The Bad News Bears knock it out of the park!

SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2019

The Bad News Bears are Us:
How quickly will the mandated feel-good misstatement appear?

How quickly will the misstatement appear when the upper-end "press corps" presents the latest version of one of its standard stories?

(As you know, we avoid use of the L-bomb here. We'll speak instead of "misstatements.")

On the front page of today's New York Times, the basic mandated feel-good misstatement appears in paragraph 3. Absurdly embellished headlines included, the front-page report starts like this:
GREEN (4/13/19): LeBron James Opened a School That Was Considered an Experiment. It’s Showing Promise.
The inaugural class of third and fourth graders at the school has posted extraordinary results on its first set of test scores.


AKRON, Ohio—The students paraded through hugs and high-fives from staff, who danced as Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” blared through the hallways. They were showered with compliments as they walked through a buffet of breakfast foods.

The scene might be expected on a special occasion at any other public school. At LeBron James’s I Promise School, it was just Monday.

Every day, they are celebrated for walking through the door. This time last year, the students at the school—Mr. James’s biggest foray into educational philanthropy—were identified as the worst performers in the Akron public schools and branded with behavioral problems. Some as young as 8 were considered at risk of not graduating.

Now, they are helping close the achievement gap in Akron.
So cool! One year later, "the worst performers in the Akron schools" have posted "extraordinary results" on their current "test scores!"

So cool! After less than one year in a thrilling new school, The Bad News Bears are knocking it out of the park!

Our mainstream "press corps" has been writing versions of this feel-good story since at least the early 1970s. The genre was in existence even before that—in Herbert Kohl's 1967 book, 36 Children, to cite one high-profile example.

Let's return to the present. In paragraph 3 of that front-page report, Erica Green tells us that the kids in question were "the worst performers in the Akron schools" just one year ago. In hard copy, an excited editor seized upon that apparent misstatement in this caption to a large photograph which appears on page A12:
PHOTO CAPTION: I Promise students waited for a free breakfast. The school's students, identified as the worst performers in the Akron, Ohio public schools, were admitted by a lottery.
The school held a lottery among Akron's "worst performers." These are the kids who won!

Green's happy-talk statement in paragraph 3 sets the framework for this familiar old standard story. That said, this upper-end journalist's happy-talk statement seems to be a blatant misstatement, as is the long-standing norm within novelizations of this familiar type.

Why do we say that Green's feel-good statement seems to be a misstatement? We say that because we read all the way to paragraph 23, where the reader is finally handed the highlighted statement:
GREEN: I Promise students were among those identified by the district as performing in the 10th to 25th percentile on their second-grade assessments. They were then admitted through a lottery.

“These were the children where you went and talked with their old teachers, and they said, ‘This will never work,’ ” Dr. Campbell said. “We said give them to us.”
According to that passage, the students attending this new Akron school were quite explicitly not identified as the district's worst performers. On the contrary, it sounds like the district's worst performers—the kids performing below the 10th percentile—were specifically excluded from the lottery which brought these good decent kids to this potentially important new school.

Might we explain that further? Based on last year's performance, the bottom ten percent of Akron's kids were apparently excluded from this new school. They weren't allowed in the lottery from which the school's kids were chosen.

At the average Akron school, those excluded kids—the actual Bad News Bears—make up ten percent of the student enrollment. At this new school, those struggling kids don't exist.

When this new school was formed, it was no lowest performers need apply! Unless you read the New York Times, where an apparent flagrant misstatement—we don't refer to such statements as "lies"—will warm your cockles in paragraph 3, right there on page A1.

Is man [sic] really "the rational animal," as we've long been told, though always by ourselves? We've been discussing misstatements of this familiar old type since the early 1970s, when we began discussing this novelized genre in several op-ed columns for the Baltimore Sun.

When it comes to novelized stories of this type, it's No Misstatement Left Behind. Most simply put, those good and decent Akron kids actually aren't The Bad News Bears—and "rational animals" aren't Us!

Your lizard brain is currently saying that we liberals should simply enjoy this report. In this way, your lizard brain has always told you to throw black kids under a familiar old bus.

This is the way the New York Times plays. How rational are its types?

Next week: The history of this genre

One more basic element: We'd be remiss if we didn't identify one additional standard element in this standard novelized story.

