MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Clinton Says Trump Has Embraced the Racist Fringe of GOP Politics <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Democrats haven't been shy about pointing out the racial undertones in Donald Trump's campaign, but Hillary Clinton took that message to a new level Thursday, calling out the GOP nominee for purposefully whipping up racist bigotry and resentment. During a campaign speech in Reno, Nevada, Clinton presented something of a seminar explaining the extreme periphery of conservatism known as the alt-right and this extremist movement's ties to her Republican opponent. "From the start," Clinton said, "Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He's taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous." The speech came shortly after Trump presented an accusatory <a href="" target="_blank">tirade</a> against Clinton, claiming she was head of a worse-than-Watergate "vast criminal enterprise."</p> <p>The alt-right has recently blossomed from a little-known online community of activists&mdash;a group of white supremacists and anti-immigration advocates&mdash;<a href="">into a major player</a> in GOP politics, thanks to Trump's decision a week ago to overhaul his campaign leadership once more and <a href="">hire</a> <em>Breitbart News</em> executive chairman Stephen Bannon as his campaign CEO. As <em>Mother Jones </em>recently <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a>, Bannon has boasted that under his leadership, <em>Breitbart </em>was "the platform for the alt-right." And the Clinton campaign has spent the past week tying Trump to the most extreme elements of the <em>Breitbart </em>universe. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook hosted a conference call for reporters right after the Bannon hiring and said, "This latest shake-up turns the campaign over to someone best known for running a so-called news site that peddles divisive, at times racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."</p> <p><em>Breitbart</em> has a large and devoted fan base, but it is relatively new and not widely known. So Clinton ticked off a list of representative headlines from the publication in her speech Thursday:</p> <ul><li>"Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy"</li> <li>"Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?"</li> <li>"Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement's Human Shield"</li> <li>"Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage"</li> </ul><p>With Bannon in charge of the Trump campaign, Clinton said, the racist elements of the alt-right have "effectively taken over the Republican Party." But the Democratic candidate also noted that Bannon's hiring is a continuation of the Trump campaign's relationship to the right-wing fringe. On Thursday morning, ahead of Clinton's speech, the campaign <a href="">released</a> an unsubtle video featuring Ku Klux Klan members praising Trump and his policies. In her speech, Clinton cited a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in 1973 against Trump's real estate company for not allowing African Americans and Latinos to move into his apartment buildings. She added, "He promoted the racist lie that President Obama isn't really an American citizen, part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America's first black President."</p> <p>Clinton's pitch seemed aimed at two separate audiences: people of color&mdash;who are perhaps most likely to be outraged by Trump's ties to white nationalists and his previous calls for mass deportations&mdash;and moderate Republicans who might support Trump but haven't ever waded into the <em>Breitbart </em>swamp. "This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump," Clinton asserted. She hailed former Republican standard-bearers&mdash;Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain&mdash;who each disavowed racism in their party. The message to other Republicans was clear: It's not too late for you to do the same.</p> <p>Watch Clinton's full speech below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Thu, 25 Aug 2016 20:56:04 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 312536 at The UN Is Calling for Investigations Into International Law Violations In Yemen <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights <a href=";LangID=E" target="_blank">called</a> for independent investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.</p> <p>Citing the civil war's devastating impact, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said <a href=";LangID=E" target="_blank">in a statement</a>, "Civilians in Yemen have suffered unbearably over the years from the effects of a number of simultaneous and overlapping armed conflicts. And they continue to suffer, absent any form of accountability and justice, while those responsible for the violations and abuses against them enjoy impunity." A new <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> by the UN details many human rights abuses committed in the Yemen conflict, from targeted killings and the use of child soldiers to airstrikes on civilian neighborhoods.