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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 82,658

About Me

Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.

Journal Archives

Rick Berman's phony front group to air anti-worker ad during Super Bowl.

Phony Front Group, Center for Union Facts, to Run Super Bowl Ad

In what has become a local tradition, the front group Center for Union Facts will air an ad in Washington D.C. during Super Bowl, The New York Times reports. When the union-busting organization did the same thing three years ago, Working America took to Twitter to point out the irony of running an anti-union ad during a “celebration of unionized players,” referring to the NFL Players’ Association, which is one of the most well-known unions in America.

Center for Union Facts is a $3.5 million-a-year organization, and part of a vast web of front groups funded and controlled by PR spinmeister Rick Berman. Once dubbed Dr. Evil by CBS’s 60 Minutes, Berman has launched a plethora of “deceptive campaigns against industry foes, including labor unions; public-health advocates; and consumer safety, animal welfare, and environmental groups,” according to watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

CMD has tracked Berman and his phony front groups for years and his deep ties to corporations and trade associations fighting better pay and benefits for working families.

In October 2014, Berman was caught on tape as he met with energy company executives and pitched his tactics to undermine grassroots environmental and labor organizations. "Think of it as an endless war," he told the deep pocketed executives. “I get up every morning and I try to figure out how to screw with the labor unions; that’s my offense,” says Berman, who has been a reliable waterboy for some of the worst wage-crushing institutions in America. Berman has had a long-standing relationship with the National Restaurant Association which has fought to keep the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour for decades.

There are a lot more articles about Rick Berman at the SourceWatch link

Some of his words are revealing.

"Screw" your enemy. Berman boasted about his obsession with unions and his attack on their efforts to raise the minimum wage for American workers: "I get up every morning and I try and figure out how to screw with the labor unions."
"Marginalize" your opponents. Berman described his tactics against public interest groups: "wherever possible I like to use humor to minimize or marginalize the people on the other side."
"Demolish the moral authority" of powerful public interest voices: "I got George McGovern to come out and say that unions were wrong. I represent some alcohol companies, I got Candy Lightner, who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to come out and say that MADD was overreaching and that she endorsed our position, our client position, rather than the MADD position. That is a demolishing of moral authority."

"Make it personal." Berman's associate Hubbard described how they go after concerned citizens who dare to challenge their clients: "we do have a section on every single activist. Their rap sheets, their criminal records they have. We’re really making this personal. We’re trying to make it so they don't have any credibility with the public, with the media, or with the legislators."

And this one says it all:

Being "nasty" wins. Berman shakes off concerns that his activities are too nasty or aggressive, saying "you can either win ugly or lose pretty."
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Feb 1, 2015, 01:40 PM (3 replies)

Deion Sanders Prime Prep charter school closed down this week.

There are several articles about it, and he sounds very angry about the way things happened.

This version from the Dallas Observer has some upsetting language from a recording at a meeting.

Deion Sanders Demanded a Raise, Threatened to Break Prime Prep CEO's Neck (Audio NSFW)

The audio comes from a meeting that included Sanders and D.L. Wallace, his Prime Prep co-founder, former business partner and the ex-CEO of the two-campus charter school. It's unclear from the audio when and where the meeting took place, and the source who provided it declined to provide those specifics. But Wallace has previously described a meeting that took place between him, Sanders and two members of Prime Prep's board in June 2013, at the field house on the school's southern Dallas campus. The content of the recordings matches Wallace's description of that meeting.

.....But as the school struggled in its first year-plus, and after Sanders was briefly fired for assaulting an employee, he began angling for a bigger share of the responsibility, and taxpayer-funded compensation to go with it. Records show that Sanders was making $40,000 while Wallace, who has since resigned, was paying himself $120,000.

"I'm going to get more money, or there ain't going to be no school, that's just flat out how it's going to be," Sanders tells Wallace in the recording.

He admits he doesn't really need the money. "Forget me, because what I do with the money I'm getting, I turn around and stipend my coaches," he says, apparently referring to the small stipends usually paid to high school sports coaches. "Because God has blessed me, I don't really need it. But I'm going to get it because it's mine and my name is on the building. OK, that's just fair."

When his partner asks what position Sanders wants to take on...Sanders responds:

"What position?"

"HNIC," Sanders shoots back. That's "Head Nigga in Charge."

