I suppose the one good thing to come out of this is that Campbell Brown, who has absolutely no business talking about education in any way, finally reveals herself as the stealth Romney campaign advisor we have all known she is.
Before I discuss her despicable effort to "Willy Horton" the American Federation of Teachers and President Randi Weingarten in particular, let's just review who Campbell Brown is. She is a long-gone CNN White House correspondent, married to Dan Senor, and has no classroom experience or anything to suggest that she has authority when it comes to public education.
Still, that didn't stop her from writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal using Willy Horton tactics to smear the American Federation of Teachers yesterday by proclaiming that the AFT "goes to bat for sexual offenders." And if that wasn't enough, she then paraded herself onto Morning Joe Monday morning to whine about it and smear the teachers even more.
Surely that wasn't timed to coincide with the end of AFT's National Conference Monday, or Vice President Biden's rousing speech to the teachers in attendance on Sunday. Surely not. [Disclosure: I attended the conference at AFT's invitation]
Oh, I forgot one more thing Mrs. Senor forgot: Dan Senor is on the board of StudentsFirst NY. StudentsFirst NY is an arm of Michelle Rhee's education deform coalition, funded by Rupert Murdoch and others who have an interest in destroying teachers' unions. Dan Senor is also a senior Mitt Romney advisor, and smearing teachers' unions is one of Romney's top priorities. It certainly didn't hurt to have that Dan Senor/Morning Joe connection when Campbell wanted to put a little traction under her smear, either.
But you know, Campbell Brown should have checked with Michelle Rhee before taking this tack. Because now it's my non-reportorial duty as a citizen of this great country to point out that Michelle Rhee goes to bat for sexual predators, too. This is actually a story I haven't talked about because I happen to think Rhee's personal life should not be involved in her effort to wreck schools.
But Campbell Brown opened up Pandora's box, so let's just go ahead and lay it out there.
Michelle Rhee's husband Kevin Johnson was under federal investigation in 2009 for misuse of funds connected with his charter school, St. Hope Academy. This was a big right-wing story at the time, but mostly underreported by mainstream press or the left, because the Obama administration fired the OIG in charge of the investigation shortly after his report was issued. The timing gave rise to a shrill whine from the right wingers about cronyism, etc, while they ignored the actual report about Johnson's malfeasance. Here's a snippet of the letter from Chuck Grassley wrote concerning the investigation:
In September 2008, after reviewing the facts that the OIG investigation presented, the Corporation?s Debarment and Suspension Official (Official) determined that the grantee?s two principals, Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzalez were responsible for six acts of diverting grant funds to non-grant purposes, and found that ?immediate action is necessary to protect the public interest.?
In total about $850,000 was misused. As a result, the OIG requested that the Official suspend all future Federal grant funding to both St. HOPE Academy and Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzales individually. The Official ultimately suspended St. HOPE Academy and its principals ?from participating in Federal procurement and non procurement programs and activities.? None of the respondents exercised their right to submit facts objecting to the suspension.
What Grassley does not mention in his letter is that Kevin Johnson was also under investigation for inappropriate sexual conduct with a 16-year old student at the school. Skip to page 26 of the report below to read the specifics.
2009 OIG Report Re: Kevin Johnson
And what does this have to do with Dan Senor, Michelle Rhee and Campbell Brown? Well, it seems that Michelle Rhee actually interfered in the federal investigation, and covered for her "friend" Kevin Johnson, who she married in 2011.
When Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, was under investigation last year for alleged financial misdeeds and inappropriate behavior with female students, he had an important ally behind the scenes.
Michelle Rhee, the nationally known education reformer who is now head of the Washington, D.C., public schools, had several conversations with a federal inspector general in which she made the case for Johnson and the school he ran in Sacramento, according to the inspector general. Rhee, who had served on the board of the school and is now engaged to marry Johnson, said he was "a good guy."
What does this prove, really? It proves bad people exist everywhere. In unions and not in unions. In charter schools and in public schools. But the key difference is that when it comes to teachers' unions, publications like the Wall Street Journal allow intellectually dishonest so-called "journalists" to smear an entire group of people for the actions of a few. If I were to apply Campbell Brown's logic, I would smear every single charter school in the country because Kevin Johnson misused nearly a million dollars of taxpayer money and may have engaged in sexual misconduct, too. But I won't, because it's flawed, agenda-laden, political skullduggery.
Of course, we'll never know one way or the other, because Michelle Rhee married Kevin Johnson, so she wouldn't be compelled to give evidence against him in any prosecution one way or the other, and she interfered in the original investigation as well.
Where is Campbell Brown shouting about how the president of an organization covered up for a man who may have sexually assaulted young women in a charter school where there are ZERO requirements for any kind of due process before teachers are fired? Where is her outrage at the possibility that Kevin Johnson behaved inappropriately toward a minor and other Americorps volunteers without any investigation, largely because Michelle Rhee stood up and defended him as a "good guy"?
Sorry, but Campbell Brown has absolutely zero business writing about education, unions, or sexual misconduct as long as she's willing to disguise her obvious ties with StudentsFirst NY, Michelle Rhee, and Kevin Johnson and ignore the evidence on the record about their misconduct. Not only does her cynical ploy to discredit the AFT fall flat, it simply affirms her reputation as a Washington insider has-been who is trying to revive her career by papering over Mitt Romney's utter failure as a viable candidate.