We refer to the mandated Silly Remark Made by Some School Official. In this case, this element is found in this passage, which we reprint from above:
GREEN: I Promise students were among those identified by the district as performing in the 10th to 25th percentile on their second-grade assessments. They were then admitted through a lottery.

“These were the children where you went and talked with their old teachers, and they said, ‘This will never work,’ ” Dr. Campbell said. “We said give them to us.”
Did you spot the foolishness there?

Dr. Campbell is the executive director of the foundation which runs this new school. She's quoted saying that the kids who now attend the school "were the children where" their teachers said, "This will never work."

In short, these kids were The Bad News Bears! That said, what did those gloomy teachers say about the ten percent of Akron's kids who were performing even more poorly last year? Those kids have apparently been excluded from this school.

Every novel of this type must include at least one such remark! It's a basic part of the gruesome old genre, which has been a press corps favorite over the past fifty years.

Sub-rational animals keep churning such copy. Excluding Kierkegaard and Kant from any such judgment, could The Bad News Bears be Us?

42 comments:

  1. Although Somerby is right about the effect of cutting off the very lowest end of the pool of students selected by lottery, there are some good reasons for doing that.

    When you have a distribution of students, their abilities will form that bell curve because most human characteristics are distributed that way. People vary, but they vary in a predictable way, with most around average and a few at the extremes of whatever is being measured.

    When you get to the very ends of the distribution, the variability is no longer as likely to be caused by normal human difference, but by additional factors that influence whatever is being measured. So, when you get to the extremes of height, for example, the very top and very bottom are influenced by genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome or dwarfism. This isn't considered part of regular variability but is the combination of that variability with medical conditions that would make someone extra short or extra tall. These extra conditions have different causes and respond to the environment in different ways.

    For educational purposes, children at the very extremes in terms of performance are likely to have additional factors affecting their learning. Thus simply improving the classroom situation for them might not be sufficient to improve their learning in the same way as it might for a child who does not have such additional learning obstacles.

    If your goal is to test whether a new school's approach is working for low-performing kids, would it help or hurt to include kids with additional problems in the first class? For evaluation purposes, it would tend to complicate the evaluation. So it is routine to screen out the very lowest performers, just as the top end (above the 25th percentile) was also excluded.

    Somerby assumes that this is goosing the narrative. He complains because the journalists didn't point out that the very lowest (who are most likely to have additional disorders) were left out without complete disclosure by the press. He strongly suggests there is deception, to happy talk a heart-warming story. But I think it is more likely that they did what researchers do in such situations and that Somerby is making a fuss about nothing because he doesn't understand much about measurement.

    Bad News Bears was an entertaining movie. None of the really bad players would have been on that ball field either. They would have been in the equivalent of wheelchairs and hospital beds, if you were actually presenting the lowest 10% in physical agility. But would that have been a good movie? Probably not, but we can still cheer for the improvement in the team that did take the field. To fail to cheer for our kids seems churlish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well played! And well written.

      But what's wrong with churlishness?

      Delete
  2. "At this new school, those struggling kids don't exist."

    Establishment journos bullshit - that's a given. That's their job.

    But other than that, aren't you a bit too much of a stickler, Bob? Don't you think 10th to 25th percentile is close enough?

    Those in the bottom 10%, something might be seriously wrong with them. Something that just can't be compensated by individual attention.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There seem to be two approaches to rehabilitating Biden. The first one says that the polls are showing that no one cares about his handsiness. The second one involves framing this as "If Biden were the only one who could beat Trump, you'd have to vote for him to keep Trump from a second term." This is essentially what Bill Maher said a few times on his Friday show. Maher then went on to pretend that it is age discrimination to oppose Biden.

    We are coming up on the primaries, not the general election, and Biden is far from the only person running. There is no reason we cannot rally behind one of the other candidates, someone who doesn't touch people inappropriately, someone less creepy.

    But the larger question is why the fix is in for Biden. Who is pushing him? Maher, obviously, but why?

    Elizabeth Warren has made several policy statements over the past week or so. These have been largely ignored. Bernie made a couple too, but they weren't as good. Yet Bernie got a lot more attention in the press. This is pushing me to support Elizabeth Warren. I dislike having one of these guys shoved down my throat by a media that thinks only men can win (a self-fulfilling prophecy given their behavior). I will not ever vote for Biden, under any circumstances, Trump be damned, and whoever is doing this needs to know that I am far from the only person to feel this way about him -- and stop pushing him on the Democratic party as if he were the only choice.

