sad thing is that these places aren’t even particularly cheap…

  53. 53
    cmorenc says:

    @sparrow:

    @cmorenc: Of course if you drive out to East Baltimore, you will find the so-called “food desert” phenomenon, and these little shops are basically the only places you will find bread, meat, cheese… etc. And the sad thing is that these places aren’t even particularly cheap…

    True, but nevertheless the damage to the image of food stamps is done in the portions of suburbia richly populated with *both* bona fide well-stocked grocery stores AND convenience stores prominently displaying “we accept EBT”. Most people don’t have experience living within such “food deserts”. And why do these “food deserts” exist in the first place? Because the business model of most grocery stores relies on selling a high volume of relatively low-profit items, and low-income areas tend to be very challenging places to viably support bona fide conventional grocery stores, especially at the quality level most chains want to maintain to preserve their brand.

  54. 54
    Emma says:

    From the pov of a librarian, anything that will put $$$ towards collecting, preserving, and studying the cultural, economic, and social significance of any ethnic group in the United States is all to the good. So it’s Harvard. As it stands, it’s the Big Name Schools that get the Big Bucks. I can deal.

  55. 55
    mai naem says:

    @Betty Cracker: Whatever did Belize do to you? Belize is a beautiful former British colony with one of the largest coral reefs in the Americas. It does not deserve to have Rick Scott’s buddies land there.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @MomSense:

    What they really objected to were the patient protections and the medical loss ratio.

    I think the thing that they really object to is the part where teh poors get reliable, cost effective healthcare. How long do they have to fight every little thing that might possibly help people get healthcare before we start to accept that they just don’t want us to have it?

  57. 57
    Emma says:

    @MomSense: Don’t. Avoid Maureen girl. She causes miscarriages and cancer of the liver.

    Hate her? Me?

  58. 58
    mai naem says:

    What you guys forget is that this guy was not going to spend $15 mil. on quality pre K for po’ folks or scholarships for po’ kids, even if Gates suggested it. Call it a vanity project but at least Gates got him to spend it on an AA project and, not, yet another merit based scholarship which goes to really smart kids who already have a lot of resources.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And the kicker is that the Tea Party is primarily people already receiving most of THEIR healthcare through the US government they despise,

    I think this is the real core of their objection to Obamacare. They see the world as a zero sum game, so they assume that making healthcare better for other people necessarily involves making things worse for them. That basic attitude is the core of the conservative worldview, and it’s completely toxic. Even worse, it can’t be countered by any amount of experience. When Obamacare goes into effect without ruining their healthcare, they won’t learn the lesson that things can get better for one group without making them worse for another.

  60. 60

    @Botsplainer: I thought Sotomayor went to Yale Law School and before that Princeton.

  61. 61
    Gian says:

    @mantooth:
    if dude didn’t want people to talk about how he could’ve done charity better.
    he should’ve done it anonymously.

    real charity doesn’t involve “taking credit” – the act of taking credit means you’re getting something in return.

  62. 62

    GOP has declared a cold civil war but the media won’t call them on their BS.

  63. 63
    boss bitch says:

    And the whole process has undoubtably given Larry Summers another big sad, too.)

    Larry Summers doesn’t give two fucks. Why do people act like he does?

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: I think the main Tea Partier objection to Obamacare is Obama. They’ve been misled, and I’d have some sympathy for them, except that I’ve misplaced that particular emotion in this case. Maybe it’s somewhere in my sock drawer.

    OTOH, the corporate/libertarian zealots who are in charge of the propaganda are another story.

  65. 65
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anne Laurie: Sure, it’s defensible as a gesture that stands against a history of discrimination and disrespect that is more recent than one might think. Great. That said, it sounds like it’s mostly a fancy building that houses 9 already-existing projects. And Steven Spielberg and David Stern, really?

  66. 66
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore:

    the real core of their objection to Obamacare. They see the world as a zero sum game, so they assume that making healthcare better for other people necessarily involves making things worse for them.

    Yup, yup, yup.

