Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • I am fond of telling my fellow progressives that until we all agree on the date for the revolution, we have to work with the system we have. To me, that means electing people who can make things happen within the system we have. The swamp, if you will.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    So I gather you're neither in the glass-is-half-full group nor in the glass-is-half-empty one, but are instead wondering why the damn glass is twice as big as it needs to be?

    I love that -- and just might steal it some time.
    :lol:

  • Yes that is very good Ohher.

    I listened to an interview on the way to work yesterday of Helena Rosenblatt, who has a new book out The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century. In the course of the conversation they naturally touched on the multiplicity of labels used by Democrats, including Socialism, Democratic Socialism, Progressive yadda yadda yadda. Ms Rosenblatt commented that the term Socialist pre-dates Marx, and used to mean just someone who's political concerns centred on the poor. Naturally my ears pricked up, and I ordered the book.

    While writing this post I remembered that in the revolutions of the nineteenth century in Europe and South America (I think) people used to talk about political revolutions to remove authoritarian governments and social revolutions to extend the franchise and redistribute property. Naturally the bourgiose bankers and merchants who were very keen on political revolution were equally as keen to avoid social revolutions.

    Now, if only I can get this into a three word slogan.
  • I would hope that if Bernie makes a graceful exit if it seems other candidates are stronger.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Bump!

    With the plethora of would-be presidential candidates (especially Democrats) now declaring their interest, I'd be interested to hear how American shipmates rate them or their chances.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 20
    Tukai wrote: »
    With the plethora of would-be presidential candidates (especially Democrats) now declaring their interest, I'd be interested to hear how American shipmates rate them or their chances.

    Here's my general, non-scientific assessment. Given how polling at this point is primarily about name recognition, virtually all current assessments are non-scientific. Within each list all names (except one) are given in alphabetical order, not ranking by personal preference or chance of winning the nomination.

    The Front Runners
    • Kamala Harris
    • Bernie Sanders
    • Elizabeth Warren
    • [ Joe Biden ]

    Biden is the only non-declared/non-exploring candidate I've included on this list. His undeclared status is why he's not in alphabetical order.

    The Second Tier
    • Corey Booker
    • Pete Buttigieg
    • Kirsten Gillibrand
    • Amy Klobuchar

    Before this week I would have put Buttigieg in Long Shots, but he's generated significant enthusiasm recently.

    Long Shots
    • John Hickenlooper
    • Jay Inslee
    • Beto O’Rourke

    Similar to Buttigieg above, I would have rated O'Rourke differently a week ago, putting him in The Second Tier. He's stumbled a bit in the past week with a few clumsy answers to questions.

    No Chance/Running for Cabinet
    • Julián Castro
    • John Delaney
    • Tulsi Gabbard
    • Andrew Yang

    Most of the names on the list immediately above are running either to raise the profile of a specific issue or to demonstrate that they've got enough support to get them a spot as a running mate or in a Democratic cabinet. I was torn about whether to put Inslee here or in Long Shots.

    The Democratic presidential field is large enough that I may have missed someone. Apologies, if so.
  • Well, it's not all serious interest. Some people are really advertising themselves as potential VP or cabinet picks, some people are waving the flag for a particular issue, and some people are actual candidates.

    Of the real candidates:

    Bernie Sanders: He'll stay in the running until close to the end, but I don't think it's happening. He's older than Moses, and looks it, and I think there's too much residual bad feeling about 2016.

    Kamala Harris: She's certainly a contender. Only modest political experience, but that might not be a disadvantage for her. Does America have the appetite to vote for a black woman?

    Elizabeth Warren: I suspect she won't go the distance.

    Kirsten Gillibrand: If she gets some early momentum, I think she'll be in contention - otherwise she'll drop out.

    Beto O’Rourke: Don't think he'll last. He picked up a lot of buzz in his run against Ted Cruz, but I don't think it will carry him through this time around.

    Amy Klobuchar: She's a competent pragmatist who I suspect might make a decet president, but I don't see her gaining much monentum.

    Cory Brooker: I think he's too centrist to win in the primaries this time round.

