President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. WASHINGTON — Shortly after President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden on Thursday and announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, a pair of White House officials spoke with reporters about the move.
Donations and volunteer sign-ups to Meals on Wheels surged, the group said Friday, in the hours after President Trump’s administration pointed to the public-private partnership as an example of government spending it can no longer defend. “We received 50 times the normal amount of donations yesterday,” said Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels. The group also “saw an almost 500 percent jump in volunteer sign-ups through our AmericaLetsDoLunch.org Ad Council website,” Bertolette said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that there’s “no question” there are allies of former President Barack Obama who are “burrowed into government” and working to push a liberal “agenda.” Spicer’s comments came after Yahoo News asked if the White House believes there’s a “deep state” that is actively working to undermine President Trump. “Well, I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office that there are people who stay in government … and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer said.
President Trump and Republicans in Congress tried to regain the initiative Wednesday in the battle over health care, seeking to recover from the withering criticism of their rollout of a replacement for Obamacare. To that end, they went after the Congressional Budget Office, which is still days away from releasing its analysis of the Republican bill. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during Wednesday’s briefing with reporters.
theodp writes: “Since we launched We the People in 2011,” wrote the White House last month, “millions of Americans have engaged with their government on the issues that matter to them. This groundbreaking online platform has made petitioning the government, a First Amendment right, more accessible than ever. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has taken a stance on a number of causes that citizens really care about and used the We the People petition platform to voice their concerns.” Sounds good, but even if the White House is listening to We the People petitions, as it assured skeptics, one wonders what — and who — exactly they are listening to. Petitions suffer from being aye-only, lack identity and location verification, and appear to have other data quality issues. One attempting to explore the petition data for the 67,022-and-counting signers of a new petition urging a quick response to a court decision that could cut the time international STEM students can work in the U.S. on student visas after graduation, for example, would be stymied by thousands of missing and non-U.S. postal codes. Plotting what location info is available does show that the petitioners are clustered around tech and university hubs, hardly a surprise, but it sheds no context on whether these represent corporate, university, and/or international student interests.
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theodp writes: Educational technology has been stuck for awhile, laments Hack Education’s Audrey Watters in And So, Without Ed-Tech Criticism… (an accompanying 1984 photo of Watters making a LOGO turtle draw a square looks little different than President Obama ‘learning to code’ 30+ years later by making a Disney Princess draw a square). “We might consider why we’re still at the point of having to make a case for ed-tech criticism,” writes Watters. “It’s particularly necessary as we see funding flood into ed-tech, as we see policies about testing dictate the rationale for adopting devices, as we see the technology industry shape a conversation about ‘code’ — a conversation that focuses on money and prestige but not on thinking, learning. Computer criticism can — and must — be about analysis and action.”
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