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If you didn’t hear Allan Loudell today, you missed one of the best broadcasts I have heard since those early days of CNN leading up to the First Gulf War.

You know how today’s news is kinda sickening and syrupy?  Promoting an agenda, with t’s crossed and i’s dotted?  Well this broadcast went back to the old days of journalism, as when CNN was starting out, … of putting people familiar with the MId-East on, and letting them tell us what they knew….

It was amazing and one came away from is with a wider knowledge of who is pushing what, even though why still, at this point makes no sense….

As a lesson that “what makes sense” usually turns out wrong, is this potential solution that seems to be a win, win, win for all.

Only in America…

Actually Britain, but it was still an American, our own Secretary of State, John Kerry.   When asked by a reporter in London, what, if any, alternative there was other than war that could possibly solve this,  Kerry flubbed and said.… Well, if Assad were to turn over all his chemical weapons to the international community and let them be destroyed, US would find it hard to go to war….

Putin quickly responded… That is a great idea… Let me call Assad…   In minutes, Assad said… “why yes.  What a great idea.”

The White House was quick to back track…

“Uhhh, Kerry wasn’t serious… We still want to go to war (reason still unknown),  and Kerry was just making a hypothetical argument knowing full well that the impossible could never occur, that Assad would give up his Chemical Weapons…”

(Mental note:  the White House really wants war.)

Meanwhile all those familiar with the problems begin working through the implications.  It is a win for Assad.  It is a win for Russia. It is a win for Iran, Hesbollah, Israel, Jordan.  It is a win for America and the west.  it is a win for the rebels in Syria.  We’ve gone full circle…

So, John Kerry’s big FU’… may have just unintentionally saved the world from a war no one except those in the White House, ever wanted…

Only in America… (well technically Britain)

What a great excuse for a cup of tea…  and a biscuit or even better, two.

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The educational department of the University of Delaware is ranked 31st in the nation... That is at least out of 5000 accredited teaching schools…

Not only that, they are 31st in the top ranked educational teacher training country in the entire world… Apparently there is no educational crises in America when it comes to teachers receiving top notch training.

Overall, the top 10 countries in rank order are the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom….

What just passed last Thursday in Delaware, now requires the University of Delaware, again now ranked 31st in the top educator nation in the world, 🙂 to be judged solely on how its teachers administer Common Core when they go out into the field…

Common Core?

Just how good is this Common Core we are talking about?

New Attack on Common Core From Pennsylvania Democrats

Common Core Standards attacked by Republicans

‘Common Core’ Standards Come Under Attack By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press

Nation at Risk Anniversary, Common Core Under Attack

Common Core Conundrum

Common Core State Standards Under Attack

The RNC’s Attack on Common Standards

The War Against the Common Core

911: Common Core Under Attack

Rotten to the Core: Conservatives spearhead drive at RNC meeting to stop Common Core

Weingarten Calls For A Moratorium on the Implementation of the Common Core: A “Save Harmless” Year for Planning That Includes Parents, Teachers and Principals.

Washington Post: Common Core is in Trouble

Common Core Standards Facing Increased Opposition

Common Core – Language

Common Core Makes Waves

Indiana Among States Acting to Oppose Common Core Standards

Lisa Nielsen: Is the Common Core an Attack on Progressive Education?

Common Core: Education Without Representation

The Common Core: The Good, the Bad, the Possible

Your Children Need a Néw Brain for Common Core

Kentuckians Against Common Core Standards

Toynbee Predicted Privatization

One would think someone in Legislative Hall would have at least looked into Common Core before mandating that the 31st best teaching institution in the best ranked nation for turning out good teachers, would have to be judged on its effectiveness by the results of a program everyone is having so much trouble with.

Progressives are against it. Tea Party Advocates are against it. Democrats are against it. Republicans are against it.. Red States are against it. Blue States are against it. How could this be? Could it be possible they all have children?

In fact, it appears there is no one who is in favor of common core, across this entire great nation we are so fortunate to live in… No one except 59 Delaware legislators, who apparently didn’t get the memo…..

Common Core is being defeated.  Some states like Delaware are doubling down which is about as effective as using children fo stem the Russian Invasions of Berlin.  Most states are abandoning the idea before they lose their investment…..

Common Core is actually uniting various groups once thought completely unmixable, bonding them in opposition to its implementation.  Called “Obamacore” by Conservatives.. Called a “Mistake” by Teachers Unions. Called a “Boondoggle” by state legislators trying to find ways to pay for its cost. Called a “National Disgrace” by Progressives worried over its damage to our international competitiveness. Called a “Tyranny” by the Tea Party, outraged over the complete loss of local control…

One entity still defends it.  Wall Street and those who serve it.

