Milwaukee Parents Petition Archbishop to Remove Common Core from Catholic Classrooms


One thousand Catholic parents have signed a petition asking Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki to remove the Common Core learning standards from the Catholic schools under his supervision.

Members of “Milwaukee Catholic Parents Against Common Core” say the nationalized math and English learning standards are experimental and poorly researched, based on “secular” values, and could undermine the independence of the private religious schools.

“Many Catholic parents share the sentiments of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the Common Core was developed for a ‘public school audience’ and is ‘of its nature incomplete as it pertains to Catholic schools,’” the parents write in a press release.

The parents are also miffed that Archbishop Listecki adopted the standards without first getting their input. Catholic schools in the Milwaukee archdiocese began using the one-size-fits-all standards – which dictate the concepts that must be taught at each grade level – last fall.

“The other four dioceses in the state have decided to not adopt the Common Core standards,” the parents note in their press release.

One of the petitioners, Abby Figi, is so troubled by Listecki’s decision that she’s pulling her three children out of Catholic school and will begin home-schooling them, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Considering that Listecki has publicly defended the Common Core standards as merely a “reference point” for the estimated 132 K-12 schools under his stewardship, it will probably take a mass student exodus to get him to change his mind.
[Read more…]

Census Report Day 2: The Shameful Results of the Congressional Black Caucus

The Census Studies–


In late March 2014 the Associated Press (AP) reported that eight of ten US House of Representative Districts with the highest annual mean incomes were districts held by Democrats.

This was somewhat surprising as the media constantly labels Republicans “the party of the rich.”  The article went on to list the top ten Congressional Districts predominantly on the East and West Coasts and led by several well known and very liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Jerry Nadler.

In response to this article, we decided to review the most recent Census data ourselves and see what other items of interest might be found hidden in this data.

Progressives Today first collected the 2012 US census data housed at the government census site.  We also obtained a list of Congressional Representatives and their party affiliation from the US Congressional website for the 113th Congress voted into office starting in 2012 and combined these files into one massive spreadsheet to obtain relationships.

Yesterday Progressives Today reported:
** 36 of the poorest 39 districts in the US are Democrat districts
** The Middle Class – Working Class districts in the US are represented by Republicans by a two-to-one ratio

Today we are releasing part II of our US Census investigation:
The Failures of the Black Caucus

black caucus
One-third of the Congressional Black Caucus members have been named in an ethics probe during their career.

The Congressional Black Caucus claims to bring positive change to issues of social and economic injustice. But they represent many of the poorest districts in America.

Here is what Progressives Today found on the Black Caucus in America:

Black Caucus districts have a high percentage of people who have public health coverage
· Black Caucus districts correlate highly with those who have public health coverage (25%) while the remaining districts correlate highly with those who have private health insurance (33%).

Black Caucus districts have a high percentage of poor people
· Black Caucus districts correlate highly with those with household incomes less than $10,000 a year (46%) and incomes of $10,000 to $14,999 a year (27%). All of the 14 categories for families whose incomes are less than the poverty level correlate with the Black Caucus districts. Of the fourteen categories, only three are not highly correlated (i.e less than 25%) with the Black Caucus districts.

Black Caucus districts have a high number of high school dropouts
· Of the 16 education categories, the only category that correlates highly with the Black Caucus districts is the category for those with a 9th to 12th grade education and no diploma (29%).

Black Caucus districts have low rent housing
· All of the ten rent categories correlate with Black Caucus districts with three categories correlating highly: rent less than $200 a month (36%); rent between $200 and $299 a month (31%); and, rent between $750 and $999 a month (37%).

Black Caucus districts have fewer home owners
· Of the 45 housing categories, there is a high correlation between houses that are renter occupied with Black Caucus districts (37%) while there is a high correlation between houses that are owner occupied with districts other than Black Caucus districts (35%). Overall there is little in common with home ownership and Black Caucus districts.

Black Caucus districts have a high number of unemployed workers
· Of the 41 job related categories only employment status unemployed (49%), employment status percent unemployed (44%), jobs related to service occupations (25%), and jobs with commutes using public transportation (not taxis) (25%), are highly correlated with Black Caucus districts.

Black Caucus districts have a high percentage of blacks (no surprise)
· Of the 51 categories that relate to race, ancestry and origin, three highly correlate with the Black Caucus member led districts: ancestry – sub-Saharan African (47%), West Indian (36%) and Black or African American (74%). The Black or African American category is also significantly related to the Black Caucus districts.