    Get behind someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I find it interesting that whenever the commenters start deploring quotas, they ignore the ubiquitous gender quotas instituted by nearly all universities and colleges. Women outscore men on entrance exams but admission percentages are explicitly set to achieve a gender balance among those accepted. Men are admitted with lower scores than women, displacing higher scoring women who might otherwise be admitted. No one cares about this -- no one seems to know about it much. Is it fair? Of course not. But this widely suppressed secret -- that girls do better than boys in school -- doesn't seem to rock anyone's boat. So why is race so different?

    Along the same lines, people here may be unaware of the targeting of Katie Bouman by internet trolls. She is the grad student who developed an algorithm important to taking the first pictures of a black hole. For that offense, she is being vilified by white young males who think women cannot do science. Here is Echidne's take on it:

    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2019/04/and-then-trolls-came-for-katie-bouman.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somerby: his narrative is supreme.

    To be “in the 10th percentile” is to be in the group with the lowest 10% of scores. There are no lower scores, and there is no lower group.

    Can Somerby not do a basic lookup of the definition of percentile?

    He needs to cut this shit out, or just stop writing altogether. What a stupid asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @1:40 -- There are 100 percentiles, running from zeroth to 99th. Each percentile represent just 1% of the entire group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then again, there are dumb fucks like DinC who have had every advantage and privilege this country has to offer and still end up stupid idiots.

      ******
      David in Cal March 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.
      *****

      ***********
      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

      @realDonaldTrump

      Why should Radical Left Democrats in Congress have a right to retry and examine the $35,000,000 (two years in the making) No Collusion Mueller Report, when the crime committed was by Crooked Hillary, the DNC and Dirty Cops? Attorney General Barr will make the decision!

      8:21 AM - Apr 13, 2019
      ****************

      Hey, dumb fuck DinC, how's the "talking point" holding up

      Delete
    2. Yes, mm, I saw that quote. I wasn't fully sure what Trump meant by "retry and examine'. I think he expects the Dems to start with the Mueller report and try to find within it a conclusion opposite to Mueller's. That is, his objection is not to releasing the report but instead is to re-starting the investigation of Russian collusion anew.

      Delete
    3. Yes, David, we all see how eager Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, is to have the Mueller Report that totally exonerates him released. Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, is now hiding behind his hand picked partisan hack. With a word Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, could order the full report released immediately. But Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, is too much of a fucking lying coward to do that. So go fuck yourself David, you gigantic bullshit artist. We're not stupid, we can see with our own eyes what is happening.

      You have no fucking clue what "conclusions" Mueller came to. Let's start there, you fucking dishonest piece of shit. No fucking clue.
      ******
      David in Cal March 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.
      *****

      Delete
    4. Kenneth Starr is one of the most outstanding Conservatives America has to offer.
      Kenneth Starr blew off and the covered-up sexual assault allegations while President of Baylor University.

      Both of those statements are true.

      Delete
  7. Bob is suggesting these kids all come from some kind of leg up already, but the article states plainly that 29% are kids with disabilities and 15 percent are still learning English:

    "Unlike other schools connected to celebrities, I Promise is not a charter school run by a private operator but a public school operated by the district. Its population is 60 percent black, 15 percent English-language learners and 29 percent special education students."

    ReplyDelete
  8. There are some curious numbers in that report.. It says
    In reading, where both classes had scored in the lowest, or first, percentile, third graders moved to the ninth percentile, and fourth graders to the 16th. In math, third graders jumped from the lowest percentile to the 18th, while fourth graders moved from the second percentile to the 30th.

    It says 3 of the four groups started in the lowest percentile and the fourth started in the second lowest. But, these kids were selected as between the 10th and 25th percentile, so why did they test in the 1st and 2nd percentiles on entering this new school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ******
      David in Cal March 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.
      *****

      Bill Barr: I’m Not Giving Congress Full Mueller Report

      Delete
    2. mm- you are too smart to just repeat misleading talking points. As you know, four categories will be redacted:

      -- grand jury material that is subject to federal secrecy rules,

      -- information that could reveal intelligence sources and methods,

      -- details that could compromise ongoing investigations spun off from Mueller’s probe,

      --information that could impact the privacy of “peripheral” third parties.

