After hearing from aldermen, angry parents and community members in a meeting interrupted several times by protesters, the Chicago Board of Education today approved a plan to close 49 elementary schools and one high school program.
After more than two hours of public comments, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and board members defended the plan to close the highest number of schools the city has ever shut down in a single year.
“We can no longer embrace the status quo because the status quo is not working for all Chicago school children,” Byrd-Bennett said before the vote was taken. “It is imperative that you take the difficult decision but essential steps.”
Closing some schools and focusing funds on others may lead to better outcomes all around but, on the other hand, our nations education system shouldn’t be as underfunded as it currently is.
Even if you aren’t someone who has a child or relative in school, in the future we’ll all pay for neglecting the system.
From my understanding, the Chicago Board of Education’s actions will set a new national record for school closures and will effect tens of thousands of students.
A recent study has found that the price of low- and mid-range beers has been climbing at U.S. bars and restaurants. And the guy who oversaw the study for Massachusetts-based research firm Restaurant Sciences said he thinks the popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon could be the cause.
“While all the attention has been on craft beers, the price of mainstay brands in the mid-price tier have risen more dramatically,” Research Sciences President Chuck Ellis said.
Pabst Blue Ribbon, a low-cost beer that has become a popular choice of the bearded, skinny-jeans wearing crowd, is a key reason the price of sub-premium beers has climbed 6.8% in the last seven months, Ellis told the New York Daily News.
Evidently, increased demand for PBR has had the effect of increasing the price of other mid-range beers.
Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is reportedly writing a book that will debut next year.
The punchline is that the book will be focused on how the Republican party is “losing its connection with working Americans.”
Behind the scenes, Ryan is worried that the GOP is losing its connection with working Americans, and he has been writing about how the party needs to speak more to those in poverty about empowerment and economic freedom. His recent speeches at the American Enterprise Institute’s Kristol dinner and at Benedictine College have touched on this issue, and Ryan is eager to broaden the argument into chapter form.
Authoring several incarnations of the Path to Poverty budget blueprint wouldn’t have anything to do with that, would it?
The inability of conservatives to connect the dots and realize that talk of “empowerment” and “economic freedom” don’t mean anything to someone who is worried about where their next meal is going to come from or if they will be able to afford their utility bills is a sight to behold.
Deregulating the poor isn’t going to give them the freedom to start a business. Small government isn’t going to empower them. A livable wage may empower them and give them the freedom to explore other options, but that’s not what conservatives want. Their business models depend on a supply of desperate souls who are willing to work any job they can get.
All things considered, I can’t even view Paul Ryan’s snake-oil sales pitch as naivety because I don’t think he’s as dumb as he pretends to be.
Whether it’s deliberate deception or simply profound delusion, you can bet Paul Ryan’s next vision for America will rocket into the best-seller category on the backs of conservative think tanks who will buy thousands of copies of it. Copies they will pay for by exploiting their email lists.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should have spoken these words a long time ago, but better late than never.
Bernanke says in his prepared testimony before the Joint Economic Committee, “fiscal policy at the federal level has become significantly more restrictive.”
“In particular,” his testimony says, “the expiration of the payroll tax cut, the enactment of tax increases, the effects of the budget caps on discretionary spending, the onset of sequestration, and the declines in defense spending for overseas military operations are expected, collectively, to exert a substantial drag on the economy this year.”
You can agree or disagree with individual parts of Bernanke’s statement, but the general message is that cutting government spending, regardless of where the money was going, is preventing the economy from taking off quicker than it already is.
This is Bernanke at his most Keynesian moment in front of Congress.
Unfortunately I believe sequestration is here to stay because there’s nothing easier in Washington than preserving the status quo.
Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
Said regarding homosexuality: “it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”
Argued that gays seek to “sexualize [children] at the earliest possible age” and use “totalitarian” tactics.
Claimed gays are hurting black women: “I’ve heard a lot of young black ladies that a lot of young black men seem to be gay. I’ve heard them complain about it, they say ‘so many of these guys are homosexuals’ and they are frankly frustrated by it.”
Demanded the reinstitution of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell : “The military has been decimated by this lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender policy that has now been implemented. It’s an abomination and it’s only going to weaken us militarily and they need to undo it,” warning that the policy’s repeal is a “disaster of historic proportions.”
Contended that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands” and said of gay rights advocates: “what they’re promoting is killing people.”
Called GLSEN founder and anti-bullying activist Kevin Jennings a “radical homosexual activist” who should have been “imprisoned” in a letter demanding he resign as head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
Said there is a “direct connection” between gays and pedophilia.
Wondered how the Democratic Party “managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”
Proclaimed that “the Democrat Party has shown itself to be anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-family, anti-life and anti-God… We’re calling people to come out of the Democrat Party and not support candidates who represent its values and the rebellion that it represents against God. That certainly would include President Barack Obama.”
