HILLARY: Health links from Drudge.
LEADS: BARTON – IRS targets; SIMON – Tragedy.
ELECTION: ECONOMIST – Donald’s appeal; SMITH – 3 points.
PA: YURCHAK – Competency-based education; SNYDER – Politics PA.
Remember a Vet!
“Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”
1:20pm, 4:20pm, 7:30pm, 10:20pm
1:10pm, 4:10pm, 7:00pm, 9:55pm
“Remember, ISIS is looking folks. They dream of Hillary Clinton. They look at her and they say ‘This can’t be happening to us. How great is this,’ Trump continued.”
HILLARY . . .
2016: HILLARY CONQUERS THE STAIRS
2012: FALLS AT HOME, BLOOD CLOT
2011: FALLS BOARDING PLANE
2009: FALLS GOING TO WHITE HOUSE, BROKEN ELBOW
LEADS . . .
Andrew McCarthy, NRO :” Obama’s Cash Payment to Iran Was More Than a Ransom — It Broke Criminal Law”
“Obama’s Cash Payment to Iran Was More Than a Ransom — It Broke Criminal Law
“Did it ever occur to President Obama to ask why he couldn’t just cut a check to the Iranian regime?
“Outrage broke out this week over the revelation that Obama arranged to ship the mullahs piles of cash, worth $400 million and converted into foreign denominations, reportedly in an unmarked cargo plane. The hotly debated question was whether the payment, which the administration attributes to a 37-year-old arms deal, was actually a ransom paid for the release of American hostages Tehran had abducted.
“It is a waste of time to debate that point further. The Iranians have bragged that the astonishing cash payment was a ransom — and Obama has been telling us for months that we can trust the Iranians. The hostages were released the same day the cash arrived. One of the hostages has reported that the captives were detained an extra several hours at the airport and told they would not be allowed to leave until the arrival of another plane — inferentially, the unmarked cargo plane ferrying the cash. The reason American policy has always prohibited paying ransoms to terrorists and other abductors is that it only encourages them to take more hostages. And, as night follows day, Iran has abducted more Americans since Obama paid the cash. No matter how energetically the president tries to lawyer the ransom issue, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck . . .
“More worth examining is why the transaction took the bizarre form that it did. To cut to the chase, I believe it was to camouflage — unsuccessfully — the commission of felony law violations. . .”
Ethan Barton, Daily Caller: “Federal Judge Says IRS Still Targeting Tea Party with Classic ‘Catch-22’”
“A federal appeals court unanimously confirmed Friday that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials targeted Tea Party and conservative non-profit applicants, with one of the judges calling the tax agency’s actions indefensible.
“It being plain to the Inspector General, the District Court, and this court that the IRS cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle wrote.
“The court overturned a previous decision that said IRS employees proved they had stopped sending Tea Party tax exemption applications into what one agency manager called a “black hole.” The three-judge panel did, however, agree that Tea Party groups couldn’t sue individual IRS officials . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “A Hillary Clinton Presidency Would Be An American Tragedy”
“The American people are generally goodhearted. Historically, most presidents have a honeymoon period when they are newly elected. The majority of our citizens want them to do well, at least for a while.
“This cannot happen for Hillary Clinton. Over half the country, even many who will have voted for her, do not believe she is remotely honest. Almost as many believe criminal charges should have been brought against her for her email scandal. They are convinced, quite arguably, that were her name not Clinton, she would be in jail.
“And this before what we have just now learned–how serious, even fatal to our (and humanity’s) best friends, her use of an easily hacked home-brew email server could be. . .”
ELECTION . . .
Economist: “The appeal of Donald Trump”
“THE church billboards in the mountains of middle Tennessee give a fair sense of the region’s politics. Lately they have expressed support for the police, enlisting Jesus as an authority for the view that “all lives matter”—meaning, implicitly or explicitly, that there is nothing particularly meritorious about the black kind. Those mottos go along with injunctions to piety (“You think this is hot? Try hell”), sometimes with an up-to-the-minute flavour (“Jesus Christ is better than Pokemon”).
This is deep Trump territory, as the yard signs that dot the winding mountain roads proclaim. Those signs are far more numerous in this beautiful part of the country than Muslims or immigrants, let alone terrorists. Given Appalachia’s poverty and social problems, life may not quite be “as peaceful as a baby’s sigh”, as the old Dolly Parton song has it. (Locals still subsidise their incomes by gathering wild ginseng, as Tennesseans have for generations.) But, as in many other places, it is not obvious how Donald Trump’s policies, such as they are, will help.
