Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Scholars Reject College Board’s Common Core AP History Standards


A group of 55 academic historians is speaking out against the College Board’s recent overhaul of its Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) standards.
The professors and scholars met in April to discuss the new APUSH standards and drafted an open letter in response to the AP history framework rewrite. The National Association of Scholars (NAS) published the letter detailing the scholars’ concerns on June 2.
The letter states, “The teaching of American history in our schools faces a grave new risk, from an unexpected source. Half a million students each year take the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in U.S. History. The framework for that exam has been dramatically changed, in ways certain to have negative consequences. We wish to express our opposition to these modifications. The College Board’s 2014 Advanced Placement Examination shortchanges students by imposing on them an arid, fragmentary, and misleading account of American history. We favor instead a robust, vivid, and content-rich account of our unfolding national drama, warts and all, a history that is alert to all the ways we have disagreed and fallen short of our ideals, while emphasizing the ways that we remain one nation with common ideals and a shared story.”
The letter concludes, “A formal education in American history serves young people best by equipping them for a life of deep and consequential membership in their own society. The College Board’s 2014 framework sadly neglects this essential civic purpose of education in history. We can, and must, do better.” 
‘Seriously Deficient’ Coursework
NAS Public Affairs Director Glenn Ricketts says the new APUSH standards result in subpar coursework and will likely give students only a cursory knowledge of historical events and issues vital to understanding U.S. history.
“The new course is seriously deficient in many ways,” Ricketts told School Reform News. “It seems relentlessly focused on things like race, gender, class, or group identity. Certainly that’s a part of U.S. history, but it’s not all of it.”
Ricketts says the standards do not focus enough on important historical events, such as the founding of the country and World War II. The new APUSH should include additional and better-written standards on everything from the Constitution to the separation of powers, Ricketts says.
“Part of the problem is trying to shoehorn everything into these pre-cut categories, such as politics or economics, rather than separately teaching the events themselves,” said Ricketts. “That may force you to overlook the most important things.”
Joseph F. Kett, James Madison Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Virginia, says the new AP framework fails to provide a proper foundation of knowledge before requiring students to analyze historical events and issues.
“In essence, the proposed course aims at teaching students to run before they can walk,” said Kett. “It seeks to get them to ‘think like historians’ without requiring them to have the sort of professional information that historians have at their fingertips. Regardless of your profession, you need to master information and techniques before you can pursue issues that arise in the profession. This is as true of architects, composers, and artists as it is of doctors and lawyers.” 
Scholars Respond to APUSH
Several scholars, including Kett, wrote essays in response to the new APUSH, which NAS published on its website.
“Some have attacked the APUSH prospectus for its liberal bias,” wrote Kett. “My point is different. The course it proposes is unteachable. The key concepts thrust teachers into a conceptual haze; the examples provided to guide them are usually instruments of misguidance. Ten teachers randomly selected to teach this course will offer ten courses that differ rather dramatically in content and emphasis. The likelihood of this doesn’t seem to worry the authors of the prospectus, who celebrate the freedom of teachers to teach whatever they think appropriate to an AP course in American history.
“As one who taught the survey of American history to 1865 for more than a decade at a highly selective university, it worries me,” Kett said. “I cannot support allowing students to place out of a college survey without some assurance that they have been taught the story of the founding of the nation.”
Kett says the new APUSH lacks clarity and purpose.
“As far as I can determine, the AP course does not require students to master specific historical information,” Kett wrote. “The prospectus appears to assume that teachers will know which facts to connect to each concept, but the concepts are so general that it is difficult to see how they can form the basis of a curriculum that affords students a grip on the sort of basic knowledge of American history that professors expect that students have mastered.
“The authors of the prospectus acknowledge that in trial runs teachers have asked for examples to support the extremely general key concepts and they have responded by inserting ‘gray boxes containing possible examples’ into the prospectus,” said Kett. 
College Board to Revise APUSH
“The AP course just really falls short,” said Ricketts. “We think students are going to come away with a shallow understanding of these issues.”
“We’ve been assured the course will be revised over the summer, but it’s unclear whether the revision will address the scholars’ concerns,” Ricketts said.
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2015/06/30/scholars-reject-college-boards-ap-history-standards

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Newly-Released Photos Show Bush Administration Reacting to 9/11 Terror Attacks? And Were Obama Photos About Benghazi?

