ENEMIES OR FRIENDS: Three cheers for what the College Board said!


At best, one cheer for Joy Reid: What should high school students be taught in our public school? What skills / attitudes / points of view should they be encouraged to develop?

You're asking an excellent question! At one point in the current scrum about its new Advanced Placement course, the College Board offered some good sound and excellent advice.

Three cheers for the College Board! In a news report in mid-January, the Washington Post's Laura Meckler reported something the Board had said:

MECKLER (1/19/23): Revisions [to the AP course] will be made based on early experience, and the course frameworks “often change significantly,” the College Board said. Details of the class will be posted for interested parties to see in spring 2024. It will be available to all interested schools beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.

The College Board statement said that the class does not aim to push any point of view and depends on students immersing themselves in primary sources.

“The course is designed to encourage students to examine each theme from a variety of perspectives, without ideology, in line with the field’s tradition of debates,” the College Board said. “Students will encounter evidence, weigh competing viewpoints and come to their own conclusions. AP students are never required to agree with a particular opinion or adopt a particular ideology, but they are expected to analyze different perspectives.”

Meckler provided no link to the text of that "College Board statement." She didn't explain the form in which the statement was made. 

That said, a similar outlook is described right at the start of the College Board's outline of its new course. You can find the relevant statements in the College Board's "What AP Stands For" section.

At any rate, three cheers for that College Board statement! 

The Board's new course is a yearlong course in African American Studies—a realm which will inevitably give rise to a wide array of competing opinions, judgments and outlooks.

In the statement Meckler quoted, the Board said that its AP course was not intended "to push any [particular] point of view" on any particular topic. Students would end up reaching "their own conclusions," based on the examinations the course had encouraged them to conduct.

Three cheers for the College Board for articulating that point of view! We human beings are strongly inclined to push our own points of view on others. This can be especially true when adults encounter younger people.

We Adults Today! Consider what happened when Joy Reid interviewed three Florida high school students last week.

On February 15, Reid was broadcasting her program, The Reid Out, live and direct from Florida. On that day, she devoted her entire hour to the raging debate about the Board's new AP course.

Early in the hour, she spoke with three Florida high school honors students. According to Reid, the students had been selected to be lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Governor DeSantis, if the current dispute within their state should end up coming to that.

Below, you see the first Q-and-A in this interview segment. As we watched Victoria McQueen speak, we marveled, as we often do, about where such impressive young people can possibly come from:

REID (2/15/23): So talk to me, Victoria, about the importance of taking AP classes and why you would want to take this AP African American Studies class.

MCQUEEN: AP's have opened my eyes to an array of new information. When I took honors in middle school, and the friends I have in honors classes now, we go farther back in history, we go deeper into history. And if we had the option to take African American history at the AP level, we also would get that deeper knowledge that you don't get baseline, and that you have to find deep in the Internet to get that knowledge, because it's not easily accessible at our schools.

We were impressed by this young person's composure and sense of purpose. You can watch this exchange, and those that followed, just by clicking here.

At this point, Reid turned to Juliette Heckman, the second student on her panel. Reid is a good, decent person, but this is what she said:

REID (continuing directly): And Juliette, you know, Governor Ron DeSantis ostensibly is trying to protect you from that class. (Reid's emphasis.) Because he is concerned that if you, as a, you know, young white woman in America, were to learn about the horrors of slavery, for instance, or sort of, you know, the horrors of redemption after Reconstruction, that somehow that would make you uncomfortable, and he has decreed that to be illegal. 

How do you feel about that? Does it make you uncomfortable to learn the sort of difficult parts of American history?

Reid wasn't cast in the role of a teacher here. She was working in the more familiar role of a "cable news" provider of scripted talking points.

That said, that was exactly the way we wouldn't want a history teacher to interact with a high school student:

Reid started by telling Heckman what her relevant identity is. She then churned a bunch of debatable and / or inaccurate talking points. After describing the state of the world, she finally gave Heckman a chance to speak.

