Ted Cruz warns of “Watergate-style blowout” in 2018

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Wealthy conservative donors and influential Republican lawmakers say they increasingly fear a historic backlash at the ballot box next year if the GOP effort to pass a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws falls short in the coming months.

Image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Lincoln Center

At a two-day midtown Manhattan summit of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers’ powerful donor network, GOP patrons, senators and strategists spoke in cataclysmic terms about the price they expect to pay in the midterm elections if their tax reform effort does not win passage.

They voiced concerns a demoralized Republican base would stay home, financiers would stop writing campaign donation checks to incumbents and the congressional majorities the party has built in the House and Senate could evaporate overnight.

To head that off, the same Republicans said they are waging an intense, multi-front effort in and outside of Congress and the White House to shepherd the endeavor to the finish line.

Koch network officials said they have invested more than $10 million this year in advocating for the GOP tax plan.

Art Pope, a major conservative donor from North Carolina, put it this way: “When you have lack of success, that may depress voter turnout for Republicans, that may depress donations for Republicans and conservatives.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) warned that Republicans could face a “Watergate-level blowout” in the midterm elections if they don’t make major legislative strides on taxes and health care, invoking the political scandal that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency and set back the GOP considerably in subsequent elections.

“If tax reform crashes and burns, if [on] Obamacare, nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath,” said Cruz, who spoke in a moderated discussion.

More from Apple news via WaPo

Posted by Libergirl



Teachers face discipline over homework referencing whipping, killing of slaves

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A pair of elementary school teachers in Manhattan are facing disciplinary action stemming from a homework assignment that involved word problems using examples of slaves being whipped and dying on slave ships.

A student teacher at P.S. 59 in Manhattan brought the issue to school officials after she was asked to photocopy a worksheet to be given as homework for a fourth-grade class taught by Jacqueline Vitucci. The assignment featured questions such as “One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month? How many times did the two slaves get whipped together in one month?”

The student teacher, Aziza Harding, refused to photocopy the worksheet and used another one instead while bringing the issue to administrators. The worksheet also included a question about a ship filled with 3,799 slaves, asking “One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?”

The assignment had been created a month earlier by fourth-grade social studies teacher Jane Youn, who was teaching her students the history of slavery and used the topic during a math lesson, according to the New York City Department of Education. The students were asked to create word problems based on their lesson about slavery, and Vitucci used the same worksheet created by Youn’s class.

“This is obviously unacceptable and we will take appropriate disciplinary action against these teachers,” the DOE said in a statement issued to TODAY.com. “The Chancellor spoke to the principal, and she has already taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.”

“I am appalled by this and will be meeting with staff as well as families,’’ P.S. 59 principal Adele Schroeter said in a statement. “I have already met with the teacher and have arranged for training around this issue for the entire staff at my school.”

More from NBC News

Posted by Libergirl

Al Qaeda supporters owe 9/11 families $6 billion

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Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Iran should pay $6 billion to relatives of Sept. 11 victims for aiding in the 2001 terror attacks, a federal magistrate judge recommended Monday in a largely symbolic decision.

Even though it will be nearly impossible to collect damages, plaintiff Ellen Saracini, whose husband, Victor, was the captain of one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center, told the Daily News that she is happy about Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas’ recommendation.

“It’s hard being happy, but I am happy about it,” said Saracini, of Yardley, Pa. “But it opens up old wounds. We were never in it for a lawsuit. I wanted to know what happened to my husband.”

Last year, Judge George Daniels signed a default judgment on the lawsuit brought by relatives of 47 victims. He found al Qaeda, the Taliban and Iran liable and asked the magistrate to determine damages. Maas’ Monday ruling is a recommendation to Daniels, who can accept it or amend it.

Maas calculated punitive and compensatory damages for each of the plaintiffs and their lost family members.

Daniels ruled last year that the plaintiffs had established that the 2001 attacks were caused by the support the defendants provided to al Qaeda. The findings said Iran continues to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda by providing a safe haven for al Qaeda leadership and rank-and-file members.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied any Iranian connection in the Sept. 11 attacks or to al Qaeda.

From Associated Press/SFGate

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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