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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 36,428

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Romney has an ace in the hole he hasn't played yet...

"Vote for me, and I'll show you how to get rich bankrupting businesses! It's quick, easy, and all it takes to get started is borrowing a couple of million dollars from your parents!"

He could do a late night infomercial and sew up the whole race.

PIC: Thomas Jefferson on Obama vs. Romney

I posted a version of this before with Bush, that people somehow mistook as an insult to Obama (I guess by just have his photo next to Bush's).

I hope this one is more clear.

transcript: Romney revives Bush "nuclear blackmail" lie

Baby Bush 2002:

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. ...He would be in a position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nuclear technology to terrorists.


Mitt 2012:

If I were Iran, and a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong or if America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what, unless you stand down, why we're gonna let off a dirty bomb." This is where we head, where American can be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.


If Saddam then or Iran now threatened us with a nuclear attack, it would deserve about the same response we give North Korea, which is not much, for the same reason: what do they think would happen NEXT if they pulled the trigger?

We have enough nukes to burn Iraq, Iran, AND North Korea off the map AND do the same to the rest of the world.

Several times over.

We are the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons against another nation.

The leaders of every country in the world know this, which is why they would never launch a nuclear attack against us or give a nuke to terrorists to detonate here: before one mushroom cloud cleared here, their country would no longer exist. If we couldn't find a return address on it, we would simply go down our list of countries we don't like and pick one.

I wish Democrats would have to balls to just say this. It would also have the practical advantage of making Romney and other fearmongers look like liars AND cowards.

RAVITCH: Conservative think tank praises Obama for standing up to teachers' unions

Is this really the amount of choice we deserve in a democracy? A candidate who backs endless standardized testing to prove public schools are failing, and uses that as an excuse to privatize the schools even though those private FOR PROFIT charter schools do worse more often than better than regular public schools?

And the other candidate is a REPUBLICAN whose only difference is he will spend less money on schools in any case?

What will it take to get Obama and the leaders of the Democratic Party to listen educators and academics instead of Wall Street sociopaths looking to make a buck off our kids like so many barrels of oil or pork bellies?

Did President Obama Embrace the GOP Agenda?

by dianerav

The conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute has published a paper commending President Obama for standing up to teachers' unions.

The paper compares President Obama's support for school choice and evaluation of teachers by test scores as a "Nixon-to-China" paradigm shift.

In other words, the paper suggests, Obama's education policy has done a full pivot, aligning it with the traditional GOP agenda.

Can anyone explain this

dianerav | September 19, 2012 at 10:34 am | Categories: Charter Schools, Corporate Reformers, Democrats, Education Industry, For-Profit, NCLB (No Child Left Behind), Obama, Privatization, Race to the Top, Unions | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-1YA

If people reject Romney for his 47% remark, shouldn't that free Dems from GOP ideas?

Seriously, from the stimulus on down, Obama and "centrist" Dems have felt the need to water down good policy proposals with half Republican tax cut and "feed the rich and hope that something of nutritional value trickles down on us after they digest it" bullshit.

Why don't they finally say "Enough is enough. Vote enough real Democrats into office and we'll show you what we can do when we don't have to placate these sociopaths"?

And then actually do it.

Whether they will do this is something else, but at long last, isn't it time for Democrats to stop propping up the corpse of conservatism as if we all agree those are the best ideas?

RAVITCH: 50% drop in enrollment in teacher training? Are We Decimating the Teaching Profession?

Two stats here show the urgency of stopping for-profit, corporate-dictated public school "reform" in it's tracks:

In 1988, teachers had about 15 years experience, today it's ONE year.

That wouldn't be bad if it was just from a bunch of old farts retiring, but in conjunction with a 40% drop in new teachers credential over six years and a 50% decline in enrollment in education majors in California shows students are seeing teaching as a risky choice at best as a major.

Those who want to beat up traditional public schools with endless standardized testing to prove they are failing then replace them with for profit charter schools or education management companies can stuff their pockets with cash, pat themselves on the back, and get all the amens they want from the media, but they have made the teaching profession radioactive with their constant teacher bashing, micromanaging, and mass firings.

That is not a recipe for future success.

