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yurbud

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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 38,223

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Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldnt be setting America's public school agenda

This is an LA Times editorial.

Can the Democrats finally admit that letting billionaires dictate education policy ends up wasting taxpayer dollars and harms our kids?

Can't the Democratic Party pick at least a few areas like education for one, where donors don't pay set policy and the rest of suffer the consequences of their whims?

If they did so, they might win back the full enthusiastic support of teachers and parents of school age kids.

Then the foundation set its sights on improving teaching, specifically through evaluating and rewarding good teaching. But it was not always successful. In 2009, it pledged a gift of up to $100 million to the Hillsborough County, Fla., schools to fund bonuses for high-performing teachers, to revamp teacher evaluations and to fire the lowest-performing 5%. In return, the school district promised to match the funds. But, according to reports in the Tampa Bay Times, the Gates Foundation changed its mind about the value of bonuses and stopped short of giving the last $20 million; costs ballooned beyond expectations, the schools were left with too big a tab and the least-experienced teachers still ended up at low-income schools. The program, evaluation system and all, was dumped.

***

The Gates Foundation strongly supported the proposed Common Core curriculum standards, helping to bankroll not just their development, but the political effort to have them quickly adopted and implemented by states. Here, Desmond-Hellmann wrote in her May letter, the foundation also stumbled. The too-quick introduction of Common Core, and attempts in many states to hold schools and teachers immediately accountable for a very different form of teaching, led to a public backlash.

***

But the Gates Foundation has spent so much money — more than $3 billion since 1999 — that it took on an unhealthy amount of power in the setting of education policy. Former foundation staff members ended up in high positions in the U.S. Department of Education — and, in the case of John Deasy, at the head of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The foundation’s teacher-evaluation push led to an overemphasis on counting student test scores as a major portion of teachers’ performance ratings — even though Gates himself eventually warned against moving too hastily or carelessly in that direction. Now several of the states that quickly embraced that method of evaluating teachers are backing away from it.

Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’t be allowing them to set the policy agenda for the nation’s public schools. The Gates experience teaches once again that educational silver bullets are in short supply and that some educational trends live only a little longer than mayflies.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gates-education-20160601-snap-story.html

TOON: health care plans



Via DailyKos

Poll: Mass Media Has Duped Democrats Into Believing Russia Hacked Voting Machines

59% of Democrats believe Russia hacked vote totals in the US to give the election to Donald Trump though no credible evidence of that has been given.

Much like the 70% of Americans who believed Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11 even though Bush and most of the media were careful to never say this directly.

When Democrats say "Russia hacked our election" and low info voters don't dig into it, it sure sounds like they mean Russia hacked the vote doesn't it?

Is Trump financially compromised by his financial ties to the Russian mob and maybe even Russian government? Very likely.

Did Russia hacked some or all of the Democratic emails? Maybe (I'm willing to believe once intel agencies show their evidence).

Did Trump ASK Russia to hack emails? Definitely.

Should that be enough to get him impeached? Definitely.

So why mislead people?

What is the end game here?

Russia gave up communism decades ago. Whatever their sins, we've got allies who have done and are even doing the same or worse.

Who is demanding escalating tensions with Russia to the brink of war and probably farther?

How the hell will average Americans benefit from that?

And if that doesn't bother you, how do Democrats expect to win elections based on brinksmanship with a nuclear armed power when Hillary lost to Obama in 2008 because he was perceived as the more anti-war candidate?




...These corporate media outlets fell all over themselves last week in a mad scramble to make sure that everyone in America felt dirty and ashamed if they took any interest in the Seth Rich case, but they have expended exactly zero energy correcting an outrageous, xenophobia-inducing fact-free conspiracy theory that they themselves helped promulgate, and which is far more widespread than interest in the Seth Rich case has ever been. This proves beyond a doubt that the false belief that Russia literally hacked America’s voting system has been intentionally inflicted upon the public by the mass media propaganda machine.

In late 2003, half a year after US and coalition forces invaded Iraq, a poll by USA Today found that 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. They didn’t believe this because the mass media was directly saying “Saddam did 9/11”; they would have lost the public’s trust if they’d directly promulgated such an outrageous falsehood. The public subscribed to this false belief because corporate media reporters consistently mentioned the September 11 terrorist attacks in the same breath as they mentioned the falsified intelligence reports stating that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction and intended to facilitate their use on American soil. This misperception successfully manufactured public support for a regime change invasion that claimed the lives of a million innocent Iraqis.

In exactly the same way, reports and headlines marrying the words “election” and “hacking” have deliberately created this misperception among liberal Americans. Establishment politicians have been using their mass media-aided platforms to advance this false narrative as well, with corporate Democrats like Cory Booker openly claiming that Russia directly undermined the ability of Americans to express their opinions at the polls, as in this Facebook video which received over a million views...

In order to escalate tensions with a nuclear superpower for nothing but geopolitical power that benefits no one other than a few plutocrats, America’s power establishment needs to manufacture the consent of the governed. Without that consent, they’d be dealing with 320 million angry, heavily-armed Americans who’ve got a problem with the way their government is risking their lives by playing nuclear brinkmanship with NATO troop amassment long the Russian border and a needless military presence in Syria.

