Category Archives: Other Things

Misc…things not covered by any other Category…and if you don’t put a tag

New York Governor Cuomo relents on using students test scores to grade teachers…

Responding to the pressure from teacher unions and parents….

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reversed his push to have the state’s teachers evaluations based of at least 50% of the test scores of their students….

Cuomo and the US Dept of Education have being fighting a losing battle to increase the amount of teasting students have during the school year and efforts to tie that testing to teacher evaluations….

Less than a year ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York proclaimed that the key to transforming the state’s education system was tougher evaluations for teachers, and he pushed through changes that increased the weight of student test scores in teachers’ ratings.

Now, facing a parents’ revolt against testing, the state is poised to change course and reduce the role of test scores in evaluations. And according to two people involved in making state education policy, Mr. Cuomo has been quietly pushing for a reduction, even to zero. That would represent an about-face from January, when the governor called for test scores to determine 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.

Administration officials characterized the governor’s position differently, saying he was waiting for the recommendations of a task force he had set up to conduct a review of the Common Core standards and assessments.

“There is no position of this administration with respect to this issue,” the governor’s director of state operations, Jim Malatras, said this week.

New York’s expected turnabout comes as states across the country are trying to respond to anger over standardized testing, and as the Obama administration is backing off the idea of tying teacher evaluations to test scores…..


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Political Roundup for November 24, 2015…Cruz vs Rubio in Iowa…RRH Elections


Carson:  Is Ben Carson’s plain-spoken, down to earth oddly joking style of speech really driving his campaign?  Carson is an unusual candidate to start with, but his speaking furthers it.

Cruz/Rubio:  Two serious candidates are actually battling it for the mantle of serious candidate in Iowa, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.  Cruz is viewed as having an advantage in Iowa, but Rubio is viewed as having a stronger organization nationally.

Trump:  Speaking of speaking styles, there is one candidate whose campaign rhetoric fits the song “Lips are movin.”  In case you were wonder, Trump said recently that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks and claims he has the best memory in the world.

Clinton:  Another candidate which “Lips are movin” applies is moving to the right on ISIS.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is trying to open some space between herself and President Barack Obama on handling of the Syria situation.  Someone should ask her about her role in handling this disaster considering she was Secretary of State when it really got rolling….


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Americans complain about their Government…Yet readily accept it’s services…

While the guy leading the Republican Presidential nomination quest knocks America are full of problems….And Republican Conservatives rant about ‘cutting’ back the size of America’s Government and the services it provides, like Healthcare…..

Most American’s,  in a poll, are fine with the size of their government and the services they get back, even though they compalin about it…..

The low level of trust in government is not surprise. The public is generally pessimistic about the economy and the direction of the country, and there is no major foreign policy crisis to rally the public around the president and other institutions of government. Small wonder, then, that only 19 percent of Americans interviewed in this Pew survey said that they trusted the government always or most of the time.

But when given along list of issues, most Americans still wanted government to have a “major role” in handling those issues. The vast majority (94 percent) thought government should help keep us safe from terrorism. About three-quarters said that it should have a major role in strengthening the economy, protecting the environment and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure. Majorities also wanted the government to play a major role in helping the poor and seniors.

In fact, what’s striking is that majorities of both Republicans and Democrats felt this way on most of these issues….


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Sometimes being Pregnant means you lose your job….

In America in 2015……

Having a child should not make you the victim of discrimination….

I was scared because this was my first pregnancy. What made it scarier was that I found out I was having twins! I was told by a physician that I would be considered high risk and would therefore need to go to a few more doctors’ visits than normal.

With that information I thought it best to tell my employer. At our daily morning meeting (which comprised of leadership and my colleagues), I decided to make my announcement that I was having twins. After uttering the words, I saw my boss look down and look back at me with a mean gaze. I knew right then that I loss my value for my company. Although I did nothing wrong, I could see that I made a horrible mistake telling my boss that I was pregnant.

Two weeks later I was fired and denied unemployment. My husband, who at the time was my boyfriend, supported me financially but had a huge burden on his shoulders. He is a young African American male with only a GED who worked on a finicky government contract, which means that he was considered At-Will……


In 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received nearly 5,000 complaints of pregnancy-based discrimination—a 30 percent increase from the previous decade. In 2010, there were more than 6,000 complaints filed.

pregnancy-based discrimination has been in place since 1978, branching out from Title VII, which states employers cannot discriminate due to gender. In 1986, those laws were upheld in Meritor Savings Bank vs. Vinson, which found that the civil rights law applied to pregnancy-based discrimination….


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Romney LEADS the field in New Hampshire…..

He, he, he…..