    And then there's Joe Biden, who has the experience, and is well liked, but seems to want to wait and see if a consensus leading candidate emerges before jumping.

    So it looks like I think Kamala Harris is the likely pick.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Similar to Buttigieg above, I would have rated O'Rourke differently a week ago, putting him in The Second Tier. He's stumbled a bit in the past week with a few clumsy answers to questions.

    What are the stumbles you refer to re: Beto? Based on his coverage in the news, he is still being covered like he is some kind of messianic figure.

    On that note, WHAT ON EARTH do people see in Beto? He isn't that much younger than Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, etc, so I don't get the whole fresh blood thing. He was in the House for four years, which is less time than Harris has been in the Senate, so he's not a Washington outsider. He is also a bit closer to the center economically than many of the other candidates, so I don't get why some millennials who were pro-Bernie (but not rabidly pro-Bernie, since those ones tend to be sticking with Bernie) are gravitating towards Beto.

    All that Beto has going for him is that he looks, like I heard somewhere, like the university Teaching Assistant that you had a crush on (although I don't really see that either) and that he made Ted Cruz nervous in 2018 (all that money he raised back then was mostly because Democrats really don't like Ted Cruz). I don't get why he's still raising a lot of money now, other than that he has built up a contact list of donors and he is milking it. People also think he might be able to turn Texas blue, but I'm not sure he can.

    Today I heard a reporter call Beto Kennedyesque in his appeal. I wanted to puke.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I don't get Beto's appeal either. He strikes me as a hollowman. Indeed, I think that's his campaign strategy: I am an empty vessel. Fill me with your hopes and dreams.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Similar to Buttigieg above, I would have rated O'Rourke differently a week ago, putting him in The Second Tier. He's stumbled a bit in the past week with a few clumsy answers to questions.

    What are the stumbles you refer to re: Beto? Based on his coverage in the news, he is still being covered like he is some kind of messianic figure.

    I was thinking mostly of his fumbling answer to a question about breaking up large tech companies, a question he had to know was coming since Warren proposed doing it nearly two weeks prior. I know the Warren campaign is churning out detailed policy proposals at a very impressive rate and it can be tough to keep up, but if one of your rivals puts something like this out there you should have an answer ready without quite so many "I don't knows" and "I'm not sures".
    On that note, WHAT ON EARTH do people see in Beto?

    <snip>

    Today I heard a reporter call Beto Kennedyesque in his appeal. I wanted to puke.

    Most democratic politicians want to portray themselves as the next John Kennedy, starting as far back as Robert Kennedy. Given JFK's charisma that's understandable. Even a few Republican have tried to get in on this act, resulting in what's probably the most memorable moment from any vice presidential debate. Charles Pierce, himself a Massachusetts native of Irish descent, analyzes Beto's self-serving self portrait.

    As for why a number of the press are going along with this portrayal, a lot of the American political press is fairly lazy and if you give them a narrative they'll simply run with it. During the Bush II years they were sometimes referred to as "the steno pool".
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Two issues seem to be getting the most attention right now:

    The Green New Deal (which will be a series of bills and policies as yet unformed), and

    The elimination of the Electoral College which will take a constitutional amendment

    Gun control is there in the background too.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    The elimination of the Electoral College which will take a constitutional amendment

    Not necessarily - multiple states have passed a law saying they will assign all their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, and if enough states pass this law that they constitute a majority of the electoral votes, the electoral college will be effectively dead.

    You could also see more states pass a law allocating electoral votes proportionally among the candidates based on their share of the vote, as is already done in (I think) Maine and Nebraska. This could also weaken the imbalance between the electoral college and the popular vote.

    Neither of these things would require a Federal constitutional amendment.

    Now, if Democrats could focus just a little more on winning races at the state level...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Neither of these things would require a Federal constitutional amendment.
    But neither would eliminate the Electoral College, either. What the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact—the law that a number of states have passed, to which you refer—would do is ensure that the Electoral College vote is consistent with the national popular vote.