The Economist stopped at a remote country store, nestled beside a creek in Fentress County, not far from the border with Kentucky. Home-made fudge and Confederate memorabilia were on sale inside; a group of elderly men played cards at tables at the back. Two more sat on the porch, one of them whittling wood in denim dungarees. After a brief discussion of fuel efficiency, and a mutual and sincere paean to the loveliness of the state, the talk turned to politics. They were for the Donald, for instructive reasons.
They didn’t like Barack Obama and thought the country needed a change. But their main concern was corruption. They talked about Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees and the foreign donations to her foundation; they made allegations about dodgy loans. They believed Mrs Clinton was a crook—yet they didn’t seem to suffer many illusions regarding Mr Trump’s own business practices. . .”
Grant Smith, Reuters: “Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows to less than three points: Reuters/Ipsos poll”
“Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump narrowed to less than 3 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday, down from nearly eight points on Monday.
“About 42 percent of likely voters favored Clinton, to Trump’s 39 percent, according to the July 31-Aug. 4 online poll of 1,154 likely voters. The poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 percentage points, meaning that the results suggest the race is roughly even.
“Among registered voters over the same period, Clinton held a lead of five percentage points, down from eight percentage points on Monday, according to the poll.
“The reasons behind the shift were unclear. . .”
PA . . .
Joanne, Competency-based Education
I’d like to share just one of the commentaries that I sent in to the PDE for input for the ESSA alignment. This particular one concerns Competency Based Education which could be coming to your districts in full force very soon. You might want to read some of the multiple concerns that many of us have regarding this. I knew virtually nothing about this until Dawn Sweeney (an exceptionally knowledgeable education activist in PA) educated ME on this issue. I urge you to read the information provided and decide for yourself what you think.
P.S. If you have input that you’d like to send to the PDE for the ESSA alignment, just cut and paste the E-mail addresses below when you send your own commentaries.
From: “Joanne” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “Adam Schott” <email@example.com>, “David Volkman” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “M. Stem” <email@example.com>,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 9:24:54 AM
Subject: Commentary for sharing with those working on ESSA alignment in PA: Concerns Regarding Computer Based Education
To All Individuals Charged with Formulating Plans for Alignment with the New ESSA Law:
PA Must Not Fall into the Trap of Immersing our Students in Competency-Based Education
In any discussion of the testing associated with the ESSA alignment, it is essential to address the multiple concerns regarding the plans related to Competency-Based Education that Pearson (a British multinational publishing and education company headquartered in London) has for our schoolchildren. Pearson, a foreign entity, has had a significant corporate influence over passage of U.S. educational legislation and has also lobbied for the passage of ESSA. If Pearson’s grandiose strategies come to fruition, they (and other corporate educational enterprises) will acquire enormous profits as our schoolchildren sit for longer and longer periods of time in front of computers during the school day.
WHAT IS COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION?
A portion of an explanation by Stephen Krashen, an education policy activist and emeritus professor from the University of Southern California, is given below:
“Competency-based education (CBE) is a radical and expensive innovation that replaces regular instruction with computer “modules” that students work through on their own. After completing a module, students take a test; if they pass, they continue on to the next one. Computer-based education is being pushed by computer companies without consulting educators and without a proper research base.
The Pearson Publishing Company has explicitly stated that their new competency-based programs, now in development, will replace standardized testing. ‘With ongoing AIEd (Artificial Intelligence Education) analysis of a student’s learning activities, there will be no need for the stop-and-test approach that characterizes many current assessments. Instead of traditional assessments that rely upon evaluating small samples of what a student has been taught, AIEd-driven assessments … will assess all of the learning and teaching that takes place, as it happens’.
This statement confirms suspicions that recent statements calling for a ceiling on standardized testing were designed to make way for a far more intrusive (and profitable) program, while giving the impression that they were a reaction to the successful opt-out movement.”…..
MULTIPLE PROBLEMS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ROBOTIC CBE LEARNING…
- Data mining of students will be facilitated by computer based learning. [Note the comment in Pearson’s publication: “A multitude of AIEd-driven applications are already in use in our schools and universities. Many incorporate AIEd and educational data mining (EDM) techniques to ‘track’ the behaviours of students.”]
- The potential for indoctrination of students to the beliefs and viewpoints of those who control the educational software used non-transparently by the students (…the “powers that be” – perhaps the Feds or the State) is considerable.
