Democrats' "New Direction" Utilizes Wrong Compass

Democratic leaders announced earlier this week their “New Direction for America” platform. Senator Harry Reid claimed the plan will “intend to tackle the issues that matter most” — minimum wage, student loans, prescription drugs, and alternative energy sources. But, are these the issues that matter most for voters?

Let's see:

A new NBC poll released earlier this week reveals the two top concerns among Americans are Iraq and immigration. Therefore, it is surprising to find immigration as not a major issue for the "new direction" Democrats plan to steer America. Although Iraq is on everybody's mind, its course of history, obviously, is out of politicians hands. A lone Senator or Congressman cannot thwart the insurgency or strengthen Iraqi unity. Immigration, on the other hand, is in the control of a politician.

Most Americans think like this: Democrats support illegal aliens and Republicans don't. At least that's the reputation each party has gained. And right now, a majority of Americans do not want illegal aliens given amnesty or any social services.

  • In New York, thirty-nine percent of voters polled believe illegal immigration in New York State is a very serious problem.
  • In Nebraska, GOP Gov. Dave Heineman defeated Tom Osborne -- a well known football coach and former congressman -- in the primaries. A major factor in Heineman's victory was his opposition to giving children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition. Stan Sipple, a Republican voter, of Lincoln, Neb. claimed Heineman's immigration view "was a tipping point."
  • In Pennsylvania, "immigration - to be precise, illegal immigration - suddenly is topic No. 1 in the contentious U.S. Senate race."
  • In California, Republican Brian Bilbray claimed that "illegal immigration was the sole issue that brought him victory in last week's special election."
  • In Alabama, a new Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll proves how unpopular illegal immigration is.
  • In Utah, five-term Republican Rep. Chris Cannon feels the heat from challenger John Jacob. Jacob, opposing amnesty for illegal aliens, has blasted Cannon's pro-illegal immigration stance and would not have "drawn more delegate support than Cannon at the May state Republican convention were it not for dissent over Cannon’s views on the hot-button issue of immigration."
  • In North Carolina, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry claims, "My constituents are outraged by the Senate's actions. I hear about it when I'm at the supermarket, when I am getting gas, when I'm doing constituent meetings. To a person, they mention immigration as a top-tier issue. And I've yet to hear one constituent say anything positive about the Senate bill."

There is no other issue that holds as much weight as immigration right now. Democrats must gain 15 seats in the House and 6 seats in the Senate to cripple Republican control. The number of seats is small, and if a few rebel Democrats go against their party line to suck up anti-illegal immigration Republican votes, they may be able to win control of Congress and awaken the other half of Republicans supporting amnesty. But, if the Democrats don't do this and are kept from staking out a majority in the House or Senate, their stance on immigration will have been a major preventative.

Posted by Mike Tate at June 17, 2006 12:44 AM
Comments
Comment #158580

Immigration was supposed to be the GOP Wedge Issue this Election. Much like Gay Marriage was the “critical issue” last election.

Unfortunately, the GOP never calculated the uprising of the Latinos over immigration. So now, its back to Gays, Queers and Flags. Oh… and War on Terror, ofcourse.

Wedge Issues are crap issues Republicans use to delude the Electorate.

Minimum wage, student loans, prescription drugs, and alternative energy sources are the real problems that exist.

That and the GOP Deficit, ofcourse.

Posted by: Aldous at June 17, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #158593

Aldous said:

“Minimum wage, student loans, prescription drugs, and alternative energy sources are the real problems that exist.”

Right-of-Way responds:

So, the Dems think America’s future rests on the shoulders of part-time fast-food employees who can’t pay their government-backed student loans because they spent too much in college on “medical” marijuana and their new Prius?

Now, I get this New Direction concept. Brilliant!

Yeah, I can see the landslide forming just off the horizon, Aldous. :-)

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #158595

What? No mention of global warming? Al Gore must be spinning in his hydroponic tomato patch.

Don’t the Dems know we’re all doomed to an environmental cataclysm?

Polls show immigration and Iraq are the top issues on American minds. Yet, the Dems don’t mention those issues in their new plan.

That’s because the American people are too stupid to know what’s really important, right libs?

The swarm forms to the left (of course) :-)

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #158596

Right-of-Way,

There are many people who didn’t have the opportunity to go to college that are working full time for minimum wage just struggling to make ends meet. But I guess compassionate conservativism only applies to people with big stock portfolios and summer homes.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #158601

Why can’t the minimum wage be tied to the consumer price index? We always have to wait for congress to get around to raising it every 5 or 6 years, except now it’s been nearly a decade.

If they just had the minimum wage connected to the CPI it could automatically be adjusted each year. They could also put in a cap on the increase at 4% or 5% to prevent runaway inflation, or require increases of that size be approved by congress.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #158602

I wonder how many of those minimum wage workers are the product of failed urban public school systems controlled by lib-dominated unions and bureaucrats?

Sorry to disappoint ya, but, I don’t have a big stock portfolio or a summer home.

But Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and George Soros (D-Earth) do.

Maybe they should donate some of their big bucks and property to helping the poor folks they claim to represent.

Don’t you guys support income redistribution?

Oh that’s right, libs only tell OTHER PEOPLE how to live their lives.

Silly me.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #158603
“So, the Dems think America’s future rests on the shoulders of part-time fast-food employees who can’t pay their government-backed student loans because they spent too much in college on “medical” marijuana and their new Prius?

Wow, that’s right up there with welfare queens driving Cadillacs. Since we’re dealing in political cliches, why don’t you go back to your NASCAR and your beer? The real grownups will take care of this.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #158605

Why would anyone be against affordable student loans? Yet Republicans have cut education spending while allowing pork projects to remain in the budget. Don’t you Republicans realize that the only way we are going to stay ahead of China and India is to have the best and brightest workforce? This requires providing an affordable education for any citizen that wants it.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #158607

As for income redistribution, it’s the Republican neo-cons that have done more to move money upwards to the top 5%, through Fed policy, corporate welfare, tax cuts for people who don’t need it, and stashing wealth made in the USA in off-shore tax shelters.

Don’t class warfare me— the GOP are masters at screwing the middle class and getting the poor slobs to thank them for it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #158610

The “real grownups”, Tim? Wow, that cut right to the bone.

Aren’t libs all about changing the channel if you don’t like the content? If ya can’t take the satire Tim, stay out of the blog.

You libs don’t get it. Bush doesn’t want us to stay ahead of India and China. He wants to let as many of them as can swim across the Rio Grande into the country to do the jobs lib PhDs won’t do.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #158611

As for this ‘problem’ that didn’t exist until Bush declared it a problem, the GOP has shot themselves in the foot with this trying to keep their xenophobic, red-neck minuteman-types happy by the political stunt of sending the badly stretched National Guard to the Mexican border, while trying to assuage their corporate masters who want unfettered cheap labor to drive down wages and undermine labor unions.

Everything the neo-cons do is a calculated, cynical political stunt to get the electorate to take its eye off the real issues: Iraq, a lack-luster economy, a totally grotesque national debt, skyrocketing healthcare costs and housing costs, and stagnant wages.

I have nothing but contempt for a party that refuses to govern and is constantly electioneering—their incompetence and cynicism is revolting.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #158612

Your satire stinks and so does your politics—and I’m not going anywhere. I’m here to call you on your shit—get used to it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:22 AM
Comment #158613

Why are Republicans against allowing the government to negotiate prices with the drug companies?

When you buy a car do you shop around, or try to haggle with the salesman for a better price? So why do we pay the prices that these companies dictate?

I know I have been asking alot of questions here, but I would really like to know why you guys are supporting these policies.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #158617

Tim Crow said:

“Don’t class warfare me— the GOP are masters at screwing the middle class and getting the poor slobs to thank them for it.”

A response from a proud lifetime member of the middle class who is thankful for his Bush tax-cut:

Tim, your lib snobbery is showing. You just called the middle class “poor slobs”.

Are we “poor slobs” because we don’t make as much money as the public-trough parasite Ward Churchill? (Who by the way got a bigger tax cut than I did and didn’t offer to give any of it to me or those of my ilk!)

Or are we “poor slobs” because we aren’t as “smart” as you elitist libs and therefore freely vote opposite of your wishes?

Democracy is just so darn inconvenient for you libs.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:33 AM
Comment #158618

For all of the Republicans that support the Iraq war, do you feel like traitors for supporting the insurgency with every gallon of gas you buy?

Why didn’t President Bush make energy independence one of the main tenets of the war on terror?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 2:34 AM
Comment #158619

Right-of-way:

I’ll take my liberal snobbery over your blue-collar bigotry any day. Democracy doesn’t bother me—it sure seems to bother Bush and his neo-cons though, they’re doing so much to undermine it.

And an open society with open dissent really galls you fascists, doesn’t it?

Go back to your cave, it’s time to bitch-slap the missus.

Tim Crow,

Please keep debate civil. You have failed to critique Right-of-Way’s message and instead of have attacked Right-of-Way himself. Failure to comply with civil debate will result in losing commenting privileges. Thank you,

- WatchBlog Managing Editor

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #158620

Don’t bust a vessel Tim. Your lousy health insurance may not pay for your hospital stay.

Nah, you’ll probably die in the ER while waiting behind the illegals in line ahead of you.

Are you willing to die upholding your principles?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #158623

You haven’t said anything intelligent since you make your appearance here. Your comments are bigoted, brutal and slimey.

My principles don’t necessitate dying for—I prefer living mine. Why don’t you die for yours? Why deprive the grass of your manure?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #158624

BFF:

I’ll talk to you while Tim is taking his meds…

But, only until my brother Cooter is back from the 7-11 with my 40 ouncers…

No, I purchase gas for my pickup truck with a clear conscience knowing that my ExxonMobil dividend check is in the mail. But I am kicking myself for passing on that Haliburton stock!

I’m all for energy independence. But, we don’t have to fight in Iraq to achieve that. We just need to drill in ANWR. And force Teddy “Hiccup” Kennedy to stop blocking those nice hippies from building their windmill farm near his summer home (sorry, compound!) on Cape Cod.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:47 AM
Comment #158627

I think it was the Greek philosopher Gropius who said: “The personal attack is the last vain vestige of the small closed mind.”

Or maybe it was Larry the Cable Guy.

We blue collar bigots get them mixed up, ya know.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 2:51 AM
Comment #158628

Ted Kennedy has more huzzpa and balls than you could ever dream of having. He has done more, for all his mistakes, to help this country grow, and prosper, for everyone, than you have.

Have another hit of bourbon, R-O-W.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 2:51 AM
Comment #158631

Right-of-Way,

Sure we could drill ANWR, but if this was substituted for the oil we get from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela it would last for less than 3 years using the largest estimates of oil present there. And doing so would ruin the ecosystem there. Would you be willing to destroy all that land for 3 years worth of oil?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #158633

Tim, you must have the largest compost pile in America in your back yard.

So, I guess you’re energy independent. :-)

Gee, I wonder if you’d have a stroke knowing I’m a college educated man married to a female legal immigrant from Mexico of Mexican-Indian descent who doesn’t find NASCAR at all interesting. However, I do drink beer (Sam Adams… a republican rebel ya know!) when not swilling Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics.

Nah, you wouldn’t. Cause you’d rather prove your bigotry and intolerance by making prejudicial assumptions based on someone’s political beliefs.

Got a good view of that compost pile from your glass house Tim?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:02 AM
Comment #158636

Just matching bigotry with bigotry, big guy.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #158639

BFF:

Tim refuses to chill out, so I’m responding to you.

Drilling in ANWR will NOT destroy the land. You can’t destroy permafrost. Its nothing but ice. With that logic Minnesotan ice fishermen are destroying Lake Wobegon(sp?) every winter.

Its more than 3 years worth of oil. But, even if it were only 3 years, so what? Doesn’t that give us 3 more years to develop other energy technologies? And, we’ll be less dependent on foreign sources during those years.

Less blood for oil, right?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:08 AM
Comment #158641

Now I’m impressed Tim!

A liberal who admits to being a bigot.

And, I was taught in public scholl that it was a myth.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:10 AM
Comment #158644

From what I’ve read from some reputable petro-geologists ANWR probably doesn’t even have 18 months of oil, at the rate we’re using it.

Sure let’s trash it—it’s good for business, eh R.O.W?

And you keep wanting the last word, and I’m not chilling?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:13 AM
Comment #158645

“New Direction for America” platform is more handouts for those who don’t need them. C’mon! Lower cost student loans!?! Most of the students will be making much more money than those who did not go to college… therefore, they’re able to pay it back. This idea sounds good until you realize that it is a handout to the upper class. If the Dems are for the little guy (which they never are), why would they run on this platform?

Posted by: Don at June 17, 2006 3:14 AM
Comment #158646

Suuurrre I’m bigoted, against hatred, and racism, and ignorance and false patriotism, and greed and hypocricy…well, you get the picture—you mirror them all so well.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:15 AM
Comment #158647

Pssst Tim:

Did you know House Minority Leader (that means Democrat) Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) owns a winery where she pays her migrant farm workers less than the minimum wage?

And, her company is facing charges of knowingly hiring illegals.

Can you say “culture of corruption”?

And, being a multi-millionaire — wait I thought only Republicans were rich greedy corporate pirates — of course, she benefitted greatly from those evil Bush tax cuts.

But, I’m sure she’s another paragon of liberalism as well, right?

Are you really sure its the poor middle class slobs being hoodwinked in this country?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:20 AM
Comment #158648

The “New Direction for America” plan wants to find ways to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The cheapest way to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is to eliminate multi-million dollar lawsuits against drug manufacturers. If there were limits on their liability and if they were allowed to keep their drugs propriatary (sp?) longer, they wouldn’t have to charge so much. Come to think of it, wasn’t this the Republican plan?

Posted by: Don at June 17, 2006 3:23 AM
Comment #158650

Right-of-Way,

It is called the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, they wouldn’t call it that if it wasn’t home to a diverse population of wildlife. Drilling there would destroy the ecosystem.

As far as how much oil is there, if we allowed ANWR oil to make up just 5% of US consumption it would last just 3 years at lowest estimates and 12 years at highest estimates. However, if we use that oil to replace Saudi Arabian oil which represents 11.5%, and Venezualan oil which represents 10.5%, it would have to account for about 25% of our usage. At 25% ANWR would last about 7 months at the lowest estimates, and about 2.5 to 3 years at the highest estimates.

I think we can find better alternatives than just drill for more oil.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #158651

ROW:

“Are you really sure its the poor middle class slobs being hoodwinked in this country?”

Listening to you, I know they are, at least the ones who vote for the cons.

As for Pelosi, you want to draw and quarter her? Be my guest—the bitch doesn’t think it would be a good idea to impeach Bush & Co. after all the crooked unconstiutional crap they’ve pulled. Maybe if you down her, the Dems will get somebody who knows a lying creep when they see one, and will do something about it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #158652

Minimum wage - any wage less than which an illegal alien will willingly work. Any plan to increase the minimum wage is really a plan to bring more illegals to the United States. That’s the Dem (Dim) plan.

Posted by: Don at June 17, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #158653

Hatred? Who did I say I hate? You said you hate Tim. You said you hate me for my politics.

Racism? What race did I attack? Me the guy married to a Mexican-Indian?

Ignorance? This from a man who argues based on profanity and ad hominem attacks instead of facts?

False patriotism? Supporting those in uniform… as two members of my family are… is not false patriotism. Its the best example of it. But, they’re just poor slobs who couldn’t find jobs right Tim?

Greed? I want to earn more money to better support my family. Remember me Tim, the middle class poor slob? Is wanting to have a better life symbolic of greed Tim?

Hypocrisy? You’re in a whole different dimension on that one Tim. Remember, your words are displayed above for all to see.

I’m quite secure in the knowledge that my reflection isn’t the flawed one on display, Tim.

So, go stir your compost… its steaming. :-)

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:31 AM
Comment #158654

Alternative Energy Sources - When it is profitable to produce ethanol, ethanol will be produced. When it is profitable to produce any alternative energy source, it will be produced. The best thing the government can do is get out of the way. (I know! I know! AlGor created the internet and other Dems think that they created alternative energy.)

Posted by: Don at June 17, 2006 3:32 AM
Comment #158656

Amnesty under Reagan did more to encourage immigration illegally than any other one thing. Stay here for long enough, you’re a citizen with Social Security. You don’t have to learn English (although you’re kids do and sometimes even end up paying the bills - I’ve seen a family go to an appointment regarding their bankruptcy proceedings and use their little girl to do ALL the talking). You get all the medical care you need.

Oh, and we even have parades for you in East LA. It’s great stuff…just out of control.

If any party comes out in favor of amnesty I just may vote opposite…solely based on this issue. Then again, I said may.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 17, 2006 3:35 AM
Comment #158658

Tim:

You can have the last word… Not that its an advantage in your case… I’m going to bed.

You do make me laugh though. So, I guess you are useful for something… beside hatred, bigotry, hypocrisy, etc, etc, etc,…

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:35 AM
Comment #158659

The “New Direction for America” plan is a losing strategy. Its time for a new direction for Dems. Its time they got behind our troops. Its time for them to close the holes in our border. Its time for them to stop giving money away to people who don’t need it. Its time for them to really do something that will help us live better lives in the USA…quit.

Posted by: Don at June 17, 2006 3:36 AM
Comment #158660

Oh….and ROW is just upset he can’t win a debate. He’s even a good sport and tells you. I love the random character assasination attempts though.
I’m intrigued…what WILL he say next???

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 17, 2006 3:38 AM
Comment #158662

I know, your pristine once somebody calls you on your snide remarks. You’re totally innocent. Too bad you vote for a Party that embodies all those things I listed.

You don’t partake of bigotry—you just vote for people who do. You’re not greedy, you’re just folks trying to get by—you just vote and support the corporate bastards. You’re not closed-minded, you just sling windy generalizations about “you libs” and then expect me to lay down, because everybody knows libs “cut and run.”

And God knows your shit don’t stink, just your closed-minded views.

I’m through with you. And tommorrow, when you start spewing your fascist crap, I’ll be here to call you on it again. Along with other of “us libs.”

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 3:41 AM
Comment #158663

BFF:

Your numbers are flawed because they don’t take into account domestic oil production. You’re only comparing to foreign sources. The US actually produces a sizeable amount of its own petroleum use.

You’re also assuming that we won’t find anymore oil… or use technology to get more oil out fo existing fields… or that higher prices could make other fields more economically attractive and thereby ultimately increase production.

And ANWR isn’t teeming with wildlife. That’s an environmental wacko myth. It’s located far above the flippin Arctic Circle! The polar bears find it too cold to live there.

And, as I recall reading… the Alaska Pipeline was gonna kill all the caribou. The darn critters are using the pipeline to warm themselves and they’re population has exceeded previous levels.

So, don’t buy all the enviro-gloom being peddled.

Good night.

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 17, 2006 3:41 AM
Comment #158665

Don,

It’s not just about affordable student loans, it also has to do with availability. Someone on the bottome end of the spectrum wouldn’t qualify for private loans, that is why the federal program vouches for them. Eliminate these loans and you hinder upward mobility. Don’t you think everyone should have a chance at the American dream?

As far as your crackpot theory that lawsuits are to blame for high drug prices you may want to look at how much money these companies spend on advertising. Plus, if you eliminate or cap lawsuits you are giving every corporation the freedom to knowingly distribute faulty or harmful products without reprisals. So how would you feel if your car failed to stop because the car manufacturer knowingly allowed a batch of cars with defective brakes to leave the plant, and you are injured in a way that leaves you paralyzed from the neck down and incapable of providing for yourself for the rest of your life? If you cap lawsuits you are making it cheaper for these companies to let them stay on the market and just pay the small settlements rather than recall them. So I guess what I am asking is how much money is the use of your dick worth?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 3:44 AM
Comment #158668

Wondering what the posters here have been drinking? I don’t want any.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 17, 2006 4:01 AM
Comment #158670

Hubris and arrogance, with a pinch of bile.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 4:04 AM
Comment #158671

ROW:
“The US actually produces a sizeable amount of its own petroleum use.”

Last time I heard it was around %43 of our national needs.


“You’re also assuming that we won’t find anymore oil… or use technology to get more oil out fo existing fields… or that higher prices could make other fields more economically attractive and thereby ultimately increase production.

Don’t underestimate the shutting down of the Iraqi oil fields by Bush and his Iraqi follies. With his typical shoddy job of not rebuilding Iraqi oil capacity, and keeping their oil in the ground, that forces up the price and makes all the oil companies healthy, wealthy and fat.

“Don’t buy all the enviro-gloom being peddled.”

Sure, and Prudhoe Bay was going to be the cleanest recovery of oil in the history of oil exploration according to the oil companies. Until the Exxon Valdez. Sixteen years after that spill, and the environment has never recovered. Not to mention the pipeline rupture about a month ago that spilled 350,000 gallons of crude. Ah, but just the cost of doing business, eh ROW?

Doesn’t matter, nuthin’s up there, just frozen tundra. Sure, I really think we oughta rip that place apart so more Americans can sit in traffic gridlock in their SUV’s listening to the Dixie Chicks.

The American dream—a non-negotiable way of life. Morons.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 4:17 AM
Comment #158673

wtf you talking about hiccup hiccup never touched a drop everr

Posted by: Dan Q at June 17, 2006 4:19 AM
Comment #158679

Tim,

Don’t underestimate the shutting down of the Iraqi oil fields by Bush and his Iraqi follies. With his typical shoddy job of not rebuilding Iraqi oil capacity, and keeping their oil in the ground, that forces up the price and makes all the oil companies healthy, wealthy and fat.

You mean, the ‘shutting down of the Iraq oil fields’ that haven’t been opened in any significant manner since 1991?

How on earth is the price of oil today linked to the War in Iraq? If you remember right, the price of gas just after the war started was around 1.37 a gallon…

What you don’t realize is that oil is a ‘commodity’. And the flow of oil is controlled by OPEC and Venezuela’s political instability than anything else.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 17, 2006 7:19 AM
Comment #158680

OH, and as for ‘keeping the oil companies fat’, 9% profit for a company is not exactly overwhelmingly fantastic. I wouldn’t invest in a company that only had 9% profit when there are a lot of other ones that routinely see double digit profits in other sectors.

If you want to attack ‘rich companies’ you should be looking somewhere else.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 17, 2006 7:21 AM
Comment #158682

Right of way,

“Drilling in ANWR will NOT destroy the land. You can’t destroy permafrost.”

Really?

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18725124.500

http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/nacc/education/alaska/ak-edu-3.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4120755.stm

Nothing seems to be permanent any more.

Posted by: Rocky at June 17, 2006 7:44 AM
Comment #158688
Aldous said:

“Minimum wage, student loans, prescription drugs, and alternative energy sources are the real problems that exist.”

Right-of-Way responds:

So, the Dems think America’s future rests on the shoulders of part-time fast-food employees who can’t pay their government-backed student loans because they spent too much in college on “medical” marijuana and their new Prius?

