Archive for letter

Chris Christie to teachers: "I am tired of you people!" Teacher: "If you vote for this man, shame on you." Her letter.


chris christie yells at teacherH/t: Blue Jersey


Teacher basher Chris "Photo Op" Christie is at it again. Jersey Jazzman has the exclusive interview: @GovChristie to Teacher: "I Am Tired Of You People!"

I asked him: "Why do you portray our schools as failure factories?" His reply: "Because they are!"  He said: "I am tired of you people. What do you want?"

"Failure factories"?

The Star-Ledger's Jenna Portnoy:

Christie cut more than $1 billion in state aid to schools in his first year in office.

Well, guess what, Gov, as a former educator and a past, current, and future American, I'm tired of you too:

Check out Jazzman's post, because it's the prelude to the following excerpts of the must-read Letter to Governor Christie from the New Jersey Teacher He Screamed At by the "public school teacher that works an average of 60 hours a week":

Apparently that question struck a nerve. When you swung around at me and raised your voice, asking me what I wanted, my first response “I want more money for my students.” Notice, I did not ask for more money for me. I did not ask for my health benefits, my pension, a raise, my tenure, or even my contract that I have not had for nearly three years. [...]

We cannot keep short-changing our children and taking away opportunities for them to explore and learn. [...]

What do I want? What do 'we people' want? We want to be allowed to teach. [...]

Are you aware that poverty is the biggest determination of a child's educational success?  [...]

Where is all of this money? To me it seems like it is being siphoned right off into the hands of private companies as they reap the benefits of the charter schools and voucher programs that you have put into place. [...]

You have portrayed us as greedy, lazy money-draining public servants that do nothing. I invite you to come do my job for one week Governor Christie. [...]

Has there been back-room meetings as you agree to divert public funds to private companies that are seeking to take over our public educational system? This is my theory. [...]

We want to be respected as we do this, not bullied.

BadAss Teacher,

Melissa Tomlinson

Please go read the entire letter here.

Melissa Tomlinson, you are my hero.


"By destroying the financial integrity of the US, you will free us of all the trouble of being number one."


now that's snarky

I've written about my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt in the past, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. In fact, he just shot me this link and encouraged me to post it here. It's a copy of a snarkalicious letter that a lifelong friend sent to his congressman, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy, and then shared with Jeff.

The friend he alludes to in the letter is Jeff:

Courtesy of a good Wisconsinite we provide all progressives with a template letter for your Republican representative, free of charge we might add:

Representative _______,

A friend of mine has stated that the US being number one, the leader of the world is not worth the trouble.  Being number one puts a target on our back; there are many that want to supplant us and to attack us because of our leadership role.  We have all the costs that we must pay to remain number one, costs in money and often in blood, the cost of a military that has the ability to span the world, the cost of educating our population to maintain leadership in science, finance, farming, research, and technology.  There is the cost of feeding our citizens and people in need around the world.  The list goes on and on.  It is not cheap to be the big cheese.

I did not originally recognize your purpose behind shutting down the US government and refusing to extend the debt ceiling.  Well, I must commend you on your plan to remove the US from its world leadership role and get the US out of the number one spot.  By destroying the financial integrity of the US, you will free us of all the trouble of being number one.  By reducing taxes to near historic lows and, now, not paying our bills and playing games with finances you will wipe out the worlds faith in the US’s credit worthiness.  Very clever.  We will surely drop to number 15 or 20.  That our national and personal financial security will also be destroyed is simply a sacrifice that we citizens must make.  After all, sacrifice of all citizens is what made us number one.  Our recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq placed that sacrifice on those few that were in military service.  We citizens were not asked to pay for the war, we were instead asked to continue our personal shopping sprees and maintain our level of consumerism.  By refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and not paying the US debt, you are (very cleverly, I might say) sticking China with the bill for those wars.  Your financial wizardry is to be commended.  Viva number 20.  Who knows, if we slide far enough, we will not need to educate our citizens, think of the taxes that we can save by closing all our schools.


<your name here>


Group finds that ALEC falsified signatures on "stand your ground" letter to Sen. Dick Durbin



We've posted about ALEC a lot here at TPC. For example:

ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council) is an organization of state legislators which favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it. The Nation:

Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

And as ALEC Exposed explains:

ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher’s unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds.

Now we have this, via Think Progress:

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) sent Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) a letter that claimed the Senator’s investigation into ALEC’s involvement “Stand Your Ground” laws was a form of “intimidation.” The letter was supposed to have carried the clout of about 300 state legislators who signed onto it, but, according to an investigation by progressive group by ProgressNow, many of the signatures on that letter were falsified or duplicated. [...]

The group said it was signed by 293 elected officials. But, ProgressNow found, 55 of the signatures are “blatantly invalid.”

ALEC itself is "blatantly invalid," yet it still dictates legislation on behalf of Corporate America. Let's hope this tarnishes ALEC's image and helps more people to become aware of how they operate, eventually leading to its undoing.


More candidates for jail in IRS "scandal?" In 2011 GOP Congressmen demanded the IRS audit AARP


IRS tea party cartoon HorseyVia David Horsey

GOP ask IRS to go after AARP April 2011Link, April 2011

GOP ask IRS to go after AARP 2011Link, December 2011

One more time: It’s important to clarify to those who miss the point more often than not, that this isn’t about defending the IRS. It’s about the hypocrisy of some on the right.

