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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19041 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-23, 09:57

Heather Cox Richardson said:

This morning [Friday], Jonathan Martin at the New York Times reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has warned Republican political consultants that they may not continue to work for both him and Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is vice chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

While Republican lawmakers are trying to sweep the insurrection under the rug, Cheney is calling out the attack and demanding sunlight on what happened. Republican leaders are lining up behind former president Trump in hopes of retaining his loyalist voters, but Cheney is repeatedly, and increasingly clearly, suggesting that the president was responsible for the events of that day.

That McCarthy is trying to make her a pariah indicates a fight over the future of the Republican Party. While one fund-raising company has already cut ties with her, Cheney is not operating from a weak position. Her father is Richard (Dick) Cheney, who was President George W. Bush’s vice president and, perhaps more significant for today’s events, President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of defense. The Cheneys are likely not unaware of what is happening among intelligence officials, which seems likely to involve some current Republican lawmakers.

And Liz Cheney’s stand against McCarthy and Trump is not hurting her politically at home: she has raised more than $5 million for her reelection, compared to the $300,000 raised in the last two months or so by her Trump-backed opponent.

There is an important story behind McCarthy’s attack on Representative Cheney. She presents a threat to the pro-Trump Republican Party not simply because she is standing strong against the former president and the attack on our democracy.

She is offering to women and men in the suburbs a reasonable alternative to those pro-Trump representatives like Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) whose pistol packing and aggression gets attention for all the wrong reasons. Trump Republicans have lost the support of suburban women, and Cheney seems to be picking them up and explaining that Trump and his supporters, including McCarthy, tried to destroy our democracy. That McCarthy felt it necessary to try to undercut her this way suggests they see her as a major threat.

McCarthy had another reason to be unhappy today. Longtime readers of these letters may perhaps remember that McCarthy took money from a Ukraine-born U.S. businessman, Lev Parnas.

Parnas worked with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to try to find dirt on Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine. In 2019, prosecutors said that money was illegal: Parnas had taken $1 million from Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash and had illegally funneled more than $350,000 to pro-Trump political action committees and other Republican lawmakers in 2016.

Today, a jury found Parnas guilty of making illegal campaign contributions.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19042 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-23, 10:00

Matt Yglesias said:

Biden could get his approval back above water by invoking the Defense Production Act to greenlight the Dune sequel.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19043 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-23, 16:46

Too late for a sci-fi bump - Blade Runner is in the can.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19044 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 09:15

I am going to ramble a bit. I have been thinking of how divided we are in the USA. Possibly some divisions would lessen if we got to specifics. After a few posts about Critical Race Theory, I decided it means different things to different people and discussing it is pointless. Today I was looking at a Wikipedia article about ethnomathematics.It references something from the Seattle schools system. This gets more specific.

https://www.edweek.o...ze-math/2019/10

There is a link to some specific, well fairly specific, suggestions.

https://www.k12.wa.u...20Framework.pdf

I thought back about my own school experiences and I am not enthusiastic about the Seattle suggestions.

I realize that mathematics is not everyone's cup of tea. But I learned early on, and a good part of that was through school, that I liked it. I also learned that I could do it, but I want to focus on learning that I liked it. In particular, I thought Euclid's idea of developing geometry based on logic and a small set of axioms was brilliant. As for the Pythagorean theorem, the excitement was not that a^2+b^2=c^2, the excitement was that this could be proved. If other cultures also had a proof, I think the Chinese did, for example, that's fine. But who did it first was not my focus.

I have no objection to including some information about other cultures but if I had had to agree, for example as an exam question, that Euclidean Geometry is an instance of Western oppression rather than a brilliant development there would have been trouble.

My reason for posting this is that it is an actual education plan by a school system. As such, it gets into specifics and people can have thoughts about it. I would expect that Seattle parents have discussed this a fair amount and, very possibly, come to some workable version. I hope so. Discussing CRT can go on forever w/o any progress. Discussing what will go into a course on Algebra or Geometry is specific enough so that people can share ideas and hopefully make progress.

We need to get back to sharing thoughts without calling each other names.
Ken
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#19045 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 11:41

wrt to the Seattle math curriculum discussion...

I agree that this all seems kind silly.
But then again - and I am being deadly serious about this - I'm a rich white male.

The primary claim that the folks who are authoring this seem to be making is that many students feel alienated from the subject material.

It's great that Ken gets excited that you can prove the Pythagorean theorem.
I even remember how to do this.

But in this case, we're in the minority.

And, I think that the opinion of folks who have spent their lifetime studying who students learn (or don't learn) has a lot more bearing here.
Alderaan delenda est
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#19046 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 13:28

Richard's response is the sort of discussion I think could be useful.

Certainly, some people don't like math. And I very much believe that much of math is of no use to many people.

Still.

Growing up, I was white and male, still am. I was not at all rich and I did not come from an even remotely academic family.
The point is that I was not going to be finding my way in mathematics from parental guidance.

Guiding people who couldn't care less about why a^2+b^2=c^2 is not only fine with me I think it is important. But this can be done without dumping on those of us who like it. it was a problem 70 years ago also, although in a different way. My high school Spanish teacher, Mrs. Kukler, explained to me when I was 14 that I should go easy on such things because no girl wants to be Mrs. Einstein. This was an explicit statement of a view that often came across. My mother once said wistfully "I know you are not like other boys". It was not meant as a compliment.

I am fine with taking care of those who do not like math as long as they don't dump on those of us who do like it. We are not trying to oppress anyone and I had no problem finding girls to date.

I would be very interested in hearing how this is playing out in Seattle.

Short version: Help people without slamming other people.
Ken
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#19047 User is offline   Elianna 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 15:08

I wonder if I read the framework differently than other people, for no other reason than I'm a math teacher, and used to reading these frameworks with an eye of how they can be implemented. I don't mean to say that my understanding of math is better, but more, what these kind of things actually mean for student learning.

First and foremost, frameworks like this are not usually treated as proscriptive, i.e. "you must lecture on this at every moment". They're more aspirational, i.e. "we would like students to be able to be exposed to material about this, and form their own answers about it, in a guided method."

Because I'll tell you honestly, right now, many students already have answers to essential questions asked, based on what they learned in current math classes, and the answers are wrong because the classes left things out.

For example, for the question "Who is a Mathematician", I would be shocked if most students didn't say "an old white guy with funny hair", unless they were influenced by more modern stereotypes and say "nerdy white guy who can't talk to women".

The goal of this framework is for the students to say "me". As that was always my goal when teaching, I fully support it, this framework just elaborates on some of the related questions.

I mean, that last column is absolutely essential, and I would be shocked if any mathematician didn't think about and answer those questions for themselves at one point in their lives. The problem is that non-mathematicians look at a question like "How can math be used to communicate information?" or "Can I use mathematics to comprehend my everyday life?" and answer "uhhhhh..." and "oh goodness no!", and we (the teaching establishment) not only feel that we need to change that, but also that by changing the answers to those questions, also increase a student's interest in and capacity to learn math more fluently.

Lastly, I'll conclude by saying that instead of "dumping" on those who like math, this is an attempt to create MORE people who like math.
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#19048 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 16:28

I found this story interesting as the movie is one of my favorites.



Quote

Thanks to the popular 1988 movie Stand and Deliver, many Americans know of the success that Jaime Escalante and his students enjoyed at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. During the 1980s, that exceptional teacher at a poor public school built a calculus program rivaled by only a handful of exclusive academies.

It is less well-known that Escalante left Garfield after problems with colleagues and administrators, and that his calculus program withered in his absence. That untold story highlights much that is wrong with public schooling in the United States and offers some valuable insights into the workings—and failings—of our education system.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19049 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 18:03

Jaime Escalante showed what a person with exceptional dedication can accomplish. Hiring only those teachers whose dedication matches his is not a practical solution, there would be two few to fill the faculty at one school. Asking for competence and serious effort is reasonable, asking for a clone of Escalante is setting yourself up for extreme disappointment. I am not agreeing here that he was the God-like figure that he was portrayed as, but my understanding is that he was very good.