    "Effectively dead" is not the same as eliminated. Unless the Constitution is amended, then even if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact gains enough participating states to represent a majority of electoral votes, the Electoral College will still need to vote in December.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    You could also see more states pass a law allocating electoral votes proportionally among the candidates based on their share of the vote, as is already done in (I think) Maine and Nebraska. This could also weaken the imbalance between the electoral college and the popular vote.

    Maine and Nebraska divide their electoral vote by congressional district, with the two additional electoral votes awarded to whoever wins the popular vote statewide. Given current problems with gerrymandering congressional districts this seems a sub-optimal solution to the anti-democratic failings of the electoral college.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    You could also see more states pass a law allocating electoral votes proportionally among the candidates based on their share of the vote, as is already done in (I think) Maine and Nebraska. This could also weaken the imbalance between the electoral college and the popular vote.

    Maine and Nebraska divide their electoral vote by congressional district, with the two additional electoral votes awarded to whoever wins the popular vote statewide. Given current problems with gerrymandering congressional districts this seems a sub-optimal solution to the anti-democratic failings of the electoral college.

    It would basically hand the presidency to whichever party wins control of the House in that election, which often does not align with the popular vote (look at the House results from Pennsylvania before a judge threw out its maps) and therefore makes gerrymandering even more powerful. But it does make candidates more willing to campaign in states like California and others which at the moment are largely ignored in presidential campaigns (except for fundraising and in the primaries, now that primary dates have changed) because they nowadays always hand all their electoral votes to one party (in those cases to the Democrats. It's not the best solution, I agree. It may make things worse.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Neither of these things would require a Federal constitutional amendment.
    But neither would eliminate the Electoral College, either. What the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact—the law that a number of states have passed, to which you refer—would do is ensure that the Electoral College vote is consistent with the national popular vote.

    "Effectively dead" is not the same as eliminated. Unless the Constitution is amended, then even if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact gains enough participating states to represent a majority of electoral votes, the Electoral College will still need to vote in December.

    Yes, we need to amend the Constitution to change it. But doing so is almost impossible in the current climate. It's a worthy goal, but in the meantime the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is probably our best bet. Once people get used to having the winner of the popular vote win the Presidency, people might feel that it is time to change the Constitution to reflect what is already happening.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The Green New Deal (which will be a series of bills and policies as yet unformed)
    I had the feeling that it was already rather detailed, especially compared with other proposals that are made this far before the elections.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    My real American hero is Elizabeth Warren, and she is pumping out detailed policies at speed. I wonder if her aim is to get her stuff on the platform? I find that me liking someone's policies and approach is a bit of a kiss of death in American Presidential politics.
  • LeRoc wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The Green New Deal (which will be a series of bills and policies as yet unformed)
    I had the feeling that it was already rather detailed, especially compared with other proposals that are made this far before the elections.

    Even its own supporters in Congress admit that it is more of a statement of goals than a detailed plan of how to achieve them.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    My real American hero is Elizabeth Warren, and she is pumping out detailed policies at speed. I wonder if her aim is to get her stuff on the platform? I find that me liking someone's policies and approach is a bit of a kiss of death in American Presidential politics.

    I have mixed feelings about Ms Warren. I like the fire in her belly (her earnestness); and I like her proposal to tax the wealth of the top 1%. But, frankly, I want a younger person to take over the helm. It is time for baby boomers to pass the torch, IMHO. She also has some negatives running against her that Trump is all but ready to pounce on (assuming he is going to be the top dog on the GOP side). Puns very much intended.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    My real American hero is Elizabeth Warren, and she is pumping out detailed policies at speed. I wonder if her aim is to get her stuff on the platform? I find that me liking someone's policies and approach is a bit of a kiss of death in American Presidential politics.

    I feel the same way. She is the only candidate who is willing to let voters look under the curtain of her policies to see details that show the expertise of a law professor and someone very well-versed in government regulatory powers (from her academic career and her experience shaping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). A lot of the distaste people have for her for being "too pugilistic" would be a lot milder for any male candidate with the same rhetoric.

    I just don't know how well she will connect with white blue collar voters or voters of color aside from those of them who are very involved with progressive activism and/or labor organizing. And many of those voters might gravitate towards Sanders, Harris, etc.

