Medicare Advantage Serves Retired Educators Well

As a retired educator and President of the NC Retired School Personnel, I know how important health care is to retired educators across the state. After retirement, we want to continue to live comfortably, independently, and safely. That is made possible through my state health care plan on Medicare Advantage.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


TRUTH, TAXES, AND SENATOR BUDD'S FIB: Ted Budd doesn't want folks to pay the share of taxes the law says they owe. He doesn’t want those people who need help from the tax collector – the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service, to have adequate staff to help people with questions or to make sure they don’t pay a penny more or less than what is due. He wants it to be more difficult for those who have questions or who need help to get it. He wants to make it easier for people to cheat on their taxes -- forcing the rest of us honest folks to take up the burden of supporting the nation --- including the tax scofflaws Budd cares so much more about. Budd is dishonest. He says there's going to be 87,000 new IRS tax collectors invading people's homes and offices. The truth, as Budd SHOULD well know it, is very different. The additional money, in the Inflation Reduction Act, provides money to modernize the IRS and make sure there are enough workers to REPLACE about 50,000 in the agency’s workforce expected to retire or leave in the next six years. That is a problem having a huge impact as well on local, state and national public AND private employers. The additional workers will largely bolster direct services to those who need assistance or have questions of the agency. The truth means little (or nothing) to people like Ted Budd, whose entire political platform is based on misconceptions about what government does or should do. That comes from owing fealty to people like Grover Norquist and other dark money mages, who don't give a damn about 98% of American citizens. You get what somebody else pays for.

Psychological analysis of violent extremism


Can you recognize this signature?

Across all ideologies investigated by the researchers, people who endorsed “extreme pro-group action”, including ideologically-motivated violence against others, had a surprisingly consistent psychological profile.

The extremist mind – a mixture of conservative and dogmatic psychological signatures – is cognitively cautious, slower at perceptual processing and has a weaker working memory. This is combined with impulsive personality traits that seek sensation and risky experiences.

The first thing that crossed my mind is somebody who misses the funniest part of a joke, or wildly misinterprets the joke. I must admit I often throw something out when I first meet somebody, in an unconscious(?) attempt to gauge their personality. It's a faulty, self-centered approach, because you have no way of knowing what they're dealing with at the time. But it is surprisingly accurate. Here's more on their findings:

Sunday News: From the Editorial Pages


WHAT NC'S REGIONAL TEACHERS OF THE YEAR WANT YOU TO KNOW: Clinton Todd: "I would want our audience to know that our most underrepresented populations have value and worth, and there's so much potential there if we just invest and take that time and energy and place it in the places where it's most important." Ashtyn Berry: "There's room for duality. I'm going to quote Dr. Graham ... and I'm going to say that the issues that the general public is seeing with public education are systemic and structural. However, it is so, so important to look at schools and speak about schools through an asset-based lens right now. Otherwise, this issue of retaining teachers and recruiting teachers is not going to get better." Ryan Mitchell: "There's a lot of talk about learning loss and deficits and it's important to have that asset-minded mindset. ... I want the public to know that we are working. We are working. I have been to a bunch of schools as a part of this opportunity as a teacher of the year and in every school I go in teaching, our teachers are working so hard. I'm here at school right now and I am not the last car in the parking lot. And that is not something that's unique to my school. So trust us, work with us, let's be partners in the educational process, and let's do what's best for kids." NC is still in the bottom quartile on per-student spending, and that could easily be addressed by shifting some of the surplus revenues. But the GOP majority stubbornly refuses to do what the courts have directed them to, and instead have done their level best to turn parents against teachers. Shame on them.

Dark Robinson

How can a black man be a racist? For Mark Robinson, it’s easy. Here’s Frank Bruni’s take on the matter.


"The 2024 governor’s race in North Carolina just got underway. You care.

"Not because this state is the nation’s ninth most populous, though that’s reason enough. But because what happens here is a referendum on how low Republicans will sink and how far they can nonetheless get.

21st Century extremism: Tracking the Proud Boys


Not all heroes wear capes and fly around:

All five Proud Boys on trial this month in the Justice Department’s landmark seditious conspiracy prosecution were in Squire’s original data set. Another member who pleaded guilty and is expected to testify previously filmed himself railing against Squire on social media, and posted her private information on Telegram in retaliation for her research.

After years of observing Proud Boys act as if they’re above the law, Squire said, the trial offers the promise of long-awaited accountability. “This is where you end up when you’re in this movement. It’s not going to end well,” she said. “To use their own favorite expression: You eff around, and you find out.”

Yanno, folks on the right like to throw the word "Patriot" around to sauce up their gun fetishism, but Megan is what I consider a true patriot. Using her skills to protect the wider public from unhinged and dangerous people, even though she knows that comes with a serious risk:


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