Maybe things are going great in Seattle, I have tried a bit of an internet search but have not had much success. For the moment. I will just say that as a student I liked some of my classes, not others, and a class that went along the lines described would, I am pretty sure, be one of those others. In Geometry, we concentrated on proving theorems, doing geometric constructions, solving problems. Perhaps that's what they do in Seattle. It didn't sound that way to me.


It would be interesting to see what goes into assigned homework and exams. I really think a lot of quarrels could disappear, or at least be calmed, when we get down to details and specifics. Perhaps it's fine.
Ken
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#19050 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 18:49

There are many important differences between mathematics and literature (for example).
Some people enjoy the process of problem-solving. That is, they enjoy seeing a problem and then achieving a satisfactory solution to it.
Literature is different. It can be enjoyed passively. No intellectual effort is needed to be entertained. Filmed entertainment is the same.
Feynman wrote that the thing that he enjoyed most about research was the sensation of realising that he understood something that nobody else in the world knew or understood.

The sensation that Feynman describes is common to many people engaged in research.
Such people could, if that was what floated their boat, solve already known problems and associate different bits of knowledge in order to make more money, but that is not what attracts people to engage in research.

I suspect that this is the real reason that Tony Fauci is livid and shaking with rage when someone like Rand Paul says things that are obviously wrong.
It offends his sense of truth and knowledge.
Or as Maxwell Smart put it:

Quote

Agent 99:
Oh, Max, how terrible.

Maxwell Smart:
He deserved it, 99. He was a KAOS killer.
Agent 99:
Sometimes I wonder if we're any better, Max.

Maxwell Smart:
What are you talking about, 99? We have to shoot and kill and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in the world.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19051 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-24, 19:03

Now as to who is a mathematician. Of course that is not a question with a straightforward answer. But again that does not mean we can't say anything.

My first wife was an artist (oil paints, mostly). She went to the Minneapolis School of Art and was considered one of their good students. Which is not to say that you will find heer paintings in museums.I can't draw a decent tree, she could not prove that there are infinitely many prime numbers, I am not an artist, she is not a mathematician. Whatever an artist is and whatever a mathematician is, I am not an artist and she is not a mathematician. It's fine. I am also not a boxer or a big game hunter or a poet. It's ok.

Mathematics has its uses in many walks of life and so it is important that people learn the basics. My father's education ended at 8th grade but when he bid for a contract installing weather stripping in a housing development he could accurately describe what he would do and what it would cost. He never solves a quadratic equation. It would be very useful if students developed a healthy skepticism for statistical arguments.

A few years back I was in some art museum that had a bunch of Jackson Pollocks. I decided to take my time and see if I could develop a better sense of what was going on. I had partial success and I enjoyed doing it. I did not then describe myself as an artist.

Education has many purposes. Some things can be treated at least a bit casually. I have more feeling for poetry now than I did when I was 16, but still I mostly ignore it. But we have to learn how to survive as adults. I never wanted to be rich, but if I were going to study mathematics I wanted to be sure I could pay the bills. Other things are important, but paying the bills is fundamental. A certain amount of math can expand opportunities, but those who don't care for it can find a way to earn a living so that basic math suffices. It's like English Grammar. It's important, but when my doc tells me to lay down for my exam I lay down for my exam.

Anyway, I very much favor taking an optimistic view about people in general and about young people in particular. So let's get them into things and not give up on them. But I want my Geometry class to teach proofs, including how to come up with your own for a problem you have not seen before. If the teacher wants to explain that Pythagoreans were very upset about the square root of 2 being irrational (I think that's right), that's fine. But any exam question on that subject should ask the student to prove the square root of 2 is irrational, it should not be on whether the square root of 2 being irrational is oppressive.
Ken
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#19052 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 01:04

Heather Cox Richardson said:

https://heathercoxri...z7JegK8ulw9q3Ls

I had planned to post a picture tonight, but this evening Rolling Stone dropped an exclusive, blockbuster story from reporter Hunter Walker that demands attention.