</p> <p>The war has pit Saudi Arabia-led Coalition Forces loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels and army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since it started in March 2015, the conflict has resulted in nearly 4,000 civilian deaths and more than 6,700 civilian injuries. Nearly three million people have been forced to flee their homes, and at least 7.8 million people in the country of 24 million are suffering from malnutrition.</p> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;">The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. &ldquo;The international community&hellip;has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair. - See more at:;LangID=E#sthash.Vv9m0kkx.dpuf</div> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;">&ldquo;The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. &ldquo;The international community&hellip;has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair." - See more at:;LangID=E#sthash.Vv9m0kkx.dpuf</div> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;">&ldquo;The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. &ldquo;The international community&hellip;has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair." - See more at:;LangID=E#sthash.Vv9m0kkx.dpuf</div> <p>The rebels and their allies have allegedly killed hundreds of civilians in bombings and rocket, mortar, and sniper attacks. They have planted land mines and have prevented food and other aid from entering civilian areas. The Saudi-led coalition has <a href="" target="_blank">been accused</a> of causing the majority of civilian deaths and has targeted civilian buildings and infrastructure in its airstrikes. The UN report notes that in several documented coalition strikes, investigators were "unable to identify the presence of possible military objectives," and in multiple cases when military objectives were found, "serious concerns" remained about whether the civilian deaths and injuries "were not excessive in relation to the anticipated concrete and direct military advantage apparently sought," which is illegal under international humanitarian and human rights laws.</p> <p>The UN report comes the same week as the second annual <a href="" target="_blank">Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty</a> in Geneva, where countries have gathered to discuss, among other issues, the continued arming of Saudi Arabia. Both the United States and Britain have inked <a href="" target="_blank">arms deals worth billions</a> of dollars with Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war in Yemen. American and <a href="" target="_blank">British-supplied</a> weapons have been <a href="" target="_blank">documented</a> in Yemen following airstrikes that hit civilians, including internationally banned, US-manufactured <a href="" target="_blank">cluster bombs</a>.</p> <p>Last week, the <a href=";;assetType=opinion" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a> editorial board opined that the United States is "implicit in this carnage" by enabling the coalition through weapons deals. Since Obama took office, the United States and Saudi Arabia have <a href="" target="_blank">approved weapons sales</a> worth more than $100 billion. The most recent, which the State Department approved earlier this month, is <a href="" target="_blank">worth $1.15 billion</a>. A week after the deal was announced, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) <a href="" target="_blank">told CNN</a>, "There's an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen. Why? Well it's because though the Saudis are actually dropping the bombs from their planes, they couldn't do it without the United States."</p></body></html> Politics Foreign Policy Human Rights International Thu, 25 Aug 2016 20:14:20 +0000 Bryan Schatz 312511 at Trump Attacks Hillary's "Criminal" Foundation, Forgets He Donated $110,000 to It <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In another harsh attack on his opponent, Donald Trump at a New Hampshire rally on Thursday accused Hillary Clinton of running a "vast criminal enterprise" that was worse than Watergate, alleging that the Clinton Foundation was part of some sort of pay-to-play scheme while Clinton was secretary of state. Trump did not cite any evidence as he repeated this hyperbolic charge and his supporters shouted "lock her up." Moreover, Trump did not mention that his own foundation donated at least $110,000 to the Clinton Foundation.</p> <p>As has been reported by the <em>Washington Post</em>'s David Fahrenthold, who has closely investigated Trump's charitable donations, the Donald J. Trump Foundation <a href=";tid=ss_tw" target="_blank">gave two gifts</a> to the Clinton Foundation in 2009 and 2010. The foundation donated $100,000 in 2009 and then reserved a table at a Clinton Foundation gala for $10,000 the next year. Fahrenthold pointed out that though almost none of the Trump Foundation's money came from Trump himself&mdash;the billionaire has donated less than 1 percent of the money received by the foundation since 2007, and he apparently hasn't given it any money since 2008&mdash;he still controls decisions regarding the Trump Foundation's disbursements.