185
   

monitoring Trump and relevant contemporary events

 
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 06:54 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

More on DeVos
Quote:
But you don’t have to be in the educational establishment to be worried about where this is going. The DeVos nomination is a triumph of ideology over evidence that should worry anyone who wants to improve results for children.
http://nyti.ms/2gs0rn0


I'll have to take your word for that, because I don't know. An ideologue is much better qualified to spot ideology than I am.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 07:00 am
Quote:
Eric Chenoweth is co-director of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe.

In assessing Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Americans continue to look away from this election’s most alarming story: the successful effort by a hostile foreign power to manipulate public opinion before the vote.

U.S. intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections. Russian state propaganda gave little doubt that this was done to support President-elect Trump, who repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and excused the Russian president’s foreign aggression and domestic repression. Most significantly, U.S. intelligence agencies have affirmed that the Russian government directed the illegal hacking of private email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and prominent individuals. The emails were then released by WikiLeaks, which has benefited financially from a Russian state propaganda arm, used Russian operatives for security and made clear an intent to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

From the Russian perspective, the success of this operation can hardly be overstated...
http://wapo.st/2grZKKz
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 07:07 am
@blatham,
I'm kinda confused now. The NYT opinion article you cite says:

Quote:
One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools.


But when I go to that study, I quickly see conclusions like this:

Quote:
Compared to the educational gains that charter students would have had in a traditional public school (TPS), the analysis shows that, on average, students in Michigan charter schools make larger learning gains in both reading and mathematics. Thirty-five percent of the charter schools have significantly more positive learning gains than their TPS counterparts in reading, while two percent of charter schools have significantly lower learning gains. In math, forty-two percent of the charter schools studied outperform their TPS peers and six percent perform worse. These findings position Michigan among the highest performing charter school states CREDO has studied to date.

Charter students in the city of Detroit (27% of the state’s charter students), are performing even better than their peers in the rest of the state, on average gaining nearly three months achievement for each year they attend charter schools.


What's up with that?

Maybe I figured it out. It says:

"Charter students in the city of Detroit (27% of the state’s charter students), are performing even better than their peers in the rest of the state, on average gaining nearly three months achievement for each year they attend charter schools."

ONLY 3 months P'ER YEAR? Remember, a year is a long time. That only be a three year gain through high school Saying that the average high school freshman in a charter school performs as well as a graduating senior in a public school aint really sayin nuthin. Obviously, that's just the "same dismal level."

0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 07:30 am
And more on DeVos
Quote:
Civil rights groups say they're “deeply concerned" that the extension of civil rights protections to gay and transgender students by President Barack Obama’s Education Department will be dismantled by Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the department.

They note the DeVos family has a long history of supporting anti-gay causes — including donating hundreds of thousands to groups that push “conversion therapy” — raising questions about how, if at all, she would address discrimination against gay and transgender students.
http://politi.co/2gs4D6o
As I said earlier, this appointment is a sop to the religious right (one of the extreme ends of it). Whether her name was pushed by Jim DeMint or someone else, it is another manifestation of movement conservatives frightening level of power in DC now. None of us has any reason to believe that Trump cares a whit about education as he's displayed no interest in it (or in the children and adolescents in the system). The motivation here is consolidation of his power through appeasing the modern hierarchy of power/influence in the party/movement.

What we don't know yet is how far into serious nuttiness all this could go. He's already planning to gut the branch of NASA which monitors climate change (along with many other valuable tasks). The religious right in the US, that portion which includes DeVos, includes a very robust representation with those who deem Darwin's work fraudulent, even inspired by Satan. Not all are "Young Earth Creationists" but many are. Given such a worldview, why would this crowd deem archaeological research other than a waste of money and another source of secular propaganda? Why would they deem scientific investigations of deep space and the big bang anything but another attempt to attack God? As most of us understand, "Intelligent Design" is an initiative by the Creationist community to rebrand their ideas and to promote them as scientific rather than theological. Here's a quote from Betsy's husband:
Quote:
“I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory,” DeVos told the Associated Press this week during an interview on education. “That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not less.”…

