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Without a compliant (cheer leading?) media the GOP would actually have to tell us what they are FOR, and face accountability for what they have opposed. Education has surfaced as next iteration of the phony "repeal and replace Obamacare" campaign gimmick. The media couldn't be bothered to ask TFG and other GOPers about the "replacement," knowing there was no such thing, and no such thing was ever intended. The lede in repair and replace reports should have always been "But there is no replacement plan, and 30 million Americans will lose health insurance." And the CRT lede should be, "But critical race theory isn't being taught in K-12 grades." All horse race ALL THE TIME!

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agreed, CRT worked, politically, snd thsts all press cared abt

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Pandering to upper middle class whites? How so?

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Black Americans don't need instruction in being anti-racist, but how does white people educating themselves on the subject equate to Dems "pandering"?

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Black Americans don't need instruction in being anti-racist, but how does white people educating themselves on the subject equate to Dems "pandering"?

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Republicans are also banning books.

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…which press is currently downplaying

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Everything old is new again, witnessed by the GOP return to “education”—a pet issue going back to the mid 80s. Conservative school boards and parents have been banning books (or trying to) for years, with the occasional story in the press, which seems to shrug its collective shoulders over this attempt at censorship—the original “cancel culture.” It’s incredibly sad and frustrating. And some on the left are doing it now too.

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I read that some legislator in Texas has now proposed burning books. Go big or go home, Texas! Way to go!

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From what I see it is a very small minority of people on the left, usually young college kids who are guilty of overreaching and they are not elected leaders. The same media that for years ignored the growing extremism on the right that was funded by powerful people like the Kochs, Ricard Mellon Scaife, Robert Mercer, Rupert Murdoch and others obsessing over the comparatively few “cancel culture” flaps. Now Republican leaders, including the guy they elected, openly spew the insanity. There is no comparison; there are literally millions of Republicans who have extreme ideas.

I personally know previously normal people who now spout all kinds of crazy right wing conspiracy theories — several in my extended family. I also know many Democrats and not one of them is into censorship or cancel culture.

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If those media outlets were pandering to the "cancel culture left", they would be pushing the "cancel culture" party line. Please explain why that isn't happening.

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Cancel culture is a made up thing, imo. It’s a meme. The other side needs only thin air to lie about, distort, blame, make into a crisis caused by the Ds. There are purists in every party where the use of language has either been neutered or weaponized and they are a big pain in the behind. Sanctimonious jerks. This progressive doesn’t fit into your premise that censorship is on every progressive’s agenda. Not mine.

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It’s not a made up thing and when we deny it, it just makes us look weak. Isn’t that the whole point of pressuring advertisers about shows we do not like? What do you call what happened to Al Franken? That was a Roger Stone special and the Dems fell over themselves to get rid of him. The problem is the purists are manna for the GOP who exaggerate, distort, and lie with impunity because it works.

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My point is that the phrase ‘cancel culture’ is new. People are rejected/fired for all kinds of reasons, and some have to take responsibility for their actions. Al Franken was unfairly pushed to resign from office but he’s making a come back with his blog and appearances on cable. Cancel culture, imo, is a meme that distorts the real happenings to those who are called ‘cancelled’, an abbreviation. Too easily used to encompass a whole lot of actions, a lazy characterization; the use of a phrase that has been made up recently. I’m 74 and I never heard of people being ‘cancelled’ till TFG. For sure, language changes over time, but to reduce a person to being called ‘cancelled’ makes no sense to me. Atomized? Disappeared?

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Got it and yes, I agree, it's become a stupid catch-all meme like "political correctness" that has caught on because, like the best lie, there is a grain of truth at the center. There are purists on the left trying to shut down things they don't like—which of course the conservatives have been doing for years!

I'll give the right one thing, they are geniuses at manipulating language, thanks to the wizardry of Frank Luntz et al. Then, the media lap up these simplistic phrases and repeat them on a loop—which is how they become part of daily dialogue.

As to Al Franken, yes, his podcast is quite good and he's reemerging. But we lost an excellent and effective Senator. He wasn't just a Dem vote. Imagine him in the Kavanaugh hearings, etc. I understand we want to be role models. But common sense please! And the media had a lot to do with his ousting as well.

