Like the deregulated railroads and banks, Republicans continue to create cleanup jobs for Democrats. After decades of defunding our state colleges, despite their massive economic contribution to Wisconsin, Republicans forced higher education to increase tuition dramatically. That gave the GOP the opportunity to feign outrage over those greedy liberal indoctrination centers, an excuse to further cut funding and to blame federal loan programs for making it worse. Round and around it goes.
It now requires the Democratic Biden administration to offer a loan forgiveness program to get the economy back on track.
SHAPIRO: How do you respond to the argument we just heard, that this plan effectively asks taxpayers who chose not to take on debt to subsidize the decisions of those who did?
MCHEE: This big new policy is in the larger economic interest of the nation. It is going to be great for our economy to help unshackle 20 million borrowers. And 90% of the money is going to people who earn less than $75,000 a year.
First of all, it was the decision of politicians to create a debt-for-diploma system, where, because of cutbacks at the state level of public colleges and the shift at the federal level from grants to loans, we pushed the cost of college out of reach for working-class families at the exact same time that politicians decided to make a college degree the ticket to the middle class.
SHAPIRO: Explain why that shift in state funding for education is so essential to understanding this debate.
MCHEE: You know, college used to be virtually free at the public level, not because it didn't cost anything, but because the government picked up the tab with state funding that was generous. And whatever was left over would be made up often by a grant, not a loan. And so it was a political decision to cut state funding for public colleges. So young people have been paying for that political decision, and now they get to benefit from a smarter political decision by the Biden-Harris administration.
The best example of political overreach is DeSantis' authoritarian anti-woke policy downsizing public education. It's now bleeding out programs designed to deal with festering problems children are dealing with that need attention.
1. Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and South Carolina push Death Penalty for Women who've had Abortions: Imagine this being the first question asked by reporters in elections. From "personhood" abuse charges, to homicide charges that will "explicitly target medication abortion and self-managed abortion;"
The bills have been introduced in states such as Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Some explicitly target medication abortion and self-managed abortion; some look to remove provisions in the law which previously protected pregnant people from criminalization; and others look to establish the fetus as a person from the point of conception.
“This exposes a fundamental lie of the anti-abortion movement, that they oppose the criminalization of the pregnant person,” said Dana Sussman, the acting executive director of Pregnancy Justice. “They are no longer hiding behind that rhetoric.”
Laws that establish fetal personhood also bring the risk of opening pregnant people up to battery and assault charges for endangering a fetus. Such charges have already been documented in hundreds of cases, using criminal laws championed in recent decades by the anti-abortion movement that recognize fetuses as potential victims.
...one in Arkansas, allow a partner to file an unlawful death lawsuit against a pregnant person who has had an abortion.
“The ways in which pregnant people could become a mere vessel for an entity that has separate and unique rights is becoming closer and closer to reality."
2. Florida NO PLACE for Social-Emotional Learning, that supports Students shaken by COVID aftermath. Also...
In a memo Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz called on districts and charter schools to do a “thorough review” (of) Purpose Prep.
Diaz: “Edgenuity/Imagine Learning’s divisive and discriminatory content branded as ‘social-emotional learning (SEL)’ has no place in Florida’s classrooms." The memo didn’t make clear what language or topics were considered “divisive and discriminatory.”
Social-emotional learning saw a massive spike in interest after the pandemic, as many districts ... looked for tools to support students and families who were shaken by COVID and its aftermath.
3. So much for Election integrity, Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia back out of ERIC: Why? Red states want to remove "the requirements to encourage voter registration." Surprised?
“The only thing I can come up with is they don’t actually want election integrity. They want more chaos.”
Without evidence, critics (and election deniers) accused ERIC of sharing data with liberal groups, and they have claimed that the real purpose of the group is to blindly encourage voter registration, not to maintain registration lists.