    It will be very easy to paint her as an out-of-touch elitist Ivy League professor. It will also be easy to paint her as a technocrat who wants to regulate every part of every person's lives (except reproductive rights, naturally).

    Her policies are just as radical in many ways as Sanders but he gets to take the mantle of Socialism and Revolution (and rockstar status), leaving her seeming like just another liberal wanting to tinker with the system rather than tear it down root and branch (no matter how untrue that may be). At the same time, although she says she is in favor of a market economy, just a regulated one, she is going to be the one major candidate who, aside from Sanders, can most be portrayed as an evil Socialist bogey(wo)man, no matter how unfair that may be.

    And I worry that the Native American heritage thing will hound her like Hillary's emails did. She has to admit that it was a very big mistake to claim that a DNA test could put claims of Native American ancestry to rest, given that Native American tribal membership is traditionally determined by belonging to the community, not by how much Native American blood you have. In fact, the current "blood quantum" requirements for tribal membership that many tribes have is due to its being used by the (white dominated) Bureau of Indian Affairs in the past, back when Native Americans were not American citizens and, even once they became citizens, when they were treated by the Federal government as second-class citizens or worse.

    Trump et al will also never let the Pocahontas thing to rest, because they have made it the first thing many if not most people think about now when they think about Warren. Even many people who are not crazy about Trump are likely to be riled up by the fact that she listed Native American ancestry not only as a member of the Harvard faculty (which Harvard says had no influence on her being hired but it is very hard to prove that it in fact did not for people upset with affirmative action) but also for the State Bar of Texas. Affirmative action (or positive discrimination, for those outside the US) is a topic that generates a lot of populist heat that (like other issues Trump exploited in 2016 and since) does not get picked up by the mainstream media in proportion to the emotions a subset of the population has over it. I am strongly in favor of affirmative action, think it does not go far enough, and want it to be paired to significant reparations for both Native Americans and the descendants of slaves, but I am aware of how angry even otherwise moderate or liberal people can get over affirmative action. Because Warren has also alienated parts of the progressive base (who strongly support affirmative action) with her DNA test announcement (for the reasons listed above), she is not likely to gain much support from them anymore in response to Trump's attacks.

    The whole Native American ancestry thing is likely to make Warren seem insincere like Hillary Clinton seemed to many voters, including Sanders supporters and other anti-Trump voters who stayed home in 2016.

    What Warren needs to do is admit that, although she did believe her family stories of (admittedly small) Native American ancestry and was proud of it - which isn't saying much, since a very large proportion of the white population (and an even larger proportion of the African American population) likes to think of itself as having some Native American ancestry, partly because of the exoticism surrounding it - (what she has to admit is) one of the reasons she chose Native American rather than white when filling out forms relevant to her career was that she felt it would aid her professionally. I too am guilty of this, because I know that listing myself as Hispanic (even as white Hispanic, which is a category here) because of my Cuban father has helped me in getting in to college and possibly in getting jobs as well. She needs to use this to start a conversation about how, although we still need affirmative action for race and gender, we should expand efforts to give educational and professional advancement to low income people of all races and ethnicities, as well as all people who have never had anyone from their families attend college. She has to say that she understands that, as long as affirmative action exists without a comprehensive effort to address structural inequalities of income, wealth, and educational opportunity (which are more pronounced for people of color but exist in society at large), large sections of the population will, be resentful about affirmative action, even if their resentment is misplaced. She's not going to win many Trump voters by doing this. But if she is brutally honest she could help make herself seem less insincere.

    I really like Warren and believe that (although Biden has more experience in the workings of Congress and the Presidency), she might be the best candidate out there, but I worry that she has multiple Achilles' heels (can one have multiple Achilles' heels?) against Trump. I worry though that my misgivings about her are motivated by sexism, though (there is such a double standard around what makes people feel that someone is insincere, elitist, aggressive, etc.). I feel I should not vote based some amorphous quality of "electability" but at the same time I feel that for the sake of democracy here and everywhere we have to, have to beat Trump.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Yeah, I think the filling out the college forms thing is a problem. When the admissions scandal broke, I thought of Warren. What's the difference between claiming you have a disability and claiming you have Native American ancestry? I accept that Warren didn't intend to deceive, but oh man there is some Republican hay to be made there.

