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US Republicans set ‘Green New Deal vote’ in bid to divide Democrats

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Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a move aimed at dividing Democrats, set a vote for Tuesday on their “Green New Deal” resolution that seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by moving off fossil fuels.

The Green New Deal, introduced last month by Democrats, marked the first formal attempt by lawmakers to define legislation to create big government-led investments in clean energy like wind and solar power, infrastructure and social programs.

The goal of the non-binding resolution is to speed a transition of the U.S. economy away from burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, linked to more intense storms, floods and droughts.

But the vote, slated for 4 p.m., is occurring before the plan has had the chance for a national debate or hearings in Congress.

Republicans have used the plan to try to sow discord within the Democratic Party, painting their rivals as shifting far to the left and embracing extreme policies.

Democratic Senator Edward Markey, who unveiled the plan with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has called the vote a “sham.”

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He said the Green New Deal was meant to spur debate during the 2020 presidential election campaign on the intricate problem of how to tackle climate change while boosting the economy, not to force the party to take sides in a quick vote. Markey will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. on the vote with other lawmakers.

McConnell wrote in a message on Twitter on Monday: “I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on the ‘Green New Deal’: a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”

The name of the plan references Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal program.

One prominent Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein of environmentally conscious California, was criticized by Green New Deal supporters after she was filmed last month telling children she opposed the resolution because it was too expensive.

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Still, many Democrats plan to vote “present” at the procedural vote on the resolution, instead of up or down, to show unity among the party.

The plan has the backing of almost all the Democrats declared as candidates seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Peter Cooney

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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How Teach for America evolved into an arm of the charter school movement

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When the Walton Family Foundation announced in 2013 that it was donating $20 million to Teach For America to recruit and train nearly 4,000 teachers for low-income schools, its press release did not reveal the unusual terms for the grant.

Documents obtained by ProPublica show that the foundation, a staunch supporter of school choice and Teach For America’s largest private funder, was paying $4,000 for every teacher placed in a traditional public school — and $6,000 for every one placed in a charter school. The two-year grant was directed at nine cities where charter schools were sprouting up, including New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; and Los Angeles.

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Commentary

Why do conservatives hate Oberlin College so much?

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When I was an undergraduate at Oberlin in the mid-Aughts, there was a student in my class year who was obsessed with 19th-century British Royal Naval culture. Every Friday evening, he would host a sing-along in a dorm lounge, for which he would bring xeroxes of historical sea shanty lyrics and pass them around so that we could sing along, waving our glasses of “grog.” This was a semi-established event — he had distributed flyers around campus advertising the weekly British Royal Naval sea-shanty singalong and grog-drinking event, which would extend late into the night. Though he was not a resident of the dorm where it took place, he was welcomed into the lounge by its members, and became a fixture of sorts.Like many well-endowed liberal arts schools in rural areas, Oberlin College functions as a sort of de facto social welfare state, and is designed to encourage and cultivate one’s passions, even if they are not strictly academic. Thus, after writing up a proposal for the student-run activities board, the same student, the British Royal Navy culture guy, was able to plan, organize and execute a ticketed Royal Naval Ball, held in the atrium of the science center. The event featured 20 dishes of authentic British era-appropriate cuisine, cooked by student chefs, several courses of wine and port, and a violinist present to play period-specific music. The whole affair culminated with a traditional, British partner line dance — its sole inauthenticity the fact that we didn’t pay attention to our dance partners’ genders the way the Brits would have.
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2020 Election

Here are 5 reasons why 2020’s down-ballot races could reshape America’s future

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The political press always tends to focus mostly on the marquee race for the White House but that's especially true this cycle, as Donald Trump runs for a second term. He demands attention and his antics enrage his opponents and delight his supporters in equal measure.

But national reporters risk missing the big picture by centering so much of their reporting at the top when many of the most important political battles in 2020 will take place further down the ballot.

Trump is catnip for reporters and their editors, but the dearth of coverage of downballot races didn't begin with his election. As the news media in general faces structural changes—with print circulation declining and much of their work moving into digital spaces that are more difficult to monetize--publishers have cut back on reporters assigned to the state and local government beat. Nevertheless, Trump has arguably worsened the trend by getting so much airtime— one estimate suggested that over the past four years, Trump has taken up, on average, 15 percent of the entire daily news cycle on the three leading cable networks, nearly three times what Obama did.

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