Join Jim and Greg as they react to independent voters turning very negative on President Biden. They also highlight a Michigan audit showing many more nursing home deaths from COVID than Gov. Gretchen Whitmer previously admitted. And they sense Russian military activity could be coming soon in Ukraine as the U.S. considers evacuating the family members of American diplomats there.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they share three martinis with former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was also the vice presidential nominee for the Democrats in the 2000 presidential campaign. They discuss why Lieberman sees Russia and Iran as the biggest immediate threats to U.S. national security and his blunt assessments of how the Biden administration handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan and how it is approaching Iran . They also discuss why communist China is not as high among imminent threats on Lieberman’s list. And Lieberman offers his reaction to Senators Manchin and Sinema standing up against the rest of their party on the filibuster and describes what it was like for him to stand alone on the Iraq War, opposing a public option on Obamacare and more.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Ian Rowe, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation, and adoption. Ian shares his background in entrepreneurial school leadership and policy research, and how he became interested in K-12 education reform. They discuss his work to advance quality school options for poor and minority kids as CEO of Public Prep and now cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a character-based network of schools based on International Baccalaureate’s (IB) world-class curriculum. He weighs in on why policymaking around school choice and academic content has become politicized, and the kinds of content K-12 students should be taught, through the 1776 Unites project for example, to prepare for college coursework, meaningful citizenship, and pathways to prosperity.

Stories of the Week: Should the state take over management of the Boston Public Schools? A Boston Globe opinion writer makes the case, noting the disproportionately low-income and minority student population enrolled in the district’s chronically underachieving schools. A US News story highlights the benefits of high school internship programs, to help students get a head start on career preparation before college.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of a pretty big shift in political party allegiance over the past year. They also unload on the tech executive and partial owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors who coldly declared that he and most people do not care about the plight of the Uighurs in China. And they’re frustrated to learn that the gunman at the Texas synagogue hostage crisis was allowed into the U.S. despite numerous red flags.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome new Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and applaud him following up on his campaign promises on his very first day. They also credit the FBI for a successful resolution to the hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue on Saturday but then fume as the bureau, the media, and the president claim the motive for the incident is a mystery. And they hammer the Salt Lake Tribune for suggesting the national guard should be called in to make sure the unvaccinated never leave their homes.

 

The Little Ship That Did

 

By the 1820s the transatlantic slave trade was largely outlawed.  Great Britain and the US were early adaptors of its abolition. France and Spain were still winking at it (largely to twit Britain). Brazil would not outlaw the trade until 1831. Regardless, transatlantic transportation of slaves illegally continued.

“The Black Joke: The True Story of One Ship’s Battle Against the Slave Trade,” by A.E. Rooks tells of a ship instrumental in closing down this illegal traffic. Never a formally-commissioned warship in the Royal Navy, it was the vessel of Britain’s West Africa Squadron most feared by slave traders.

Rooks carries the story from Black Joke’s incorporation into the Royal Navy in 1827 through its disposal a five years later. Its career was brief, but as Rooks shows, its impact was profound.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin for refusing to eliminate or alter the filibuster despite massive pressure from their own party. They also welcome the Supreme Court’s decision striking down President Biden’s vaccine mandate on all businesses with more than 100 employees while also noting a separate decision that upheld the mandate on personnel at health care facilities. And they take a look at even more signs that Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect the stunningly horrible poll numbers for President Biden in a new poll both on key issues and his overall performance. They also shake their heads as the backlog of cargo ships off America’s west coast gets worse and worse. And they are flabbergasted as just how bad Vice President Kamala Harris is at the simplest parts of her job, like answering basic questions.

 

Destroying Not Only Our History but Our Stories

 

The Left has been relentless in its efforts to distort, remove and delegitimize the history of our country. The damage to our children and to our nation is incalculable. But I realized that losing our history for future generations is much more than removing the tales of battles, founding documents, and the contributions of our Founders.

We are losing our stories and the significant role they can play in our personal lives.

