Comments of the Week: “Forward on Climate,” #TheRealTANF and Immigration

Comments of the Week: “Forward on Climate,” #TheRealTANF and Immigration

Comments of the Week: “Forward on Climate,” #TheRealTANF and Immigration

Our readers sound off on the "Forward on Climate" rally in Washington, "welfare reform" and immigration. 


Comments of the Week: "Forward on Climate," #TheRealTANF and Immigration

Storified by The Nation· Fri, Feb 22 2013 14:03:27

Last week, in our March 4, 2013 issue, we addressed President Obama’s use of drones. Commenter ronj1955 summed up the work that needs to be done. 
If most Americans are fine with drones, then our job is to make them not fine with
Last weekend, over 35,000 people attended a “Forward on Climate” rally in Washington, DC. Some of our readers were there or at similar events and shared their experience. 
Was surprised by Sierra Club control of the message in a rally (which they referred to as a photo op) near my home yesterday. Coal exporting transport is scheduled to increase along our nearby rail corridor in Seattle, but the focus seems a NIMBY approach instead of the comprehensive climate and environmentalist approach instead many of us engage in. Your analysis helps; would like to see
Michael Jones: 
Thank you for the coverage of the event. Seems that folks question how many were there (yes 30,000 plus at least). I know, I marched by the White House to urge the President to do the right thing and reject not only the pipleline, but all dirty fossil fuels as well. I was amazed at the diverse folks, young college students, families with children, people that shouldn’t be out there (older people like myself and ones that needed help). President Obama, you pledge to act on climate change in your speeches. This is your legacy, it is your decision, reject
Early this week, Greg Kaufman pointed out the pervasive mistruths spread about Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the “welfare reform” passed by President Clinton.  
BOOM! @GregKaufmann breaks it down and has some #RealTalk about #TheRealTANF. Read on! Action
Thank you! I am stunned by common it is to come across people who insist they personally know people who are on welfare, living in comfort, able to afford big screen TVs, etc., etc. The Information Age turned out to be the Misinformation Age.I think the tragedy of US poverty is largely the blame of this generation of progressives/liberals, surprisingly, who nearly wrote poverty out of the public discussion, esp. since Clinton.Today, it’s all about, only about (what’s left of) the middle class.  I truly don’t believe the average American cares about the suffering of our poor. We’re just not that into compassion. But without a legitimate discussion of US poverty (and poverty relief), the general public doesn’t see how our policies against the poor are actually phasing out the middle
@thenation And is that really the poverty line? Try living on 30 or even $40,000 for family of 4? #therealTANFJill McLaughlin
Also this week, Bryce Covert pointed out that the economy today is increasingly dominated by often low-paying “emotional labor,” jobs that in the past were overwhelmingly held by women. Joan C. Grim agreed and also pointed out the gendered nature of attacks on public section jobs. 
Brilliant. This article lends another perspective to the well funded attacks on government jobs traditionally held by women. Public schools, mental health providers, child protective services, and other state run services are under increasing attack to cut costs by firing older workers, cutting pension benefits, and forcing retirees to pay more for health care benefits. The common thread is an advancing privatization of government services in predomintly female professions. No such efforts are as well coordinated and financed in male dominated government professions like police and firefighters. No politician goes on the stump criticizing ‘crappy’ first responders, yet can stake their electoral careers on "reforming" (e.g., trashing) education and cutting "wasteful" government bureaucrats (e.g., social workers, mental health providers, home health workers, early interventionists, etc)
Dave Zirin connected the murder of Reeva Steenkamp to a “global system of deadly misogyny” and a number of our readers felt compelled to respond: 
Since 2003, I’ve been a regular poster on a NY Giants football fan site, populated by highly educated, middle-to-upper-middle class posters, overwhelming male, but usually mostly civilized. After the murder of Reeva Steencamp, a thread started on the site, relating the news. Several men posted pix of Steencamp in a bikini and other flattering clothing, and a few posters marveled that Pistorius could be so stupid as to kill such a hot babe.  Oh-kaayyy… But then there were posts remarking on her "healthy childbearing hips" and others making jokes that continued in this vein.  A woman posting on a football site has to have a fairly thick skin, but this was so beyond the pale, I had to speak up.  I pointed out the UTTER DEPRAVITY of sexualizing and objectifying a woman killed in a horrific act of domestic violence.  My outrage, of course, triggered defensive reactions and puerile repetitions of the meme about "child-bearing hips," as if to underscore that the problem was MY lack of a sense of humor.  *smh* I can barely get my brain around the fact that such an expression of virtual necrophila could ever, in any way be an appropriate or acceptable response to the murder of a young woman by an intimate partner.  What is wrong with these men????
We need more allies like @EdgeofSports: My latest @thenation "Oscar Pistorius & the Global Death Cult of Misogyny"”Tera Martin
In the mean time, here in the USA, Republicans continue to oppose the Violence Against Women
Finally, in response to Aura Bogado’s “Five Things to Know About Immigration and Enforcement,” Tamara Hamlin-Amador shed light on the true stakes of the debate around immigration reform. 
Families like mine are divided by the debate. Not that we have different opinions but divided by international borders. Immigration reform needs to start with unifying

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