Monday, September 14, 2015

Imagining the first term of a Trump presidency

Hot ^ | September 14, 2015 | JAZZ SHAW 

Marc Ambinder, writing at The Week, seems to have taken the next leap in the evolution of American politics this season and – at least as an exercise in theory – asked us to consider what a Trump presidency would look like. While the primary could still play out in any number of interesting ways, it seems well past the point where such a future can be entirely written off so Marc isn’t submitting this to some science fiction outlet. It’s true that supporters of the more “conventional” candidates could all coalesce around one Anti-Trump over the fall and winter and set up for a sweep of many early states in the primary, but that’s hardly a sure thing. And if he makes it through that process and Hillary Clinton somehow remains out of jail long enough to be the Democrat nominee, there are early indications that he could pull off what seemed completely impossible only 90 days ago.
So what would happen? Marc’s first bit of prognostication includes the idea that Democrats would be placed in the position which their opponents held previously… they would become the Party of No.
So if he became president, he’d face unprecedented and implacable opposition from the Democratic Party, which might be tempted to pilfer from the playbook of the pre-2015 Republicans and become the anti-governing party, so toxic to their sensibilities would Trump be by the time he’s inaugurated.
But some of the opposition would be petty. If Trump made a move on immigration and Democrats blocked it, fine. If Trump proposed and found a coalition to reform entitlements and reconfigure the tax code, Democrats would find themselves opposing Trump just because he’s an offensive, not-nice person of privilege. They’d have descended to his level to spite him.
One of the bigger questions that will no doubt be on people’s minds is the matter of war and peace. Trump talks tough to everyone, foreign and domestic alike. And if other nations didn’t toe the line to his satisfaction would he be ready to literally pull the trigger?
Can you imagine Donald Trump’s finger on the button? Today, a president can execute an emergency war order in less time that it takes to get a cheeseburger at McDonald’s. Russia is once again baring its teeth, and a President Trump might have to contend with its incursions into NATO countries, triggering, one presumes, some sort of military response.
Despite all of his bombast, Trump hasn’t called for nuking anyone. In fact, he seems to understand that effective foreign policy requires some continuity. He opposes Obama’s Iran negotiations, but he’s said that, as president, he’ll make damn sure than Iran keeps its word.
Frankly, while I don’t agree across the board with Ambinder’s conclusions, a hypothetical Trump presidency probably wouldn’t be all that scary in terms of End Times scenarios. Conservatives would probably be unhappy when he wound up supporting some tax increases and going wobbly on gun control bills. Liberals would be furious with him on the policy front regarding… well, just about everything else. But for all the bombast he loves to display before the camera Trump doesn’t strike me as somebody who would go into full suicidal, plunge off the cliff mode. He’d be lambasted in the international press for his rough edges when talking to foreign leaders but not to the point of kicking off a new world war. He’s just not that stupid.
The real issue with a Trump presidency (at least in my dark little heart) is the question of whether or not he’d even finish his first term. Facing the reality of being unable to get anything substantive done without the blessing of Congress – at least on the policy front – would probably drive The Donald to distraction. And when he finds out that we actually would have to pay for a wall on the southern border (or at least most of the cost, anyway) he would likely be glum. How long would Donald Trump stick around in a job if he grew to hate it?
And now I’ll have to go off and begin pondering who Trump might pick for his running mate. It might become important.

California issuing free diplomas to high school students who flunked out!