The story says that two sources who are talking to the January 6th committee about planning the January rallies in Washington, D.C., have talked to Rolling Stone as well. They say they worked with congressional lawmakers and White House officials to plan rallies both in Washington, D.C., and around the country. They deny that they intended to storm the Capitol and imply they got used, which points to the sources being from within Women for America First, the organization that sponsored a bus tour and rallies around the country before heading to Washington for January 6.

They allegedly named Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), as people with whom they planned. They also claim that Gosar promised them a blanket presidential pardon, although they do not say for what.

From the White House team, they singled out then–chief of staff Mark Meadows. “Meadows was 100 percent made aware of what was going on,” one of the sources said.

Katrina Pierson was a key figure in both accounts. She was on Trump’s campaign teams in 2016 and 2020, and worked with the organizers of the rallies before the mob stormed the Capitol.

One of those talking to Rolling Stone said: “It’s clear that a lot of bad actors set out to cause chaos…. They made us all look like s**t.” This person included Trump on their list of bad actors and described feeling used by him and then abandoned. “I’m actually pretty pissed about it and I’m pissed at him.”

Nick Dyer, who is communications director for Greene, said the congresswoman was only involved in planning to refuse to accept certified ballots, nothing more. He tried to compare Greene’s actions with those of Democrats who objected to Donald Trump’s 2016 win, and said that no one cares about the events of January 6 amongst what he suggests is the disaster of the Biden presidency.

No other spokespeople for the lawmakers involved answered requests for comment.

Between this, and the stories that continue to drop about Facebook, and the infrastructure bill, and voting rights measures… it seems likely to be a big week in Washington.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19053 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 01:42

View Postkenberg, on 2021-October-24, 19:03, said:

Now as to who is a mathematician. Of course that is not a question with a straightforward answer. But again that does not mean we can't say anything.

My first wife was an artist (oil paints, mostly). She went to the Minneapolis School of Art and was considered one of their good students. Which is not to say that you will find heer paintings in museums.I can't draw a decent tree, she could not prove that there are infinitely many prime numbers, I am not an artist, she is not a mathematician. Whatever an artist is and whatever a mathematician is, I am not an artist and she is not a mathematician. It's fine. I am also not a boxer or a big game hunter or a poet. It's ok.

Mathematics has its uses in many walks of life and so it is important that people learn the basics. My father's education ended at 8th grade but when he bid for a contract installing weather stripping in a housing development he could accurately describe what he would do and what it would cost. He never solves a quadratic equation. It would be very useful if students developed a healthy skepticism for statistical arguments.

A few years back I was in some art museum that had a bunch of Jackson Pollocks. I decided to take my time and see if I could develop a better sense of what was going on. I had partial success and I enjoyed doing it. I did not then describe myself as an artist.

Education has many purposes. Some things can be treated at least a bit casually. I have more feeling for poetry now than I did when I was 16, but still I mostly ignore it. But we have to learn how to survive as adults. I never wanted to be rich, but if I were going to study mathematics I wanted to be sure I could pay the bills. Other things are important, but paying the bills is fundamental. A certain amount of math can expand opportunities, but those who don't care for it can find a way to earn a living so that basic math suffices. It's like English Grammar. It's important, but when my doc tells me to lay down for my exam I lay down for my exam.

Anyway, I very much favor taking an optimistic view about people in general and about young people in particular. So let's get them into things and not give up on them. But I want my Geometry class to teach proofs, including how to come up with your own for a problem you have not seen before. If the teacher wants to explain that Pythagoreans were very upset about the square root of 2 being irrational (I think that's right), that's fine. But any exam question on that subject should ask the student to prove the square root of 2 is irrational, it should not be on whether the square root of 2 being irrational is oppressive.


Quote

Rayburn: A man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Berg's art is maths. He's about to paint his masterpiece.

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#19054 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 07:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-October-24, 18:49, said:

There are many important differences between mathematics and literature (for example).
Some people enjoy the process of problem-solving. That is, they enjoy seeing a problem and then achieving a satisfactory solution to it.
Literature is different. It can be enjoyed passively. No intellectual effort is needed to be entertained. Filmed entertainment is the same.
Feynman wrote that the thing that he enjoyed most about research was the sensation of realising that he understood something that nobody else in the world knew or understood.

