Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks

“I would love to see some hedge fund manager on Wall Street who might be sniffing a little cocaine here and there to stay awake realize that he can’t get his $150,000 worth of deductions unless he submits to a drug test.”

When it comes to drug abuse, “There are no boundaries with regard to class or race,” she said. “If these poor people who are entitled to SNAP for survival are required to be drug tested, then certainly those people who claim $150,000 or more in tax deductions should be subjected to the same in order to receive this benefit from the government.”

Source: Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks

Ooopsie! Obama, Cuomo and De Blasio shut barn door after the cows have left

The East Harlem shelter where a man was nearly decapitated by a mentally-ill resident was raided by cops on the hunt for hidden weapons.

Correction! The Bitemaster saw a headline that refereed to the “DHS” and jumped to the conclusion that it was referring to the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the article was referring to the NYC Department of Homeless Services. The Bitemaster regrets the error and promises to never, ever make a mistake again.

Now that Deven Black has been murdered at a Harlem homeless shelter, public officials are falling over each other to show that they’re doing something about his tragic death.

Obama sent in the Department of Homeland Security. WTF? The murder was both horrible and senseless but it had nothing to do with national security.

Governor Cuomo ordered the City to post an officer at the shelter until the DHS is done there. What the City needs is more state funding for rent subsidies, shelters and mental health services.  Instead, it gets a meaningless gesture by a Governor whose current preoccupation is with showing that his is bigger than the Mayor’s.

De Blasio has assigned 24/7 peace officers and extra staff at intake centers and residences. This, at least, is useful, if too late for Mr. Black.

The city’s homeless problem goes back over thirty years. Thanks to city and state initiatives, housing for poor people was replaced by housing for the well-to-do, and tens of thousands were ejected from state mental hospitals to fend for themselves on city streets.

It’s a sorry mess, exacerbated by homeless advocates who opposed crackdowns on criminals in the shelters.

Does the Bitemaster have a solution? Not really. But he thinks that the return of Class B Multiple Dwellings (i.e., housing for poor people) and improved mental health services would go a long way. Even if it’s too late to save the life of Deven Black.

Source: DHS cops raid Harlem shelter where man was killed – NY Daily News

Beware the gentry: they don’t like your music!

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in West Oakland received a cease-and-desist letter from the city threatening them with $500 a day in fines plus a $3,500 nuisance fee, CBS San Francisco reports. Church members believe the sudden complaints about the choir are due to the fact the area is becoming gentrified.

When the rich techies move in, you’d better abide by their standards. One local Yuppie commented:

I paid good money for a 3000 square foot house in an underdeveloped neighborhood. All I’m trying to do is improve the community by getting the riffraff out. Hell, if they’re not making in the mid-six figures, they have no business being here anyway. Besides, after I put in a 70-hour week at the office, I’m entitled to party hearty on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday morning, I usually wake up with a massive hangover and have to put up with these idiots and their awful “gospel” music. If they won’t keep it down, we’ll get City Hall to chase them the fuck out of here.

Source: Singing while black: Oakland choir threatened with ‘nuisance’ fines after tech workers enter neighborhood

What’s wrong with Alice Goffman’s book on crime?

Since her book “On the Run” was published, the author has achieved a measure of fame that is rare​ for a young sociologist, but ​she now faces criticism over her facts and methods.

Alice Goffman’s book about low-income black men and their interactions with the police, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, was published last year to glowing reviews. Now the shit is hitting the fan.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. The Oprah Syndrome. Oprah frequently fell in love with supposedly non-fiction books which struck a responsive chord with her, only to find later that they were just made up. There is little doubt that some of the early encomia for Goffman’s work were by people who fell victim to the Oprah Syndrome.
  2. Schadenfreude. Now that Goffman has been built up, our jealousy is satisfied by tearing her down. If it weren’t for Schadenfreude, we here at would have nothing to live for.
  3. Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University, has raised the question of whether Goffman technically committed a crime during her six years of hanging with the black underclass of Philadelphia. For this, Lubet got himself prominently mentioned in the New York Times, which is more than than can be said for the ink-stained wretches here in the BiteCastle.
  4. Goffman wrote that she learned from Philadelphia police officers that officers visiting hospitals regularly run the names of patients and visitors through criminal databases, arresting those with outstanding warrants. Law professor James Forman has queried public defenders and civil rights lawyers in Philadelphia and found no one who could confirm Goffman’s account. This at least raises a serious question about the accuracy of Goffman’s reporting.
  5. The Times says that “some sociologists counter that ethnography is concerned not just with facts but with people’s perceptions of those facts, which powerfully shape their behavior and experience.” Sure, but if Goffman reports her subjects’ perceptions as if they were facts not perceptions, she’s engaging in polemics, hagiography, homiletics . . . or fiction.
  6. While we’re at it, the Times refers to “some sociologists” without naming which ones. Cute maneuver, there. By proximity, they imply that they’re referring to Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland. But maybe not. Maybe they just pulled “some sociologists” out of their ass.
  7. Lastly, the Times attributes to ethnographer Victor Rios the opinion that Goffman’s focus on “outrageous criminal exploits” gives a distorted picture. But the Times only quotes three words out of Rios’ mouth: “outrageous criminal exploits.” They made up the rest.