These results paint a bleak picture for the Congressional Black Caucus led districts. Overall, their constituents are black, poor, have low incomes, and rely on the government for their health care. They rent rather than own, are high school dropouts and are unemployed. Many constituents work in service positions and take public transportation to and from work. Clearly, the Democratic Party has failed these Americans.

** Check out Progressives Today on Friday for our exclusive coverage of US Census data.

Today’s report by Joe Hoft and Jim Hoft

Breaking: #VAScandal White House OMB Officials KNEW of Veteran Deaths in South Carolina

Guest Post by Constitution Warrior

The following report is the most horrendous and damning VA Inspector General Report I have found.

image 1

Report No. 12-04631-313
Healthcare Inspection
Gastroenterology Consult Delays
William Jennings Bryan Dorn
VA Medical Center
Columbia, South Carolina
September 6, 2013

Executive Summary

The VA Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections conducted a review to evaluate policies and practices related to gastroenterology (GI) consult and resource management at the William Jennings Bryan (WJB) Dorn VA Medical Center (the facility) in Columbia, SC. The purpose of the review was to determine whether deficient practices contributed to or caused delays in care, and whether facility leaders appropriately addressed clinical managers’ concerns.

We substantiated the allegations and found additional factors that contributed to the events. Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and facility leaders became aware of the GI consult backlog in July 2011 involving 2,500 delayed consults, 700 of them “critical.” A funding request was made at that time and the VISN awarded the facility $1.02M for fee colonoscopies in September 2011. However, facility leaders did not assure that a structure for tracking and accountability was in place and by December, the backlog stood at 3,800 delayed GI consults. The facility developed an action plan in January 2012 but had difficulty making progress in reducing the backlog. An adverse event in May 2012 prompted facility leaders to re-evaluate the GI situation, and facility, VISN, and Veterans Health Administration leaders aggressively pursued elimination of the backlog. This was essentially accomplished by late October 2012. However, during the review “look-back” period, 280 patients were diagnosed with GI malignancies, 52 of which had been associated with a delay in diagnosis and treatment. The facility completed 19 institutional disclosures and 3 second-level reviews are still pending. As of May 2013, nine patients and/or their families had filed lawsuits.

A confluence of factors contributed to the GI delays and hampered efforts to improve the condition. Specifically, the facility’s Planning Council did not have a supportive structure; Nursing Service did not hire GI nurses timely; the availability of Fee Basis care had been reduced; low-risk patients were being referred for screening colonoscopies, thus increasing demand; staff members did not consistently and correctly use the consult management reporting and tracking systems; critical VISN and facility leadership positions were filled by a series of managers who often had collateral duties and differing priorities; and Quality Management was not included in discussions about the GI backlogs.

The GI consult backlog has been the subject of multiple reviews and recommendations, and overall, the conditions have improved and the GI backlog has resolved. However, continued vigilance is needed to ensure that the conditions do not recur. We recommended that the VISN, in accordance with the Administrative Investigative Board conclusions and recommendations, take appropriate action in relationship to facility leadership deficits contributing to the GI consult backlog.

The VISN Director concurred with our recommendation and provided an acceptable action plan. (See Appendixes A, pages 15–17 for the Director’s comments.) We will follow up on the planned actions until they are completed.

Assistant Inspector General for Healthcare Inspections

Read Entire Report Here

When the VA Office of the Inspector General – OIG conducts this type of Inspection, the Final Report is then distributed. At the end of the Report is the Distribution List.

This Report was Distributed to the Following:

Appendix D
Report Distribution

VA Distribution

Office of the Secretary
Veterans Health Administration
Assistant Secretaries
General Counsel
Director, VA Southeast Health Care Network (10N7)
Director, WJB Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC (544/00)

Non-VA Distribution

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and
Related Agencies
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and
Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
National Veterans Service Organizations
Government Accountability Office
Office of Management and Budget
U.S. Senate: Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott
U.S. House of Representatives: James E. Clyburn, Joe Wilson

image 2

As you can see from the Distribution List not only was the Report sent to the OMB Office at the White House it was sent to every Congressional Committee having Jurisdiction and Oversight of the VA. If anyone on the Distribution list claims to have not known about the Situation at Dorn VA Medical Center, WHY NOT?

None of the Leadership of Dorn VAMC was disciplined appropriately. Only the Center Director and Chief of Staff were replaced, but not Terminated.

