Friday, June 30, 2017

Matters of Education 4

The demise in public education has been ongoing for a long time.  John Dewey kicked off the trend way back when.  Past items have discussed the acceleration of the decline started by President Carter when he federalized government control of public education with the establishment of the Department of Education.  The fact is that was a violation of the Constitution.  There is nothing in the Constitution that grants the federal government has any role in education. This item provides interesting insight into the level of decay public education is now suffering.

It is impossible to believe that many if not most of our public schools are leftist institutions bent on indoctrinating our children into being good little socialists.

This is loonacy.  Whatever happened to the left's holy grail of "separation of church and state"?  These obviously leftist teachers teach Islam as the religion of choice because it is the only one they teach.  This is a prime example of why government should get out of the education business.  They corrupt the curriculum with proffered government sponsored propaganda far too often.

George Burns

Matters of Education 3

How can any institution call itself an institution of higher learning if it offers courses that train students to be seditionists???

Our public schools need fixing.  Here are some ideas that may well help.

There is an apparent disparity between the number of girls going to college and males.  Is this a problem?  This item explores that question.  Quote: "These are only a few of the foreseeable effects of the increasing degree distortion, observed from only a few minutes sitting on a park bench at a local university on an unseasonably cool May morning. A cold wind is blowing, that is for certain. But take heart, my friends. This grotesque imbalance in perceived opportunity is not a disaster.  This distortion is, in itself, an opportunity.

This is a most interesting finding. Charter schools way outdo government schools.  Quote: "“The largest national study of charter school performance was conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University in 2013,” the National Association for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) reports. “Researchers found that overall, students in charter schools are outperforming their district-run school peers in reading, adding an average seven days of learning per year, and performing as well as students in district-run public schools in math. … In both studies, results were more pronounced for minority students from low-income backgrounds, and the results increased the longer a student was enrolled in a charter school. “Children who attend charter schools are more likely to graduate from high school than their traditional school peers,” NAPCS further reports. “And dozens of charter schools across the country have 100 percent college acceptance rates for their graduating seniors.” 

The so called settled science of global warming is now moved from a scientific foothold to full blown politics, leaving real honest to goodness science in the dust.  Dishonest and unscientific as can be.  Quote: "A number of Ph.Ds have written a book chapter asserting that doubts about the theory of human-caused global warming should be considered “real science.”  You know, the idea of basing hypotheses on documented evidence rather than a political agenda.  But the National Science Teachers Association wants nothing to do with such an approach.  Its executive director, David Evans, has written a letter to members insisting they must teach the agendas of the National Wildlife Federation, the North American Association for Environmental Education, the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, the Center for Climate Change Communication and other activist groups.  What they must avoid, he contends, is the information compiled by the scientists who wrote “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming."     With educational leaders like this no wonder our kids are being led astray in so many, many unscientific, unethical and misguided ways.

This is definitely a very dark side of the elite leftist academic crowd.  Quote: "Students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism, according to Oxford University’s latest guidance. The university’s Equality and Diversity Unit has advised students that “not speaking directly to people” could be deemed a “racial microaggression” which can lead to “mental ill-health”.  Other examples of “everyday racism” include asking someone where they are “originally” from, students were told."

Boy is she right.  But the real solution is that the whole federal Department of Education needs to disappear. Ever since it was installed by Jimmy Carter our education system has been in a steady decline.   Not only is the Department of Education unconstitutional it is a total failure and total waste of tax payer dollars.

Do you really think people like this should be running the nation's public schools?

Some of our  nation's higher education institutions that used to be really good schools have become part of the problem facing our nation.  Their biased acceptance practices, on campus support of liberal activities and classroom instruction promoting liberal ideology has harmed their educational prowess.  They are more progressive think tanks and propaganda institutions than educational platforms.  This provide a limited examination of their fall from grace.