</p> <p>Trump has sharply attacked Clinton and her foundation all week after the Associated Press <a href="" target="_blank">published a story</a> on Monday night that reported that at at least 85 Clinton Foundation donors had met with Clinton when she was secretary of state. Right-wing Clinton critics have long charged that Clinton illegally gave special access and political favors to foundation donors, and Trump and his supporters seized on the AP story as evidence of corruption. "What is being uncovered now is one of the most shocking political scandals in American history," Trump said on Thursday, adding, "A secretary of state sold her office to corporations and foreign governments, betraying the public trust."</p> <p>But the AP was criticized for stoking controversy but failing to provide any actual evidence that influence peddling took place while Clinton was in office. The <em>Washington Post </em>editorial board noted that the story "<a href="" target="_blank">does not show</a> or imply corruption stemming from the relationship between Ms. Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. In fact, emails to and from Clinton confidante Huma Abedin show that access-seekers associated with the foundation often were rebuffed." The Clinton campaign also <a href="" target="_blank">responded angrily</a> to the story, calling it "utterly flawed" for focusing only on 154 visits by non-governmental figures and not mentioning that Clinton conducted hundreds of other meetings with government officials during her time in office.</p> <p>Yet Trump has continued to push the Clinton-is-a-criminal meme. Throughout his rant against Clinton, though, Trump did not answer this obvious question: if the Clinton Foundation was an illegal pay-to-play enterprise, what did he get for his donation?</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:40:02 +0000 Max J. Rosenthal 312521 at Surprise! Fake Babies Actually Make Kids Think Teenage Motherhood is Awesome <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>It's a common scare tactic in school systems that have the money to pull it off: Give teenage girls dolls that cry incessantly, need to be changed often, and basically acts like any newborn would. Make them take care of it for a grade. The exercise will, in theory, deter girls from pregnancy by having them deal with the consequences in advance, and it can earn them an easy A.</p> <p>But in a new study, Australian researchers found that <a href="" target="_blank">the exercise is doing more harm than good</a>&mdash;when they compared girls in Australia who participated in the program to girls who did not, eight percent of the girls who carried the doll gave birth at least once while they were still in high school, compared with four percent of girls in the control group who never worked with the doll. Rates of pregnancy overall were higher in girls who used the infant simulator&mdash;nine percent had at least one abortion, where the control group's rate was six percent.</p> <p>The researchers looked at Australia's Virtual Infant Parenting Programme in which a teacher, nurse, or doctor works with high school students over six consecutive days to drive home the consequences of teenage sex. Over this time, girls do workbook exercises, watch a documentary about teenage mothers, and take care of the simulator from the end of classes on Friday afternoon through Monday morning.</p> <p>The interactive "Baby Think It Over" simulators don't come cheap&mdash;in Australia, a pack of 10 simulators and the required equipment costs $18,245, nearly $950 USD.</p> <p>"Similar programmes are increasingly being offered in schools around the world, and evidence now suggests they do not have the desired long-term effect of reducing teenage pregnancy," said Dr. Sally Brinkman, lead author of the study, in a statement. "These interventions are likely to be an ineffective use of public resources for pregnancy prevention." How many of these simulators have been used in the United States? Current numbers are hard to track down. By one 1999 estimate, <a href="" target="_blank">one million </a>since the tool's creation in 1993. Today, <a href="" target="_blank">Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania uses them</a> in their teen education program.</p> <p><a href=";featureID=2136" target="_blank">An analysis</a> by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) also found use of the Baby Think It Over simulators problematic. Female students reported that their male classmates weren't taking the exercise seriously, because they expect the mother to take care of children in real life. Researchers reported similar findings to the Australian study&mdash;at a Midwestern middle school in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of girls who wanted to have a baby as a teenager after using the simulator.