Thursday, October 8, 2015

Last Call For Fortresses Of Learning

The focus in Indiana on dealing with mass shooting events is not guns, but public building themselves.  One high school is now a test case for turning schools into bunkers, and the industry that this is spawning could cost taxpayers billions on "hardening schools" rather than teaching kids.

“I know it sounds politically crass,” said Mason Wooldridge, the co-founder of Our Kids Deserve It, a group that works to promote what many might consider aggressive school safety standards. “But if Sandy Hook Elementary or the college in Oregon had what Indiana is promoting in their schools, nobody would have died.” 
The safety standards Wooldridge is working to implement in Indiana schools are no ordinary measures. 
They’ve already been implemented at Southwestern High School, a small school in rural Shelbyville. There, not only do children perform “active shooter drills” alongside fire drills, teachers wear special key fobs that alert police faster than a 911 call. Classrooms have “hardened doors” that lock automatically and “hardened exterior glass” windows to deflect both bullets and brute force. Cameras in the school have “shooter detection technology” — tools created for the military — to help law enforcement more quickly locate suspects. And if the suspect is trapped in the hallway, smoke cannisters can be detonated to slow down the shooter.
Wooldridge thinks these measures could have prevented the deadly outcomes of shootings like Sandy Hook and last week’s incident at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

Selling schools as bunkers is the next frontier, folks.  You thought charter schools were profitable? How about spending millions per school to retrofit them with bulletproof glass, reinforced doors, security cameras, electronic locks, security gates and fences, and panic rooms?  And of course you love your kids, so as a parent you're not going to say no to protecting your kids from being slaughtered at school, right?

In the months following Sandy Hook, President Obama signed numerous executive orders to develop model emergency response plans for schools and provide $30 million in grants for schools to develop their own plans, among other things. But there has been no effort to create a nationwide standard for public learning institutions when it comes to active shooter response. 
“Nationally, there’s nothing being done to create standards of safety,” Wooldridge said. “But in Indiana, they are doing all those things.” 
It’s likely that the idea would receive pushback from conservative groups, which generally advocate a state or local approach. In comments to the conservative Daily Signal, for example, the Heritage Foundation’s education fellow Lindsey Burke said initiatives like Indiana’s shouldn’t be handled by the federal government. 
If national standards aren’t acquired, however, it will be up to school districts themselves to decide whether to invest in these measures — and with the high costs, it’s likely that they would be implemented mostly in predominantly-white suburban schools. Indeed, the small Southwestern High School is 97 percent white, and the median income level is above the state’s average.

Oh, I see how this works.  After all, there's no point in protecting schools for poor black inner-city kids.  Hell, we're closing those schools entirely.  We'll need to get the money to protect white suburban schools from somewhere in the budget, you know.

Sounds like the next great school scam to me.  And it's the schools that need the most help that won't see a dime.

Worst Kasich Scenario, Con't

John Kasich continues to show his moderate credentials because he's a moderate guy, and not at all crazy like the rest of the GOP presidential lineup.

In Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) grilled presidential candidate John Kasich about his views on immigration, gun control, the wars in the Middle East, and economic inequality — particularly between men and women. 
USHCC President Javier Palomarez challenged the Ohio governor on the fact that women in his state working full time are getting paid roughly 78 percent of what men make — according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. For Latina women across the U.S., the gap is even greater: just 54 percent of what men made in 2014. 
Palomarez pointed out that Kasich has daughters of his own, and asked how he explains this disparity to them. 
Well, a lot of it is based on experience,” Kasich replied. “A lot of different factors go into it. It’s all tied up in skills. Do you not have the skills to be able to compete?” 
Seeming somewhat shocked at this response, Palomarez asked, “Are you saying women workers are less skilled than men?” 
“No, no, of course not,” Kasich said. “I mean, a woman is now running my campaign, and she’s doing a fantastic job. The head of our welfare reform office is a woman. I understand that if you exclude women, you’re not as effective.” 
He added that he has worked to increase spending on education in Ohio so that both men and women can gain the skills they need to earn a decent living.

It's weird, when you try to ask Republicans to give an answer as to why the gender pay gap exists and it's nearly 2 to 1 among women of color compared to white men for the same positions, they don't have an explanation other than "Women take lower paying jobs" which is hysterical if you again compare similar jobs or like Kasich they give some variation on "women aren't as good" but they don't really say it.

Then Kasich talks about education making a difference when the worst gender pay gap instances occur with women with degrees.

One statistic that both surprises and depresses me: While more women than men enroll in college today, when you look at education levels, the greatest wage gap comes among people with the most schooling under their belts. Women with graduate degrees earn just 69.1% of what men with graduate degrees earn and those with bachelor’s earn 71.4 % of men’s salaries. “These data indicate that women need more educational qualifications than men do to secure jobs that pay well,” says the report.