4. Tenn Rural community Schools Threatened with Closure, kill Towns, under Charter Plan:
That plan, prepared by one of the most powerful lobbying forces on Tennessee's Capitol Hill, lays out a vision for a dramatic expansion of taxpayer-funded, privately operated charter schools into every part of the state — including suburban and rural areas that have not been targeted by school privatization forces. SCORE is made up of the state's wealthiest people, billionaires and millionaires who think they know what's best for Tennessee's school children, along with funding assistance from billionaire Bill Gates.
J.C. Bowman, executive director of another teachers group, Professional Educators of Tennessee agreed, "Who's the largest employer in most rural communities? It's the school system. Most of the parents will tell you they support their community schools."
Tennessee Education Association's Jim Wrye added, "There is a real cultural pride and academic pride in these places, that somebody saying we'll do it for you is kind of insulting in that way. There's no doubt about it. And school consolidation, when you close the school, you kill the town."
5. Child Labor Returns after Arkansas repeals regulatory Safeguards: Getting around new naturalized immigrant citizens from other countries...
Sanders believes the provision was “burdensome and obsolete,”
Other states are also considering loosening child labor protections. A bill advancing in Iowa would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants and would shield businesses from civil liability if a youth worker is sickened, injured or killed on the job.
6. DeSantis' ban on mandated Vax and Masks actually Killed Floridians: The nice thing for Desantis is that those now lost voices won't impact his campaign. All just part of the plan, and he oddly, despite that record, got a public vote of confidence in his reelection:
Bill Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says DeSantis politicized the public health crisis. His policies, Hanage believes, led to an increase of deaths in Florida from COVID. "If you compare it with California, New York, Massachusetts and the United Kingdom," Hanage says Florida is "the only one to have more deaths since vaccines were available, than before. The only one of them."
In analyzing data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Hanage found that in Florida, 60% of the total deaths occurred after vaccines were available. In the other places, the number of deaths after vaccines became available are 40% of the total or less.
DeSantis dismisses the criticism, saying Florida voters looked at his record on COVID in November and gave him a resounding vote of confidence.
Killing your critics is one way to achieve that confidence.
The most infuriating thing about the "parental rights" exploitation movement in school districts around the nation is the profound lack of confidence they have in their own children. They don't seem to be ready for anything.
As a family and having helped our 20 something sons make their way through the last 18 years of school, what I'm hearing from the MAGA mob is not even close to what we experienced. Our family discussions and debates about social, historical, and political issues have given our guys a platform to bank their ideas off our own life experiences. Isn't that what the American family is all about?
That's why I'm giving the video below its own post. The MAGA politicians' treatment of smart civically minded kids just trying to participate and make a difference is disgusting.
If this doesn't piss you off...
Several students from the Little Rock School District came to speak against the bill. Every speaker was made to stop talking by the committee chair, Republican Sen. Jane English, who said their comments were not specific enough to the amendment.
Little Rock School Board member Ali Noland gave the final public comment:
“The way that you all are treating these students who have shown up to participate in the legislative process by pointing out things that are not in the amendment but should be, which is speaking on the amendment, is so disappointing,” she said, “Believe me, you are giving them much more of a platform than if you had just listened to their criticism of the amendment.”
Imagine if we didn't have Gov. Evers...we'd be here.
1. John Oliver derails the DeSantis fascist train to authoritarianism, verbally of course. Must see...
The Don’t Say LGBTQ policies are part of a coordinated campaign by the DeSantis Administration. They are the epitome of the administration’s effort to wage culture wars against academic freedom, parental rights, and diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of a broader strategy to challenge the Governor’s former mentor Donald Trump for a presidential nomination. The Desantis Administration’s obsession with far-right Presidential primary voters are why we have seen one of the country’s largest state university systems subjected to a McCarthy-era witch hunt for equity and diversity programs and provision of transgender healthcare, sweeping censorship of books by Black and LGBTQ authors, doctors’ careers threatened for providing transgender Floridians life-saving healthcare, and even a complete far right take over of the New College of Florida. Florida stands in the midst of an unprecedented campaign of censorship and surveillance, targeting anyone who doesn’t share the increasingly extremist ideology of Governor Ron DeSantis.
2. Alaska State Rep. Eastman accidently discloses MAGAs cruel use of Children for Political Control: Like they really care.
State Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) faced criticism from ... the House Judiciary Committee, which featured a presentation from experts on adverse childhood experiences. In response to a statistic that listed the lifetime cost of fatal child abuse at $1.5 million per victim, Eastman referred to a counterargument that the death of abused children is “actually a benefit to society.”
“It can be argued, periodically, that [fatal child abuse is] actually a cost savings because that child is not going to need any of those government services that they might otherwise be entitled to receive and need based on growing up in this type of environment,” he said.
After his crazy comment featured below, another Representative came up with this doozy as a defense...:
"One of the arguments for abortion has been that it’s better to terminate that child’s life before they become a burden to society.”
Trustees backed by the Kootenai County GOP took over the governing majority of North Idaho College and denounced alleged liberal "indoctrination" by the faculty and vowed to root out "deep state" corruption in the school administration, but their leadership resulted in lawsuits from two of the past five school presidents and Moody's downgraded their debt over “significant governance and management dysfunction," reported the New York Times. GOP activists set their sights on the college after its diversity council issued a statement of support for social justice demonstrations after the police killing of George Floyd.
Former college president Rick MacLennan said the school was a warning to other institutions facing partisan attacks and hostile takeovers by Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republican leaders.
NO KIDDING: DeSantis takes over State Education: H.B. 999 is “laden with unconstitutional provisions hostile to freedom of expression and academic freedom.”
4. DeSantis will Control Disney Content? He even bragged about this when he campaigned in California, where the original Disneyland is located. Jonathan Chait wrote:
Last fall, I attended the National Conservatism Conference, where the attendees laid out rather plainly their ambition to turn DeSantis into a model for a ruthless, illiberal party that would use the organs of the state to crush its enemies. Since those pieces appeared, DeSantis’s actions have made me more, not less, concerned.
“When you lose your way, you’ve got to have people that are going to tell you the truth,” DeSantis proclaimed. “But I think all of these board members very much would like to see the type of entertainment that all families can appreciate.”
It is worth pausing a moment to grasp the full breadth of what is going on here. First, DeSantis established the principle that he can and will use the power of the state to punish private firms that exercise their First Amendment right to criticize his positions. Now he is promising to continue exerting state power to pressure the firm to produce content that comports with his own ideological agenda.
It published new guidelines in 2021 saying Alaska’s LGBTQ protections now extended beyond the workplace to housing, government practices, finance and “public accommodation.” It updated the website ... a “sea change under Alaska law for LGBTQ+ individuals’ rights to be free from discrimination.”
But a year later, the commission quietly reversed that position. It deleted language from the state website promising equal protections for transgender and gay Alaskans against most categories of discrimination, and it began refusing to investigate complaints. Only employment-related complaints would now be accepted, and investigators dropped any non-employment LGBTQ civil rights cases they had been working on.
6. And because I think it needs to be said and repeated often:
7. Anyone hurt by Drag Shows? Drag Shows; normal, sometime outrageous, so what's the harm? As I've stated many times, I always go back to the original intent of Republican bills, because it exposes what they're thinking:
Republican lawmakers are intensifying their ongoing, all-out assault on trans existence. More than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were either passed or introduced in 2022, the majority taking aim at trans youth through health care bans, sports team restrictions, and bathroom bills, and removing Medicaid coverage for trans adults’ health care too. Meanwhile, drag performances, particularly family-friendly drag brunches and drag queen story hours at libraries, have become a focal point of histrionic Republican rhetoric and far-right militia attacks. With obsessive ferocity, the right is attempting to criminalize, harass, and legislate gender nonconformity out of existence. A bill moving at pace through the Arkansas legislature, for example, would constitute a ban on all trans adults using bathrooms in public.
8. Drag Show Legislative Circus: The best argument yet...
Gov. Ron DeSantis' fascist movement is enough to depress anyone, especially when you realize there is no press coverage listing the legal challenges, wins, stays, and court actions giving us some thin shred of hope.
DeSantis' agenda is blatantly racist and overtly bigoted, as it is authoritarian. Think about it, he's banning freedoms we already have with DeSantis' newly defined "real" freedoms. And MAGAs have already been told that liberals are the real fascists, so you can't argue that, says my MAGA friend in Milwaukee.
Myth of Liberal Indoctrination: So, if there is a nationwide super majority of MAGAs, and Trump is really still president, wouldn't that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that "liberal indoctrination" isn't real?
For the Kids: And then there's the grotesque political use of "children" to justify their authoritarian agenda. They pathetically use "protecting our children" for everything. Think about it, DeSantis has banned subjects and books that any kid's cell phone can access with a simple search. And kids at drag show brunches are there because their parents brought them. But sure, punish businesses under the iron fist of big government.
DeSantis' Fascism and replacement Freedoms, let us Count the Ways Nationwide: Ironically, DeSantis has created the new "woke" in Florida. It can't be emphasized enough how fast this is rolling out:
House Bill 991 would also give Florida residents the right to sue others (both in the state or elsewhere in the U.S.) who describe their actions online as transphobic or homophobic, for sums as high as $35,000, and would not allow the truth to be used in defenses against such lawsuits ... a person suing another over being called out for their bigoted words online would only have to suggest that their commentary was reflective of their personal religious or (purportedly) scientific beliefs in order to be successful in their suit. The bill would allow Florida residents to sue anyone, not just other Floridians ... the bill’s author Republican Rep. Alex Andrade defended it, stating “This is not the government shutting down free speech. This is a private cause of action.”
2. DeSantis' Academic Thought and Behavior Control:
All state colleges and universities must remove Women’s & Gender Studies from the list of available majors and minors. No major or minor can exist if it is deemed to be “derivative” from the “belief system” of “Critical Race Theory”
3. DeSantis School Book Ban Clears Shelves:
...but DeSantis asks, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"
4. Terminate Dept of Education: Pretty clear...
5. Banned History = Imbecilic Citizens:
One should keep in mind the ignorance visited upon American students when the historical truth is hidden from them and let history be their guide. In the 1960s, the young white students of the “counter-culture” movement became angry when they learned about the poverty in what author Michael Harrington called, “The Other America.” The students, isolated in the new 1950s “vanilla suburbs” of endless whiteness, became “awoke” to Harrington’s description of poverty on the other side of the proverbial tracks. Coupled with the awokeness resulting from the glaring war in Vietnam and the King-led Civil Rights movement, this awoke generation demanded a relevant education system that would advance their minds.
6. Florida to Legalize Child Kidnapping, for their own good:
um..."Honour a Reichsdeutsche German mother for exceptional merit to the German nation. From 1939 until 1945 in three classes: bronze, silver, and gold, to Reichsdeutsche mothers who exhibited probity, exemplary motherhood, and who conceived and raised at least four or more children in the role of a parent.
8. Ban Internet Medical Information for Women:
9. Death Penalty for Women who got Abortion: And they said they would never write such a law:
The author of this bill, Rep. Rob Harris of Spartanburg (District 36), said "If we call it life and define it as life, then why should anyone, not just mothers, why should anybody be able to take that life? If it’s life it needs to be protected like any other life," said Harris.
10. A Felony for "Divisive Materials" in Schools: Define that...? Hard core porn in schools? Sure...
Sen. Spencer Deery, a Republican representing parts of Tippecanoe County who voted in favor of the bill, said "when I talk to our attorneys who write the law in the legislature, we're talking about hard-core pornography, which would lack literary value to minors. If you don't get that definition, the bill looks frightening."
11. DeSantis and Putin Blogger Registry: Seriously. No, bloggers are not like lobbyist! Nuts:
Bloggers who receive compensation for a given online post about an elected state officer would have to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics ... “the blogger must register with the appropriate office … within 5 days after the first 164 by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer,” reads the bill, introduced by Republican state Sen. Jason Brodeur.
