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But is that what really want? Didn’t we go through a three year war to fight against such a brutal style of governing that completely discounts human life?

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Benghazi

To those who’ve been  insufferable to all others… Ha, ha. Treat yourselves..   Number 37,449.

(And if anyone wants to know the next fact up the trivial ladder of relevance it is this….)

Number 37,450:  The Hittites domesticated asses, horses, cows and raised honey bees.

Two teachers surveys hit this weekend relating to how prepared they are on Common Core…. One was led by the  National Center for Literacy Education a group of organizations devoted to  whole school literacy operations, and the other by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  As expected there are differences…

Teachers are concerned about how Common Core will impact students.  The difference is in how difference, two  different teacher’s surveys  think so.

The two surveys will be listed for the rest of this post, as NCLE and as BM Gates.

Number of teachers asked per study:

3300 NCLE;  22,000 BM Gates

Percent of teachers NOT involved with any planning for their students Common Core...

37%  NCLE;  25% BM Gates

Percent of teachers who felt they were well prepared to roll out Common Core

44%  NCLE;   75%  BM Gates.

Percent of teachers saying finding time to meet challenges is their most frustrating aspect

50% NCLE;  50% BM Gates

Percent of teachers worried about not being prepared to teach Common Core to struggling students.

80%  NCLE;  30% BM Gates

On a very troubling trend, the NCLE data show that over the last year teachers have become even more isolated from each other’s professional expertise, even as they are being asked to undertake the large, complicated task of CCSS implementation.

Honey I Shrunk The Planning Time

Courtesy of the NCLE

Furthermore only 17% of teachers were highly involved in Common Core planning….

Teachers Blocked Out of Common Core

Courtesy of the NCLE

The lack of peer groups of teachers working together, combined with time restraints, is damaging the effectiveness of Common Core Rollouts…

Teachers Need Collaboration

Courtesy of the NCLE

It appears that Common Core’s effectiveness  is doomed.

“Our classes aren’t divided equally. If you want us to have merit pay, you’ve got to base all our classrooms equally and give all teachers a chance to achieve those standards but it’s not set up that way. It never has been. “

“I’ve been teaching for nineteen years and I’ve had more evaluations this year than I had my first year of teaching. You are welcome in our classroom anytime. I want to be accountable. I am accountable,… but do it fairly,”

We’ve just watched the Olympics… What if any skier could start where they wanted to on the slope. As long as they had the shortest time, they won gold. What if a speed skater could skate as many times around the oval as he desired, and yet the shortest total time won?

Who would watch? No one. Because it is not fair… Obviously if you are going to give merit pay to teachers, you have to have equal arrangements…  An equal start where you begin. An equal finish where you end.  You can’t give one person all good students, and another all bad students, and golf-clap and pay the lucky one more? Perhaps lucky as she was, when it comes to teacher qualities, she isn’t the best one?

But how do you know? You certainly can’t tell from the test scores… because like a fake Olympics, you neglected to designate a starting line…

One seriously has to wonder if anyone thought merit pay through… Seriously! Did anyone really sit down for a day, play devils advocate, and think merit pay through?

Or did we base our whole system” on something that somebody said, because they though they fit together walking…. “, that is merit pay and teaching?

Do all teachers start with the same number of students in classes? Do all teachers start with the same spread of IQ’s across all their students? Do all teachers start with exactly the same low income mix in every classroom? Do all teachers start with exactly the same mix of non English students? Do all teachers start with the same number of Hispanics? Afro-Americans? American Indians? Asians? Caucasians?

What no? Then like the Olympics above, how can you say, whoopee, you win the gold?

Merit Pay will be the death of real education….

According to the New York Times, it is almost conclusive that Benghazi was sparked by anger  over the blasphemous video, and that there were no elements of Al Qaeda involved in the attack.

Darrell Issa is a fool.

