Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who’s Stealing Our Jobs? • NAFTA and xenophobia

Who’s Stealing Our Jobs? • NAFTA and xenophobia

Teaching lessons for school about trade, free trade, and prejudice.  From Rethinking Schools.

California Comeback: How a Ballot Measure Brought America’s Largest Public School System Back From the Brink – Capital & Main

Four years ago California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 30, the emergency ballot measure that Governor Jerry Brown and state education leaders had argued was needed to rescue public schools and community colleges from the fiscal free-fall of the 2008 Great Recession.

The good news, according to the California school teachers and officials, parents, college professors, health-care advocates and economic researchers interviewed by Capital & Main for this series, is that the initiative not only performed as advertised, but it may be the most spectacularly successful ballot initiative in the state’s notoriously uneven history of direct democracy.

Proposition 30 averted thousands of new teacher layoffs during the Great Recession.

By raising income taxes on the wealthy and the sales tax on everyone, Prop. 30 dramatically stabilized school funding in the wake of the recession, averting thousands of new teacher layoffs while beginning the work of restoring the jobs and programs lost during the first years of the crisis. It was also instrumental in allowing the state legislature to balance its budget for the first time in years without slashing social programs.

Debate is Over: Trump Lost

Rick T. Wilking/Pool via AP
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Monday, September 26, 2016.
   Harold Meyerson
Hillary Clinton had to do three things in last night’s debate, and she did roughly 2.8 of them very well. First, she had to actually make sounder, and more appealing policy points than Donald Trump did. On the whole, she succeeded—though she still doesn’t really have a good comeback to Trump’s criticism of the past several decades of trade policy (that’s why I only give her a 2.8 of three). Second, she had to get under his skin, so he’d feel compelled to defend himself, which is to say, defend the indefensible. Third, she had to know when to let him go, to rant, to be Donald Trump, and not step on it by interrupting or trying to refute the absurd. On points two and three, she was brilliant. Getting under his skin, she handed him the rope. Letting him rant, she let him hang himself. (So, I might add, did Lester Holt, who obviously went into the debate believing that he’d let the candidates be themselves, largely free from his own interruptions, before the largest audience they’d yet faced—journalistically, absolutely the right call.)
The three issue areas that were actually discussed—as opposed to those that fell victim to Trump’s incoherence, which worked to Clinton’s favor—were the economy, our relation to the world, and the intersection of race relations and police practices. On the last, Clinton was clearly, and I thought effectively, reaching out to young minority voters—a group whose turnout she clearly needs to encourage. Her discussion of the massive over-incarceration of the past decades, and the ongoing racial bias that affects, and in many places, dominates police practices, threaded a needle: Showing her understanding of the urgency behind Black Lives Matter while at the same time making police reform sound unthreatening to moderate white voters—at least, those moderate whites who don’t believe, as Trump would have it, that we’re in a 1968 moment when cities are going up in flames. Trump’s one-note law-n-order shtick, by contrast, doubtless played well with his base, but there’s no way it put any new votes in his column. Clinton’s move to mine her potential base for more votes, by contrast, probably did enable her to win some friends and influence fence-sitters.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C. —
William Barber. Chair, N.C. NAACP.
 Since a police officer shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday afternoon, the ensuing protests have dominated national news. Provocateurs who attacked police officers and looted stores made headlines. Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard joined police officers in riot gear, making the Queen City look like a war zone.
Speaking on the campaign trail in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Donald J. Trump offered a grave assessment [1]: “Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?” Mr. Trump seems to want Americans to believe, as Representative Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes areas in Charlotte, told the BBC, that black protesters in the city “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not [2].”
But Charlotte’s protests are not black people versus white people. They are not black people versus the police. The protesters are black, white and brown people, crying out against police brutality and systemic violence. If we can see them through the tear gas, they show us a way forward to peace with justice.
On Thursday, I joined 50 Charlotte-area clergy members who were on the streets this week. Yes, a few dozen provocateurs did damage property and throw objects at the police, after being provoked by the officers’ tear gas, rubber bullets and military-style maneuvers. But as we saw, thousands more have peacefully demonstrated against the institutional violence in their communities.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Left Under Estimates the Danger of Trump

antiracismdsa: The Left Under Estimates the Danger of Trump: By Arun Gupta (September 21, 2016) I know it’s the fifth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, but there is little to celebrate at such...
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