Monday, May 26, 2008

A couple shorters

to catch up before we get to the huge steaming pile of crap this Conor kid, who writes like he's about 5 years old, has produced. Please, Jon Henke, post already.

Woman's work:

I don't mean to suggest, when I say that sexism is a bigger handicap for a presidential candidate than racism, that Hillary Clinton is losing simply because she's a woman. Many people I know think that the Clinton campaign has had only one main problem, but unfortunately that problem is named William Jefferson Clinton. And Ms. Clinton is not a charmer like her husband; her strength is ideas, not charisma. This would, I think, be true if she were a man with all the same genes except the second x chromosome. Indeed, she'd probably never have been a politician in the first place.

But I do think that sexism is a deeper and subtler handicap than racism is when it comes to leadership roles. She might not have won if she was a man. But as a woman, it was harder still.
Let's see now, presuming that Obama doesn't pick a woman as his running mate, which may well be an unfair assumption, when he is nominated he'll make women and African-Americans equal in the number of slots they've held on major party tickets. But, yes, that's comparing Presidential candidates to VEEPs. How's about this? There are 87 women in Congress, now including the Speaker of the House, and approximately 38 black members of Congress, with an overlap of 12 black women. That means there are 75 white women* and 26 black men. That's three to one. You were saying, Megan?

I've been going to a lot of events on the crisis and consumer credit over the last few weeks. And the consensus on this [own to rent] plan is it can't be done, for multiple reasons:
Reason number one; it will not make the already wealthy richer. Reason number two; see reason number one.
The tenants may be willing to invest in upkeep, but who fixes the plumbing when it breaks? The servicers are not rental agents. Moreover, they have no legal ability to become rental agents under their contracts. There is no entity in the position to take the role of landlord to these people. This is seen as the biggest--nay, insurmountable--obstacle. The only way this would work is if the government took possession of the homes, i.e. gigantic government bailouts.
Without bothering to do the least bit of research, I can say with certainty Megan is full of shit here, and trying to use a detail she hasn't personally seen addressed as an insurmountable flaw, as opposed to something that remains to be dealt with. I have no opinion on the own-to-rent idea, I just have no confidence in Megan's ability to honestly represent something she doesn't like.
you're putting a big capital loss on the bank's balance sheet and keeping it there, year after year, rather than writing it off.
(See reason number one.) The banks who gave out loans without the most basic of diligence MUST NOT SUFFER. Otherwise they might learn something.
The rent-to-own plan is an attempt to engineer a bailout for free. And like most such "free" goodies, it seems like it will probably end up costing us more in the long run.
"Us" meaning corporate enablers properly shielded from knowing any of the poor plebs who face losing their home, of course.

As I said, a look at the guest bloggers' output will come later, sometime in the evening most likely.

*- Update:

It occurs to me I'm being stupid in assuming all the non-black female members of Congress are white. Short of the very dubious method of trying to guess ethnicity based on name or going through each of their bios individually there's probably no simple way to figure it out, and I don't care enough to dwell on it. Does five sound like a reasonable guesstimate of non-whitey european types in those 75? So it's almost three to one.

Update the second:

Nutella's comment prompted me to crunch a few more numbers. In current times the primary sources of major party Presidential candidates are the Senate and the governors. All three remaining candidates are Senators, and 4 of the last 5 Presidents have been governors.
There are 16 women Senators, (not 17 as I said in comments) and a single black man, only the third black Senator since Reconstruction, following a Republican man and Democratic woman.
There are 8 women governors and 2 black governors, only the third and fourth in American history (I effed up again in the comments and forgot Deval Patrick in Mass).
Out of 150, that makes 24 women, 3 black men. Hell, there have only been 6 black men total in those positions since Reconstruction, a cut-off which would add a grand total of 2 more.
Megan is full of it.


NutellaonToast said...

Um, Brad, I think you've made a bigger mistake there. if there are 38 black people in congres, that's 7%. The 87 women make 16%. Women are ~50% of the population whereas blacks are ~12% of the population, so those numbers indicated that blacks are far more equally represented.

brad said...

Megan's issue isn't proportionality of representation, but simply whether women are more or less likely to be perceived as capable of assuming leadership positions. Megan used movies, I'm using actual numbers involving actual leadership positions.
There can only be one President, and the question is whether women have a bigger disadvantage towards becoming one than black men. Insofar as Congress is the primary, though not only, there's Governors and crazy millionaires, talent pool from which Presidential candidates are drawn, it would seem women are more likely on a strictly numerical basis to be allowed into that pool.
And, btw, in the Senate, the main source of Presidential candidates and home of both under discussion, there are 17 women, all white, and a single black man.

brad said...

Oh, and there are 8 women governors but only 1 black, and he is just the fourth black governor since Reconstruction.
Megan is full of it.

M. Bouffant said...

There are several Hispanic/Latino women in Congress, including Calif.'s own Sanchez Sisters (Or Hermanas Sanchez.)