Obama years were bad for higher education. Quote: "While universities have leaned liberal for decades, the decaying modern form was cultivated under the Obama Administration. His aggressively progressive picks to run the Department of Education have pushed policy after policy to foster a hostile environment in our country’s universities, and unless the new administration can reign it in, it will undoubtedly set the country up for its final failure."

This is a total indictment of our elitist academics in elite universities.  Quote: "The quarter million dollar academic vacation model is economically unsustainable and poisonous to our culture. The world of Animal House was a lot more fun when it didn’t mean preemptive bankruptcy for its graduates and the fostering of a tyrannical training ground for future libfascists. It’s time to get all Bluto on the obsolete boil that is academia; time to give it a squeeze."

This item serves as a warning that far too many of our public schools are bad for our children.    I think there is a lesson here for our country.

It is okay for Muslims to say and do almost anything.  But, this student gets suspended from school for simply refuting a Muslim teacher and "hurting" her feelings.  The liberal left has made serious mistakes in coddling Muslims.  We will collectively end up paying a huge price for their irrational/irresponsible behavior.

The political left's devotion to the doctrine of political correctness is truly stifling.  This item provides a good example of a university professor's idiotic and irresponsible behavior.

Matters of Education 2

So many of America's public schools are inflicting stress and harm on their students.  This piece explains.  Quote: "Now a 13-year study from the Connecticut Children’s Mental Health Center in Hartford, proves that schools are literally driving our kids crazy.1
It’s insane. Children committing suicide because they can’t stand the pressures of school? Yes, it’s true. The suicide rate among 10 to 14 year olds has doubled since 2007. And for girls in that age group, the suicide rate has tripled over the past 15 years."  And,
"Boston College psychology professor, Peter Gray, looked closely at this new data and found that children’s mental health is directly related to school attendance. Meaning the more time kids spend in school, the sicker and crazier they get.
Dr. Gray found that children’s psychiatric ER visits fall dramatically in the summer recess and rise again once school begins. The spike for danger to kids and the incidence of suicide is highest in May, at the extreme end of the year of academic pressures.
Dr. Gray concludes: “The available evidence suggests quite strongly that school is bad for children’s mental health. Of course, it’s bad for their physical health, too; nature did not design children to be cooped up all day at a micromanaged, sedentary job.”
This is a sad commentary on the state of education in our country.  Quote: "The same human failings that create oppressive government can corrode other institutions. Higher education has become a painful example, dominated for decades by the political left. We are seeing the same kind of blinkered egotism, divorcement from reality and corruption of principles that one sees in one-party governments or outright dictatorships.  Consider just a few of the legitimate complaints that have been piling up in the past 20 or 30 years. Many of these have their source in well-intentioned left-ish ideas that went seriously awry: the proliferation of majors that hold little to no possibility of meaningful employment; the erosion of academic standards; the encouragement of sexual license and devastating “hookup culture” and “rape culture” issues; the elimination of in loco parentis and creation of a warped quasi-legal state in its place; the de facto criminalization of student and faculty disciplinary matters and denials of due process; the creation of inflammatory and absurdly expansive concepts like “trigger warnings, “safe spaces,” "privilege” and “cultural appropriation.” And then there is exploding tuition that has outpaced inflation and even the costs of medical care."

This item serves as a warning that far too many of our public schools are bad for our children. Quote: "With that new focus on getting all students to achieve at least at a basic level came programs like Georgia’s Hope Scholarship and No Child Left Behind.
The results of those programs were the tremendous devaluation of high school diplomas and college degrees – results which have brought us a terribly high rate of college grads who are either unemployable or cannot find work in their chosen field of study without obtaining a Master’s Degree.  This is no fault of the majority of educators or administrators who fight the good fight every day, in a mostly vain attempt to overcome the obstacles placed in front of them by both a failed system and a severely deteriorated family unit. That anyone can find success via our system is a testament to the tenacity and caring of those people – and to the few parents who still expect their children to work hard and don’t blame educators for their kids’ failures.  But despite those educators’ best efforts, the system is still a failure. And to that failure is now being added a complete rewriting of basic philosophy, faith, logic, and biology. Ideas like absolute truth, debate, intellect, and the scientific method are being sacrificed on the altar of varying agendas – the most vocal being LBGT, or LGBTQIA, or whatever we’re up to now; it is a moniker which becomes more fluid and less understandable by the day."  