We're sorry, but no. In our view, it's hard to justify the (very familiar) claim that DeSantis has decreed it illegal to discuss something in public schools which might make a young white woman uncomfortable. 

That's a standard talking point, one which makes our blue tribe cable crowd glad. But according to the College Board, that is exactly the sort of claim which AP students should be led to evaluate on their own, without some adult telling them what they're expected, required or instructed to think.

Reid went straight to the role of telling a teenager "who she is" and what she's expected to think. This is what teachers shouldn't be doing, according to the College Board and according to everyone here.

Where do these questing young students come from? Also, how do they turn into the adult reciters of standardized points we see within our current warring tribes?

In part, the transition is caused when an endless succession of cable town criers bark out the requisite talking points of one of our warring tribes. With that in mind, we wish the College Boatd went farther than it currently does as it says that AP students shouldn't be told what they should think about particular issues.

(We wish the Board would even say something like this: Students will be encouraged to understand there will always be competing points of view, even within their own age cohort and perhaps within their own circle of friends, about the topics they will examine during their AP courses.)

By just her second exchange with these students, Reid was churning standardized points. In fairness, she's paid to do that every night when she speaks with other adepts on our blue tribe's cable channel. 

It may not have occurred to her that she ought to have a bit more respect when she speaks with high school students—that the nation's sons and daughters should be beyond her command.

Joy Reid is a good decent person, but she's also a person person. According to experts, we humans are strongly inclined to divide into tribes, then to develop and recite strings of approved tribal dogmas and scripts.

Sure enough! Confronted with a trio of honors students, Reid couldn't get through her second question before she reverted to standard corporate "cable news" form.

It's often (not always) horrible on the red tribe's cable news channel, but it's often quite bad on our own. On our blue tribe cable channel, you'll never hear a dissenting voice or discouraging word from "our favorite reporters and friends!"

We wondered if those high school students actually know each other. Two were "black" and one was 'white." We wondered what relations were like between These Black and White High School Students Today in Florida's AP courses.

We also wondered what things were like among the larger number of kids, black and white and everyone else, who aren't enrolled in Advanced Placement or honors classes. There are a million things we'd like to hear from These Honor Students Today, but Reid ran straight to her mandated points, after telling Heckman how she fit into the picture based on her "identity" as Reid was prepared to define it.

So it goes in the human world as our current war drags on. And by the way:

Concerning that one talking point, three cheers for Laura Meckler! We cheer her for an extremely unusual thing she did in that Washington Post report.

Good lord! She actually quoted part of the law concerning the alleged fear that These Young White Women might feel uncomfortable in their history classes. Instead of churning a paraphrase, she quoted part of the Florida law:

MECKLER: Florida’s legislature has enacted laws limiting how teachers can talk about subjects including race. A measure signed last spring, for instance, seeks to ensure that students are not made to feel guilty for racist acts carried out by others. “A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part,” the law states.

As you can see, that highlighted statement differs from Reid's pleasing paraphrase of the relevant law. The difference extends on from there.

That said, cable news is designed to bring viewers back for more, and our blue tribe is happy with the paraphrase we have chosen.

"We must not be enemies," one president said. "We are not enemies, but friends." 

Do those Florida high school students have friends who may hold different beliefs? Among their rising generation, is that sort of thing possible? 

We would have liked to see Reid ask. Instead, it seemed to us that she stayed in a familiar lane.

Tomorrow: Skip Gates and Ron DeSantis!


  1. Where's the part about students learning that inflation doesn't happen in competitive markets, and that Capitalism only "works" with anti-trust/ anti-monopoly regulation and enforcement? You want the kids learning this is school, not on the streets.

  2. "Meckler provided no link to the text of that "College Board statement." She didn't explain the form in which the statement was made. "

    This is how such courses always work. It is called teaching. There doesn't need to be a specific statement for this or any other course explicitly stating this stuff, except for the furor kicked up by DeSantis. Pretending otherwise is right wing culture-war disinformation, frightening parents into thinking their kids will be propagandized, when it is the parents who are being duped by the right.