    I fully understand the family story thing though. It was thought in my family that my Grandfather (who died when my Dad was 12) fought at Gallipoli. I have told people that. But his service record just doesn't bear that out. His unit fought at Gallipoli, and I think that's how the mistake was made, but he didn't. That would be a massive scandal in Australia if I was a pollie.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Yeah, I think the filling out the college forms thing is a problem. When the admissions scandal broke, I thought of Warren. What's the difference between claiming you have a disability and claiming you have Native American ancestry?

    The main difference is that Warren never seems to have claimed Native American ancestry in any area where it would be advantageous.
    In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman.

    Yeah, I get that the issue can be demagogued by those who don't feel constrained by facts and the American public seems to have shown a remarkable level of indifference to their president* referring to a sitting U.S. Senator by a racial slur, but the evidence isn't really there and is unlikely to convince anyone who isn't already anti-Warren.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    I've heard media mentions of Democrats wanting to expand the size of the Supreme Court. Haven't looked into it yet. If the idea is to give them more chance to pack the court with judges they like, they should remember Republicans will eventually have the same chance.

    I don't like people messing with our basic setup, unless there's a really good reason.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    I like Elizabeth Warren, but IMHO she doesn't have an appropriate temperament for the job. (Mind, hers is infinitely more appropriate than T's could ever be.) That fast fierceness would be better suited to Congress, and useful there.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    she seems like a legislator rather than an executive, huh. I'd still vote for her if I could though.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited March 25
    I have a cousin who thought he was at least 50% German because he was raised by our grandmother who was full German-immigrated to the US as a young child. Then he took a DNA test and found out he is not genetically related to the rest of my family at all. Turns out his mother was sleeping around. Talk about getting your boat rocked! Through all of this, I have assured him as far as the rest of the family is concerned he is still part of our clan. (I am now the patriarch of the family.)

    Moving on, National Public Radio interviewed Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts who may challenge Trump on the Republican side. Chances are low, but at least someone is stepping up to the plate. Information on him here
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    ...Moving on, National Public Radio interviewed Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts who may challenge Trump on the Republican side. Chances are low, but at least someone is stepping up to the plate. Information on him here
    If he lasts long enough, I'd consider taking a Republican ballot to vote for him.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    I think I might make a small wager on Kamala Harris. I'm guessing that Trump associates are already digging for dirt.

    Sure, she doesn't have the same level of political experience as some of the other candidates but an upside of that is less baggage. She's certainly got more experience than Trump had in 2016. And she's certainly got a lot less baggage than he has now.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    The Lost/Found/Unclaimed Luggage Check at O'Hare International Airport has less baggage than tRump has -- or had when descended the Golden Escalator into his candidacy.
  • ISTM the discourse about the Democratic nominees right now is stuck in a rather unproductive rut where candidate announces exploratory/interest/whatever, candidate floats a few policy slogans or ideas, and then everyone goes to work debating the pros and cons of their policies looking for dirt, 'cause everyone has dirt and that's more fun and doesn't require actual thinking about facts and details and governance and the real issues Americans are facing. Wake me up when the platform is being assembled, because that behind-the-scenes battle may be more important in determining whether the New Democrats or Old Democrats decide the direction of the party, which will determine who is on the ticket and who they can raise money from.

    On the other side, a Trump primary challenger who is a normal, sane, non-pussy-grabbing, non-Russian mobster, non-Dad-was-in-the-Klan racist, like a good old-fashioned Rockefeller Republican, would be the best thing for the GOP, if they ever decide they want their soul back.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Trump keeps handing the Democratic candidates fodder for their election campaigns.

    Trump is against environmental controls Democrats are for climate controls
    Trump wants to ban all Muslims The fastest growing population in the US
    is the Muslim population
    Trump wants to kick out legal immigrants The democrats want to come up with
    a Immigration Overhaul
    Trump is against the Affordable Care Act Democrats want universal health care
    Trump now wants to do away with Special
    Olympics That is going to go over like a lead
    balloon

    To me, Trump is his own worst enemy in the upcoming election.

