On Margaret Spellings and the persistence of failed education policies


There is a method to their madness:

During the rising calls for bureaucratic education reform, revamping teacher evaluations and pay, and the Wisconsin teacher protests, former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (2011) weighed in about reauthorizing NCLB: “However, any new law must be a step toward stronger, more precise accountability.” And her audacity here is even bolder than what the new reformers have been perpetuating through film and popular media.

The first thing that everybody needs to understand: These folks aren't just trying to get their grubby hands on all those education dollars. There is a more fundamental (and dangerous) drive than mere greed, and it revolves around absolute power:

Thursday News: Anger management edition

FOUND IN QUAIL HOLLOW MEDIA TENT: GOV. PAT MCCRORY (Charlotte Business Journal) -- If anyone needed North Carolina's governor Wednesday evening, he could be found in the all-but-empty media center at Quail Hollow Club. That’s where I bumped into Pat McCrory after he had completed a pro-am round with 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson and Wells Fargo Championship tournament chair Mac Everett.

Neocons gearing up to torpedo Trump

Pushing for a third-party alternative:

Even if a third candidacy still yielded a Clinton victory, it would be worthwhile. It would, first, deny the Clinton campaign the illusion of a mandate from American voters who would have, en masse, turned out to reject Trump. If nothing else, a strong third-candidate vote would send her a message to govern from the center, rather than in deference to her party’s increasingly powerful left wing.

A new, center-right party may be necessary – we cannot yet tell. If it is, the outlines of its platform are easy to anticipate: reverence for the Constitution; serious grappling with the domestic problems associated with economic opportunity for all, education and affordable health care; and commitment to the internationalist tradition of the post-World War II consensus.

Bolding mine. That's all you really need to know about neocons, past, present and future. They don't care what happens on the homefront, as long as there are hundreds of billions dedicated to expanding the Empire across the globe.

GOP tax madness: Debt forgiven is taxable income?

Squeezing the last few drops of blood out of victims of foreclosure:

The state House will hold a final vote on changes to the state law. Senate Bill 726 would, among other things, continue to "de-couple" North Carolina from the federal tax law on whether to count mortgage debt that is forgiven as income. Current federal law does not tax homeowners on that kind of debt forgiveness. Current North Carolina law does and would continue to under this bill.

Where's AFP on this? JLF & Civitas? Nothing? How about the "Taxed Enough Already" Tea Partiers? The truth is, the hypocrites who claim to be on the side of the taxpayers don't give two shits what happens to a family forced into foreclosure. They were dumb enough to get in trouble, and any consequences are on them. If somebody borrowed $300,000 to purchase a house, made mortgage payments for two years but went upside down, and the bank forgave their debt but took their house, that family is left with nothing to show from that brief venture. No accrued wealth. But Republicans want to tax that family for the $275,000 balance the bank "forgave." Money that doesn't exist. And as for Jeff Collins' navel-gazing attempt to justify this government fraud:

Wednesday News: Telling lies on the radio edition

MCCRORY SAYS COMPANIES TELL HIM SECRETLY THEY BACK HIM ON HB2 (WJHL-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory had a lot to say on the popular John Boy and Billy radio program about what’s transpired since House Bill 2 was passed. Joking around with the comedy hosts that he’s known for 30 years, he opened up more than he has to other outlets. Among other things, McCrory said that businesses have told him they support him and HB2 but they are afraid to say anything publicly about it. Here is a partial transcript of the program, which aired live Tuesday morning.

What did you think the first time you heard about abortion?

Commentary from our friend, Janet Colm, former CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina

Even though I spent more than 30 years working for Planned Parenthood, I was not born supporting the idea that women should be able to make their own intensely personal decision about motherhood. But I think I was born with a strong sense of fairness.

Tell Burr: Give us a positive blue slip or expect a pink slip


The master of "doing nothing."

If North Carolina residents want to know what Timmons-Goodson did that turned her from a distinguished, easily elected jurist to this political pariah, they won’t hear the reason from Burr. Instead, he issued a statement blaming Obama for breaking an agreement about appointments and not consulting with him before making the nomination.

If the framers of the Constitution wanted Senators to make a list of preferred judicial candidates and force the Executive to choose from that list, they would have included it in the powers vested to the Legislative Branch. They didn't, for precisely this very reason. It's a Federal court, not a state court, and the potential conflicts of interest for a state delegate to choose these judges are legion. Do your fricking job, or start looking for another lawn mower retailer.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Don't look now, but the GOP is about to slash the NC DOT workforce:

No doubt in preparation for another big tax cut for the wealthy. And when their Mercedes and Porsches get torn up from potholes, they will blame their local governments.

Tuesday News: Cause & effect version

RUGER PROFIT SURGES 50 PERCENT FROM HIGH DEMAND FOR NEW PRODUCTS (Winston-Salem Journal) -- A surge in demand for firearms, particularly new products, bolstered Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. to a 50 percent surge in first-quarter profit to $23.3 million. The company, which has a major plant in Mayodan, reported Monday a 26.3 percent jump in firearms sales to $171.5 million.

AS STATES EXPAND GUN RIGHTS, THE POLICE JOIN THE OPPOSITION (New York Times) -- Law enforcement officials said that measures passed by conservative legislators could expose officers to greater danger and hinder investigations involving firearms.


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