I’m a little late, but I wanted to mark down mostly for myself but sharing it as well, the accomplishments being made as a direct result of last year’s elections….  Some of the conclusions are superfluous, but are perceived to be a result of the election’s consequences, and since perception is nine tenths of reality, they too are a force with which to be reckoned..

Remember this is general and is being painted with a broad brush….

The economy is number one.  Some taxes were raised which boosted the economy almost immediately.  This has been the most consistent trend over the past year.  The economy has benefited the same people it benefited before. It has not seemed to help those who were not helped before.   If you are an investor, this has been a great year.  Stock Market has never been higher.

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The number of private sector jobs has consistently grown across 2013…..

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One of the marvelous trends is the fact that once the solid line is crossed in the year 2010, it never drops below…  That means we have consistently been growing private sector jobs… Since 2010 we have never had a negative month… one where we actually lost jobs.  However Unemployment has not fared so well.  Even though we are growing jobs, we still have a ways to go.  In one of the most amazing graphs… so amazing I’m rather surprise it has not been featured until now, one sees all employment across this century….

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What is fascinating is first, the constant rate of growth.  the pitch of the line never changes.   But what is freaky, is exactly how that pitch mirrors the employment growth of the Bush years…  Not even Republicans can fault George W. Bush’s employment growth up until 2007.  Obama’s rate mirrors his rate exactly.

It needs more quantified research, but initial speculation would be that since the tax rates were similar (The Bush Cuts were carried over) that factor pretty well determines the maximum rate at which our nation’s economy is able to grow.  Furthermore it shows us that if consistency prevails, and since it has for the past 10 years there is little likelihood it wouldn’t, then we will have grown into employment levels which we had just before the crash in fall of 2014……

So investors have done well; the middle class hasn’t.

Consumer spending is exactly the same level as of the first of the year.  It’s low was reached during the sequester fight (Jan 28) and its high, was on August 18th.  As for now, we are were we were Christmas Day 2012.

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Consumer Confidence is right where it was in January.  We had some peaks over summer, but he shutdown lowered us back to where the threat of a shutdown held us hostage as the year began…..

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Only since 2013 have we made progress on hammering down the deficit.  The national debt is still huge.  it will take multiple budget surpluses to whittle it down, and to achieve that, we need to again tax more than we spend.  But we are not spending a trillion dollars in deficits anymore. we are only over spending by 600 billion which may become less by years end than 2003’s deficit….

Budget Savings 2013

 

Enough economics.

On the world front:

  • We have a possible solution to Iran’s giving up on being a nuclear power.
  • We have Syria dismantling their chemical weapons.
  • We are on course to leave Afghanistan.
  • We have Iraq begging us to please, please come back.

All of these would have gone completely the opposite way if you remember what Romney was promising during the debates.

  • Attack Iran with shock and awe.
  • Attack Syria with shock and awe,
  • Attack Iraq with shock and awe… oh wait, that was Rumsfeld.  Instead, Iraq was that we should never leave, and we should also stay in Afghanistan indefinitely.  But we should have never gone into Libya. My goodness, can you image the shambles the world would be in if he had ever been elected?

Not to mention,  his pushing of tightening up the money supply.  Just the anticipation of such, sends our stock market into a panic.

Domestically we have weathered Benghazi, more a Republican talking point than anything important.  We worked through the IRS scandal which it was revealed to be a forward thinking sound policy and not a scandal after all..  Political groups friendly to the president were swept up in the nets as well.

The Common Core package fortunately seems to have stalled.  It was always a low priority, and with the drying up of TARP and Stimulus funding, it seems like most state’s enthusiasm is drying up as well.   The program does not seem to be able to get past the roadblock that the tests themselves create.  There is enough opposition  by enough parents so that this program maybe salvageable in part, but dead in the water as a whole.

It would be nice to have a viable program in its place.  One that aims to put an 11:1 student/teacher ratio in troubled public schools.