From DFW CBS station:

Prime Prep, Charter School Started By Deion Sanders Closed

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Prime Prep Academy, the charter school co-founded by Deion Sanders, closed today. The Texas Education Agency said the school doesn’t have the money to continue one more day. The announcement has left families scrambling to figure out where their children are going to go to school.

“While there was hope this charter could survive through the end of the school year, the financial resources simply aren’t there,” the state’s education commissioner said in a statement.

The commissioner lashed into Prime Prep’s previous leadership Friday. He said the upheaval could have been avoided if school leaders acknowledged their financial problems earlier – and worked toward a transition that put students first. Students like the school’s star quarterback Micheal Curtis, who left early Friday when he realized it was his last day at the school.

More at Deadspin. I don't know this site, but the report seems straightforward.

Deion Sanders's Disaster Of A School Is Being Shut Down

The school was founded by Sanders and Damien "D.L." Wallace, who handled the logistics while Sanders mostly brought the star power. It went poorly from the very beginning:

"The initial charter application claimed corporate partnerships that didn't exist, plagiarized other schools' applications and included a scam by Wallace to pay himself rent with taxpayer money. State regulators caught the problems and approved the charter anyway."

Prime Prep was always intended to be about sports—Sanders and Wallace pitched it as a way for the top local (and not-so-local) athletes to get into college. But the school's stated mission backfired almost immediately. Because many of the athletes, recruited from Sanders's sports camp and leagues, transferred from other schools, they ran afoul of University Interscholastic League eligibility rules. In the first season, four top basketball recruits were declared ineligible, as was the entire Prime Prep football team.

..... Things weren't much better for the rest of Prime Prep's students.

"Parents expected Prime Prep to be a polished college preparatory school, as the name suggests. Instead, Henderson says, they found the lights in the hallway were dim and sometimes flickered, reminding her of a less odorous Abercrombie & Fitch. The paint on the walls was peeling away. A sign on the side of a building, attached by duct tape, warns visitors that a side door is broken."

Like all charter schools Prime Prep was getting taxpayer money while open, money which came from traditional public schools. As resources are taken from public schools the new ed reform policies demand more and more from them.

Something is wrong with that picture.

Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’...Michael Schiavo's story.

I remember this whenever Jeb starts spouting about what a moderate he is. Or when others portray him that way.

Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’

Michael Schiavo at home. "He should be ashamed," Schiavo said of Jeb Bush. "To bring as much pain as he did, to me and my family, that should be an issue." | Maggie Steber/Redux for POLITICO Magazine

“It was a living hell,” he said, “and I blame him.”

Michael Schiavo was the husband of Terri Schiavo, the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. It started as a private legal back-and-forth between her husband and her parents. Before it ended, it moved from circuit courts to district courts to state courts to federal courts, to the U.S. Supreme Court, from the state legislature in Tallahassee to Congress in Washington. The president got involved. So did the pope.

But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer—confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it’s the Jebbest thing Jeb’s ever done.

“If you want to understand Jeb Bush, he’s guided by principle over convenience....“He may be wrong about something, but he knows what he believes.”

Those are the words of Dennis Baxley who was one of the most conservative legislators ever.

SO...even though Jeb is wrong about something it is okay because he believes it strongly. That is a pathetic excuse for ignorance.

Long article, hard to limit to just a few paragraphs. The worst is how Jeb continued attacking Michael Schiavo even after Terri's death.

Today, looking back, what makes Felos, the attorney for Michael Schiavo, angriest about the case is Bush’s letter to McCabe. Even after 18 months of legal wrangling, even after her death, even after the autopsy—after all that—the governor asked a prosecutor to initiate a retroactive criminal investigation of his client. It struck Felos as “odd,” “bizarre”—“personal.”

“It was such an abuse of authority,” Felos said. “I think that really raises red flags about his character and his fitness to be president. Jeb didn’t get his way in the Schiavo case. I think he tried to take it out on Michael.”

One interesting part is that President Obama said he regrets that he did not put forth effort to stop the interference.

“It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it was not something I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that was a mistake. And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better.”

New Dem FL congresswoman votes with GOP 4 times 1st week. Sits with GOP at SOTU speech.

She is not from my district, nonetheless when she votes with the GOP 4 times in one week it affects all of us in the state. She said she is going to take North Florida values to DC with her. Wonder where that leaves the rest of us and our values?

North Florida is traditionally very conservative, although there are more Democrats than Republicans.

If a Democrat is going to vote with the GOP and cross the aisle to sit with them during a speech given by the president, it concerns me a lot.

I've heard all the arguments about how a Democrat in a conservative district must vote as the Republicans do. Newsflash, we have lost in a major way in 2010 and 2014 by following such a policy. It appears to be getting us nowhere.

Democrat Gwen Graham takes heat for right-leaning votes

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who unseated Republican Steve Southerland in November, is under fire from Democrats for votes in favor of the Keystone pipeline, to roll back Wall Street reforms and other issues, illustrating the difficulty she faces in a district with a sizable conservative base.

"I promised to bring the North Florida Way to Washington — and that means working with both parties to reach common sense solutions," Graham told the Buzz. "Now, I'm following through with that promise and focusing on creating jobs, improving education and ending the gridlock in Congress. Neither party is right 99 percent of the time, so the people of North Florida expect us to work together to get things done."

That might have been true at one time. But again here are our Democrats trying to compromise with extremists who will not give an inch. They may enjoy talking about how they love working together, but what they are doing is hurting the people.

Her moves have drawn praise, including an editorial in the News Herald of Panama City. "It seems clear that Graham is making a good faith effort to work with Republicans on the important issues of the day."

In a statement to the Buzz, Leon County Democratic state committeewoman Tabitha Frazier said: "I know that many liberal Democrats had been hoping for a party-line voter when it came to Gwen, one of the few Democratic wins in the entire country. But the majority of North Florida voters are moderate and she campaigned to victory as a moderate. Gwen's independent leadership and across-the-aisle style in Congress are exactly what she promised, and it's a refreshing change from Rep. Southerland's tea party priorities and extreme partisan ways."

Crossing the aisle to sit with David Jolly who was elected in great part by the Tea Party....I do not think she should have done that.

Gwen Graham Responds to State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Statement from Rep. Gwen Graham on the State of the Union address:

“Bipartisanship starts with forming relationships. Tonight, I crossed the aisle to sit with my Florida colleague Representative David Jolly. The people of North Florida don’t expect Democrats and Republicans to agree on everything, but they do expect us to work together to get things done.

Good luck on that, Gwen. At least your father, though very moderate in his beliefs, put his loyalty with the Democrats....but he did stand up against them when they helped take us into a war built on lies.

Here are her first four votes.

Meet the new conservative rising star: Florida freshman "Democratic" Rep. Gwen Graham

Gwen Graham (D) won her seat in one of our rare, balanced districts of the red Northern section of Florida. Although District 2 has 16% more Democratic voters in the district than GOP, it normally leans GOP because that's how Florida voters roll.

She replaced a teabag incumbent that was so incredibly terrible, he couldn't even win in a red wave election. Steve Southerland was the guy who said that his $174,000 congressional salary "wasn't very much", that his job "didn't mean much" to him, and also justified a male-only fundraiser by saying he once went to a "lingerie shower". Really, he was that bad.

Democrats, including myself, worked hard for Gwen. She was the daughter of a popular, former Democratic governor and promised to fight for the working class. Graham won her seat.

And what has she done?

In her first week in Congress, she has voted with the GOP every single time.

She voted against ACA.
She voted for the Keystone pipeline.
She voted to gut Wall Street reform.
She voted against Nancy Pelosi as speaker

My Trojan Killer scan last night found 6 trojans missed by Norton Internet Security, Malwarebytes..

They are all paid versions I bought since my horrible browser hijacking in Feb 2014 on my new computer.

I run Trojan Killer each evening, and very glad I did.

Norton is notoriously bad with trojans, but I was surprised that Malwarebytes missed them.

They were Trojan.U.Gamburl and Trojan.U.BlacolerRef

I looked them up and they can come from a legitimate website.

We’re seeing plenty of reports for a JavaScript redirector malware family that we call Gamburl; previous reports have called it Gumblar or Redir.

These attacks seem to be coming from legitimate Web sites with pages that have been modified to contain this malicious script. So even if you’re visiting a Web site that you trust, there’s still the possibility that you may be a victim of these so-called “drive-by attacks”.