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">inequality between genders</a> in classrooms where sex education is taught is widely criticized. Julie Quinlaven, an Australian researcher who has previously studied teen pregnancy, identified it as a problem for the VIP Programme in a commentary that accompanied the study published in <em>The Lancet</em>. "It takes two to tango," she writes.</p></body></html> Politics Sex and Gender Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:18:38 +0000 Becca Andrews 312416 at How Opposed to Safe Spaces Is the University of Chicago? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The University of Chicago sent the following statement to incoming students <a href="" target="_blank">this week:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called "trigger warnings," we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_u_chicago_safe_spaces_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">creation of intellectual "safe spaces" where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.</p> </blockquote> <p>Conservative cheered and liberals frowned. Over at Vox, Emily Crockett writes about <a href="" target="_blank">safe spaces and what they mean:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>"For me as a black woman, it's really nice to just go out with other black women sometimes," said Sabrina Stevens, an activist and progressive strategist. "I have to do so much less translation. When you're black around white people, you have to explain every little thing, even with people who are perfectly nice and well-meaning."</p> <p>....Stevens describes many different safe spaces that are important to her own life: breastfeeding support groups that are explicitly women-only to help new moms feel more comfortable talking openly about their bodies, or hair salons that function as an informally black-women-only social space as well as a service.</p> <p>....Other safe spaces emerge organically, like hair salons, gay clubs, or black churches. The shooting at Mother Emanuel in Charlestown was also a violation of a safe space, which added another layer of devastation to an already terrible crime.</p> </blockquote> <p>It's a nice piece about the origin and modern usage of safe spaces, and it's worth reading. In the end, it boils down to the fact that all of us sometimes need to hang out in places where we can relax completely and not worry that our words will taken the wrong way or that we have to endlessly explain ourselves. "Safe spaces" is just modern jargon for this ancient concept.</p> <p>But there's one thing worth getting straight. My assumption is that the University of Chicago is only saying that students shouldn't assume that any <em>formal part of the campus</em> is a safe space. Not classrooms, not offices, not dorms, not rec centers, not the quad. I think that's wise. But I also assume they have no problem with students creating private groups that are meant to be safe spaces. They don't support them but neither do they forbid them or discourage them. They're indifferent to them.</p> <p>Is that right? Or does the university go further and try to hinder even the private and voluntary creation of safe spaces?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 25 Aug 2016 18:43:36 +0000 Kevin Drum 312526 at This Woman's Reaction to Donald Trump Calling Hillary Clinton a "Bigot" Is Pure Gold <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Donald Trump turned the tables on critics who have branded him a racist by calling his presidential rival Hillary Clinton a "bigot."</p> <p>"Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," he told supporters at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, on Wednesday. "She&rsquo;s going to do nothing for African-Americans. She&rsquo;s going to do nothing for the Hispanics. She&rsquo;s only going to take care of herself, her consultants, her donors."</p> <p>The inflammatory remarks prompted the following priceless reaction:</p> <center><iframe frameborder="0" height="600" src="" width="600"></iframe><script src=""></script></center> <p>The next morning, Clinton's campaign <a href="" target="_blank">released a new video</a> featuring prominent members of the alt-right movement, including former <a href="" target="_blank">KKK grand wizard David Duke</a>, endorsing the real estate magnate for president.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Thu, 25 Aug 2016 18:39:27 +0000 Inae Oh 312516 at How Donald Trump Won Over Europe's Right-Wing Xenophobes <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Last night, Donald Trump took his "America First" message global. Appearing at a rally in Mississippi alongside British parliamentarian Nigel Farage, the architect of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, the GOP nominee sought to re-energize his struggling campaign by hitching his star to Europe's resurgent right-wing populism. "On June 23, the people of Britain voted to declare their independence," Trump said, "which is what we are going to do also, folks."