But, the most notable event and the one with the biggest blowout, was the revelations by one Edward Snowden which were made last July. America is collecting huge amounts of data.  Since then the leaks have only become worse.  Americans have compromised the entire Internet.  They have broken into banks, they have spied on foreign competitors, they have become a service offering  “information for hire…. ”  And although too early to tell, implications are that is may have been done secretly even keeping the president and his officers completely in the dark….

Which is really scary.  Cheney’s shadow government is alive and well……

If true, this is our greatest threat.  Simply because unlike the economy, unlike unemployment, unlike Syria, Iran, or Israel, unlike the Republican yellow journalistic scandals…. this one is against us.  It violates our Constitution.  It is against all we purport to be…..

One interesting parallel…. Long, long, long ago, the city state of Rome was also a viable democracy, and like us, it too expanded its empire across the known world…  Until Julius Caesar marched his armies into Rome, took over the reins as dictator, done in order to bypass the quagmire in which it’s Congress had become bogged down…  It was originally supposed to be a temporary solution….  For the next 400 odd years, Rome never went back… Instead one bad Caesar followed another, often at the point of a sword (there was no NRA back then)…

Looking the other way at a scandal of this proportion, especially if it was done as a rogue element of which the White House now even barely has a clue as to how deep it goes… and what is has been doing,  then we already have a Caesar, and whoever it is, they are not elected by us, We, The People….

This can be fixed quietly, internally, and we may never hear of its resolution.  Or it could get worse.  Much worse…

The final solution is to cut off the NSA from its unlimited sources of money…. Even shut it down, or better, let a more porous government agency, even that of the CIA take it over….

Spying on American citizens is simply put…. un American.  It has never been who we are.  We’ve always chose the other way.  It does not represent what we want ourselves to be….   Any person could spy on their neighbor if they wished.  Any person could hide in his neighbor’s bushes and watch them get undressed… Most of us would be so creeped out at just the idea, we would never, ever consider doing such a thing.

The fact that most of us would never consider something that creepy, has always been what has made Americans so special, so likable, and so loved the world around…. We were different from those Communists….  Well, not any more.

As each new NSA revelation comes out, one just can’t shake the creepy feeling that somewhere Voldermort,  somehow is pulling all the strings……

 Ever had something  smell so bad, you just stay away from everything associated with it?   Like a likable girl at work, who just one times farts the most horrible obnoxious smell, and you choose never to see her again?  You’re not mean.  You just throw up in your mouth at the Pavlovian response to seeing her image.

Well, even though almost no one has been paying attention, Darrell Issa in his House hearings on the IRS scandal, has refused to release the transcripts of his interviews regarding the IRS scandal, and has instead, only released readjusted transcripts that point to a giant arm of government reaching across state lines to investigate right wing conservatives….  

Instead of shedding light on what actually happened, Issa is trying to manage the release of information to form a narrative that the activities were politically motivated, and driven from the highest levels of the Obama administration….

Well enough was enough.. Democratic Elijah Cummings called Issa’s bluff and released the full transcripts.  Here is the release in two…. parts…. .  Issa was lying. Caught in the act, he has painted the Republican party again with the same portrait it carried last year:  it lies about every single thing… 

America is sick of lies.  That is why Republicans, even good ones, can’t get traction among the American people…  Their leaders are so odious, no one even wants to push a button listed next to a name in the Republican column…  They throw up in their mouth at just hearing the word… Republican…. UUUgggpPPP splish,splop,splap….

It is a crime when individuals are found tamping with evidence. Tampering may include a manipulation or movement of the evidence during or after the crime. Individuals can in fact be charged with being an accessory after the fact, if they manipulated evidence in any way.

Did a crime occur in the Republican caucus surrounding Darrell Issa.

ABSOLUTELY.  Evidence was tampered…..

CBS News reported that at least two of the Benghazi e-mails that were leaked by Republicans last Friday were altered.

One of the altered e-mails was from Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes. The other altered e-mail was from U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Here’s the Republican version of the Rhodes e-mail:  We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.

