Your Tuesday Random-Ass Roundup: Buying Civilization.

President Obama made $1.7 million last year. (Avon)

And he wants to pay more taxes.

And he did it while doing all of this f*cking stuff.


What’d you do?

1. The NYT goes in on the Ryan budget, echoing PostBourgie’s own Jamelle Bouie in saying “If it was not clear before, it is obvious now that the party is fully engaged in a project…to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.” (Nicole)

2. And since we’re talking budgets, Ezra Klein explains why the federal budget is not a household budget and shouldn’t be run like one. (Blackink)

3. Family homelessness in D.C. has risen 32 percent over the last three years. “The total number of homeless people in the District registered virtually no change — 6,546, as compared to 6,539 in 2010. But the number of those people who were in families increased by 265 to a total of 2,688. This is 852 more than in 2008, when the recession had just set in.” (Avon)

4. Devastating tornadoes from this weekend’s epic storm hit North Carolina pretty hard.  Meanwhile, the Georgetown waterfront in DC is less water front, more actual water. (Nicole)

5. Sully, or one of his minions, thinks obviously racist things aren’t racist when it comes to dating. (Monica)

6. Speaking of obviously racist things, Colorlines has a gem. And the standard disclaimer is extra good: “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people — mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.” So if you send offensive things to people who won’t be offended, they’re not offensive. (Monica)

7. Former BET Nightly News anchor Jacque Reid discusses a first date turned perilous and the insidious nature of overcoming assault. (Stacia)

8. Sara Mayeux on the aftermath of California’s three-strikes policy: “There is a generation or more of Californians — those who were of crime-committing-age between 1980 and 2000 — who racked up criminal records and prison stints on the basis of draconian drug sentencing practices that California voters have since rejected. A lot of those men and women are still in the system or still being hurt by the system, whether because prison ruined their life, or because they got into further trouble once labeled a criminal, or because they got out of prison and finding few resources to help them went back to using drugs, or whatever reason.” (Avon)

9. After decades of creating harsher and harsher penalties for crimes, Kentucky’s criminal justice system became so bloated that it almost bankrupted the state. So the state, improbably, changed tacks: lawmakers introduced a bill overhauling its  drug laws, its sentencing and parole system. “The reform is expected to lower prison populations, expand drug treatment and save the state more than $420 million over the next decade.” (Avon)

10. Nine months ago, a Florida man disappeared after taking a dive in the underwater caves of Vortex Spring.  But what happened to Ben McDaniel remains a mystery.  “Maybe he wasn’t running from something. Maybe he was running to something.” (Blackink)

11. Last week, the NYT ran a full-page ad from the Catholic League, in which the group’s president, Bill Donohue, said that the many children abused by priests were neither raped (because, he said, they weren’t “children”) and that it wasn’t rape (because they consented). Yeah, we know. Grimy.  (Avon)

12. Bleeding Cool has the first trailer for the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s embattled novel, The Help. Like the book itself, it’s pretty underwhelming. But who can resist Viola Davis? (Stacia)

13. David Simon has so much more to offer than “The Wire.” His thoughts about the drug war and increasing socioeconomic stratification are especially penetrating: “… we are the jailing-est country on the planet right now. Two million people in prison. We’re locking up less-violent people. More of them. The drugs are purer. They haven’t closed down a single drug corner that I know of in Baltimore for any length of time. It’s not working. ”  (Blackink)

14. Marion Nestle makes the case for banning soda for SNAP (food stamp) recipients, something we’ve discussed here before. (Nicole)

15. If you’re looking for a list of this year’s Pulitzer winners and links to the winning entries, Poynter has it all. (Blackink)

16. At Brigham Young University in Utah, Deadspin reports that 80 percent of the student-athletes dismissed for honor code violations since 1993 have been people of color. (Avon)

Got more for us? Y’all know what to do.


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • Freddie

    I didn’t have anybody tortured in a secret prison without trial or review, that’s for sure.

  • “I didn’t have anybody tortured in a secret prison without trial or review, that’s for sure.”

    Quoted for truth.

  • Scipio Africanus

    I’ve been noticing alot of overt Obama lookalike dudes in TV commercials, lately.

  • Paula

    “Lately”=since election year 2008, for me. I watched Everybody Hates Chris until WB canceled it, and one of the obvious constants was all of the Black people and Black families that showed up in the adverts there than in other primetime major network spots.

    So the speed of the turnaround surprised me when, upon Obama’s election and inauguration, it was suddenly “OK” to have middle-class Black families in commercials by themselves, or seeing Black professionals dominating clothing advertisements in the magazine or at the mall.