Newly-released photos show President George W. Bush and members of his administration in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The photos, published on Flickr by the U.S. National Archives, were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act, The Guardian reported.
The pictures were snapped in the hours after the attacks and show Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the cabinet meeting in the President’s Emergency Operations Center.
Vice President Cheney in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Vice President Cheney in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Vice President Cheney with Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Vice President Cheney with Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Vice President Cheney with Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Vice President Cheney with Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Secretary of State Colin Powell in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Secretary of State Colin Powell in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)
President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President’s Emergency Operations Center. (Image source: U.S. National Archives)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/sets/72157656213196901/with/19295976273/

Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 Terrible Common Core Homework Assignments

Now that school is in session, parents have begun sharing on Facebook and other social media outlets some of the Common Core homework assignments their children are bringing home. Below are ten really bad ones that will give you an idea of the direction education is going under Common Core. All of these assignments were shared recently on social media sites dedicated to informing parents about Common Core.

 1. Star citizen: quiet, sitting, neat

Star Citizens

This paper came from a Rhode Island first grade classroom. One mother commented, “I went to elementary school in Poland during communism. This is exactly what I was forced to learn.” It’s a step in the right direction for those who want a compliant, obedient citizenry. That said, this is not new to schools and we shouldn’t necessarily blame Common Core. Children — boys in particular — have been taught for decades that being “good” means being quiet and compliant. The link to good citizenry is something I haven’t seen before, however.

2. It’s not about the right answer — it’s about the journey.

FLMath

This poor Florida first grader thought she was following instructions by coloring in all seven segments of the bar to “make 7.” Unfortunately, she was supposed to divine that an equation was required. In Common Core, the journey is more important than the correct answer, it seems.

3. The Supreme Court “says if laws are fair.”

IA2

An Iowa second grader brought this assignment home. The mother disagreed with the teacher’s call on whether or not the “government settles disagreements” — and after the recent events related to the budget, almost no one would disagree with her! (And obviously, the undefined use of the term “government” implies that the government is a monolithic body that rules over us.)
But even more problematic is the matching question at the top of the page. “The Supreme Court — says if laws are fair.” If by “fair” they mean “constitutional,” I might be inclined to agree. However, in the context of a “government” that makes laws and settles disagreement, I suspect they mean “fair” in the way most 2nd graders would interpret the word — everyone gets an equal amount of ice cream after dinner.

4. Why make math easy when it can be hard?

1374116_10151935176156873_1621679682_n

Could this fourth grade worksheet from Louisiana make simple addition any more complicated? How about they just line those numbers up in columns and, like, add them? I fear for the future of science in the United States when I see things like this. Postmodernism and math do not mix.

5. The new new math

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This fourth grade math homework assignment from California is typical of the new way math is taught in Common Core. Students must first divide numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones, then round them, then add the rounded numbers together, spin around three times and stir until thickened. Or something. It’s like flying from New York to California by way of New Jersey, Bangkok, and Alaska. Again, just put the blasted numbers in a column and add them!

 6. There is no work for this problem!

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Irini has a favorite day of the week. She chose this day because it is the only day that has an i in it. What is Irini’s favorite day of the week? Show your work in the tank.
The basic message Common Core seems to be teaching children is: “When in doubt, add extra steps to make math as complicated as possible.” An Arizona mom posted this “problem” from her second grader’s math homework. (The mom added the handwritten comments saying, “There is no work.”
I suppose they were hoping for something along the lines of this:
First, I wrote down a list of all the days of the week. Then I researched the letter i on my school-issued iPad to see exactly what it looked like and then looked at my list and noticed that there were similarities between the i I found on the internet and the i in the word Friday on my list of days of the week. Then, to my surprise, I discovered that no other days of the week contained a letter with the shape of the letter i that I found on the internet. So then, I texted Irena to ask her what her favorite day of the week is. Sure enough, she said it is Friday, therefore, the correct answer is Friday.