Rebecca Wiley, Former Medical Director of Dorn VA Medical Center, has since Retired
Barbara Temeck, M.D., Former Chief of Staff of Dorn VA Medical Center, Currently Practicing Medicine St. Louis VA Medical Center
Ruth Mustard, RN, Current Director for Patient Care/Nursing Services of Dorn VA Medical Center,
David L. Omura, Current Associate Director of Dorn VA Medical Center
Jon Zivony, Current Assistant Director of Dorn VA Medical Center,
The VA suffers from systemic problems which have been identified many times over the decades. Very rarely is anyone held accountable or does anyone take responsibility as can be seen by the situation at Dorn VAMC.


As a 21+ year Veteran of the US Army and Army National Guard, I am just too angry to detail everything. But I will say I am tired of the “well we fixed it” attitude of the VA while no one is held accountable. The VA is NEVER “fixed”.

Louisiana lawmakers pass bill to bar Planned Parenthood from state’s classrooms


Louisiana’s classrooms will soon be off-limits to representatives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that financially profit from abortion.

On Tuesday, the Louisiana Senate gave final approval to a bill that prohibits individuals linked to groups with a financial incentive to promote abortion from distributing health information in schools, the Associated Press reports.

The measure passed both chambers of the Louisiana State Legislature by a combined vote of 122-11, and is expected to be officially signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal in the coming days, reports.

While the legislation does not identify Planned Parenthood by name, it’s widely understood lawmakers had that group in mind when they wrote the bill – and for good reason.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has amassed a stunning fortune – with reported assets of more than $1.6 billion – in large part by killing unborn children. A recent report reveals Planned Parenthood aborted 327,166 babies in the year ending Sept. 30, 2012.

Some hardcore progressives are upset that Planned Parenthood won’t be allowed to disperse its propaganda and troll for clients in Louisiana’s schools anymore.
[Read more…]

Women’s Advocate Says a Higher Minimum Wage Won’t Pull People out of Poverty

myth debunked

Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, debunks the idea that an increased minimum wage will help millions escape poverty.


President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would increase earnings for 16.5 million Americans but eliminate about 500,000 jobs, budget analysts say.

Schaeffer called the claim that minimum-wage earners live in poverty a myth.

“The reason people live in poverty is not because of low-wage jobs,” said Shaeffer during an appearance on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV. “It’s because they don’t have paid, consistent work.

“The fact is that only 9 percent of people living in poverty had full-time work last year. Similarly, 67 percent didn’t have work at all, so the big issue is job creation. That’s what would really help.”

Schaeffer said some Republicans are getting behind a minimum-wage hike for the wrong reasons.

“It sounds compassionate, it sounds nice, but the bottom line is … what this would do to younger workers,” she said. “The fact is that the people who would be hurt the most are those with the least amount of experience, the least amount to lose, so to speak.

“Entry-level jobs, which are often minimum-wage-earning jobs, give people much more than just the salary. These are critical skill-learning opportunities.”

The loss of jobs that would occur with the minimum wage hike would adversely affect the female workforce, she added.

“The reason it would hurt women in particular is that women account for nearly two-thirds of part-time workers and these workers are a lot more likely to be making minimum wage. They’re also a lot more likely to have their jobs cut, if need be, so women are definitely much more vulnerable to job losses.”

Michigan’s Full-Time Legislature Debates Burning Issues Such as State Cherry, Official Frog

Michigan tartan testimony
(video screengrab)

State government can become a self-important ecosystem all on its own, and there is no better example than Michigan’s full-time legislature.

Michigan Capitol Confidential’s Michael Lafaive reports:

While pondering all of the reasons the state House should not have approved a $195 million partial bailout of the Motor City Thursday, I couldn’t help but think aloud (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) what a blessing it is to have a full-time, highly-paid Legislature.

How else might Lansing politicians have the time to both confiscate more taxpayer wealth to reward bad behavior in Detroit, and then debate and determine — with the wisdom of Solomon — which Michigan frog should be the state’s “official” amphibian. …

There have been discussions in Lansing over official Scottish tartans (check out the video below), the official cherry of Michigan and — one of my personal favorites — that Iosco County — and no other Michigan county — should be declared the official birding capital of Michigan.

Bills in previous years sought to spell out which party gains custody of pets in a divorce.

Unsurprisingly, there is an effort to create a part-time legislature.

Under Obamanomics, the Rich Get Richer While the Poor Get Poorer

work for food

For all of President Obama’s talk about income equality and his “progressive” economic agenda, financial experts are making it clear his policies are eroding the middle class and stunting job growth.

Fewer jobs, stalled economic recovery, declining middle class incomes, larger income disparity, and rising corporate profits are all hallmarks of the “Obamanomics” policies implemented by the president during his first five years in office, according to Forbes contributor and policy analyst Peter Ferrara.