If additional posts about elected state officers were to be posted, the blogger would have to file monthly reports detailing where, when and by whom the post was published, plus the amount of compensation received. Failure to file reports could lead to fines.
12. Gaetz demands Government be on MAGA side, or Defund the Nations Police?
13. Bring Back Lynchings: You heard him...
WATCH: “You know lynching’s a hate crime now, right? How racist are you exactly, Paul?”
Rep. Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta) — who wants to change part of John Lewis Way to “Trump Blvd.” in Nashville — just said he wants to bring “hanging people from trees” back to Tennessee. pic.twitter.com/1NeU2sGRnW
14. "Transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely."
Just to be clear: This is not about perhaps complicated questions of parents and schools, or certain medical treatments for minors. Nor is this “mere” bigotry. This is eliminationism. Will any Republican politician or any prominent conservative in good standing denounce this? https://t.co/fO6wGZXBeJ
15. Red State's push to Remove "Rogue" DA's they disagree with:
Rachel #Maddow on Georgia GOP trying to save Trump, "This is dismantling the way the legal system works so it will no longer work against him....This is Republicans voting to give themselves the power to remove a prosecutor that acts in a way they don't like." pic.twitter.com/y8rZCegSDD
It's time we end the lie judge and Justice races are "nonpartisan?"
The GOP Complaint Scheme, Press Falls for it #1: The last straw for me came when a politically driven "complaint" was filed dialing up phony outrage, specifically designed for use against this Justice's reelection. :
A judicial oversight panel dismissed a complaint filed in 2021 against liberal-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky over comments she made during oral arguments in Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn the results...
Karofsky: “And for you to come forward today and start just using, throwing out allegations of fraud with zero evidence whatsoever. What — What is America?... It is not governance from a king. And what you want, is you want us to overturn this election so that your king can stay in power. And that is so un-American.”
The commission said Karofsky should be more careful about appearing to have chosen a side in legal disputes.
Of course, liberal justices "should be more careful," but...
The GOP Complaint Scheme, Press Falls for it #2: Well, that seemed to work really well. Ready for this?
The state GOP to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission alleging Protasiewicz has violated judicial ethics rules. Conservative opponent Dan Kelly, who has called Protasiewicz an activist who is "a danger to our liberties," has prompted the state GOP to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, alleging Protasiewicz has violated judicial ethics rules.
Nothing "literal" about Federalist doctrine of “originalism”: "Besides, Wisconsin has had a conservative majority for some time, why change," said Jennifer Darow? Justice candidate Darow went further, and openly said she will be submissive to Republicans laws, since they are the gerrymandered "voice of the people." Thank WISN report Matt Smith for follow-up questions:
Darow will protect us from a liberal push that will transform Wisconsin, in not a good way. Did we hear that right?
BREAKING: Dan Kelly not an "activist." Was he completely impartial the last two years working for Republicans? JSonline:
Abortion Ban is now Constitutional, and candidate Dan Kelly says he will follow the Constitution. That's crystal clear:
Dan Kelly on Justice Hagedorn's slightly less predictable MAGA vote, noting a predictable justice is a good justice. Shaping a decision around a predetermined outcome: "We're just a little surprised at how he turned out." "We didn't have anything like a record we could point to...and that became a problem...he didn't mean the same things we mean...!
In that case, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health ServicesAndrea Palm approved the state’s “safer at home” policy, under her department’s statutory authority to “promulgate and enforce rules or issue orders for guarding against the introduction of any communicable disease into the state.” Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature sued to block the order, and the Supreme Court’s four remaining conservatives agreed.
Here’s how Kelly, at Tuesday’s event, described what happened: “The Secretary of Human Services says, ‘You can’t go to work unless I tell you. You can’t take your children to school unless I tell you. You can’t go to church unless I tell you to. You can’t do anything unless I tell you to.’ ” Kelly said Palm “came into her Madison office [and typed up the stay-at-home order]. When she was done, she held that up and said, ‘Behold, my law that I just made up today. Legislators have never seen this. They never voted on it, but I made it.’ ”
Bottom Line, Bans on Wokeness is Government Censorship: Does the 1st Amendment make an exception to allow government censorship of "woke" ideas, or government censorship of ideas that make some people feel uncomfortable? Didn't think so.
