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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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TOM TOMORROW TOON: The Guantanamo problem

The lower left panel sums up the most we'll get from DLC Democrats on any issue: "See? We tried. Now can we forget about it so I can get back to taking care of the rich with trade deals, privatization, and wars?"

PHOTO: Bush shocked by his own accomplishment:

TOM TOMORROW TOON: Last week in #Fail


Here is Harry Reid's DC fax: 202-224-7327

Kindly fax this panel to him:

Here it is, formatted to fill the page.

You can send faxes for free at http://faxzero.com/

Obama Proposal To Sell TVA Blasted By Republicans

Source: AP

WASHINGTON -- In a political role reversal, Republicans are blasting President Barack Obama's plan to consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, an icon of the New Deal long targeted by conservatives as an example of government overreach.

Obama's 2014 budget proposal calls for a strategic review of the TVA, the nation's largest public utility with 9 million customers in seven states from Virginia to Mississippi.

Selling the U.S-owned power company could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion and "help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path," Obama says in a budget document.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/obama-tva_n_3090958.html

Does anyone remember voting for Obama to tear down the New Deal?

Here in California, it was only about ten years ago that the power companies reminded us why they shouldn't have unregulated privatized control of utilities: they turned off generators, sold electricity generated here out of state, and even turned off the lights in rolling blackouts to blackmail billions of the state.

The minor savings of this sell off would be more than made up for by extra people in the area will end up paying for electricity.

Why not sell an aircraft carrier instead?

Bill Gates repudiates key elements of right wing, corporate education "reform"

In this Washington Post OpEd, Bill Gates says test scores should at most be PART of how teachers are evaluated, merit pay won't work, and teachers want collaboration not competition with their peers--in essence, he repudiates more than half of the right wing, corporate education "reform" agenda that has been implemented by the Bush administration and now President Obama, his Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and corporate Democrats like Rahm Emanuel--with disastrous results.

My wife is an elementary school teacher, and because of what these "reformers" have done, she doesn't want any of our children to go to public school.

So we will be paying taxes for schools that we can't send our middle class kids to because wealthy people (who don't send their kids to public schools) have ruined them by dictating how they should be run.

Gates started driving the direction of education reform policy before he knew what the hell he was doing (unless he had a financial angle for himself).

Now he seems to be moving toward what schools, principals, teachers, and UNIONS already figured out a long time ago.

Mr. Gates, protect your legacy as an entrepreneur and philanthropist: admit your mistake and vow to use your money to undo the damage you have done through your demand for repetitive standardized testing, union busting, school closings, and turning over public education to less effective for-profit charter schools and education management companies. Also, join your father in lobbying to get wealthy people like yourself to pay their fair share of taxes, which would go a long way toward helping public education.

In the future, if you want to help education, listen to educators, researchers, parents, and students, instead of trust fund babies and hedge fund managers looking to make a buck off of our kids like so many mortgage back derivatives or pork bellies.

And please send your Washington Post opinion piece to President Obama and Arne Duncan, so they can adjust their policies accordingly.

I certainly will.

The fact is, teachers want to be accountable to their students. What the country needs are thoughtfully developed teacher evaluation systems that include multiple measures of performance, such as student surveys, classroom observations by experienced colleagues and student test results.

Of particular concern is the possibility that test results alone will be used to determine a large part of how much teachers get paid. I have talked to many teachers over the past several years, and not one has told me they would be more motivated, or become a better teacher, by competing with other teachers in their school. To the contrary, teachers want an environment based on collaboration, in which they can rely on one another to share lesson plans, get advice and understand what’s working well in other classrooms. Surveys by MetLife and other research of teachers back this up.

Teachers also tell me that while compensation is important, so are factors such as high-quality professional development opportunities, a strong school leader, engaged families and the chance to work with like-minded colleagues.

While there is justification for rewarding teachers based in part on how their students perform, compensation systems should use multiple measures, including classroom observation. In top-performing education systems in other parts of the world, such as Singapore and Shanghai, accomplished teachers earn more by taking on additional responsibilities such as coaching and mentoring other teachers and helping to capture and spread effective teaching techniques. Such systems are a way to attract, retain and reward the best teachers; make great use of their skills; and honor the collaborative nature of work in schools.


Why does Exxon Control a No Fly Zone over Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill?

Something similar happened during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I had gone up to work as a commercial fisherman in Kodiak, Alaska, but ended up wiping oil off of rocks and shoveling oil soaked sand into garbage bags for the summer.

One day a while we were cleaning a beach, a helicopter landed with a Coast Guard admiral and some greasy jerk in a survival suit who apparently an Exxon executive. They were there to inspect our work. It just took a second or two of listening to them to figure out that the Exxon guy was in charge and the Coast Guard admiral was the one saying, "Yes, sir," "No, sir," "Right away, sir!"

At other times, the Exxon guy assigned to our part of the island would show up and declare a beach clean that we had just barely put a dent in.

I had a lot of respect for the military growing up, and spent my high school years in Civil Air Patrol, a cadet program, and my first two votes for president were for Reagan and Papa Bush, but this was a jolt that moved my politics decidedly to the left.

Unfortunately, Obama's dealings with Wall Street's crimes have been mostly like admiral's with Exxon's.

[font size=4]Exxon's Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?[/font]

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a "no fly zone" in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM and will be in place "until further notice," according to the FAA website and it's being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon's permission.

Mayflower is the site of the recent major March 29 ExxonMobil Pegagus tar sands pipeline spill, which belched out an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands diluted bitumen ("dilbit" into the small town's neighborhoods, causing the evacuation of 22 homes.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed that the FAA site noted earlier today that "only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff" were allowed within the designated no fly zone.

Suhrhoff is not an FAA employee: he works for ExxonMobil as an "Aviation Advisor" and formerly worked as a U.S. Army pilot for 24 years, according to his LinkedIn page.


Which countries have come up with a form of democracy that ISN'T dominated by Wall St & banks?

We talk about various ways to fix our system here, from campaign finance reform to making it easier for third parties to get into the game, but it occurs to me that nearly all governments ignore the will of the people and do what the bankers tell them on key issues like austerity, bailouts, wars, trade deals, and the like.

Maybe Iceland, Venezuela, and some of the other Bolivarian democracies in South America do it to some degree, but what do they do or what else can be done to make our democracy real instead of a rubber stamp for whatever the already wealthy want?
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