This complements the previous item.  Quote: "Education models, separate from mass schooling, already exist and are wildly successful at retaining childhood curiosity and promoting academic excellence. Perhaps these fidget toys can help turn our attention to those alternatives."

The education establishment has done this on purpose.  Started a long time ago and is part of the dumbing down of students about American history.  Their intent has been and remains to only reveal history that supports liberal/progressive narratives.  That notion can be challenged, I know, but there is plenty of evidence that it is true.  This piece provides only a piece of that substantial truth.   Why do you think the left works so hard to eliminate factual history by removing symbols of southern US history?  Or, eliminate or obscure the history of our nation's founding. Or teach about our form of government, the why and how it came about and contrast its goodness with other forms of government. When I grew up Civics was a required subject...thanks to progressive reformers, no longer.  Removing historical monuments and content from text books does not eliminate history, it only skews history.  That is unconscionable, unethical and terrible, terrible policy. 

This adds to the discussion in the previous item.  Praise is heaped on Rachel Carson for she is an environmentalist icon.  Building progressive narratives forbids anything that could detract from their vaunted icons.  But, the unfortunate truth for both Rachel and environmentalist is that she caused DDT to be banned globally.  As a result the trend of containing malaria ended and millions died as a consequence.  While she certainly deserves some praise for her contributions it is patently wrong to ignore the truth of the whole story.  History is what it is, the good, the bad, the ugly.  It needs to be understood by everyone.

Despite left leaning protestor's irrational and irresponsible behavior Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, is a true winner that deserves praise from all quarters.  This item explains.  Quote: "Parents know what's best for their children. Survey after survey show the majority of minority voters in America support school choice. For example, The Black Alliance for Educational Options poll in 2015 showed the majority of African-American voters surveyed support charter schools – Tennessee 67%, Louisiana 65%, New Jersey 65%, Alabama 54%. An American Federation for Children poll in 2016 shows 75 percent of Latinos support school choice.  Betsy DeVos’ critics are the ones who are tone deaf to these voters' plea for change. If they think their heckling, protesting, shouting, booing and shaming will force Secretary DeVos to change course, they do not know her at all. Betsy DeVos is the "iron" lady in America's education field. She has given 30 years of her time to advocate for school choice. There's no way she is changing course now. Her perseverance should be good news to all parents who want to choose the best education solution for their children."

These high school kids are better jurnalists than many high paid mainstream so called journalists who have been trained to be liberal activists rather than agents of propaganda.   Kudos to them for what they did for their school.

Higher education has long forsaken its primary mission of educating young people with exposure to a broad range of ideas and helping them learn to think for themselves.  Today these once great enterprises are in many cases, especially in the social sciences, propaganda arms of the political left's intent to turn our country into a socialistic hell hole.   This provides insight.  Quote: "From safe spaces to trigger warnings to cries for reparations for black students to segregated “privilege” workshops, many of today’s college campuses are steeped in a frenzy of political correctness."  And, "“Properly educated children who arrived at one of these college campuses would be able to mop the floor with these nutty activists posing as ‘educators’ and professors – logically, philosophically, and rhetorically,” Newman declared. “The fact that so many indoctrinated children succumb to the kookery of these colleges is a damning indictment of the K-12 system.  “For instance, if these students had been trained in logic or philosophy, they would instantly see through the irrational and often contradictory absurdities pushed by these fringe professors. If the students had been taught real history, they would instantly recognize the lies and distortions being promoted. But unfortunately, K-12 ‘education’ in America today is basically a giant exercise in dumbing down and indoctrination that renders its victims susceptible to the kind of mass lunacy and tyranny that has overtaken our supposed institutions of higher learning. The American people deserve better – and that needs to start in the K-12 classroom.”