When a user visits a site containing a Gamburl script, the browser will be redirected to a specific Web site that contains a slew of exploits and other malware. As of this writing, Gamburl is known to redirect to the following Web sites:

martuz .cn

Once connected to the above sites, Gamburl tries to download other malware into the system. From what we have observed, these malware are mostly backdoors, PDF and Shockwave exploits. However, some of the observed downloaded malware are variants of the Win32/Daonol family. Examples of MD5 of Daonol seen are 7de29e5e10adc5d90296785c89aeabce and 2131112053ed144c46277b9024bcf39f. Daonol trojans are capable of preventing access to security Web sites, and redirecting searches to sites hosting other malware. Daonol is also capable of stealing information, such as FTP credentials, and placing the information in a file in the Windows system folder called sqlsodbc.chm. Note that a file named sqlsodbc.chm exists by default when you install Windows, and so is overwritten if your system has been infected by Daonol. This may be a symptom of Gamburl/Daonol infection. In case you suspect infection, you might want to check the list of some the unique hashes and file size of a clean sqlsodbc.chm.


Socialist snow plows keep clearing all the roads around my house.

Love this. Seen on Twitter today.

The Baxter Bean @TheBaxterBean · 8h 8 hours ago

Socialist snow plows keep clearing all the roads around my house. Will this Obama tyranny never end? #BlizzardOf2015

Socialist snowplows.

1967 Merv Griffin show. Interviews MLK, Harry Belafonte also a guest.

Published on Aug 31, 2012

Here is an expanded and newly transferred version of Merv's interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We recently discovered the lost master tape of this show and we've had it newly transferred. This is stunning quality compared to what we had earlier and we're thrilled to have found the original master and that this important piece of American history is now preserved in pristine condition. Kudos to DC Video in L.A. for their stellar work. In this segment Dr. King shares with Merv his take on the then-current state of the Civil Rights movement in America. Merv Griffin had over 5000 guests appear on his show from 1963-1986. Footage from the Merv Griffin Show is available for licensing to all forms of media through Reelin' In The Years Productions. www.reelinintheyears.com.

Merv Griffin was one of my all time favorites.

Do you live in "healthy poverty" as defined by founder of John Birch society?

Healthy Poverty -- the Radical Right's Fantasy

The words of Claire Conner on her Facebook page in January 2014.

"A lot of folks tell me that the John Birch Society is irrelevant: their ideas are dead and they have no real influence today."

But, here are the facts, folks. The radical right (which is running the House of Representatives) has embraced so many John Birch policies that I can hardly keep count. Slashing food stamps and gutting unemployment compensation--harken back to the views of Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society.

..... Listen to Welch's description of the first decade of the 1900s. "The spirit of growth, of adventure, and of opportunity permeated the very atmosphere which everybody breathed."

"There was still plenty of poverty in many areas, of course. But it was a HEALTHY KIND OF POVERTY, where every man took for granted that relief from dire want was entirely his own problem and responsibility. . .. And even the poverty was thus offset by the enormous blessing of freedom." (John Birch Society Bulletin, July 1976).

This same Welch called Social Security "a gigantic embezzlement."
He also opined, in 1964, about the necessities of life. Listen to this: "While food, shelter and clothing are necessities for an individual in a civilized community, the guarantee that he will always have them is not."

If you've been paying attention to drumbeat against food stamps and unemployment, you're hearing Robert Welch in a new suit. He's Paul Ryan, Steve Stockman, Tim Heulskamp, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell.

More at at the link.

Claire Conner said in her book she did not believe her mother when she said the Birchers would be ready when the liberals failed.

Claire Conner on how to recognize John Birchers today. Great video.

From her book Wrapped in the Flag.

The lurch to the right in 2010 is the unholy coalition of Tea Party, libertarian, big business, the gun lobby, the religious right and the newly reborn John Birch Society. It took 50 years, but these folks are back and they are strong.

More about Claire, in case you missed her powerful book. From her website:

Claire Conner

For 32 years, my father was a national leader in the John Birch Society.
At age 13, I became a foot soldier in its anti-Communist, anti-federal government army.
I discovered the radical right’s plan for America, a plan I could not support.
Wrapped in the Flag is my story.

I highly recommend the book. You will find yourself fascinated about how many politicians you recognize.

Adam Putnam, other top Republicans call for Gov. Scott, FDLE resignation probe. Video.

Thanks to BayNews9 for covering this.

I can not understand how Floridians re-elected him. It boggles my mind.
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