“The National Bureau of Economic Research officially scored the recession as ending in June 2009, still the longest recession since the Great Depression at 18 months. President Obama’s responsibility was to adopt the pro-growth policies that would generate a timely, robust recovery,” Ferrara wrote. “But he has consistently followed the opposite, anti-growth policies, producing the worst recovery since the Great Depression, as economist John Lott originally noted.”

Ferrara explained that the pattern of American history shows that the worse the recession the stronger the recovery, and the Obama administration planned to ride the economic recovery into a second term.

But that pattern was upended by “progressive” economic policies, implemented by the president, that have taken the biggest toll on the middle class he promised to help.
[Read more…]

The Consumer Wins in Illinois: Legislative Committee Defeats a Progressive Plan to Add a Big New Tax on Soft Drinks


Just as First Lady Michele Obama fights to defend her failed school lunch nutritional standards, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio talks about renewing the effort to ban large soft drinks, we learn that the Illinois legislature came dangerously close to passing a big new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.


A panel of House lawmakers today voted down a proposal to impose a tax of one penny per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages, saying it would have cost consumers an extra $2.88 per case of soda. Sponsoring Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, said she hoped the tax would generate up to $600 million a year in a state grappling for new dollars while steering people away from unhealthy drinks linked to obesity and diabetes.

Progressives in Illinois must be crushed by the defeat of this legislation. It had everything they could possibly want in a bill – it created more revenue for more big government giveaway programs, and penalized citizens for using products that progressives don’t approve of.

Those in government really need to get a simple fact through their do-gooder heads – Americans live in a free country, which was established on the principle of personal liberty. That means they should have a right (at the very least) to eat and drink what they want without having to be penalized in the form of taxes.

But honestly, does anyone really believe progressives care about “steering people away” from unhealthy foods as much as they care about finding new sources of government spending money? They know Americans are addicted to carbonated drinks and will continue to buy them, despite the cost. That’s why they wanted the tax increase.

It won’t be long before they start targeting potato chips and other forms of junk food, based on the argument that they drive up health care costs.

Thank goodness there were representatives on duty in Illinois who were genuinely on the lookout for consumers. They realized that people will drink soda, anyway, and new taxes would only hurt family budgets. They didn’t try to use the tax system to dictate to citizens what they should drink. They simply voted against a measure that would unnecessarily hurt their pocketbooks.

That’s the proper role of government.

Disney Injects Global Warming Alarmism into Kids Show

crying kid

My wife doesn’t like the pre-teen Disney shows because they portray parents and adults as buffoons who are just laughed at. She believes parents are to be respected by their children and thus, Disney’s shows are not modeling proper respect. Needless to say, our kids don’t consume those shows.

Apparently some of the seemingly-innocent Disney shows for younger kids are to be avoided, too.

A new episode of “Doc McStuffins” – a girl that treats injured stuffed animals that have come to life – is based on a thunderstorm approaching her area.

That seems harmless.

But when the main character gathers the animals to tell them it might get a little scary, one says, “As the earth gets warmer and warmer, big storms get bigger and bigger.” It’s within the first two minutes of the episode.

The global warming alarmists can’t even keep their hands off kids’ TV.

Pelosi’s Fix for Obamacare is VA-style Health Care

Nancy Pelosi

If you love the VA scandal, you’ll love Nancy Pelosi’s solution to fix Obamacare.

Townhall’s Guy Benson reports:

Democrats find themselves torn between two O-Care narratives, which exist in tension with one another.  Safe liberals like Pelosi can cheerfully indulge the delusion of Obamacare’s glittering success, while more vulnerable members and candidates seek refuge in the “fix it, don’t nix it” camp.  In a nod to reality, Pelosi acknowledges there may be some elements to “improve upon”…

PELOSI: I had some of my own suggestions that I couldn’t get through in the first round

KLEIN: How would you like to see it improved?

PELOSI: Well of course I wanted single-payer, and I wanted a public option. But that not being in the mix, uh, you have to prioritize what it is you want to get over the finish line.  And now let’s refine and improve — and some of that relates to how it is implemented, so you see how it is implemented.

The phrase “first round” is telling. Obamacare has never been the end game for elite lefties, and they haven’t been especially shy about saying so — even though they occasionally squeal about “smears” if you read back their own verbatim quotes. Pelosi understands that a full-blown government system isn’t “in the mix” at the moment, so she concedes that settling for Statist incrementalism is the only viable path forward.

Here’s Pelosi’s comment from an exchange with Ezra Klein:

Continue reading here.