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And the media takes that grain of truth and equates it to the widespread crackpot ideas Republicans have adopted.

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There has certainly been some over-reach by the more extreme left, but what is usually attacked as "cancel culture" is simply social condemnation of bigotry and other uncivil behavior. With every success of our culture moving away from the white supremacist status quo, the privileged find new grounds for grievance.

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So your advice is to stop defending the Democrats because it makes me sound like I'm in the GOP, and recommend that Democrats invite leftist extremists to attack them on Twitter so you won't accuse them of pandering?

I'm not sure what it is you think "we" are ignoring, honestly. You seem very adamant about raling about it, though.

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Her comments are nonsensical.

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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has difficulty making sense of them, but unfortunately they are not uncommon.

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I don’t know of examples that Democratic politicians pander the the extremes on the left to avoid being excoriated on Twitter. I have just seen the media amplify those more extreme examples of “wokeness” and examples of some elite universities overreacting. Do you have any links to examples of Democrats doing that?

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Education is a profession. Parents need the reassurance that their children's schools are structured around professionalism. Changing course willy-nilly isn"t a recipe for success and I hope Virginia's fever breaks before its educators lose faith. Parents, safe to say, if they truly lnow what's best, will end their siege mentality based on Fox shouting points.

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good pt…right-wing crusade against schools seems to want communities run by mini-mobs, constantly changing curriculum etc

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Public schools systems have well-defined, in-depth processes for designing their curriculum and for making changes to it. Most, if not all, states post detailed descriptions of their curriculum, grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject online. Textbook selection also goes through a similar process. Elected school boards, both state and local, have oversight and invite to public participation but most people never bother.

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Conservatives look for the most obscure thing (CRT) and the most outrageous thing from the left—like burn baby burn—and use it to paint ALL Dems as being extremists. And it works every time.

It’s like that old theoretical “Senator have you stopped beating your wife?” question to a poll who has never done and never been accused of such a thing. With that kind of question, no matter that it is fabricated, the perception of wrongdoing has been introduced.

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Budgets and/or taxes would have to increase substantially for that to happen. The problem is that too many schools are funded by property taxes, which is one of the many reasons for disparity.

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"The current analysis among the Beltway media makes no sense. That might be because it’s being crafted and told almost exclusively by Republican operatives, not educational professionals. Schools opened up under Democrats — they’ve returned to “normal” —but parents are mad at Democrats for last year’s school closures?"

The common thread that makes it all make "sense" is that Republicans don't think we ever should have actually done anything about COVID-19, and should not be doing anything about it now. They think it was a Chinese bioweapon, and anyway it's "over" now (lol I got my positive test result this morning).

Well, that and the fact that Republicans vote against Democrats no matter what, and our six-figure media refuse to ask that. Your closing question is never asked on a political desk. (Note that any other desk in any media outlet almost always asks themselves "Wait, does this make sense or are we getting worked here?" Not Our Media stars, though.

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They are just resorting to one of their favorite tactics — he said/she said. It is much easier than reporting on whose claims are true and keeps reporters from getting a lot of right wing flak. There is a lot of evidence that attacks on the media from the right have intimidated the mainstream media. That is why so many bend over backwards to appease them.

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That and corporate ownership of the msm.

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Paul Farhi has a good story in The Post on the New Jersey mainstream republican--in other words, the bigot--who defeated the state senate president. He goes into the loss of local journalism and how the gatekeepers are lacking. I sent him a note, part of which follows.

In 1982, I was a teenaged reporter for a little daily in southern Nevada, The Valley Times. By then we were into bankruptcy, but before my arrival the paper had been known for its outstanding coverage of the mob, gaming, and politics. Our publisher, Bob Brown, was a backroom wheeler-dealer in the state GOP, though he would sometimes endorse Democrats. But he especially disliked our four-term US Senator, Howard Cannon. Brown helped convince Chic Hecht, a businessman and former state senator, to run in the republican primary. Hecht won.

It looked like a mismatch. Hecht was short, with a speech impediment and a penchant for malaprops. Nevada usually stuck with the incumbent. Cannon had delivered a lot of federal money over the years.