Here’s the White House version of the Rhodes e-mail:   We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.

Here’s the Republican version of the Nuland e-mail:  The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.

Here’s the White House version of the Nuland e-mail:  The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.

BUSTED!!! 

Evidence was tampered to imply a crime.  Under all state codes this can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.  We need these investigated…  The law was broken.  Congressional Hearings are in place to get to the bottom of the truth.  They are not intended to be kangeroo courts to make up evidence that doesn’t naturally exist….

The law was broken.  Arrests need to be made… This is not about Democrats or Republicans… This is about the trust and truthfulness of the United States of America.

If Congress were run as were DC’s Schools?   Darrell Issa would be thrown out of Congress…. From the DC school manual…….

Tier IV behaviors result in off-site Suspension.
(a) The following behaviors shall be considered Tier IV behaviors:

(1) Acts of vandalism, destruction of property, or graffiti (tagging);
(2) Documented theft of school or personal property without force;
(3) Interfering with school authorities or participating in a major
disruption of the school’s operation.
(4) Tampering with, changing, or altering an official record or
document of a school;

Here is the Texas’s definition of tampering.   Darrell Issa would be in jail if this took place in Texas….

A person commits an offense if, knowing that an investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he:

(1) alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding;

(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding;

(3) knowing that an offense has been committed, alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in any subsequent investigation of or official proceeding related to the offense; or

(4) observes a human corpse under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed, knows or reasonably should know that a law enforcement agency is not aware of the existence of or location of the corpse, and fails to report the existence of and location of the corpse to a law enforcement agency.

In Texas, this is a felony in the third degree.

The evidence brought forth a week ago that inflamed the nation, was a fabrication. “Directly it was an attempt to make, present and use a record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding….”

18 USC § 1001 – Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

In their quest to call it terrorism –and it is– the republicans just opened themselves up to a crime.

I demand an immediate arrest of Darrell Issa for breaking the law…. Full Censure by the House of Representative of this common criminal is called for immediately…..

Congress to Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association. This was just days after gun hecklers interrupted the father of one of the slain boys of Newtown, by screaming “2nd Amendment! 2nd Amendment! Gun Rights!”

It was horrible, tasteless, and crude, the work of thugs. But I’m glad they did, because it set up the perfect comeback…..

If guns are so important to you, that you will miss them so terribly when they get taken away, I’m sure you can understand the grief of those of us who also had something extremely precious taken away. Your guns (assault rifles) killed these children. When you can give us all our children back; we’ll give your assault weapons back…

I have a Constitutional right to raise my child; that got taken away. That is a billion times more of a right, than you will ever have for any weapon that has only one purpose, to kill people by throwing so many pieces of metal towards them that maybe one of them will hit.

America has every right to ban assault rifles as well as high capacity clips. It is legal. It is smart. It is Constitutional. It is inevitable.

Republican Issa, who is making an unprecedented foray into classified territory to try to indict the sitting president before the election, released documents that named every informer we had working for us in Libya.

When asked in private, Issa is reportedly to have said. “It won’t matter as long as we get him (Obama) out of office.” The Republicans in the room all churned up their approval.

Once again, Republicans show they don’t care about human lives. In this case, the only reason for this release was for political gain.

The documents are intended to show what the US knew before Benghazi. They could have simply been processed with black marks over the names of those informers. However, for it to hit the news cycle before the debate, it had to leave the room by 2:30 that afternoon. The redaction would have taken two hours for the 4 staffers available.

Representative Issa made the call to send the documents out without redaction. There was a discussion over the morality of doing so, and Issa, made the call that those on the ground in Libya, were expendable for this chance at the President.

The documents prove that Obama was not in the loop. Although Issa is apparently too dumb to understand this?…

It reminds everyone of the quickness with which Romney himself tried to use Benghazi as a political tool, well before any facts had emerged over the death of the Ambassador.

These Republicans for lack of any better word, are fools. They are far more damaging to America’s security than any Soviet spy…