Since everyone turns to the Bitemaster for guidance on how to think about such Important Issues, here’s our take:

  • Alice Goffman has written one hell of an interesting book.
  • There are some questions about its reliability.
  • As usual, the Times muddies the waters.
  • Other than that, you’re on your own, kiddies.

Source: Alice Goffman’s Heralded Book on Crime Is Disputed

Republicans want to screw double-wide purchasers — who are probably Republicans

Rep. Stephen Fincher (the Republican gospel singer from Frog Jump, Tenn.) has introduced a bill in Congress to repeal consumer protections for his white trash neighbors who are gypped by the predatory lending practices of the mobile home (“pre-manufactured”) industry.

Fincher’s reasoning probably goes like this: “If God had wanted these people to get loans on good terms, He would have made them rich like me.” Fincher himself did not just fall off a turnip truck — he’s been receiving millions in government money from both the Feds and the state government.

House Republicans Want To Strip Protections For People Living In Mobile Homes | ThinkProgress.

It’s great to be white and rich in LA!

Conrad Hughes Hilton III (b. March 3, 1994), great grandson of the hospitality mogul, was flying to LA from London last July when he went totally off the rails. According to media reports, Hilton

  • threatened to kill several flight attendants and a co-pilot and get them fired
  • refused to turn off his cell phone
  • refused to keep his seat belt fastened
  • began pacing the aisle as the aircraft took off
  • launched into a series of tirades that had some children in tears
  • called other passengers “peasants”
  • smoked marijuana in the toilet

His attorney, Robert Shapiro, has negotiated the charges down from a felony rap to a misdemeanor with the prosecutor recommending probation.

If it were you or I, we would have probably been subjected to extraordinary rendition to some place like Yemen for “enhanced interrogation.”

Ain’t life grand!

Paris Hilton brother Conrad to plead guilty to plane assault – Yahoo News.

See also Salon, Inquisitr, and the Daily Mail. Read the plea deal for yourself!

RT.COM, the Russian propaganda outlet, joins the chorus of “America is an oligarchy”

Perspectives on Politics, an academic journal, is planning to publish a paper on whether elites, interest groups or average citizens exert the most influence on American policy.

The paper is too long for the Bitemaster to comprehend (that’s why he relies so heavily on Fox “News”) but apparently it concludes that wealthy Americans have the most influence on government policy, while the rest of us schlubs have next to no influence.

This is not good news for those of us who actually like democracy, but was cause for widespread snickering over at RT.COM.

via ​Oligarchy, not democracy: Americans have ‘near-zero’ input on policy – report — RT USA.

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges

We have seen the future . . . and you’re gonna get screwed

‘As state courts across the nation prepare to referee numerous public pension reform disputes, a gaggle of interested parties — from major corporations to the Koch brothers — will next week sponsor an expenses-paid conference on public pension reform for judges who may decide the cases’ fates.’

One can easily imagine the seminar topics that attendees will be able to choose from:

  • Public employees sucking from the taxpayers’ teat
  • Pension reform as a defense against reconquista
  • Protect your pension by screwing your court officers
  • Sharia Law and Pensions: How Barak al-Hussein ibn Obama is using the Quran to take over America
  • How to infer data from more than one anecdote of pension cheating
  • Black “Pension Queens” drive BMWs while you have to work for your money
  • Pensions as a method of income redistribution

Nothing gives me the creeps like the prospect of the Koch Bros. helping judges better understand public employee pension reform.

Koch brothers, major corporations sponsor pension reform seminar for judges | Center for Public Integrity.

Rent regulated tenants banned at Upper West Side indoor pool

In a story that is becoming increasingly familiar, the below market-rate tenants of a NYC building are denied access to the building’s new pool.

Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Mark Levine and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal have been working on legislation that would prohibit such disparities. Not so Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who is enthusiastic about the gentrification of her borough.

At least the regulated tenants don’t have to use a separate entrance.

EXCLUSIVE: Outsiders welcomed, rent stabilized tenants banned at Upper West Side indoor pool – NY Daily News.

Plan Would Base The Boss’ Salary On The Janitor’s

A bunch of students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland have proposed a radical idea: raise the lowest employee salary  to $30,000 and then pay the college president ten times that much.

According to the students, St. Mary’s pay ratio was 1:13 for the 2012-2013 year, — far more equitable than corporate America. Among the 500 largest U.S. companies, the average pay ratio is a whopping 1:354 — up 1,000% since 1950, when it was 1:20.

While not sure of the solution, your Bitemaster is certain that the growing gap between haves and have-nots is bad for America.

Groundbreaking Plan Would Base The Boss’ Salary On The Janitor’s.