News

Here’s a rundown of the presidential candidates on education

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropThe Congressional primaries may be a mess in North Carolina, but voting for your presidential preference and other statewide races is still on for March 15.

Just in time, Education Week has offered a pretty handy primer on the presidential candidates’ education policies. In lieu of policies—since Donald Trump doesn’t really issue those—the primer gives us some statements the candidates have made.

Among the Democrats, Hillary Clinton may have the somewhat controversial backing of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has generated his own K-12 buzz.

From the Ed Week report on Sanders:

He doesn’t have the long-standing relationship with minority voters that his chief rival, Hillary Clinton, is said to have. But he’s trying to take on issues that are important to those communities. For instance, on his campaign website, he addresses opportunity gaps in K-12 education, noting that black students are far more likely to be suspended or taught by a first-year teacher than their white peers are. And he’s pitched moving away from property taxes to a more equal system of funding education. Plus, Sanders has talked about the power of education to combat crime. “It makes eminently more sense to invest in jobs and education than jails and incarceration,” he said at a campaign rally in Springfield, Mass., last year. He’s also said that government jobs could help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

Meanwhile, among the GOP, the report points out multiple candidates, notably Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, have been adamant about major funding cuts or completely sacking the U.S. Department of Education altogether, shuttling standards and practices to the states.

Read more

Commentary

McCrory: Back on Fox again to mislead about refugees; declines to directly criticize Trump (Video)

There he goes again. Just weeks after having dished out a heaping helping of red meat to Islamophobes and other nativists during a dreary three-and-a-half minute appearance with the Fox News prince of darkness, Bill O’Reilly, Gov. Pat McCrory is once more swimming in the murky Fox waters and misleading people about refugees.

This week it was a little lower down the  food chain with Fox Business talking head Neil Cavuto (indeed, the Guv was back to skipping the necktie he felt compelled to don for O’Reilly) but the basic shtick was the same:  Syrian refugees – dangerous and scary; Obama negligent and uncaring as whether he deposits terrorists into North Carolina; Pat McCrory – tough and vigilant (despite having absolutely no authority to do anything or any real knowledge as to any genuine risk on the ground).

The Guv, in an apparent effort to boost his approval rating on the fearful fringe, also declined an opportunity to criticize presidential candidate Donald Trump. Here’s the exchange:

Cavuto: “You know Governor, tomorrow I’ll be talking to Donald Trump on this issue. He’s taken it to the next level by saying we should go slow on allowing more Muslims into the country until we sort all of this out. How do you feel about that?”

McCrory: “I think you determine it by the country and the origin of the area that they’re coming from and my biggest concern is coming from those countries in which there’s basic a civil war going on at this point in time and where ISIS is very, very strong and where it’s impossible to do a background check.”

Translation: “I’m not courageous enough to criticize Trump directly as I don’t want to alienate his supporters or look overly two-faced (after all, he was a featured speaker at the last two state GOP conventions that I helped headline), but I also know I can’t get away with attacking all Muslims, so I’ll just mumble some gibberish about ISIS and civil wars and hope people don’t see the complete illogic given that escaping civil war is one of the signature characteristics of being a ‘refugee.'”

The bottom line: Expect to see more of this. McCrory seems to be intent on appearing “tough on immigration” and the issue is perfect for a politician given his utter lack of authority and responsibility on the matter and the vast number of right-wing media platforms looking to fill airtime.

Click below to watch McCrory and here to see the kind of caring and thinking action that a real leader ought to take.
YouTube Preview Image
Uncategorized

Fun anti-plutocrat activity

If you’re among the many people who found themselves looking up at the TV in recent days and saying to yourself “what the heck?”!” as Donald Trump’s creepy mug flashed across the screen at the end of a Macy’s Christmas season ad, know that you’re not alone. Nearly a half-million people have already signed a petition calling on the giant retailer to tell the dim-witted plutocrat that he’s FIRED!

If you’re interested in learning more about the story click here. You can sign the petition by clicking here.