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JJLehto View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 07 2017 at 23:19
We thought 2016 was a ride...apparently that's nothing compared to what 2017 has in store!
So new year, new thread, maybe a permanent one? After all political discussion will continue past 2017, if the world makes it past 2017LOL

Let's start off with a bang! Possibly from the guns soon to be allowed in schools for bear protection!

Betsy DeVos was confirmed, the vote went as expected: 50-50 with Pence breaking the tie. Every Democrat opposed, joined by Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. No shocker, no others broke rank. Some felt that Dean Heller of NV or Pat Toomey of PA might break since they represent blue states, especially Toomey. LOL Oh poor poor Republicans, I do feel bad. They think these people care a lick about their constituency. 

I know her direct impact may be minimal, and with 48 Democrats I can't imagine something extreme like abolishing the Dept of Ed getting through, but I do fear with this Congress what may happen with public education. The right may get a step closer to their dream of mostly private education, the "level foundation" and vehicle for meritocracy becoming a tool for the well off to better themselves, while all else can either for out thousands or get left behind. The guns may be needed in what remains of public schools...it'll become Mad Max in there 


On some better news:
Trump's pick for Sect of Labor, Andrew Pudzer has admitted to hiring an undocumented worker as his housekeeper. Given that this same thing has forced nominees (from both parties) to drop out, and Trump's stance on undocumented workers...seems like this may be tough to reconcile. Add to it his extremely anti labor views, perhaps our only chance to see a Trump nominee fail.


Finally: San Francisco makes all city colleges tuition free, paid for with a tax on properties worth over $5 million. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/07/san-francisco-announces-free-community-college-all-residents/97591606/
Apparently this will cover all current students, plus a 20% increase, and low income students will be provided with $250. 

The progressives are continuing the fightSmile
 





Edited by JJLehto - February 08 2017 at 00:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 01:21
As American Politics has entered an era of self-parody this thread should be moved to JFF
"You know what uranium is, right? Itís this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things. But nobody talks about that."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prog Snob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 02:36
It's not really about banning public education. It's about slimming its girth. It's about there being so liability instead of teacher's always being able to hide behind their unions regardless of their actions.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/02/07/betsy-devos-confirmed-as-education-secre

Edited by Prog Snob - February 08 2017 at 02:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 07:01


A shot of me as High Priestess of Gaia during our fall festival. Ceterum censeo pricipiis obsta
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 07:58
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

As American Politics has entered an era of self-parody this thread should be moved to JFF
When you live here, it's not that fun. TongueCry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 12:34
Yeah, sometimes you just gotta laugh!
"I see no hope, but I could be wrong." - Pete Seeger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 12:46
Originally posted by The T The T wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

As American Politics has entered an era of self-parody this thread should be moved to JFF
When you live here, it's not that fun. TongueCry
True, but there are 7,080,857,996 of us who don't live there. Big smile
"You know what uranium is, right? Itís this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things. But nobody talks about that."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 13:12
Thank God for small favors.
"I see no hope, but I could be wrong." - Pete Seeger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 17:08
Originally posted by Prog Snob Prog Snob wrote:

It's not really about banning public education. It's about slimming its girth. It's about there being so liability instead of teacher's always being able to hide behind their unions regardless of their actions.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/02/07/betsy-devos-confirmed-as-education-secre

Several responses. 
First, maybe you are sincere in that belief, as are others, (and indeed I know liberals even who are wary of the teachers union) BUT don't kid yourself that is what will happen, that is the goal. Even if you and reasonable people don't share or want that, you will be used for it. The want IS to have a mostly private education system, either forcing middle/working class families to spend extra thousands of dollars on it OR force em into what remains of public schools, which will be pretty dreadful. Leading to point number two:

There is nothing inherently wrong with public schools, they just don't get funded. That article mentions the deplorable public schools in cities that many poor minorities have to deal with...that makes it sound like it's inevitable. That is foolish. What has happened with city public schools is what has happened with cities in general: People move out, leaving them starved. People have moved into surburbs, then exurbs, into different pockets of town, they keep moving to stay away from whatever they dont want, OR so they can keep their income more for themselves and not spend it on others. Which is rational and understanding, and since we can't control how people move and live, that's I think government investment is necessary but that's for another time. But yeah there's nothing wrong with public schools in themselves. Think about why test scores and income tend to sync up, why schools in poor areas are bad while schools in more affluent areas are good. It's kind of obvious the problem. 