The sensation that Feynman describes is common to many people engaged in research.
Such people could, if that was what floated their boat, solve already known problems and associate different bits of knowledge in order to make more money, but that is not what attracts people to engage in research.




You mention films, and I will riff a little on that. The idea is that different tastes should at least be tolerated.



I watched Breathless the other night. Actually it took two nights. I was determined to get all the way through it, I had watched part of it a couple of times. It is, they tell me, a great movie. I have always had trouble getting through it, my determination this time got me through it, I was bored, not shocked. So I read the Bosley Crowther 1961 review. Ok, he makes a good case. Still, I was bored. There was a flood of French movies back then. I very much liked The Four Hundred Blows. One of my favorites was the more or less forgotten Sundays and Cybelle. I recently saw, for the first time, The Lovers. I liked them all a great deal. Breathless bored me silly. I'll look up the French titles and put them in later.


This might have something to do with teaching. If I were taking a class in French films of the 60s, it's fair to say that saying I was bored doesn't suffice. Still, I was bored. Can't help that. Some approach math that way "Ok, if I must, but don't expect me to ask for an extra assignment". Me, I reported the math text I used as a junior as lost so I could read the rest of it over the summer. Maybe I would like more of Breathless? No.
A little cooperation and acceptance on both sides could go a long way.
Ken
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#19055 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 08:02

View Postkenberg, on 2021-October-25, 07:14, said:

A little cooperation and acceptance on both sides could go a long way.

That's my sense of what's going on here, namely, that Seattle educators are stepping back, taking a look at teaching practices and the whole curriculum, and trying to make them more relevant and more useful for more kids. I don't see this changing the way geometry is taught.
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#19056 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 08:20

David Leonhardt said:

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

President Biden and congressional Democrats are now trying to cut their original $3.5 trillion family-policy plan roughly in half, so that it can win enough moderate votes to pass.

In doing so, Democrats have two basic options: Fewer ideas or fewer years.

The first option involves eliminating entire programs from the plan. The second involves keeping nearly all of them — including universal pre-K, child tax credits, paid family leave and expanded health care access — but having some expire after only a few years.

There are reasonable arguments in favor of both approaches. Restricting the bill to fewer programs would create more certainty about the future of federal policy. It would allow government officials to focus on the remaining programs and allow families to plan for the future confidently.

A broader, temporary approach, on the other hand, would allow Democratic leaders in Congress to satisfy more of their members: Some care deeply about expanding Medicaid, for example, while others care more about Medicare. The temporary approach might also prove to be less temporary than it initially seemed — because a future Congress might decide to extend the programs.

These competing arguments have received a significant amount of attention. But there is also one argument for the Democrats to choose the temporary approach that has not received as much attention. It involves electoral politics, and it’s the subject of today’s newsletter.

‘A good foothold’

A crucial aspect of the Democrats’ economic agenda is its popularity.

Expanding Medicaid is so popular that it has won voter referendums in red states like Idaho, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Utah. Adding dental coverage to Medicare — another proposal in the Democrats’ original plan — is favored by about 70 percent of voters, polls suggest. Most Americans also favor larger child tax credits and federal funding for pre-K.

The level of support for each idea can vary depending on the precise wording of poll questions, but the overall pattern is clear. A majority of Americans, including many swing voters and some Republicans, supports larger health care and education programs, tax cuts for the middle class and tax increases on the rich. (The tax increases would help pay for the other policies.)

The popularity of these ideas is why some observers believe that a future Congress might choose to extend any temporary measures that Democrats pass now. Throughout U.S. history, government programs providing broad-based economic benefits have rarely been eliminated once created. “The idea is that these initiatives will get a good foothold in this legislation, and we can extend them,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, told my colleague Carl Hulse.

