Post-Racial America

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Unveils Education Plan: Hike Teacher Pay, Wreck Public Schools

Win ... win?

Fresh off her incomprehensible culture wars rant about the State of the Union Tuesday night, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced a big new policy plan for education Wednesday, featuring a big increase in teachers' starting pay and a full-on voucher program that would radically shift taxpayer dollars from public education to private and charter schools, just like rightwing opponents have wanted for decades. But for the teachers left in the gutted public schools, the pay raise would probably help some.

Here are the basic elements of Sanders's plan to reform/dismantle schools:

  • A universal school voucher plan, phased in over three years, that would give parents public funds to use at private schools, charters, or even for homeschooling.
  • Repeal of a "Teacher Fair Dismissal Act" that offered very minimal job protections to teachers
  • Restrictions on how schools will be allowed to discuss race and gender
  • $50,000 minimum pay for teachers
  • Up to $10,000 in merit pay
  • Forgiveness of student loans for teachers who take jobs in "high need" areas
  • "Streamlined early childhood education programs," which we can't find any details on. Aerodynamic toddlers?
  • Sending 120 reading coaches to schools that need reading improvement
  • $500 in tutoring grants for K-3 students who don't meet literacy benchmarks
  • "Dual diploma" program in high schools, to encourage students who prefer entering the workforce after high school instead of college

There's actually some good stuff in that plan, as long as you ignore the toxic steaming shitwad at its core. No, we mean the voucher policy, not Sanders.

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2022 midterms

BREAKING: Kari Lake Still Not Governor

She knows it. But she's got a grift to flog, so ... here we are again.

It is almost February of 2023, and yet the 2022 gubernatorial election rages on in Arizona. This weekend, Republican Kari Lake hosted a rally for the faithful at which she took a call from Donald Trump on stage. That should help boost her profile, not to mention her fundraising for an endless stream of legal challenges after a narrow loss to now-Governor Katie Hobbs.

The failed candidate's imaginary government in exile is being propped up by Steve Bannon, who knows a good grift when he sees one. Lake and Pillow Puffer Mike Lindell recently visited the putrefying podcaster to complain that Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel won't meet with her.

“You shouldn’t have to reach out to Ronna McDaniel. You’re the frickin’ governor of Arizona. You just won in an incredibly tough race because you stood for policies that MAGA stands for. She should be blowing your phone up every day,” Bannon blustered.

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Congressional Florida Man Gives Out Dummy Grenades To Fellow Republican Dummies

Okay cool.

Rep. Cory Mills (R-Florida), one of the fun new Trump-endorsed members of Congress who actually won in the midterms, did his best to make a memorable impression on his new colleagues by handing out grenades (the kind fired by a grenade launcher, not the kind you throw) to other members of Congress, along with a note saying that the grenades were products of the Sunshine and Bath Salts State. It was just his way of saying how pleased he was to be on the House Armed Services Committee, you see.

Nothing to fear, kids; the letter noted that the grenades were inert, much like Kevin McCarthy's future. (Haha, we added that.) You know, just in case the GOP elephant logo printed on the grenades didn't make that clear.

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House GOP Would Like To Outlaw Lower Gas Prices When Joe Biden Is President, Please

Because 'national security' of course, yeah sure.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are still plenty pissed off that there was no "red wave" in last fall's midterms, so they're introducing a bill to make sure that future presidents won't be able to help Americans the next time gasoline prices spike. If only gas prices had stayed higher, maybe the election would have brought more MAGA crazies into Congress, darn it!

As Politico explainers, the bill, HR 21, would prohibit releases of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless the government also allows oil and gas companies to increase production on federal land by the same amount as any drawdown. It's basically a neener-neener messaging bill meant to scold Joe Biden for drawing oil from the oil reserves to offset last year's increased prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, because what Biden shoulda done was make industry pump more oil on federal land instead. Like, even if that took a lot longer to bring down prices, which sure would have helped out Republicans, if not consumers.

This dumb thing won't have a chance in the Senate, and President Biden has already announced he plans to veto it. But it does at least give Republicans a chance to whine that the drawdowns from the reserve have hurt national security somehow, even though presidents and even Congress have in the past used the reserves to cool down fuel prices. The oil reserve was established in the '70s following the Arab Oil Embargo, when cars like my mother's 1973 Chevy, Vlad the Impala, suddenly became a terrible idea. You want a threat to national security? That thing can't be driven near Naval Air Stations lest F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots attempt a carrier landing upon its capacious hood.

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