Daily Archives: February 2, 2018

What IS glaringly obvious…

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com. Sources are referenced in original posting.

After I became an Arizona school board member and public education advocate, I was routinely asked, “doesn’t the Legislature understand what they are doing to our public schools?” I would respond with, “of course they do, it is all part of their plan.” That was five years ago and although we are still fighting the same battles, some things have changed.

Today, many more people understand that the privatization of America’s system of public education is actually the end game. The public is more “woke” than ever to the privatizers’ pursuit of profit and power via the $500B+ K-12 education market in the United States. Of course, the privatizers don’t refer to it that way. Rather, as reported in the Washington Post, they couch their war on public education as a benign attempt to improve the system. As Stacy Hock, a major Koch donor and co-founder of Texans for Educational Opportunity, said, “The lowest hanging fruit for policy change in the United States today is K-12, I think this is the area that is most glaringly obvious.” Continue reading

Arizona’s insane dentist charges FBI with ‘treason’ (Updated)

Now that Arizona’s most embarrassing member of Congress, Rep. Trent Franks, has resigned in disgrace after soliciting his female staff members to be his sex surrogate (Eeew!), we have a new challenger for the title of Arizona’s most embarrassing member of Congress: Arizona’s insane dentist, Rep. Paul Gosar.

If you follow Rep. Gosar’s Twitter feed — and if you do, I have to ask “what in God’s name compels you to do this?” — you will have noticed that the insane dentist has been completely off the rails of late. Paul Gosar calls for ‘dreamers’ to be arrested, deported at State of the Union speech.

But with the release of the Nunes Memo today, the insane dentist really has topped his insane Twitter rants.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 3.36.45 PM

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Senator John McCain’s response to GOP attacks on the FBI and DOJ

Arizona’s Senator John McCain responded to the release of the controversial Nunes Memo in a statement. STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON PARTISAN ATTACKS ON THE FBI & DOJ:

U. S. Senator John McCain

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on partisan attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice:

“In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy. Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro, and beyond. Putin’s regime launched cyberattacks and spread disinformation with the goal of sowing chaos and weakening faith in our institutions. And while we have no evidence that these efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another.

“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

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House Intelligence Committee releases controversial Nunes Memo – and an analysis that destroys it

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes never reviewed the supporting classified intelligence in the FISA Court warrant for Carter Page — a Russian agent the Trump White House has gone to great lengths to distance from the Trump campaign to the point of  erasing him from memory — from which Nunes and his staff members, and several other GOP members of his committee, have concocted the “Nunes Memo” asserting the FBI violated Carter Page’s civil liberties allegedly motivated by partisan bias against the Trump campaign. The New York Times reports:

Mr. Nunes has not read the warrant from which the memo is said to be drawn. The Justice Department considers such warrants extremely sensitive and allowed only one Democrat and one Republican from the committee, plus staff, to view it. Rather than do so himself, Mr. Nunes designated Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to be the Republican reader.

Ranking minority member Adam Schiff of California was the Democratic reader.

President Trump was only vaguely aware of the Nunes Memo until two GOP House Freedom Caucus members brought it to his attention in a Jan. 18 phone call. ‘Never any hesitation’: Trump was quickly persuaded to support memo’s release:

Over the next two weeks, according to interviews with eight senior administration officials and other advisers to the president, he tuned in to [FAUX News aka Trump TV] segments about the memo. He talked to friends and advisers about it. And, before he had even read it, Trump became absolutely convinced of one thing: The memo needed to come out.

Sean Hannity has been flogging this FBI conspiracy theory on his program every night for weeks now, and Donald Trump takes his cues from FAUX & Friends and Sean Hannity.

Sean Hannity denied a Daily Beast report that he personally advised President Trump regarding the Nunes Memo, but this is really beside the point: Trump watches FAUX News and does as he is told (just follow his tweets).

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January jobs report holds steady, but trouble is on the horizon

The first jobs report of 2018 looks an awful lot like the jobs reports from the last several years. Steve Benen has the January jobs report, Job growth stays on course as 2018 gets underway:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 200,000 jobs in January, up a bit from December’s totals. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which is very low.

January Jobs

Perhaps the most notable development in the report was the increase in hourly wage growth. Expect a spirited debate over the possible explanations for this, including the inevitable result of low unemployment, the Republican tax cuts, and the minimum-wage hikes that recently kicked in across much of the country.

Also note, once a year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes revised month-to-month job data for the previous year, and that’s reflected in today’s report. We now know that in 2017, the U.S. economy generated 2.17 million jobs – which is a pretty healthy number, though it’s lower than what Americans have seen in recent years.

The economy added 2.3 million in 2013, 2.99 million in 2014, 2.71 million in 2015, and 2.24 million in 2016, making 2017 the worst for job growth since 2012, when the economy added 2.17 million jobs.

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