Here are three items from today's Op-Ed page of the Palm
Beach Post. If you’ve read them,
fine. If not, do so now! Please. One of the reasons our country is in such bad shape is the failure of many Americans to subscribe to and read a daily newspaper! How many of you have a paper delivered to you daily ... or read one in its entirety on line each day. If not, you're on your way to not mattering in determining what direction this nation is going.
Maureen Dowd on AOC and the Republicans
AOC and the Jurassic
jerks of the GOP
President Donald Trump is oh so proud of
having mastered the ability to intone, “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.”
But the more pressing issue is whether he is a
person who can master talking to women through a TV camera without sounding
like a caveman.
We continually debate whether Trump is a
madman, but there’s no doubt he’s a Mad Man. He’s a ring-a-ding-ding guy, stuck
in a time warp redolent of Vegas with the Rat Pack in 1959, talking about how
“broads” and “skirts” rate.
Trump’s idea of wooing the women’s vote, which
is decisive in this election, was to tweet out a New York Post story headlined
“Joe Biden’s disastrous plans for America’s suburbs” with the directive: “The
Suburban Housewives of America must read this article.”
Clearly, the 74-yearold president thinks that
American women are in the kitchen; clutching their pearls à la June Cleaver;
sheltered in the ’burbs, waiting for their big, brave breadwinners to come home
after a hard day’s work manhandling their secretaries.
Trump believes that the coveted electoral
cohort that used to be known as soccer moms are actually sucker moms, naive
enough to fall for his shtick that the unleashed forces of urban America are
marching toward their manicured lawns.
On the Bulwark, a conservative website, Sarah
Longwell wrote about her three years’ worth of focus groups with women who
voted for Trump in 2016. She found that they chose Trump over Hillary
Clinton because they did not like Clinton and because they felt that Bill
Clinton’s bad behavior with women canceled out Trump’s bad behavior with women.
But the relationship with women voters has
soured, not only because of his pugnacity and bullying but also because of his
lack of compassion and competence dealing with the coronavirus and painful
issues about race.
“They don’t see Trump as someone who can
protect them from the chaos,” Longwell wrote. “They think he’s the source of
And his party is on board with the
antediluvian vibe. R-Misogyny.
Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican, tried to slap
down Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A reporter overheard him muttering that the
congresswoman was “a f--king bitch” as Yoho walked away after
having an argument with her about crime and policing (Yoho
denies he said it.) The youngest woman to ever serve in
Congress is so full of natural political talent that the 2020 field seems
dull next to her luster. It was a remarkable moment on Capitol Hill, where for
years superachieving women have let such sexist remarks slide. She went to the House floor Thursday and
schooled Yoho the Yahoo and the retrograde crowd.
“Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two
daughters,” she said. “I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest
daughter. I am someone’s daughter, too.” She added, “I am here because I have
to show my parents... that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men.”
Showing her skill in a generational dimension
foreign to Congress until now, AOC posted a video of herself strutting to the
rap tune “Boss Bitch,” her long hair whipping to the music, with the Capitol in
the background. She captioned it: “Shine on, fight for others, and let the
haters stay mad.”
And that’s the way you make Paleolithic men
understand that they are history.
Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York
Truth is, the nation is headed by a compulsive liar
President Donald Trump, who constantly and
falsely claims superlative achievements in every field of human endeavor, has
every right to one historical claim: He is the king of lies. Trump's presidency
has offered up an endless Las Vegas buffet of completely shameless, sometimes
laughable, often malicious, always self-serving falsehoods.
Among the most relentless chroniclers of this
record have been The Washington Post's Fact Checker staff: Glenn Kessler, Salvador
Rizzo, Meg Kelly and Sarah Cahlan. Their use of a Pinocchio scale to rate the
truthfulness of political statements has become a Washington tradition. Its
application is meticulously bipartisan. But for the past five or so years,
Trump has been the predominant source of content. Now the president's
prodigious Pinocchios have been gathered into a thick volume, 'Donald Trump and
His Assault on Truth.'
The authors present not just a paper trail but
an avalanche of confirmation for their thesis. They recount
Trump's deceptions about his academic career, his business
accomplishments, his enemies, his achievements, his sex and corruption
There is a kind of truth shading that
normally attends politics. And when a public official intends to
deceive, journalists sometimes debate whether to term this a
'lie,' or whether to call its author a 'liar.' We are far past this point with Trump.
This is not a case of omitting inconvenient
truths. It is deception as a lifestyle choice. The president is a bold, intentional
liar, by any moral definition. A habitual liar. A blatant liar. An instinctual
liar. A reckless liar. An ignorant liar. A pathological liar. A hopeless liar.
A gratuitous liar. A malevolent liar.
Trump fans may support him despite his lies.
They may support him because he lies. But they cannot deny that he is a liar.
Why does lying really matter? There are, of
course, compelling moral reasons. But there are also practical and compelling
civic reasons why truth makes a difference. As the pandemic has shown, we need
reliable information to make rational, healthy choices. Deceptive optimism,
distrust of experts and the circulation of myths have a human cost —
measured in lost lives and delayed national recovery.
Trump's lies purposely and effectively disconnect a
portion of the public from political reality. In this
manufactured world, the United States is on the edge of ruin by
scheming subversives. Political opponents are not fellow citizens but
traitors plotting against the country.
