Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, though he has been short on specifics, has promised to produce an economy that grows 4 percent or more a year. His top economic advisers were leading decision-makers in the administration of his brother, President George W. Bush, when the rate of expansion never reached 4 percent. The only time over the past half-century that such growth was achieved for four consecutive years — the length of a presidential term — was under Bill Clinton.
No, this is not a ringing endorsement of the average Democrat understanding of economics – and, especially, political economy. Given the paucity of thought and understanding we’re allowed with the two old parties, this is what we have.
At least Al Hunt has managed to keep his sense of humor, the theater of the absurd, while covering the truckloads of horse manure that passes for social and economic analysis in the popular press, our political punditry and, most of all, Congressional ideologues and demagogues.
Thanks, Al Hunt
Geneticists at the University of Minnesota believe that they have isolated the gene that makes some people much more prone to failure than others…While the research is preliminary, the scientists said that they were able to successfully identify the failure gene by studying the DNA of males in two generations of the same American family.
“If we have indeed isolated the gene that makes people fail—and we believe we have—all of the subjects in our study are carriers,” said Davis Logsdon, the geneticist who supervised the research.
According to Logsdon, those who carry the gene for failure have “absolutely no idea that they have it” and thus project the confidence and self-assurance of people whose genetic material does not make them likely to wreak havoc on a massive scale.
“Not only does this gene cause people to fail, it makes them fail to understand that they have failed,” he said. “It is a really bad gene.”
And, as we all know, part of the curse of this gene is that it doesn’t keep millions of Americans from voting the carriers of this evolutionary defect into the highest elected offices in the nation.
Andy Borowitz has a proper fey sense of humor
Likely Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who was popular among Spanish-speaking voters while Florida governor, marked himself as “Hispanic” on a 2009 voter registration application, The New York Times reported…
The newspaper posted a fuzzy copy of the form, which it said it obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. The circle marked “Hispanic” was checked. The next circle said “White, not Hispanic” and was not checked.
A Bush spokeswoman said it was unclear how the error was made. “The governor’s family certainly got a good laugh out of it,” spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said. “He is not Hispanic…”
Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and whose wife, Columba, is Mexican-born, had widespread support among Hispanic voters during his two terms as Florida governor…
I presume the TIMES knows the differences between Cuban-centric voters in Florida – who usually vote Republican – and Hispanic voters in the rest of the United States. They just don’t want to distract from their cute report…
His stance on immigration has been at odds with the views of many in his party, including when he said last year that illegal immigrants who come to the United States to provide for their families are not committing a felony but an “act of love.”
Like any moderate Republican hypocrite – as opposed to the more typical Right-Wing Republican hypocrite – Bush is now enabled to be as two-faced as he wishes on questions of immigration depending upon the audience he’s addressing.
Adelson and his Israeli Ace
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife plowed more than $92 million into efforts to help mostly losing candidates in the 2012 elections, is undertaking a new strategy for 2016 — to tap his fortune on behalf of a more mainstream Republican with a clear shot at winning the White House…
In 2012, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson spent so much of their money on long-shot candidate Newt Gingrich that they helped extend an ugly intraparty fight that left the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, severely bruised by the time he faced President Obama in the general election.
This time, the Adelsons are plotting their investments based not on personal loyalty but on a much more strategic aim: to help select a Republican nominee they believe will have broad appeal to an increasingly diverse national electorate…
So, if you’re dumb enough to believe the lies they’ll be shoveling out onto the airwaves – you might think the Republican Party has had a change of heart and doesn’t belong just to the rich and powerful. A position chosen for them by the rich and powerful.
This strategy would favor more-established 2016 hopefuls such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. All four will descend this week on Adelson’s luxury hotel in Las Vegas, the Venetian, for an important step in what some are calling the “Sheldon Primary.”
Officially, the potential 2016 candidates will be at the Venetian for the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which begins Thursday with a golf outing, followed by a VIP dinner featuring Bush and hosted by the Adelsons in the private airplane hangar where Adelson keeps his fleet.
But some of the most important events will occur between the poker tournament, Scotch tasting and strategy workshops. That’s when Adelson is scheduled to hold casual one-on-one chats — over coffee, at dinner or in his private office — with the prospective candidates.
Victor Chaltiel, a GOP donor and an Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, said at this early stage in the 2016 sweepstakes, Adelson is “neutral” and has his eye on a number of potential candidates, including Bush and Christie.
“He doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee,” Chaltiel said. “He wants someone who has the chance to win the election, who is reasonable in his positions, who has convictions but is not totally crazy.”
