Archive | Power to the People

The Unhinged Left …

Today is the day for the special election in the sixth congressional district of Georgia. The race is between seasoned Republican political veteran Karen Handel and Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff.

The special election is considered the referendum on the Trump presidency, so far, as if the absurdity of it all isn’t apparent. But, what is noteworthy is that this is the district that Newt Gingrich represented. And things in the area have certainly changed, as the demographics of the Atlanta area are shifting to the left.

The polls on this race are pretty much a dead heat. What else is notable is the big impact that newly politically active women are having in this race and it is in Ossoff’s favor.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s November defeat of Hillary Clinton, many of these Georgia women have remade their lives, transforming themselves and their communities through unceasing political engagement. To visit Georgia’s sixth in the days before the runoff is to land on a planet populated by politically impassioned women, talking as if they have just walked off the set of Thelma & Louise, using a language of awakening, liberation, and political fury that should indeed discomfit their conservative neighbors, and — if it is a harbinger of what’s to come — should shake conservative America more broadly.

And then there is the money pouring into the district for this race. One of Handel’s criticism of Ossoff is that there is a great amount of money coming to him from outside the district. Act Blue has been an influential source for bringing in out of district money for Ossoff. The amount of money spent on advertising has been astounding.

An election-eve analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows that roughly $42 million has been spent or reserved for TV and radio ads in the race – including about $27 million since the first-round of voting in April winnowed the field in Tuesday’s vote to Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. That doesn’t include the other cash spent by the campaigns and the super PACs and outside groups supporting them for other trappings of the campaigns, including direct-mail, staff payroll, consulting fees and digital ads.

The analysis shows Ossoff laid out $14.2 million on ad time and spent at least another $8 million on other costs. Handel spent $2.5 million on TV, radio and cable spots and had at least $1 million in other expenses.

And some of the ads by PACs are just ridiculous, as this ad is…


Both campaigns have denounced this ad, BTW.

So, most polls have Ossoff ahead by a razor-thin margin. Personally, I think that Handel will win.

But, I have my fingers crossed.

Living your faith

Happy to see so many Notre Dame grads walk out during Mike Pence’s commencement speech:

I was so wrong

I really didn’t think the former mayor of my old town had a snowball’s chance in hell of stopping the guy who was removing the hill behind her house.

Guess what? She pulled it off!

She filed complaints to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the County Soil Conservation District — and they must have done something, because today the site has been cleaned up.

She’s running for mayor again, I hope she wins.

She persisted.

Theatres to screen Orwell’s 1984 today to protest Trump

Dystopian Display

Toronto, Canada – Nearly 200 theatres worldwide will simultaneously screen the film version of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, on Tuesday to protest US President Donald Trump. The idea, which is being called “National Screening Day”, is the brainchild of Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island, New York, and Adam Birnbaum,… Continue Reading →

How a teacher taught his 5th graders to spot fake news

This is a great story. I’d love to see more grownups follow these rules! It’s difficult, I still get caught sometimes. But this helps:

To make sure I wouldn’t have any student in the same situation as Andy ever again, I started asking my students to examine seven different elements of a news article. If the information checks out on each of these points, it has a high likelihood of being accurate. Still, passing the test is not a guarantee that it’s fact.

  1. Copyright: I always ask students to check the bottom of the webpage to see if the information has been submitted for ownership.
  2. Verification with multiple sources: Students must double check the information on a few different web pages. Like in a trial, the more corroborating witnesses, the more likely the truth will be discovered.
  3. Credibility of source, such as between versus a random unknown source: I tell them to check if the source has been recently created. Sources that have been around for a while can show reliability over time and be tested by hindsight, whereas recently created sources don’t carry much of a track record.
  4. Date published: I always ask them to check how recently the page was updated to see how current the information is and whether anything has changed.
  5. Author’s expertise and background with the subject: Students should check if the author is someone who has dedicated time and effort to learning this subject. For example, a university professor typically has increased credibility versus a hobbyist.
  6. Does it match your prior knowledge: I ask them if the information matches up with what they have learned before
  7. Does it seem realistic: I tell students to use their common sense. Does something seem authentic or probable?

Tribes: Hundreds march to White House in pipeline protest

Hundreds marched from the Washington office of the U.S. Army Corps to the White House in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline this morning. Photo by Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder.

Hundreds of protesters this morning marched from the Army Corps of Engineers office in Washington to the White House, where they held a rally against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Throughout the week, Native American protesters and their supporters have been holding water blessings, cultural workshops and presentations at a ceremonial teepee camp set up by the Washington Monument.

This week, tribes and other groups were outraged by a federal court’s decision to reject arguments from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe that the project violates their religious freedom rights.

During the march that was organized by Native Nations Rise, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault II and Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy read a proclamation that questioned the separation of church and state when dealing with tribal matters.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline crisis is a direct result of the United States government using the religious underpinnings of U.S. federal law against our Nations,” Goudy said in a statement.

Cheyenne River and Standing Rock still have pending legal cases against the pipeline, although the pipeline could start moving oil as soon as next week.

“In order for us to take the steps necessary to assure our own future, we have to understand historically what has happened to us and understand what is currently happening to us,” Archambault said.

Sen. Tim Kaine’s son one of six counter-protesters arrested at pro-Trump rally

Senator Tim Kaine, United States Senator from Virginia; Democratic Party Vice Presidential Candidate, US Presidential Election (2016)

MINNEAPOLIS — Linwood Kaine, the youngest son of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the presidential election, was one of six counter-protesters arrested during a rally supporting President Donald Trump over the weekend at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. Kaine was arrested by St. Paul Police and booked into… Continue Reading →

Last night’s town halls

People are so, so angry. But I have to say, Indivisible has given people the right tools to organize their districts. Great turnout, good preparation. And no matter what these Republicans say about outside agitators, they know better. I hope they’re scared shitless:

Rachel Maddow: Trump resistance far outpaces Tea Party popularity

Resistance To Donald Trump Grows With Local Roots | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

The anti-Trump resistance movement stretches far beyond major cities, or even states Trump lost. It’s also nearly twice as popular as its right-wing counterpart. “Take a look at the shot from Mount Desert Island in Maine,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out, showing a photo of a newly formed “indivisible” activist group gathered for a meeting… Continue Reading →

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