Lazy Saturday Reads: Some Positive News (Except for the Tornadoes)

Lady in Blue – Medard Verburgh

Good Afternoon!!

I woke up to tornado warnings this morning. We didn’t get hit here, but some towns had severe damage. I guess there were some warnings in New England last night too.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just tornadoes in Massachusetts as Trump fights to get rid of fuel efficiency regulations. The Washington Post:

The Trump administration announced plans Thursday to freeze fuel-efficiency requirements for the nation’s cars and trucks through 2026 — a massive regulatory rollback likely to spur a legal battle with California and other states, as well as create potential upheaval in the nation’s automotive market.

The proposal represents an abrupt reversal of the approach during the Obama administration, when regulators argued that requiring more-fuel-efficient vehicles would improve public health, combat climate change and save consumers money without compromising safety.

President Trump’s plan also would attempt to revoke California’s long-standing legal ability to set its own, more stringent tailpipe standards and restrict the ability of other states to follow its lead.

During the Obama administration, the federal government worked with California and the auto industry to craft a uniform set of national fuel-economy standards. The White House’s latest proposal threatens to blow up that delicate compromise.

If California were to prevail in the likely legal clash to come, the state could set tougher standards than the federal government, leaving automakers with the prospect of manufacturing vehicles that meet different rules in different states — something the industry has said it does not want.

Good. I hope that happens, because Massachusetts also has strict emissions rules.

LeBron James interviewed by Don Lemon on CNN

In other news, late last night the fake “president” attacked LeBron James and Don Lemon, claiming they are unintelligent. CNN: Trump attacks LeBron James and Don Lemon over CNN interview; Lemon responds.

CNN’s Don Lemon has a question for everyone now that President Donald Trump has called him the “dumbest man on television” again.

Trump’s insult led Lemon to ask in a tweet Saturday morning: “Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?”

Lemon added the hashtag #BeBest, a reference to first lady Melania Trump’s initiative to support kindness and respect.

Trump insulted both Lemon and his guest, basketball star LeBron James, in a tweet on Friday night.

The interview focused on James’ contributions to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, including a new public school for at-risk third- and fourth-graders there. But the two men also discussed politics. James said Trump has used athletics and athletes to divide the country.

But here’s real reason Trump freaked out about the interview.

The reason for the interview was the school James has opened in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Time Magazine: Inside LeBron James’s New $8 Million Public School, Where Students Get Free Bikes, Meals, and College Tuition.

The unusual school is a public school formed in collaboration between James’ philanthropic foundation and Akron Public Schools. Its out-of-the-box offerings include a long school day (eight hours); a “support circle” for students after lunch; and GED courses and job placement for parents. All are driven by James’ mission to help kids overcome what he faced as a low-income student in Akron, he says….

The school selected area students from among those who trail their peers by a year or two in academic performance. “We did a random selection of all students who met that criteria, and got to make these awesome phone calls to parents and say, ‘How would you like to be part of something different, the I Promise School,’” Keith Liechty, the Akron Public Schools’ liaison to James’ foundation, told USA Today.

The school is launching with third- and fourth-graders, but plans to add grades each year until it houses first through eighth grade in 2022….

Forty-three staffers will help run the I Promise School — including not just teachers but also a principal, assistant principal, four intervention specialists, plus a tutor, English as a second language teacher, music instructor, and gym teacher, USA Today reports. Classrooms will hold 20 students per teacher….

the school is far from traditional. Its lengthy school day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with an extended school year that runs from July through May. During a seven-week summer session, the school will provide STEM-based camps. Students will spend time each day on social-emotional learning, and participate in a “supportive circle” after lunch aimed at helping them refocus on work, Cleveland.com reports.

Nutrition is also central to the school’s mission. Every day students will receive free breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks. They will have access to a fitness trainer. James says that, as a kid, he used his bicycle to explore different neighborhoods of Akron — so he gave one to every incoming student.

Since the school considers education to be not just for the pupil but for the whole family, it will offer GED classes and job placement assistance for parents and guardians. “It is about true wrap-around support, true family integration and true compassion,” Brandi Davis, I Promise principal and Akron native, told USA Today.

Students get one other notable benefit: If they successfully complete the school program and graduate from high school, James will cover their full tuition at the local public college, University of Akron.

That story brought tears to my eyes. Every underprivileged child in America should have access to school like that.

The Akron Beacon Journal: LeBron James puts on show for first day of I Promise School, makes first appearance since signing with Lakers.

Hard as administrators tried, 240 students had anything but a normal first day of school when doors to the I Promise School opened Monday.

By the afternoon, music blared from speakers outside the school’s windows. Professional athletes roamed the halls. A parade of people lined up outside and a horde of media surrounded the school. More than a dozen armed security guards and police officers covered the building grounds.

But when the doors opened at 8:45 a.m. that morning and students stepped into the building curated just for them, they had clues to expect something different — starting with the gray shirts they were given to wear instead of what they arrived dressed in as a first step to starting anew.

First day at the I Promise School

“It was magical,” said Angela Whorton, an intervention specialist, about the first day. “Just to see how genuinely excited they were to start a new chapter of their life with a clean slate was beyond great.” [….]

The curriculum aims to adopt the “We Are Family” philosophy of the LeBron James Family Foundation, infuse it with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and take into account the struggles and traumas in students’ lives to provide “social-emotional learning.” It implements a year-round education for kids to retain what they learn.

LeBron James, who made his first public appearance Monday since deciding to join the Los Angeles Lakers, spearheaded the effort more than a year ago as a way to consolidate his existing I Promise Network into one building to create a lasting impact on the community.