For those of you who don’t know, Common Core was actually developed by our state’s Governors. Jack Markell was a one of the leaders who pushed this. The program was then adopted by Obama and under his secretary of Education, Arne Duncun, all federal money as been tied to its implementation.

In fairness, I like Common Core. It embodies most of the ideas I have stressed since blogging.  However, though it sounds great in theory, I must admit, it is not working.   Our children are being denied a great education because we are teaching remedial math and remedial English over and over again for one reason…. to boost test scores.   The reason for this focus on test scores,is because that is how we determine which schools we will close down, which principals will be forced to resign, and which teachers will be fired.

Obviously in that environment, all a child will learn, is how to take the test, and how to score the most points with their answers.  Nothing of which will help them or help us in the real world when they become our newest generation of the employed….

The problem is not with the principles or aims of Common Core. The problem lies with the tests and their current use as a weapon to hold over people’s heads.  The tests were meant to be used as a tool for analysis…  How much did Johnny know in September. How much does Johnny know in January?  How much will Johnny know in June?  What a great tool if it were honestly applied and not doctored up, contorted, or flagrantly adjusted in order to prevent a horrible outcome that has absolutely nothing to do with each student’s educational needs!

From the American Teachers Union –Randi Weingarten….““The Common Core is in trouble, There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”

Across the nation states are rushing out tests based on the new standards without preparing teachers and designing new curricula… Here the states are saying… “Take this test you’ve never seen. If you don’t do good, you’ll lose your job.” “Kid, on this test you’ve never seen, you did bad. You can’t graduate despite your 4.0 average.” “Ladies and Gentlemen; parents of this district! Your attention please! We have to close this school because your students, failed this test on stuff they’ve never seen.”

That is why parents are fighting back. 8 moms in Texas have pushed a bill in Texas to roll back the number of tests required to graduate from 15 to 5. Governor Perry will veto it.

That is why one child in five fails the Texas standard tests.

Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and South Dakota have legislation ongoing to pull or modify Common Core Standards.

Kentucky just had a 30-40 point drop in scores because of Common Core. The assessment you took this year was much more rigorous than anything that you’ve had before. It takes three or four years for the teachers and the kids to catch up.

But legislators are not the ground level.. Teachers are. New York put a message board so teachers could comment on issues they were having with Common Core implementation….. Most of the comments are negative.

There is something wrong with the timing of this test. I thought we were testing kids on their ability to really read closely but all they had time to do was rush rush rush. Also what was weird was the passages were not that hard – so it’s not going to look that hard. And the questions weren’t that hard. But the answers were ridiculous. Adults with PhDs wouldn’t have known which were the right answers sometimes – really. But when you have barely a minute to think about it, it really became a test of how much you could rush or how much you could remember off the top of your head….

My sixth grader was in tears after the second day of the test. Didn’t even get to the essay – has NEVER had that happen before. What’s the point of making kids feel this awful about themselves? He’s a good student, now he feels terrible

What’s up with reading four pages of directions to the kids before they start? My English Language Learners were in a daze…

Watched my child do test prep booklets, test prep mornings, test prep afterschool, even test prep Saturdays. Then she didn’t even get to finish the test. Taking her to a bookstore this afternoon to find some real reading..

Third graders had to keep rereading and rereading these long answers to find them in the passages. Is that really what we want third graders doing? I’m worried about them poring over these small details forever.

The test wasn’t hard at all but timely. Students couldn’t finish the exam. How can we judge students on an essay when they weren’t able to do the essay because of timing. Common core wasn’t written to test speed reading it was written I believe for deeper comprehension. Its almost as if we set up our students for failure. Also for a company to use text from their books in an exam seems unethical and unfair. Lastly I wonder if the writers of the test should be judged on some of the grammatical errors that occurred in the answers that seemed not to make sense and often times looked like two choices could answer the questions…..

Including questions that were both tedious to interpret and would require the stamina of an Olympic athlete to answer is at best unrealistic, and at worst, cruel. I am also baffled by the decision to include texts that are recommended on the Engage NY website in terms of level of complexity for 7th graders, on a 5th grade exam. Is the message for teachers then that grade-level reading is now inadequate and instead, all students should be reading several grades above their level?…

Is your blood boiling yet? If you have children, I’d be willing to bet it is….

Spend an evening reading what is really going on with Common Core….

Then, do something about it….. Start with calling your Governor….

Lucy Calkins, a professor at Teachers’ College at Columbia University: “I’m a big supporter of the Common Core. I wrote the best-selling book about it,” Calkins said. “But this makes even me question it.”

Another hot button in both No Child Left Behind and the Race To The Top, is the teacher accountability piece as is related to the value added component.

I’m for the value added component.  I recommended it be enacted decades ago.  What that does is measure the ability of a child in September; and measure that child (through testing) in May, and if there is any difference, .. that child learned…  The teacher gets credit for adding value or more to that child’s knowledge,  It lets us know who is teaching well.

Because face it:  personality polls by students don’t work:  easy teachers get high marks.  Administration evaluations don’t work:  brown nosers get good scores.  A final test doesn’t work.  Those with good students coming in, look like great teachers; those with problem students coming in, look like problem teachers…

So to determine who was best at dicing apart knowledge in just the right way, so children could take the pieces and build them into structures of knowledge,  one needed to test the beginning and test the end….

Of course, I developed this idea long before corporate entities had a stake in failing a district in order to print and sell more tests…   Of course, this idea was up and running long before anti-unionists saw artificially low scores, could turn the public against their teacher and the teacher’s unions.  And yes, this was before charter schools, or education for profit, was as big and as pushed for as it is today… ….

I saw it as a way of improvement….  There is a reason old teachers have better results than teachers coming right out of school… They learned tricks over time.  Through trial and error, they developed their own best way….  Someone new and just out of the gate, has to take the theories they were given in class, and try them… some are worth something, other won’t be, but only time and coaching will give them, each new teacher,  their own best way.

So for a new first year teacher to learn that they are very good in English, but not so good in Math, is indispensable for that teacher’s development!

It didn’t turn out that way!

We the theorists, approached the legislatures and what we thought were helpful corporatists, with this novel method of measurement that would require their funding to implement.  Test for the value added by each teacher….

What we didn’t expect, was this would somehow be pirated by those whose goal was to destroy the public education system and replace it with a privately funded one….

So accountability or a tool to improve one’s teaching, somehow became subverted into a weapon one could wield to weed out any teacher who answered to a higher cause, other than improving the advancement of their supervisor….

Those supervisors tend to be a lot higher up than one’s principal……

So here is Mr. Principal’s Amorphous Catch-22.

Principals are caught in the middle: they want to offer frank feedback but are all too aware that any criticism is a black mark that can be used to deny a teacher’s contract renewal or tenure. In this case, killing two birds with one stone—when those birds have about as much in common as a penguin and a pigeon—is extraordinarily ineffective….

So the principal is kept from giving honest value added feedback to potentially a marvelous teacher, because if he does, she gets fired….

How does this move us forward in improving our children’s education, can anyone tell me?

There are ways around it. And good principals do it.  As anyone in a corporate environment knows, a good boss is one who protects his good workers from the confusions up the ladder…

The best way to handle an evaluation in this environment is to bring in a teacher for a conference, tell her you already did the evaluations on paper for the state, and hand it too her.  Most likely it will be favorable since you weren’t bent of firing her. Tell her the consequences pro and con of the evaluation, either a raise, or demotion…

And then, put it aside, and say, these very important words….” that was for them, and the rest of this is for you... This is strictly off the record… ”  At this point the principal sincerely points to ways he thinks each teacher can improve, and listens to their frustrations and figures out his part in clearing away the obstacles beyond her control…. In other words together they have a good business meeting designed around developing ways tobetter  improve the education of their charges..

Where you have principals who are good in this type of duplicity, you get good results.  They form the team that works together, they constantly improve year after year,  Guess who benefits the most?  Kids.

Of course compare that to the Republican model of administrator,  a person who is cursed with the fervor of accounting for everything, who fires half his staff every year because they aren’t prefect enough for him.  Of course, … his student’s results plummet every year… There is no carryover year after year!

But ironically, in today’s mad state of affairs, this person is the hero because he is firing people who despite tremendous effort, simply weren’t absolutely and unequivocally perfect at that certain time and place…..  I don’t know about you, but I think it is time we parents, teachers, and local citizen controlled school boards  work to change the goals of who should be fired first, and instead,  fire administrators based on how well kids aren’t learning and not based on how many teachers they can find to fire….

We are now receiving the hard data.  Throughout the Charter versus Public School debate, the concern on one hand was that allowing Charters to compete, would force Public schools to close, and once done, the charter schools would perform no better than did the public……

In the ’90’s as these ideas were first proposed and debated upon their merits, but there was no evidence; it was all theoretical..  Now, we have actually  done it and are getting hard data….

