Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week.
6 days until JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE
Dale Maharidge at The Nation writes—How the United States Chose to Become a Country of Homelessness. For months, our leaders have known that the Covid-19 crisis could force millions of people from their homes. They decided to let it happen:
Advocates have been sounding the alarms for months—issuing reports, penning press releases, warning politicians as an increasing number of Americans made jobless by the pandemic have fallen behind on their rent. Now, the warnings unheeded, the United States is facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis, one that is as predictable as it was avoidable. [...]
By August, a group of experts representing some of the leading housing rights organizations in the country—including the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project—arrived at a dire conclusion. In a white paper titled “The Covid-19 Eviction Crisis,” the consortium estimated that “in the absence of robust and swift intervention, an estimated 30–40 million people in America could be at risk of eviction in the next several months.” The authors warned that “the United States may be facing the most severe housing crisis in its history,” adding that people of color “constitute approximately 80% of people facing eviction.”
In the ensuing months, tens of thousands of Americans have been evicted; according to the Eviction Lab, landlords have filed more than 162,500 eviction notices in the 27 cities it tracks. But the worst of the crisis has been averted so far by a patchwork of state moratoriums that have been supplemented, in turn, by a patchwork of federal efforts. In March, Congress passed a temporary eviction moratorium as part of the CARES Act; after that expired, in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stepped in with its own temporary moratorium. Most recently, as part of the stimulus package passed in late December, Congress provided $25 billion in rental assistance to states and localities and extended the eviction moratorium to January 31. Renters breathed a sigh of relief.
That relief may be short-lived, however. The end date for the federal moratorium looms in a matter of weeks, while various state moratoriums are also slated to sunset. And the $25 billion in rent relief provided by Congress, while critical, falls far short of what advocates believe is necessary. But perhaps the most intractable problem is that a moratorium is not the same as rent forgiveness. This means that, even if the moratoriums are extended again (and then again), tenants will at some point have to pay their landlords all of the accrued back rent. Already, nearly 12 million households owe an average of $5,850 in overdue rent and utilities, according to Moody’s Analytics. That’s $70 billion. How will people be able to repay those sums if they remain jobless? How will they be able to repay them even if they do land a job? [...]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
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TWEET OF THE DAY
“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”
~~Herman Melville, Billy Budd & Other Stories (1924 )
B)LAST FROM THE PAST
On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—FBI Still Stuck in the Tron Age:
Three years after the attacks of September 11th, I was pretty disturbed to read this story in today's NYT:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the verge of scrapping a $170 million computer overhaul that is considered critical to the campaign against terrorism but has been riddled with technical and planning problems, F.B.I. officials said on Thursday.
The development is a major setback for the F.B.I. in a decade-long struggle to escape a paper-driven culture and replace antiquated computer systems that have hobbled counterterrorism and criminal investigations. Robert S. Mueller III, the bureau's director, along with members of the Sept. 11 commission and other national security experts, have said the success of that effort is critical to domestic security. (Emphasis added.)
Are they KIDDING me? Why can't they get this right, especially since these are long-standing problems, problems which the FBI was made aware of well before 9/11— hell, a really, really long time before 9/11