Also I fear mass private schooling will lead to, well what happens with all privatization: the best benefits accumulate at the top, for those who can best afford it. I have already read about charter schools moving from their traditional poor urban areas into more middle class and affluent ones. With private incentives, why wont better teachers flow there as well? More resources. By removing the level foundation and making it "market based" it'll just lead to inequality of opportunity in education, which is supposed to be the one equalizer. 

Three: We have choice already. There are private schools, you can send your kid to one if you want. Yes you'd have to pay for it but don't force that upon the rest of us. Public education is for the public good, if you want to go private fine, but you pay on top of it. But the choice is there, this choice idea is silly, its a cover itself for the real intention: people just dont wanna pay for others' stuff. 

Finally: I get why perhaps there may concern with the teachers union, I think its unfair to teachers themselves the vitriol. Remember, these people have to go to college, get 4 year degrees and do very important work, perhaps the most critical for society. They deal with a lot and it's not like they're living high end lives. Is the teachers union too powerful? I honestly don't know, given the crud most I know deal with and how burned out they get their incomes (and NJ was a very generous state for teachers) I find it hard to believe. But maybe. Is tenure a luxury and it makes it too hard to remove bad teachers? Yes of course. I have seen personally how it's damn near impossible to get a teacher removed, hell it can be near impossible to even get them moved (or even the child moved!) even if the teacher could be called a bully. And I've seen the damage that can do to someone.... Was it enraging to see a teacher who's caused multiple children over the years to have mental breakdowns finally get pushed into retirement after years? Of course. 

But as they say, dont throw the baby out with the bath water. Especially since many teachers are good. If your issue is solely tenure, how hard it is to remove them if needed, OK...that's not unreasonable. But don't look for more extreme options, and remember they are working people too, ones that do essential work. As state employees, they are directly hurt by necessary budget cuts. If you want to trim the girth OK I can work with that, but the way things are going/ideas out there is not that, it's just a push for privatization, to the benefit of well off people and investors...hedge funds, Goldman Sachs, finance always itching to get more charter schools. There is clearly a reason for this. Don't throw the baby (or children?) away with the bathwater over a few issues. 


Edited by JJLehto - February 08 2017 at 17:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2017 at 17:27
So those hoping for change in the area of foreign policy (not sure why any would think that) or that "Well he may be better than Clinton at least" can continue lamenting their choices. 

Trump has thus far been very supportive of Saudi Arabia and Israel (which some thought he'd be different on) and now: his first Benghazi moment. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/world/middleeast/yemen-special-operations-missions.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0
The Yemen raid, Trump's first foray into foreign policy seems to have been a flop and the country has withdrawn permission for the US to run anti terrorist missions. Yup, he's charging into interventionism! Just like all the other swampy politicians people were hoping he'd be different from. 

Hope everyone is happy...all the edgy/apathetic liberals, hope this is what you wanted. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 09 2017 at 00:05
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Yeah, sometimes you just gotta laugh!
One of the best skits ever.  How she can keep a straight face through it all is amazing!
--
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 00:25
Yesterday Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, 52-47. A near strict party line, Joe Manchin went yes. 

Sessions has a mixed to poor (being politeLOL) history on civil rights, voting rights and civil liberties. For decades he has been dogged by the NAACP and ACLU, claims of racism, and in 1986 failed to make it out of a Republican led committee, with a former supporter voicing concern over his ability to be fair and impartial. The guy has publicly praised the 1924 immigration act, the one capping immigration and targeting specifically Southern & Eastern Europe, Africa and flat out excluded Asians entirely. You can't make this up. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/jeff-sessions-1924-immigration/512591/

Anyway, he's made his first speech as AG. 

He feels the recent uptick in crime is a "dangerous permanent trend" that places our health and safety at risk. 
Sessions is correct, there has been an uptick in homicides. However, there is no rise in overall crime, and that uptick really is quite small and has been driven mostly by spikes in two cities: Chicago and Charlotte. Pure fear mongering. 



Edited by JJLehto - February 10 2017 at 00:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 13:57
Originally posted by infocat infocat wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Yeah, sometimes you just gotta laugh!
One of the best skits ever.  How she can keep a straight face through it all is amazing!
Yes, absolutely fantastic. She must be a damn good actress not to crack up when doing this skit. Especially when she went through the props! "Radical moose lambs!" LOL

Edited by SteveG - February 10 2017 at 14:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 09:25
Let's rebuild the DNC. Now!