Matters of Education 1

This item reveals a massive failure on the part of our educational institutions which reflect the consequential massive successes the progressive movement has made with its infiltration of our cultural, governmental, societal, religious, business and educational institutions. The ultimate effect is education has in many ways become the means by which to propagandize leftist/progressive causes.  Quote: "Senators Hear About Leftist ‘Thugs,’ Speech Suppression on Campuses."   This is a problem that must be halted and free and open civil discourse not only returned to educational institutions but all across our society.

NY state seemingly does not care if prospective black or Latino teachers can effectively read or write.   Their test scores were routinely less than stellar so to solve the problem the state eliminated the requirement.   Such is the state of our education leadership in this country.

Public education is far too often not what it should be.  Quote: "We shall see that since the State began to control education, its evident tendency has been more and more to act in such a manner as to promote repression and hindrance of education, rather than the true development of the individual. Its tendency has been for compulsion, for enforced equality at the lowest level, for the watering down of the subject and even the abandonment of all formal teaching, for the inculcation of obedience to the State and to the "group," rather than the development of self-independence, for the deprecation of intellectual subjects. And finally, it is the drive of the State and its minions for power that explains the "modern education" creed of "education of the whole child" and making the school a "slice of life," where the individual plays, adjusts to the group, etc. The effect of this, as well as all the other measures, is to repress any tendency for the development of reasoning powers and individual independence; to try to usurp in various ways the "educational" function (apart from formal instruction) of the home and friends, and to try to mold the "whole child" in the desired paths. Thus, "modern education" has abandoned the school functions of formal instruction in favor of molding the total personality both to enforce equality of learning at the level of the least educable, and to usurp the general educational role of home and other influences as much as possible. Since no one will accept outright State "communization" of children, even in Communist Russia, it is obvious that State control has to be achieved more silently and subtly. For anyone who is interested in the dignity of human life, in the progress and development of the individual in a free society, the choice between parental and State control over the children is clear. Is there, then, to be no State interference whatever in the relations between parent and child? Suppose that the parents aggress upon and mutilate the child? Are we to permit this? If not, where are we to draw the line? The line can be simply drawn. The State can adhere strictly to the function of defending everyone from the aggressive violence of everyone else. This will include children as well as adults, since children are potential adults and future freemen. Simple failure to "educate," or rather, instruct, is no grounds whatever for interference.   This trend has been ongoing for well more than 75 years.  Socialist John Dewey was the founder of this movement.

Homeschooling as it turns out is a really good alternative to public schooling.  Federal government needs to leave them alone.  Quote: "The cordial nature of the occasion was no surprise; Secretary Betsy DeVos was a friend of homeschooling during her years as a private-sector advocate for school vouchers and public charter schools. Notably, in a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, she said, “Homeschooling represents another perfectly valid educational option. We’ve seen more and more people opt for homeschooling, including in urban areas. What you’re seeing are parents who are fed up with their lack of power to do anything about where their kids are assigned to go to school. To the extent that homeschooling puts parents back in charge of their kids’ education, more power to them.”  DeVos’s take on homeschooling contrasts sharply with that of her predecessor in the final year of the Obama administration, John King, who fretted that homeschooled children “aren’t getting the range of options that are good for all kids.” That kind of government-knows-best attitude partially explains so many families are becoming home educators and expanding their options independently via homeschool co-ops and other independent arrangements.  What did the delegation from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) want from a new secretary who is philosophically simpatico? In short, just for her to leave homeschooling alone. No need to extend federal school-choice funding via vouchers or the like, which the Trump administration has been actively calling for."