Everybody should think America’s future rests on the shoulders of part-time fast-food employees who can’t pay their governent-backed loans (and not all of us have priuses or smoke pot). It’s called underemployement coupled with inflationary base living expenses. If I have an advanced university degree in a field with reasonable employment expectations and have to take a second job in order to pay back the loans from 4 years of grad school and the rest of my living expenses, which include rent on a 1 bedroom apartment, gas for my decade-old vehicle, food, and utilities, with very little left over to save— I have no credit card debt— there’s a very real problem. I don’t have much to put back into the economic engine. I worry about my ability to retire, since social security isn’t likely to be there. I couldn’t raise a family on what I make, even with both jobs, and pay my student loans back. My dollars don’t buy nearly as much as my parents’ dollars did, and that troubles me. Education is supposed to increase your earning potential, not cripple you economically. More generically, a nation whose population is struggling to pay bills day to day doesn’t have a whole lot of time, money, or energy to put back into the country, be it through attention, finacial donations or taxes, or brain power.

Posted by: Schrodinger's Cat at June 17, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #158690

It seems this post is typical GOP bait & switch.
lets just say the DEMS are for these and our people will buy it hook, line and sinker.
Voters are not that dumb, to continue to beleive the GOP schtick.
We know what the issues are and the GOP is not going to be able to sway it in any direction.
That direction is Iraq, immigrations, national security & the debt.
The GOP shell game has failed.
Better start looking at monster.com for new jobs for GOP retirees.

Posted by: Joe at June 17, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #158695

The positions of either party are not the issue. The perceptions of the voters are the problem. All of us have a view of what our party stands for. Most of us are wrong to a degree. I am a Christian, conservative, pro-life, anti-amnesty, tax-cut, pro-job creation kind of gal. To almost everyone here that reads Republican. But not all republican polititions agree with my views. I can’t think of one democrat who does. Maybe the independents will get my vote this time….maybe not. All I know is tht most voting is votes for the lesser of two evils and that’s just plain sad.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 17, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #158696

A professor of economics from George Mason University wrote this: “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sixty-three percent of minimum wage workers receive raises within one year of employment, and only 15 percent still earn the minimum wage after three years. Furthermore, only 5.3 percent of minimum wage earners are from households below the official poverty line; forty percent of minimum wage earners live in households with incomes $60,000 and higher; and, over 82 percent of minimum wage earners do not have dependents.” He also notes that the poorest — the least skilled — can’t find work because they can’t EARN the minimum wage. So raising minimum wages penalizes those most in need.

Posted by: J. Bryant at June 17, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #158703

The only reason the US pay so much for drugs is simple. Every outher country in the world regulates its drug prices. SO WE HERE have to make up for the R&D in how much we pay. and as a side note meny drug companys have programs for thair drugs if you cannot afford life saveing drug treatments. but the sad fact is, WE make up for the rest of the worlds communist polocies by forceing the drug companys to price a certen amount. so if we do the same here look forword to much of the life saveing reasearch these companys do to slow down or stop all together.
the problem with drug companys is not here its in europe.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff at June 17, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #158715

With a couple of exceptions, what I’ve read here today is all about what’s best for the party.

What about what’s best for the country?

George Washington’s warning over 200 years ago about the dangers of a party system today looks like prophecy.

The democrats and republicans are so busy fighting each other that the welfare of the country they profess to love and serve has taken a back seat to their own selfishness.

If something is bad for the nation, it shouldn’t matter which side your on. Fix it!

If something is good for the country, it shouldn’t matter which side your on. Support it!

Or we can just keep calling each other names and let the country go to hell.

Posted by: ulysses at June 17, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #158724

Raise the minimum wage? Yes, by all means. Dem’s should go out of their way to make the lives of their favorite “group”, the poor, more miserable. Heaven knows they have done a terrific job alienating their base within the african-american population. Raise the rate and what, mandate a firing freeeze? No, mandate cost controls! After all, business is in business to serve humanity, being able to stay in business be damned! RAISE THE RATE AND LOW INCOME KIDS WILL HAVE NO JOBS TO LOOK FORWARD TOO! RAISE THE RATE AND THE COST GETS PASSED TO THE CONSUMER. For all their demagoging when it comes to the poor, elderly and minorities raising the rate will do more harm than good. Yes, please look into alternative fuels, just not in Massachusetts, (can’t ruin Ted’s teuqila sunrise view). Prescription drugs, oh yeah, you mean like President Bush? No, that must have been “the wrong plan at the wrong time” Dem’s can do better, truly, really, come on we mean it! Stop laughing out there! We’re serious! The Dem’s have carefully planned for the New America, whatever Bush did that worked will be co-opted as their idea, kind of like Clinton balanced the budget and reformed welfare!Whatever doesn’t work in their plan will be the fault of the few deluded neocons that remain after their landslide takeover of congress. What a strategy! Elitest, intellectual poppycock!

Posted by: JR at June 17, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #158726

Rhinehold:

The Iraqi daily oil production is half of what it was under Saddam—are you saying that 1 1/2 to 2 million barrels a day doesn’t effect the price of oil on the open market?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #158727

The political parties of this country are businesses.

They have CFOs - PR and Ad Agencies… commercials and tag lines.

It’s all about the profit & power. The tag lines and public statements about about the image - not the substance.

Think about Exxon’s recent PR/public service message “Some call it pollution, we call it life.” That about sums it up …

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5425355

Posted by: tony at June 17, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #158728

Watchblog manager:

If you want some critiquing the messenger, take a look at some of ROW’s comments about my name “I don’t believe in Tim Crow laws, and never will” over in the blue column. So you have a butch of Right wingers that are adept in snide remarks, walking a fine line between insulting the messenger and flaming a political movement (liberalism)with diatribes, unproven facts and
vitriol. Your warnings are one-sided, and misplaced.

So you have some

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 17, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #158731

Very interesting conversation. Most everyone has very pointed remarks. Glad I dropped in.
BTW as I see it, the personal score is right of way 15 and foul mouthed Tim Crow zero.
See ya

Posted by: famcampken at June 17, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #158739

In paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French! I never did succeed in making those Idiots understand their Own language!. Mark Twain . at His beloved quarry Farm, in Elmira, New York. Ron Brown, my Great grandfather was good friends with mark Twain. our Family Farm, is two Miles Away . from the Quarry Farm. Rodney Brown.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #158749

Mike

Great Post! I especially like your links supporting your case. While you question the platform the Democratic Party presented as the issues they would focus on. The articles you cite, clearly indicate the division that exists within Republican ranks over the issue of illegal immigration.

One thing they don’t mention is how John McCann, Bush and others are on record of supporting a plan that right wing Republicans call “amnesty.” Or that John McCann didn’t appear as originally promised at a fundraiser for Bilbray, because Bilbray ran ad after ad blasting the bill Republican John McCann helped pen. Meanwhile the Republican Party spent 5 million dollars on ads for Bilbray, that said: “I’m not like the Republicans in Congress, I have not forgotten what a Republican is.” Come November, what people will remember is that the Republicans couldn’t keep their own house in order long enough, with a majority, to address this issue.

In fact, other than a useless non-binding resolution that was passed yesterday, the Republican controlled Congress has not been able to address one important issue in the past 6 years. Excuse me, except for increasing tax breaks for the rich while recording record deficits. (I had to throw that in, because someone had posted that he was middle class and he was going to enjoy the tax break, which he obviously doesn’t qualify for, that Bush had given him.)

But I guess it is easier to question the other Party’s platform, than to get your own house in order.

Posted by: Cube at June 17, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #158750

There’s been lots of screaming and shouting. Why not discuss the issues rationally?

Mike thinks immigration should be the issue. Maybe it is - for Republicans. It will enable them to firm up their base by tearing the country apart, something they do pretty well.

Reid listed a few Democratic issues, a few that he believes will help Democrats:


  • Minimum Wage - While Republicans spend their time helping the rich, Democrats are more concerned with the poor. We need a minimum wage so that anyone who works for a living should be able to get along.

  • Student Loans - We must help students in order to get more Americans graduating college. This will help increase American competitiveness, the lack of which Republicans keep complaining about
  • Prescription Drugs - We need to reduce the cost in order to correct one of the big flaws in the Medicare drug benefit pushed through by Republicans
  • Alternative Energy Sources - This is one way to fight terrorism. It will enable us to keep nations like Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer of jihadists, at arm’s length
  • Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 17, 2006 2:49 PM
    Comment #158752

    Little known but interesting fact. Which US Senator has the closest ties to Big Oil? That would be the senior Senator from Massachusetts - Ted Kennedy. Check it out.

    Posted by: Rickled at June 17, 2006 3:07 PM
    Comment #158754

    Paul,

    The minimum wage issue is probably the weekest of all the arguments. First of all, why is it the governments business to tell businesses what to pay anybody. Fortunately one of the true beautiful of our system is that you are free to choose where you work and where you live. It’s up to the individual to make themselves more valuable to the market, not making the market adjust to the workers ability.

    Student loans - The best thing the government can do is get out of the loan business. Again why should the government use my tax money to send someone else’s child to college.

    Drug prices - You can thank your friends the trial lawyers and their junk science and frivolous lawsuits for forcing drug companies to pass the cost on to the consumer. It may be cliche, but it would be near impossible to get aspirin approved in today’s climate.

    Alternative energy - Try and build a nuclear power plant in the US.

    Posted by: Keith at June 17, 2006 3:38 PM
    Comment #158758

    Keith,

    You may think that the government shouldn’t be using your tax money in helping someone else’s child go to college, but do you think the government should be using your tax money to provide us with the best military in the world?

    Well if you do then I would like you to think long and hard about the fact that China is graduating more scientists and engineers as a percentage of college graduates compared to the US. Now think about what happens when China applies these highly skilled workers along with the enormous amounts of cash we owe their country toward their defense. I know you Republicans get your panties all wet thinking about how great are military is and you dismiss any notion that other countries are passing us on issues like healthcare and education with the simple retort “Yeah, so we can kick your countries ass!” But if we allow ourselves to become complacent on education like you are suggesting then there will come a time when we aren’t the most advanced military in the world. So what will you say then?

    Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 4:28 PM
    Comment #158759

    I’ve been reading all the comments and agree that the libs are in need of a mouth soap washing.
    But then what else is new?

    tigrpacrow

    Posted by: tigrpacrow at June 17, 2006 4:29 PM
    Comment #158760

    I’m sorry that seque to strong military the government not being in the student loan business is too convoluted for me. I’m not saying that students should not be able to get loans to go to college only that the market can handle it much better than the government can.

    But then I think that the Federal government should get back to it’s Constitional mandate of defense and foreign affairs and get out of all of the domestic programs that they should not be dealing with.

    Posted by: Keith at June 17, 2006 4:34 PM
    Comment #158761

    I mentioned earlier about the myth that lawsuits are the biggest factor in high drug prices, but then someone mentions it again. If you want to talk about real reasons for high prices look at how much these companies spend on advertising. We ban cigarette commercials so why can’t we ban drug commercials? Don’t you think doctors should be the ones prescribing the drug based on the patients ailments and not because the patient comes in demanding the doctor write them a prescription for lipifitisol because they saw some stupid commercial of two old people dancing in a wheat field?

    Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 4:37 PM
    Comment #158762

    Keith,

    If you let the market dictate who gets student loans then you shut out anyone on the bottom end of the economic spectrum that would be seen as a credit risk. The federal student loan program helps people that would normally be unable to get these loans.

    And what don’t you understand about losing our competitive technological edge, especially in military technology, to countries that are graduating more scientists and engineers and have the financial resources to move ahead of us?

    Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 4:45 PM
    Comment #158764

    J. Bryant and Keith,

    It’s amazing what you can get stats to say if you twist them enough. If you remove part-timers and summer-only workers from your stats, that removes most of the middle class kids working at McDonald’s, because thye distort the real stats. People who work full time year round at minimum wage are poor. And just try to live slightly above the poverty line sometime, even without dependents. If you stay at a fast food place for a year you get a 10 cent raise, BFD! A low minimum wage encourages welfare fraud and increases crime rates, but does produce more cannon fodder for Iraq. If the govt doesn’t step in, the govt will have to pick up the pieces later on at a higher price tag.

    Govt involvement in student loans increases the chances that we will continue to have a competitive edge in the global market, and that fewer positions will be filled by foreign nationals. It keeps rates low so that college grads will be able to stay in their communities and give back, rather than moving to a place where wages are higher just to pay off their student loans. It’s our govt investing in us.

    People have debunked the GOP tort reform argument so often that GW doesn’t even mention any more. Lawsuits are a fraction of a percent of drug company profits. I think the govt could do more to underwite the risks of drug R&D, and then drug companies wouldn’t have that excuse.

    I agree with you on nuclear energy, but alternate energy sources are the key to US energy independence. The NIMBY factor with the Kennedy monolith and windmills is pretty hypocritical. I don’t believe that the leftists are totally to blame for no Nukes, because too many mining and oil companies would be affected adversely by more widespread use of nuclear power

    Posted by: Loren at June 17, 2006 4:49 PM
    Comment #158768

    This isn’t a thread of anything but rediculous and unfounded sillyness. There isn’t even anything ream or of sufficient substance to respond to.

    Posted by: RGF at June 17, 2006 5:26 PM
    Comment #158769

    Another myth is that drug prices are high because of all the money spent on R&D. In reality these companies spend roughly 10% of revenue on R&D compared to about 35% on advertising. Of the 10% used for R&D, 75% is used for copycat drugs. So these companies are only spending about 2.5% on R&D for new drugs.

    Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 5:33 PM
    Comment #158798

    Paul,

    I don’t think it should be the issue — it IS the issue!!

    Posted by: Mike Tate at June 17, 2006 8:53 PM
    Comment #158802

    I have read enough of Tim Crow and Bushflipflops to make a person ill. The two left wing radicals are complete socialist and no absolutely nothing about the subjects they are talking about.

    Fact for Mr. Crow: FDR and LBJ created more socialist programs in American history and we are still paying for it. Fact. Democrats tell the heck out of the middle class. Fact: Democrats think everyone who earns more than $25,000 is rich. Fact: Ted Kennedy never had a real job in his life. Fact: I pay more in taxes every year. Fact: The billionare liberals like George Soros hide money in off shore accounts. Kennedy is a trust baby and will continue to tax the middle class while he injoys loop holes in the tax code.

    Bushflipflops: Want better schools. Get rid of the NEA and Tenure. Fact: Private schools perform better than public. Why are public schools so afraid of public schools? With real competition they would fail.

    China, India, and Germany produce good students because students go to school to learn not to be indoctrine by the liberal machine.

    Clearly he left anti-american crowd cannot really think for themselves or search for facts. Instead, they ramble off emotional DNC talking points.

    If the Dems really stated what they want to do and believe, they would never win an election.

    Finally, one last note. I have been in the healthcare industry for 16 years. Drug companies and medical device companies are strangled by FDA regulations. Where did you get your numbers? Drug companies do spend millions on R&D and theFDA approval process.

    One think consistent about the liberals and that is there inconsistency.

    I do not know which one of you are a poor Slob (middle class) but I am. Either you are on the government payroll (welfare) or you are rich. Either way you do not have the facts on taxes and spending. We have never had taxing problem in this country. It is a spending problem.
    KMM

    Posted by: Ken Mensio at June 17, 2006 9:17 PM
    Comment #158811

    Ken Mensio,

    I would currently classify myself as middle class, but when I was younger my family was poor. My mother had to raise me along with my brother and sister without any help from my father. Thanks to programs created by FDR my mother was able to go on welfare for a few years while she went back to school to get her nursing degree. Once she obtained her degree she was able to get a good paying job and move us out of the two bedroom apartment we were living in and into a house for the first time. If it weren’t for the federal student loan program I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to college. So you want to call me a socialist and say that I don’t know what I am talking about, well guess what buddy unless you are an anarchist you too are a socialist, we all are. You wouldn’t have a military, highway system, fire department or many other things you take for granted without socialist programs. Our country is a mixture of socialism and capitalism, and while it may not be perfect it’s alot better than whatever the hell type of system you are talking about. The movement of my family and myself up the economic ladder is proof positive that these programs work.

    Posted by: bushflipflops at June 17, 2006 10:22 PM
    Comment #158820

    I blogged about this “New Direction” today as well… funny how concerns about deficit spending and the national debt don’t prevent lots of planned new expenditures and even a (*GASP*) tax cut…

    Posted by: David Wright at June 17, 2006 11:25 PM
    Comment #158824

    ERR ahh, Cousin Teddy Started it.IN 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt called a emergency Conference to the white house.IT was Decided by teddy, that Preserving the Family in the house was much more Preferable to placing the poor in Institutions, which were criticized as costly failures. it was called the Mothers pension programs, and by 1933 all but two states were operating under it. it was not perfect but it kept millions of mothers and children in a home. and Later cousin FDR updated it.

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2006 11:44 PM
    Comment #158823

    ERR ahh, Cousin Teddy Started it.IN 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt called a emergency Conference to the white house.IT was Decided by teddy, that Preserving the Family in the house was much more Preferable to placing the poor in Institutions, which were criticized as costly failures. it was called the Mothers pension programs, and by 1933 all but two states were operating under it. it was not perfect but it kept millions of mothers and children in a home. and Later cousin FDR updated it.

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2006 11:44 PM
    Comment #158826

    ERR ahh, Cousin Teddy Started it.IN 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt called a emergency Conference to the white house.IT was Decided by teddy, that Preserving the Family in the house was much more Preferable to placing the poor in Institutions, which were criticized as costly failures. it was called the Mothers pension programs, and by 1933 all but two states were operating under it. it was not perfect but it kept millions of mothers and children in a home. and Later cousin FDR updated it.

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2006 11:47 PM
    Comment #158828

    sorry, it said it was to be reviewed by watchblog. i only pushed the post button one time!!

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 17, 2006 11:51 PM
    Comment #158878

    Ken Mensio,

    “Want better schools. Get rid of the NEA and Tenure. Fact: Private schools perform better than public. Why are public schools so afraid of public schools? With real competition they would fail.”

    What a crock.

    Fact: Private schools perform better because they get to pick and choose the students they take, and for the most part, they only take the best.

    Fact: Private schools get the best teachers because they can afford to do so.

    Fact: If private schools were forced to expand their classes and take every student, they would perform just as badly as public schools.

    Fact: If private schools were forced to expand their classes and take every student, they would also have to hire more teachers and their “standard of excellence” would also drop through the floor.

    The right’s “private school panacea” is just bullshit. It has nothing to do with reality.

    Posted by: Rocky at June 18, 2006 8:25 AM
    Comment #158883

    Right of Way
    Your comments on ANWR and permafrost indicate you ignorance.
    The environment that would be drilled is currently very productive, calving grounds for caribou herds — if it was only ice (lake ice like Minnesota??) then they wouldn’t be able to survive there
    Also, permafrost is NOT ice — there are many living organizms on top of the permafrost (by the way, the permanent frozen layer is BELOW the insulative layer of organic material on top.
    So, you earlier claimed some higher education credentials, etc — Your ignorant statement concerning permafrost and ANWR indicates either you got scammed on your education or you are scamming us regarding your education.
    Which is it?

    Posted by: Russ at June 18, 2006 10:03 AM
    Comment #158885

    A couple of points
    1) Oil from ANWR — comments were made that even 3 years worth of oil would give us time to develop alternate technologies
    Hmmm couple of problems there
    a) it will be 10-15 years before we see one drop of that oil — imagine what the size of the problem will be then!
    b) Cheap oil is what has kept the development of alternative energy sources from occuring

    2) Drug Companies — money spent on Advertising
    The money they spend is HUGE and the commercials you see are just the tip of the iceberg
    My Bro-in-Law used to sell for the drug companies, and you CANNOT imagine how much they spent on their sales team. — Cars, trips, all sorts of “freebie” junk to give away to the Dr’s (not free samples, things like Golf Umbrellas with drug names on them, pens, post-it-notes, thermometers — you know, all that carnival type junk (made in China) — and because it has the Drug companies name on it — it is written off as advertising)
    There were Sales Team Meetings — in very enticing locations — Monterrey, Hawaii, Caribean —
    With all sorts of free recreational activities and shows brought in for the sales troops.
    Bonuses and perks — my Bro-in-law would come home from these Sales Meetings with all sorts of free techno-goodies (Big Screen, Stero’s PDA’s, etc etc etc)
    All of this to help SELL their drug to the Dr’s
    — oh yea, occaisionly he would get around to actually discussing the benefits and uses for the drug, but most of the sales calls weren’t really involved in that stuff.
    The Drug Co’s LAUGH at the puny amount they pay for “frivolous” lawsuits and (people dying because they take drugs the Co knows will kill them are just greedy and suing the Co for this is Frivolous!!)
    Get a grip you corporate lackeys!!
    Quite spouting the RNC talking points and find out the FACTS.

    Posted by: russ at June 18, 2006 10:31 AM
    Comment #158892

    Rocky,

    Just because you say FACT, doesn’t mean it is.

    As a rule private school teacher are paid less than their counterparts in the public sector.

    Private schools do better also because they are not under the stranglehold of the teachers unions who do not want anything to mess with the status quo.

    Maybe if parents had to write a check for there childrens schooling they would be more involved in their childrens education.

    Posted by: Keith at June 18, 2006 12:01 PM
    Comment #158904

    Keith,

    “As a rule private school teacher are paid less than their counterparts in the public sector.”

    I am a product of a private school. The teachers at my school were paid nothing because they were Priests and Nuns.

    Somehow I just don’t believe that the “best” lay teachers at private schools are are only in it for the “love” of shaping young minds full of mush.

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos069.htm#earnings

    “Private school teachers generally earn less than public school teachers, but may be given other benefits, such as free or subsidized housing.”

    In some sense part of your assertion is true, but the statistics vary wildly by location, and the overall benefits of teaching at a private vs public school cannot be overlooked, and realistically have to be factored into the final “pay” equation.

    A private school teacher has;
    1)smaller classes size,
    2)more support from the parents,
    3)more support from the school administrators and other faculty,
    4)better working conditions,
    5)better discipline,
    6)more dedicated students,
    7)and a hell of a lot less stress.

    Job satisfaction is much higher.
    Overall quality of life is much higher.

    Now let’s dump every student into that environment and of course they will do better, for awhile. Once confronted with much bigger class sizes (easily twice the size), and the discipline problems that come with it, even the Nuns will want more money.

    I am all for scholarships for the “best and the brightest”, and realistically, those would be the only ones that will be able to qualify scholastically to get in to the private schools, unless, of course, we “force” those schools to lower their standards.

    If that is the case then what exactly is the point?

    If we attempt to “voucher” our way into a better education system, the outlook will be just as bleak as the public school systems are now.

    Posted by: Rocky at June 18, 2006 2:12 PM
    Comment #158918

    We all know that our schools are going down the drain. Choosing the school corporation to send your kids to AND pay taxes to (public or private) is a very good thing to do. Private schooled children learn faster. Public schools have delinquints and other not-so-nice things. But the main thing is the education. The lowest score a kid can get is a 50% where I live. So if a kid gets a 14%, it comes out as a fifty! I also think that kids should have classmates with similar learning needs. Kids that excel shouldn’t be held behind by those that fail. Most of the time, kids fail because they are lazy! Laziness is putting the U.S. behind. China is catching up. The lazy need to pull themselves up, not the govt. When the government attempts to make the lazy catch up, they are halting the excelling’s learning.

    We must choose our Children’s education. They are the future.

    Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 18, 2006 4:01 PM
    Comment #158951

    Keith,
    Politicians love to blame teacher’s unions for everything, but never actually try to do anything to change the problem. We teachers are the scapegoats in every soundbite, without a scrap of evidence to back it up. Try teaching for a couple of years, and then come back to me about fighting the status quo.

    Stubcon,
    You whine a lot, but say almost nothing of substance. Beyond that, private schools will solve nothing you bring up. Everyone in smaller classes does better than those in large classes, especially when you weed out the undesirables. I’m certain that you wouldn’t like the elitist sytem of education you propose.

    BTW, none of the private schools would pass muster with GW’s No Child Left behind, because they wouldn’t pass the definition of well-qualified teacher he set down.

    Posted by: Loren at June 18, 2006 8:08 PM
    Comment #158954

    Loren,

    The right has made up it’s collective mind about education, and refuses to be fooled by the facts.

    Home schooling is better than public school, regardless if the parent has the qualifications, and private school vouchers are the panacea that will save us all.

    Being a teacher is a tough, thankless job most people wouldn’t do, but it’s still ok to eviscerate the teachers and the system, because the critics know they could do the job better, and cheaper.

    Posted by: Rocky at June 18, 2006 8:28 PM
    Comment #158957

    Rocky,

    Home schooling has many good points, but I wouldn’t subject my daughter to it. She is receiving an excellent public school education because we make the effort. I would put her education up against any private school. I attended public schools, and so did almost everyone of my friends.

    Good public schools don’t make for good press or TV, because they demonstrate that teachers who are supported by their administration and parents can succeed with regular nongifted kids.

    Posted by: Loren at June 18, 2006 8:53 PM
    Comment #158961

    Loren:

    “You whine a lot, but say almost nothing of substance.”

    Try reading the first paragraph. That’s substance.
    As for the “undesirables”, I believe every child has the potential for education. There are tutors and summerschool. To make it easier, put a child that is behind in a classroom where the other children are at the same learning level. Then the children will be taught in a different way to catch up.

    Here is an example: A test is given to determine children’s learning needs. One group of children score around the C- to B range, another group scores B+ to A. The teachers or staff separate the children according to the ranges. The rest of the children that scored a D+ or below will be tutored.

    I hope that will clear things up. I’ll answer to any non-hostile questions.

    Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 18, 2006 9:07 PM
    Comment #158966

    Stubcon,

    Gee, I thought that we all know our schools are going down the drain was somewhat hostile.

    I’m sorry, but we already do everything you mention. It’s called tracking, and it has the effect of creating tiers of educational quality, because no one wants to pay for tutors and extra support. And the kids who need the extra help get labelled slow or special ed.

    Here in nyc we have Individual Educational Plans and Academic Intervention Services. These are all ideas with names thought up by mostly conservative politicians. They sound great, but they are instituted with no idea of how to implement them, and the support necessary to keep them going never materializes. Then in 4-6 years another politician comes along with another fancy named program, and everything the teachers worked to achieve is chucked out the window. This educational “reform” has been going on for generations. Teachers get all the blame, even though they were asked to do something with nothing.

    Posted by: Loren at June 18, 2006 9:37 PM
    Comment #158969

    Loren,

    It’s not just teachers unions I think are the problem. Personally I think that all public employees unions should be done away with. By there very nature the relationship between the unions and the politicians who decide on there contracts is corrupt. The unions pay millions of dollars to get politicians elected who will vote to get them sweetheart contracts, because it’s not the politicians money and they don’t have a bottom line to worry about.

    If I am a CEO for a public corporation and I took money from the employees union and then gave them a new contract with lifetime pensions and healthcare, I would be indicted.

    The public employee unions and their friends in the democratic party are slowly bankrupting California. We currently have approx. 20 - 30 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities just for the lifetime healthcare.

    Posted by: Keith at June 18, 2006 9:50 PM
    Comment #158970

    Teachers aren’t all the blame. Some are really good with kids, and some just want a paycheck.

    Laziness of kids is a major factor.

    Schools can reform if they want to, but I just want parents to decide what corporation to support.

    Posted by: stubborn conservative at June 18, 2006 9:51 PM
    Comment #158977

    Keith,

    We in the UFT certainly don’t have that problem here. Giuliani and Bloomberg were both opposed by our union, and we’ve received diddly squat. But our school chancellor publicly blames us for everything, even when they get everything they ask for. They misinform the public about our differences and promote half assed ideas they know no one would ever implement, but that keep them in the public eye as educational reformers.

    Posted by: Loren at June 18, 2006 10:58 PM
    Comment #158982

    Stubcon
    Laziness is learned, not innate behavior.

    School reform will occur when teachers and children are in the middle of the decision and implementation process.

    Posted by: Loren at June 18, 2006 11:08 PM
    Comment #159025

    I no longer believe either side is my side. That said, the Dems slink further left, in the mistaken belief most Americans will bow to larger gov’t and fewer expectations for the individual.
    John

    Posted by: john at June 19, 2006 6:15 AM
    Comment #159039

    Here’s a crazy idea, let’s review some of what the liberal Democratic party does stand for and believe.

    They believe that children should learn in Kindergarten how to use a condom but don’t mind so much if they can’t read when they “graduate” from high school.

    They say they want to end poverty but continue to support a welfare system that has exacerbated poverty, fueled crime, gutted America’s inner cities, and left a legacy of failure and broken lives with nothing but a bill to show for it.

    They say they support parents but don’t think you have a right to know if your 14 year old daughter (who probably wasn’t paying attention in condom class) is pregnant and wants an abortion.

    They understand abstinence when it comes to cigarettes and alcohol (not so much with weed) but don’t think it applies to pre-marital sex.

    They defend, to the point of treasonously revealing intelligence gathering operations, the right to privacy, which is written nowhere in the Constitution, but think “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” is negotiable.

    They claim to be the voice of the people, then ramrod their agenda through the court system, convienently avoiding the legislature, the real voice of the people.

    They say they support the troops, then base thier political fortunes on the troops failing.

    They’re pro-choice unless the choice you’re making is what school to send your child to.

    They abhor when the President or law enforcement breaks the law in thier eyes, yet have no problem with 12 million people being in this country illegaly.

    They say you shouldn’t put your fortune in an offshore account and should pay your share if you’re wealthy unless your last name is Kennedy or Kerry.

    They want the rich taxed to death but can’t remember the last time a poor person gave them a job.

    They support increasing the Army by 2 divisions, about a 4th of what they cut when Clinton was in office.

    They have no problem with an entertainment industry that glorifies violence, drug abuse, mysogeny, and every other form of deviant behavior but think its a faux pax to say the name of Jesus in public (unless its the name of one of the illegals who they think should have social services without paying taxes).

    They say they believe in the freedom of speech, but only if its PC.

    They say they are for tolerance but won’t tolerate those who don’t go lockstep with their radical socialist agenda.

    They say it takes a village to raise a child while turning the village into a cesspool of vice and moral corruption you want to protect your kids from, not interact with.

    They don’t think rape should be a capital crime but have no problem with executing a child whose only crime was to be concieved.

    They state that they are for the mentally and physically handicapped, then support abortions for parents who spot these conditions in thier preborn children. After all, these children won’t have a proper “quality of life” and will “be a burden.”

    They say they represent women’s rights, then say that abortion based on sex selection, which almost always ends in the abortion of an unborn girl.

    They say they are for energy independence but don’t offer any alternatives to Bush’s comprehensive energy plan, which they then deadlock in the Senate. They then criticize the President for the nation’s lack of an energy plan.

    They criticize Bush for not taking out bin Laden in the 9 months he had in office prior to 9/11 but don’t say a thing about the 8 years Clinton had to do the same.

    They think the fate of the United States is best protected in the United Nations in the hands of “countries” with less of an economy than Pittsburgh and an “army” that couldn’t take on the NYPD.

    They abhor the national debt but forget that their program of Social Security will bankrupt the nation.

    They cry foul over disenfranchisement for “hanging” and “dimpled” chads in Florida, then try to get military overseas votes nullified because they had the wrong postmark.

    They love to mock Columbus but glorify Che Guevera.

    They think white people should be grateful to be told that they are the root of all evil.

    They’re hearts bleed for those who earn less than the poverty level unless they’re privates in the Army.

    They say they abhor racial discrimination, then order reverse discrimination by government mandate.

    They support the freedom of religious expression as long as the religion you choose to express isn’t Christianity.

    They seem to believe that well paid professional liars (hollywood celebrities) speaking to you from thier air-condtioned 25,000 square foot homes are the best people to lecture you about how you use entirely to much resources keeping your house airconditioned.

    They cannot comprehend how crime rates go down the more people you put in jail.

    They are against stereotypes, unless you’re talking about a slack-jawed, beer swilling, Bible-thumping, intolerant, bigoted, sexist, homophobe, redneck NASCAR fan. Or a jack-booted, neo-Nazi, gun-nut, anti-government, survivalist hunter.

    I’m sure many of us here can think of a few more examples. Its not hard. Just look up hypocrisy in the dictionary and apply it to any line of the Democratic plank

    Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 7:42 AM
    Comment #159044

    1LT B,

    But how do you really feel?

    Maybe you don’t realize that by making vast generalizations about the Dems, you commit the same sin you accuse them of, and as a result, your point becomes only half-vast.

    Posted by: Rocky at June 19, 2006 8:20 AM
    Comment #159053

    Rocky,

    I guess I was on such a roll there I didn’t make myself clear. I think what I was trying to say is that the Democratic plank, from which I drew inspiration for my last tirade (I do try to be honest with myself) is fundamentally hypocritical and counter to a well ordered and prosperous society.

    I will grant that that list was long, but so is the Democratic plank. I was actually hoping to have some fun reading the responses to individual line items of my little manifesto. I also think that while these points don’t apply to every democrat, I’ve managed to hit about as wide a cross section of the diversity in that party as possible. Just for your amusement, (maybe my own too), here’s a few points I forgot.

    They think burning your nation’s flag is the penultimate act of patriotism.

    They say they are against the frivilous use of military force yet have deployed the military more in the 8 years of Clinton’s presidency than in the 40 years preceding it.

    They endorse the blatant coffin riding of an attention mongering mourning-profiteer like Cindy Sheehan.

    They think the spoilt progeny of overindulgent white yuppie parents who shops at the gap, drives an escalade, and drinks triple mocha lattes is in an excellent position to denounce capitalism.

    They think that achieving wealth, part of the American dream, should be punished with taxes.

    They think a paper-pushing beurocrat in D.C. is a far better authority on how to spend 30% + of my income than I am.

    They put a convicted (later pardoned by Carter) draft dodger in the White House while veterans were homeless.

    They think responibilities have no rights if you’re a man with a child, pre-born or born.

    I’ve personally witnessed 3 compare the Easter 2001 race riots in Cincinnati with the Salt March by Ghandi.

    They think the best way to protest globalization is to burn down a locally owned McDonald’s.

    Dahrell(?) Hannah thinks that squatter’s rights trump property owner’s rights.

    A group sued the Federal government for not putting water points along the border for people trying to illegally entering the country. In other words, they were sueing the government for not helping people break the laws it made.

    Well, I suppose that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed it Rocky. You’re probably right about it being only half right, but surely a liberal can sympathise with me. After all, it just feels so good!

    Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 9:09 AM
    Comment #159060

    1LT B,

    Liberal?

    Hardly.

    There are points that you have correct, and points you assume that all Democrats/liberals hang their hats on, and like most of the right’s pundits, you grossly generalize and include those that don’t hold extreme positions, just because they aren’t “conservative” enough for you.

    I own guns, but I also believe in a woman’s right to her own body.
    By the same token, I don’t believe in abortion as a means of birth control.