    And Somerby has been playing right along...

    1. WTF are you even talking about. You should read for comprehension and slow down a bit before unleashing your "class issues be damned I am a servant of the corporate status quo media" garbage on us all, give us some credit at least.

      Bob: "The College Board statement said that the class does not aim to push any point of view"

      Bob: "Meckler provided no link to the text of that "College Board statement." She didn't explain the form in which the statement was made. "

      You: "This is how such courses work" ????

    2. Where have these recent new trolls come from? Despite the use of words like "class" and "corporate", this one is no different than the others. Does Somerby order these people out of a catalog?

  3. Wipe that smile / pout off your face. I'm teaching history!

    1. Meckler said that learning would not be that passive. Notice how she says it is being left up to the student, via completion of projects.

  4. "a realm which will inevitably give rise to a wide array of competing opinions, judgments and outlooks."

    Is this really so controversial? Only if you are a white bigot trying to maintain the racial status quo. Otherwise, it is just another course.

  5. "In the statement Meckler quoted, the Board said that its AP course was not intended "to push any [particular] point of view" on any particular topic."

    This is not entirely true. For one thing, it would be assumed that the course will push the point of view that black people are human beings and citizens of the US, with the full rights and privileges of any citizen. It should also push the point of view of historians (or other scholars) engaged in their discipline, using the tools and methods of study developed to do so. In other words, it will teach methodology of accumulating knowledge and for resolving controversies. Finally, students will be expected to know what the contrtoversies are about, who holds which perspectives, whether they agree with them or not. Because that is part of the content of the field of knowledge being taught. And I doubt whether teachers will allow the expression of views that infringe on the rights of other students, such as extremist and white supremacist views, categorized as hate speech, demeaning to other students, intolerant of diversity. Most schools do not permit that in any context because it impairs the learning of all students.

  6. "Reid started by telling Heckman what her relevant identity is. She then churned a bunch of debatable and / or inaccurate talking points. "

    Reid is describing the objections raised by right wingers against putting kids in such a class. She isn't imposing this on the student, but summarizing what objections have been raised by parents.

    Somerby has misread this part of the transcript/interview. I don't find it troubling that Somerby has called a white student white. It is obvious, just as a black student is obviously black, for purposes of such a discussion.

  7. "(We wish the Board would even say something like this: Students will be encouraged to understand there will always be competing points of view, even within their own age cohort and perhaps within their own circle of friends, about the topics they will examine during their AP courses.)"

    Somerby has taken a bold stand today in favor of the existence of competing points of view! No one has to tell teenagers that there are differing opinions on topics.

    There are some things also that are not open for debate in school classrooms: (1) the right of each student to pursue an education, (2) the tolerance for competing views, (3) the need to follow rules to ensure an environment in which all students can learn without disruption, (4) the required performance of learning activities that will be graded to earn credit toward graduation, (5) respect for other students and the teacher, regardless of their diversity.

    When students adopt bigoted views or engage in activities that hurt other students, they are not "expressing competing views" but are preventing the classroom from being a learning environment, to the detriment of other students. That cannot be tolerated in any classroom, regardless of the subject matter. Somerby and DeSantis wish to protect students who would use an AP class as an excuse to propagate white supremacist views and hate speech. They fear that students who hold such views will be put on the spot and confronted by mainstream teaching about civil rights. That boils down to being a fight over whether the South can remain racist, not over what children will learn at school. This question is arising now because of the resurgence of racist views on the right under Trump and the Republicans. Pretending this is about letting school children discover controversies is ridiculous.

  8. "“A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part,” the law states."

    There is no space between this statement from the law (quoted by Meckler) and what Joy Reid said, despite Somerby's desire to nitpick and call Reid a propagandist based on his hair-splitting.