      Which of these do you not agree with? (BTW I presume you are aware that Mueller himself is participating in the redaction process.)

      Delete
    3. There is no reason for any redaction. Congress has the security clearance to read the full report. They certainly have the "need to know." Why are you even discussing this? The redaction is a ploy by Barr to protect the President, and nothing more.

      Delete
    4. All if it, David, you treasonous sack of shit. All of it. My elected congressional representatives should have access to all of it. And fuck you very much.-

      Delete
    5. "They certainly have the "need to know.""

      Meh. With the approval ratings below that of Jeffrey Dahmer, they certainly "have the need" to shut the fuck up and keep their jerking off as quiet as possible.

      Delete
    6. Fuck you faggot.

      Delete
  9. BTW mm Starr protected an innocent third party in his report

    Ken Starr’s investigation confirmed that Foster’s death was a suicide and that the suicide was due to depression. However, Starr also came to believe, based on the FBI’s work, that the event that triggered the suicide was Hillary Clinton going full Amy Klobuchar on him. Specifically, in front of White House staff, she raked Foster over the coals for incompetence, reportedly telling him he would always be a little hick town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time. I discussed this charming matter in a 2016 post.

    Starr, though, did not include Hillary’s mistreatment of Foster in his report on Foster’s death. Starr’s explanation? According to this report, Starr says he “did not want to inflict further pain” on Hillary.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/04/ken-starr-shielded-hillary-clinton-in-report-on-vince-fosters-death.php

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is ridiculous. Something that wasn't included in a report is not testimony of any kind.

      Suicides aren't "triggered" but result from depression. The idea that anything Hillary might have said to or about Vince Foster led to his suicide is offensive. That isn't how suicide works. Continuing to use Vince Foster's suicide against Hillary Clinton is about as ugly as politics gets.

      This is a reminder that no matter how innocuous David seems, he is nothing but a filthy conservative troll.

      Delete
    2. Note the inclusion of Klobuchar's name with Hillary's, as if linking them makes Klobuchar complicit in Vince Foster's death and makes her as hated a figure (on the right) as Clinton remains.

      Shame on you, David!

      Delete
    3. Kenneth Starr is one of the most outstanding Conservatives America has to offer.
      Kenneth Starr blew off and then covered-up sexual assault allegations while President of Baylor University.

      Both of those statements are true.

      Delete
    4. David has forfeited the right to comment here.

      Delete
    5. So, the psycho-witch did kill the Vince Foster guy.

      Quelle surprise...

      Delete
    6. David, you are morally depraved. Yeah, that Starr guy was a real sweetheart. Just made the rounds pumping his new book,

      Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation

      by Ken Starr



      A short review by Sean Wilentz:

      Starr goes out of his way this time to disparage Hillary Clinton, who went virtually unmentioned in the original report. And there is a great deal of Starr bemoaning what he calls his victimization by the press, supposedly orchestrated by a handful of hostile, unscrupulous aides to the former president.

      Congress saw his entire lurid pornographic report, no redactions. Including, as you are well aware from reading TDH, extraneous material that had nothing to do with the impeachment charges but was just gratuitously added for members of congress to read in secret.

      ****
      And also I’m told today [impeachment eve] that one of the reasons Republicans are voting for impeachment is that they know more than we do. There’s more in this report that’s over at the Ford Building on Capitol Hill that contains dirty stuff about this president that for whatever reason wasn’t formally released but is apparently infecting the thinking of a lot of Republicans and a lot of the borderline guys are gonna vote for impeachment tomorrow because of what they’ve read.

      Matthews soon made it clear that the material he described involved a rape allegation by “Jane Doe #5,” one of the unnamed Clinton accusers who had been interviewed in the Starr probe. Why hadn’t the material been “formally released?” Well, maybe because it wasn’t a part of any actual allegation? Maybe because the OIC and the House Repubs hadn’t based any charges on the material? The thought would occur to almost anyone on earth even dimly aware of the “rule of law,” but it didn’t seem to occur to Matthews, or to U.S. News eager-scribe Major Garrett. In fact, the eager Garrett now confirmed it--Republicans were being urged to review this material, which had nothing to do with the charges:

      And so again we see this celebrity press corps’ impressive, instinctual grasp of due process. What was the Republican leadership doing? Urging members to review material on which no actual charges had been made. And why does Garrett think this is OK? Because Democrats could read the stuff also!

