From Mother Jones:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fallen out of favor with President Donald Trump, but that hasn’t stopped him from moving quickly to reshape the federal government’s approach to law enforcement. He has implemented new policies that will turn more offenses into federal crimes, confiscate suspects’ property, and crack down on sanctuary jurisdictions. The policies fit Sessions’ tough-on-crime attitude toward criminal justice—but he isn’t taking credit for them.
In announcing recent reforms, Sessions has said he is carrying out the recommendations of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. […] But what exactly is this task force? It’s hard to say. The Justice Department has declined to disclose the task force’s membership, its meeting agendas, or its recommendations to the attorney general. The task force was slated to deliver a report to Sessions last week, but it has not been made public. Instead, the group supposedly behind some of the Trump administration’s most consequential policy moves remains an almost complete mystery.
Oooooh, I think I might know what the task force might look like! Please, I have my hand up. Pick me! Pick me!
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From NEW REPUBLIC:
Conservatives frame privatization as a civil rights issue, but Trump’s extreme agenda is energizing racial justice and public education advocates.
Last September, at a rally in Roanoke, Virginia, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump made a promise to black America. “I will fight to make sure every single African-American child in this country is fully included in the American dream,” he said. “That includes the new civil rights issue of our time: school choice.” This has been a familiar refrain for Trump. “At rallies last year across the country,” The New York Times reported in March, “Trump said over and over again that he would use the nation’s schools to fix what he described as failing inner cities and a virtual education crisis that most hurts black and Hispanic children. In North Carolina, he called school choice ‘the great civil rights issue of our time.’ In Florida, he declared that ‘every disadvantaged child in this country’ should have access to school choice.”
“School choice” is conservative-speak for charter schools and vouchers, both of which represent a different degree of privatization in education. Vouchers use taxpayer dollars to fund attendance at private and religious schools, while charters are publicly funded but, in many cases, privately controlled. Trump’s education policy advocates for both, and in his controversial appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, he elevated a longtime champion of the cause.
Original painting, Happy Birthday Miss Jones, with apologies to the late, great Norman Rockwell
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Well, kids, the worst has happened (until the next worst happens), and Jeff Beauregard Sessions is now the Attorney General of the United States. Since the Department of Justice has a new
dickhead, it should have a new seal to reflect his values.
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From The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Education secretary by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote.
Two Republicans joined Democrats in the unsuccessful effort to derail the nomination of the wealthy Republican donor. The Senate historian said Pence’s vote was the first by a vice president to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.
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From THE HILL:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) described Wall Street protesters as a mob on Friday and implied Democrats were egging them on.
In a speech to the conservative Values Voter Summit, Cantor said he was “increasingly concerned by the growing mobs” and criticized Democrats who have showered praise on the protesters in New York and other cities.
“Some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said.
Funny how he never seemed to have a problem with the Teabaggers or the bullshit of Rethugs trying to diss Democrats by consistently saying the Democrat party instead of Democratic. Pettiness and derision and division seem to be just fine with widdle Ewic Token Cantaw until someone picks on his rich buddies.
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From POST POLITICS at The Washington Post:
Forget the sound bites from the stage. Some of the most memorable moments from a series of Republican presidential debates have come not from the candidates competing for the nomination but from the intensely partisan audiences there to appraise them.
In four of the most recent debates, assertive audience members have managed to make their mark on the proceedings.
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Mike Huckabee […] has started a project, “Learn Our History,” where on a monthly basis–sort of like BMG or Columbia House music–Huckabee’s organization will send subscribers Time Travel Academy, an animated children’s cartoon featuring a group of intrepid time travelers who teach lessons about U.S. history “without a political bias.”
If judged by its artistic qualities, the cartoon is so poorly done as to be a pitiable joke. Its main characters are a contrived group of multicultural “tweens.” The history is predictable: Ronald Reagan is America’s savior, America is a Judeo-Christian country preordained by God to be exceptional, and flag-waving jingoistic nationalism is a virtue and never a sin. The guiding principle of this right-wing approved version of U.S. history is simple: “What we see and hear isn’t always the same as what we read in books, or see on TV. We know the truth. And that’s good enough for us.”
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