Political dialogue and shared democratic purpose become almost impossible. Such distortions are the dangerous culmination
of polarization — the polarization of truth itself.
Trump's lies are especially destructive because
they are often designed to encourage dehumanization. Immigrants and outsiders
are frequent targets. Lies are particularly useful in the manipulation of fear.
Reading 'Donald Trump and His Assault on
Truth' is an exercise in civic awareness. This is what happens when a great
many Americans ignore character and dismiss deception. We can't expect our
leaders to be perfect men and women. But we have every right and reason to
demand that they are honest and decent.
Fortunately an election result, like a lie,
can be corrected.
Michael Gerson is a columnist for The
And here’s why Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is the worst thing that happened
to education in the United States ever. She wants to destruct public education!
US SUPREME COURT: PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS
minorities, nonbelievers and state autonomy lose on voucher decision?
(Ravitch is a professor of Law and the Walter H. Stowers Chair of Law and Religion at Michigan State University. He wrote this for The Conversation,)
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month
that Montana cannot exclude donations that go to religious schools from a small
tax credit program could have consequences felt far beyond the state.
The 5-4 ruling in Espinoza v. Montana
Department of Revenue, which came down June 30, follows on from recent cases
that have expanded what counts as discrimination against religion under the
U.S. Constitution, making it harder for states to deny grants to faithbased
From my perspective as a scholar of law and
religion, this latest ruling could massively limit states’ ability to exclude
religious schools from all sorts of funding, including controversial voucher
programs which allow state funds to be used by parents to send children to a
private school. And rather than preventing religious discrimination, the
court’s decision may actually support a system that discriminates against
religious minorities and those of no faith.
The Espinoza decision was quickly hailed as a
major win by supporters of school vouchers, including Education Secretary Betsy
DeVos. It isn’t the first time they have cheered the court.
In 2002, the Supreme Court, in Zelman v.
Simmons-Harris, ruled in favor of a voucher program in Ohio which
overwhelmingly benefited religious schools. The court held that the program did
not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause which limits
government support for, and promotion of, religion. That decision broke with a long line of
previous cases, which held that government could not
use taxpayer dollars to fund religious education.
In the years following the Zelman decision,
public support for school voucher programs has grown. The election of President
Donald Trump and appointment of DeVos as education secretary gave the
provoucher lobby powerful advocates in the administration. The White House has
made vouchers a central plank of their schools policy, with Trump likening
“school choice” – a term that includes the use of vouchers – as the “civil
rights statement” of the decade.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has paved the way
for religious schools to benefit from vouchers through a series of rulings.
In addition to Zelman, and as a precursor to
Espinoza, the justices ruled in 2017 that a Missouri program that provided free
playground chips for resurfacing, could not deny access to a religious school
seeking to resurface its playground. In that case, Trinity Lutheran v. Comer,
the justices held that refusing the grant contravened the Constitution’s Free
Exercise Clause, which prohibits discrimination against religion, among other
Until then, the doctrine had been limited to
situations in which a government discriminated against a religion through
hostility toward that faith, such as when the City of Hialeah, Florida, created
a series of ordinances to discriminate against the practice of Santeria.
In a footnote in the Trinity Lutheran
case, the justices specifically noted that the decision was
limited and did “not address religious uses of funding” such as for
attendance at religious schools. But in
Espinoza, the Supreme Court has essentially ignored that narrower reading.
Instead, the court held that exclusion of donations to religious schools from
the state tax credit program discriminates against religion.
This has significant implications for school
vouchers. It could force states to include religious schools in any
program that is open to private nonreligious schools.
So if a state allows for parents to use
vouchers to take a child out of the public school system, then religious
schools must be allowed to benefit from those funds.
But rather than preventing religious
discrimination, the expansion of voucher plans, in my view, may actually
The majority of private schools are religious
– and in some areas with voucher programs, religious schools make up more than
90% of private schools.
In most districts, religious schools that can
afford to take voucher students represent only a few larger denominations that
are able to highly subsidize religious education. For example, in the Cleveland
School District involved in the Zelman case, 96% of voucher recipients went to
religious schools representing just one or two denominations.
But vouchers strip money from public education
– every voucher going to a private school means a loss of per student funding
for public schools. This would force the parents of religious
minorities, agnostics and atheists to choose between sending their children to
a school that may provide religious teaching that goes against their wishes or
leave their children in public schools that will be further drained of funding
and students. The Espinoza ruling did leave the door
ajar a little when it comes to limiting vouchers to religious private
schools. The court draws a tightrope-like line between discrimination based on
religious status – the fact that a school is religious – and situations where
the denial of funding is based on concerns the funds will support religious
But precedent suggests walking this
tightrope might be difficult for states and school
districts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Zelman upheld vouchers for religious
schools including those which proselytize. It is hard to imagine how a state
might prevent funds from going to a faithbased school without it being seen as
denying funding based on that school’s religious status.
Of course, states can simply not have voucher
or tax credit programs for private schools – the Espinoza decision makes it
clear that this is acceptable. And some states already do this. For example,
Michigan explicitly prevents taxpayer money going to private schools regardless
of whether those schools are religious or not.
But even these bans on taxpayer funding for
private education are increasingly being challenged by school voucher
enthusiasts and religious groups.
Make sure you are registered to vote. And be sure to Vote by Mail! Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy and ignore anything the President says or does. He speaks from the depths of ignorance and cares nothing for anyone but himself. Now, go and wash your hands.