10 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-23-20

  1. Loaded with pork, just not for America.

    https://nypost.com/2020/12/22/trump-calls-for-congress-to-amend-stimulus-bill/?utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=SocialFlow

    “President Trump on Tuesday night called for Congress to take back the massive $2.3 trillion stimulus — and increase the check to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

    “It really is a disgrace,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter. “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”

    Trump went on to list the millions of dollars included in the 5,593-page package, including cash for two National Mall museums, $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan and $2.5 million for “internet freedom.”

    Trump said the American people got the “bare minimum” from the bill even though “it was China’s fault.”

    “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” he said.”

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  2. “Steal Attempt Now Official: Iowa Democrat Asks House Democrats to Overturn Election She Lost”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2020/12/22/steal-attempt-now-official-iowa-democrat-asks-fellow-democrats-to-overturn-election-she-lost-n2581975

    “We’ve been all over this story as it’s slowly developed, so here’s the very latest: The rumors are true. Democrat Rita Hart, who lost her Congressional election in Iowa’s Second District, is filing paperwork to have fellow partisans in the House of Representatives “review” and overturn her defeat. Hart lost to Republican Mariennette Miller-Meeks in the initial vote tally, then lost the recount. Miller-Meeks’ victory was formally certified by the state, and the Hart campaign chose not to challenge the outcome through Iowa’s court system. Instead, the defeated candidate was said to be strongly considering appealing to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in order to uproot the voters’ decision and achieve “the result we need.” And that’s exactly what she’s doing:

    Democrat Rita Hart is asking the U.S. House to investigate and overturn the race that Iowa says she lost by six votes, arguing that 22 ballots were wrongly excluded and others weren’t examined during the recount. In a notice of contest released Tuesday, Hart argues that she would have netted 15 votes and defeated Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks had the 22 ballots been tallied in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District…Iowa’s canvassing board certified Miller-Meeks as the winner by a vote margin of 196,964 to 196,958, the closest congressional race since 1984. Her victory would narrow the Democratic House majority, which is currently 222-211 with two races uncalled…The certification followed a recount in which Hart nearly erased the 47-vote lead that Miller-Meeks held after the initial canvass. The lead had earlier flipped back and forth between the candidates after the discovery and correction of two major tabulation errors. Hart announced earlier this month that she would not challenge the outcome in Iowa’s courts, saying state law would have required a contest to be decided within days and did not allow for adequate time to examine thousands of ballots… Republicans have reacted with outrage to Hart’s maneuver, saying she is bypassing a review by Iowa judges while attempting to have her fellow Democrats declare her the winner.

    Based on the rules and the law, Hart lost. She wants to sidestep the proper process, convince Democrats in Congress to count certain votes that she feels were wrongly excluded, and have herself declared the “real” winner — overruling voters and Iowa’s system. It’s a brazen effort to steal an election. If she and her lawyers believed they have a strong case, they could have presented it to impartial arbiters through the state’s judicial system. They deliberately chose to eschew that option, however, relying on the bogus excuse that there wasn’t enough time. The Trump campaign has been filing motions and fighting in court for weeks on end, and another contested House race is caught up in a legal battle that will stretch into 2021. In other words, Team Hart’s explanation is nonsense. Their true motive is plain: They want power, and going through proper channels was seen as less likely to succeed than asking biased partisans to go along with their justifications to uproot a settled election outcome that they don’t like. That’s it. As we noted last week, this scheme is very unpopular among district voters:”

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  3. This is the best the Democrats have?

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/great-actor-warnocks-wife-domestic-dispute

    “U.S. Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock’s wife told a police officer in March that her husband is “a great actor” and “phenomenal at putting on a really good show,” after Warnock denied her allegations that he deliberately ran over her foot.

    The comments could be heard on police body camera footage obtained by Tucker Carlson Tonight. They revolved around a domestic dispute between Warnock and his wife in early March.

    The incident was first reported on by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution right as Warnock was gearing up to run against GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in what has become a high stakes runoff election that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

    In the footage, a police officer can be seen pulling up to Warnock’s house in Atlanta. Warnock tells the officer his wife called the police on him, alleging that he had run over her foot.

    “Did you run over her foot?” the officer asks.

    “I don’t think so,” Warnock says. “I do not think so.”

    Warnock, who is the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, explains that he and his wife, Ouleye Ndoye, are in the process of getting a divorce, and domestic disputes between them have been escalating.

    Warnock tells the officer they had an argument that morning over divorce papers while their two kids were present. He says that his wife prevented him from closing the car door by standing in front it.

    “I don’t want to get into a shoving match with her. So I go back around, get back in the car, and I slowly start to move, like I’m gonna move forward. Then she claims I ran over her foot,” Warnock tells the officer.

    The officer then goes over to Warnock’s wife who is by now outside the house to hear her side of the story. She tells the officer that she had been trying to get Warnock’s signature for a passport so she can take the kids to see her family in West Africa after the death of her grandpa. She says that Warnock refused to talk to her as he was getting in the car.

    “He’s like, ‘Ouleye, close the door. I’m leaving,’” his wife tells the officer while crying. “And I was like, ‘just hear me out. If your mom died, and I had the kids. Wouldn’t you want me to let them go with you to the funeral? And he just starts backing the car up. He wasn’t going fast, I’m not bleeding. But I just can’t believe he’d run me over.”

    Asked whether she thought it was intentional, she says, “Obviously. I was standing here. The door was open and I’m leaning into the car. How can you drive the car when I’m leaning into it?”

    She later tells the officer she wants to file a report.