7. The Quran calls for Muslims to be peaceful, not to kill.

911

On 9/11, a class of 8-year-olds in Las Vegas watched an animated video from BrainPOP about the attacks — twice. One parent reported that her daughter came home crying and had nightmares. The characters in the video, Tim and Moby (a robot), give a cheery view of Islam:
Oh! Islam is a popular religion in the world!…The vast majority of Muslims are non-violent and they do not agree with al Qaeda or its actions. In fact, the Quran, the holy book of Islam, calls for Muslims to be peaceful, not to kill! However, al Qaeda wants to rid the Islamic world of Western ideas, especially of anything from the United States.  They also want Muslim countries to be led by fundamentalist rule.
Tim goes on to explain that “fundamentalism” is a radical form of any religion that follows a strict interpretation of their religious rules. “It usually gives power to some and denies basic civil liberties to everyone else.”
Aside from the fact that the “religion of peace” narrative is not true, I’m sure they are hoping your Christian kids are getting the message about your family’s “strict interpretation” of your religious rules.
BrainPop boasts that their materials, aligned to Common Core standards, are used in 20% of American schools.

8. Explain what you will say when you are caught cheating.

Cheating

Assuming your child is a cheater, this seventh grade language arts assignment from Orlando helps him to work through how he will explain his crime when he gets caught.
Scenario: You decided to cheat on an assignment by copying something directly from the encyclopedia and saying it was your own thinking and you were caught by your teacher. You realize that plagiarism is unethical and what you have done is wrong. On the graphic organizer below, list words and phrases you would use, and attitudes you would take as you explained what happened to each of the audiences.
Students then must show how they would explain their plagiarism to their vice principal, their parents, and their best friend. This will come in handy when they are in police custody some day.
If this were my kid, the only acceptable answer would be, “I cheated. I was wrong. I’m sorry.” Maybe he could add, “It won’t happen again.” No graphic organizer needed for this conversation. There is no need for a child who cheated to explain “what happened.” But moreover, the suggestion that children are cheaters who need help to explain their crimes shows how low the bar is set for them. Instead of inspiring them with tales of the valiant acts of heroes, as schools did in past generations, students now receive early training to prepare them for a future of crime.

9. Make up some lies about yourself…

65032_10202146690938349_750336340_n

More from the criminal training department. The mom of this little 8-year old girl in Ohio said her daughter “wasn’t comfortable with making something up about herself because it would be a lie.”
Write an exaggeration about something you did or about one of your personal characteristics.
She helped her daughter explain that to the teacher on the worksheet. While hyperbole is an accepted literary device and children should learn about its role in literature, the mother didn’t like her daughter being encouraged to fib about herself. “My issue is with asking the student to write something exaggerating something she did or of her personal characteristics. She is not a fictional character in a story and while I encourage literary imagination, I do not encourage exaggerating (lying) in real life.”

 10. Jack has better ideas than grandma.


jack

When Jack’s grandmother came to visit, she spent lots of time writing letters to her friends at home. Then she would ask Jack to run to the post office, buy stamps, and mail her letters. Jack had a better idea. He showed grandma how to use email. Then he offered to recycle his old computer by sending it home with her. Grandma was happy to discover that many of her friends use email too. She was also happy to learn a new skill.
Jack had a “better idea” than grandma’s beautiful, handwritten letters (and her big carbon footprint from all that post office business). My techie husband noted what likely happened next:  Jack’s dad forevermore regretted the decision to “recycle” their old computer by donating it to granny. Dad spent every family holiday from then on cleaning viruses off of grandma’s computer after she got addicted to online poker. (Not that my husband would have any personal experience with this.)
*******************************************************
The moral of this story is to know what your children are being taught at school. Unfortunately, the Common Core train has left the station and reversing course will be difficult and will take time. In the meantime, if your children are under the influence of this curriculum, you may need to spend a significant amount of time debriefing them after school. Not only that, you may find you need to teach very basic skills that the schools are no longer teaching. Of course, Common Core or not, parents should always have this mindset when sending their kids to public school. They alone — not the schools — are ultimately responsible for the education of their children.

Obama Illegal Alien Army Crime Wave in Texas: 611,234 Crimes, 2,993 Murders


 



The murder of Kathryn Steinle on the Embarcadero in San Francisco by an illegal alien is the most familiar example of a crime committed by an alien.  But an unreleased internal report by the Texas Department of Public Safety reveals that aliens have been involved in thousands of crimes in Texas alone, including nearly 3,000 homicides.

