Today’s Dog & Pony Show
Oh, those restless teacherz
>>> Colorado: legislators threatens jail time
… for any educator caught “directly or indirectly inducing, instigating, encouraging, authorizing, ratifying, or participating in a strike against any public school employer”
>>> Arizona Schools Chief Threatens Teachers Over Strike, Says It’s ‘Not Legal’
Phoenix New Times
— Douglas suggested that the state Department of Education will investigate teachers who walk out, and could refer teachers to the State Board of Education, which could give teachers a letter of censure or strip them of their teacher’s certificate.
Deputies cowered as Parkland school shooter fired
— The deputies who were among the first to arrive to the scene of the Florida school massacre were found taking cover behind their cars and a nearby tree and had no idea where the gunman was, according to an official report released Tuesday.
— The report from Coral Springs Officer Bryan Wilkins details how he arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School within minutes of the active shooter alert — only to find Broward County Sheriff’s Officers hadn’t entered the school, but were instead taking cover.
Possibly propaganda but interesting nonetheless:
Theory: N. Korea suspended nuke tests because site collapsed
South China Morning Post
— One group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself. A second group concluded that the breakdown created a “chimney” that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air.
China tells dude: You’re banned from air travel because of low social score
— When Liu Hu recently tried to book a flight, he was told he was banned from flying because he was on the list of untrustworthy people. Liu is a journalist who was ordered by a court to apologize for a series of tweets he wrote and was then told his apology was insincere.
— “I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school,” he said. “You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time.”
— And the list is now getting longer as every Chinese citizen is being assigned a social credit score — a fluctuating rating based on a range of behaviors. It’s believed that community service and buying Chinese-made products can raise your score. Fraud, tax evasion and smoking in non-smoking areas can drop it.
Our Well-Regulated Militia
Frantic babysitter called 911 after boy, 11, was shot by 13-year-old brother, police say
Why so many companies fear “death by Amazon”
— With its profound knowledge of its customers, Amazon can move into almost any sector – striking fear into the hearts of rivals. And the $740bn company is ‘just getting started’
— The company’s success has produced panic among investors. When Amazon bought Whole Foods, grocery chains’ stock prices crashed. Two months later, when Amazon announced it would cut Whole Foods’ prices, grocery stocks plummeted again. The meal kit maker Blue Apron’s stock price fell 11% after the news that Amazon was filing for a meal kit trademark. A vague announcement from Amazon that it was collaborating with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway on some kind of non-profit healthcare venture sent healthcare stocks on a downward slide.
–>>> Amazon median salary: $28,446
White House stooge admits Washington is a pay-to-play town
— Mick Mulvaney, acting head of the consumer finance watchdog, told a room full of bankers that the only lobbyists he met with as a congressman were those who made political donations to his office, and he urged them to continue lobbying lawmakers to weaken the regulator he runs.
— Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker from South Carolina who sat in the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2017, was giving a speech to the 1,300 attendees of the American Bankers Association conference in Washington.
— As well as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mulvaney is director of the Office of Management and Budget (OBM) after being appointed by President Donald Trump to the role in February 2017.
— “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mulvaney told the conference, reported the New York Times. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
Trump doesn’t give a shit about anyone
— Mike Callicrate, a Kansas cattle rancher, has written an editorial for the Washington Post detailing how President Donald Trump’s agricultural policies have been bad news for American farmers.
— Callicrate writes that the consolidation of power among big agribusiness companies is the biggest problem facing American farmers — and Trump’s administration has only made things worse.
— “Despite Trump’s campaign promises, when it was time to stand up against big agribusiness, he caved,” he writes. “His actions have left farmers and ranchers such as myself feeling betrayed and afraid for our economic futures.”
— Callicrate calls out Trump’s Department of Agriculture for overturning the Obama administration’s Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which gave independent farmers more power to bring unfair practice claims against big agribusiness firms.
Women more successful than men at crowd-funding
— On sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which allow entrepreneurs to make their case directly to potential customers, women are more successful than men at meeting their funding goal. Ethan Mollick, an associate professor of management in the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has spent years analyzing crowd-funding data. He says it all comes down to the sense of connection a crowd-funding campaign can foster.
Chicago looting its own citizens by impound, asset seizure
Chicago’s aggressive vehicle impound program, which seizes cars and fines owners thousands of dollars for dozens of different offenses. The program impounds cars when the owner beats a criminal case or isn’t charged with a crime in the first place. It impounds cars even when the owner isn’t even driving, like when a child is borrowing a parent’s car.
Judge: “This is a redneck court.”
Courthouse News Service
— A South Texas judge’s daily court-opening phrase, “This is a redneck court,” got him censured by a state ethics watchdog, which ordered him to take racial sensitivity classes.
— Christopher Lee, a Republican (No! Really?) is a justice of the peace in Kleberg County, presiding over a small claims court, with jurisdiction covering misdemeanors punishable by up to a $500 fine and civil matters with not more than $10,000 at stake.
— The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded Lee after Jesus Espinosa complained that the judge’s statement “This is a redneck court” during a November 2016 jury trial offended him. The commission issued Lee a “public warning” on April 18, which was released Tuesday.
“Dreamers” win, bigots lose in court
— The judge, ruling in favor of Princeton University and the NAACP, wrote Tuesday that the administration’s explanation was “particularly egregious” because it didn’t mention that many of the hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries had obtained jobs and pursued education based on the assumption that they would be allowed to renew.
Hackers design a master key that would open millions of hotel room doors
… a design flaw in the software of electronic keys produced by VingCard, a global provider of hotel locking systems. By F-Secure’s count, the vulnerable software, Vision, is deployed in as many as 166 countries at over 40,000 buildings—millions of doors, in other words.
A “Tea Party Liberal” tries to climb a political mountain in W. Virginia
— Richard Ojeda is a populist with a penchant for the working class. But a friend of his also insisted that he’s gotten more “progressive” with time. As a freshman state senator, he led an effort to legalize medical marijuana, and this past January he gave passionate speeches in the state capitol demanding teacher raises.
— “I come home from spending 24 years in the United States Army and I realize I got kids in my backyard that have it worse than the kids I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
— But can he win in a region that backs Trump at 80%?