    I do believe in a strong military, but don’t believe in wasting it pre-emptively. I was for going to Afghanistan, but against the “pre-emptive” invasion of Iraq.
    However, I believe that we also shouldn’t use the military half-assedly(?), which is what this whole Iraq/Vietnam thing has been. If we are going to do it, just do it, and quit fiddle farting around.

    I am not a “black and white” kind of guy, and am constantly amazed at the subtleties of life, that are missed by those folks that are.

    I live in Arizona and am familiar with the case you cite about water, and while I am not for illegal immigration, the water thing is a humane effort to keep hundreds of people from dying in the desert each year.
    Should there have been a lawsuit? Probably not.

    What I find most disturbing, is that Americans have become so polarized, and these issues have become an “us or them” situation.

    Posted by: Rocky at June 19, 2006 10:02 AM
    Comment #159089

    Right Of Way,

    I wonder how many of those minimum wage workers are the product of failed urban public school systems controlled by lib-dominated unions and bureaucrats?

    Even if that was the sole reason, why do you want to double punish the poors for that!?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 11:32 AM
    Comment #159091

    Right-of-Way,

    You libs don’t get it. Bush doesn’t want us to stay ahead of India and China. He wants to let as many of them as can swim across the Rio Grande into the country to do the jobs lib PhDs won’t do.

    … the jobs americans won’t do.

    Plus I didn’t know chineses and indians have just to swin across the Rio Grande to enter US.
    Where’s my worldmap again?…

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 11:38 AM
    Comment #159095

    Don,

    The cheapest way to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is to eliminate multi-million dollar lawsuits against drug manufacturers.

    I guess reducing the amount of prescription drugs and always shift to generic drugs when they could applied is even cheaper.

    Your solution sounds more about increasing the drugs makers protection than reducing prescription costs. Since when protecting drugs IP make the drugs more effective than generic ones and people more healthy???

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 11:50 AM
    Comment #159104

    When India signed the Madrid Protocol, they got a special exception for drug patent protections. There is a huge incentive there to make drugs as accessible as possible…even if that means inferior quality. Companies will take a US patent, tweek a few ingrediants, and sell it for a tenth the cost to people who couldn’t afford it otherwise.

    Do we enforce IP law more strenuously and force poor Indians and Chinese to do without (we’d have to be willing to play hardball and threaten sanctions - something no US business wants)?

    Or do we allow this exploitation of our IP and pay higher prices domestically?

    The reality is that many countries could care less about the lives of their citizenry. Because we believe a life is valuable, we pay more to be safe. No getting around it.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 12:10 PM
    Comment #159105

    Keith,

    Again why should the government use my tax money to send someone else’s child to college.

    Again why should the government use your tax money to send someone else’s child to Iraq War?

    Double standard, anyone?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 12:17 PM
    Comment #159111

    Philippe

    Have you ever actually read the Constitution?

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 12:33 PM
    Comment #159117

    No. Or just very partially. But being a french living in France I should confess I’ve never felt the need to read a foreign nation constitution…
    For my defense, I’ve read the draft EU Constitution!

    Anyway, back to topic, don’t you find as important to defend all americans *and* keep all american kids free access to the best possible education?
    Please notice the “all kids” and “free access” parts.

    Does the US Constitution say nothing about education?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at June 19, 2006 12:54 PM
    Comment #159119

    A hike in the Minimum wage will get lots of jobs cut and hours cut back to 32 per week. this way if anyone misses work and does not meet the miminum hours required for full time employment not only does the employer get to reduce their workforce but quit paying benefits to the worker. How does that translate into votes when they side with big business against their voting base mimimum wage employees? It happened last time and will again.

    Tax breaks on college loans translates to tax breaks for the rich. Much like a windfall for career students and makes going to school a business not a hobby.

    If someone has to decide between dog food or Prescription drugs then they are eating to well. Has anyone priced a can of alpo lately?

    As far as alternative fuels, the Democratic party has a leg up on the use of hot air blowing carelessly in the wind and if someone could only find a way to utilize BS for fuel they defintely have a winner in this one. Ted Kennedy and his drug addict son could be a source of energy for the entire country.

    Posted by: lm at June 19, 2006 12:58 PM
    Comment #159126

    “A hike in the Minimum wage will get lots of jobs cut and hours cut back to 32 per week”

    Says who? Not calling it false, but I’d like to read that one for myself.

    “Tax breaks on college loans translates to tax breaks for the rich. Much like a windfall for career students and makes going to school a business not a hobby.”

    May be the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard. They still have to pay that money back you know. So they get a tax break on the interest…so what? It may not even effect their tax scenario unless it pushed them into a lower tax bracket - and in this case you’re dealing with someone who is NOT rich!

    And you should really do some research because it sounds like you are not aware of the many provisions and restrictions on college loans. It is not as if you enroll in a college and get free money for life. It is becoming harder to even qualify for assistance now that they cut grant funding again at the federal level.

    But I guess, once again, education funding takes a back seat to blowing stuff up and funding new executive departments who make decisions like: Des Moines Iowa needs more anti-terrorism money, and NYC needs much less.

    Priorities.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 1:16 PM
    Comment #159130

    Kevin,

    The federal government has no constitutional authority or responsibility to fund education. The legislature has managed over the years to say that it comes under the commerce clause and interstate commerce. Military and defense on the other hand are specifically stated in the constitution.

    The best thing that could be done for education in this country is to abolish the federal department of education and give the responsibility back to the states where it belongs.

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 1:32 PM
    Comment #159132

    Keith,

    I completely agree with you. I clammor on education because there is such an obvious indication of priorites in the comparison numbers. See the link below.

    http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

    But all things said and done, the less we have the feds do, the better. They’ve shown they can’t be trusted. But just because a power is express in the constitution does not mean using it is a good idea. I see it this way: there goes almost $300 billion we could have given to the states (after paying off the deficit of course) to use to revamp their schools and pay teachers more - the best first step to good future recruitment.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 1:41 PM
    Comment #159138

    1LTB,

    I love it when someone who obviously hasn’t had an original thought or moment of self reflection their entire life tells me what I believe. Guess you don’t personally know any liberals, or did they kill all of them where you live?

    Tirades are great when you stub your toe, but here?

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 1:52 PM
    Comment #159139

    Keith,

    Can you please list the impact the federal govt has on your local schools? I think the state still pretty much calls all the shots.

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 1:56 PM
    Comment #159153

    “A hike in the Minimum wage will get lots of jobs cut and hours cut back to 32 per week”

    Says who? Not calling it false, but I’d like to read that one for myself.

    Talk to some minimum wage employees such as checkers, stockers ect. It may be 35 or 30 but dependent on the employer. My sister is a checker for a food chain and making pretty good money befor the last hike in wage. after the last pay hike she was cut back to 32 hours a week.

    I should have known you would not research the facts as they only confuse you people but you have to maintain x amount of hours a week to be considered full time help and to get benefits from an employer.

    we have it at our work even if you aren’t minimum wage.

    May be the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard. They still have to pay that money back you know. So they get a tax break on the interest…so what? It may not even effect their tax scenario unless it pushed them into a lower tax bracket - and in this case you’re dealing with someone who is NOT rich!

    Well good going you just made my point about the BS coming from the Democrats. as far as tax break for the RICH it is a play on words like Bush gives tax breaks to the rich. only those who pay taxes get the break and only those who borrow money to go to college get the tax break.

    It is a rotten plank in a platform crumbling way to the left.

    Posted by: lm at June 19, 2006 2:31 PM
    Comment #159158

    Why doesn’t Sleazy Reid state when a spotted owl becomes a spotted owl?

    Posted by: lm at June 19, 2006 2:38 PM
    Comment #159161

    Loren,

    Here’s an original thought for you; respond to what I wrote rather than attacking me about my supposed lack of creativity. Address the points I’ve made. I say that the plank of the Democratic party is fundamentally hypocritical and detrimental to a good society. I’ve made a rather extensive list of why I believe this to be true. Why don’t you tell me how I’m wrong? As for not knowing any liberals, I’ve known plenty. My ex from 4 years in college was a liberal.

    Oh, we don’t kill hippies over here. Here we kill terrorists to protect people unable or unwilling to fight to defend themselves. Nice dig, by the way, it speaks well of you.

    Posted by: 1LT B at June 19, 2006 2:49 PM
    Comment #159163

    Loren:

    I think 1LTB nailed it.

    OOORAH!

    Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 2:52 PM
    Comment #159164

    I remember reading that the single largest group that defaults on their student loans are teachers.

    Prof. Ward Churchill listed several graduate degrees on his resume that he never earned.

    I wonder if he defaulted on his loans too? And he gets paid over $100,000 of taxpayer’s dough per year.

    Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 2:56 PM
    Comment #159167

    I’m going to try to address this stuff:

    “I remember reading that the single largest group that defaults on their student loans are teachers.”

    They make crap for money…what do you expect?

    “As for not knowing any liberals, I’ve known plenty. My ex from 4 years in college was a liberal.”

    Wow…he knew one once…so he’s an expert? How and when did that become logical?

    “Can you please list the impact the federal govt has on your local schools? I think the state still pretty much calls all the shots.”

    Will someone please give this person a list of supreme court cases in the last century?

    And yes, I do know about the 40 hours per week = full time status (benefits eligability). Companies have been trying to skirt this for years. There were class action lawsuits filed against numerous companies in the past decade (without a min. wage raise as a catalist) for doing just that…eliminating full time status to save on benefits.
    I think you’ll find that companies will try to exploit labor whenever they can…it is simply in their bottom line interests to do so. The answer is NOT to stop adjusting wages to inflation. That would be the tail wagging the dog.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 3:09 PM
    Comment #159194
    Will someone please give this person a list of supreme court cases in the last century?

    Oh, you mean like Brown vs Bd of Ed?

    Unless you want to make the red states the laughing stocks of the educational world, keep some sort of checks and balances in the system.

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 4:05 PM
    Comment #159206

    Loren,

    That is exactly what I want to do. If the republicans want to continue to persue this avenue of regulating behavoir, then I absolutely agree that where they have a substantial majority behind them, they should do it. But they will run the risk of publicity. I’d much rather have the world believe that Texans hate gay people for example, as opposed to Americans hating gay people.

    And Brown v. Board is a great example of a good ground breaking decision that was made in the wrong arena. If it was a state issue, CA and New England states would have been on the forefront well before that time. Again, when the feds do anything, even good things, they create a basis from which people can argue that gov’t should do more and more and more….until they are teaching your children about sex. Do you trust this? I’d rather keep it local.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 4:26 PM
    Comment #159210

    Loren,

    Then why is when ever there is a problem with test scores, the first thing the teachers union says is it’s Bush’s fault.

    Also if that’s the case why do we have a Federal dept of Ed

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 4:34 PM
    Comment #159223

    They believe that children should learn in Kindergarten how to use a condom but don’t mind so much if they can’t read when they “graduate” from high school.

    I don’t believe that, and no one here in nyc is doing that. We work more to learn how to improve education, while you try to re-introduce failed methods.

    They say they want to end poverty but continue to support a welfare system that has exacerbated poverty, fueled crime, gutted America’s inner cities, and left a legacy of failure and broken lives with nothing but a bill to show for it.

    Clinton did more to modernize the welfare system that all GOP combined. Besides let them pull themselves up by their own bootstraps when they have no shoes, what have you done?

    They say they support parents but don’t think you have a right to know if your 14 year old daughter (who probably wasn’t paying attention in condom class) is pregnant and wants an abortion.

    I think fathers who sexually abuse their kids have no right to make reproductive decisions.

    They understand abstinence when it comes to cigarettes and alcohol (not so much with weed) but don’t think it applies to pre-marital sex.

    Most weed smokers I know are republicans. I believe in teaching abstinence, but it’s stupid not to have a back-up plan, when, if the first fails, you risk health and life.