PJ Media obtained an never-before-released copy of a Texas DPS report on human smuggling containing the numbers of crimes committed by aliens in Texas.   According to the analysis conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, foreign aliens committed 611,234 unique crimes in Texas from 2008 to 2014, including thousands of homicides and sexual assaults.


The report describes an alien crime wave of staggering proportions exacerbated by federal officials unwilling to enforce immigration laws.
The Texas DPS report says well over 100,000 individual criminal aliens have been booked into Texas jails:
From October 2008 to April 2014, Texas identified a total 177,588 unique criminal alien defendants booked into Texas county jails. These individuals have been identified through the Secure Communities initiative, in which Texas has participated since October 2008.
There are almost certainly more criminal aliens who haven’t been identified as aliens.  The 177,588 criminal aliens identified by Texas through the Secure Communities initiative only can tag criminal aliens who had already been fingerprinted.  Arrests of illegal aliens who have not been fingerprinted prior to arrest are not included in these arrests numbers derived from the Secure Communities initiative.

That means that the already stratospheric aggregate crime totals would be even higher if crimes by many illegal aliens who are not in the fingerprint database were included.


The Secure Communities initiative is an information-sharing program between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Presumably, both departments would have data on the number of fingerprint searches conducted that revealed a criminal act involved an alien
.
Texas has been ground zero in illegal alien crossings into the United States.  The Texas DPS report shows that in the Rio Grande Valley, 154,453 illegal aliens were apprehended in 2013.

Other Texas sectors saw approximately 86,000 illegal aliens apprehended.  All other sectors combined on the southern border only saw approximately 170,000 illegal alien apprehensions in the same time period.  The Obama administration releases a sizable portion of the illegal aliens captured.

The criminal aliens identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety have been responsible for the most heinous types of crimes — and in astonishing numbers.

http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2015/07/22/alien-crime-wave-in-texas-611234-crimes-2993-murders/


Friday, July 10, 2015

DEMOCRATS INTRODUCE BILL TO BAN ‘HUSBAND’ AND ‘WIFE’ AS ‘ANTI-GAY’ WORDS "Gendered terms" would be removed from federal law



Fresh off the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, Democrats in California have introduced a bill that would ban the words “husband” and “wife” from being used in federal law because they are “gendered terms” and discriminate against gay people.
The words husband and wife were deleted from California state law last year in order to accommodate same sex marriage.
Under new legislation proposed by over two dozen Democrats, that same rule would be applied federally. The bill, introduced by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif, would introduce new “gender-neutral” terms such as “spouse” or “married couple.”
Capps said that amending the language used was necessary to reflect “the equality of all marriages” following last month’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage that mandated all states to license same sex marriages.
“Now that compulsory gay marriage is the law of the land thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, liberals are reaching out from that decision to see where else they can force the gay lobby’s agenda on the country,” writes Warner Todd Huston.
Meanwhile, a Toledo Municipal Court judge who refused to marry a same sex couple because of his religious beliefs is seeking an advisory opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court on whether he can opt out of performing gay marriages.
“On Monday, July 6, I declined to marry a non-traditional couple during my duties assignment. The declination was based upon my personal and Christian beliefs established over many years. I apologize to the couple for the delay they experienced and wish them the best,” Judge C. Allen McConnell, a Democrat,said in a statement.
Gay group Equality Toledo said the couple were “humiliated” by the incident, despite the fact that they were married by another judge shortly afterwards.
http://www.infowars.com/democrats-introduce-bill-to-ban-husband-and-wife-as-anti-gay-words/

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trans*Pride March” parade,

Communist Chief in Oval Office: 20 Years Ago Few Would Imagine Vietnam’s Top Communist Meeting U.S. President