Education only makes this stuff worse.  And again, there's not only a massive gender pay gap in this country but a racial one, and combined, women of color get utterly screwed in the workplace.

Kasich doesn't have any answers and he doesn't care.  He's a Republican.

Don't be fooled.  None of them do.

BREAKING: McCarthy Drops Out Of House Speaker Race

GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Californi, the current House majority leader and number two to outgoing House Speaker Orange Julius (R-Orange) didn't have the votes to replace ol' John Boehner and has dropped out of the running for the job,

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has dropped out of the race for House Speaker, shocking Capitol Hill and raising questions about who will lead the House Republican Conference.

Republicans were to meet Thursday at noon to elect a new Speaker. Instead, they received the surprising news from McCarthy.

"I think I shocked some of you," McCarthy joked to reporters after his bombshell. 
He said he would stay on as majority leader, but believed Republicans needed to unify around a "new face." 
"I feel good about the decision. I think we're only going to be stronger," he said.

McCarthy suggested it was unclear whether he could have won the 218 votes on the floor needed to be elected Speaker.

"I don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes," said McCarthy, who cast his decision as putting his conference first. "I think best think for our party is to win with 247 votes." 
McCarthy told his colleagues of his decision as they were preparing to cast ballots for Speaker. The election was immediately postponed.

If anyone somehow still needed proof that Republicans are incapable of governance, well there you go.  They can't even pick a leader in the House.

It would be sad if it wasn't directly the fault of voters in 2010 and 2014 for giving the House to Republicans in the first place.  These guys are idiots, folks.  We can change that in 2016, ya know.

Bush, Whacked? Con't

Daily Beast columnist Will Rahn doesn't pull any punches as he tells Jeb Bush to pack it in and drop out of the race for the good of the GOP.

The conventional wisdom a few months ago was that your brother’s catastrophic presidency would be your bid’s biggest hurdle. Now, in a fit of desperation, it looks like you’re about to draft him to stump for you. Putting aside that George W. is still despised by a not-insignificant swath of the Republican electorate, how is that going to play in the general should you somehow win the nomination? You’re making the Democrats’ job easy, Jeb. They’ll be more than happy to attach you to his legacy, and you’re doing that for them.

Speaking of the Democrats, we know what will happen if you drag this out through next spring. The going thinking right now is that the guys really low in the polls—your Rand Pauls and George Patakis—should be next to drop out. But what damage do they do to the GOP by staying in? You Bushes, meanwhile, for all your patrician aloofness, are some of the dirtiest campaigners out there, and every jab you get in at your fellow establishmentarians like Marco Rubio is going to be used against them by the left. It’s one thing to toughen up a nominee in a primary fight—it’s another to make them damaged goods, unready to lead. If you’ve got some golden piece of oppo that will take Rubio or John Kasich out of consideration, by all means use it now. Otherwise, time to step aside.

Electability has always been the central rationale of your candidacy. We’re reminded it’s been more than 30 years since a Republican outside the Bush family won the presidency. In 2000, your brother was able to make the case that he was the strongest candidate to take on the Democrats, particularly after he dragged John McCain’s name through the mud.

But your brother was an able campaigner, and you are not. The polls showed he had a particularly good chance of winning back the White House; the same can’t really be said of you. And again, he was a disaster as president. You were doing a decent job of shedding all that baggage, but now that’s he’s joining you on the campaign trail, you’re going to be shouldering all of it. And not for nothing, but your principal strategist, Mike Murphy, does have the distinction of being the only 2016 guru to have already run against Hillary and lost.

And even if your brother wasn’t a nincompoop, Jeb, you’re doing a fine job of messing this up on your own. You’ve already had more than your fair share of flubs. That “stuff happens” quote may have initially been taken out of context by the media, but guess what: Running for president, particularly when you’re a Republican, means dealing with a hostile press. You will not always be treated fairly, you will rarely be given the benefit of the doubt. Contrast your statement with Rubio’s nearly perfect response to a question about Black Lives Matter that was making the rounds on Twitter last week, and you see why Republicans worry about you leading the party through 2016.

I have to admit, in whatever alternate universe where the evil version of me is a Republican political blogger, I'd be giving the Bush camp the same advice.  The longer he stays in, the longet he becomes the punch line of the attacks on the GOP. "Just like his brother, only incompetent and stupid" is not exactly the best image the GOP wants to project if they want to win.

Granted, it's hard not to project that image given the people running.  But at this point, there's no way Jeb becomes the nominee.  The problem is, the Republicans have already committed millions to his campaign, so he can keep going as long as he wants to.

And keep doing damage the whole time.  Stay in Jeb, please!


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