“I think one of my long-term goals is that every kid who walks through those doors, they feel empowered, they know they have a support system, they know there’s someone that cares about them,” James said in an exclusive interview with the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com. “I think that’s what it ultimately comes down to is that someone cares about their future. We want the next great police officer, the next great politician, the next great doctor, the next great nurse, the next great musician … Whatever the case may be, we hope it comes out of this school.”

Meanwhile the “president” started a fraudulent “university” and had to pay $25 million in damages to the people he cheated and conned.

Trump is facing more losses in the courts right now.

NBC News: Judge calls Trump administration family reunification efforts ‘unacceptable.’

LOS ANGELES — The federal judge overseeing the court-ordered reunification of the 2,551 migrant children separated from their parents at the border blasted the Trump administration Friday for lacking a plan to reunify the remaining 572 children in its custody with their parents and the slow pace of progress.

In a Thursday night status report filing, the Trump administration said only 13 of the parents had been located by the American Civil Liberties Union, which U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California called “unacceptable at this point.”

Judge Dana Sabraw

The parents of 410 children are currently outside of the United States, likely having been deported before reunification, according to the court filing.

The Trump administration had proposed the ACLU take the lead in locating and identifying what the judge had called “missing parents” of children still in government custody. Sabraw said that plan was not acceptable and placed that responsibility squarely on the government.

“Many of these parents were removed from the country without their child,” Sabraw said. “All of this is the result of the government’s separation and then inability and failure to track and reunite. And the reality is that for every parent who is not located there will be a permanently orphaned child. And that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.”

Sabraw said the government must identify a person or team to oversee the remaining reunification process, potentially from the State Department or the Department of Health and Human Services, and produce a plan as to how reunification would be accomplished.

Read the rest at the link.

One more from Politico: Judge orders full restart of DACA program.

A D.C.-based federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to restart in full the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Judge John Bates of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The decision is the latest legal blow against President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Obama-era program, which offers deportation relief to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

The restart won’t be immediate. U.S. District Judge John Bates said Friday that the order would be delayed until Aug. 23 to allow the government to appeal, but he denied a Justice Department motion to reconsider his earlier decision, saying there were still deficiencies in the administration’s rationale for rescinding DACA.

“The court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies — either by providing a coherent explanation of its legal opinion or by reissuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review,” said Bates, “So it will not do so again.” [….]

He also threatened to vacate the memo ending DACA — and thereby restore the program in full — if Trump officials could not present an adequate reason for ending it.

Right now the courts are the only thing standing between us and a Trumpian authoritarian state.

What else is happening? What stories are you following today?


30 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Some Positive News (Except for the Tornadoes)”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Trump is going to be at a campaign rally in Ohio tonight. I wonder how his attacks on the hometown hero will go over?

    Have a nice weekend, Sky Dancers!

  2. NW Luna says:

    Here’s a similar article to the one you highlighted, BB.

    Experts question logic of Trump administration’s ‘low gas mileage saves lives’ claim

    Ah, yes. Those extra tailpipe emissions will make us healthier! And in other news from the administration, the sky is green.

  3. NW Luna says:

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      I just had to do it … LeBron’s school is a gift to this kids that will keep paying it forward for a long time.

      • quixote says:

        Two huge things about KingJames’ initiative: help with the out-of-school factors that affect performance, such as parents who can’t find work, exercise, nutrition, social skills. And the biggest of all: small class sizes.

        Twenty is really the max a teacher can address with any hope of providing individual attention.

        As someone who grew up in a family of teachers and having been a teacher my whole professional life, I’m always waiting for some of these vital points to appear in all the endless pushes to “improve” education. Instead we usually get virtual “schooling” or multiple choice tests.

        I’m tickled that a basketball player I never paid any attention to should have so much better an understanding of what’s needed than, say, Bill Gates.

        • bostonboomer says:

          LeBron lived the life of an underprivileged child. Gates didn’t.

          • quixote says:

            Yup. But still, there are lots of underprivileged kids. Not all of them are smart enough to see the real problems like that.

          • bostonboomer says:

            True. I remember when LeBron was still in high school I thought he would just turn out spoiled by all the money and attention. I was wrong.

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. Jslat says:

    I love the women reading illustrations.

  9. NW Luna says:

    Another emolument for a Trump relative.

  10. NW Luna says:

  11. Pilgrim says:

    Washington Post article: Melania put out a statement in support of LeBron.

    Good for her.

  12. NW Luna says:

    Our Puget Sound orca are going through tough times. The salmon population has been declining (overfishing, pollution) and the orca are not getting enough to eat and some are starving. I hope the officials in DC will approve this quickly. The Lummi Nation may be the ones to provide the salmon to feed J50.

    An emergency plan to save a starving southern-resident killer whale is in the works while another whale in the pod, J35, or Tahlequah, continues to carry her dead calf.

    The federal government is marshaling an emergency response for J50, the starving 4-year-old orca whale, which will include feeding live chinook — dosed with medicine — to the ailing animal who may only have days to live. The young whale is so emaciated, the back of her cranium is visible. A worrisome white patch has also been spotted on the back of her head, near her blowhole. It could be an infection.

    The crisis comes as another member of the southern-resident orcas is clinging to her dead calf for a 10th day, unwilling to let it go. The calf born July 24 lived for only half an hour. Now officials are racing to put together a plan to prevent another death in the critically endangered whale clan.

    Reached while throwing together his gear to head out on his research boat to get breath samples from the whale, wildlife biologist Brad Hanson of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle said J50 has lost about 20 percent of her body weight, and getting fish into her is as much about rehydrating the whale as feeding her. “There are a lot of ifs, whether or not she will even take fish,” Hanson said. “The big concern is the decrease in hydration level; that just becomes very concerning. “Her survival could be only a few days. She has continued to decline.”

    [The response plan is] still in development and facing approval by the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. — to save the whale’s life.

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. dakinikat says: