[guest post by Dana]
First news item
Republicans take the hit:
For the 2020 census, all states were not counted equally well for population numbers used to allocate political representation and federal funding over the next decade, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday.
A follow-up survey the bureau conducted to measure the national tally’s accuracy found significant net undercount rates in six states: Arkansas (5.04%), Florida (3.48%), Illinois (1.97%), Mississippi (4.11%), Tennessee (4.78%) and Texas (1.92%).
It also uncovered significant net overcount rates in eight states — Delaware (5.45%), Hawaii (6.79%), Massachusetts (2.24%), Minnesota (3.84%), New York (3.44%), Ohio (1.49%), Rhode Island (5.05%) and Utah (2.59%).
Still, the 2020 results stand in stark contrast to the findings from the bureau’s follow-up survey for the 2010 census, which had no statistically significant over- or undercounts for any state.
Second news item
Ukraine emergency aid package passed by Senate:
The Senate passed a $40 billion emergency aid package Thursday to buttress Ukraine with weapons and other military help as the Eastern European country fends off the Russian invasion.
The chamber’s 86-11 vote clears the legislation for President Joe Biden’s signature, just in time to keep the Pentagon from exhausting its power to send weapons to Ukraine from U.S. stockpiles. Top lawmakers in both parties insist the multibillion-dollar injection is just what Ukraine needs to bolster its defenses as Russia approaches its fourth month of conflict.
Third news item
Donors and local BLM chapters hardest hit:
Following the reveal of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s IRS tax documents, it’s now safe to say that there’s something questionable going on at the social justice nonprofit.
According to the group’s Form 990, first reported by Associated Press, BLM is worth nearly $42 million in net assets—after spending more than $37 million of the $90 million it previously had on high-end real estate, familiar consultants, ambitious grants, and more.
One of the more concerning situations revealed by the financial disclosures is the fact that co-founder Patrisse Cullors was the foundation board’s sole voting director, and held no board meetings, before stepping down last year. Under her leadership, Cullors authorized a six-figure payout to be given to her child’s father for various services, paid $1.8 million to companies owned by her relatives, and ensured that her brother, Paul Cullors, was one of the highest-paid employees of BLM.
This is yet another wave of bad news for Cullors, who has constantly denied financial impropriety, as she has previously tried to quell any growing concerns around her decision-making. These tax documents not only proved that Cullors lied about misusing some of the funds (such as hosting a birthday party for her son and throwing a private Biden inauguration celebration in the multimillion dollar property intended for activists and creators), but that she did so repeatedly.
Fourth news item
Yet another example of why parents nationwide are vexed at their schools and people who run them:
“I am going to give you an assignment given to my 15-year-old daughter at a local high school. This will be horrifying for me to read to you but that will give your perspective on how she must have felt when her teacher required her to memorize this and to act it out in front of her entire class,” said parent Kandra Evans at the meeting during public comment.
As Evans began to read a passage from her daughter’s assignment her mic was cut off by CCSD Trustee Evelyn Garcia Morales.
“This is a public meeting. I ask for decorum,” said Garcia Morales.
“If you don’t want me to read it to you, what was it like for my 15-year-old daughter to have to memorize pornographic material?,” Evans said.
According to a report in Newsweek, the parent was allowed her allotted time to complete her comments (without the profanity). Moreover, the outlet claims that “any suggestion that the material quoted in the meeting was part of the curriculum appears to be false and was instead created by students for the class.” (Did the teacher approve of it?) Regardless, the point remains that the student was required to read the assignment out loud to students and presumably the teacher as well, while the parent was not allowed to read the very same thing out loud to the *adults* in the room at the school board meeting because decorum. And if that’s an accurate account, then parents are right to be angry about the situation.
Fifth news item
Racism rears its ugly head in a noted private school:
The Roeper School is the oldest K through 12 school for gifted children in the country. But the school is facing a wave of controversy after students were given an assignment titled ‘an introduction to primates’ and former President Barack Obama’s photo was listed.
The assignment was passed out in the high school biology class earlier this month. The Birmingham private school prides itself on diversity and an alternative education, which costs up to $30,000 each year.
But this month, the curriculum passed out to students instructed students to pick from a gallery of photos labeled apes, monkeys, and lemurs. And there, in the second row, is former President Barack Obama.
FOX 2 obtained a photo of the school assignment from someone who was appalled at the racist messaging, which came from a teacher.
