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Government is not a business.

When you treat government like a business, with the balance sheet driving all decisions – and with no moral compass to guide you – here is what happens.

Yesterday, the House Kill-All-Regulations Committee chaired by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) held a hearing on the Flint water crisis.

The testimony included that of Keith Creagh, Interim Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the hand-picked scapegoat for Gov. Rick Snyder’s starve-the-beast governance of the state of Michigan, policies that put balance sheet concerns over the duty of government to provide safe drinking water to its citizens. Conspicuous in their absence were Gov. Snyder and the man he handpicked as the “emergency” city manager whose decision led to this man-made catastrophe.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) leaves no doubt about his feelings on the literal poisoning of the children of Flint Michigan:

A news account and the full hearing video is below.

President Obama: “We are one American family”

On Wednesday, President Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque.

(President Obama makes his first visit to a mosque in America and delivers remarks to the Muslim American community in Baltimore, Maryland. February 3, 2016.)

… the first thing I want to say is two words that Muslim Americans don’t hear often enough — and that is, thank you. Thank you for serving your community. Thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family. We are grateful for that. […]

We’re one American family. And when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second-class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.

It’s a challenge to our values — and that means we have much work to do. We’ve got to tackle this head on. We have to be honest and clear about it. And we have to speak out. This is a moment when, as Americans, we have to truly listen to each other and learn from each other.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Giving Every Student an Opportunity to Learn Through Computer Science For All

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school. The President noted that our economy is rapidly shifting, and that educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that CS is a “new basic” skill necessary for economic opportunity. The President referenced his Computer Science for All Initiative, which provides $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget; and invests more than $135 million beginning this year by the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train CS teachers. The President called on even more Governors, Mayors, education leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, creative media and technology professionals, and others to get involved in the efforts.

A Muslim Migration: Somalis in Maine

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Sahro Hassan, a young Somali Muslim immigrant to Maine who is designing fashions

There are parts of the United States that I think of as populated by white folks. With the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the right, and specifically anti-Muslim spews, I certainly didn’t think of a state like Maine as a place to examine African migration to the U.S. And yet, one of the most interesting immigration and re-settlement success stories, is that of the Somali-Americans who live, flourish, and have re-vitalized the economy of a depressed area — the Somalis of Lewiston, Maine.

The Accidental Melting Pot

Take an economically struggling Maine mill town of 36,600 and add to it nearly 5,000 Somalis seeking haven in a new country. On the surface, it hardly looks like a formula for success. When the first substantial numbers of Somalis began arriving in 2001 in Lewiston, they were not welcomed with open arms. Unemployment was high, and locals feared that new arrivals would overburden social services and increase competition for the few jobs left after the closure of once-thriving textile mills.

Despite Lewiston’s economic slump, it was one of the US cities that Somali refugees themselves found attractive—through websites and word of mouth: good schools, affordable housing and, most important of all, a safe place to raise a family. Many brought a strong sense of community and entrepreneurship; they enrolled their children in the local public schools, signed up for English courses and found—or created—jobs.

Today, per-capita income in Lewiston is rising. The crime rate has dropped. The center of town, once called “The Combat Zone,” has new, family-owned grocery stores offering halal meats (prepared following the Islamic method of slaughter), and there are storefront mosques in between new organic-food cafes as well as other more conventional businesses. “Challenges still exist,” comments Julia Sleeper, founder of Lewiston’s Tree Street Youth Center. “Acculturation is messy.” But relations, she says, continue to improve. This, she says, is “testimony to the strength of both communities.”

Weekly Address: President Obama – Affordable Care Act is Making a Difference for Millions of Americans

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The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments. From the White House – Weekly Address In this week’s address, the President discussed the progress we’ve made because of the Affordable Care Act. As the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million…

This is what Diplomacy looks like

dos-seal-256x256

Yesterday evening, the State Department announced that Iran had met the conditions required by last summer’s nuclear proliferation agreement and that sanctions would be lifted. Here are the details, from Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz: Iran has shipped 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country and has removed and placed in monitored storage…

Weekly Address: President Obama – Improving Economic Security by Strengthening and Modernizing the Unemployment Insurance System

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The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments. From the White House – Weekly Address In this week’s address, the President spoke about the steps we need to take to modernize our unemployment insurance system. Our country has come a long way…

In Support of Dr. Larycia Hawkins

Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Illinois was founded by abolitionists in 1860. Over 150 years have passed since that time, and Wheaton is again faced with taking sides in a controversy. This time it is not the question of the enslavement of blacks, it is the question of academic freedom for…

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Government is not a business.

CummingsFlint

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Weekly Address: President Obama – Giving Every Student an Opportunity to Learn Through Computer Science For All

wh_logo_seal

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments. From the White House – Weekly Address In this week’s address, the President discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school. The President…

A Muslim Migration: Somalis in Maine

Sahro Hassan, a young Somali Muslim immigrant to Maine who is designing fashions There are parts of the United States that I think of as populated by white folks. With the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the right, and specifically anti-Muslim spews, I certainly didn’t think of a state like Maine as a place to…

Weekly Address: President Obama – Affordable Care Act is Making a Difference for Millions of Americans

wh_logo_seal

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments. From the White House – Weekly Address In this week’s address, the President discussed the progress we’ve made because of the Affordable Care Act. As the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million…

This is what Diplomacy looks like

dos-seal-256x256

Yesterday evening, the State Department announced that Iran had met the conditions required by last summer’s nuclear proliferation agreement and that sanctions would be lifted. Here are the details, from Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz: Iran has shipped 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country and has removed and placed in monitored storage…

Weekly Address: President Obama – Improving Economic Security by Strengthening and Modernizing the Unemployment Insurance System

wh_logo_seal

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments. From the White House – Weekly Address In this week’s address, the President spoke about the steps we need to take to modernize our unemployment insurance system. Our country has come a long way…

In Support of Dr. Larycia Hawkins

Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Illinois was founded by abolitionists in 1860. Over 150 years have passed since that time, and Wheaton is again faced with taking sides in a controversy. This time it is not the question of the enslavement of blacks, it is the question of academic freedom for…