What that means in plain English is who is the best liar? There are no proposals to change Republican policies. The War on Women, the War on Children, the War on Hispanics and Blacks, the War on Gays and Lesbians, the War on working people and unemployed – remain priorities for Adelson and his followers.
Everything that can be done to cut taxes, national fiscal responsibilities to the nation where Republicans used to make most of their money – remains target number one for Adelson. Killing the Affordable Care Act, stopping anything to do with equal pay for equal work for women, these still are top of the charts for Kingmakers like Uncle Sheldon.
Pimps like Karl Rove are waiting in the wings for Adelson to turn over matching funds to compete with ideologues like the Koch Bros who prefer a platform more like the old days of the John Birch Society and Barry Goldwater. Either road, they’ll settle for outright ownership of a mortgage on the White House to match the one they have on Congress.
The charter school movement gained a foothold in American education two decades ago partly by asserting that independently run, publicly financed schools would outperform traditional public schools if they were exempted from onerous regulations. The charter advocates also promised that unlike traditional schools, which were allowed to fail without consequence, charter schools would be rigorously reviewed and shut down when they failed to perform.
With thousands of charter schools now operating in 40 states, and more coming online every day, neither of these promises has been kept. Despite a growing number of studies showing that charter schools are generally no better — and often are worse — than their traditional counterparts, the state and local agencies and organizations that grant the charters have been increasingly hesitant to shut down schools, even those that continue to perform abysmally for years on end.
If the movement is to maintain its credibility, the charter authorizers must shut down failed schools quickly and limit new charters to the most credible applicants, including operators who have a demonstrated record of success.
That is the clear message of continuing analysis from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, which tracks student performance in 25 states. In 2009, its large-scale study showed that only 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional schools, and 37 percent actually offered children a worse education.
A study released this week by the center suggests that the standards used by the charter authorizers to judge school performance are terribly weak.
It debunked the common notion that it takes a long time to tell whether a new school can improve student learning. In fact, the study notes, it is pretty clear after just three years which schools are going to be high performers and which of them will be mediocre. By that time, the charter authorizers should be putting troubled schools on notice that they might soon be closed. As the study notes: “For the majority of schools, poor first year performance will give way to poor second year performance. Once this has happened, the future is predictable and extremely bleak. For the students enrolled in these schools, this is a tragedy that must not be dismissed.”
With phonies like Jeb Bush pushing charter schools – online as well as brick-and-mortar – you can bet this will continue to be a favorite Republican path to doing away with publicly-available schooling for American children.
Yes, those who hate the idea of an educated working class will continue their crap, utilizing every avenue they can run down screaming – whether it’s school vouchers for private schools, the “wonders” of parochial schooling, on and on. The track record for the whole alternative notion remains the same. Dismal and dumber.
A proposed constitutional amendment to lift the ban on public funding of religious groups should be ripped from the 2012 ballot because it is “misleading and insufficiently specific,” according to a lawsuit filed by Florida’s largest teachers union…
“This is designed to open the state treasury to voucher schools, but this is not what the ballot summary says,” said Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association…
By attacking the ballot summary as “misleading,” the teachers union takes aim at a sensitive issue for the Republican lawmakers, who have watched in recent years as the Florida Supreme Court used that very reason to block a series of constitutional changes from the ballot.
In response to the legal challenges, the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a new law this year requiring the attorney general to fix any ballot titles or summaries a court deems problematic and return it to the ballot within 10 days.
The teachers union is also trying to reverse that law in their suit, saying it violates the separation powers provision in the state Constitution…
The ban on public funding of religious institutions, known as the Blaine Amendment, was cited by the 1st District Court of Appeal in an earlier ruling against the program…
Instead of giving religious institutions the right to public funding in the U.S. Constitution, plaintiffs argue the Florida change would mandate it. Union attorneys, led by Ron Meyer, also argue the ballot summary falsely implies the change is required by the U.S. Constitution.
Meyer also said the ballot title of “religious freedom” is deceptive.
Not that deception is new to political practices either side of the aisle. Historically Democrats have pulled the wool over voters eyes in many cities and states – the usual reason being good old-fashioned graft and corruption.
The New Wave of Republican lies is a lot more ideological. They’d love to return the nation to 19th Century standards of citizenship and practices – including forcing religion down the throats of everyone, official kowtowing to the wants of corporate crowned heads, dismantling any additions to civil rights in the past century – all paid for by taxes destined solely for the backs of ordinary working people.