But Cannon had been in a bruising primary, and this was when right-wing groups were rising--the National Conservative Political Action Committee put a lot of effort in to help Hecht. For his part, Hecht never spoke in a TV ad. You'd see a photo. But all of his ads attacked Cannon as a liberal who missed key votes (neither was true).

He also attacked Cannon as corrupt. That's more debatable. But in fact, mobsters and Teamsters leaders had been caught on a wiretap conspiring to attempt to bribe him. They never actually bribed him. But somehow, the Reagan Justice Department needed Cannon's testimony right before the election.

Cannon lost. And after the election, some of his supporters said that one of the problems was that Hecht hid from the media. No. I wrote stories on that campaign and if I needed to interview him, I found him. It was that the local media did not take him seriously, because they did not think he could win. If they had done their jobs, he would not have won, or would have been less likely to do so. That was nearly 40 years ago. I don't think we can blame the decline of local journalism for it.

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The media didn’t take Trump seriously until he started winning primaries. Before that they gave him far too much coverage to entertain themselves. They gave did the same when that nutjob Herman Cain was running at the top of polls. When a person like that gains traction a responsible media would do substantive reporting about that person’s deep flaws, not just report on the horse race.

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Exactly. It's also why I still say the L word for the political media is not Liberal. It is Lazy. There's also a D word: Dangerous.

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The information now being written on Edward Durr is astounding, but my cynicism is such that if folks new that before the election, he probably would have received more votes.

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Every parent, rich, poor, high wages, low wages, cares about the education of their children. I spent most of my 30+ year career in education in the burbs, rural and inner city and education mattered to all big time. Youngkin talked against CRT because he knew where to find the raw nerve among parents and he played on that vulnerability to scare the hell out of them. Public K12 schools are locally run. The feds have nothing to do w/curricula, that’s up to the local school districts. Districts can apply for fed grants to support their schools but most of their funding comes from local property taxes. In my state of MA parents are required to be a part of the educational process via school councils. CRT was a nonissue in schools until the Rs concocted their lie about ‘it’ being taught in schools; an ugly cheap shot that has worked nationwide. As to Penny’s remarks, of course wages and the financial security of families are paramount. No disagreement there. But school life is embedded within the daily life of families, communities and a part of that security. All parents want their kids to succeed, even those in dysfunctional households. Schooling is a huge part of that aspiration.

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Wish that was true because I have relatives brainwashed by the Religious Right who sent their kids to "Christian" schools to get a "Patriotic" education that they (allegedly) couldn't get in public schools. My brother in law ran for the local school board campaigning for school vouchers and he attacked the "godless communist teacher unions". He came within a few votes of winning.

My brother in law said that he didn't want his kids educated. He wanted them to rely on the Bible for everything...

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Hopeless.

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My wife gave our school district 24 years of service and I was the decompression agent at the dinner table. I have a grasp of the issues because of that but nothing close to veterans such as you with actual work experience. When she found herself spending more time testing than teaching the material which the tests were meant to measure, and her objections went unheeded, she wound up in Kindergarten where she could satisfy her passion to make a difference with language development and socialization skills. She would be supportive of BBB's universal pre-K because many, not all of her parents treated school like the laundromat where you drop the kids off without any thought to how prepared you have made them.

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You’ll get no argument from this former kindergarten teacher! For sure, testing has spoiled teaching for many. I’ve been lucky enough to be in more progressive districts where testing was NOT king. If memory serves, businesses drove the idea about testing in the schools years ago; they won out.

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The Bush adminstration pushed testing too.

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Actually curriculum is not dominated by local schools; state school boards play a big role in curriculum. My state has a detailed curriculum for all schools and all subjects that anyone can access online.

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Must vary. Thx.

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Because of property taxes, which most states use to fund schools and education. Schools do get money from the state and fed govt as well. But that base difference matters. Schools in affluent areas also have more money coming in from other sources. PTA and other parental groups have more money to fundraise and donate for trips, programs, tutors, etc. same for private schools. Dems have been talking about the inequalities and trying to find fixes but it doesn’t help with horrendous takes like yesterday’s NYT video op Ed “It’s all the blue states fault.”