Academic institutions are in large measure liberal left operations.  This is particularly so in the non-scientific disciplines, although even the sciences are trending left. The large number of incidences of shutting down anyone invited to campus with other than a liberal point of view is regularly in the news.  Riots, reversals, etc.of the invitations non-leftist speakers led by leftist professors and students forsakes the very purpose of those institutions and should concern everyone who believes in freedom of speech and the open exchange of diverse ideas.  This piece suggests a small number of academics may believe this is not placing them in a good light and have signed on to reversing course.  However, the piece doubts the sincerity even of this small number.  Details are provided here.

This is a phenomenon that has emerged over the past 100 years of federal government tampering with public education.  The population had been dumbed down.  Colleges and universities have significantly reduced entrance standards commensurate with the failings of the public k-12 system to educate vast numbers of students.  One consequence is this.  Quote: "To gain admittance to college in the 17th century, students had to be able to read and translate various Latin authors on sight. 100 years ago, students were required to have read various classical works before being admitted.  Today, however, many American students are being admitted to colleges without ever having read a book from start to finish. They are part of a cohort of students known as “book virgins.”

Civil order, decency and common sense are rapidly declining in our society.  The unorthodox behavior of political leftist in dealing with Trump is just the start.  Unorthodox leftist behavior pushed on small kids is really frightening.  Read this if you do not believe me.

No one can claim that Obama was good for education.  He sought to impose federal dictates for teachers on colleges and universities.  But, thankfully congress has reversed this perverse effort.    This was, pure and simple an effort to establish total federal government control over education.  Anyone who has read the Constitution is aware that it does not provide the federal government any role in education.  In fact, President Carter's establishment of the Department of Education was a violation of the Constitution.  But no president has had the guts to do away with it and Congress has allowed it to persist.  Unfortunately national averages as measured against other nations has declined ever since.

Finally, here is an academic with some guts.  Misbehaving students don't sit well with him.  Quote: "When the students at historically black Bethune-Cookman University booed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during her commencement speech this week, the president of the university stepped in, threatening the graduates that they would receive their degrees by mail if the protests continued.  According to The Washington Post, DeVos was booed from beginning to end by students at the Daytona Beach, Florida, school, all for the crime of being in favor of school choice and saying Americans should engage with individuals across the political spectrum.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with you, and particularly with those who have disagreed with the invitation for me to be here,” DeVos said."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Climate Alarmist: Computer Models Wrong, Skeptics Right on “Pause”

Count on the Fake News media to ignore a huge admission by a Climategate scientist that there has been no measurable global warming over the past 20 years — something he has previously vociferously denied. The admission by Dr. Benjamin Santer, a top global-warming alarmist, should have made headlines — but, of course it didn’t.
Santer was a leading “pause denier,” a climate alarmist who refused to accept the growing scientific consensus — based in this case on solid, verifiable evidence — that global surface temperatures have remained essentially stable for the past two decades, since at least 1998. Yes, despite the non-stop activist screaming and media handwringing about alleged approaching doom from anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (or AGW), the global satellite datasets show that the gradual temperature rise during the 20th century stopped in the 1990s, right as the AGW bandwagon was kicking into high gear. This has been especially troubling for the alarmists, since they have been claiming that man-made CO2 is responsible for global warming (which isn’t happening), and the “pause” or “hiatus” has been ongoing, coincident with huge new inputs of human-generated CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
Publicly confronted with the data, some of the top AGW propagandists — Michael Mann, Phil Jones, the British Met Office, and The Economist, for example (see here and here) — felt compelled to concede that, indeed, the pause is real. Nevertheless, they warned, the planetary fever would start again, so the fright-peddling and political pressure had to be maintained, in order to guarantee support for the UN’s Paris climate agreement. 