Hotair ^ | 09/13/2015 | Jazz Shaw 

Plenty of state school systems are struggling with ways to not only keep up with national mandates and restrictions, but to boost their graduation rates so they can maintain their funding and reduce criticism from the public. California seems to have come up a rather unique, back door approach to the problem. You could always take tens of thousands of former high school students who flunked out and simply give them a diploma anyway. (Daily Caller)
The state of California is poised to award thousands of high school degrees to dropouts by passing a new law retroactively removing the requirement to pass a high school exit exam.
The California High School Exit Exam (CASHEE) was created in 2004, and is intended to make sure that students have a rudimentary grasp of English and mathematics before being awarded a high school diploma, and to counter the phenomenon of students receiving passing grades while learning almost nothing. The test is hardly complex. The math test, for instance, only covers 8th grade-level material and can be passed if students answer 55 percent of questions correctly. About 80 percent of California high schoolers take and pass it on their first try while in the 10th grade, and overall passage rates for the class of 2014 were above 97 percent.
There are concerns about standardized testing and I’m not one to turn a blind eye to them. Standardized tests have a lot of problems in general, mostly because they don’t take local priorities and community choice into account. Also, when so much is hanging in the balance, the teaches will “teach to the test” rather than trying to impart some sort of deep, comprehensive education to the students. But with that said, there’s still a bare minimum of education that kids need to absorb to qualify for a diploma. If the test is reasonable in scope and the requirements aren’t too steep, handing out sheepskins to kids who fail really just pollutes the state’s educational pool further.
Having looked over the exam, this is clearly not a college entrance test. I’m not entirely sure if it’s 8th grade math, or at least it wasn’t when I was coming up, but we’re not talking about calculus on the math section anyway. If students in 10th grade can pass it 80% of the time and they’re only asking you to get slightly more than half of the questions correct, that doesn’t seem like too heavy of a lift. In fact, it seems to me that this is more of a check to see if you actually bothered showing up for the class and managed to stay awake the majority of the time than any sort of comprehensive demand that you master all aspects of high school math.
Still, I was a bit shocked to see some of the details that I’ve forgotten over these many decades since I went to school. Some of the basics are (or at least should be) obvious to those who grasped the fundamentals. Here’s one example which I’m fairly sure everyone reading this site would nail down pretty quickly:
But then I hit this one. I’m just curious… how many of you remember the rule of how to quickly calculate the answer to this problem without having to go look it up?
I finally dredged it up and was able to do the problems in that format, but it took a little while. Then again, I did study it when Nixon was in office and I’ve never held a position where I needed that particular skill set for my job. It’s an interesting math exam and knowing how many geeks we have among the Hot Air faithful, take a look. You might enjoy it. I’m mostly wondering how many of you in the more Long in the Tooth category along with me have lost some of those math skills through lack of use over the years.

America to Take in 100,000 Muslims. Be Prepared For ISIS Massacres to Happen In the US Soon!

 Freedom Outpost ^ | 9/13/2015 | Walid Shoebat 

Obama has ordered that America take in 70,000 Islamic refugees. Just today, press secretary Josh Earnest said that the United States would "accept at least 10,000 refugees in the next fiscal year," which begins October 1st; however, the whole number that has been authorized is 70,000. But John Kerry, in a closed-door meeting, said that the number could be raised even higher—to 100,000. According to one report:
Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry said, at a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, that the total number of refugees taken in by the United States could rise to more than 100,000, from the current figure of 70,000.
When these "refugees" come, what do you think will happen? The French police are already looking for an ISIS agent amongst the refugees who are heading for England.
La Voix du Nord newspaper reported:
An Islamic State combatant believed to be in Calais is being actively hunted by the authorities. … He left Syria at the end of August and hopes to reach Britain where he intends to commit terrorist acts. …He is the subject of most wanted person notice and is considered a threat to state security.
Hungary's most popular national TV channel, M1, reported Tuesday thst Islamic terrorists are amongst the refugees and are disguising themselves as refugees:
Islamist terrorists, disguised as refugees, have showed up in Europe. [The] pictures were uploaded on various social networks to show that terrorists are now present in most European cities. Many, who are now illegal immigrants, fought alongside Islamic State before
Here is a photo of one of the terrorists, who is said by Hungarian media to be disguising himself as a refugee:

One of the terrorists, Laith Al Saleh, 30, was reported by the AP to have "led a 700-strong rebel unit in Syria's civil war." No doubt this is a terrorist, and there is no doubt that the US will be getting these types in its land. Reg. Whitaker, a national security specialist, said:
It is possible that among the stream of wretched refugees desperately looking for a way, that there might be some who aren't exactly the people we want to bring in
Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, is also expressing concerns that amongst the refugees there are terrorists, saying:
When we are dealing with people that are from, in many cases, a terrorist war zone, we are going to make sure that we screen people appropriately and the security of this country is fully protected.
(Watch video at link)

GOP's Walker Proposes Vast Union Restrictions [This IS revolutionary!]

YahooFinance ^ | September 14, 2014 

Sep 14, 2015, AP Exclusive: GOP's Walker Proposes Vast Union Restrictions Associated Press By SCOTT BAUER

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker on Monday will call for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S., seeking to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin's governor to curb the power of unions.
At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Walker will propose eliminating unions for employees of the federal government, making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise, scrapping the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and making it more difficult for unions to organize.
Many of Walker's proposals are focused on unions for workers at all levels of government, while others would also affect private-sector unions. Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.
While Walker could enact some of the proposals via presidential executive order, others would require an act of Congress or changes in federal regulations. The goal, Walker said, is "to achieve fairness and opportunity for American workers."
"This will not be easy," Walker said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Many — including the union bosses and the politicians they puppet — have long benefited from Washington rules that put the needs of special interests before needs of middle-class families."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

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