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Is this what you really believe? That NYT readers don’t care about anyone but the wealthy and privileged? That is such a distorted view. If they didn’t care about the working class and poor then their suffering wouldn’t matter.

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Nobody is preaching CRT. It is not taught in public schools and no one is asking that it be. Republicans are making that false claim to scare voters.

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Instead of my usual quibbling, a little autobiography to show where I come from or, in J school parlance I suppose, my bias. In no particular order...:

First, there was the exposure at a young age to Alex Cockburn's Press Clips column in the Village Voice. When I say young, it pretty much was always over my head.

Then there was press coverage of Reagan. It exuded an unprofessional love for him (after a couple of years of ad hominem attacks on Carter) which, you know, shouldn't be the press' job. What really drove it home, as if it was needed (it wasn't) was the pass the mainstream media gave him for sending US Marines into Beirut to inexplicably be targets -- and 243 of said targets were killed. Our awesome press saw nothing wrong with that at all. (Interesting factoid: Colin Powell was, at the time, was senior military assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.)

Finally, there's this book: "Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes". Background on the book is here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/189718.

The frosting on the cake, for one thing, is my ongoing obsession of the mainstream normalizing Trump (historically unfit POTUS, sociopath, moron, toxic narcissist) even after his deadly response to Covid and then attack against fair elections and support for depowering the power of the vote. Of course, there's other issues so mishandled -- deliberately -- as to render our media no better than a state propaganda rag like the Pravda of the USSR.

But, sure, one wee quibble or elaboration on today's post: The misreporting Eric documented results from deliberate choices, not ignorance or ineptitude. That, yes, makes it worse.

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The media gave Bush the First a pass when he lied for years, claiming to have been out of the loop on Iran Contra. They ignored the fact that he even withheld evidence in the form of those meeting he claimed he wasn’t part of from the Independent Counsel. They barely blinked when he then pardoned all of his Iran Contra co-conspirators which kept Bush’s lies from being publicized when Bush’s diary was used as evidence at Caspar Weinberger’s trial.

As for media idol Colin Powell, the Iran Contra Independent Counsel’s final report clearly states that Powell lied under oath to investigators. Powell was furious that the IC had dared to impugn his honor and wrote a letter to that effect. . When Powell was considering a presidential run a major network deliberately tanked a completed report about Powell’s lie because the powers that be didn’t want to anger Powell.

https://www.salon.com/2000/03/20/powell_3/

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The mainstream media: supporting the GOP through thick and thin since the late 1970s. If they can’t hold Donnie accountable, you know they’re thoroughly dishonest.

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I agree 100%.

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Here in purple PA06 (Chrissy Houlahan) the Ds won the school board election and a fair number of the municipal spots...so now the Rs are calling for a 'forensic audit' of the election. I don't know...is it time for 'fire for fire'?

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You are lucky. It was a red wave here in Luzerne, but I think it was because of consistently low turnout. Haven’t dug into the numbers yet. Depressing but yet another reason to fight harder for good midterm results. Did you see Dr Oz may announce his candidacy for Toomey’s seat? Of course running as GOP.

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So much of the backlash is over the teachers’ unions, which outlets, including the NYT (especially) and New York magazine, do not like. Even Michelle Goldberg jumped on the “Democrats better watch out over education” bandwagon.

It’s the tip of the spear for the GOP’s renewed push for privatization, sending tax dollars to private and parochial schools, which pay teachers less and offer fewer to no protections. And a way to strike at those unions, which historically support Dems.

People are tired of the pandemic and need someone to blame for the impact it’s had on our lives. Teachers have always been an easy scapegoat. “So what if these teachers could have gotten sick and died. My kid shoulda been in school and is now sooooo far behind!” That is the tone and message that comes across in the various interviews and comments. Even though schools are open and kids are back in classrooms, they are angry Covid precautions like masking and social distancing are still in place—even though Covid is far from over and there will be fight over getting kids vaxxed now that they are eligible.

