New York’s Democratic Governor Torpedoes Pro-Teacher Union Bill

Long story short: The New York teachers’ union wanted teachers exempted from terminations over terrible, terrible performance as determined by testing. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said no.

“The governor reneged on an agreement,” the union said in a statement. “With this veto, the governor has decided that teachers are the only ones who should be held accountable for the state’s failed implementation of the Common Core. We can’t understand why he is refusing to sign his own bill.”

The union’s protest Wednesday will take place as Cuomo holds his annual New Year’s reception at the Executive Mansion, where members of the public can meet him and members of his family in a receiving line.

This governor has to decide whether he’s going to support the goals of students, parents and teachers or those of billionaires who want to destroy public education in order to privatize it and profit from it,” the union said.

That last part is so delusional it has to be deliberately false.

Unnamed, bogeyman billionaires who allegedly seek to profit from education haven’t destroyed America’s educational system. Terrible teachers and administrators, backed by cash-rich union bosses donating to powerful Democrats, have done that. And meanwhile actually good teachers watch their colleagues waste kids’ futures, while those who could replace the bad teachers are kept away.

Former Democratic Governor’s Firm Ordered to Pay $1.2 Billion Restitution

The collapsed financial firm of former Democratic Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey has been ordered to pay $1.2 billion in restitution.

MF Global — the brokerage firm that collapsed when Corzine was its chief executive — has to pay $1.2 billion in restitution and a $100 million civil fine after it was found to have improperly used customers’ money to prop up its faltering trading operations.

A Manhattan federal judge approved the settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday.

The CFTC, which was MF Global’s main regulator, is still pursuing a case against Corzine and the company’s former assistant treasurer, Edith O’Brien. The former execs could face fines as well as a ban from trading commodities.

Corzine, who previously chaired Goldman Sachs, ran the broker giant until October 2011, when the firm collapsed following a panic over its massive risk on European government bonds. The firm then decided to use customer funds to cover its own funding shortfalls.

New Outrage: Police Shoot Adult Male Who Pointed Gun At Them

Never mind the fact the 18-year-old pointed a gun at the police, who would almost certainly shoot anyone who did the same. What matters here is the now-deceased criminal was black, the cop was white, and the last several Professional Victim stories fell apart like cheap suits. So it’s outrage time.

Hundreds of people gathered at a suburban St. Louis gas station early Wednesday morning after a police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man who had been pointing a 9 mm handgun at the officer, authorities said.

Some protesters among the angry crowd of between 200 and 300 turned violent early Wednesday morning, setting off explosive devices and throwing bricks and rocks, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a press conference.

More than 50 police officers, some in riot gear, responded, and video showed officers wrestling with protesters.

How idiotic have the Professional Victim cries of injustice become?

Belmar said he spoke to several young people at the scene who questioned why the officer did not use a Taser or Mace pepper spray to incapacitate the suspect, rather than a firearm.

Yes. Why didn’t police use pepper spray against an adult pointing a gun at them. No justice, no peace! Don’t the cops know it’s their job to get shot rather than risk angering Al Sharpton and his merry band of rioting delinquents? I mean, they killed this poor gun-toting man with an extensive criminal history, including armed robbery and assault. Time to riot!

They’re now looking for any and every opportunity to scream injustice and demand revenge. We’ve now reached the point where they expect police to treat with kid gloves an 18-year-old violent criminal pointing a gun at them. Mainstream America should stop taking these delinquents seriously.

University Bans Christmas as “Kitsch”

I was going to make a joke about the university being Scrooge or the Grinch, but it’s actually a pretty serious reminder that the Chinese government remains oppressive and all-controlling. You’ll think what you’re allowed to think.

BEIJING (Reuters) – A university in northwestern China has banned Christmas, calling it a “kitsch” foreign celebration unbefitting of the country’s own traditions and making its students watch propaganda films instead, media said on Thursday.

The state-run Beijing News said that the Modern College of Northwest University, located in Xian, had strung up banners around the campus reading “Strive to be outstanding sons and daughters of China, oppose kitsch Western holidays” and “Resist the expansion of Western culture”.

A student told the newspaper that they would be punished if they did not attend a mandatory three-hour screening of propaganda films, which other students said included one about Confucius, with teachers standing guard to stop people leaving.

“There’s nothing we can do about it, we can’t escape,” the student was quoted as saying.

Ah, communism. Stimulating all thought and discourse that happens to align with the political interests of the ruling party. That despite the United States (and the rest of the world) engaged in free trade with China. But I’m sure giving a financial life preserver to the Castro regime in Cuba will totally bring down that oppressive regime.

Wenzhou, a city in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, has banned all Christmas activities in schools and kindergartens, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Inspectors would make sure rules are enforced, it added.

They’re literally sending government inspectors to make sure children aren’t having fun and celebrating love and togetherness. They’re literally fun police.

Democrat Landrieu Defeated in Historic Election

The final major contest of the 2014 midterm election ended the same way so many others had on election night: With a resounding Republican victory.

In a runoff election last night, Republican challenger Bill Cassidy easily defeated (57-43) multi-term incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. Democratic candidates Edwin Edwards and Jamie Mayo further lost their special House elections.

The result is an historic defeat for Democrats. Landrieu’s Senate seat has been in the hands of Democrats for 132 years. Politico reports Landrieu, now unemployed, was the last Democratic statewide officeholder in the Deep South. Democrats are left without a single governorship or US Senator across nine states. There are now as many black Republican senators as Democratic senators of any skin color in the region.

But Republican victories in 2014 were not limited to the south, of course, complicating the Democratic narrative of racial hatred driving Republican success. Republican candidates won gubernatorial races in deep blue states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Senatorial candidates were victorious in swing states like Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota.

When they return to Washington in January, Republicans will bring with them control of 9 additional Senate seats and a majority of 54 in the upper chamber. In the House, Republicans will enjoy their largest majority since 1947 (possibly since 1929 pending another race). The deep blue home state of the incumbent Democratic president will be in Republican hands.

Now, it would seem, would be the time for the Democratic Party to take a long, hard look at itself and how it so quickly fell from grace. Massively unpopular signature initiatives (ObamaCare), foreign policy disasters (too many to name), a lawless administration, seemingly a new scandal every week, loyalty to incompetent and corrupt officials, an energy policy that chases green unicorns at the expense of American workers and industry…the list goes on.

No electoral victory or defeat is permanent. But a loss of power can last a very long time, as both parties have seen before. Whether 2016 is the year Democrats turn things around, or simply lose their last hold on American government, will be determined by how they respond to the historic blow they were just delivered by American voters. They can change course and acknowledge their disconnect from Middle America, or continue to pay the political price.

Uruguay’s Pro-Government-Run Weed Industry Candidate Wins

Not a huge surprise in Uruguay, but the left-wing candidate for president won the run-off election in that country today.

What is fascinating is Uruguay has taken socialism to a whole new level. Meet the government-run weed industry. Yes, weed. As in marijuana.

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Tabare Vazquez easily won Uruguay’s presidential election on Sunday, returning to power a left-leaning coalition that has helped legalize gay marriage and moved to create the world’s first state-run marijuana marketplace.

The runoff vote had drawn international attention because Vazquez’s rival, center-right candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, had promised to undo much of the plan to put the government in charge of regulating the production, distribution and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale.

Yet interestingly:

During his campaign, (the right-wing opponent) criticized the marijuana plan, saying he would shut down the state-run pot market, while allowing domestic cultivation of the plant. Polls show that despite its international popularity, most Uruguayans oppose the marijuana laws and want them repealed. Uruguayan authorities are still in the process of rolling out the pot marketplace.

Can’t wait for the weed shortages. People lined up down the block for rationed weed. Should be hilarious. You know it’s coming.

Democratic Infighting: Obama Fires First Shots Against Hillary 2016

Relations have never quite been friendly between Barack Obama and the Clintons. Neither side ever really forgave the other for the brutal 2008 Democratic primary fight, which found Obama and his cronies smearing the Clintons as racist for daring to oppose him. The Clintons, in turn, haven’t been afraid to publicly contradict Obama and his policies when politically beneficial. Now, Obama has made clear he intends to drag the hostility into the 2016 contest.

OBAMA: And she’s not gonna agree with me on– on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of– running for president is you can stake out your own positions. You’re– and– and have– a clean slate. A fresh start. You know, when you’ve been president for six years you– you know, you’ve got some dings and– (CHUCKLE) you know and– and–

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you don’t mind absorbing a few more if that’s–

OBAMA: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: –what it takes?

OBAMA: You know, I think– I think the American people, you know, they’re gonna want– you know, that new car smell. (LAUGHTER) You know, their own– they– they wanna drive somethin’ off the lot that– that doesn’t have as– as much mileage as me.