    There was an interesting article on NPR yesterday entitled No longer the Default, Male Candidates Grapple with (Gender) Identity Too. The take way I got was that just like Hillary had to grapple with being a female nominee, males have to grapple with their own gender limiting issues.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Actually, Trump just overruled Betsy DeVos on the Special Olympics.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    I see BDV said she didn't approve of the cut personally, but she had to defend the administration's policy.

    I doubt that. But if it's true, has T just thrown yet another appointee under the bus? If she leaves, who might take her place? Probably someone worse. One person I can think of is a cousin of the Osmond family singers. He's a politician in/from Utah, and was in the news some years back for wanting to get rid of public/state schools. (We discussed it on the vintage Ship.)
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The president seems to have a bottomless pit of execrable candidates from whom to choose for these important jobs. Sometimes it's painful to keep up with them all.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Something tells me this was just a diversion. Turns out the Trump administration does want to cut funding for special needs EDUCATION. This concerns me because I have a special needs grandson that will be entering kindergarten this fall. He has just been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    This administration does not seem to support education of any kind, unless someone can make a profit from it.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Something tells me this was just a diversion. Turns out the Trump administration does want to cut funding for special needs EDUCATION. This concerns me because I have a special needs grandson that will be entering kindergarten this fall. He has just been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder.
    Based on what I’ve read (at WaPo), the adminitration’s proposed budget keeps IDEA funding at the same level as last year, which is just under 15% of the total cost of providing educational services to special needs students. They’ve never gotten close to the 40% federal funding originally intended as part of IDEA; the vast majority of funding for special needs education has always come from local school systems and state governments, not the federal government.

    Best of luck to you and your grandson, and his parents. My son received a similar diagnosis at age 8; he’s now in his junior year at college and is doing really well.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    This administration does not seem to support education of any kind, unless someone can make a profit from it.
    Very true, but it does seem to be one area in which Congress has been less willing to go along with proposed cuts.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Something tells me this was just a diversion. Turns out the Trump administration does want to cut funding for special needs EDUCATION. This concerns me because I have a special needs grandson that will be entering kindergarten this fall. He has just been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder.
    Based on what I’ve read (at WaPo), the adminitration’s proposed budget keeps IDEA funding at the same level as last year, which is just under 15% of the total cost of providing educational services to special needs students. They’ve never gotten close to the 40% federal funding originally intended as part of IDEA; the vast majority of funding for special needs education has always come from local school systems and state governments, not the federal government.

    Best of luck to you and your grandson, and his parents. My son received a similar diagnosis at age 8; he’s now in his junior year at college and is doing really well.

    Nick--I know he will do well. I just read an article what is called an "Intense World Theory" about how overwhelmed kids get with external stimuli that they cannot function. It seems to describe what we see in our grandson. It appears through training and encouragement such a kid can learn to function well. And you are right, my grandson lives in Portland Oregon and they have some of the best clinicians in the Northwest for this type of disorder.

    Thank you everyone for allowing me to go on this tangent. Looking forward to the coming election cycle.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 29
    My heart goes out to everyone in the USA with special needs, or living with a disability. I'm sure people will get through it, but this sort of stuff is about how valued people feel in a society as well as the very important practical matters of funding for the equipment and support people need to live in a fulfilling way. I'm preaching to the converted, but I can't help it. I'm hot to trot on disability issues.

    Disability funding in Australia has been overhauled in recent years and we are going through a bit of a teething process. I still know three people who need specialised and expensive wheelchairs that are not even motorised. Their bodies are changing - just how they sit, weight issues, effects of their particular condition as they age and all three are coping with inadequate and damaged chairs, with padding wearing out and the like. Neither they nor their siblings are wealthy and they are trying to cope as best as they can to lengthen the chairs' lives, so that the money for the non-subsidised part of the chair can be found and/or stretched to get maximum value. So the idea of cutting the already inadequate funding available is most distressing.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited March 29
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Something tells me this was just a diversion. Turns out the Trump administration does want to cut funding for special needs EDUCATION. This concerns me because I have a special needs grandson that will be entering kindergarten this fall. He has just been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder.
    Based on what I’ve read (at WaPo), the adminitration’s proposed budget keeps IDEA funding at the same level as last year, which is just under 15% of the total cost of providing educational services to special needs students. They’ve never gotten close to the 40% federal funding originally intended as part of IDEA; the vast majority of funding for special needs education has always come from local school systems and state governments, not the federal government.