Trump charges ‘fake news’ after CNN producer admits ‘bulls–’ Russia story is about ‘ratings’

President Trump tangled Tuesday with CNN over “fake news” after Project Veritas released an undercover videofeaturing a producer who said the network is pushing the Russia narrative to improve ratings.
Taking to Twitter, Mr. Trump said that the video “caught Fake News CNN cold” and that the network “was “looking at big management changes now that they got caught pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!”
The video shows CNN producer John Bonifield describing the Russian election-interference story as “mostly bulls—” and admitting that Mr. Trump is “probably right to say, look, you are witch-hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”
Why push the story? “Because it’s ratings. Our ratings are incredible right now,” Mr. Bonifield told a Project Veritas investigator on hidden camera.

Democrats Accuse Republicans of Mass Murder

So the Democrats, after opposing Donald Trump in the 2016 election partly out of what they claimed was concern about his incivility and coarseness, are now pursuing a debate about health care legislation in Washington by characterizing the Republicans who disagree with them about policy details as mass murderers.
Think that's an exaggeration?
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential candidate who remains among its most prominent and mainstream voices, tweetedFriday: "If Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) tweeted, "I've read the Republican 'health care' bill. This is blood money. They're paying for tax cuts with American lives."
Ezra Levin, an influential Washington organizer of the resistance to Trump, tweeted Sunday, "TrumpCare will kill tens of thousands of working class people, and with the savings it cuts taxes for billionaires."
This line of argument carries a powerful emotional charge. It isn't, though, a particularly useful, constructive, or clear-minded way to think or talk about writing laws.
To start with, there's the Washington-centric misconception that the killers are the congressmen. Disregarded are any other actors who play roles in our health care system. If federal politicians are murderers for adjusting health care laws, what about all the state-level politicians who failed to enact Mitt Romney-style comprehensive coverage in their own states before Obamacare? Were they also murderers for failing to act? What about doctors and hospitals who refuse to treat non-emergency patients who are uninsured and can't pay? The system could probably treat more people if doctors, nurses, and medical-device and drug-company executives earned less money. Does that make every BMW-driving surgeon a murderer? Is every individual American a murderer who spends any discretionary income on movies or trips to Disney World rather than charitable donations earmarked for uncompensated care to his local hospital?

Judge Napolitano explains why Loretta Lynch could be facing 5-10 years in prison: ‘It’s a felony’

Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch could face a lengthy prison term if found guilty of “misconduct in office” for intervening in the FBI’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month that while his bureau was in the midst of their investigation into Clinton, Lynch, who at the time was the attorney general, instructed him to publicly refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.
According to Napolitano, whose comments came on Fox Business, that “terminology may be indicative of a mindset on the part of Attorney General Lynch that she was going to do whatever she could to prevent Mrs. Clinton from getting indicted.”
“There is enough evidence here, just on the basis of the little snippets given to the Senate Intelligence Committee by former FBI Director Jim Comey, that Mrs. Lynch was either conflicted or working at odds with the Justice Department and in behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and the DNC when she told them to use different terminology for the investigation,” Napolitano explained.

The Russia Worm Is Starting To Turn On Trump Conspiracy-Mongers

The past few days have seen several interesting developments on the supposed Trump/Russia scandal. But instead of causing further damage to President Trump, they're making the entire story look like a multilayered smear campaign by Trump's enemies.
Over the weekend, the New York Post reported that the firm behind the infamous Trump dossier — Fusion GPS — has been stonewalling the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been trying to get information on who paid the firm to produce it and how it was used by government officials.
It has been publicly known since at least early January that Fusion GPS was behind the discredited dossier, which claimed that Russia had backmailable information on Trump, and that it was a notorious opposition research firm that was often enlisted to dig up dirt on Republicans, including a 2012 smear campaign against a donor to Mitt Romney's campaign.
As the Post notes, one of the Fusion's founders, Peter Fritsch, contributed "at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary for America campaign."
The Post story has sparked renewed interest in this dossier, most of which has been discredited, but which appears to be serving as a "road map" to various investigations.
That was strike one against the anti-Trump conspiracy mongers.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Nancy Pelosi: Washington’s Latest Wicked Witch