The frustrating part of the anti-wokeness movement is the lack of legal challenges mentioned in the media. Can we assume there are any? A legal challenge to what is obviously government censorship of ideas, language, and books seems like it would be a slam dunk win in court, even in a radically activist Supreme Court. Can it be more obvious...
So even if there are current challenges to government censorship in schools, even if we're not hearing about them, I've got a sure-fire way to win this case and get the word out:
Democratic districts should propose banning conservative "wokeness," schools that push right wing indoctrination that whitewashes history, teaches white Western European culture, attacks students based on race, sex and preferred pronouns, orders schools to report these students to their parents, etc.
It's a two-way street folks, and the Supreme Court would be forced to show their true colors, would they dare support one but not the other? Nope.
The right-wing media machine would hit critical mass immediately, spreading the "debate" like wild fire across all media outlets. If government can ban supposed "woke" liberal ideas, it could certainly ban "woke" conservative ideas.
Still, like snowball rolling down hill, the Government Overreach Party (GOP) are getting more insane...
...and this. According to many parents, these students just aren't ready for this:
Students told WBMA-TV they were ordered to leave out major historical moments, including slavery and the civil rights movement, from the program scheduled for Feb. 22 at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa.
The students were told they “couldn’t talk about slavery and civil rights because one of our administrators felt uncomfortable,” said Black History Month Program board member J’Niyah Suttles, a senior who participated in Wednesday's walkout. Tuscaloosa County Superintendent Dr. Keri Johnson, in a statement, denied allegations that an administrator told the students to leave out historical elements.
The last few days were exhausting perusing Twitter. Was it possible our world was devolving into...Bizarro World, or perhaps...
Bizarro MAGA Social Engineering: The frightening thing? MAGAs culture war has infect everything. If Wisconsin didn't have a Democratic governor, Vos Republicans would be doing the same scary nonsense. What started as a don't say gay law has expanded to mean everything and anything:
Of course, MAGAs insist in tweets that this is a liberal lie...
Parents Bill of Rights? Sounds great huh? My own interaction with my son's teachers provided a shocking revelation; the teachers were smarter than me and creative, and my guys were learning important things that I was completely unaware of. So how do parents know what's best, especially when they going by their own very dated experience in school? To this day, my kids are still a wealth of information.
The bottom line is this; MAGAs have very low expectations of their own kid's mental awareness and development, undermining what they're capable of doing.
Ridiculous "Students aren't Ready Yet:" From the Bulwark, Margaret McMullan destroyed the idea that students aren't ready for those frightening "woke" knowledgeable ideas:
I wish the book banners and the anti-CRT folk could read these student essays and see for themselves how young people process, understand, and, often, overcome life’s traumas and injustices.
Here were younger students (7th-12th grade) wrestling with major depression. They were frustrated with the mindlessness of virtual learning. Many had no one to talk to. They wrote about domestic abuse, reconsidering one’s gender, dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, figuring out reasons to live, being deported as a new immigrant, racism, and coming out to their parents. They also wrote about getting COVID and surviving a shooting. These students were grappling with life’s biggest challenges, often involving life or death.
A volunteer mother told me she lived through a historical moment and regretted her actions. That regret changed her, and she volunteered to host me and other authors to visit schools to teach students about civil rights. This woman’s shame and regret is exactly what Republicans want to avoid in classrooms across the nation.
And to the owners of private school and MAGA Republican supporters sending taxpayer dollars to support choice schools, well, heed these words by DeSantis about future STATE control over education if they don't like what you're teaching...:
"If it was a private school, making those choices, that’s fine, I mean, what are you going to do,” DeSantis' said. “But this is paid for by your tax dollars.”
What is CRT now? Does it teach children white skin is not equal to black skin and other things?