    They defend, to the point of treasonously revealing intelligence gathering operations, the right to privacy, which is written nowhere in the Constitution, but think “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” is negotiable.

    The only people who are worried about those intelligence gathering operations being exposed are the criminals doing it.

    Lets get that right to bear arms decided in the supreme court by your own favorite activist judges. If you want a gun, own one, but those who own guns should be held to a high standard of accountability and responsibility.

    They claim to be the voice of the people, then ramrod their agenda through the court system, convienently avoiding the legislature, the real voice of the people.

    And GW circumvents the will of the people and legislature with signing statements and the most secretive administration in history.

    And the purpose of the courts is to protect the people who the legislature has decide to screw over. If the leglislature had decided to take away your guns, your first recourse would be to go to the courts. If the courts decide for you, I doubt you’d be calling them activists.

    They say they support the troops, then base thier political fortunes on the troops failing.

    We all want the troops to succeed, but can’t really see what the GOP is doing to accomplish that. I didn’t support the war, but believe me we shouldn’t leave until the mess is straightened out.

    They’re pro-choice unless the choice you’re making is what school to send your child to.

    Send your kid to any school you want. I do. What’s the problem? Here in nyc, my daughter can go to any school. We didn’t like the one she started in, so we filled out the paperwork to change schools.

    They abhor when the President or law enforcement breaks the law in thier eyes, yet have no problem with 12 million people being in this country illegaly.

    I didn’t bring them here, you did. Capitalists pay them.

    They say you shouldn’t put your fortune in an offshore account and should pay your share if you’re wealthy unless your last name is Kennedy or Kerry.

    Do Nantucket, Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard count as off shore? If Kennedy and Kerry have off shore accounts, then they are hypocrites, not the rank and file dems

    Do you have an offshore account? I don’t. If you make money here, you pay taxes here.

    They want the rich taxed to death but can’t remember the last time a poor person gave them a job.

    Much is asked of those to whom much is given. Didn’t Jesus say that?

    They support increasing the Army by 2 divisions, about a 4th of what they cut when Clinton was in office.

    With full congressional support. Also, isn’t it Rummy who brags about how he has made the military more efficient? Doesn’t efficient mean doing more with less?

    They have no problem with an entertainment industry that glorifies violence, drug abuse, mysogeny, and every other form of deviant behavior but think its a faux pax to say the name of Jesus in public (unless its the name of one of the illegals who they think should have social services without paying taxes).

    The people in charge of the entertainment industry are some of the richest republicans in the US, and red states watch more sleaze than blue states.

    And I don’t want any religious leader leading my country. It isn’t good for the muslems, and it isn’t good for the christians.

    They say they believe in the freedom of speech, but only if its PC.

    The ACLU fights like crazy for right wing wackos to say what ever they want.

    They say they are for tolerance but won’t tolerate those who don’t go lockstep with their radical socialist agenda.

    Believe whatever you want, just don’t leglislate it. In other words, don’t put govt on my back…

    They say it takes a village to raise a child while turning the village into a cesspool of vice and moral corruption you want to protect your kids from, not interact with.

    Republicans of course have no corruption issues.
    A village means that we are all responsible for our greatest asset, our children. And we don’t want vice and corruption in our village any more than you do. The difference is, we stay in the village and fight, while you move into gated communities.

    They don’t think rape should be a capital crime but have no problem with executing a child whose only crime was to be concieved.

    Abortion isn’t executing a child, because it isn’t execution and it isn’t a child. And if the woman is pregnant because she was raped, you want the rapist to be executed, but the woman still has to have his child.

    They state that they are for the mentally and physically handicapped, then support abortions for parents who spot these conditions in thier preborn children. After all, these children won’t have a proper “quality of life” and will “be a burden.”

    I haven’t noticed any GOP standing in line to adopt the handicapped. And maybe if we had stem cell research,we could prevent those handicaps.

    They say they represent women’s rights, then say that abortion based on sex selection, which almost always ends in the abortion of an unborn girl.

    I have no idea what this means.

    They say they are for energy independence but don’t offer any alternatives to Bush’s comprehensive energy plan, which they then deadlock in the Senate. They then criticize the President for the nation’s lack of an energy plan.

    His plan was a windfall for his friends, but nothing for the avg American. And I notice he didn’t fight very hard for it, because it was only window dressing.

    They criticize Bush for not taking out bin Laden in the 9 months he had in office prior to 9/11 but don’t say a thing about the 8 years Clinton had to do the same.

    You guys would have screamed bloody murder if any troops had been killed by capturing OBL during Clinton’s admin, or said the tail wagging the dog.
    BTW 9/11 occurred 8 months after GW took office.

    They think the fate of the United States is best protected in the United Nations in the hands of “countries” with less of an economy than Pittsburgh and an “army” that couldn’t take on the NYPD.

    How is Iraq the fate of the US? I think the daily life of an American would be pretty much the same with or without the war on terror.

    They abhor the national debt but forget that their program of Social Security will bankrupt the nation.

    And GW’s retirement program will bankrupt the people. And our national debt occurred on GW’s watch.

    They cry foul over disenfranchisement for “hanging” and “dimpled” chads in Florida, then try to get military overseas votes nullified because they had the wrong postmark.

    I know. All of us libs were actually standing at the post office with fake post mark stamps trying to nullify the troops’ votes, while the GOP was performing racial profiling at voting booths.

    They love to mock Columbus but glorify Che Guevera.

    Columbus was cool, but kinda wierd. Che was cool, but turned out pretty wierd. They both look great on t-shirts, though.

    They think white people should be grateful to be told that they are the root of all evil.

    No, rich assholes are the root of all evil. Race doesn’t enter into it.

    They’re hearts bleed for those who earn less than the poverty level unless they’re privates in the Army.

    And you support the troops, but your leaders didn’t serve, and would never allow their kids to serve. And privates should definitely make more money, and be eligible for the GI bill.

    They say they abhor racial discrimination, then order reverse discrimination by government mandate.

    Old news…Next

    They support the freedom of religious expression as long as the religion you choose to express isn’t Christianity.

    No, as long as you don’t shove yours down everybody’s throat 24/7/365

    They seem to believe that well paid professional liars (hollywood celebrities) speaking to you from thier air-condtioned 25,000 square foot homes are the best people to lecture you about how you use entirely to much resources keeping your house airconditioned.

    And well paid CEOs and politicians should…

    They cannot comprehend how crime rates go down the more people you put in jail.

    And the GOP can’t understand why crime rates go down when you feed breakfast to poor kids, and offer them an education.

    They are against stereotypes, unless you’re talking about a slack-jawed, beer swilling, Bible-thumping, intolerant, bigoted, sexist, homophobe, redneck NASCAR fan. Or a jack-booted, neo-Nazi, gun-nut, anti-government, survivalist hunter.

    You’re right. I’m bigotted against intolerance. I haven’t used any of those phrases lately. Maybe some country singer could put all of them in a song. Might be a hit

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 5:14 PM
    Comment #159225
    Also if that’s the case why do we have a Federal dept of Ed?

    I don’t know, ask Bill Bennett.

    I’m a teacher, and we receive our marching orders from NYSED. Hoo-rah

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 5:16 PM
    Comment #159229

    Tell those on minimum wage… whom libs claim to care so much about… that the national average wages for teachers of $43,000 per year is “crap money”.

    They might tell you they want that kind of “crap money”… especially if they can work for less than nine months a year.

    And, before you answer that the starting salary is $25k or something… remember I said “average” … that takes into account the over 400 teachers (not administrators) in suburban Chicago school districts that make over $100,000 per year according to local news reports.

    Imagine how many in NYC, LA and other urban areas are making that kind of change.

    The same local news article mentioned that over 100 area school administrators were paid more than our Governor… and he makes $150,000 per year. The highest paid District Superintendent made $356,000!

    And, this isn’t the guy running the Chicago public school system… These are people runing school districts with four or five ES, two MS and one HS!

    So, save me the “teachers are paid ‘crap money’ line”.

    Me and my fellow property-tax paying voters aren’t buying it anymore.

    Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 19, 2006 5:34 PM
    Comment #159230
    Then why is when ever there is a problem with test scores, the first thing the teachers union says is it’s Bush’s fault.

    First off, find a quote to prove it.
    Secondly, we usually blame the test preparers, because only they can change the test.
    Thirdly, we’ve had standardized tests in NY for years, before GW was even born. Can’t blame him for that

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 5:35 PM
    Comment #159237

    R-O-W,

    I don’t know if where you live they hire high school drop-outs as teachers (it would explain a few things), but in most places they actually have to have a degree. That means they probably have loans. Either way, they are not making anywhere near what equally qualified people make in the private sector. If you’d take a minute to comprehend the point, I’m advocating making teaching a lucrative career in relation to the private sector. This way we guarantee great candidate selection. It should be an honor to teach the youth. You’d rather pick from what’s left?

    Loren…no offense, there are plenty of noble teachers in the world…I think we should guarantee to the BEST of our abilities that they all are. This is what businesses to attract better managers and officers. I guarantee you if we privatized education, the good schools would pay more.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 5:56 PM
    Comment #159240

    Keith,

    Let me butt in here and let you in on a little secret:

    When Bush was Gov of Texas, Texas had the TASS test, later it got renamed the TAKS test. The goal of the test was to find areas where their were problems, both areas in an individual student’s knowledge as well as schoold that needed attention, funding, tutor programs, whatever was necessary to get the kids ready for college or the world beyond highschool.

    Entire underperforming schools were first closed down, then the statistics were tabulated, then the district reopened the schools with no sign of the diagnostic purpose the tests were meant to serve. The result of this was that the statistics showing improvements in academics statewide in Texas, prior to Bush’s first Presidential run, were FAKED. Even more ominously, the schools that needed the attention to adress the problems the test was supposed to catch, got none.

    Another unfortuneate fallout was the fact that districts across Texas are encouraged to implement dry-run assessments so that they can catch and adress the problems before the official diagnostic test is given (five times throughout the course of every TX students trip through the schools). The result of that, plus the practice exams given by the state, is that six weeks or more out of every student’s academic years is flushed down the toilet so that the tests assessing that they are in the proper grade level can be carried out. That’s ONE SIXTH of the school year in diagnosis. When are the teacher’s to teach the CURRENT year?

    Now if that isn’t enough to get you thinking, consider that the end result of all this is that the teachers have no choice but to teach to the exam. Otherwise, the kids don’t do as well and the teachers get increased pressure placed on them.

    It’s a never ending cycle of absolute stupidity in educational policy!

    And the rather obvious REAL reason for all this? …It creates a bullet point to manipulate voters with.

    It should come as no surprise that the vast majority of teachers out there, especially in Texas, are DEMOCRATS now.

    The only exceptions are AMONG those who are secondary incomes in their families and vote along with spouses who are in other fields.

    Perhaps there is a place for some sort of diagnostic testing in public schools. In the abstract it seems like a good idea. It just needs to be de-politicized and implemented in a way that works to the benefit of schools and kids, not politicians! One test a year, taking up one academic DAY, should accomplish this goal. Anything else is selling the growing minds of kids for votes.

    Posted by: RGF at June 19, 2006 6:00 PM
    Comment #159249

    I’m also sorry to disappoint you, but the problems in our public schools did not start with president Bush. We have had over 40 years of liberal programs that are more interested in teaching kids how to put on a comdom and demonize things like smoking, instead of teaching them how to read. If we stopped the social engineering in our schools and taught subjects instead we would be much better off.

    We are currently letting students graduate from California high schools who can barely read and write at a 9th grade level. Does anybody think this helps society. When 35% of the students accepted to California State schools need remedial English and math before they can begin their regular classes we have a problem.

    Of course there is always the old we don’t spend enough argument. In CA we spend about $10,000 per student. You can’t convince me that we are getting our money’s worth.