DeVos told the AP this week that allowing school districts to include intelligent design in science classes lets them to “expose students to a multitude of ideas, … to think through the challenges, to learn to discern between multiple theories.”
http://bit.ly/2gsedpE
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 07:47 am
More on the above
Quote:
“From our earliest interactions, he had a very impressive command focus on communicating with and winning the support of evangelical leaders and voters,” said Ralph Reed, the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, who called Trump a “friend” and a “man of his word.

Pointing to exit poll data, he continued, “They were indispensable to the Trump coalition. While there are other very important members of the Trump coalition, there’s no question that the foundation is evangelicals and other voters of faith.”
http://politi.co/2gseJUw
How many women might we guess Trump has gotten pregnant and then helped out with facilitation of an abortion? These people on the christian right like DeVos or Reed have previously pointed to people exactly like Trump as irrefutable evidence of the decline of America's morals and as proof that christian values were on the edge of being crushed. But now he's a good guy because he is facilitating their political/ideological domination of American citizens and institutions.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 08:06 am
And as Trump preens like a conqueror in front of the lights, cameras and cheering crowds, and as he turns over the governance of America to those of a seriously authoritarian mind because the work of governance is not his thing, and as he forwards those who do believe whites and Anglo-Saxon culture are not merely superior to others but are tasked by God with ensuring white dominance over others, and when he's not trying to bully and insult any reporting on him that is critical or insufficiently adulatory, Trump goes full tilt into kleptocracy. He's going to cash in. This makes him smart, as he's told us.
Quote:
All of it highlights the muddy new world that Trump’s election may usher in — a world in which his stature as the U.S. president, the status of his private ventures across the globe and his relationships with foreign business partners and the leaders of their governments could all become intertwined.

In that world, Trump could personally profit if his election gives a boost to his brand and results in its expansion overseas. His political rise could also enrich his overseas business partners — and, perhaps more significantly, enhance their statuses in their home countries and alter long-standing diplomatic traditions by establishing them as new conduits for public business.
http://wapo.st/2gsfgWV
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 08:23 am
Draining the swamp, item 421

Quote:
During the campaign, he pledged to withdraw the United States from the agreement if he was elected. On Tuesday, he claimed to “have an open mind to it” and to be “looking at it very closely.” Really? Why, then, did he appoint Myron Ebell, a global-warming skeptic and longtime apologist for the fossil-fuel industry, to oversee environmental policy on his transition team? Ebell works at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank that has received funding from ExxonMobil and Donors Trust, a conservative group linked to the Koch brothers. He is a big supporter of relaxing regulations on oil drilling, including fracking, and he has called the Obama Administration’s move to place strict emissions limits on coal-fired power stations—a key part of the Administration’s effort to fulfill America’s obligations under the Paris treaty—a “disgrace.”
If you are going to drain that repugnant DC swamp, then you want to go after Planned Parenthood and university professors and the gays with their agenda. You want to kick those bums out because of the horrible influence they've had and because of the level of power in DC they've always demonstrated to anyone with eyes.

And you want to replace them with people and entities who have too long been marginalized from power and influence. Like Exxon-Mobile. That's how you drain the swamp.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 08:37 am
Here's a really informative piece on the fake news machinations:
Quote:
Coler's company, Disinfomedia, owns many faux news sites — he won't say how many. But he says his is one of the biggest fake-news businesses out there, which makes him a sort of godfather of the industry.

At any given time, Coler says, he has between 20 and 25 writers. And it was one of them who wrote the story in the Denver Guardian that an FBI agent who leaked Clinton emails was killed. Coler says that over 10 days the site got 1.6 million views. He says stories like this work because they fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories.