</p> <p>On a conservative <a href="">Mississippi talk radio show</a> earlier in the day, Farage compared himself to Trump, touting how he had won the Brexit vote against all predictions by the political establishment&mdash;despite being accused of xenophobia and "neo-nazism&hellip;There are huge similarities between what made Brexit happen and what can help Trump to win," said Farage, the former leader of the anti-immigration UK Independence Party. "The same thing can happen here." At the evening rally, Farage added, "If I was an American citizen, I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me."</p> <p>Trump's appearance alongside Farage is the latest example of his campaign making common cause with ethno-nationalist political parties across the Atlantic. In June, Trump, while in Scotland to promote his golf resort there, proclaimed Brexit "<a href="">a great thing</a>," and his affinity with Europe's far-right runs deeper than their mutual dislike of the European Union. Farage shares Trump's penchant for racially charged rhetoric, such as when he <a href="" target="_blank">told an interviewer</a> he would feel "concerned" if a group of Romanian men moved next door but suggested that he would have no problem if they were Germans. Trump has received glowing endorsements from many of continental Europe's most controversial nativists and xenophobes&mdash;politicians championed by some of Trump's most prominent supporters.</p> <p>Among Trump's fans across the pond are National Front founder <a href="" target="_blank">Jean-Marie Le Pen</a>, whom has been fined in France for "inciting racial hatred;" Dutch Party for Freedom founder Geert Wilders, who has likened the Koran to <em>Mein Kampf</em>; and far-right Belgian politician <a href="" target="_blank">Filip DeWinter</a>, who spoke on the "Islamization of Europe" at the May conference of American Renaissance, a white nationalist group. Far-right leaders in <a href="" target="_blank">Russia</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank">Czech Republic</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Serbia</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Slovenia</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Sweden</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Italy</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Greece</a> have also endorsed or praised Trump. Golden Dawn, the ultra-right-wing Greek nationalist party, made <a href="">a pro-Trump video starring neo-Nazis</a>. The Trump campaign has not publicly disavowed any of these endorsements.</p> <p>Trump has at times rubbed shoulders with some of his controversial European supporters. In April, leading Italian right-wing politician Matteo Salvini, who has praised the "<a href="">good work</a>" of fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, tweeted a photo of himself posing with the candidate at a Trump campaign rally. Farage and Wilders, the Dutch nationalist, traveled to Cleveland in July to attend the Republican National Convention's Trumpalooza.</p> <p>Wilders, who has called for <a href="" target="_blank">outlawing the Koran</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">taxing Hijab-wearing Muslims</a>, was called "a friend to freedom" by <em>Breitbart News</em> editor and self-described "Trump surrogate" Milo Yiannopoulos at a party he hosted during the RNC. "He is the hope for Western civilization."</p> <p>"I'm not American, but don't blame me if I say I hope that Donald J. Trump will win the election in November!" Wilders responded. He went on to decry the influence of Islam in the Western world, before concluding, "for everyone that might have some doubts, we shall win, we must win, and we will win this war."</p> <p>Stephen Bannon, Trump's new campaign director, has been a champion of European ethno-nationalists. In 2014, Bannon, then the publisher of <em>Breitbart News</em>, <a href="">announced the launch</a> of <em>Breitbart London</em>, a vertical dedicated to supporting a <a href=";rref=business&amp;_r=0">European version of the tea party</a>. It quickly emerged as one of the most vocal champions of Brexit; Farage has <a href="">written dozens of op-eds</a> for the site. Last month, after Farage resigned as the leader of the UK Independence Party, <em>Breitbart London</em> editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam (and Farage's former chief of staff) <a href="">told the BBC</a> he was considering a bid for the party's leadership.</p> <p>Under Bannon's direction, <em>Breitbart News</em> has written hundreds of fawning stories about ethno-nationalist leaders. "I have a political crush, but one I couldn't vote for today, because she ran for office in France," Trump surrogate Sarah Palin wrote on <em>Breitbart News</em> in December. "Marion Marechal-Le Pen is the new deserved 'It Girl' of French politics." Marechal-Le Pen is the granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and a member of his right-wing National Front. Since early last year, <em>Breitbart News</em> has published 75 stories about the Le Pens.