It is maddening, and media coverage is only going to get worse now that the midterms are a year away. Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Media has always loved to bash teachers. My take is that it’s a profession made up mostly of women, easy targets. Because we all went to school, we all think we’re experts about education. We go to doctors/dentists but don’t think the same.

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Back when MSNBC was pushing education month they spent their time bashing public schools and unions and praising charter schools. It occurred to me that they sounded like people who had never attended public schools and believed that kids like them who go to private schools always get a superior education. They saw charter schools as a way to get a private education for low income kids. I checked the bios of the reporters and pundits who were doing this and found that almost none of them had attended public schools. Many had gone to private Catholic schools, some to elite private schools.

Clearly they had no clue that when studies which match public school kids to kids in private or charter schools on the educational and economic levels of their parents, the advantages of the private/charter schools almost always disappear. In fact there are studies that found that private schools actually underperformed public schools when that socioeconomic match was done:

https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/default+domain/XfYmtC25VddcCfbA3xiV/full

https://www.hepg.org/hel-home/issues/31_1/helarticle/turning-conventional-wisdom-on-its-head-public-sch

There are similar findings from studies comparing public and charter schools. The media chooses to ignore those findings. I think they don’t want to admit that they may not have gotten a superior education from their private schools.

I do think those journalists and pundits were sincerely concerned about helping low income kids get a better education but they were coming from a place of ignorance and bias — and likely statistical illiteracy.

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Well, now maybe it's just dentists because these people don't like doctors anymore either with their "science" and "vaccines" and lies about bleach, ivermectin, and masks. We really are a country infected with stupid. Thankfully not all!

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MSNBC has also blamed teachers’ unions for the problems with public education. They are all so East Coast centric that they don’t realize that there are states like mine that outlaw unions or have weakened them so much they have little power. Those states, mostly in the south, not only have the same education problems as strong union states, they have worse education outcomes.

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Yes. Chamber of Commerce, business community pushed it here.

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Wow. Interesting!

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Instant post-election analysis has long been like peering at a Quiga board and making grand pronouncements. But this Press Run is especially depressing, given that the conclusions were obviously based not on fact but what sounded compelling. How hard is it to write that CRT is not taught anywhere in the U.S. except at some universities. You know, where presumably semi-mature, independent-minded students choose to learn about the theory.

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Have asked any of the journalists or networks involved WHY their reporting is so biased? Why do they alter facts to fit an inaccurate narrative? Why do they report in this odd manner? How do they justify themselves? It can't just be that they have some sort of fear of appearing biased against Repubs. Or, if they do appear that way what price would they pay? What is the explanation for their reporting bias?

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We agree! I miss Al Franken in that chair. He’d be terrific especially in the time of FG et al.

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Re: CRT - the term has been co-opted by the propagandists. The "real" meaning has been buried under the rubble of Charlottesville chants and flown like a flag by opponents of everything progressive. Hence, even though those asked can't define the "CRT" that they are so against, schools are being castigated for teaching it.

I'm pretty sure the major media outlets are like old-timey school boys getting jars full of ants from different colonies and dumping them out together just to watch them fight. So the recourse has to be sorted out without them.

Option one: get into the discussion of what CRT actually is and watch the objectors as their eyes glaze over while they wait for their turn to denounce CRT being taught to their first-grader.

Option two: figure out a catchy phrase to call what they are actually objecting to. I don't know, maybe call it "Sunday School for the Week", or name it "The Bellweather Course" after the Jenny Slate character - Quote - "Fear Always Works" Or something.

Option Three: Rename "Critical Race Theory" something else, like

"Intersectionality Study" or anything that can't by twisted into "Critical of Race" bs.

Option Four: I don't know. It's your turn to think of one.

Granted, for some options, including there will be pushback that needs to be planned for, and there are other options, including a mix of these ideas

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We need cable to do a town hall style meeting about the truth re: CRT. A little sunshine on the truth might help.

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[oops, premature post]

pushback such as "you caved because you know we're right" but I would NOT recommend saying "we caved because your stupid" It would be more salable to say "we thought about what you were talking about. Here, think of this - you are using a term that you don't understand because someone has told you lies about it. But the colleges that teach this have been using a term that really doesn't express what it means. So you can have this term - we've got a better one now - but it would help a lot if you could explain what upsets you about this issue, because we can't address it if you don't explain what it is."

