Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Larry Craig's political career came to a screeching halt when he was caught, by an undercover police officer, soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport. Prior to his arrest, Larry Craig was known as a socially conservative member of the Senate who supported legislation designed to oppress homosexuals. Therefore it is not the fact that he was soliciting sex from men in a public bathroom that inspired people to call for his resignation, but the hypocrisy of making life harder for homosexuals while simultaneously engaging in the aforementioned activity.
Nevada's John Ensign was in similar hot water after it was revealed that he had carried on an affair with the wife of one of his closest staffers. Beyond the simple "you're having an affair with the wife of a very close friend/colleague" Senator Ensign had been an outspoken critic of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky fiasco. In calling for the President Clinton to resign, he said the behavior was an embarrassment to the country.
The key difference here, besides the lack of extramarital sex on Congressman Weiner's part, is that Anthony Weiner has not built his career by attacking adulterers or as some self-righteous social conservative. Unlike Eliot Spitzer who was cracking down on prostitution rings while sleeping with prostitutes, Anthony Weiner doesn't have any public history of targeting lewd tweeters.
That being said it is extraordinarily upsetting, as a progressive, to see yet another politician on the left, who was fighting the good fight, allow his selfishness and his hubris to distract him from the job he was sent to Washington to do. I don't care what anyone tweets, emails, writes on facebook, or sends through ICQ (remember ICQ?) but politicians need to realize that this kind of crap will become public, and it will derail the important work they are doing.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Releasing President Obama's Birth Certificate
uhm...we'll come back to this one
Oh, I know, it will put the issue to rest once and for all (how did that go dummy?)
It's not going to change anyone's mind
-Birthers will be birthers. A PDF of a birth certificate is only going to give them more things to talk about
-People who claim Obama is an illegitimate president aren't going to vote for him even if a video is released showing the live birth taking place on the steps of the Hawaii State Capitol
It gives new life to the story
It shows Obama gave in to Trump's public pressure which
a) Makes Obama look weak
b) Gives Trump's demands appear legitimate
It opens the Administration up to criticism for spending money to fly someone to and from Hawaii to get the document
The GOP look like a bunch of lunatics calling for his birth certificate...any of them that are serious rivals for the general election will suffer in the primaries if they denounce the birthers.
Had his advisors taken a few moments to look at the pros and cons, I don't understand how they could possibly have agreed to do this. It simply shows, once again, that Democrats have the worst strategists. It's a really good thing that the GOP field is so full of unelectable candidates or the White House would probably go back to them in 2012.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
To progressive Americans, this comes as no surprise as we have been yelling as loud and as often as we could for the past 10 years. Americans are sick and tired of seeing massive tax cuts benefiting the likes of Warren Buffet, Steve Forbes, and the Walton Family, while the middle class sees its wages frozen and its benefits being chipped away.
As much as it pains me to borrow from the GOP talking points, this really does highlight a massive failure of leadership from President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the previous Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. All three of them had the means to cut out the tax cuts for the richest 1% at any point in time between January 2009 and December 2010. This could have been their big election issue going into last Fall. They could have forced Republicans to vote NO on tax cuts for the middle class and held their feet to the fire...but instead they blinked as they always do.
The excuses that have come out of the Democratic party since the Fall elections have been that they had to act to save tax relief for the middle class. But that's only because they failed to act on it sooner. The first day back after the summer recess Democrats should have been hammering away at the GOP to pass tax relief for the middle class and the middle class only. Leave out the estate tax breaks that will save the Walton family over $34 billion. Forget about the keeping the marginal tax rates for the richest 1% lower than it's ever been since the creation of the income tax (it's not like any of them pay that rate anyway http://bit.ly/dL6mer).
But no, that's not what they did. Instead, Obama, Reid and Pelosi tried to hang on by moving to the center. And we saw how well that worked out for the Donkey. One would think after the "shellacking" Obama and the Dems took in 2010 they would find some new vocabulary and really hammer home to people the importance of getting tax rates back to at least where they were under Clinton, if not pushing them back to where they were under the great Conservative himself, Ronald Reagan. As Anthony Weiner said to Mike Huckabee "why should the guy working 70 hours a week on a construction job pay a bigger percentage in taxes than the do-nothing child of a millionaire who inherits a massive fortune?" (It's a really great clip: Anthony Weiner vs Mike Huckabee)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thankfully, Diane Ravitch just posted a blog entry on The Daily Beast, that continues to question Rhee's "education celebrity" status. Let's just hope that more people wise up and realize that evaluating teachers based on which bubbles their students fill in will encourage them to get the right bubbles dark, even if it means doing some erasing.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
On Saturday, March 12th, the Arab League urged the United Nations to vote on imposing a “no-fly zone” over Libya, to protect the civilians and the rebel forces in the eastern half of the country. Since then, a “no-fly zone” was authorized with notable abstentions coming from Brazil, Germany, Russia and China. But as France took to the skies to patrol the airspace around Benghazi, and British and American cruise missiles began to pound anti-air installations, the absence of any Arab military taking part in the “no-fly zone” is precisely the mistake that Western countries should have known to avoid by now.
For the last 30 years, America has given Egypt billions of dollars so that they could strengthen their armed forces ($1.3 billion just last year). With those billions of our tax payer dollars, Hosni Mubarak has purchased hundreds of F15 and F16 fighter jets, and still more are on their way from Lockheed Martin. Yet despite all of this military hardware at their disposal, and despite joining the call for a “no-fly zone” to be imposed, the military leadership in Egypt did not contribute to the imposition of the operation.
Nor did the Saudis who are another large purchaser of American military hardware, and who would have a much shorter flight for their sorties than the American bombers taking off from Missouri. What is the point of purchasing all of those weapons if they are unwilling to use them even when they are calling for military action? Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy should have told the Arab League to put its money where its mouth was and fly a few missions over Libyan skies.
One could call it a missed opportunity by the Obama administration, or, as his supporters have come to realize, just business as usual at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Ravitch: The Problem with Teach For America
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch on her Bridging Differences blog, which she co-authors with Deborah Meier on the Education Week website. Ravitch and Meier exchange letters about what matters most in education. Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is the author of the bestselling “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” an important critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Mr. Russell would probably be thrilled to see America’s public schools fall into the dustbin of history. To that end his creative use of statistics is helpful in making his case against the institution that conservatives have been weakening since Reagan came into office.
To mention that federal spending on elementary and secondary education has gone up 260% since the 1970s ignores the following:
1) Prior to 1965 there was virtually no federal spending on education
2) A fair amount of the money spent since 1970 has gone to wealthy districts/schools while skipping over poor/struggling districts
3) Much of the progress that was being made in the 70s was wiped out by Reagan’s gutting of the department of Education
Of course words like “school choice” sound great because who doesn’t like options, but research has shown Charter schools are not a magic bullet. More than half of all Charter schools are worse/no better than public schools.
The problems that our public schools face is that the worst schools are filled with students whose parents lack the political power to ensure proper funding, teachers, facilities, and supplies. By allowing vouchers and the exodus of students that would follow, this problem would only be exacerbated, leaving those most vulnerable in our society with no education.
Instead of hollowing out our public schools with vouchers, funding them with appropriate student weighting (more money for special education, English Language Learners, impoverished/homeless children) would do far more to improve the quality of education in this country.