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Walmart lobbyists push bill privatizing Arkansas’ public schools

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) will back legislation from lobbyists connected to Walmart that would open the door for private contractors to take over management of local school districts, the Arkansas Times reported.

The bill, HB 1733, was introduced by state Rep. Bruce Cozart (R), and was written by Walton Family Foundation lobbyists. Cozart is also chair of the state House Education Committee. The bill was sent to the committee for review on Friday, and needs 11 votes to advance to a vote on the floor.

According to the Times, the bill would establish an “achievement school district” that could include any school district found to be under “academic distress.”

The state education commissioner would then have the ability to “directly operate or contract with one or more not-for-profit entities” to run the district for a 3-5 year period. Individual schools would also be eligible for transitioning to a privatized system, with the rest of that school’s former district potentially responsible for paying for busing and food costs.

The Times also reported that the bill would turn teachers in any “achievement district” into “at-will” workers. Districts run under this model would not be required to have a school board or field licensed teachers.

A demonstration against the bill is scheduled to be held outside the state Capitol on Tuesday afternoon local time, and more than 200 Little Rock residents, as well as other state legislators, attended a rally on Monday urging them to call on the committee’s 10 Democratic members to vote the bill down. The committee also has 10 Republican members, including Cozart.

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“They’ve decided they know what’s best for us,” state Sen. Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D) said. “This is about a Walton and Company takeover of public education.”

The bill would directly impact the Little Rock school district first if passed. Education Dive reported in January that the state Board of Education voted 5-4 to take over the district after determining that 6 of its 48 schools were failing.

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Jon Stewart absolutely levels Mitch McConnell on Fox News for his inaction on 9/11 first responders

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Appearing on Fox News Sunday, comedian Jon Stewart lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional inactivity regarding the plight of the 9/11 responders.

Speaking with host Chris Wallace, the former host of "The Daily Show" singled out the Republican among all the other lawmakers who have failed to step up with renewed support.

“Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” host Wallace asked.

“Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.”

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‘White woman problems’: Twitter stomps ‘lifestyle guru’ after she goes berserk over checkout glitch at Target

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A self-described "lifestyle guru" and TV host is coming under fire after she raged on Twitter about problems purchasing items at Target.

In a tweet on Saturday, Meaghan Mooney demanded Target "make good" after she was not able to immediately purchase a cart filled with goods.

"I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY???" Mooney wrote. "And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?!"

Hey @Target — I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY??? And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?! #Target pic.twitter.com/4KQTtdNv0M

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MSNBC guest ridicules Trump-fan Steve Cortes as possible Sarah Sanders replacement: ‘He’s a nut — have you seen him on TV?’

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Discussing the departure of Donald Trump's spokesperson Sarah Sanders from the White House, an MSNBC panel surveyed her possible replacements with one ridiculed for his appearances on TV defending the president.

Speaking with "AM Joy" fill-in host Jonathan Capehart, The Beat DC editor Tiffany Cross shot former Trump associate Stever Cortes -- a regular on CNN -- down as a possible candidate.

"There are names that are out there," Capehart suggested. "[Meliania Trump spokesperson] Stephanie Grisham and Hogan Gidley and Steve Cortes."

Pointing out that Grisham is the most likely contender, and the Trump would probably prefer a woman, Cross called out Cortes for his TV appearances.

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