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Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 3-4 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineers are Abraham and Nibu.Today’s show is a fundraising show, so, with apologies, we can’t take on-air phone calls,
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For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
“Our colleagues aren’t upset because you lied to Congress for the president. They’re upset because you’ve stopped lying to Congress for the president.” ~ Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., (Feb 27 2019, 1:05 pm ET, as per NBCNews.com) opened his allotted time to question Cohen’s response to a Republican line of attack on Cohen that has run throughout the day. (Republicans have repeatedly highlighted Cohen’s past lying to Congress, which he has admitted and pleaded guilty to. Cohen says he lied to help Trump, but Republicans have questioned whether he lied to help himself.)
- Make sure you are registered to vote!
- HarrisVotes.com (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965) Dr. Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk
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- Make sure you are registered:
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
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- ALSO, try Vote.org.
- Schedule to appear in this show in a couple of weeks: Dr. Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk
- A Pelosi-shaped cloud over Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 chances | axios.com
- Nancy Pelosi has more power than anybody to decide whether Trump gets Congress’ approval to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with his renegotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. And the signs Republicans are seeing from the speaker are not filling them with hope.
- Driving the news: Last week, Pelosi told Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer that Mexico needed to pass labor law reforms before the House could even consider Trump’s replacement to NAFTA. And now, per a source who shared the invitation with me, Pelosi has invited AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to her speaker’s meeting on Wednesday to present on the USMCA.
- Nancy Pelosi receives 2019 Profile in Courage Award | axios.com – The JFK Library Foundation announced Sunday that it will award House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the 2019 Profile in Courage Award, in part “for putting the national interest above her party’s interest to expand access to health care for all Americans.”
- Buzz: Honorary President Caroline Kennedy, who will present the award on May 19, described Pelosi as “the most important woman in American political history.” Winners of the Profile in Courage award are chosen annually by a bipartisan committee of political, academic, and business
- Is the U.S. a Democracy? A Social Studies Battle Turns on the Nation’s Values – Michigan spent five years debating how to teach American history. One of the biggest questions was how to describe the nation’s government.
- … in Becky Debowski’s eighth-grade social studies classroom … she regularly has students assume roles of partisans throughout American history, like Abraham Lincoln and John C. Calhoun.
- After the exercises, the class comes back together to debate whether the nation lived up to what the state of Michigan calls “core democratic values,” such as equality, liberty and diversity.
- For decades, the values have been the heart of the state learning standards in social studies, a doorstop of a document that guides what teachers of history, civics, economics and geography cover in their lesson plans.
- “I’m really proud of my students,” Ms. Debowski said. “They can handle the complexity.” So she was angry last year when she learned of a proposed revision of the state standards, in which the word “democratic” was dropped from “core democratic values,” and the use of the word “democracy” was reduced.
- The changes were made after a group of prominent conservatives helped revise the standards. They drew attention to a long-simmering debate over whether “republic” is a better term than “democracy” to describe the American form of government.
- That the two sides in that tussle tend to fall along party lines, each preferring the term that resembles their party name, plays no small part in the debate. But members of the conservative group also brought to the table the argument that K-12 social studies should be based on a close, originalist reading of the United States’ founding documents.
- They contended that the curriculum ought to focus more on the nation’s triumphs than its sins. And they pushed for revisions that eliminated “climate change,” “Roe v. Wade” and references to gay and lesbian civil rights.
- After a local publication, Bridge Magazine, reported the changes, the backlash in this political swing state was intense. In response, the state brought a broader group of Michiganders into the process to redraft the standards, which will be presented to the State Board of Education on April 9. The board, an elected body with eight members, will then vote on whether to adopt the document.
- “Social studies is not rocket science,” said Jim Cameron, who led the committee’s work. “It’s more difficult.”
- … Activists have long seen influencing state standards as an effective way to shape the next generation of voters. In 2010, conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education removed the word “democracy” as a description of American government, prompting protests. Georgia has also debated the term, eventually settling, in 2016, on standards that use the phrase “representative democracy/republic.”
- The Michigan conservatives — who prefer “constitutional republic” — say their arguments are historical, not partisan.
- “When you read Article IV, Section IV, it says you’re guaranteed a republican form of government,” said Patrick Colbeck, a Republican former state senator, citing the United States Constitution.
- While the founders were indeed skeptical of direct democracy, mainstream historians, political scientists and legal scholars say that the United States is both a representative democracy and a republic — and that there is no contradiction between those terms.
- A democracy is government by the people, who may rule either directly or indirectly, through elected representatives. A republic is a form of government in which the people’s elected representatives make decisions.
- Some of the country’s political processes, like ballot referendums, are more democratic than others, like the Electoral College. Grappling with that complexity is key to understanding American government, according to social studies experts. …
- …Many of the students who protested were less worried about terminology than about the way the standards dealt with gender and race. Alex Hosey, a 16-year old high school sophomore in East Lansing, objected to what had been left out, such as any mention of redlining, which contributed to the racial segregation of Michigan cities. “Hiding our nation’s sins isn’t the right way to do it,” he wrote in a letter to the State Board of Education. “Teach us about everything — the good and the bad, so we can learn to think for ourselves.”
- A new form of American capitalism | AXIOS.COM
- The modern version of American capitalism seems destined to change — perhaps profoundly — for the first time in our lifetimes.
- What’s new: Capitalism is being squeezed from both sides by a debate over socialism vs. strongman nationalism: President Trump bullying the Fed, publicly pressuring CEOs and juicing short-term markets at all cost.
- Show less
- Why it matters: It’s no longer debatable: The system makes the big, bigger and the rich, richer. The rest of America stagnates or suffers.
