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“Two weeks ago, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) marked “a new era for education in Indiana” when he signed into law one of the most expansive school voucher laws in the country, opening up a huge fund of tax dollars for private schools. A few days later, the Wisconsin state Assembly vastly expanded school vouchers, freeing up tax dollars even for private religious schools. GOP legislators in the Pennsylvania Senate say they have the votes to pass a sweeping voucher bill of their own. And on Capitol Hill, House Republicans successfully revived Washington, D.C.’s voucher system after it was killed off two years ago.
This rapid expansion of voucher programs — which undermine and undercut public education by funnelling taxpayer money to private schools — is remarkable. After all, vouchers have been unpopular with the American public. Between 1966 and 2000, vouchers were put up for a vote in states 25 times, and voters rejected the program 24 of those times.”
“When Congress passed the landmark health reform law last March, Republicans predicted the result wouldn’t be insurance for 32 million Americans, but rather “Armageddon.”
More than a year later, such outlandish rhetoric continues unabated.
This week, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) met with constituents for a town hall meeting in Astatula, FL. During the event, a constituent asked Webster about how repealing health reform would affect citizens like her who have cancer (or other preexisting conditions) and found it next to impossible to get insurance in the private market. Webster agreed with the constituent that – despite his voting to strip such protections in January – preexisting conditions ought to be covered by insurance. However, Webster then went on to tell the audience that unless the health reform law, which covers preexisting conditions, is repealed, “we won’t have a country” anymore.”
“Repeatedly during his town hall on Wednesday night in Tusayan, Arizona, freshman Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told a small crowd of constituents that the road to economic recovery only requires “getting government off our backs.” However, Gosar — who represents a large rural district in northern Arizona hit by high unemployment and low wages — offered few concrete ideas on how to stimulate the region. That was until Tusayan City Councilman Al Montoya asked about New Deal-era programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Montoya inquired why public works programs weren’t being created to provide jobs and invest in the community. Gosar surprisingly said that was a “really good” idea, and that President Franklin Roosevelt’s other large-scale public works program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), would be another program the government should “go back and start looking at”.”
“For months, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has berated President Obama and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for not giving the state more federal money to combat historic wildfires that have so far burned 2.5 million acres. Despite the fact that the administration has offered 26 different kinds of federal assistance to combat the fires, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) claimed that Obama is waging “a war on Texas.” After months of blaming the President for not doing enough, Reuters reported yesterday that Perry is poised to sign a budget that slashes funding for the state agency that is battling the wildfires.”
“The revelation this week by the president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns that he is gay comes in the midst of what seems to be a movement in pro sports to confront homophobia head-on. Remarks that were often dismissed as the kind of trash talk that’s acceptable in sports are being challenged by a few of the stars on the court. Host Scott Simon talks with Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns, who has joined a campaign to fight homophobia in sports.”
“As we reported earlier this month, there are often deep financial ties between professional medical societies and the drug and medical device industries. This week, other news outlets chimed in, detailing how recommendations made by two medical societies raise at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Professional groups represent physicians in specialized areas of medicine. They are responsible for writing the guidelines that those physicians use to decide on treatments and care. The organizations also lobby for the interests of their members. But recent reports question whether some of the groups’ recommendations are in the best interests of patients or are tainted by industry support.”
” Egypt’s former president created a regime whose psychological hold may take longer to throw off than the physical one”
“Some psychologists have a theory that many of the world’s ills can be blamed on psychopaths in high places.
“Robert Hare, the eminent Canadian psychologist who invented the psychopath checklist, … recently announced that you’re four times more likely to find a psychopath at the top of the corporate ladder than you are walking around in the janitor’s office,” journalist Jon Ronson tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.”
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