For Republicans fearful of Donald Trump becoming their party’s presidential nominee, a new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters offers a three-word solution: Willard Mitt Romney.

If the former Massachusetts governor were added to the mix of the 14 other Republican candidates running in the Feb. 9 first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire voters would, if the election were held now, give him a 2-to-1 win over Trump, the leader of the field.

Romney, who said as recently as last week that he is not interested in running, did not file for the New Hampshire primary ballot by the deadline last Friday. He would have the support of 31 percent of Granite State Republicans compared with 15 percent backing Trump, the poll indicates…..



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Two Western States will allow druggist’s to prescribe birth control pills…

Even as Republican Social Conservative’s work against any type of birth control….

Some states are stepping up efforts to make ‘the pill’ more available to women…

Groundbreaking laws in two Western states will soon make access to birth control easier for millions of women by allowing them to obtain contraceptives from pharmacists without a doctor’s prescription.

Even as the Supreme Court prepares to consider another divisive case involving access to contraception, public health advocates hope these arrangements could spread across the country, as states grappling with persistently high rates of unintended pregnancy seek to increase access to birth control with measures that so far have been unavailable under federal law.

Most Western countries require a doctor’s prescription for hormonal contraceptives like pills, patches and rings, but starting sometime in the next few months, women in California and Oregon will be able to obtain these types of birth control by getting a prescription directly from the pharmacist who dispenses them, a more convenient and potentially less expensive option than going to the doctor.

Pharmacists will be authorized to prescribe contraceptives after a quick screening process in which women fill out a questionnaire about their health and medical histories. The contraceptives will be covered by insurance, as they are now…..


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The Republicans DID want to reach out for more ‘different’ people, Right?

Reince Priebus, the guy running the Republican National Committee, spend money after the GOPer’s lost to Barack Obama the second time to find out what the party should do to fix the problem within his party…..

The answer came back…..

Widen your base….


That was music to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s ears, since they had , at the time, idea’s about immigration that would appeal to Latinos…..

THAT was all good…..


The guy leading the Republican’s efforts to get back into the White House is now an businessman/entertainer, who has been a registered Democrat, twice, an Independent and now claims to be a Republican…for the second time…..

Worst than THAT?

He’s pumping up his numbers by thumbing his nose at the GOP elite and establishment types and running on what seems like a cloaked racist policy line…..

Time and again this Dog has called him fading out….

But as soon as he gets up and spews his insults against women, latinos, muslims or anyone else that doesn’t agree with him….He get MAX media coverag and his polling numbers climb….

Hidden away in the same numbers is the fact that his support is weak and that against Hillary Clinton, who will be the Democratic Party choice….He’d probably lose….

So Mr Priebus and his guys have been reduced to standing on the sidelines as his report and it’s conclusions about increasing the parties base gets buried by the new P.T. Barnum of 2015….(Running a circus on anger and fear as the main attraction’s)….with the Ring Master as…….

One Donald Trump…..

Hillary Clinton probably can’t be more happy everyday…..



Oh, yea….

And remember that ‘No’ third party run promise?

Donald Trump is refusing to rule out an independent White House run if he fails to win the Republican presidential nomination.

“Well, I’m going to have to see what happens,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly.”…..


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Donald Trump Update…Hard line brings rise in his poll numbers…

The latest CBS News 2016 “Battleground Tracker” poll has Trump  getting a bounce nationally, and in Ioawa and New Hampshire for his rants against Syrians specifically and Muslims in general….

Donald Trump remains atop the crowded GOP field in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll with 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters listing the real estate mogul as their first choice.

Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the first choice of 22 percent of Republican voters nationally, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) with 11 percent….


The Trump bounce is present in ABC/Wash Post and FOX News polling out today also…..

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Anti-Trump fever breaks out among Republican Groups…..

His adopted parties people are getting nervous….

Knowing that a Trump GOP nomination would be making Hillary Clintons return to the White House almost a sure thing…..

“A well-connected GOP operative alarmed by the enduring strength of Republican Donald Trump’s presidential bid is planning a ‘guerrilla campaign’ backed by secret donors to knock him out of the race,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Liz Mair, former online communications director of the Republican National Committee, recently created Trump Card LLC to ‘defeat and destroy’ the celebrity businessman’s candidacy… The anti-Trump crusade aims to unite contributors who are backing a variety of the Republican primary candidates… Opposition research, grass roots organizing and donor outreach has been going on for weeks, Ms. Mair said, while declining to name any supporters.”


John Kasich has attacked Donald Trump relentlessly in debates and now his super PAC is planning to invest $2.5 million in the most aggressive takedown of the poll leader yet — on behalf of an increasingly anxious GOP establishment.