I've seen Obama use this attitude (not a trick) on hecklers when his Constitutional Law Scholar side took over and told *his* crowd that the heckler has as much right to speak as they do. It really took the tempest out of his sails, being listened to.

Heh - The Grimm Brothers collection wins again with the contest between the North Wind and the Sun.

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The poor and working class do not care about education? I'd rethink that statement. Poor and working class parents care about their children, their schools, and their education as well as their wages.

As to Dems not respecting essential workers, that is a RW talking point the media and progressive lap up and amplify. So tired of hearing the bullshit that Dems with college educations are elitists who look down their noses at those who don't have degrees and want everyone to go to college. Many of us came from poor and working class families and used education to move into the middle and upper middle classes thanks to college, so yes we respect education and champion it. But many of us also know college isn't for everyone.

As for "crumbs," one of the biggest boons of the ACA—which the Democrats designed and passed—was the expansion of Medicaid, which helps the poor and working class, and the GOP controlled states rejected. Here in PA, the Dems have been fighting for years to increase the minimum wage, which is still $7.25. They've been consistently blocked by the GOP legislature. It was the Dems who have given the poor and working class the child tax credit, rent assistance, free vaccinations, CHIP, and the infrastructure bill—improvements for transit!—will provide jobs for those blue collar workers and make it easier for those who rely on mass transportation and finally bring wireless service to rural areas, like the rural electrification program under FDR. And BBB does even more. And this is all just off the top of my head.

But again, Dems don't care about the working class and poor.

As to NAFTA, you have a very narrow view. Yes, it passed in the first few months of Bill Clinton's first term, but originated with Reagan and was written under Poppy Bush. Dems wrestled and some voted for it, but sure lay it ALL on them. The truth is states like Pa began losing good factory jobs well before NAFTA. Factories were shuttered in the NE and Midwest and moved South, where the owners could get around union protections and environmental regulations and pay their workers much less. (Then they repayed us by introducing "right to work laws" which passed in states like PA once the GOP had full state control.) Of course the press and public only took interest when those factory jobs moved to Mexico and then were offshored to China.

I agree with you that "cancel student debt" is quite the rallying cry, but Joe doesn't support it, though he is open to a limited amount of relief. It does account for more than a trillion dollars, which is insane. Again, that comes around to why are colleges—especially state schools—so expensive? And we're back to (a different aspect of) education . . .

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Great recap.

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Sorry but you set up straw man arguments and then knock them down. I won’t go through all of them because it’s not worth my time. The positions you lay out are as classist and condescending as you accuse others of being. So billionaires read the Times and so do people who live on SS. A middle number would fall on the high end because of this. Doesn’t mean Times readers are all rich. Far from it. As to being educated? Guilty as charged Madame Defarge.

As to why people in the Bronx voted for Trump you have a number of traditional Blacks and Hispanics there as well as others who just like rich people and there are many conservatives in NYC as well. Plenty of people in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn voted for Trump. As for Manhattan and the rest of NYC who voted against him, we all knew what a con man Trump was for years.

For more than four years I have been back in flyover country—a place that was once very union and Dem, but is heavy Trump. And the main reason? Not the economy or because “the Dems abandoned them.” (Press them and they have no answer to what that means except to spout the same class bullshit the eighth has been shoveling for decades—Limousine liberals.) The real reason is prejudice and the lies. (Not to mention the misogyny in 16.) They don’t want “those people” getting something they think they do not deserve. They complain about taxes when they are ridiculously low here. They have been brainwashed by 30 years of Rush and Fox. I watched my mother go from sensible to insane as have others here with their own families and friends.

Despite what you argue, Dems have never stopped working for the poor and the working class as well as the middle class. But Dems aren’t the only ones in Congress. Last time I looked they didn’t vote for tax cuts for corporations and billionaires.

I will never apologize for believing in education and the need for overcoming ignorance and prejudice, and for giving people the opportunity to lead a better life, whether they want to be a doctor or a plumber. If that makes me elitist, I’ll wear it proudly.

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