    Somerby says: "After describing the state of the world, she finally gave Heckman a chance to speak."

    And then he doesn't tell us what Heckman said. Is Somerby dismissing Heckman's words because they supported Reid's characterization or because he thinks Heckman is mindless, after Reid's intro? If Heckman said something different than Reid, it would be harder for Somerby to say that Reid had planted ideas in her head, wouldn't it? So we aren't allowed to hear what Heckman did say. Typical Somerby maneuver.

  9. Joy Reid failed the good and decent person
    test when She insisted that Americans only
    care about The Ukrainians because they are
    white. This was effectively played up in the
    the Right Press making liberals look like
    Many good, decent liberals who support
    The President won’t touch MSNBC with a
    ten foot pole and this sort of thing is the
    reason why. It keeps the left effectively
    divided in many ways, the elections close
    the advertising revenue high. It also
    pushes less hearty souls into the amoral
    Idiot club the Right has become.
    It helps Bob justify his own bigoted
    fantasies to lump the left all together as
    “a tribe.” But it keeps his analysis very
    limited indeed.

    1. "MSNBC's Joy Reid made no secret Monday about what she thinks is driving the world to pay such close attention to the devastating war in Ukraine: the fact that it's a European nation made up largely of White people and Christians.

      The left-wing host's suggestion, first reported by NewsBusters, came during the closing segment of her show "The ReidOut," when she claimed there was a "radical disparity" in how Western media was portraying suffering Ukrainians as more "human" compared to their "Browner and Blacker counterparts" embroiled in other conflicts across the globe. "

      It is hard to disagree with her statement when most people cannot even name a conflict involving black people anywhere in the world.

      There are also people saying that the only reason the right wing is supporting Russia is because it is perceived as a white nation and thus appeals to white supremacists in the party.

      There are indisputably people who divide the world into white and colored people. Reid is not wrong about that. If you try to google where black people are having conflicts around the world, you get a list of results about African American soldiers in WWI and WWII, nothing about other countries at all. So, I think it is fair for Reid to wonder why Ukraine is special while other conflicts are not. The obvious answer is that we perceive ourselves as tied to the fate of Western Europe and NATO. But that is just another way of restating what Reid pointed out, since these are white nations.

      But, oddly, those opposing the Ukrainians and supporting Russia are those who most strongly consider the US to be a white Christian nation, the right wing. Perhaps Reid was talking about the entire situation, and not simply support for Ukraine in her statement.

      And note that her statement is being taken out of whatever context was happening when she said it. This may be an example offered in support of some larger point that has been disappeared.

    2. I would submit to you there was no context other than the start of the crisis. Reid’s tone was insufferably smug,
      as was her guest’s “ oh those crazy
      white folks!!”

    3. The commenter you are replying to is a shameless MSM shill that despite posting tens of thousands of comments (!) on this blog is potentially unable to point to a single comment where they were in any way critical of an MSM talking head or writer on the Dem side of the aisle. Still waiting for them to respond to that challenge.

      They start from the premise that the Dem-supporting, corporate-owned MSM can do no wrong and work backward from there, creating supporting points and ignoring anything that doesn't support that. If they can't find supporting material they will nit pick in a vain, transparent effort to defend their corporate masters.

      So you won't be able to have a productive conversation with them. But I'm here for you if you want.

    4. Perhaps you should take a course in logic, 12:26. The commenters you call “shills” for the mainstream media are responding to specific posts by Somerby, in which he frequently mistakes or misstates specific things being said by the media. That is not the same thing as defending the media, or finding it perfect and without flaw. If you had really read all “10,000” comments, you would see criticisms of the media, for example relating to their treatment of Hillary or Biden. But Somerby has stayed away from Biden coverage to limit himself to his blog’s “anti-woke” agenda.