- Student attitudes, mindsets and behaviors can be readily manipulated by these AIEd methods. [Comment by Pearson: “We will need to seriously attend to the non-cognitive factors that influence learning – grit, tenacity and perseverance; affect; ‘mindset’.”] Pavlonian conditioning by the State is possible and even quite probable with AIEd.
- Parents will be disassociated from their child’s educational process and will be unaware of what beliefs, political viewpoints and value systems are being injected into their children’s minds as they sit for hours at their classroom computers.
- There are legitimate health concerns associated with the significant amount of class time that students would be spending on electronic devices.
- There are also justifiable concerns regarding the decline of social interaction between students and their teachers and peers as these essential human interactions are replaced by computers.
- Sadly, both the educational and affective functions of dedicated, creative teachers will be marginalized and a thing of the past, replaced by robotic, programmed learning.
Pennsylvania is currently implementing CBE to some degree in the form of CDT’s and Study Island which are given to students from third grade on, and Project Based Assessments (PBA’s), which have been given to students (generally in high school) who haven’t scored proficient in the Keystone Exams. In PA, CBE means that students spend more time working on electronic programs, many of which are in the form of “gaming” to maintain their interest; they might be on electronic devices for many hours a day while in school. Students work on online programs until they attain “proficiency” on a certain module, whether it takes weeks or months. Excessive implementation of CBE would result in teachers having less and less interaction with students and would relegate their function to that of a facilitator.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT AND QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO ARE
FORMULATING CHANGES IN PA’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
Individuals in work groups, the PDE, and PA legislators who are in the process of formulating changes to PA’s educational systemMUST RECOGNIZE the potential deleterious consequences of a full-fledged implementation of the corporately-driven and monetarily-motivated Computer Based Education. As you contemplate changes, I urge you to ask yourselves…
- Do we really want a system that enables those with political, social and financial agendas to propagandize and formulate the values, beliefs and viewpoints of our children, or is it parents who should fill that role?
- Teachers can look into the eyes of their students, recognize their difficulties, and interact with them educationally, personally and empathetically. Can a machine fulfill these functions? Do we want to implement a system in which computers essentially replace — not just supplement — human beings?
Please consider the multiple harmful consequences of immersing Computer Based Education in our public schools. Our children’s social, emotional, and educational welfare depend on it.
Joanne Yurchak West Chester, PA firstname.lastname@example.org
Sy Snyder, PoliticsPA: 8/5/16
“Katie McGinty. The Democratic Senate nominee is rapidly closing the polling gap between herself and GOP incumbent Pat Toomey. Tuesday’s PPP poll had McGinty down just one while Thursday’s F&M survey put her ahead by a point. Sure, Toomeyscored Bloomberg’s endorsement but if Bernie Sanders electrifies the base for McGinty that could prove equalizing. The Democrat, though, must capitalize on this momentum.
Bill Shuster. Just when Rep. Shuster thought he was out, Art Halvorson pulls him back in. The Congressman solidly beat the conservative challenger in the 2014 primary and outlasted him earlier this year. Thanks to Halvorson’s write-in victory in the Democratic primary, he’ll have another shot at Shuster in November. If the third contest is as close as their second, it should be a fun one to watch on Election Night.
“PA Senate Republicans. It was an unexpectedly terrible week for Democrats in Harrisburg this week. On Wednesday, State Sen. John Wozniak dropped out of his re-election bid. Such a move practically puts SD-35 in the Republican column unless the Dems can recruit a high-profile replacement, perhaps Mark Critz, to replace the incumbent. Additionally, the Democrats lost a young lawmaker in State Rep. Kevin Schreiber yesterday. By the way, if you’d like to replace Schreiber contact the York County Democratic Party.
“Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee put a lot of resources into the Keystone State and they are starting to pay off. After last week’s convention in Philadelphia ended, the Clintons and Kaines embarked on a bus tour of PA and Ohio. In the aftermath, PPP put her up four points while F&M had her ahead by eleven. On top of that President Obama, who Clinton hugged both literally and figuratively at the DNC, had strong approval ratings in each survey. Since Saturday, FiveThirtyEight saw Clinton’s chances of taking the commonwealth rise from 53.4% to 79.9%. We’d say that’s a sign of a good week.
“Eric Papenfuse. We’ll be giving the Harrisburg Mayor a down arrow every week until he lifts his ridiculous ban of PennLive. We’re up to week eight.”