Clinton, of course, has been around the national political scene quite a bit longer than Obama. He’s basically calling her old and yesterday’s news. Which, I mean, he’s not wrong. She’s been angling for the top office for decades, deftly using her post as First Lady to become a US Senator and then Secretary of State, always with her eyes on the White House.

The problem for Democrats is that their bench is actually quite thin. Clinton is a decently strong yet polarizing choice. Their other realistic options at this point are equally stale (who’s ready for Joe Biden?) or too controversial (Elizabeth Warren isn’t carrying Ohio in the general). So they’ll almost certainly have to make-do with the odor of a 1992 Ford Taurus.

Israeli hospital treating daughter of Hamas terrorist, because evil Jews obviously

An Israeli hospital has treated the daughter of a “sworn enemy” of the Jewish state, Agence France-Presse reports. The report indicates the girl is the daughter of Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniya, one of the most recognizable faces of Hamas and its murderous acts.

A spokesman at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv told AFP that the daughter had been admitted for emergency treatment last month, although he was unable to name her due to patient privacy.

A senior official in the Gaza health ministry confirmed a relative of Haniya had received treatment at the hospital, but identified her as a sister of the former Palestinian prime minister.

She had been in “critical, life-threatening condition” when she arrived at the facility two weeks ago, the official said.

Both sources said the patient had been discharged after a few days and returned to Gaza.

Why would Israel provide critical health care services to the daughter of a sworn enemy? Basic humanity, a concept with which Hamas is entirely unfamiliar.

Terrible: New York Toddler Beaten to Death, Mother’s Boyfriend Charged

The 20-year-old boyfriend of a New York City mother is in police custody after allegedly beating her toddler daughter to death at a city homeless shelter.

The 3-year-old girl was beaten to death, and her 5-year-old brother also was beaten in Brooklyn on Saturday, according to the New York Police Department.

The boy was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

Their mother’s boyfriend Kelsey Smith was taken into custody in connection with the beatings, police said. He was not yet formally arrested and specific charges were not yet filed, police said.

Sources told local media that the boyfriend became enraged after the little girl accidentally soiled herself.

I volunteer as executioner. But sadly New York has no death penalty. Because, you know, that would be cruel.

The “Project for the New American Century” in Today’s World

Commonly referred to as the birthplace of the neoconservative movement in the U.S., the ideas proposed by Project for the New American Century (PNAC) continue to have an impact on global economic strategies and political maneuvers in the present day. Based loosely on the works of Leon Trotsky, the principles developed by PNAC are designed to promote national interests in an increasingly hostile and unequal global economy and to ensure reliable energy supplies and ongoing relevance for the U.S. in the international political arena.

Unlikely Bedfellows

As an avowed Marxist and a Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky would appear to be an unlikely source for neoconservative philosophy. Trotsky’s far-left positions, however, included the concept of Permanent Revolution, an idea that found fertile soil in the far-right PNAC think-tank and provided the basis for some of the viewpoints espoused in its 1997 Statement of Principles. While it is not certain that William Kristol and others integrally involved in the development of neoconservatism were directly influenced by the idea of Permanent Revolution, it is evident from their expressed and written opinions that a state of continual expansion and active protection of U.S. goals and interests throughout the world was the desirable state of affairs. This included exporting U.S. culture and economic belief systems to targeted foreign nations and the protection by any means necessary of critical resources at home and abroad.

Fostering a Global Economy

Some analysts believe that the shift of certain jobs from the U.S. to India, China and other areas of the world is part of the overall plan espoused and disseminated by PNAC. By offering economic opportunities to these regions, it may be possible to instill the principles of capitalism among workers and create a more positive attitude toward Western viewpoints and economic processes. Additionally, providing added financial resources may reduce the likelihood of economic unrest in key areas of the world. By sharing the wealth on a smaller scale, PNAC may stave off large-scale demonstrations and social upheavals that could threaten the goals of the U.S. and the neoconservative movement.

Permanent Revolution and Continual War

A more controversial element of the PNAC agenda involves the willingness of the U.S. to use military force to protect its interests in key areas. Although the second Gulf War was nominally a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many in the global political community view this as a direct application of PNAC principles to seize control of Iraqi oilfields and to ensure an uninterrupted flow of this fuel to the U.S. If this military action was, in fact, an implementation of PNAC’s stated principles, it would mark a new era in U.S. international relations and would set a precedent for foreign entanglements that could damage American credibility and reduce cooperation in the global political arena.

Understanding the ongoing influence of PNAC principles on U.S. economic activities and military engagements can provide added insights for researchers and can allow a greater degree of proactivity on the part of opinion makers and leaders in the political world.