Sixth news item
Via Time123: 2000 Mules of malarkey (2000 Mules being the latest movie by Dinesh D’souza):
Read the whole thread.
Seventh news item
Who they have chosen to embrace says all you need to know about CPAC. P.S. Tucker Carlson was billed as special guest speaker…:
The Hungarian leader, Viktor Orbán, has told a conference of US conservatives that the path to power required having their own media outlets, calling for shows like Tucker Carlson’s to be broadcast “24/7”.
Orbán, recently elected to a fourth term, laid out a 12-point blueprint to achieving and consolidating power to a special meeting of the US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), under the slogan of “God, Homeland, Family”, held in Budapest.
The Hungarian prime minister said that with his fourth electoral victory on 3 April, Hungary had been “completely healed” of “progressive dominance”. He suggested it was time for the right to join forces.
“We have to take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. We must find allies in one another and coordinate the movements of our troops,” Orbán said.
He told Republicans…that media influence was one of the keys to success. In Hungary, the prime minister and his allies have effective control of most media outlets in Hungary, including state TV.
“Have your own media. It’s the only way to point out the insanity of the progressive left,” he said. “The problem is that the western media is adjusted to the leftist viewpoint. Those who taught reporters in universities already had progressive leftist principles.”
He portrayed the US media as being dominated by Democrats, who he claimed were being “served” by CNN, the New York Times and others.
“Of course, the GOP has its media allies but they can’t compete with the mainstream liberal media. My friend, Tucker Carlson is the only one who puts himself out there,” he said. “His show is the most popular. What does it mean? It means programs like his should be broadcasted day and night. Or as you say 24/7.”
Eighth news item
Russia hits back at Finland, which already has plans ensuring that they will be okay despite Russia’s move:
Russia will cut natural gas supplies to Finland on Saturday, according to Finland’s state energy provider, the latest salvo in a growing confrontation between the two countries over the war in Ukraine.
Finland this week applied to join NATO, reversing a longstanding policy of military neutrality and angering Russia, which sees the eastward expansion of the alliance as a threat to its national security. Moscow had previously threatened “retaliation” if Finland joined NATO. The two countries share an 830-mile border.
The ostensible reason for the halt in Russian gas exports, though, was a dispute over payments that had been rumbling for weeks.
Gasum, the Finnish energy provider, said on Friday that Russia was suspending the supply of natural gas to Finland starting at 7 a.m. the next morning because the country had failed to comply with Moscow’s demand to make payments in rubles. The move comes just days after Moscow also suspended electricity exports to Finland, citing payment issues.
Ninth news item
Progressive prosecutor comes out in support of efforts to recall city district attorney:
Brooke Jenkins supports diversion programs for low-level crimes…as well as programs to shorten excessive sentences and free the wrongfully convicted. A Black and Latina woman, she deplores what mass incarceration has done to communities of color. She said that she appreciated how compassionate and reform-focused San Francisco was as a city. Thus, she said, she looked forward to working with Boudin when he came into office.
Yet, working on murder cases for him, she said, she came to question whether he was the right person for the job. He had decided what not to do and where to pull back, she said. But he had not figured out how to fight the crime the city was facing. “Chesa has refused to switch hats,” she told me. “He maintains the outlook or the mindset of a public defender. His view is that crime is just a part of life, something that we all have to endure and deal with. It’s never going to go away. No amount of punishment for any offender is going to change what happened, even in a murder case.”
She worried that this posture discourages people from reporting offenses against them. She also worried that it disrespects the victims of violence—a personal issue for her, after her husband’s cousin was murdered in the summer of 2020. “I don’t think he’s willing to listen to those Black voices,” she told me. “He believes, in his mind, that he knows what’s best for them.”
An absolutely vibrant painting by Ernie Barnes recently made a big splash:
The unexpected star lot of last week’s Christie’s 20th century auction was The Sugar Shack, the most famous painting by Ernie Barnes. The 1976 work went for $15.3 million, or an astonishing 76 times its high estimate of $200,000.
A celebration of Black joy, the painting depicts an enthusiastic crowd of men and women with elongated limbs, seemingly carried away by the music as they dance the night away.
“The painting transmits rhythm, so the experience is re-created in the person viewing it,” Barnes, who died in 2009, said in an interview with the Soul Museum. “To show that African Americans utilize rhythm as a way of resolving physical tension.”
Have a great weekend!