Lazy Saturday Reads: Some Positive News (Except for the Tornadoes)Posted: August 4, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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?