    5. Hi, Mr. Water Carrier and unofficial Cean Up guy for the MSM Shill. No I haven't read all "10,000" comments, which is probably a low estimate despite your square quotes. I don't have the time or patience. But in the numerous ones I did read prior to realizing it was all a waste of time, I don't recall them making any criticism whatsoever of contemporaneous MSM other than right-wing nutjob outlets, and when I asked them to point out where they had done so recently, got no response.

      So I guess you'll have to step up your efforts to defend them. Pass along the suggestion that they should just toss out the occasional slight criticism of the corporate-owned, status quo, pro-class divide, never-attack-the-corporate-sponsors garbage commonly referred to as the MSM, just to throw people off from discerning their true motives.

    6. Troll characteristics: (1) never engages in substantive discussion, (2) attacks Somerby's critics, (3) pretends to be something he/she is clearly not, (4) engages in name-calling, (5) writes short comments but lots of them, generally expressing no opinion on anything real, (6) uses jargon that is incoherent if you try to make sense of it.

    7. the Dem-supporting, corporate-owned MSM
      "Mother Jones Magazine"?

    8. The words corporate and corporate-owned are not coming from progressives but from the far right where conspiracy theories abound.

      There are people on the right who believe that all levels of government are actually incorporated, so there is a Costilla County Corporation and a Zoning Department Costilla County Corporation, and the same applies to the federal government, where all agencies are corporations. All for profit, all using people to make money.

      Some believe that the 9-digit social security number assigned to people at birth is actually a CUSIP number (assigned to stocks and bonds for trading) because people are owned and traded by the corporations that are governments. They think your social security card name is in all caps because your name is copyrighted by the government corporation. The corporate government is selling people on Wall Street as a commodity using that CUSIP number. Capital letters have special significance as an indicator of enslavement. They believe that the US flag is actually an admiralty flag because the US is under a state of permanent martial law. Sovereign state people do not have ID (social security cards or driver's licenses) because they reject the authority of government corporations and remain free. A driver's license is the sign of the beast (antichrist).

      This puts the influx of new Somerby trolls into a different light. When they talk about corporate-MSM, they aren't talking about the influence of money on the activities of corporate media, but are literally claiming that the media is a corporation with no other purpose than making money off its viewers. It is all part of the giant conspiracy. There is no reasoning with these people and they do not think of the US as a capitalist country in the same way as economist Paul Krugman might, for example. This is why they say it doesn't matter who you vote for or which party you support. Trump was supposed to change all this.

      So, why are these right-wingers now participating in Somerby's comment section? You tell me.

  10. "We must not be enemies," one president said. "We are not enemies, but friends."

    Somerby loves this Lincoln quote because it supports his own views, but Lincoln said this at a point where Southern states had already seceded and Lincoln was urgently trying to prevent a shooting war. The South, hearing about their better angels, went ahead and fired on Northern troops and the war was on. It was the SOUTH not the North that started the shooting, apparently unmoved by Lincoln's words. Theirs was the hatred of Lincoln that ultimately resulted in his assassination.

    Somerby thinks thst if he shouts at us liberals loud enough, it may appear that we are the instigators of this culture war. Not so. We are defending our constitution and our democracy by insisting that ALL citizens of our nation have the same rights under the law and should be included in full participation in our governance and history. That shouldn't be controversial and yet Somerby stresses the controversy, as if breaking our laws and engaging in bigotry toward others were merely a matter of opinion. We are not a fascist, white supremacist, authoritarian nation. We are a democracy with room for all.

    Somerby cannot bothsider this by pretending that DeSantis has a legitimate position. There is only one viable side in this culture war, just as there was only one legitimate position in the Civil War, the side of the Union and human rights.

    Somerby's argument today is a screen for bigotry. His attack on Joy Reid, a black female journalist, is motivated by his desire to protect bigotry from criticism. But you do not get to hold views that harm others in our society and still pretend to be a good, decent person who cares only about children's learning.

  11. "Do those Florida high school students have friends who may hold different beliefs? Among their rising generation, is that sort of thing possible? "

    White supremacism is a different belief. It is OK to hold such opinions and to express them, but it is not OK to infringe on the rights of others, as when the white supremacist drove his truck into protesters in Charlottesville, killing one of them. It is not OK to lynch black people or to pull them behind your truck until dead. It is not OK to put innocent men in jail because they are black and not OK to give guilty black men a different defense or sentencing or prison conditions as white criminals. In short, holding different opinions doesn't justify the mistreatment of others, no matter what those opinions are or how strongly they are held. And that applies to other situations too. It is not OK for Harvey Weinstein to abuse women because he holds the opinion he ought to be able to do so, and the same goes for Andrew Tate.

    Somerby's focus on bigotry as just a different opinion about things is wrong when that bigotry results in abuse of other people. DeSantis's bigotry is resulting in the abuse of children by restricting the quality of their education. That makes it more than an opinion -- it is an abuse of office in order to harm others. That isn't what elected officials are supposed to do with their power. And that is why people on the left oppose him, not because we are intolerant of the opinions of others.

  12. And that should conclude the Pro-Corporate MSM garbage. Real conversations can start below...

    1. Labeling MSNBC and CNN and other cable news outlets (except Fox, which was revealed as so pro-corporate it would lie about election results) as "Pro-Corporate MSM" is a tactic to criticize the left without having to provide any arguments. We are all living in a capitalist economy where rooting against business means welcoming recession and depression, which hurt workers and individuals more than corporate prosperity does.

      If you want to see the US evolve into the kind of democratic socialism that exists in Europe, vote Democratic. Fringe parties and Republicans are not going to get us there. Meanwhile, pretending that mainstream news is the same as extremist Fox is a huge lie. Somerby is working for Fox and the Republicans, not trying to improve Democrats or the media. Name-calling has never fixed anything and that is all Somerby knows how to do any more.

    2. These trolls aren't criticizing capitalism from the left, they are Q-Anon believers who have their own coded language to refer to their conspiracy theories. Their fellow believers know what they mean by Pro-Corporate MSM and similar call-outs. Don't bother addressing them -- they are firmly entrenched in la-la-land.

  13. Yes. Well, I'm using these blog comments as material for my introduction to logic class. I'm asking my students to find as many logical fallacies as they can. It's keeping them quite busy!

  14. Michael Shermer says politicians shouldn’t be telling academics what they’re allowed to teach.


    1. Good, mostly non-partisan take.

    2. Thank you for the link.

  15. Top Ten Reasons Why Democrats Shouldn't Change

    10. It's all just too difficult, just give me my talking points
    9. We can have more nuanced conversations later, for now it's beat the Republicans in any way possible
    8. We would like to help the minorities but that might mean leaving our gated community
    7. We can't afford to risk a third party stealing Democrat votes, even if they do have good policy ideas
    6. Truly analyzing things is hard, easier to point at the other side and laugh
    5. We'll get better once the Republican party is dead
    4. The other side is worse
    3. The other side is crazy
    2. The other side started it!
    1. The money is flowing, so just shut up and take your cut

    1. A troll that can count backwards

    2. Great retort, reduced their points to rubble with your amazing reasoning

    3. This makes better sense if you substitute the word Republican for Democrat. Trump is the one threatening a third party these days. And who is having all the fund-raising scandals these days?

    4. 2;20,
      You want?

    5. 1;55,
      We're all rooting for you to find the deep down strength to push that strawman you created over. A few more weeks in the gym at 6 AM, and you'll have the strength to knock it over and drink a 5 oz. glass of water.

  16. A reddit user asks...
    "How come people catch so much crap when they say they hate both political parties?

    Top answer:
    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." -Nelson Mandela.

    In today's political climate, 'both sides' view the other as the oppressor, so you are constantly on the 'wrong' side.

    A more humorous take:
    Who catches crap for that? I think the majority of Americans hate both parties. One is pathetically feckless, the other is comically evil... Whats not to hate?


    1. Meh. Sure, liberals used to be comically evil, but now they're starting WWIII... Not so comical anymore.

      ...also, hating both political parties is nowhere near being neutral...

    2. Russia is threatening nuclear war.

    3. "both sides" is a conversation ending cliche, a tactic commonly used in cults, invented by psuedo liberal corporate Democrats to avoid criticism of their warmongering, fealty to the rich and all around immoral behavior.

    4. Meh. What "sides"? Apart from meaningless bickering ("racists everywhere", "wimmin trapped in men's bodies") they all -- 97% of them anyway -- are on the same side.

      Those who want to be on the other side get kicked out (Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard), or ignored (Rand Paul). And that's all there is to it...

    5. A somewhat valid point made by Mao... always a bit of a shocker when I find more in common with him than the so-called liberals here.

      But Mao, you never commented about the revelations from Faux News that they didn't believe the rigged election B.S. but decided to push it for ratings. Maybe you should be let off the hook because you said something sensible? No... tell me your cognitive dissonance strategy on this one if you will.

    6. Sorry, dear dembot, but there's no way to reply to your word salad. "revelations from Faux News"? "cognitive dissonance strategy"? Try to clear your mind, dear.

    7. I don't believe that anyone can take a good faith look at the positions and behavior of the two parties and call them alike. There are clear differences in the economic impact of the two parties while in office, clear differences in the way Presidents have functioned, clear differences in the impact of decisions on foreign policy, education, health, and other aspects of people's lives. From my own perspective, there are differences in the amount funding allocated to scientific research, which has a direct impact on my work and grant-seeking prospects. I'm sure that people can find other impacts on their own lives beyond facile generalizations put forth by people with their own agendas.

      Look at the comparison between how Trump handled the Pandemic and what Biden has done. What would it have been like if Biden had been president at the beginning, instead of Trump? Many more people would still be alive.

      Look at the impact of Obama's ACA on people's health and finances. Just the provision about preexisting conditions has made a huge positive difference for hundreds of thousands of people. In contrast, red states have opposed expansion of Medicaid to their states, and as a result I have read just this week that red states have lower credit ratings (which affects home and car buying) largely because they have greater medical debt. That is a real difference based on a difference in policies between the two parties.

      And there are so many more examples. That's why I think people who try to convince others that the parties are the same are not acting in good faith, which is another way of saying they are trying to fool people, for some purpose of their own. And if you don't know what that purpose is, I would be very careful about believing them.

    8. If the centrists (or whatever they are calling themselves) want to be taken seriously as an alternative, they should devote themselves to proposing a platform of ideas instead of attacking liberals in blogs like this one. Same goes for whatever third party someone was talking about on the left -- not sure who that would be, given that Bernie is not going to run again. People might pay more attention if you weren't all vague about who you are -- which makes me suspect you live on a troll farm with Mao.

    9. 2:42,
      I hope a Democrat locks up your wife for having an abortion.

    10. If both sides are the same, why isn't the Left calling the Right "socialists"?

  17. There's a saying that "All politics is local."

    The MSM's circus coverage of national politics would be much less important than it is, but people have been sucked in and now more than ever in the current climate get offended, outraged, and upset at whatever material the MSM can find across a whole nation and internet (of course they'll find something) to produce the desired effect. It's misleading.

    1. Actually, this doesn't happen as much as you think. For example, you've been calling me a MSM shill but I don't even watch cable news and I get my news from the internet like everyone else under 70. You aren't seriously including podcasts in the MSM are you? On the other hand, all conservatives watch Fox 24/7.

  18. No reparations for Angela Davis:


  19. Maddow eats wolf meat.

    1. So do you. Off your meds again?

    2. I would never shoot or eat a wolf.

    3. Meh. Shape-shifting alien reptiloids don't eat wolf meat. They eat grasshoppers and crickets. Deep-fried. It's a protein-rich diet. Mmm-mm.