      MATTHEWS: Help me out here. Why are members of the Republican caucus willing to read material that accuses the president of things like rape and make decisions based on that information but are not willing to disclose it after they learned it?

      Matthews missed the obvious problem with the “additional material”--the fact that the material wasn’t part of the actual charges, and so the White House hadn’t been given a chance to respond to the charge it (apparently) contained. Matthews focused instead on another troubling fact--the fact that House members weren’t allowed to describe the Doe charges in public. But again, the unconcerned Garrett said this was OK. It was really just part of the rules: http://dailyhowler.com/h122098_1.shtml
      ****

      This was an impeachment based on lying about a blow job. The Mueller investigation is probably the most serious investigation of a sitting president ever in the history of this country and he has his handpicked hack redacting it while at the same time briefing the WH. Why on earth would he let the president know what is in there while preventing our co-equal branch of government from knowing the full content?

      You're a whore David, a bullshit artist whore.

      Delete
    7. If you were as turned on by Trump's bigotry as David (and the rest of the modern conservative movement), you'd have no problem with the President being compromised by foreign powers too.

      Delete
    8. @11:50 - I am particularly interested in the subject of clinical depression. I was unaware that depressed people could not be "triggered" into suicide. Can you provide a link or source? Thanks very much.

      Delete
    9. mm - You wrote, "This was an impeachment based on lying about a blow job." The impeachment was based on lying under oath about a blow job. Lying under oath is a serious crime. The general perjury statute under federal law classifies perjury as a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years. (Nevertheless, I am glad Clinton remained in office. He did a good job as President.)

      Delete
    10. ******
      David in Cal March 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

      This is the new Democratic talking point, but it won't last long. First of all, just about nobody opposes releasing the Mueller Report - not even Trump.
      *****

      •Giuliani told the Wall Street Journal that Trump's outside lawyers have prepared a counter-report that is currently 140 pages but they're trying to whittle it down to 50 pages. Giuliani told the Journal they expect to focus their defense mostly on the topic of obstruction of justice and will largely ignore collusion.

      This is about you, David, and your obnoxious mocking arrogant predictions. Every republican accusation is a confession. I don't do fucking "talking points", you ignorant troll boy. That's your game, hardly a day goes by that you are not here posting some bullshit handed to you from some rightwing fact free source. deadrat is right, you are a moral and intellectual idiot.

      Why the fuck does you completely exonerated chickenshit president need a "counter report", troll boy? How the hell does he know what to "counter", troll boy? Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, had ample opportunity to tell his side, but chose to cower behind his lawyers.

      And do you own goddamn research if you're so interested in suicide. You're a fucking ghoul for even posting that shit about Kenneth Starr, ace prosecutor. You're as transparent as a fucking Chinese lantern, now trying to start a thread concerning whether Hillary was really responsible for the suicide. Based on something Starr recently said?

      Starr also came to believe,

      What calumnious bullshit from the honorable Kenneth Starr, ace blow job prosecutor and apparently amateur psychiatrist.

      Go fuck yourself, you piece of garbage.

      Delete
    11. Who the fuck put the president of the united states under oath in front of a grand jury to answer questions about a blow job, David, you treasonous bastard? Kenneth Starr who became the SP while forgetting to disclose to the judge panel that he had worked for Paula Jones in an advisory capacity. Kenneth Starr, future president and chancellor of Baylor responsible for covering up sexual assaults at his school. Kenneth Starr, future counsel to Jeffrey Epstein, child rapist, sex slave trader and procurer for the rich and powerful.

      Unfortunately, Donald J Chickenshit, the biggest lying sack of shit ever witnessed, was too much of a lying coward to ever let himself be questioned by Mueller under oath. Your lying bastard president is a fucking coward. No balls, troll boy.

      Delete
  10. Who the fuck put the president of the united states under oath in front of a grand jury to answer questions about a blow job?

    The liberals did that. They were the ones who passed sexual harassment laws that led to Clinton being called to testify. Ironic, isn't it?