Without the mass media propaganda machine, it would never in a million years occur to any American that any of this is normal. It would never occur to normal Americans that they should worry about some icy potato patch on the other side of the planet unless the media was constantly telling them it’s attacking their democracy. It would never occur to normal Americans that their government should be involving itself in the affairs of other nations while they themselves face growing poverty and go without healthcare. The insane behaviors of the US oligarchs would never be consented to without the constant assurance of the oligarch-owned media conglomerates that this is all a perfectly normal and healthy way to go about life.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/poll-mass-media-has-duped-democrats-into-believing-russia-hacked-voting-machines-e0cd0e7e9d17

Whenever GOP brings up tax cut for the rich, ask what rich have to give up at current rate or...

how past generations of the wealthy managed to survive and even thrive when the rate was much higher.

Paging Rahm: House Dems revive 2006 playbook for 2018

Didn't Chuck Schumer say something about going after moderates in the suburbs before the 2016 election?

Also, wasn't 2006 the first election cycle with Howard Dean as party chair?

I do like the rubber stamp bit.

Do people here think Rahm is the direction Democrats need to go?

“The future, in a presidential election, a statewide election, or a congressional, is in the suburbs, where more moderate voters exist,” Emanuel said in last week’s episode of Politico’s Off Message podcast. “I purposely recruited candidates who reflected the temperament, tenor and culture of their district. I didn’t try to elect somebody that fit my image. I tried to help elect somebody that fit the image and the profile of the district.”

Leading the DCCC that year, Emanuel put an early focus on raising money, decrying the fact that Republicans consistently outraised House Democrats. Emanuel that cycle emphasized recruiting centrists — who may have broken with Democratic Party orthodoxy on abortion — in conservative districts where his party usually wasn’t competitive.

And when it came time to hammer incumbent GOP members of Congress, Emanuel directed his committee to focus on Republicans’ ethical problems and their close ties to Bush. One tactic was to name Republicans the “rubber stamp of the week,” a move yoking them to their unpopular president. That’s now being emulated by Organizing for Action — the political group spawned by Barack Obama’s campaigns — as it targets Republican lawmakers as “rubber-stamp reps” for their votes in line with Trump’s positions.

Emanuel has been in touch regularly with Democratic leaders in Washington, holding frequent strategy phone calls with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/22/democrats-midterm-elections-238659

U.S. senators seek LIFETIME BAN on ex-Congress members lobbying

The only negative I see to this bill is we might have trouble finding ONE candidate in either party to run for each seat if it's enacted.

Maybe Trump would even sign because he wouldn't understand what it's about, "Why would someone want to take a job working as a lobbyist for companies they already own?"

A bipartisan bill introduced on Thursday would prohibit members of the U.S. Congress from ever working as lobbyists after they leave the Senate or House of Representatives.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner with Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Al Franken in introducing the Senate legislation to stop the lucrative "revolving door" practice that has drawn the ire of watchdog groups for decades.

"By banning members of Congress from lobbying when they leave Capitol Hill, we can begin to restore confidence in our national politics," Gardner said in a statement.

***

The Center for Responsive Politics has noted that former members often score large-salaried lobbying jobs, sometimes of $1 million or more.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-lobbying-idUSKCN18E33Q

What do Republicans gain by keeping Trump in power rather than Pence?

They clearly aren't going to pick up any swing votes with him in office and will be get their clocks cleaned in 2018 midterms.

If they replaced him with Pence, he would rubberstamp most if not all of the same things Trump would, it would take most of the steam out of the calls for special prosecutors and other investigations, and Pence is boring enough that it could deflate a lot of protests.

Are they just afraid of his hardcore base of low information voters? Are there some big fish donors that insist on keeping him? Is it that he is so damn stupid, they can get him to do reckless things and not realize how he could end up paying for it himself?

What is their calculus that makes keeping Trump look like a good idea?

Al Gore could unite business & progressive Democrats in 2020.

I just watched the trailer for the sequel to AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

Al Gore was part of the DLC team, but has progressive credibility because of his work on climate change.

Bernie or someone like him could win, but the business wing of the party would fight tooth and nail to keep them from reaching the nomination.

Hillary would have the unqualified support of the business wing, but her ties to Wall Street and the neocons and their cruel, destructive foreign policy would mean progressives might vote for her, but not have an infectious enthusiasm that gets people to the polls who otherwise wouldn't go.

Al Gore is the only candidate with credibility in both wings of the party.

Of course whether someone like him or further left gets the nomination depends of the Democratic Party leadership realizing they ain't going to win over the Republican base, or to the extent that they do, it won't be by aping Republican policies.

After Trump, the only way GOP could win presidency is if Democrats screw up

I suspected they were trying a variation of the Schwarzenegger grift they pulled on California, to get low information voters to polls to vote for a celebrity.

After Arnold, Republican candidate Meg Whitman won about as many votes as you would expect the GOP to against Jerry Brown.

The celebrity gimmick seems like something that should only work once, or maybe once a generation.

If the Republicans go back to their usual sort of extremists, the can't get close enough to winning for voter suppression and vote rigging to credible even if it could put them over the line.

How could they hope to win after this, at least at the presidential level?
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