The wicked witch is back. This time, her name is Nancy Pelosi.
The House minority leader was the prime punching bag for Republicans during the Georgia race Jon Ossoff just lost, targeted in a series of ads painting him as her puppet and the epitome of the reviled Washington liberal establishment. Now a rump group in her own party has chimed in, blaming her for a loss that could as easily be credited to a weak candidate who had shallow roots in the district. Nevertheless, the group is calling on her to step down, insisting she’s a liability for the party.
Ms. Pelosi is just the latest in a long line of female politicians — on the left and the right — who have proved rich and resonant targets. Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann, the former House member from Minnesota. Then Hillary Clinton once more.
In each case, gender wasn’t the only issue. There were plenty of self-inflicted wounds, as well as genuine ideological opposition. Yet each woman was attacked in ways that play off sometimes subliminal, often indignantly denied, biases about women shared by men and women alike.
Overtly ambitious women stir unease and register as less likable, said Adrienne Kimmell, executive director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which has been studying women’s political races for 20 years. Voters have more trouble relating to a powerful woman than a powerful man. Women who are seen as political insiders — or as dishonest, which many voters lump together — suffer more than do men. Witness the 2016 election. 

Facing FBI Bank Fraud Investigation, Bernie And Jane Sanders Hire Lawyers

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his wife, Jane Sanders, the former president of Burlington College, have hired lawyers in the face of a federal investigation into bank fraud allegations related to a multimillion-dollar loan for the now-defunct liberal arts college.
On Saturday, CBS News confirmed that the couple had hired high-profile defense lawyers in light of the FBI probe looking into whether Jane Sanders falsified bank documents in 2010 in an attempt to secure a $10 million loan to expand Burlington College’s campus. That loan, which was obtained, was a factor in the school shuttering its doors in 2016 after it found itself unable to pay off its debt. Jane Sanders, who served as president of Burlington College from 2004 to 2011, has been accused of falsely inflating projected donor contributions in the loan application. 
The federal probe, according to Politico magazine, may also be looking into whether Sen. Sanders used his political influence to put “improper pressure” on the bank to approve that loan. The outlet said the evidence for that seems “thin at best,” but the investigation has still prompted Sanders to hire Burlington lawyer Rich Cassidy. Jane Sanders has reportedly retained Larry Robbins, a Washington-based defense attorney.

H.R. 1628, American Health Care Act of 2017

CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that version of H.R. 1628 would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $119 billion. That amount is $32 billion less than the estimated net savings for the version of H.R. 1628 that was posted on the website of the House Committee on Rules on March 22, 2017, incorporating manager’s amendments 4, 5, 24, and 25. (CBO issued a cost estimate for that earlier version of the legislation on March 23, 2017.)
In comparison with the estimates for the previous version of the act, under the House-passed act, the number of people with health insurance would, by CBO and JCT’s estimates, be slightly higher and average premiums for insurance purchased individually—that is, nongroup insurance—would be lower, in part because the insurance, on average, would pay for a smaller proportion of health care costs. In addition, the agencies expect that some people would use the tax credits authorized by the act to purchase policies that would not cover major medical risks and that are not counted as insurance in this cost estimate.

Effects on the Federal Budget

CBO and JCT estimate that, over the 2017-2026 period, enacting H.R. 1628 would reduce direct spending by $1,111 billion and reduce revenues by $992 billion, for a net reduction of $119 billion in the deficit over that period. The provisions dealing with health insurance coverage would reduce the deficit, on net, by $783 billion; the noncoverage provisions would increase the deficit by $664 billion, mostly by reducing revenues.

Health care reform bill - U.S. Senate

Senate GOP unveils new health care bill

The Senate unveiled its plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Thursday, a bill that would cut Medicaid, eliminate penalties for people who don’t buy insurance and cut tax hikes enacted to pay for the Affordable Healthcare Act’s expanded care.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate had to act because Obamacare was on the verge of collapse.
“Because Obamacare isn’t working by nearly any measure, it is failed,” he said on the Senate floor.

