• How to Make Congress Bipartisan

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Next term the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s election maps that could lead to a precedent-setting ruling against partisan gerrymandering — the problematic process whereby incumbents draw legislative boundaries to help their fellow partisans. But would politically neutral redistricting in itself yield significantly more competitive and less polarized politics? Would it ensure greater political diversity and increase the legitimacy of Congress?

    Reposted from Stronger NC.com  Posted by Stu Egan | Jun 29, 2017 | Opinion

    “The overall premise of this bill is to ensure that we have a proper teacher pipeline going into the schools.”

    – Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R- Wilkes, in response to questions about SB599 on House floor in Raleigh on June 26.

    Senate Bill 599 is the bill (as Alex Granados from EdNC.org reports), that,

    “allows organizations other than universities to operate educator preparation programs in North Carolina. The measure includes private, for-profit organizations. And while the bill passed the full House, it did not survive without debate”(https://www.ednc.org/2017/06/26/educator-preparation-bill-passes-house-returns-senate/).

    What that means is that for-profit outfits can make money fast-tracking teacher candidates in a rather precarious preparation programs.

    The original bill was introduced by Sen. Chad Barefoot who has shown himself to be the most recent poster child of the privatization movement in North Carolina’s public education system.

    Granados further states,

    Elmore explained that the bill was intended to increase the number of teachers coming into North Carolina schools. Schools of education in the state experienced a 30 percent drop in enrollment between 2010 and 2015.

    So Rep. Elmore is explaining that we have a teacher shortage as seen by the drop in teacher candidates in our teacher preparation programs in the last 5-7 years?

    Whatever or whoever could have put North Carolina in a situation that would create a teacher shortage in our public schools?

    The answer is easy: the GOP majority in the North Carolina General Assembly.

    The shortage of teacher candidates that schools of education have experienced is a symptom of a deeper problem. A bill like SB599 is a thinly veiled attempt to further allow for-profit companies like Texas Teachers of Tomorrow to take North Carolina tax money and place pseudo-qualified candidates into our classrooms.

    Another jab at de-professionalizing a profession that the GOP majority in the NCGA has already de-professionalized to a large extent.

    Read More………..

  • The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics

    Matt Davies – Newsday and Andrews McMeel Syndicate

    Darin-Bell – Washington Post-Writers Group and Cartoonist Group

    Gary Huck- Huck Konapacki Cartoons

    Reposted from www.politico.com



  • Repost from the .com

    If you were Thom Tillis, but without his paycheck, would you think the Senate Republican health plan is a good idea?

    Let’s say you were 60 years old, just four years older than Tillis, and from Mecklenburg County, as he is. If you made $40,000 and purchased a Bronze plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange, you’d pay about $1,100 in premiums after tax credits. Under the Republican health plan – the Better Care Reconciliation Act – you would pay $5,420, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. That’s an increase of 393 percent.

    Read more



  • Conservatives are targeting the wrong things to bring down health care costs, says hospital system CEO

    Every major hospital group has criticized the health care bill crafted by Senate Republicans, especially for deep reductions in Medicaid spending for the poor and those with disabilities. At the Spotlight Health Conference at the Aspen Institute, Judy Woodruff talked to Kenneth Davis, president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System, to get his take on the health care bill and more.

    Read more →