Politicians Are Poody Heads

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Bad Apples

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John Merrow: Depersonalize Your Chilld’s Backpack and Clothing

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Merrow offers sage advice about how to protect your child from predators. Do not put their name on their backpack, lunchbox, or clothing.

He writes:

The adult and child walking in front of me were complete strangers, people I had never seen before. The man, who looked to be in his early 30’s, was casually dressed. He was holding the hand of a young girl, probably about five years old. Perhaps the girl, Sophie, was his daughter and they were on their way home from school or a music lesson.

If you’re reading carefully, you may be thinking, “Hold on a minute! You wrote that you had never seen those two before, and yet you assert that her name was Sophie? That doesn’t compute, buddy. You’ve lost your credibility….big time.”

I did what I have done on other occasions. I called out, “Excuse me, sir,” and the man…

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The Harmacy

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Russian Mobilization

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New U.S. Census Report Shows Why Congress Must Permanently Expand the Child Tax Credit & Make It Fully Refundable in Year-End Legislation

janresseger

This blog has strongly advocated that Congress should enact legislation to make permanent last year’s temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit. New research confirms the urgency of Congressional action on the Child Tax Credit this year.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Census reported* a stunning drop in poverty among U.S. children in 2021, largely thanks to the Biden Administration’s action—temporarily for 2021 alone—to expand the Child Tax Credit and make it fully refundable under the American Rescue (COVID-relief) Act.  That expansion of the Child Tax Credit ended in 2022.  Now it is apparent that unless Congress acts to restore what was a temporary reform to the Child Tax Credit, millions of American children will fall back into poverty.

The U.S. Census created a new measure of poverty in 2011, the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which reflects how government programs like SNAP, school lunch benefits, and refundable tax credits supplement family…

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Then and Now

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Heather Cox Richardson: The Origins of Arizona’s Disgraceful Abortion Law

Diane Ravitch's blog

Heather Cox Richardson is a historian who blogs frequently on current events. She is brilliant.

She wrote:

In Arizona, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson has restored a law put into effect by Arizona’s Territorial legislature in 1864 and then reworked in 1901 that has been widely interpreted as a ban on all abortions except to save a woman’s life. Oddly, I know quite a bit about the 1864 Arizona Territorial legislature, and its story matters as we think about the attempt to impose its will in modern America.

In fact, the Civil War era law seems not particularly concerned with women handling their own reproductive care—it actually seems to ignore that practice entirely. The laws for this territory, chaotic and still at war in 1864, appear to reflect the need to rein in a lawless population of men.

The criminal code talks about “miscarriage” in the context of…

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Sending Babushka

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The Amazing Trumpkin

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Jeremy Mohler: Privatization Sets the Stage for Rightwing Populism and Inequity

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeremy Mohler is communications director for the nonpartisan organization “In the Public Interest,” which fights the privatization of public goods and services. This article draws a link between policies of privatization and the rise of rightwing populism

He writes:

It’s one sentence in a 1,244-word article, but it made me pause and think deeply.

The article is a guest essay in the New York Times about the rise of Sweden’s far-right political party, which was created out of a neo-Nazi group and resembles the increasingly Trumpian Republican Party with its hatred of immigrants, journalists, and others.

The sentence: “Once one of the most economically equal countries in the world, Sweden has seen the privatization of hospitals, schools and care homes, leading to a notable rise in inequality and a sense of profound loss.”

That makes me wonder: How much has privatization contributed to soaring far-right populism, white nationalism, and fascism…

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