Barack Obama met yesterday in the Oval Office with Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
In his remarks after the meeting, Communist Party chief Trong observed how extraordinary it was for the leader of Vietnam’s Communist Party to meet with the president of the United States.
He said: “I think that 20 years ago, not too many people would imagine a meeting--interesting meeting, a substantive meeting--between the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the President of the United States. “
The communist leader said one of the things he discussed with Obama was the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would create a “free-trade” zone among 12 nations, including the U.S. and Communist Vietnam.
“In a constructive and candid manner, we also discussed our differences and the way forward, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, as well as the human rights issues,” Trong said.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” says a Congressional Research Service report published on March 20, “is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.”
The State Department report on Human Rights in Vietnam, which was released last month, says: “The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), and led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and President Truong Tan Sang.”
“The government maintained limits on workers’ rights to form and join independent unions and did not enforce safe and healthy working conditions adequately,” said the State Department report on Vietnam. “Child labor persisted, especially in agricultural occupations.”
The Congressional Research Service said in its March report on the proposed TPP "free-trade" agreement that state-owned enterprises account for an “estimated to represent 40% of output” in Vietnam.
Thank you, Mr. President.  And good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  
I think that 20 years ago, not too many people would imagine a meeting--interesting meeting, a substantive meeting--between the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the President of the United States. And as the President just mentioned, we had a cordial, constructive, positive and frank discussion with each other. What is of utmost importance is that we have been transformed from former enemies to become friends, partners -- comprehensive partners.  And I’m convinced that our relationship will continue to grow in the future.  
I think these achievements are all to the strategic vision and the efforts by all leaders of the two countries, but also thanks to the support -- the full support of the peoples of the two countries.  Because it is in their interest that we want to promote this relationship.  This relationship is also contributing significantly to peace, stability, cooperation for prosperity in the region and around the world. 
Like the President just mentioned, there has been a bad, difficult chapter in our history, but we have been able to rise above the past to overcome differences, to promote our shared interests, and look towards a future in order to build the comprehensive partnership that we have today.  And as I mentioned to the President in our meeting, the past cannot be changed, but the future depends on our action, and it is our responsibility to ensure a bright future.   
At the meeting today, the President and I reviewed the growth of our relations over the past 20 years, and we also discussed and agreed on the major directions for moving our relationship forward to make it more substantive, more positive, to build the mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries.  And we agreed to continue to promote the comprehensive relationship between the two countries in all areas, ranging from political, diplomatic cooperation, to economic, trade, investment, education and training, environment, public health, responding to climate change, to defense and security cooperation, as well as better collaboration at regional and international forums.
In a constructive and candid manner, we also discussed our differences and the way forward, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, as well as the human rights issues.  At the same time, we discussed and shared our views on the recent developments in the South China Sea, and also shared our concern about the recent activities that are not in accordance with international law that may complicate the situation.
And I had the particular honor to extend our invitation to the President and the First Lady to visit Vietnam, and I’m glad that the President had graciously accepted my invitation.  
Once again, I would like to thank the President and the U.S. government for inviting me to visit your beautiful country.  And allow me also to take this opportunity to send my greetings and best regards to the Vietnamese community here in the United States.  We hope for further growth in our relationship.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/communist-chief-oval-office-20-years-ago-few-would-imagine-vietnams

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kenyan Leader: If Obama Brings 'Gay Democrats Agenda, We Will Tell Him to Shut Up and Go Home'


When he visits his father’s homeland in Africa later this month, President Obama is expected to run into vocal opposition over his administration’s high-profile promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Obama’s trip to Kenya, his first as president, is scheduled to take place four weeks after the White House was bathed in rainbow colors to mark the U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring that same-sex marriage is a right.

At a small pro-family demonstration at the parliament in Nairobi Monday, organized by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, participants called on the American president not to raise the subject during his visit.
“It is important for us as Kenyans to know that the U.S. is not God,” local media quoted evangelical Bishop Mark Kariuki as saying, adding that Obama should not use the visit to “talk about the gay issue.”
Irungu Kangata, a lawmaker in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) party, was blunter: “We are telling Mr. Obama when he comes to Kenya this month and he tries to bring the abortion agenda, the gay agenda, we shall tell him to shut up and go home.”
According to The Standard of Nairobi, Kangata said Kenyans would demonstrate against Obama over the issue during his visit.
Kenya’s The Daily Nation quoted several other lawmakers’ views on the matter.
“Anybody who tries to come and preach to this country that they should allow homosexuality, I think he’s totally lost,” said TNA lawmaker Jamleck Kamau.
“And I would also like to add, our son from the U.S., Barack Obama, when he comes here, to simply avoid that topic completely,” added Kamau, “because Kenyans will not be happy with him if he comes to bring the issue of homosexuality in this country.”
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/kenyan-leader-if-obama-brings-gay-agenda-we-will-tell-him-shut-and

USA Is Among World’s Top Debtor Nations








CNSNews.com) – The United States is running a larger debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio than a majority of the world’s advanced economies, according to a new report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

America’s debt increased from nearly 76 percent of annual GDP in 2007 to 122.5 percent in 2014, according to the report. That’s the sixth highest debt load of any OECD member country included in the 2014 figures.

