Category Archives: Election 2008

Redlining alive and well in Austin, TX

Some good friends of ours are moving to Austin from NYC; they’re lifetime New Yorkers, but have decided that they want their kids (6 and 10) to grow up in a place with a bit more green space around, and since the father can work from any location, they’ve been exploring various parts of the country, including Austin. They finally settled on Austin, and came down this week to sign a lease. They want to rent initially, and they’ve been working with an excellent real estate agent, who provided them with a list of potential properties to check out (she was out of town for the Easter weekend).

The agent was given a specific price for one of the rental properties, but when the mother arrived at the property, the woman quoted a price more than $1000.00 higher than she had quoted to the real estate agent. When our friend asked why the price was so much higher than what the real estate agent had quote, the woman claimed that the price fluctuated from day to day, depending on the market.

Okay, so we’re talking a fluctuation of close to 100% on the monthly lease for a rental property. Given the current state of the housing market, this is pretty much impossible; if anything, prices are going down, not up. Consider, as well, that this conversation took place on Good Friday; I don’t really follow the stock market that closely, but even I know that the markets were closed on Friday. So clearly, there’s no good explanation for this “fluctuation,” other than redlining.

If you haven’t guessed already, our friends from NYC are black. When my wife and the mother were discussing this particular incident, neither of them specifically mentioned the elephant in the room, and I’m guessing that speaking its name would have been an embarrassment for our friend, but really, the embarrassment is a collective embarrassment for all of us, you and me, everyone in this country that just elected its first person of color as President. I would like to have thought that the fact of this election represented a fundamental shift in the strategy by which we as a nation deal with our “original sin,” and certainly some things have changed, but if people want to claim that racism no longer plays a big role in the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I call bullshit.

Kos on the Commerce nomination

I’ve got an idea about what Obama should do with that post. It’s kind of crazy, but keep an open mind and try not to dismiss it out of hand, no matter how unconventional it might be in today’s political world:

Nominate a fucking Democrat.”

Hat tip: Avedon Carol on Eschaton

George has returned to Texas…

with flying monkeys streaming out of his ass. All y’all in the rest of the country, you owe us big time. Well, I mean, I guess after we pay you all back for having released him in the first place…

Okay, we’re even.

Wow. Just wow.

I love this country again.

Closing argument

It’s okay to relax your grip on cynicism and be inspired (and yes, this is a postcard to myself):

Danny Elfman on President Sarah Palin

Your Halloween just got a little scarier:

Stanley Fish explains the rope-a-dope

The Power of Positive Campaigning

Defining Moment

Hard economic times and incendiary right-wing rhetoric are an explosive combination

That is all.