- Ray Dalio, the billionaire capitalist, argues that the rich vs. everyone else divide is an existential threat.
- “I believe that all good things taken to an extreme can be self-destructive and that everything must evolve or die,” he writes on LinkedIn. “This is now true for capitalism.”
- Mick Mulvaney says Democrats will never get Trump’s tax returns, Zachary Basu |com | Apr 7, 2019
- Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday that Democrats will never get their hands on President Trump’s tax returns, adding that the request is “a political stunt” that the IRS will not comply with: “That’s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns. They knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway.”
- The big picture: Though he at one point said during the 2016 campaign that he would be releasing his tax returns “shortly,” Trump has walked back the promise and claimed he is unable to do so because he is under IRS audit. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) last week formally requested Trump’s tax returns using an obscure IRS code that gives him the power to request tax documents from anyone — potentially triggering an extended legal battle that could make its way to the Supreme Court.
- Go deeper: The 2020 candidates who have released their latest tax returns
- Why ‘worthless’ humanities degrees may set you up for life, By Amanda Ruggeri | @BBC_Capital | 2 April 2019
- … Today, a degree is all but a necessity for the job market, one that more than halves your chances of being unemployed. Still, that alone is no guarantee of a job – and yet we’re paying more and more for one. In the US, room, board and tuition at a private university costs an average of $48,510 a year …
- … in the US, for example, a bachelor’s degree holder earns $461 more each week than someone who never attended a university. …
- … our assumptions about the market value of certain degrees – and the “worthlessness” of others – might be off. At best, that could be making some students unnecessarily stressed. At worst? Pushing people onto paths that set them up for less fulfilling lives. It also perpetuates the stereotype of liberal arts graduates, in particular, as an elite caste – something that can discourage underprivileged students, and anyone else who needs an immediate return on their university investment …
- … When [George Anders] was a technology reporter for Forbes from 2012 to 2016, he says Silicon Valley “was consumed with this idea that there was no education but Stem education”.
- But when he talked to hiring managers at the biggest tech companies, he found a different reality. “Uber was picking up psychology majors to deal with unhappy riders and drivers. Opentable was hiring English majors to bring data to restauranteurs to get them excited about what data could do for their restaurants,” he says.
- “I realised that the ability to communicate and get along with people, and understand what’s on other people’s minds, and do full-strength critical thinking – all of these things were valued and appreciated by everyone as important job skills, except the media.” This realisation led him to write his appropriately-titled book You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education.
- … LinkedIn’s research on the most sought-after job skills by employers for 2019 found that the three most-wanted “soft skills” were creativity, persuasion and collaboration, while one of the five top “hard skills” was people management. A full 56% of UK employers surveyed said their staff lacked essential teamwork skills and 46% thought it was a problem that their employees struggled with handling feelings, whether theirs or others’. It’s not just UK employers: one 2017 study found that the fastest-growing jobs in the US in the last 30 years have almost all specifically required a high level of social skills.
- …it goes without saying that you can be an excellent communicator and critical thinker without a liberal arts degree. And any good university education, not just one in English or psychology, should sharpen these abilities further. “Any degree will give you very important generic skills like being able to write, being able to present an argument, research, problem-solve, teamwork, becoming familiar with technology,” says Dublin-based educational consultant and career coach Anne Mangan.
- But few courses of study are quite as heavy on reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking as the liberal arts, in particular the humanities – whether that’s by debating other students in a seminar, writing a thesis paper or analysing poetry.
- “Empathy is usually the biggest skill. That doesn’t just mean feeling sorry for people with problems. It means an ability to understand the needs and wants of a diverse group of people” – [George Anders]
- … humanities graduates go on to a variety of fields. The biggest group of US humanities graduates, 15%, go on to management positions. That’s followed by 14% who are in in office and administrative positions, 13% who are in sales and another 12% who are in education, mostly teaching. Another 10% are in business and finance. …
- … Glassdoor’s 2019 research found that eight of the top 10 best jobs in the UK were managerial positions – people-oriented roles that require communication skills and emotional intelligence. (It defined “best” by combining earning potential, overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings.) And many of them were outside Stem-based industries. The third best job was marketing manager; fourth, product manager; fifth, sales manager. An engineering role doesn’t appear on the list until the 18th slot – below positions in communications, HR and project management.
- One recent study of 1,700 people from 30 countries, meanwhile, found that the majority of those in leadership positions had either a social sciences or humanities degree. That was especially true of leaders under 45 years of age; leaders over 45 were more likely to have studied Stem. …
- … This isn’t to say that a liberal arts degree is the easy road. “A lot of the people I talked to were five or 10 years into their career, and there was a sense that the first year was bumpy, and it took a while to find their footing,” Anders says. “But as things played out, it did tend to work.”
- For some graduates, the initial challenge was not knowing what they wanted to do with their lives. For others, it was not having acquired as many technical skills with their degree as, say, their IT trainee peers and having to play catch-up after. …
- Do what you love: This is a big part of why there is one major takeaway, says Mangan. Whatever a student pursues in university, it must be something that they aren’t just good at, but they really enjoy.
- “In most areas that I can see, the employer just wants to know that you’ve been to college and you’ve done well. That’s why I think doing something that really interests you is essential – because that’s when you’re going to do well,” she says.
- No matter what, making a degree or career path decision based on average salaries isn’t a good move. “Financial success is not a good reason. It tends to be a very poor reason,” Mangan says. “Be successful at something and money will follow, as opposed to the other way around. Focus on doing the stuff that you love that you’ll be so enthusiastic about, people will want to give you a job. Then go and develop within that job.” …