Durango, CO mobile home residents band together to fight off a bankster corporation trying to buy the land out from under them — and win. Problem: if you own a mobile home, you may not own the land underneath it, so banksters are buying up those lands in order to extract usurious rents from folks whose homes (despite the name “mobile”) are actually very hard to move. A big help came in the form of a recently-passed Colorado state law mandating that corporations that own trailer park land and want to sell it have to give the mobile home owners a chance to buy it. Other entities (the Colorado Coalition of Manufactured Home Owners, Resident Owned Communities USA, the Elevation Community Land Trust) also help these folks keep their homes where they are.
Congress has flubbed an opportunity to address shipping monopolies in its ocean shipping reform bill, as our House has decided to accept a weaker Senate version of the bill in order to get something done. The Senate bill would still do a considerable amount of good, but I nonetheless feel compelled to ask: is this how Amy Klobuchar casts herself as a “maverick”? There was a good amount of mavericky buzz around her Presidential candidacy for a few weeks in 2020, after all. But like Kyrsten Sinema, she appears not to have learned that a real maverick bucks the elites and supports the people, not the other way around.
Far too many people are asking how something like D.A. Chesa Boudin’s recall could happen in a place as liberal as San Francisco. The article makes some good points — for example, that right-wing big money donors retain a lot of power in California even if they don’t actually win very many elections — but maybe San Francisco just isn’t that liberal! Only libertarian-or-worse tech bros can even afford to live there now! Seriously, though, if Democratic politicians really want to reform our criminal justice system so that it’s not all punish-punish-punish all the time, they need to brand Republican politicians (but not regular Americans!) as hysterical when they whine about crime, and they need to brand their own solutions as “common sense." It’d also help if they’d remind everyone that crime might be up in 2021 over 2020 because in 2020 we were all afraid we were going to die if we even went outside.
Ho hum, Chicago Housing Authority leases out land intended for low-income housing to billionaire soccer owner instead because of course they did. People don’t still argue that sports practice facilities and training offices stimulate our economy, do they? Because helping people find a place to live actually stimulates economies! People who have places to live tend to put down roots and spend money locally; billionaire soccer team owners, on the other hand, hoard their assets and live off of low-interest loans, neither one of which gives you the bang for your buck that helping people find a place to live does. Right-wingers will call that “liberal math,” but I’ll call it common sense. I’ll also call it common sense that if you say you’re going to make apartments livable again, you ought to do it, rather than just sit on it or give it to some big-box retailer.
Chris Brooks at In These Times describes “How Amazon and Starbucks Workers Are Upending the Organizing Rules.” What the labor establishment used to do in a painstaking, incremental manner — and boy has “painstaking and incremental” looked like stagnation for many years, amirite? — today’s young organizers are doing a lot more quickly, and though Mr. Brooks doesn’t discuss it, I can’t help but think the pandemic helped that along, not just by reminding us that life is short, but by giving workers space to look at what they put up with just to have a nickel and a nail to rub together. When they write the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, they'll say unions went dormant in the '80s not just because Ronald Reagan was willing to bury them, but because the unions themselves got ossified, and only new blood could revive them.
Finally, is calling Generation X the “Trumpiest” generation, as Politico does with flimsy anecdotes and even flimsier evidence, the stupidest thing ever said? OK, your average Republican politician says The Stupidest Thing Evah pretty much daily, but how does anyone forget that Generation X’s parents are really the Trumpiest generation? Of course, expanding the definition of “Generation X” so that it also includes the last 10 years of Baby Boomers sure does help you if you’re out to say “Gen X is TEH TRUMPIESTZ!!!!” It also helps to exclude non-whites from your definition of “Generation X.” Seriously, this couldn’t have all just been lazy argument, could it? I’m more likely to suspect malice than mere stupidity these days — and I’m also more likely to describe “just say something provocative” as malice.