These off-year elections are brutal!
There's weird shit going down in the Bluegrass State, with a bare knuckles brawl this weekend at the annual Fancy Farm picnic hosted by St. Jerome Catholic Church. Hilarious stand-up comic Mitch McConnell was there, referring to his potential Democratic challenger as "Amy McGaffe," which might have made a bigger splash if he weren't getting drowned out by his own constituents calling him Moscow Mitch.
After that, McConnell fell down and fractured his shoulder at the same time the Rand Paul was having surgery to remove part of his lung damaged when his neighbor attacked him in 2018 for being an asshole who dumped all his yard waste on the property line. And if you don't have something nice to say, you should shut it, so .... we got nothin'.
Republicans in the Idaho legislature have been mad about diversity lately, after the interim president of Boise State University said in a June newsletter that diversity and inclusion were good things, and outlined a few things the university was doing to promote a diverse student body and faculty. A rightwing group, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, angrily denounced the newsletter as a shocking attempt to "pander to leftist ideologues with radical views of 'inclusivity.'"
That was followed by a letter written by state Rep. Barbara Ehardt informing BSU's incoming president Marlene Trompf that the newsletter was "disconcerting" because it didn't "reflect Idaho values." Twenty-seven other Republican House members signed on to Ehardt's letter, which listed a whole bunch of diversity things that are definitely not good for Idaho, because as anyone knows, diversity is actually very divisive and racist!
This drive to create a diversified and inclusive culture becomes divisive and exclusionary because it separates and segregates students.
Ehardt thinks all sort of things are "segregation," and "antithetical to the Idaho way," among them,
• Support for multicultural student events including Pow Wow, Rainbow Graduation, Black Graduation, Project Dream, etc. instead of helping all students;
• Six graduate fellowships for "underrepresented minority students" instead of merit-based awards;
• A gender-based violence community-coordinated response team, instead of letting the police handle the matter;
Hook 'em, Danno.
As a boost to middle- and lower-income families with college-aged kids, and to a lesser degree as a gift to Wonkette readers desperate for a break from the awful news this week, the University of Texas at Austin will begin offering free tuition and fees to all students with family incomes under $65,000 a year. This isn't a mere "proposal," folks, it's a done deal.
Fucking judges making DeVos give SOME defrauded students their money back!
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a big fan of the for-profit college industry, which she has worked tirelessly to protect and whose former executives she's hired, to "help" students. She's been particularly reluctant to approve student loan relief for students defrauded by for-profit schools that went belly-up, and tried to eliminate an Obama administration program to forgive those loans. That didn't go so well, and federal courts keep ruling that her agency actually has to provide debt relief to the students. Yes, even if she doesn't want taxpayers to be "burdened" by helping victims of fraud.
Yesterday, we got a very special glimpse into just what a completely spiteful asshole DeVos is. In a court filing, the Department of Education submitted a copy of a May 4, 2017, document in which DeVos grudgingly signed off on debt relief for some 16,000 students whose applications had already been approved under Obama's Department of Ed, but which hadn't yet been processed by the time Donald Trump took office. Politico education reporter Michael Stratford found this charming detail: To show her disgust at the fraud victims getting help, DeVos signed off on the loan discharges, but added "with extreme displeasure" under her signature.
It was 1966. They took anybody with a pulse and a rich dad. Pulse not absolutely necessary.
Donald Trump is a self-made maybe-billionaire who got rich all on his own, as long as you don't count the hundreds of millions of dollars his father gave him. And yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Trump also had more than a little help getting into the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Oh golly, there goes yet another of Trump's cherished myths about his own greatness -- not that Trump is capable of shame, of course. You know what that means: It must be time to demand Obama's college grades again!
Since when are educators supposed to be all worried about 'facts'?
A Florida high school principal is in hot water for repeatedly telling a parent last year that while his school offers plenty of lessons about the Holocaust, his professional obligation to be "politically neutral" meant he wasn't allowed to come right out and say the Holocaust was an actual historical event, because not everyone believes it was real. Certainly wouldn't want to take a side on basic reality if some people reject it, after all. The principal has since apologized, but the parent is still plenty pissed off for some reason. Seems a pretty silly discussion when all the evidence suggests we've been literally living inside a computer simulation since sometime in 2016.