Ok, I've stressed endlessly that I see minorities, so far, as sitting out on this Trump indignation until they've had enough and get back into the fight. But at the moment, the DNC is at a fork in the road as to the direction the party is to take. The DNC chair is up for takes. Populist or Centrist? Bernie and Elizabeth? Or more of the Hillary crowd? Which way should the DNC go?


Edited by SteveG - February 11 2017 at 09:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 09:39
what I am seeing and reading Steve.... the people are taking this over. The DNC is immaterial at this point.  Trump has done what I had hoped they would.... mobilized, organized, and energized people as the DNC never could.  I saw a great quote... we are seeing a reverse Tea Party movement starting.. at the grassroots level.

ďTrump is not popular, he does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party could stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.Ē

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/protest-movement-republicans-234863

Warren is going to run... that is plainly evident... and regardless of what the DNC does. She will tap into this grassroots movement. wait... she is the hero and inpiration of much of it herself.  she is the political face of it.  Even Republicans are being boo'd and shouted down... IN THEIR OWN DISTRICTS....

unless Trump does a 180 and who really thinks he will.. he could be the progressive and liberal wet dream. Inspried the silent apatheitc majority to finally take control.  I've already seen hints among the experts that 2018 may be an interesting off year election...lord knows we've seen massive off year blow backs against unpopular Presidents... sow ye oats while you still have power GOP.. you may not be there in Congress too long. LOL


Edited by micky - February 11 2017 at 09:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 09:46
I definitely feel the support of a movement in the making. But how to unite the people with the DNC when the DNC is so weak right now? How to channel this energy and not waste it, is very worrying to me. Perhaps it will come together organically. (While the Beatles' "Come Together" plays in my head! LOL)
"I see no hope, but I could be wrong." - Pete Seeger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 09:52
that is the parallel with the Tea Party.... the RNC had nothing to do with it.. in fact they tried to fight against that grassroots movment. The DNC either gets on board... or not...  but the comparison end that the Tea Partiers were a small segment of the Republican Party.. this movement.. could be a entire party... the leftward shift we thought would come after HIllary.. but Trump may have acceleraed. Driven in part by Warren who is a hero among many, including I might add my HIllary hating best friend who couldn't vote for her (thankfully in Va. so it didn't matter haha). Even pro-gun as he is... he has said the same as I have.. he'd go through a brick wall to see her elected. She is the anti-Trump... inspriratial.. fiery and able to tap into populism which of course is a leftward leaning device already. 

We shall see.. a lot can happen.  But signs are encouraging.. the DNC? Immaterial at this point.... this is local activism at its finest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 09:58
I agree with everything you've said except that the Repubs were not as politically weak as the Dems are right now. There's not much we can do except to wait and see, I'm afraid. But hope springs eternal I once heard someone say. (Now I have the mellotron driven album by Spring running through my head! Time to breakout the old vinyl and fire up the turntable!)

Edited by SteveG - February 11 2017 at 09:58
"I see no hope, but I could be wrong." - Pete Seeger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 10:05
oh true.. there is little they can do now.. but symbolic gestures at this point. The Democrats are not in power.. any of it. Thus.. who gets the blame for this sh*t sandwich ... yep

but look on the bright side.. at least the Courts haven't laid down and spread their legs for Emperor Trump. And what was that latest headline

'The legal system is broken' 

Yeah buddy.. simply because he didn't get his way. Yep...alienate the judicial branch in addition to the majority of hte population. Some Americans still do remember that branch is the final protection against dictators and strong men who wish to rule.. not govern. 


the GOP.. they hold all the keys.. no blaming Democrats for not standing up to Trump. Not invetigating his transgression.. or just going completely limp dicked to policies they KNOW are disasterous.  Even if not 2018.. by 1020 they will have to answer to a highly engerized and damned angry majority of the population.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 10:09
I did get a big laugh from Trump tweeting "See you in Court!" as a response to the Court upholding the suspension of the ban. For God's sake, they're judges! Where else is Trump going to see them? In the men's room? LOL
"I see no hope, but I could be wrong." - Pete Seeger.
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