Are We Decimating the Teaching Profession?

by dianerav

An earlier post described research showing that experienced teachers are leaving the profession in droves. In 1988, the modal number of years of teacher experience was 15 (meaning there were more teachers with 15 years experience than any other cohort). By 2008, the modal years of teacher experience was ONE. There were more first-year teachers than any other group. This can't be good for children or for the quality of education as every study I have ever seen says that first year teachers are the weakest of all because they are brand-new and just learning the ropes (sorry, TFA). There are anecdotal reports that enrollment in teacher education programs is plummeting. Here is more:

This was in my local paper on September 11, 2012: “The number of teaching credentials issued from 2004-2010 dropped by 40%, while the number of college students in teacher training programs plunged by 50% This comes from the Task Force Report on Teacher on Education Excellence (State of CA) which also stated, “The state has focused too heavily on holding teachers accountable for standardized test scores without properly equipping instructors and schools. This dangerous combination has driven many accomplished educators out of the profession.” Does this surprise anyone? I personally know of first and second year teachers who have bailed because of pressure applied by their site principals. Instead of supporting them, they have been overbearing in their expectations causing potentially wonderful teachers to second guess their choice of careers and leave. Not just move to another school, but leave the profession they worked so hard to join. We are losing a generation of students to the almighty test score. Do we want to continue to lose great teachers as well? Our children ARE our future. Invest in their future by investing in their teachers who are highly trained professionals.

dianerav | September 18, 2012 at 8:05 am | Categories: Education Reform, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-1Y9

Why is Romney flailing so badly?

The obvious answer is he is an incompetent nitwit and is losing on the merits, but that answer only makes sense if you forget the Crawford Caligula, and the kids gloves the media treated him with.

If he made any of the gaffes Romney has (and he did much worse), it might make it into the news ONCE and then never be mentioned again (if that much).

What is really going on here?

TOON: This Modern World on Romney and Libya

Original Post and past toons at DailyKos

Privatizing Public Schools: Big Firms Pimp "Failure" to Profit from "Fixing" It

It's tough to narrow this down to just four paragraphs, but it says a lot about the bipartisan attack on our schools, and why politicians insist on "solutions" that do no better and often worse than the existing system.

Can politicians fix something without making the already wealthy even wealthier at the expense of the rest of us?

I am not especially against companies making profits providing the tools teachers need to do their jobs (though I'm getting pretty damn close), but we are getting to the back assward situation where the tool-makers are dictating to the carpenter how many hammers he has to buy and how many whacks with each one he needs to give every nail even though they've never built a house in their lives.

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The investors gathered in a tony private club in Manhattan were eager to hear about the next big thing, and education consultant Rob Lytle was happy to oblige.

Think about the upcoming rollout of new national academic standards for public schools, he urged the crowd. If they're as rigorous as advertised, a huge number of schools will suddenly look really bad, their students testing way behind in reading and math. They'll want help, quick. And private, for-profit vendors selling lesson plans, educational software and student assessments will be right there to provide it.


The K-12 market is tantalizingly huge: The U.S. spends more than $500 billion a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors.


In the venture capital world, transactions in the K-12 education sector soared to a record $389 million last year, up from $13 million in 2005. That includes major investments from some of the most respected venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, according to GSV Advisors, an investment firm in Chicago that specializes in education.


THIS AMERICAN LIFE: When education "reform" killed a good public school

From Diane Ravitch:

A reader remembers an important radio program about school reform. Listen up.

The strike in Chicago reminded me of an episode of This American Life from 2004, 10 years after “school reform” began in Chicago. It tells the story of one amazing public school that did a lot with very little. When “reform” began, the school culture deteriorated. This is a very moving account, and worth an hour to listen.

I have been writing This American Life to do a follow up to this story, or perhaps a series of episodes on school reform. I encourage the readers to do the same.



If you haven't heard the show, it is rarely political, but when it is, its storytelling style delivers a powerful emotional punch.

I didn't really get why people were upset about Hurricane Katrina beyond any other natural disaster until I heard their episode on it--then I copied it and sent it to my friends and family.

Ira Glass is like the Mr. Rogers, zen master Michael Moore.

It might help if we contacted THIS AMERICAN LIFE and asked them to do a follow up or at least rebroadcast given the timeliness with the strike. It's episode 275 Two Steps Back

email address: web@thislife.org

Twitter: @ThisAmerLife for Chicago teachers strike replay ep. 275: Two Steps Back about a good school undone by "reform."
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