The attack, according to a blueprint shared with POLITICO, will play out over the next two months on radio, TV, mail and online in New Hampshire. Strategists with the pro-Kasich group, called New Day for America, say the budget for the anti-Trump campaign is likely to grow.

The offensive comes as some in the GOP are beginning to plot how to combat the real estate mogul and entertainer, who many are convinced would essentially deliver the White House to Democrats if he were the nominee.


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Chicago and Midwest could have Snow left over for Thanksgiving….

…from Bloomberg…..

The Midwest’s first snow of the season threatens to drop as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) on Chicago through Saturday.

The storm was coming together Friday over eastern Wyoming and will move east before sweeping up the St. Lawrence River in Canada, where it should die out, said Rob Carolan, a meteorologist with Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. There may be flurries in northern New York State, while Manhattan remains untouched.

“It jets off to the east very quickly,” Carolan said. “A pretty good swath of snow could fall from eastern Nebraska up into Iowa and Michigan.”

This is “the first significant” snowfall across the central U.S., with 4 to 8 inches forecast for a large section of the country from Nebraska to Michigan and even more in some areas, the National Weather Service said. Winter storm warnings, advisories and watches stretch from Idaho to Michigan, including Chicago.

After the storm crosses the Great Lakes, it will start “to fizzle out,” Carolan said. That reduces the threat of any measurable snow in Toronto…..


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US Air Force is looking for NEW F-15’s and F-16’s or even F-18’s….


Cause they ain’t happy with F-35’s and they KNOW they ain’t gonna do what they where advertised to do when SOME finally get in service….

The F-35 is a failed system before it even gets it’s feet wet…..

The Navy is also looking at the F-18  for its future needs….NOT the more F-35’s….

The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference here.

F-15s and F-16s are now expected to serve until 2045, when an all-new aircraft will be ready, and plans to modernize F-16s with active electronically scanned array radars and other improvements are being revived…..


image of F-15 (top0 and F-16…

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A REAL look at what went on in Iraq from a former Marine….’Redeployment’

And it ain’t pretty like a John Wayne Movie…..

And some people don’t get to go home in one piece…..

In any other vehicle we’d have died. The MRAP jumped, thirty-two thousand pounds of steel lifting and buckling in the air, moving under me as though gravity was shifting. The world pivoted and crashed while the explosion popped my ears and shuddered through my bones.

Gravity settled. There’d been buildings before. Now headlights in the dust. Somewhere beyond, Iraqi civilians startling awake. The triggerman, if there even was one, slipping away. My ears were ringing and my vision was a pinpoint. I crawled my eyes up the length of the barrel of the .50-cal. The end was warped and blasted.

The vehicle commander, Corporal Garza, was yelling at me.

“The .50’s fucked,” I screamed. I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

I got down and climbed through the body of the MRAP. I went on my hands and knees across the seats and opened the back hatch. Then I stepped out.

Timhead and Garza were out already, Timhead posted on the right side of the vehicle while Garza checked the damage. Vehicle Three came up with Harvey in the turret to provide security. It was a tight street, just getting into Fallujah, and they parked off to the left of the MRAP, which was slumped down in the front like a wounded animal.

The mine rollers weren’t even attached anymore. Their wheels were spread out everywhere, surrounded by bits of metal and other debris. One of the vehicle’s tires was sitting a few feet out, cloaked in dust, looking like the big granddaddy of all the little baby mine roller wheels around it.

I wasn’t quite steady on my feet, but training kicked in. I put my rifle in front, scanning the dark, trying to do my fives and twenty-fives, but the dust would have to settle before I could see more than five feet in front of me.

A light in one house glowed through the haze. It flickered, quickly dimming and brightening. My head rang and my back hurt. I must have slammed into the side of the turret…..



Phil Klay served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq during the 2007 and 2008 surge. Upon his return, he wrote Redeployment, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 2014. Today, the U.S. House voted to halt a program aimed at resettling thousands of Syrian refugees. In a series of tweets reacting to the news, Klay wrote, “It’s only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the ‘home of the brave.'”

…from twitter….

1. Tremendously upset by attempt to effectively close our borders to Syrian refugees by imposing impossible-to-implement screening standards……



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Carson drops…Trump hold’s…Cruz and Rubio keep climbing…Polling…

Trump remains in 25% range…Carson drops and Cruz and Rubio are moving up in the polling…

That includes a new NBC poll…..

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has slipped in a new NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll, leaving celebrity businessman Donald Trump alone again at the top of the Republican presidential field.

Trump holds the top spot at 28 percent among Republican and Republican-leaning independents, while Carson has dropped 8 points from the same online survey, which are considered less scientific, conducted last month.

That puts Carson neck-and-neck with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 18 percent in the new poll. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another top contender, follows at 11 percent…..