    Best of luck to you and your grandson, and his parents. My son received a similar diagnosis at age 8; he’s now in his junior year at college and is doing really well.

    Just to follow up, Nick (et al), Here is a story about the other cuts that would be affecting kids with disabilities. Those cuts were not rescinded.

    (Cross posted)
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 31
    I have a friend who works in special ed in Connecticut. She's on the cusp of retirement but only from her paid job, as she also cares full time for her brother, who also has an impairment. I really hope funding for disability services is mostly state-based there.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    What are everyone's thoughts about Joe Biden?

    I've always liked him. After his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident, he took the 90 minute train trip home every night to be with his little boys, a good single father who later married a woman with her own career. His voting record seems very pro-women and fairly anti-war. I always thought he seemed natural and personable compared to the average slick politician.

    Now there's this whole, "creepy Uncle Joe," story and I'm not sure what to think. Does he have serious boundary issues or is he just an overly affectionate extrovert?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    What are everyone's thoughts about Joe Biden?

    <snip> . . . His voting record seems very pro-women and fairly anti-war.

    I'm not sure that being a consistent anti-abortion vote in the Senate or his handling of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings qualify as "very pro-women".
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Now there's this whole, "creepy Uncle Joe," story and I'm not sure what to think. Does he have serious boundary issues or is he just an overly affectionate extrovert?

    I've always thought he was overly handsy (and I'm a pretty tactile person) but I've been told it's just his southern charm. I don't, for the record, think he's some kind of pervert getting pleasure from fondling women - I think he's just overly affectionate, and means well. But it's also clear that some people don't respond well to being fondled by Uncle Joe, and so yes, he also has serious boundary issues. Subjecting people to unwanted touch is rather the definition of serious boundary issues.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I've always thought he was overly handsy (and I'm a pretty tactile person) but I've been told it's just his southern charm.
    That's an interesting explanation, given that he's not Southern.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited April 1
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Something tells me this was just a diversion. Turns out the Trump administration does want to cut funding for special needs EDUCATION. This concerns me because I have a special needs grandson that will be entering kindergarten this fall. He has just been diagnosed as high functioning on the autism spectrum disorder.
    Based on what I’ve read (at WaPo), the adminitration’s proposed budget keeps IDEA funding at the same level as last year, which is just under 15% of the total cost of providing educational services to special needs students. They’ve never gotten close to the 40% federal funding originally intended as part of IDEA; the vast majority of funding for special needs education has always come from local school systems and state governments, not the federal government.

    Best of luck to you and your grandson, and his parents. My son received a similar diagnosis at age 8; he’s now in his junior year at college and is doing really well.

    Just to follow up, Nick (et al), Here is a story about the other cuts that would be affecting kids with disabilities.

    (Cross posted)
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I'm just pleased the damn thing hasn't got a chance in hell of passing the House.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Twilight wrote: »
    What are everyone's thoughts about Joe Biden?

    <snip> . . . His voting record seems very pro-women and fairly anti-war.

    I'm not sure that being a consistent anti-abortion vote in the Senate or his handling of the Clarence Thomas* confirmation hearings qualify as "very pro-women".

    His Wikipedia page on political positions say this: "In September 2008, Biden was barred by Joseph Francis Martino, the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, from receiving Holy Communion in the diocese because of his support for abortion rights."

    It also says he crafted the "Violence Against Women Act."

    He has worked for gun control, but is pro-death penalty. So he's not not as liberal as I am but his moderate leanings have made me think he might actually have a chance of being elected, and I think that's of paramount importance this time.

    * I don't think you had to have been on Anita Hill's side, in that particular fight, to be considered "pro-women." That's like saying if you weren't on Clarence Thomas's side you were against African Americans.

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