Tom Danehy: Tom digs up some fun facts about charter schools, with the help of the Grand Canyon Institute (Tucson Weekly)
Here's my favorite: Numerous cases were found where charter administrators' salaries are shockingly high for the number of students they oversee. They found one case where a guy who was in charge of 90 students at one location got paid as much as a public-school superintendent in charge of a district with 23,000 students. Wouldn't it be nice to set your own salary?
Bryan Norcross: Dear Government: Send in troops to Puerto Rico. This catastrophe demands it.(Washington Post)
All Americans should be horrified by the depth of the tragedy in Puerto Rico. While we can't forget our friends who are suffering in Texas and Florida - especially in the Keys - from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Puerto Rican tragedy is on a different scale.
Clark Mindock: Jared Kushner faces derision and calls of 'Lock her up' after voting as a woman for eight years (Independent)
The White House adviser made a simple clerical error, but he also is responsible for some pretty important stoff in Washington.
Mythili Sampathkumar: "North Korea: Hawaii residents told to prepare for nuclear attack as tensions reach new high" (Independent)
Hawaii residents have been told to prepare for a nuclear attack in light of increasing tensions with North Korea. State authorities have advised residents to prepare for an attack as they would if a tsunami or hurricane were about to hit the chain of islands. Gene Ward, a State Representative, said that he did not want to be an "alarmist" but wanted people to be prepared.
Christopher Snowdon: Moderate drinking is good for the heart. Why won't public health admit it? (Spectator)
A new study in the British Medical Journal has found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack, angina and heart failure when compared to teetotallers. It found that lifelong non-drinkers have a 24 per cent higher mortality rate than moderate drinkers and that the death rate among former drinkers is even higher.
Roland Feizo: 'Inner fat' is a killer lurking in your belly. Here's how to get rid of it (Spectator)
Another name for it is 'active fat', so called because it affects our hormones. It raises the risk for type-2 diabetes, which is why diabetes charities are so worried about it. Heart disease, too. Breast cancer. Colorectal cancer. Even Alzheimer's.
Roisin O'Connor: Frank Zappa: How photographer Robert Davidson recovered the negatives of his famous pictures after 50 years (Independent)
The most famous of the images propelled Zappa to icon status, leading him to say: 'I'm probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else.'
The Erotic Songs Lost in Translation (BBC)
Many musicians have tried to interpret the French legend Serge Gainsbourg's songs - but no one more successfully than his lover and muse Jane Birkin, writes Cath Pound.
What the myth of Faust can Teach Us (BBC)
The legend of a man selling his soul to the devil 'seems to have particular resonance at times of moral crisis', writes Benjamin Ramm.
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Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
He'll pay for HIS seat - not the whole cost
As someone said of Price--what a tool--costs taxpayers over $400,000; pays back $51,000 like he's such a martyr for ripping us off:
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU".
"JUST ANOTHER WEEK IN TRUMPLAND."
BUDDHA BLESS JULIA.
"THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!"
THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT.
THIS GOD HAS ALLTHE ANSWERS!
THE DIMWIT DOZEN.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Still feel like crap.
By The Time You Finish Reading This
Even as states continue to push for recreational marijuana reform, 2016 saw a shocking increase in drug arrests, with marijuana arrests at the forefront.
How bad is it? By the time you've finished reading this, someone will likely be in cuffs for weed-related charges.
New data released by the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) on Monday gives a breakdown of the estimated number of total arrests in 2016. Among the data are drug abuse violations, which saw more than 1.5 million people arrested, up nearly 100,000 more arrests from 2015.
Curiously, marijuana arrests are not immediately available on the otherwise helpful columns of data. Reporters who requested the data, including Forbes reporter Tom Angelland Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, quickly saw that marijuana arrests have risen since 2015. A spokesman for the FBI did not immediately return a request for comment.
The data comes on the heels of Attorney General Jeff Session's (R-Evil Keebler Elf) rabid push to disenfranchise states that have legalized recreational marijuana, hoping to roll back the legal marijuana industry. Eight states currently regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol, with four having joined the fray in November.
Joint Lunar Station Project
Deep Space Gateway
Russia and the United States agreed Wednesday to cooperate on a NASA-led project to build the first lunar space station, part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.
The US space agency said earlier this year that it was exploring a programme called the Deep Space Gateway, a multi-stage project to push further into the solar system.
The project envisages building a crew-tended spaceport in lunar orbit that would serve as a "gateway to deep space and the lunar surface," NASA has said.
An international base for lunar exploration for humans and robots and a stopover for spacecraft is a leading contender to succeed the $100 billion International Space Station (ISS), the world's largest space project to date.
On Wednesday, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and NASA said they had signed a cooperation agreement at an astronautical congress in Adelaide.
Deep Space Gateway
Not Fit To Be President
A majority of US voters believe Donald Trump (R-Execrable) is not fit to be president and only 36 percent approve of the job he is doing in the White House, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Americans were deeply divided by party, gender and race on whether Trump is fit to serve as president, the Quinnipiac University pollsters said.
But most agreed on one thing -- Trump should stop tweeting.
Sixty-nine percent of the 1,412 voters surveyed nationwide by Quinnipiac said Trump should step away from Twitter while just 26 percent said he should continue firing off tweets.
Ninety-four percent of Democrats said Trump, a Republican, was not fit while five percent said he is fit.
Joining 'The View'
Meghan McCain is heading to daytime television.
According to Variety, the former Fox News host and daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will join "The View" as a co-host.
McCain, who previously co-hosted the Fox News program "Outnumbered," will reportedly replace Jedediah Bila, who served as the conservative voice on "The View" panel for the past year. Bila also worked at Fox News and served as a co-host of "Outnumbered" as well as other shows on the network.
McCain is expected to join the show in October, Variety reported. The political commentator is a vocal critic of President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Odious), who has repeatedly criticized her father. Sen. McCain is currently undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.
On Sunday, McCain posted a message to Instagram saying she still can't discuss her father's illness publicly, but will someday.
A three-year-old girl has been named Kathmandu's next "living goddess" after her predecessor retired.
Trishna Shakya has been named the new Kumari of Nepal's capital, continuing an ancient tradition that sees young girls worshipped as the living embodiment of the Hindu goddess Taleju.
She was selected ahead of three other candidates after a 21-day process that included spending a night among heads of slaughtered goats and buffaloes, the Kathmandu Postreports.
Trishna was anointed on Thursday, before being taken from her family home to live in an ancient palace to be looked after by a team of caretakers.
Eligible girls must fulfil all the criteria of the "32 perfections" of a goddess, which include having a "body like a banyan tree", "eyelashes like a cow" and a "voice soft and clear as a duck's".
Telescope Moves Forward
A long-running effort to build one of the world's largest telescopes on a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians is moving forward after a key approval Thursday, reopening divisions over a project that promises revolutionary views into the heavens but has drawn impassioned protests over the impact to a spiritual place.
Hawaii's land board granted a construction permit for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope atop the state's tallest mountain, called Mauna Kea, but opponents vowed to keep fighting. Protesters willing to be arrested were successful in blocking construction in the past.
Opponents can appeal the decision, but it wasn't immediately clear what they plan to do. Project officials didn't immediately comment or discuss plans for construction.
While opponents say constructing the telescope will desecrate Mauna Kea, supporters tout the instrument's ability to provide long-term educational and economic opportunities.
The project won a series of approvals from Hawaii, including a permit to build on conservation land in 2011. Protesters blocked attempts to start construction. Then in 2015, the state Supreme Court invalidated the permit, saying the board's approval process was flawed, and ordered the project to go through the steps again.
Quid Pro Quo
Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch (R-Ghost of Scalia) was under fire Thursday as he prepared to deliver a speech at a Washington hotel owned by President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Shady), who appointed him to the bench.
Denouncing it as a conflict of interest and apparent display of political support, which is prohibited by the Constitution, activists, lawyers and academics have unsuccessfully sought the cancellation of Gorsuch's speech at a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel.
Justices at the US Supreme Court may participate in events organized by institutes with clear political stances -- such as the conservative Fund for American Studies which organized Thursday's lunch -- but for critics, the fact that Gorsuch is a featured speaker at Trump's hotel raises ethical issues.
Although the confirmation process for Supreme Court justices is extremely political, the court's members are required to follow a code of conduct that prohibits them from expressing their political preferences.
They are also required to avoid activities out of court that could be construed as conflicts of interest.
Repeats False Claim Again
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Unscrupulous) continued to peddle the false claim that a Republican senator was in the hospital this week during an interview with "Fox & Friends" that aired Thursday.
When asked why he thought his tax reform plan would pass through Congress after the health care bill "went down in the Senate" this week, Trump went on the defense.
"Oh Pete, the health care bill didn't go down," Trump told Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth during the interview Wednesday. "We have the votes, but reconciliation is a disaster. But as you know, it ends on Friday."
"We don't have enough time because we have one senator who's a 'yes' vote - a great person - but he's in the hospital," he continued. "So we have the votes."
"Trump just said on six occasions a senator can't vote because he is in the hospital," Josh Dawsey, a reporter for Politico, tweeted Wednesday. "No one is known to be in the hospital."
To Hear Challenge To Public-Sector Unions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday gave itself another chance to decide an issue that could choke off a vital source of money for unions around the country representing police, teachers and other government employees.
The justices agreed to hear a case brought by a non-union government employee in Illinois that targets fees that his state and many others compel such workers to pay to unions in lieu of dues to fund collective bargaining and other organized labor activities.
The state employee, Mark Janus, is appealing a lower court ruling that rejected his claim that such fees violate free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution. Janus is a child-support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
"We are now one step closer to freeing over 5 million public-sector teachers, police officers, firefighters and other employees from the injustice of being forced to subsidize a union as a condition of working for their own government," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union legal activist group that represents Janus.
The high court heard a similar challenge out of California in January 2016 and had appeared headed toward ruling the fees unconstitutional. But conservative justice Antonin Scalia (R-Iniquitous) died a month later and the short-handed court ended up with a 4-4 split in April 2016 that left the law intact but set no nationwide precedent.
With $1,000 Tax Cut
'Buy A New Car'
President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) chief economic adviser - Gary Cohn (R-Prevaricator), the former Goldman Sachs president worth an estimated $266 million - appears to be completely clueless about what the average American family spends on a car, vacation or home improvement project.
Hours after falsely claiming that "the wealthy are not getting a tax cut" under Trump's tax reform plan, Cohn appeared at a White House press briefing and spoke to what middle-class Americans have to look forward to. Based on the administration's assumptions, he said, a typical family that has two children and earns $100,000 per year can expect annual tax savings of approximately $1,000.
"If we allow a family to keep another thousand dollars of their income, what does that mean?" he asked. "They can renovate their kitchen. They can buy a new car. They can take a family vacation. They can increase their lifestyle."
The rather tone-deaf comment came in response to a question about how Trump - who could see savings of more than $125 million per year under his own plan - can claim the proposal doesn't benefit him personally.
In an interview on Thursday with ABC's "Good Morning America," Cohn falsely claimed that Trump's plan doesn't offer a tax cut to the wealthy. He also said he "can't guarantee" that certain middle-class families - the very people the Trump team says its plan aims to help - wouldn't see their taxes increase.
'Buy A New Car'
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. Coldplay; $7,780,885; $88.60.
2. U2; $7,356,042; $114.54.
3. Guns N' Roses; $5,937,172; $102.16.
4. Celine Dion; $3,684,074; $142.82.
5. Lady Gaga; $3,466,727; $118.04.
6. Depeche Mode; $3,128,076; $76.78.
7. Dead & Company; $1,934,271; $73.49.
8. Roger Waters; $1,712,139; $121.65.
9. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $1,613,912; $96.74.
10. André Rieu; $1,527,343; $86.82.
11. Bruno Mars; $1,495,967; $87.33.
12. Ed Sheeran; $1,411,375; $85.01.
13. Neil Diamond; $1,352,462; $102.38.
14. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,263,097; $97.44.
15. Enrique Iglesias / Pitbull; $1,259,920; $94.87.
16. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,205,699; $84.42.
17. Kendrick Lamar; $1,164,889; $88.88.
18. Tool; $1,077,322; $77.19.
19. Florida Georgia Line; $1,056,027; $51.52.
20. Zac Brown Band; $1,001,478; $47.93.
Global Concert Tours