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 6:37 PM
    Comment #159275

    Keith,

    The comment about “Liberal programs” Holds no water at all. You have correctly identified only part of the problem…a valid and real part of the problem, but not in any way a “Liberal program” problem at all. That was a completely preposterous shot. If you continue to USE the education issue to make political hey, you are no better than BUSH who did so for the sake of the presidency.

    Which brings up another point:
    I NEVER said the problem “STARTED” with Bush. I only pointed out how the issue was polticized by Bush in a way that contributed to making the problem worse and pointed out the only conceivable reason for doing so, was to make political hey just as you are doing here.

    Why is it that whenever a republican talks about education, they are almost always completely transparant and completely, obviously, disingenuously, trying to make political hay?

    We all know what happens to hay after the those with horse-sense eat it…

    Posted by: RGF at June 19, 2006 7:24 PM
    Comment #159286

    RGF

    Why don’t you enlighten me on the wonderfulness of our current education establishment and how it got to this point.

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 7:58 PM
    Comment #159291

    Keith,

    You point out that in CA, according to you, and I have no reason to doubt, each student constitutes an expenditure of about $10,000. You also go on to say you don’t feel like you are getting your money’s worth. Well first, over the public school academic life of the typical student from K through 12th grades, that isn’t much at all. That’s pretty bargain basement, really.

    But the real problem is that conservatives don’t know how to spend money wisely. That’s right. I said CONSERVATIVES don’t know how to SPEND WISELY!

    I’ll back it up:
    There is a school district North of Austin, TX called Leander ISD. It is in Williamson County, a VERY conservative area on the fringes of the civilized city of Austin (which is in Travis County). Leander ISD just opened a new High School called Vista Ridge. They spent Millions. The school opened complete with giant indoor practice rooms for the marching band, complete with wall-sized digital T.V. screen so the band could watch their own formations while they practice. Guess what they DIDN’T open with? ….Go on, GUESS!

    …BOOKS, Keith. They didn’t have books.

    Conservatives know how to spend money quickly and completely, Bush is proving that every day. …just wisely or effectively to accomplish anything with the money. Unless, lining the pockets of a select few few is the real goal, anyway.

    The example I have just given is the feshest in my mind only because it is the most recent. I have seen example after example of similar screw ups from republicans managing educational funds and priorities. I’ve witnessed decades worth of it now. This isn’t some shot-in-the-dark label-attack, like your shot at “liberal programs,”
    This is real. A real example of real republican-managed funds and how they have been screwing up in the area of education. This is not loosely atributable to republicans either - THIS MOST DEFINITELY is attributable to republicans.

    Posted by: RGF at June 19, 2006 8:11 PM
    Comment #159296

    RGF

    I really don’t know where to begin. You do understand that that is 10K per student per year.

    You’re confusing conservative areas with conservative educational establishments. I guarantee you that this wonderful school you’re talking about was designed and implemented by members of the liberal education establishment also known as educrats.

    Not only that but one anecdotal story does not tell the story of the state of education in this country. conservatives do not come up with zero tolerance policies that suspend 5 year olds for hugging a member of the opposite sex.

    If you really belive that conservatives have any control of the education establishment in this country, then I have some beachfront property in Arizona I’ll sell you.

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 8:25 PM
    Comment #159298

    Keith,

    you are using “anecdotal” example to accuse liberals and hurl out that preposterous label: “educrat.” Does that make you feel witty to use that silly name?

    As far as the beachfront property in Arizona…
    You forget I am from TEXAS. I know one day that beachfron WILL be in Arizona and I know the world will be a better place for it.

    I once proposed we put together a consortium of West Texas oil tycoons to build a pipeline out to the San Andreas and lube that sucker up!

    …but then their are the environmental issues to consider…oh well. I guess I’ll have to make do with doing all I can to ensure that Orange county conservatives become an endangered species as soon as possible.

    Posted by: RGF at June 19, 2006 8:32 PM
    Comment #159300

    RGF

    Did say anything to dispute the argument that the education establishment in this country is overwhelmingly liberal.

    Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2006 8:36 PM
    Comment #159307

    Because doing something good for your society is the antithesis of republican philosophy, and teachers don’t make enough money.

    Posted by: Loren at June 19, 2006 9:19 PM
    Comment #159335

    All I know is a liberal from Texas wants to destroy CA because of the conservative stronghold within. I was so confused for a while. I had to re-read the posts like 5 times to figure out who was who. I finally decided that any liberal-minded person who gives up on CA in favor of Texas deserves to get left out to dry.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 19, 2006 11:34 PM
    Comment #159371

    Loren,

    “Because doing something good for your society is the antithesis of republican philosophy”

    oooh that’s deep

    It’s tough to argue with such meaningful dialogue.

    Posted by: Keith at June 20, 2006 1:26 AM
    Comment #159430

    How many times can you repeat that little chestnut about liberals ruining education by teaching kids how to put on condoms in kindergarden? No one is doing that.

    But seriously, education probably just seems liberal because it’s too touchy feelie for you. And if it seems like social skills are being made a higher priority, that’s because anyone who actually spends time in a classroom realizes that in order for students to learn they must be in a supportive environment. Disruptive behavior and lack of educational progress have more to do with the kid’s mental and social state than what is being taught.

    I mean, think about it, most people lose jobs because they don’t get along with people, rather than because they don’t know work facts. That’s because they have no social skills. What good is any educational system if it doesn’t prepare you for real life in the workplace?

    A conservative in the classroom continuously rails on about how the kids are supposed to be able to do this, and in my day we did that. A liberal in the classroom has the same complaints, but says I’m tired of this shit, I’m going to fix it myself, or I’ll go nuts.

    Posted by: Loren at June 20, 2006 6:11 AM
    Comment #159573

    Labels Labels Labels

    What silliness.

    Everyone wants it cut and dry.

    My problems with CA are not about anything as mundane as politics. It is because there is a culture of pretended or willful ignorance that is most prevalent in CA. Regardless of politics, californians seem to prefer to NOT analyze or THINK but merely react shallowly. Regardless of politics, that is not true in TEXAS. Crawford, yes, but not Texas as a whole. That is why Kinky Friedman is doing so well and hopefully it will propel him to the office of Texas Governor. It is why there is a significant shift going on in TX right now. This November is likely to shock the nation.

    The education “establishment,” which is in itself a non-sensical pretended entity, is not in any way liberal. far from it.

    What I mean by that is not there is any kind of establishment. There is not. I mean that the influences and pressures being exerted on school policy around the country are, by far, predominantly conservative. But, they are dis-jointed and silly conservative. Things like editing efforts to remove any kind reference to evolution or the time involved in astronomical events or star formation. curriculum agendas such as the efforts to try and get prayer in school through being exerted by people like Pat Buchanaon who labors under the mis-guided illusion that a majority of students in any given public school should be able to vote away the constitutional rights of the minority who might be offended or left out of such a prayer in school scheme, Removal of references to Islam in World History courses taught in 11th grade in most public schools, efforts to implement teacher supervision schemes that diminish teaching time and quality and ham-string the ground level efforts of teachers to make the kinds of classroom level assessments and improvemnts that GENUINELY WORK for the kids, etc. etc. The assumptions that the system is somehow liberal are part of the same hogwash as the myth of the liberal media or the existence of WMD’s in Iraq.

    STOP BELIEVING THE LIES

    Posted by: RGF at June 20, 2006 2:29 PM
    Comment #159638

    I liked that last post RGF. I still find you to be somewhat of an anomoly in your stances, but I’ve had that same critisism leveled at me a few times. We just don’t fit neatly into a label.

    It is interesting to me what you say about Texans becoming more democrat. I would personally LOVE to see them turn blue. Not because I like the Dems to gain or win, but because it means things aren’t so damn partison afterall.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 20, 2006 4:38 PM
    Comment #159848

    Just a comment,all i have seen is finger pointing on who or what makes a good educator,hey if you all are resinged to your beliefs that a liberal makes a better teacher or on the flip side a conservative does a better job, then sadly I think we are in deep trouble.now we have come to a point where someone’s ideology defines them as a better educator Sad! I can’t say that the majority of the teachers are somewhat liberal.I guess i was blessed at fifty to have a good cross section of all teachers liberal, conservative, moderate, I will never forget my 12th grade teacher. A mr Adams, Black And Conservative and cool, he taught history and Also Had A Degree in Mechanical Engineering.he inspired me like no one other Teacher ever! his little speech about. ” Rodney learn your history and Build A Solid structure, then look to the Stars And heavens to keep yourself Humble. he never shoved his ideology down his students throats.A great teacher is like a great Government, when you have one you admit it. Right, Left or center. unless you are so short sighted and narrow minded. Like one President Said, as long as you stay on the useful part of the Road ,that includes republicans and democrats. if this is a anecdote for some. i won’t Apologize. if you disagree fine!

    Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 20, 2006 11:16 PM
    Comment #160136

    Rodney,

    The tenor of what you say strikes a note of truth. If you look at my previous post, I am FOR DE-POLITICIZING the education issue. It is no so much the republican-ism of Bush that resulted in stupid and destructive educational policy in Texas prior to his Presidential run…No, it was more about the no-holds-barred-winner-take-all-to-hell-with-morality-or-effectiveness attitude that the Bushies have been all about from the beginning. The old school republicans, Reagan republicans, at least in Texas, are shifting against Bush dramatically. It’s a good thing he won’t be able to run again. What that shift might mean for the GOP in general has yet to be seen. This November will tell the tale. But the education issue SHOULD be beyond all this petty political BS. With that much of what you say, I agree.

    Posted by: RGF at June 21, 2006 6:52 PM
    Comment #160240

    Kevin23 wrote: Says who? Not calling it false, but I’d like to read that one for myself.

    Pick up any newspaper and read why there will be no mimimum wage increase. or since libs are not good with the written word listen to radio or even your most left wing news station.

    Now you know the rest of the story!

    We’re right about all the other post as well. sorry, you lose we win.

    Now get on your high horse and condem a false religion that treats people the way they treated our soliders this week.

    Posted by: lm at June 21, 2006 10:07 PM
    Comment #160249

    IM-

    I WONT hold an entire religion accountable for a few extremists.

    And taking the ball and running home does not constitute a win. You won’t see our soldiers in Iraq kill one insurgent and then quickly proclaim victory and race out of there. Bushies will argue that all day. So why do Bush lovers do this in debates?

    I like to debate issues with facts, while others only care about winning at all costs. Hmmm…sounds familiar.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 10:41 PM
    Comment #160250

    What’s most ironic I think is how Bush’s win in 2004, has done more damage to their party’s image than anything else.

    Short-sighted victory mongering usually gets you backed into a corner by someone with a plan. This is what happenned to Bush in Iraq, and that is what happenned to the Democratic party in 2004.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 10:45 PM
    Comment #160258

    I do love a lib debate, they never admit someone was right and they never ever answer a question. they just spew the canned yaking points and rattle on. Rave on kev Rave on.

    Posted by: lm at June 21, 2006 10:57 PM
    Comment #160260

    I know now you will say what has your being right about everything got to do with the price of eggs in China.

    LOL yall are a yaking point yaking point, we win you lose and in november see it on the news.

    Posted by: lm at June 21, 2006 10:59 PM
    Comment #160263

    Just so we all know how many extremist would it take to make you admit that Islam is not a peaceful religion?

    Would 3 million in Europe and maybe 3 million in England and how about the 300 million in Indonesia and maybe all of Darfur and the Sudan.

    weeeeellllllllllllllllllllll?

    how many?

    Posted by: lm at June 21, 2006 11:05 PM
    Comment #160272

    It takes credibility to convince me of anything. Unless there is flawless logic.

    Both are lost causes for some.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at June 21, 2006 11:24 PM
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