    Starr had nothing to do with Clinton's perjury. Clinton committed the perjury in the Paula Jones sexual harassment trial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no fucking idea what you're talking about. The Article 1 had to do with Clinton lying to the grand jury that Kenneth Starr, ace prosecutor of unauthorized blow jobs.

      This is classic conservative idea of amusement. Let's use laws that were passed to protect for political purposes. Ha ha , you asshole.

      Delete
    2. A part of Article I was

      2. prior false statements Clinton made in the Jones deposition

      Then, Article II had 7 separate counts related to the Jones case.

      Delete
    3. Fuck you, you malicious bitch. The alleged perjury was specifically in front of Kenneth Starr's - ace blowjob detective - grand jury. What he said at the civil deposition in the Paula Jone's case could not by definition be perjury you lying sack of shit bullshit artist since the question was ruled immaterial by the judge who also dismissed the case for lack of merit in a summary judgement.

      Delete
    4. mm - Here's the bottom line. Trump is a scummy human being. Bill Clinton is a scummy human being. Clinton did a good job as President. His policies led to peace and prosperity and less crime. Trump is doing a good job as President, also leading to peace and prosperity and less crime.

      Delete
    5. "His policies led to peace and prosperity and less crime."

      No, David, sorry, but I have to disagree.

      I think enough time has passed that we can see clearly the full scale of it, the horrible problems created by NAFTA, by initiating the eastward expansion of NATO, a globalist scummery of maintaining overvalued dollar, and so on, so forth.

      In reality, that was a hugely disastrous decade, imo. Apotheosis of liberal globalization.

      Delete
    6. Any decade where Conservatives have any political power is disastrous.
      If you aren't telling Conservatives to go fuck themselves, you're doing politics wrong.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous on 4/14/19 @12:03P has declared that David in Cal “has forfeited the right to comment here.” This is clearly false as the blog’s owner allows anyone to comment here — people selling love spells, spammers with ads for household movers from Mumbai, and folks writing in Arabic.

    All of whom offer more value than anything David posts, of course.

    What David has forfeited is the courtesy of being taken seriously. This is because he is a moral and intellectual idiot. Everything he writes is nonsense. Let’s examine his claim that “liberals” passed sexual harassment laws.

    Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination, which the 1964 civil rights law outlawed in places of employment. Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia was the chairman of the House Rules Committee at the introduction of the bill that became the landmark law. Smith worked to keep the bill from the floor of the House, but it was popular enough that he was credibly threatened with a discharge petition, a parliamentary move that brings a bill up for a vote against the opposition of committee chairmen. So Smith amended Title VII to add sex as a protected class. Liberals in the House were opposed because they thought the amendment would make the bill even tougher to pass in the Senate. Conservatives (Republicans and Dixiecrats) were delighted with the ploy and succeeded in passing the amendment.

    Conventional wisdom says that the amendment was popular with conservatives because they saw it as a poison pill, a strategy that had worked before. Louis Menand, writing in The New Yorker (7/14/14), presents a revisionist view that Dixiecrats faced pressure from their white, female constituents who pointed out that the civil rights bill would, God forbid, protect black women but not white women. Whatever the reason, the amended bill was sent to the Senate.

    If the Smith amendment was meant to be poison, it wasn’t potent enough to prevent passage in the Senate. But not by much. The cloture vote was 71-29, only five votes to spare. (Cloture required a two-thirds vote at the time.)

    So we actually have conservatives to thank for outlawing sexual harassment in the workplace. However unintentional that was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So we actually have conservatives to thank for outlawing sexual harassment in the workplace. However unintentional that was.

      Ironic, isn't it.

      Delete
  12. Here’s the bottom line:

    David in Cal is a moral and intellectual idiot. He can only swallow whole any right-wing talking point and regurgitate it here.

    There’s no point in trying to teach him anything: he’s incapable of learning.

    There’s no point in abusing him: we don’t accord agency to idiots. As I’ve said before, calling David names is like attending the Special Olympics and booing the losers. His is a disability to be taken into account rather than excoriated.

    Don’t engage. Stop responding. It can’t help but raise the level of discourse.

    And remember, the longer you’re seen in a colloquy with an idiot, the larger the chance that people won’t be able to tell the difference.

    ReplyDelete