"The people wanted to hear this," he says. "So all it took was to write that story. Everything about it was fictional: the town, the people, the sheriff, the FBI guy. And then ... our social media guys kind of go out and do a little dropping it throughout Trump groups and Trump forums and boy it spread like wildfire."

And as the stories spread, Coler makes money from the ads on his websites...
http://n.pr/2gselWh

Guys like this are propaganda entrepreneurs. They might not have a clear political agenda, they are (his disclaimer notwithstanding) but seem rather just out to make lots of money. Of course, what they are doing and saying augments political propaganda going on in the culture, thus adding to the consequence of citizens being made stupider and angrier and more cynical.

And one could credibly make the argument that Trump himself is closer to such propaganda entrepreneurs than to the ideological species.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 08:57 am
Quote:
Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 7m7 minutes ago
Trump Nat Sec appointee says Hillary used secret helicopters to spy on her house >> http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/hillz-helicopters-spied-on-me … via @TPM

Oh come on. She strangled Vince Foster with her bare hands and then maybe ate his face like some reports have suggested. Helicopter spying on a political opponent, that's a certainty.

And here's a bit more on our girl:
Quote:
on FoxNews.com in Sept. 2013: “The world knows that Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize. It turns out that leading from behind left a big opening up front. Putin stepped right in. And Obama still hasn’t figured it out.” http://bloom.bg/2g35Xfr ... Her op-ed http://fxn.ws/2fki9cd

But then there's this
Quote:
K.T. McFarland on FoxNews.com, Nov. 4: “Russia has restarted the Cold War and is pushing up against us and our allies in Northern Europe, Central Europe and the Middle East.” http://fxn.ws/2fA1S1k


0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 09:00 am
@blatham,
Hmm, according to your link, there:

Quote:
Coler, a registered Democrat, says...."I've always enjoyed the ideas of propaganda and misinformation." Coler makes money from the ads on his websites. He wouldn't give exact figures, but he says stories about other fake-news proprietors making between $10,000 and $30,000 a month apply to him.


A propaganda-lovin lefty getting rich off of a scam!? Like, whooda thunk, I ask ya?

No harm done, though, I guess:


Quote:
Coler says he has no regrets about his fake news empire. He doesn't think fake news swayed the election.

"There are many factors as to why Trump won that don't involve fake news," he says. "As much as I like Hillary, she was a poor candidate. She brought in a lot of baggage."


0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 09:38 am
On privatization of schools and, therefore, on DeVos. From Dianne Ravitch at NYRB
Quote:
Privatization means that a public service is taken over by a for-profit business, whose highest goal is profit. Investors expect a profit when a business moves into a new venture. The new corporation operating the hospital or the prison or the fire department cuts costs by every means to increase profits. When possible it eliminates unions, raises prices to consumers (even charging homeowners for putting out fires), cuts workers’ benefits, expands working hours, and lays off veteran employees who earn the most. The consequences can be dangerous to ordinary citizens. Doctors in privatized hospitals may perform unnecessary surgeries to increase revenues or avoid treating patients whose care may be too expensive.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons recently concluded that privatized prisons were not as safe as those run by the bureau itself and were less likely to provide effective programs for education and job training to reduce recidivism. Consequently, the federal government has begun phasing out privately managed prisons, which hold about 15 percent of federal prisoners. That decision was based on an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general, who cited a May 2012 riot at a Mississippi correctional center in which a score of people were injured and a correctional officer was killed. Two hundred and fifty inmates participated in the riot to protest the poor quality of the food and medical care. Since the election, the stock price of for-profit prisons has soared.

There is an ongoing debate about whether the Veterans Administration should privatize health care for military veterans. Republicans have proposed privatizing Social Security and Medicare. President George W. Bush used to point to Chile as a model nation that had successfully privatized Social Security, but The New York Times recently reported that privatization of pensions in Chile was a disaster, leaving many older people impoverished.
http://bit.ly/2gsxOpJ
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 09:50 am
@blatham,
A riot at a prison because prisoners were complaining? Whoever ever heard of such a thing before!? That NEVER happened at a state-run prison, I betcha.

