Tom Sullivan's blog

Raleigh’s Education Cutters Won’t Take Improvement For An Answer

Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch takes NC Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger to task over claims that cuts to the education budget will not harm classrooms and that NC's low high school graduation rate proves that the system is broken. With teachers and assistants losing their jobs to budget cuts every day, Fitzsimon writes, "... any superintendent or principal can tell him that his talking point about protecting teachers is off base." Furthermore [links added],

NCGOP Declares Provisional Government

Well, not yet anyway. But why not drop the pretense of redistricting and elections and just cut to the chase?

Yesterday in Raleigh, state Senate lawmakers advanced another bill aimed at making voting harder for North Carolinians who actually make it into the voting booth after clearing the other hurdles the GOP-led legislature has proposed. Reporter Laura Leslie put it succinctly [emphasis mine]:

Divide And Conquer Beats Working Harder

Republicans can't even be bothered to read -- much less write -- bills they've introduced in legislatures across the country. That would be too much work for the tax money and health benefits they receive. As The Tennessean reported last week:

Several of the most controversial bills debated in the legislature this year, as well as some that have slipped under the radar without much attention, were written and promoted by groups outside Tennessee, a trend some political observers say reflects an attempt to push the nation in a conservative direction using state lawmakers.

Without even reading it, Tennessee Rep. Judd Matheny and Sen. Bill Ketron filed the Material Support to Designated Entities Act. According to the paper, the ostensibly anti-terrorism bill targets "organizations that follow Shariah, or Islamic law." The conservative Eagle Forum had provided the bill which, in turn, had been drafted by David Yerushalmi (who initially denied authorship), an Arizona attorney who "has long questioned the loyalty of American Muslims."

American politics, says Rolling Stone  investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, has become "a reality show" sponsored by Wall Street. From Voter ID bills to anti-union legislation to attempts to privatize public education, the GOP has only to follow the financiers' script. The corporate-sponsored American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the U.S. Chamber do most of the work. All the money men demand is for Republicans to drop the bills in the hopper and vote for them.

Grassroots In A Can

How do small groups of "grassroots" Tea Party protesters manage to get a half-dozen TV crews to show up to cover their events when larger groups of liberal protesters get the big ignore? Earlier this week, Nicole Sandler interviewed the CEO of the PR team that makes that happen, Special Guests, Inc. Why just last week (May 9), anonymous donors paid Special Guests -- through a couple of cut-out men -- to promote a small Tea Party event in Washington that got national coverage. Nicole wanted to know how that works...

http://traffic.libsyn.com/radioornot/Nicole_Sandler_interviews_Special_Guests_CEO_Jerry_McGlothlin_-_5-18-11.mp3

The Politics of Debt Crises

At Campaign for America's Future, Dave Johnson quotes Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine," reminding us that back in 1993 Canada faced its own debt crisis. So dire that when Moodys analyst Vincent Truglia issued a favorable report on the Canadian economy, Truglia says, “one Canadian... from a very large financial institution in Canada called me up on the telephone screaming at me, literally screaming at me.” Why?

Why they hate her

From Nancy Pelosi's office today:

To: GOP Freshman
Fr: Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Da: May 13, 2011
Re: Facing the Music – Suggested Songs for Your Trip Home

As you go home to face the music of your vote to end Medicare as we know it, we know you’re worried about what your constituents are going to say…for good reason. Here is a suggested playlist for your trip:

Think – Aretha Franklin (1968)

Desperado – Eagles (1982)

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word – Elton John (1976)

Hard to Say I’m Sorry – Chicago (1982)

I’m Sorry, So Sorry – Brenda Lee (1960)

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones (1969)

You Got Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest (1982)

Mama Said – The Shirelles (1961)

Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home) – The Impalas (1959)

Building the progressive brand

How do we build the progressive brand and create demand for our policies?

The New York Times ran a piece recently about a study of pop song lyrics and other studies suggesting increasing narcissism in America since the 1980s. (Big news, huh?) They found "the words 'I' and 'me' appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in 'we' and 'us' and the expression of positive emotions." This must make the Randians proud. Their world is all about them, and it's a view they have sold successfully for decades. Progressives will not change that outlook just by promoting programs people don't want to pay for, sponsored by a government they distrust, with benefits they would rather do without than see help neighbors they see as parasites.

A progressive America is less about me and more about we.

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