BUSING. More and more people are talking about it these days.
At the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Donald Trump reminded Americans yet again that their country has been rescued from the tyranny of well-informed elites. During a Saturday presser, the Great Man, who is like, really smart, proved once again he truly is a regular guy. In fact, if he's reelected in 2020, everyone will probably look back at this article you are reading right now and say, That's why! We snotty elitists just can't stop ourselves.
First, Trump muffed a question about Vladimir Putin's suggestion in an interview published during the summit, that Western liberal democracy is "obsolete" and has "outlived its purpose." Except Trump didn't seem to know that term refers to political philosophy, the rights of the individual, and all that nonsense. Instead, he knows "Western" means the west coast of the USA, and "liberalism" is what Nancy Pelosi does, and it's very bad. So when Peter Baker of the New York Times asked about Putin's assertion that "Western-style liberalism is obsolete," Trump was ready to join Putin in condemning those awful liberals in California:
Well, I mean he may feel that way. He's sees what's going on, I guess, if you look at what's happening in Los Angeles, where it's so sad to look, and what's happening in San Francisco and a couple of other cities, which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people. I don't know what they're thinking, but he does see things that are happening in the United States that would probably preclude him from saying how wonderful it is [...]
Peter, I don't know what they're thinking. But when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, when you look at some of the other cities — and not a lot, not a lot — but you don't want it to spread. And at a certain point, I think the federal government maybe has to get involved. We can't let that continue to happen to our cities.
We don't know what the "federal government" might need to do to LA and SF, but at least we're getting the camps ready.
Job training? Sure, to be a COP!
Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill Wednesday that would give people money -- directly! -- for job training. As is mandatory, it includes a clever acronym: the "21st Century Skills are Key to Individuals' Life-Long Success (SKILLS) Act." The proposal would provide individual accounts up to $8,000, which could be used for education or training programs as well as for transportation or childcare to allow people to attend such training. Harris's office says as many as 78 million Americans could be helped by the plan. Just as long as none of them sign up for "Trump University."
Just another racist lady being discriminated against for being racist! Or, you know, NOT THAT.
A Texas high school teacher has been shitcanned for a series of tweets in which she implored Donald Trump to please come rid Fort Worth and its school system of "Illegals." The longtime teacher, Georgia Clark, complained on Twitter, "Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico," and asked for help, please: "Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated."
Instead, in a school board meeting Tuesday evening, Clark was removed from her job, with cause, because darned if the board members wanted a great big racist teaching kids in a city where a third of the population is Hispanic.
NOT TODAY, SATAN!
On the one hand, things really are getting better. The Post is getting rightly dragged for breathlessly reporting that Senator Elizabeth Warren got paid in actual American currency for practicing law. The blatant sexism in the coverage has overtaken the nothingburger story itself. And Andrew Kaczynski's ratio is a thing of beauty.
On the other hand, WHAT IS THIS SHIT?
How will Fox News get more viewers if people are 'educated' and stuff? TELL PETE HEGSETH THAT ONE!
Do you know which one the "Pete Hegseth" character is on Fox News? He is the greasy-looking one who doesn't wash his hands, because he can't see germs, therefore they don't exist. He was also reportedly at one point in the running to head the VA, because Donald Trump picks the best people. Also, he thinks veterans are BIG moochers. He is just, like, super-classy and also super-smart.
Naturally, therefore, Hegseth has penned a poorly written and edited op-ed to all the new college graduates of America, begging them to forget their whole education and just be Fox News dipshits like Pete Hegseth. It's accompanied by a faux "Fox & Friends" commencement address video, because that's sure to get the Youngs a-clicking. But we won't bother with that. Let's just look at some words old Poop Hands wrote.
Uh huh yep you betcha:
Can you believe this guy?
Billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith rewarded this year's Morehouse graduates handsomely for staying awake during his commencement address. Smith had just received an honorary doctorate and in a stunning act of fellowship with his fellow graduating class, he pledged to pay off all their student loans.
It was a great moment at the historically black Atlanta college. Parents and students wept -- delighted that they wouldn't have to keep living together.
SMITH: On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we're gonna put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.