When we study our history, we learn so much more than facts and figures. When we look at the Founders, we learn not only about George Washington’s bravery, but also his modesty, even his insecurity, about his lack of formal education. We come to understand the enormous barriers that Abraham Lincoln encountered that he was prepared to overcome through his commitment to his own education and accomplishments, his bouts with depression, and living with a troubled wife. Ulysses S. Grant was not only a great general, but he suffered greatly in his witnessing of those who died on both sides of the war, the Union and the South.

After a brief discussion about outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam commenting on his blackface yearbook photo, Jim & Greg welcome polls showing just 40 percent of Michigan voters are ready to re-elect Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They also grimace as year-on-year inflation is the worst in almost 40 years. And they hammer President Biden for saying anyone not supporting the Dems’ plan on elections reform is the equivalent of George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis.

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Clayborne Carson, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and the Founding Editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. He describes the larger political and spiritual lessons Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) sought to impart regarding nonviolent protest, and the complex relationship among Dr. King, the SCLC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and less well-known civil rights figures like the late Bob P. Moses. They discuss how hymns and literary works such as Langston Hughes’s 1951 poem “Harlem (A Dream Deferred),” strongly influenced Dr. King’s sermons and speeches. Dr. Carson compares how racial issues have differed in Southern and Northern cities, noting MLK’s 1966 Chicago Campaign. They explore whether K-12 U.S. history instruction sufficiently covers the Civil Rights era compared to other important periods, and Dr. Carson offers insights on how policymakers, schools, and parents can draw on lessons from the Civil Rights era to better understand race in America. He concludes with a description of the World House Documentary Film Festival, a free, four-day webinar and virtual film festival celebrating MLK, beginning on January 14th.

Stories of the Week: In London, staff shortages from a spike in COVID cases have forced many early education programs to reduce their hours of operation or close. In an era in which technology is replacing books, how can we ensure our children develop the habits that lead to lifelong reading? An EdWeek story explores this question, which is important because long-form and pleasure reading are linked with higher academic performance.

Jim & Greg welcome the return of in-person schooling to Chicago after a four-day hissy fit from the Chicago Teachers Union. They also sigh as President Biden reportedly makes no progress in trying to deter Russian military action in Ukraine. And the Biden administration gets caught flat-footed again as out supply chain problems grow.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Senate Republicans making their decisions about running in 2022 and with two incumbents deciding to run again, the GOP odds of taking the majority probably improved. They also fume as New York City Mayor Eric Adams decides to support a city council resolution allowing 800,000 non-citizens in the city to vote in municipal elections. And they’re stunned as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor claims – in oral arguments – that 100,000 kids are seriously ill with COVID and that many of them are on ventilators. None of that is anywhere close to accurate.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that Senate Dems have virtually no hope of advancing their bill to federalize elections and BBB isn’t faring any better. They wince as the December jobs report once again comes in way below expectations. And they throw up their hands as Connecticut orders COVID-positive patients into nursing homes.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching the left openly fight over whether schools should have in-person instruction right now. They also cringe as Russia send troops into Kazakhstan to help crush protesters. And they discuss the January 6th anniversary and why one critical figure has never been found.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Johan Norberg, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Open: The Story of Human Progress. They discuss the many ways in which America is better off because it has been open to the exchange of ideas and skills that created cures, machinery, and technology. However, Norberg cautions that progress is limited as a result of the current obsession with “borders”: sovereign nations, state borders, and rules and regulations that differ even by neighborhood and restrict what we can do. If history is a guide, openness and diversity mean faster progress, innovation, and entrepreneurship. But, he warns, America is already losing ground –  entrepreneurs and inventors are going elsewhere, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

Guest:

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Bari Weiss, former New York Times op-ed editor and writer, and author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism. Bari shares what motivated her to write this book, its reception, and key lessons for teachers and students alike.

She also explains why we’re now seeing a rise in anti-Semitism, how educators can best combat it, and the connection she observes between the current upsurge in anti-Semitism and cancel culture. Bari discusses her experiences on the editorial boards of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and her courageous decision to resign from the Times, as well as the public praise and criticism she’s encountered since her resignation.