Monday, 6/20/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

14 responses to “Monday, 6/20/11, Public Square

  1. Bachmann’s Latest Conspiracy Theory is a Doozy

    In practical terms, Bachmann apparently thinks the president is secretly right-wing — she believes Obama wants to end the existing system of socialized medicine for seniors, and force these millions of seniors into the private insurance market.

    Of course, there is a group of people who actually support such an approach. They’re called “House Republicans.” Indeed, the House GOP budget plan — written by Paul Ryan and endorsed by none other than Michele Bachmann — seeks to end Medicare and convert the program into an ACA-style system. Bachmann’s conspiracy theory is that Obama secretly agrees with her far-right colleagues.

  2. Justices Have Been Forced To Resign For Doing What Clarence Thomas Has Done

    Justice Clarence Thomas is an ethics problem in a black robe. Just eight months after ThinkProgress broke the story of Thomas’ attendance at a Koch-sponsored political fundraiser, we learn that Thomas doesn’t just do unethical favors for wealthy right-wing donors — they also do expensive favors for him.

    Leading conservative donor Harlan Crow, whose company often litigates in federal court, donated $500,000 to allow Thomas’s wife to start a Tea Party group and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank which frequently files briefs in Thomas’ Court, also gave Thomas a $15,000 gift.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because America has seen this movie before. Indeed, the Thomas scandal is little more than a remake of the forty year-old gifting scandal that brought down Justice Abe Fortas. Like Thomas, Fortas liked to associate with wealthy individuals with potential business before his Court. And like Thomas, Fortas took inappropriate gifts from his wealthy benefactors.

  3. Ryan’s Shrewd Budget Payday

    When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the GOP blueprint for cutting government spending, he asked Americans to make sacrifices on everything from Medicare to education, while preserving lucrative tax subsidies for the booming oil, mining and energy industries.

    It turns out a constituency within his own personal investments stood to benefit from those tax breaks, Newsweek and The Daily Beast have learned.

    The financial disclosure report Ryan filed with Congress last month and made public this week shows he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan.

  4. America’s Best High Schools

    These are challenging times for secondary education. Cash-strapped school districts are cutting back; No Child Left Behind mandates test results; parents and students stress unabated. NEWSWEEK, which has been ranking the top public high schools in America for more than a decade, revamped its methodology this year in hopes of highlighting solutions. We enlisted a panel of experts—Wendy Kopp of Teach For America, Tom Vander Ark of Open Education Solutions (formerly executive director for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford professor of education and founder of the School Redesign Network—to develop a yardstick that fully reflects a school’s success turning out college-ready (and life-ready) students. To this end,each school’s score is comprised of six components: graduation rate (25%), college matriculation rate (25%), AP tests taken per graduate (25%), average SAT/ACT scores (10%), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10%), and AP courses offered (5%).

    Here’s the list of the top 500 schools. I found five schools in the state of Kansas listed.

    326. Shawnee Mission East

    340. Blue Vally North (Overland Park, KS)

    426. Shawnee Mission South

    465. Blue Valley (Stilwell, KS: a small unincorporated community in Johnson County)

    492. Shawnee Mission Northwest

  5. But that’s not how it worked last time…..Though the tax break lured them into bringing $312 billion back to the United States, 92 percent of that money was returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock buybacks, according to a study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Companies Push for Tax Break on Foreign Cash

    Some of the nation’s largest corporations have amassed vast profits outside the country and are pressing Congress and the Obama administration for a tax break to bring the money home.

  6. Meghan McCain offers tips to the GOP 2012 hopefuls. She forgets the entire eight years bush the lesser was in office, and she stretches the 2 years and five months President Obama has occupied the nation’s highest office to three years, but she still makes a few good points. The better points are in the comments to her advice!

    Meghan McCain’s 7 Tips for Republican Hopefuls

    • This comment says what I think, and echoes the only way any of the GOP candidates would make any sense —



      You forgot two points…

      1. Right now Obama is sounding like the lesser of two evils. The GOP candidates not to STOP attacking Obama and START bring forth their own ideas to the Nations problems. When GOP candidates make grandiose promises like “I’ll fix the economy” but leave out any details it tells me the don’t have a plan. For example We have 14 Million unemployed what is the GOP strategy to fix this? So Far I haven’t heard one. Same with FP, the GOP seems to take the stance to whatever is CONTRARY to what Obama is. Obama doesnt get us involoved in Libya, the GOP complains, Obama does commit us in Libya the GOP complains. Sorry that tells me that the GOP is more interested about winning the election than good governance.

      Second Issue: To blame all the economic issues on Obama is laying it on real thick and is simply a nasty bit of revisionist history. Obama hasnt done a good job FIXING the economic problems, but the cause of these issues was the terrible and reckless decisions made by the Bush Administration. I know its not cool to criticize Republicans, but if the GOP really wants to win my vote it will need to stop pretending that the Bush Administration didn’t happen. You are being very disingenuous with your readers, because we all know you and your opinions on the last President.

      And on that same note, the GOP candidates need to distance themselves from Bush, because all I hear from them are the same DISASTROUS policies that got us into this mess to begin with. For example the Bush Tax cuts need to go, even most republicans polled think that the rich need to pay a greater share, and yet one of the GOP has voiced any opinion about letting them expire. This could be an opportunity for the GOP candidates, they could Bash Obama for extending a terrible law that should have never been extended. This would win points with both republicans, independents AND democrats.

      But instead they seem to bleat the same song about taxcuts for the rich create jobs, a policy that has failed for the past 30 years. Reliving George Bush’s greatest misses is a surefire way to LOSE the next election, and its precisely what Obama hopes the GOP might do.”

    • WSClark

      Fortunately for President Obama, Meghan’s advice will be ignored, derided, dismissed and denigrated by the GOP candidates that are trying to out-hate Obama.

      I saw a post in support of Romney at another blog, indicating that they agreed with Romney 80% of the time, Obama 0%.

      Think that through a bit – ZERO PERCENT?

      I think that might just be fundamentally impossible – but that seems to be the approach that the GOP’ers are taking.

      • indypendent

        I suspect when we get back to the Republican rich white guy in the White House scenario, we will never again hear about budget cuts, massive government spending, or any other dire crisis that those evil liberals have created.

        But, as we all saw during the total GOP control from 2000 to 2006, just how much whining, screaming, ranting, yelling and demonizing did we hear from the elephants? That is wehre the ZERO PERCENT comes into play.

  7. indypendent

    But Republicans do not think Bush was wrong.

  8. indypendent

    One major thing we could do to stop the spending is stop this insane War on Drugs. Nixon was the first president to declare this war. Then we had Mrs. Saint Nancy Reagan do her thing ‘Just Say No’ campaign. Both have failed miserably.

    But there is a factor now that was not present back then – privatized prisons. And with the Republicans wanting to privatize even more prisons – then why wouldn’t they want to continue incarcerating people found with drugs? Not necessarily the drug dealers – but just those found with drugs.

    The more prisoners – the more profit……that’s how it goes

  9. indypendent

    The Golden Rule has been something that has been followed for many years. But I remember this as being ‘treat others like you want to be treated’.

    Republicans have changed the Golden Rule to mean – ‘those who have the gold, rules’.

  10. Hope the earlier storms did not adversely affect anyone. The cool down is greatly appreciated.