This bus is getting some high-octane rocket fuel. The gift is estimated at $40 million, which means the 400 graduating seniors were carrying an average of $100,000 in debt. Why the hell does it cost so much to go to college? Graduates should leave college with endless ambition not saddled with so much debt they're figuring out which organs they'll have to sell on the black market. Young brother Aaron Mitchom had calculated that it would take him 25 years at half his monthly salary to pay off his $200,000 debt. He's thrilled he won't have to "live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." He might even have sex now. Because it's very hard to date successfully when all you have to offer anyone are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Let a thousand position papers bloom!
Julián Castro continued the hot trend of 2020 campaigns with Big Ideas, releasing his "People First Education" plan Monday like some kind of common Elizabeth Warren. It has several elements in common with education plans already out there, like calling for universal pre-K, increased funding to fix education infrastructure, and free tuition for public universities, community colleges, and vocational schools. And like Warren, Castro also wants to tackle the student loan debt mess, albeit with a slightly different mechanism. Let's put on our poindexter spectacles and take a look!
OH WAIT you have to VOTE FOR HER first!
Guys, Elizabeth Warren is at it again, unveiling a proposal to cancel outstanding student debt and provide free higher education at public colleges and universities to anyone who wants it. Good lord, higher education for everyone? Fox News is going to have a fit. That will surely only leave the tiny vast majority of Americans who think higher education is a good investment susceptible to Warren's sneaky call for opportunity for everyone.
I managed to get a college scholarship, but then things turned upside down. The first boy I ever dated swooped back into my life and said he wanted to marry me. So I did what any sensible, mature 19-year-old would do: I said yes and dropped out of college.
Fortunately, once she got her head back on, she could afford the tuition -- just $50 a semester -- at University of Houston. She could even afford it on a waitressing salary, so she went back to school, got her degree, and became a teacher of special needs kids in elementary school.
Higher education opened a million doors for me. It's how the daughter of a janitor in a small town in Oklahoma got to become a teacher, a law school professor, a U.S. Senator, and eventually, a candidate for President of the United States.
Unfortunately, she says, that kind of opportunity seems a lot less common today, since states have cut back on funding higher education and costs have risen. (The annual cost for U of Houston -- including room, board, and books -- is $24,000 for in-state students today. In-state tuition alone is $8,724 a year). And now, most students who aren't already rich end up taking out tons of student loans. Warren notes all that student debt isn't just a bummer for students -- it's a drag on the economy.
It's reducing home ownership rates. It's leading fewer people to start businesses. It's forcing students to drop out of school before getting a degree. It's a problem for all of us.
He's got fire in the belly!
In a dazzling demonstration of failing upwards, Paul Ryan has secured himself a sweet teaching gig at the University of Notre Dame for the 2019-2020 academic year, the university announced Monday. The former speaker of the House and devotee of starving grannies for their own good will be a guest lecturer in economics and politics. Ryan is one of three "professor-of-the-practice" appointments, and will teach on "the fundamentals of American government, the current state of political polarization, and Catholicism and economics, among other topics."
Sounds like a good fit -- if anyone has practice in political polarization, it'd be the guy who dreamed of dismantling the social safety net since he was attending fraternity beer parties in college.
Shall We Watch Elizabeth Warren's Barnburning National Action Network Speech? Duh Of Course We Shall!
Settle in for a spell!
Elizabeth Warren gave a heck of a speech today at Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference (we hear Kamala Harris did, too!), outlining the case for her universal childcare proposal and also making the case for ending the filibuster in the Senate if Republicans get in the way of a Democratic president and Congress.
Elizabeth Warren's Powerful Speech On Childcare At The National Action Network www.youtube.com
Warren started with a familiar version of her life story, noting that she grew up in Oklahoma, "on the ragged edges of the middle class," and dreamed of becoming a teacher. She mentions that she would sometimes line up her dolls and teach them. "I was tough but fair." Her dream became a reality after finding a commuter college, but after a few years of teaching and starting a family, she decided to go to law school, and with a toddler not quite out of diapers, the issue of childcare suddenly became very real to her. The one place she and her husband could afford, with a week to go before classes started, required kids to be "reliably potty trained," or no thank you. After a pause, she told the audience, "I stand before you today courtesy of three bags of M&Ms and a cooperative toddler."
Yr Wonkette is ALWAYS here for a good constipated babby story!
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