Although data for Japan was not included in the 2014 report, that Asian country led the list in 2013, with debt representing 239 percent of its GDP - more than twice the average 109 percent debt-to-GDP in the other OECD nations.

The five most in-debt nations in 2014 were Greece, with its debt representing 181 percent of its GDP; Italy, at 156 percent; Portugal, at 149.5 percent; Belgium, at nearly 130 percent; and Ireland, at nearly 128 percent.

Estonia held the lowest amount of debt of all OECD countries in 2014, representing just 14 percent of its GDP. Russia placed second to last, with its debt representing nearly 18 percent of its GDP.

 





The U.S. also ran one of the top budget deficits of OECD members in 2013, placing seventh overall.

Federal, state, and local governments ran deficits that represented 5.5 percent of GDP. In comparison, Slovenia was  first with a deficit of 14.5 percent of GDP, while Greece placed second with 12 percent.

Norway budgeted the best, running a surplus of 11 percent, followed by South Korea with a 1.3 percent surplus.
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/rudy-takala/oecd-report-usa-among-worlds-top-debtor-nations

Obama Blames Republicans for Illegal Alien Criminals






The White House on Monday defended its immigration policies and blasted Republicans following the killing of a San Francisco woman — allegedly by an illegal immigrant.
When asked if the case was a failure of the administration’s enforcement policies, White House press secretary Josh Earnest chided Republicans for blocking a bipartisan immigration bill that would have boosted funding for border security. 


“I recognize that people want to play politics with this,” Earnest said. “The fact is the president has done everything within his power to make sure that we’re focusing our law enforcement resources on criminals and those who pose a threat to public safety.”
Kathryn Steinle, 32, was shot and killed Wednesday at a popular tourist destination in San Francisco. The suspect, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had multiple felony convictions and had been deported to Mexico five times. 
Earnest faulted the “political efforts of Republicans” for blocking “the kind of investment that we would like to make in securing our border and keeping our communities safe.”
The spokesman refused to comment on the details of the case, but he pointed to Obama’s executive actions on immigration launched last fall, which instructed the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the deportation of people who are considered “public safety threats.”
“We have started to make changes in terms of structuring and staffing … to ensure that our law enforcement efforts are focused on felons and not on families,” he said. “These efforts would be significantly augmented had Republicans not blocked common-sense immigration reform.”
Federal authorities have suggested San Francisco bears responsibility for the fact that Lopez-Sanchez was still on the street. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) turned him over to San Francisco authorities in March on a drug warrant. 
But he was released in April after the charges were dropped, and local law enforcement did not honor federal officials’ request to be notified when he was freed. 
“We’re not asking local law enforcement to do our job,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said, according to Fox News. “All we’re asking is that they notify us when a serious foreign national criminal offender is being released to the street so we can arrange to take custody.”
San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” that does not cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
“It’s not legal to hold someone on a request to detain. This is not just us. This is a widely adopted position,” San Francisco Sheriff’s Department attorney Freya Horne told The Associated Press. 
Some Republicans have said the Obama administration shares responsibility for Steinle’s death. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) faulted ICE for handing Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco officials knowing it is a sanctuary city. 
“The federal government and San Francisco are wrong here,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Why did they ever turn him over to them when they could have deported him, or they could have prosecuted him for illegally re-entering the country four times and send him to prison?” Goodlatte added. “Either way, Kate Steinle would be safe.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/246957-white-house-defends-immigration-policies-after-killing-of-san

Obama Still Creating a Toxic Environment for Trump’s Policies at EPA, Think Progress deems iI “A Punitive … Assault On Science? Like Let Talk About “A Punitive Assault On Science ? Like Were The Science TO Prove Gender Identity?

“ Pay no attention to that man behind that curtain!” The Wizard of Oz had a good reason for trying to distract Dorothy when his tru...