Carl has been reporting on Washington politics since the 1980s, and he says he has covered only one program of any significance that Congress started but did not continue: the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. It proved to be unpopular because it failed to provide the benefits that older Americans expected.

Most policies in the Democrats’ original proposal seem unlikely to suffer from that problem. They would provide thousands of dollars a year, in direct payments or benefits, to many families.

Obamacare, on repeat

Still, Republican opposition to the bill is sufficiently strong that it’s easy to imagine a future Congress, controlled at least partly by Republicans, refusing to extend the programs. And that’s where the unappreciated political advantage for Democrats comes into play.

In American politics today, Republicans often try to emphasize a set of social issues on which many Democrats — especially progressives who receive a lot of media attention — are to the left of public opinion.

On immigration, some Democrats have become uncomfortable talking about almost any deportations or border security; most Americans, by contrast, favor immigration enforcement. On policing, progressive activists popularized the slogan “defund the police;” most voters — including most voters of color — oppose cuts to police budgets. On abortion, many Democrats oppose almost all restrictions; most Americans favor at least some.

It’s not that a majority of Americans necessarily favors the Republican positions on these issues. The problem for Democrats is that they have left themselves vulnerable to accusations of being extreme. (In the current Virginia governor’s campaign, the Republican nominee, Glenn Youngkin, is trying to pull off an upset with this strategy.)

The politics of economic policies tend to be different — and more favorable to Democrats.

By passing a bill with temporary programs in it, Democrats would be ensuring that the next few years would be filled with debates over economic issues, like the child tax credit, pre-K, paid family leave and Medicare. Republicans would much rather be talking about crime, immigration or critical race theory instead.

A bill full of temporary programs would effectively recreate the political dynamics around Obamacare repeal. Democrats would be defending a government program that provided tangible benefits to millions of Americans. Republicans would be left to explain why they opposed those popular benefits.

If Congress extended the programs in future years, Democrats would achieve some major policy objectives. If Congress let the programs lapse, Republicans could have some political headaches.

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#19057 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 08:21

View Posty66, on 2021-October-25, 08:02, said:

That's my sense of what's going on here, namely, that Seattle educators are stepping back, taking a look at teaching practices and the whole curriculum, and trying to make them more relevant and more useful for more kids. I don't see this changing the way geometry is taught.


I consider that optimistic, but I also consider it possible. So we shall see how it goes.


Added: I went to the website https://www.seattles...matics-courses/

As near as I can tell, the discussion of courses there has nothing to do with the plans I posted earlier.
Ken
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#19058 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 09:32

View Postkenberg, on 2021-October-25, 08:21, said:

Added: I went to the website https://www.seattles...matics-courses/

As near as I can tell, the discussion of courses there has nothing to do with the plans I posted earlier.

Thanks for the link. I was planning to look for that.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19059 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 13:36

View Posty66, on 2021-October-25, 09:32, said:

Thanks for the link. I was planning to look for that.


The Math in Society course could get at some of the things that were on that other sheet, but I don't think that's what it is. The description is sort of confusing but it seems to be related to a Math in Society course at Edmunds College.

https://www.edmonds....criptions.htmlI can see the point of a Math in Society course. Often there are news reports that involve percentages in some way and often it's not done well at all. I think some good problems could be made out of it. An assignment could be: News report X has the following percentage in it. Explain exactly what quantity is this percentage of exactly what other quantity. I have mentioned before a long-ago experience listening to a debate on my car radio about the deterrent effect of capital punishment. One person, the pro-capital punishment was citing something like a 45% effect. The other, the anti, was saying it was only a 3% effect. Well, what are these percentages of? One could argue it has a 100% effect. 100% of those who are executed never commit another crime. They don't even double park.

The various percentages associated with the pandemic could supply many examples.

The message should be along the lines of "Yes, you can actually understand what is being said, but it is apt to take some effort".
Ken
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#19060 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-October-25, 17:49

View Postkenberg, on 2021-October-25, 13:36, said:

One person, the pro-capital punishment was citing something like a 45% effect. The other, the anti, was saying it was only a 3% effect. Well, what are these percentages of?

As some wag put it, "87.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot."

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