Here’sa couple of other poll ‘s that show Carson slipping…But not as much…

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination


Trump 24, Carson 20, Rubio 12, Cruz 9, Bush 6, Kasich 3, Fiorina 3, Paul 3, Huckabee 3, Christie 4, Pataki 1, Santorum 1, Graham 1, Jindal Trump +4

2016 Republican Presidential Nomination


Trump 26, Carson 19, Rubio 13, Cruz 14, Bush 5, Kasich 3, Fiorina 4, Paul 2, Huckabee 4, Christie 3, Pataki 1, Santorum 0, Graham 1, Jindal 0 Trump +7

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Local Al Qaeda group seizes Hotel in Mali…170 Hostages…Many released…

This has nothing to do with ISIS…..

It is a local fight…..(There has been a civil war in Mali for some time)

Hostages are being released……

3 deaths reported….

Local police and military are securing the are….

American military personnel are reportily helping the rescue and securing efforts….French Spec Operators are enroute to the area….

Gunmen stormed a Radisson Blu hotel on Friday morning in Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali, seizing scores of hostages and killing at least three people.

An unknown number of gunmen, perhaps four or five, took “about 100 hostages” at the beginning of the siege, said Gen. Didier Dacko of the Malian Army. He said soldiers had sealed the perimeter and were now “inside looking for the terrorists.”

Several dozen hostages, many of them crying – including women, children and older people — had begun streaming out of the hotel after hiding in their rooms, said Amadou Sidibé, a local reporter at the scene. Two members of the Malian security forces were wounded by shots fired from the seventh floor of the hotel, he said.

American Special Operations forces “are currently assisting hostage recovery efforts,” said Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman with the United States Africa Command, said on Friday. “U.S. forces have helped move civilians to secure locations, as Malian forces work to clear the hotel of hostile gunmen.”

The siege in Mali, a former French colony, came only a week after terrorists with assault rifles and suicide vests killed 129 people in attacks across Paris….


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Trumps policy plan on Muslim’s hearken back to Nazi Germany?

Donald Trump has been ranting about closing Mosque’s, registering Muslims and setting up troops to hunt down Muslims and ship them to camps or out of the country…..

The House, with 46 Democrats joining the Republicans have voted to exclude ALL Syrians from entering the US……

Kinda silly since the Paris attackers where Belgian citizens……

Are we indeed going back to Pre-World War ll?

Next he’ll want to hunt down the Mexicans …..

And could Black Americans be asked to re-register their birth certificates in a Trump administration ?

I’m beginning to REALLY worry about this guy……

Something isn’t right….

Donald Trump “would certainly implement” a database system tracking Muslims in the United States, the Republican front-runner told NBC News on Thursday night.

“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump said in Newton, Iowa, in between campaign town halls.

“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” he added. “We should have a lot of systems.”

When asked whether Muslims would be legally obligated to sign into the database, Trump responded, “They have to be — they have to be.”

On Friday morning, Trump rival Jeb Bush called the comments “just wrong.”

“You talk about internment, you talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people. That’s just wrong. I don’t care about campaigns,” he said on CNBC. “It’s not a question of toughness. It’s to manipulate people’s angst and their fears. That’s not strength, that’s weakness.”

Hillary Clinton also denounced Trump’s statement on Twitter.

Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sounded incredulous when he was asked about Trump’s comments, telling NBC News: “We’re kind of at a loss for words.”

“What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany?” Hooper asked. “There’s no other comparison, and [Trump] seems to think that’s perfectly OK.”

Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of the nonprofit Interfaith Alliance, drew the same comparison Thursday night.

“My father was in World War II, and he fought to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing,” Moline told NBC News.

“This is exactly why there is an America, to not be like that,” he said.

Trump was repeatedly asked to explain how his idea was different. Four times, he responded: “You tell me.”


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UnitedHealth Group is thinking about leaving the new Healthcare Market….

The company is America’s largest Healthcare insurer….

UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, is suddenly having second thoughts about Obamacare after it reported massive losses from the law’s new insurance marketplaces.

The company cut 2016 earnings projections today after it reported projected losses of $275 million on plans sold through the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The insurer said it’s cutting back on marketing for its exchange plans during the current enrollment period and is reevaluating its participation in the fledgling marketplaces for 2017.

The Minnesota-based insurer has signed up roughly 550,000 of the roughly 10 million individuals who have enrolled in coverage through the exchanges.

John Gorman, an insurance consultant, said it’s disappointing that UnitedHealth is getting squeamish about the exchanges. Gorman, who said the company should have allowed three or four years for the marketplaces to stabilize, suggested the company is retreating because of Wall Street’s sensitivity to quarterly profits.


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