[Footnote: Kevin Johnson is now the mayor of Sacramento, and despite right-wing claims that he's a darling of the Obama administration, the truth is that even Democrats can't stand the man. Or his wife.]
Bob Dylan's new album comes out on September 11th, 2012. But most of the first song has just come out as a soundtrack for a promo for Cinemax's Strike Back series. Check it out after the jump ...[...]
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One of the greatest sins in our politics today is the way one party (the Republicans) has aggressively moved to disenfranchise voters (the Democrats) who predominantly vote for the other party. (It's one of the abiding and perhaps most significant[...]
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Romney taking a stand, and embracing something that sounds an awful lot like tax increases. Good luck with that:Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday urged Mitt Romney to embrace revenues as part of a plan to stave off the automatic spending cuts set to take effect next year.?If he gave his blessing, it would be easier for Republicans,? Graham said of the presumptive GOP presidential...
New household data income from the Pew Research Center shows that residential segregation by income has increased over the past three decades. Between 1980 and 2010, the percentage of lower-income households located in majority lower-income areas rose from 23 to 28 percent, while the percentage of upper-income households in majority upper-income areas rose from 9 percent to 18 percent. As the study reports, “these increases are related to the long-term rise in income inequality, which has led to a shrinkage in the share of neighborhoods across the United States that are predominantly middle class or mixed income.” Pew also breaks down the data by the largest U.S. metro areas:
In the 2012 election cycle, President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have been keeping one specific demographic in mind ? Latinos.
Many analysts think Hispanic voters are the key to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, specifically in swing states such as Nevada and Florida. With a population that reached 50.4 million residents in 2010, it is no surprise that strategies have been developed by both parties to get the Latino vote. However, immigration policies should not be the only approach candidates are taking with the Hispanic population.
Today, the Sierra Club in conjunction with NCLR (National Council of La Raza) released an extensive poll conducted by Project New America and Myers Research. The results of the 2012 Latinos and the Environment Survey show an overwhelming belief that Latinos believe in global climate change and want government regulations to protect their air and water – a combined 92% understand that global warming is either already happening and it will happen in the future.
The Latino community clearly understands that due to fossil fuel production and usage, our nation is going through serious climate changes.
Latino voters are also mostly in agreement with the entire American demographic when it comes to regulations. The report found that 72% Latino voters agree that regulations protect our health by lowering polluting toxins in our air and water. A report released by the Pew Research Center recognized 71% of all Americans believe our government should do ?whatever it takes to protect the environment.?
Regulations benefit all of us, but are particularly essential to Latinos.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Hispanics are 165% more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter than were whites. The report found that 43% of Latino voters say they live or work near a toxic site, such as a refinery, a coal fired power plant, an incinerator, an agricultural field, a major highway, or a factory. This represents a significant increase since 2008, when 34% reported living or working close to a toxic site.
As a result of the environmental injustice occurring in our country, the report states that nearly half of Hispanic voters (47%) report that they or someone in their family has faced asthma as a result of environmental factors.
It seems that the GOP is on the wrong side of this issue if they want to win the Latino vote as many of them want to not only scale back regulations (some want to just get rid of the EPA), and obstruct any possible solution to the mess we?re making by polluting.
A corporal (E4) in the Marines with four years of service, who is married and has two children would see a tax increase of $448 under H.R. 8
A military police staff sergeant (E5) in the Air Force with eight years? service, with a spouse and three young children at home, would see a tax increase of $1,118 under H.R. 8
A private in the U.S. Army (E1) in his first year of service, who is married with an infant child, would see a $273 tax increase under the Republican plan
“These are just three typical military families who face a tax increase from H.R. 8?s failure to extend important tax benefits for working families,” Hanlon writes. “Many families with similar incomes, military and nonmilitary, would face similar tax increases because of H.R. 8?s failure to extend the child tax credit and earned income tax credit improvements.” See the full report here for more details.
Cross posted by The Stars Hollow GazetteAugust is here and tonight we a graced with the first of two full moons and the first harvest festival of the Wiccan year, Lughnasadh.August 31 will be the last Blue Moon, the second full moon in a single month,[...]
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Nuclear power was already understood to be dirty, dangerous and absurdly expensive, even without the pressures of climate change. Far from being the answer to growing greenhouse gas emissions, the lifecycle of nuclear power--from mining and milling to[...]
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Why do they hate American taxpayers?Yep, they did it. The House Republicans just voted to raise taxes on the middle class of America so they can give tax cuts to the rich.
By a vote of 170-257, Republicans rejected the Democrats' plan to extend tax cuts to the middle class because, of course, the Democrats' bill didn't also extend tax cuts to the top two percent on their income above $250,000.
Then, in a vote of 256-171, they voted on the Republicans' bill, H.R. 8, which they actually have the gall to call the "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012." That one extends tax cuts to the rich on all of their income, because the current low tax rates for the wealthiest Americans has done so much to protect jobs and prevent recessions. They're kind of slow learners. How slow? They wasted time on this bill, knowing it will die in the Senate.
Another futile, insulting, useless, political bill in which they're working against the public will. Enough of this. Let's take the House back, and put Nancy Pelosi back in the speaker's chair.