</p> <p>The flirtation with European ethno-nationalists by Trump and his preferred media outlet may help to legitimize their nationalism in the eyes of voters by casting it as part of a global revolt against elites. And by reinforcing the similarities between his campaign and Brexit, Trump gives his supporters hope that, as Brexit proponents did in the United Kingdom, he can overcome a seemingly insurmountable disadvantage in the polls.</p> <p>Farage drove home that very point during his morning radio interview on <em>Super Talk Mississippi</em>, contending that voters in the United Kingdom are secretly appalled at how their country has been overrun with foreigners. He spoke of his own shock at riding trains where none of the passengers spoke English. "There was an unease about this that had been building up," he told host JT Williamson. "For years, people said to me, 'Nigel, I listened to what you've got to say. I think you're right, but I dare not tell anybody because they might think I am some awful, dreadful person.' And what the Brexit vote did was give people an opportunity to express that."</p> <p>Williamson shot back appreciatively: "The similarities between that and Donald Trump are just amazing."</p> <p><em>This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Additional reporting was done by Sarah Posner, Kalen Goodluck, and Jaime Longoria.</em></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump International Top Stories Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:40:27 +0000 Josh Harkinson 312456 at Here's Some Tentative Good News on the Pre-K Front <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>I'm a big proponent of high-quality, universal pre-K. At the same time, I understand that the evidence in favor of it isn't rock solid. Overall, I think the case for pre-K is fairly strong, but it's a victim of the fact that it's really hard to conduct solid research on long-term outcomes. In particular, there's always the problem of scale: even if you get great results from a pilot program, there's no guarantee that you can scale it nationwide and still maintain the same quality. This is a particular problem with Head Start, the longest-running and best known pre-K program in the country. It <em>has</em> been scaled, but multiple studies have suggested that it's had disappointing results.</p> <p>But time marches on, and this allows us to conduct new research as Head Start kids grow up. The longer the baseline, the better chance we have to truly measure differences in children who attended Head Start. On that score, <a href="" target="_blank">we have some good news and bad news from the Hamilton Project.</a></p> <p>First the good news. The study compared children from the same families where one attended Head Start and the other didn't. Their birth cohort started in 1974, and they used the 2010 edition of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, so their oldest subjects were in their thirties. What they found was more positive than previous surveys. For example, here's the result on higher education (which includes licenses and certificates):</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hamilton_head_start_higher_education.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;"></p> <p>The Head Start kids started and completed higher education at substantially higher rates than kids who didn't attend. The study shows similar results for high school graduation.</p> <p>So that's great. But one of the things we've learned about pre-K is that its biggest impact is often on non-cognitive traits. And sure enough, the Hamilton study showed strong effects on self-control and self-esteem:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hamilton_head_start_self_control_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;"></p> <p>So what's the bad news? I should more accurately call this <em>cautionary</em> news, but take a look at those green bars. They show Head Start having a bigger effect compared to other preschools than it does compared to no preschool at all. That can only happen if the other preschools were collectively worse than doing nothing. In some cases the effect is pretty large, which in turn means these other preschools were a <em>lot</em> worse than doing nothing at all.</p> <p>This is possible, of course. But it doesn't seem all that likely, which raises questions about whether the data analysis here has some flaws. For the time being, then, I consider this tentatively positive news about Head Start. But I'll wait for other experts to review the study before I celebrate too much.