And there's a whole lot of hypocrisy on the right to draw from; this is only the latest. The Hill, April 2011:

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee asked federal tax authorities Friday to look into AARP's finances. [...] Democrats say Republicans are simply trying to punish the seniors' lobby for putting its considerable weight behind healthcare reform.

Above are screen shots of two letters, one from April 2011, one from December 2011, from Republicans requesting the audit.

To repeat, House Republicans called for an IRS probe into AARP when it supported passage of the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. So who's going to jail for that scandal?


"The IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, even if the White House continues to be stuck on the word 'if.' My question isn't about who is going to resign. My question is who's going to jail over this scandal?"

H/t: Hugh Kaufman

hypocrisy meter 2


7-year-old boy gets handwritten letter from Joe Biden



What a mensch. I'd let him take a stab at the Presidency. Can we do a Kickstarter for the chocolate bullets?

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin boy wrote Vice President Joe Biden with an unusual suggestion for making the nation safer: Create guns that shoot chocolate bullets.

On Monday, he got an unusual response: A handwritten note from Biden on vice presidential stationery.


The student, Myles, wrote to Biden, President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore several months ago. It was after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gun violence was in the news. Myles had been having lunch with the school’s reading specialist, Barbara Rankin, when he told her he had an idea.

“He said if we have chocolate bullets, nobody would get hurt and nobody would be sad,” Rankin said. “I’m going to start crying again because he was so insightful.”


Then an envelope from Biden’s office arrived Monday at the school office. It went to Flynn since Myles had signed his letter with his first name but no last name and the school’s address. The school did not release Myles’ last name Monday, and his mother did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.

Flynn rushed the letter up to Myles’ class where she shared it with him and his classmates.

“Dear Myles,”
the letter said. “I’m sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter. I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate. You are a good boy, Joe Biden.”


Dems blast GOP over "false, extremely irresponsible" Benghazi charges, demand apology to Hillary Clinton


gop benghazi tweetLink

benghazi cartoon 2

Which party was it again, that withheld all that money for embassy security improvements, the money that would have kept our diplomats abroad safer?

As I posted previously, per a fascinating post at Down With Tyranny, the loudest nonstop accuser, McCain, said that Ambassador Stevens “sent concerns about security, voiced them to me.” And then McCain himself chose to do nothing, instead doing his “look over there” routine with the help of his faithful sidekick Lindsey Graham. Why is that? Well, maybe because of his own failure to support an increase in the security budget, or maybe his story isn’t true, or maybe to divert attention away from the fact that he chose to do nothing when he got direct information from Ambassador Stevens about his safety concerns.

The Economist explained why a Benghazi cover-up by the administration would make absolutely no sense.

Now, per The Hill, Dems are blasting the GOP over the absurd Benghazi charges against Hillary Clinton. More like this, please:

Republicans should apologize to Hillary Clinton for the “false accusations” that she personally signed off on security cuts at the Benghazi mission prior to last year's attack, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel said Thursday.

The allegations are “false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “I respectfully request that you retract your erroneous staff report and apologize to Secretary Clinton on behalf of your Chairmen and your Republican conference.”

Here are a few screen grabs of Rep. Cummings' letter. He put the Republicans in their place with a blistering exposé of their embarrassing and false claims:

benghazi letter 1benghazi letter 2benghazi letter 3


WTF Moment: Sen. James Inhofe to #Newtown families: Gun debate has nothing to do with you.


wtf moment

Yesterday, President Obama was in Connecticut speaking on common-sense measures to reduce gun violence:

“What’s more important to you, our children or an A grade from the gun lobby?”

“Shouldn’t we make it HARDER, not easier for domestic abusers to get their hands on a gun?”

“If you believe those killed by guns deserve a vote.. Stand up. Stand up.”

All great points. He also quoted Newtown victim, six-year-old Dylan Hockley‘s mom, Nicole:

Every night I beg for him to come to me in my dreams so that I can see him again. And during the day, I just focus on what I need to do to honor him and make change.” Now if Nicole can summon the courage to do that, how can the rest of us do any less?

Now wouldn't you think Nicole Hockley and others who were directly affected by the Sandy Hook massacre (or any other mass shooting, for that matter) might be relevant to the gun debate we're having in this country? After all, they are voluntarily and passionately lobbying Congress members to expand background checks, get tougher on gun trafficking and increase school safety.

Which brings me to Senator James Inhofe who is one of the 14 senators below who have threatened to block gun safety legislation:

gop senators filibuster gun laws 2

Now Inhofe is revealing exactly how delusional and cold-hearted he really is. Via HuffPo:

"See, I think it's so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn't," Inhofe said.

When it was suggested that the families of Newtown victims actually believe the gun debate pertains to them, Inhofe said, "Well, that's because they've been told that by the president."

Yes, President Obama made them do it. They are clearly incapable of thinking for themselves, of feeling so much pain that they are driven to act on behalf of their slain loved ones, of drawing obvious conclusions, and taking action on behalf of their murdered family members in order to help prevent this from happening again.

blame obama

Think Progress:

The Oklahoma senator has an A+ rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America. He has taken at least $19,800 from the former since 1998.

If I go on, I won't be able stop at simply referring to Inhofe as an insensitive, gun-sucking, self-serving, cowardly prick. I'll stop now.