    “This man’s running for United States Senate, and all he cares about right now is his reputation,” she tells the officer. “I’ve been very quiet about the way that he is for the sake of my kids and his reputation.”

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  4. When Trump and Sanders (and AOC) agree on something, perhaps the rest of the Congress should listen.

    Its interesting to read the blame being cast by both sides on the delay of Covid aid. From what I understand the Democratic House passed a covid relief bill in May and McConnell shelved it like he did 100s of other House bills. 3-4 months later he then proposed his own bill which bore no resemblance to the House bill and which some called an election ploy. Now they’ve agreed to pass some pork. Ironically, some memes I’ve seen elsewhere are calling McConnell a gaslighter to echo AJs comment.

    I thought discussing a candidate or politician’s domestic history was passe. When a party embraces Trump, they really can’t use character issues on the campaign trail.

    The Iowa dispute is over 25 or so votes. The Democratic lost by 5 votes, She claims about 25 votes were improperly disqualified if those were accepted she would win by about 12 votes (some of the disqualified votes were Republican)

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  5. Yesterday Kathleena mentioned the effects of a general pass on students. Its been the general policy for the last 20 years not to fail students in elementary school, instead students would always be placed in the age appropriated grade. If the student was not succeeding, an IEP could be created so they would succeed.

    In general its accepted that holding a student back does not increase academic success for that particular student. In general I would agree but in some particular situations holding a student back would be a good idea. There’s nothing wrong with holding back a child in kindergarten if they are not quite ready for the routines of grade one. Younger more immature boys would be much better of if they started school a year late and discipline problems would lessen.

    Its at the other end of elementary school that a no-retention policy creates problems. Students begin to notice that they can get away with performing minimal work and still pass. Hard working students become frustrated as they attempt to work hard while other students slack off and disrupt a work atmosphere to the class room. By grade eight the academic abilities within the age cohort can stretch three to four grades.

    Personally I think we should extend the “credit” system to grades seven and eight in which students had to pass each course and would require a certain number of “credits” to graduate. This of course would mean we would need to “stream” students (academic, non academic, basic to give the three streams common labels) by grade seven not grade nine. This is how its done in most European countries. In this type of structure, students would be still in an age appropriate class but would also be academically responsible. Currently middle school is more about class management than academics — a third to half the students are quite capable of much higher standards but are essentially waiting to high school when the lower performing students are no longer there bringing down expectations.

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  6. Unfortunately, very true, HRW.

    In my state, at least, but in many others, it would help if we would stop insisting everyone has to take college prep courses, and instead help students find where their interests and skills (intellectual, physical, emotional) match.

    We could then prepare them for a future that meets the needs of everyone without destroying their sense of self. (Cringing as I type that).

    So many people are judged by their college education. So many people bankrupt themselves to get there, going to university without the love and excitement I felt. Why do that? Who benefits from that?

    How do you see education changing (if that’s possible), when this period ends, HRW?

    My relative says the only students putting in any effort are those who were motivated to begin with. Everyone else has checked out. Travesty. He is sorely discouraged over where his life’s work is ending.

    And he and I keep asking each other, “what about the kids? What happens to them?”

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  7. My fear is that online learning will become normalized. Prior to Covid our conservative government proposed to make 4 online credits compulsory out of the 32 needed to graduate from high school. Due to a huge negative reaction, they backed down and made two credits compulsory but a student could opt out if parents and the school guidance counselor agreed online learning was not for them. I think guidance counselors everywhere pre-signed the forms. Documents later released indicated our education minister envisioned the province selling the online courses they developed to other jurisdiction. Look for online to continue — larger class sizes are possible and no overhead costs.

    At the university and college level, online learning has already made inroads pre Covid and will probably increase. Higher education no matter the particular institution has become a diploma and credentials mill. A sad indicator of the quality of first year (freshman) courses is the lecture sizes over 500 fearing a sessional professor and online tutorials led by grad students both of whom are vastly underpaid. The sad fact is a teaching career in public school pays better, has job security and benefits. The result is far better quality instruction in high school than in first year university. A Phd friend of mine used to “teach” online courses in the distance education dept of the university — he had to have a minimum of 25 students but frequently was closer to a hundred and the pay was the same (very low). He quit once it become apparent this was not the way to a tenure track position and when the department insist he pass students (with a C-) since they paid for it.

    I don’t think elementary teaching will change much — people want their kids supervised while learning. There will be a greater expectation that materials and lessons will be posted online —this has already been occurring in the last ten years but Covid will increase the expectation. This is not a bad thing but with school boards changing platforms arbitrary based on cost not on ease of use its frustrating for teachers and students. For example MS Teams was originally designed for corporations and very little has been modified for student use. Thus our board expects 10 year olds to use a platform designed for adults because its cheaper.

    I’ve consistently said the quality of academic work by students today is far better than it was in my day and this continues. However, the disengagement by other students is probably greater and this is in part due to the gutting of tech programs due to cost. I agree we need to stop the emphasis on college prep and encourage other careers.

    In part this demands a societal and economic change, blue collar jobs and retail jobs don’t pay well especially those which don’t require a trade.In North America, the level of income inequality a non-college stream of study and work almost certainly guarantees a lower standard of living. In many European countries where income inequality is far less — having a lifetime career in retail or food industry is not seen as a dead end. In Denmark, working at McDonalds pays about 15-20$ an hour, 6 weeks paid vacation and full benefits. When North America changes its social and economic structures so that a non-college path isn’t a sentence to a life time of poverty, we might see a more balanced approach to school.

    I always advocate streaming in grade 7 but that’s greeted with horror by people on all parts of the political spectrum because they know what this might mean in North America — poverty for life.

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