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:11:14 +0000 Kevin Drum 312501 at AP Demonstrates the Perils of Being "Balanced" in the Era of Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Earlier this week the AP wrote a story delivering the astonishing news that Hillary Clinton once met with a Nobel-Prize-winning microcredit guru that she had been friends with for 30 years. This was part of a piece claiming that 85 of 154 people she met with as Secretary of State had also contributed to the Clinton Foundation. That's more than half of her meetings&mdash;except that this number doesn't count anyone in a government position, which accounts for the vast, vast majority of her meetings. They left that part out in the promotion of the piece, leading people to believe that literally half of all her meetings over four years as Secretary of State had been with Foundation donors. Then, just to add insult to injury, they refused to release the list of people she had met <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hillary_clinton_hearing.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">with, which almost certainly would have driven a stake through the entire article.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Today they followed up with this:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>It's a conspiracy: The 2016 campaign features one candidate who warned against the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and another who was a leader of the so-called "birther" movement.</p> <p>Donald Trump and his surrogates hint at a mysterious "illness" afflicting rival Hillary Clinton. Pushing back, Clinton warns of murky ties between Trump and the Russian government, insinuating that her Republican opponent may be a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin...[and] she is preparing a Reno, Nevada, address on Thursday that will accuse Trump of supporting an "alt-right" campaign that presents "a divisive and dystopian view of America."</p> <p>....She described Trump Wednesday night on CNN as a candidate who is campaigning on anger and hatred. "Donald Trump has shown us who he is and we ought to believe him," she said. "He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He has brought it into his campaign. He's bringing it to our communities and our country."</p> </blockquote> <p>So let's get this straight. Trump's conspiracy theories are (a) Obama was born in Kenya and (b) Hillary Clinton has serious health problems. Both are demonstrably untrue.</p> <p>Clinton's conspiracy theories are (a) Trump has a surprising number of Russia-friendly policies and (b) Trump appeals to angry white nationalists and uses extreme language. Both are demonstrably true.</p> <p>Ladies and gentlemen, your objective and balanced press corps at work.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:03:26 +0000 Kevin Drum 312491 at Immigration Hardliner Finds Hope in Donald Trump's Treachery <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Immigration hardliner Mark Krikorian finds a silver lining in Donald Trump's <a href="" target="_blank">ham-handed softening on immigration:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Trump probably just threw away his only remaining chance to win in November with Wednesday&rsquo;s Jeb Bush impersonation. He won the primaries with immigration control as his marquee issue; <strong>had he stuck to his guns, and still lost, the GOP Brain Trust, not to mention the Democrats, would more plausibly have been able to argue that opposition to their agenda was the reason.</strong></p> <p>....But now that he&rsquo;s channeling Little Marco and Low-Energy Jeb on immigration, that story line has evaporated....It&rsquo;s liberating, in a sense. While Trump was still clearly seen as the voice of immigration skepticism, I was worried that his oafish shenanigans would taint the immigration issue, especially if he was defeated by Hillary. But now that he&rsquo;s no longer that voice in any meaningful sense, I can watch the circus undisturbed. His defeat will be on his head alone.</p> </blockquote> <p>When a party loses an election, the arguments afterward inevitably coalesce into two sides:</p> <blockquote> <ul><li>We were too extreme. We need to move to the center.</li> <li>We were too moderate. America wants a genuine liberal/conservative.</li> </ul></blockquote> <p>Republicans have been arguing the latter for years. They've retroactively decided that George Bush wasn't a real conservative. John McCain wasn't a real conservative. Mitt Romney wasn't a real conservative.</p> <p>But Trump provides them with a problem because he's hard to pigeonhole. He's a hardline conservative on some things, but totally off the reservation on others. So if he loses, the party is going to have a bloody civil war over what to do next.</p> <p>Krikorian was worried that if an immigration hardliner lost in a landslide, Republicans would conclude that they really did need to compromise on some kind of moderate comprehensive immigration plan and put the issue behind them. He was right to be worried about this. But now he's a happy man. He can plausibly argue that Trump lost <em>because he softened on immigration</em>. This ignores the fact that Trump has been way behind in the polls ever since the conventions and was headed for defeat even before the Great Softening, but at least it's a reed he can cling to. Hope lives on.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:20:01 +0000 Kevin Drum 312486 at