    I heard statements to this very effect from otherwise kind and cordial Republican codgers. Same codgers who have empathy for the struggles their younger relatives are experiencing, with high housing costs and an unstable job market.

    Codgers disappear into the “Well, I did the right thing and saved/bought insurance” and don’t investigate whether those options are available to the younger.

  67. 67
    gelfling545 says:

    @MomSense: While there are objectively a lot of public schools that could use cash, I’d say few of them are actually positioned to do anything beneficial with it at the moment. It would just be spent in a ridiculous project to (artificially) “raise test scores”.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mantooth:

    brainstorming… how to better serve African Americans in education

    Is that the mission of this person or his project? It sure doesn’t sound like it from the quoted part.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: At a basic level, the complaint about “Obamacare” has almost nothing to do with health or health insurance. It’s just the same complaints about “welfare” and “free lunch” for Those People they’ve been milking for half a century.

  70. 70
    mantooth says:

    @Gian:

    I’m not worried about him. If liberals want to battle the perception that they are people who think that they can spend your money better than you can you wouldn’t know it in the echo chamber of the Balloon Juice comments.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    No it isn’t the stated mission, the complaints seemed to think the money could have been spent better that way.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Oh, yeah.

    What was amusing: those Republican codgers lived in coastal southern California, with its high cost of living, and they were slowly realizing their (quite pale) grandchildren had slid into the status of “welfare” “free lunchers.”

    They were seeing great grandchildren born “on charity, in the hospital” to parents who worked at jobs that did not pay enough to afford health insurance.

    They were at heart very nice people, and this visibly pained them, although they were still sniffing about Obamacare.

  72. 72
    MomSense says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think there is a generational divide about debt also. That the Repubs ran on an anti-debt and deficit message with seniors before the midterms makes perfect sense to me. Older generations didn’t have to take on such massive debt to do basic things like pay for education, health care, transportation and housing.

    Our wages just haven’t kept up with prices at all. And yes it is true that we have more things but that still doesn’t change the basic problem that the basics cost more and our earnings don’t support the basics without taking on debt.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:

    The point is that they’ve been very easy to mislead because they have a wrongheaded idea of how the world works. The most successful lies about Obamacare, at least as far as getting the Teabaggers riled up, have all been about how it’s going to hurt people who are already on government healthcare. That’s where the stupid death panels lie came from and where “keep the government out of Medicare” came from. Those lies are easy to sell because people already believe that whatever helps somebody else must hurt them.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Roger Moore: Especially, although the sample size is small, when the president is black. I’m telling you, the freakout has always been, at heart, that the liberal, black president wants to give favors to ignorant black people so that they and liberal bleeding-hearts will love him even more, and decent hardworking white people will be stuck with the bill for it all. The hardworking white people who are helped by “Obamacare” will never realize it was Obamacare that helped them. They’ll just think they deserved it or earned it somehow by their own pluck and struggle.

  75. 75

    @HeartlandLiberal:

    I just bought a film book called Slow Fade to Black, which is about African-Americans in film 1900-1942. There was a thriving AA film industry that worked in parallel to Hollywood that made genre pictures (like Westerns!) to cater to exclusively black audiences. They’re even less well-preserved than early Hollywood films, unfortunately.

  76. 76
    kc says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I had no idea. That’s fascinating.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @Botsplainer:

    For every Barack Obama or Sondra Sotomayor that comes out, Harvard seems to spew dozens of people like Jerome Corsi and Hugh Hewitt. I’ve known a bunch of Harvard grads (no women, none of color), and they’re nuttier than fruitcakes and borderline incompetent on a professional level.

    Your experience doesn’t scale, and you blow a rather large hole in your credibility when you get easily verifiable facts wrong. Justice Sonia Sotomayor graduated from Princeton and Yale Law.

  78. 78

    Since this is an open thread, my thoughts on India’s economic woes.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @burnspbesq: To be fair, Sotomayor is listed in the excerpt as one of honorees, so it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming she was a grad.

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