The Senate Bill:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

They’re Wrong About Everything

Events are turning me into a radical skeptic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am reading is an empirically verifiable account of the past. I no longer have confidence in polls, because it has become impossible to separate the signal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and political class over the last several years has been so spectacularly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I sometimes wonder why I continue to read two newspapers a day before spending time following journalists on Twitter. Habit, I guess. A sense of professional obligation, I suppose. Maybe boredom.
The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is speculation. The writer isn't telling you what happened, he is offering an interpretation of what happened, or offering a projection of the future. The best scenario is that these theories are novel, compelling, informed, and based on reporting and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the interpretations of current events, and prophesies of future ones, are merely the products of groupthink or dogma or emotions or wish-casting, memos to friends written by 27-year-olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, "literally know nothing." There was a time when newspapers printed astrology columns. They no longer need to. The pseudoscience is on the front page.
Nor are the empty conjectures and worthless hypotheses limited to Donald Trump. Yes, pretty much the entire world, myself included, assumed he would lose to Hillary Clinton. Indeed, a not-insignificant segment of the political class, both Democrat and Republican, thought the Republicans would not only lose the presidency but also the House and Senate. Oops! I remember when, as the clock reached midnight on November 8 and it became clear Trump would be the forty-fifth president, a friend called. "Are we just wrong about everything?" he asked. Perhaps we were. But at least we had the capacity to admit our fallibility.

41% of Counties Could Have Only One Insurer Participating on Obamacare Exchanges

Roughly 41 percent of counties in the United States could have only one insurer participating on the Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.
This percentage is up from the lack of participation in 2017, when roughly one-third of counties, or 33 percent, had only one insurer participating on the exchanges.
According to their count, there will be 47 counties that will have no insurer participating on the exchange leaving about 34,000 consumers with no choice.
Only 27 percent of counties will likely have more than three health insurers participating. In 2016, 64 percent of counties had three or more insurers participating.
"In addition to the cost of premiums, insurer decisions around whether or not to offer plans in the exchanges will impact shoppers," said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of the group. "Consumers will see fewer choices on the exchange again in 2018, with some counties at risk of having no options."

Judicial Watch Asks Trump Administration to End Congressional Obamacare Exemption

Judicial Watch requested the Trump administration stop members of Congress and their staff from unlawfully purchasing, with taxpayer subsidies, health insurance through the District of Columbia’s small business exchange.  The Judicial Watch request was made on June 14, 2017, to the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of a process set out by the Department of Health and Human Services to reform the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.
Judicial Watch wrote:
The ACA requires states to create at least two exchanges: a small business exchange (referred to as “SHOP” in the ACA) and an individual exchange. It also requires certain members of Congress and congressional employees to purchase insurance on an exchange created either by their state of residence (or by the District, if they are a D.C. resident) or by the federal government, if their state of residence did not establish an exchange. 42 U.S.C. § 18032(d)(3)(D)(i). Because the ACA limits the purchase of insurance on a small business exchange to employees of small businesses – and Congress is not a small business – the ACA unequivocally requires that certain members of Congress and congressional employees purchase insurance on an individual exchange created either by their state of residence (or by the District, if they are a D.C. resident) or by the federal government for that state.
Nonetheless, OPM promulgated 5 C.F.R. § 890.102(c)(9), which purportedly authorized congressional employees to purchase health insurance offered by an appropriate small business exchange, and the OPM Director subsequently issued guidance stating, “OPM has determined that the DC SHOP . . . is the appropriate SHOP from which Members of Congress and designated congressional staff will purchase health insurance in order to receive a Government contribution.” Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Members of Congress and Congressional Staff, 78 Fed. Reg. 60653, 60654 (Oct. 2, 2013).