Claimed that Democratic Party supporters are “insulting their faith and blaspheming their God” by supporting a “coalition of the godless.”
Warned that ministers who support Obama “are going to have to answer to God” if they encourage “their congregations to support this abomination.”
Said Democrats believe “that the Bible is a lie and indeed they are saying that God is a liar.”
Argued that “liberalism and their ideas have done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery and Jim Crow ever did, now that’s a fact.”
Maintained that Obama “seems to have a lot of sympathy for even radical Islam” and “clearly has Muslim sensibilities,” arguing that Obama “certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam, that seems to be his priority…Christianity, I don’t really think about that with him, I really don’t, that’s a joke.”
Compared Democratic leaders to “slave masters” who make sure that black people who disagree with them are “punished.”
Insisted that Planned Parenthood “has been far more lethal to Black lives than the KKK ever was.”
Predicted that African Americans will “overwhelmingly” vote against Obama as a result of his endorsement of marriage equality and a move of God to “stir the hearts of His people” and push them against the Democrats.
Maintained that the President and First Lady are both Communist sympathizers who dislike America.
But that’s not all. He also apparently moonlights as a 3/5ths clause apologist. The three-fifths clause designated slaves as 3/5ths of a person. He also accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of being a fake Mormon during an interview with Glenn Beck.
If you’re a member of the Republican party in Virginia, I suppose the good news it that you can finally present Ken Cuccinelli as the moderate.
The latest polling, via Benen, on the national perception of each party:
This chart, for example, shows the results from the CNN poll, which asked respondents for their general attitudes towards the two major political parties. For Democrats, support is up, and a 52% majority has a favorable opinion of the party. For Republicans, support is down, and a 59% majority has a unfavorable opinion of the party.
By all means, Republicans keep turning every fuck-up into Watergate and while you’re at it, where’s the 38th vote to repeal Obamacare? It’s been a few days already! Bring it!
The notorious “Dr. Feelgood” — a purveyor of amphetamines to the stars — was given a nod in this week’s Mad Men in which a similar doctor administered shots to the SCDP staff, including Don Draper. It turns out, Dr. Max Jacobson was also a favorite of President Kennedy:
It’s now well-known that John F. Kennedy’s vigorous public image was a facade. In fact, it concealed infirmities that often left him unable to climb a flight of stairs or put on his own socks. His pharmacopoeia was terrifying, as historian Robert Dallek writes: “Steroids for his Addison’s disease, pain-killers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary-tract infections, antihistamines for allergies and, on at least one occasion, an antipsychotic … for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines.”
Mutual friends introduced JFK to Jacobson during the 1960 campaign. The first shot elevated his mood. From then on, it was clear sailing. Miracle Max shot up the president before the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the major state addresses, and even the 1961 Vienna summit meeting with Nikita Khrushchev. Secret Service files and the White House gate log confirm that Jacobson saw JFK no fewer than 34 times through May 1962.
Did Kennedy experience any of the impatience, irritability, and grandiosity, an exaggerated sense of personal power, that amphetamines so often produce? Clearly not: Kennedy’s court historians maintain that his illnesses and drug use didn’t affect his presidency. In any case, in June 1962, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy advised his brother to stop using Jacobson’s concoctions, the president replied, “I don’t care if it’s horse piss. It works.”
Personally, I drink caffeine from the moment I wake up until the work day is over at around 7 p.m. So 13 hours of continuous caffeine. And I probably only feel a small fraction of the euphoric, rapid-fire-ideas effect it had on the Mad Men characters.
A senator from a midwestern state in “tornado alley” can’t explain why the latest tornado happened.
“So many things happen that are so hard to explain,” he told the CNN host. “This thing was huge. This is one of the largest ones that we’ve had.”
“What you’re looking at now in Moore, Oklahoma is what you could have seen had you been there in 1999 or in some parts of of Shawnee. Devastation is devastation. And it’s just that this is so much worse. Because you’re talking about a two mile by 20 mile area. That’s very unusual.”
Any senator representing a state in that zone ought to be able to recite the science down to the precise barometric pressure required for a funnel to begin forming. But Inhofe, who thinks science is a hoax, can’t. And they’ll just keep re-electing him anyway.
Well, it didn’t take long for Alex Jones to poop out a ridiculous conspiracy theory surrounding the monster tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday.
Did you know the government has “weather weapons” capable of not only creating tornadoes but moving them around? It’s also possible that these so-called weapons were used in Oklahoma to deliberately murder dozens of citizens — you know, with a tornado. If the government wanted to annihilate a population of citizens, there are easier and more subtle ways to do it than literally creating a massive tornado. But I’m getting ahead of myself.