According to this NYT article

Quote:
Recent lauding of a Justice Department move to curtail the use of private prisons — including by The Times — has failed to note both the flaws in the Office of the Inspector General report upon which this decision was predicated, and data laid out in the report that paints a clearly positive picture of private prisons. The inspector general’s office admits in the report that demographic factors play a significant role. Therefore conclusions that are drawn as to relative safety may be severely flawed.

The report indicates that private prisons are better at finding, seizing and recording contraband than their public counterparts. Furthermore, it shows that inmates in private prisons are less likely to use drugs, and less likely to be subject to or involved in sexual misconduct. It also shows that fewer inmate deaths occur in private prisons. Private prisons achieve all this at a cost of over $3,000 less per inmate, per year, according to the report.

The reality is that private companies collaborate with government to meet its most pressing needs in safe, humane, sensible ways that provide value for taxpayers every day.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/opinion/benefits-of-private-prisons.html

Well, whaddaya expect from a radical right wing rag likes the NYT, anyway?

0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 10:18 am
"It also shows that fewer inmate deaths occur in private prisons. Private prisons achieve all this at a cost of over $3,000 less per inmate, per year, according to the report."

Let's say a jury of cheese-eaters refuses to give the death penalty to some serial child-molester/murderer in his 20's and sentences him to life instead. Say his life expectancy is 70. At the rate stated here, we would save $150,000 on this one guy alone if he was sent to a private prison.

But that's irrelevant. The only real question is whether that convict will be as safe and happy as humanly possible for the next 50 years. You can't put a price on human happiness. It wouldn't matter if the extra cost was 150 billion instead of 150 thousand, we can't compromise on MORALITY.

Maybe he would be happier in a state pen where he can get punked and do drugs easier, even if he is more likely to be killed, know what I'm sayin?
reasoning logic
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 10:28 am
@layman,
Quote:
It wouldn't matter if the extra cost was 150 billion instead of 150 thousand, we can't compromise on MORALITY.


Why cant there be MORALITY and we pay little to nothing by making them provide for themselves?
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 10:33 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

Why cant there be MORALITY and we pay little to nothing by making them provide for themselves?


Great idea, RL! Work them pervs 24/7 so they can earn their keep. The constitutional provision prohibiting involuntary servitude doesn't apply to cons, so, no problem there, eh?
reasoning logic
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 10:44 am
@layman,
Quote:
The constitutional provision prohibiting involuntary servitude doesn't apply to cons, so, no problem there, eh?


I was not thinking involuntary servitude but rather, give them more freedom to think for themselves, " you know let them think if they want to sleep outside under a tree or if they may want to build shelter for themselves. Let them decide what they are going to grow for dinner.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 10:50 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:


I was not thinking involuntary servitude but rather, give them more freedom to think for themselves, " you know let them think if they want to sleep outside under a tree or if they may want to build shelter for themselves. Let them decide what they are going to grow for dinner.
Well, that would be good too, but I would prefer to see them chained up in a sweatshop makin Air Jordans, and ****, so I can pay less at Walmart.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 11:12 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

I've opened up this topic to keep track of what's going on post-election.


So far it doesn't seem like the self-appointed Hall Monitor, Blathy, has done much in this thread to "keep track of what's going on post-election." Instead we're just getting subjected to a bunch of stale left wing rhetoric.

What's up with that?
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  0  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 11:12 am
@layman,
Quote:
I would prefer to see them chained up in a sweatshop makin Air Jordans, and ****, so I can pay less at Walmart.


I don't think they would be able to compete with the existing sweatshops makin Air Jordans, and ****, for Walmart.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2016 11:14 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

I don't think they would be able to compete with the existing sweatshops makin Air Jordans, and ****, for Walmart.


Ya don't? I think there could be some savings by choosing free labor over merely cheap labor, especially if you don't have international shipping costs involved.
 

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