Here is their history in one paragraph.  If a charter school opens up in a failing school system and the public money per student is allowed to follow that child, obviously parents at no cost to themselves will opt to put their children in a charter school.  Simply put, if their public school is rated  “F”, the charter school can be no worse.  So the charter School being  someone’s private  investment, now begins accepting children with public school money that comes from citizen’s assessed property taxes… As more charter schools open up in that same failed district, they siphon even more public money into these private enterprises, pulling it of course  out of the public school system in that local area.  So the public school which was previously  failing, is now accepting a much lower number of students, yet trying to maintain the same infrastructure covering that wide geographical area..  For example, its school buses have to run the same routes whether they receive cash per student to carry 5 students or 35…  Obviously the public schools have to do with less, while the charter schools have to do with more… The charter schools choose their students in certain cases, and can send them back to public if they don’t meet expectations.  The Public schools must take whomever is left,  in.  Gradually the quality and sheer numbers of students deteriorate so much, that these public schools have to be shut down.  Too many schools are too empty and that is too costly…  Consolidation must occur.

Philadelphia and Chicago are closing schools.  And Guess what?  Most of both are black.

The argument can be made that we are accidentally closing the door on the only one way a person can pull himself out of the inner city quagmire: with a quality education….

Now let us back up.  The argument for charter schools was that they would provide that door or that opportunity for these citizens to help pull themselves out. Theoretically,  if all charter schools had huge success stories, then this plan could be a viable option.

If such were the case, all of us including myself would be in favor of charter schools… As I look back over the past 20 years I can now see how we were seduced into allowing them to happen.  If someone had substituted the word  “private schools”  instead  of  “charter schools”, no one would be against; we’d all be in favor….. private schools (which used private funds), competing with public schools would be a good thing.  People would have a choice if they could afford to let their children get a great education or a good one… I think Britain has functioned fine with its Eton School for Boys.

Then, when the argument became enhanced, that drawing such a line financially was not fair to underprivileged children who had talent,  a lot of us felt that yes  they should receive scholarships to go to good schools, and that was fair.  Then, when the lack of scholarships for the amount of private school openings became apparent, all were lulled into letting the public money for that child, follow the child where he wound up going… even if it was outside the school system and into someone else’s private pockets….

Allowing public money to enhance private pockets, particularly in a urban environment where lots of potential students surround a converted building, opened up great possibilities for some to get wealthy…  Just a hundred students at $15,000 each per year, could bring one a gross of $1,500,000..  One could squeeze that few into  just three rooms of 35 students… Double that, and one gets $3 million.  Do it across the city, and gross $100 million….

So is it really that bad for someone to get wealthy IF… kids are getting a much better education?

And up to now, this was the dilemma .. No one really had that answer because no one really knew.  No one had ever tried it before….

That was then.  We now have results and can analyze this experiment and see, once and for all, how charter schools can impact the growth and development of our children!… This is truly awesome, actually!…. .

In Philly, over a quarter of the district’s 195,000 seats are now empty. That is 48,750  empty spots…  But more important, is the number of the remainder:  146,250…

In Philadelphia, the proportion of students attending charter schools jumped to 23 percent in the 2011-12 school year from 12 percent in 2004-5, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The actual number of Charter School Students  within the Philadelphia School District, according to the National Alliance for Charter Schools,  is 47,800… just 950 student shy of the district’s empty seats……..

Quite a coincidence!

In all 23.4% of Philly’s children are enrolled in Charter Schools…. The district projects a 37 percent increase in costs associated with charter schools over the next five years, bringing the total charter cost to more than $800 million…. That will come out of the public school budgets.

Last year,  Philadelphia charters met AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress)at only 29 percent, yet that was still better than the 13 percent tally for Philadelphia’s district-run schools…..

Mathematically that stacks up thusly….

(0.13)146,250  +  (0.29)47,800  =  Total Philly students meeting  requirements….   The math gives us this many successful students:  32,874…

In 2005,  there were 185,000 students in the city district’s public schools.  At that time, 34% were deemed advanced or proficient….. Doing the math we get this result…. 62,900…. actual students who were advanced or proficient…

In 2005,  the Philadelphia School District put out 62,900 students meeting standards.  In 2012, after experimenting with Charter Schools,  the same geographical area spit out 32,874 students meeting standards…

Conclusion.  Having  charter schools and public schools duke it out over scarce resources, not unlike the recent movie Hunger Games,  cuts our actual passing students down by  almost half….

We now have evidence.

There is a lot of mistrust between teachers and the Race To The Top administration.

Most of that comes down to testing, and evaluating a teacher based on her students.

One might think that would be ideal.  If you don’t teach well, you shouldn’t be a teacher.  “You are the weakest link,… Goodbye!”

However with teaching is it not so easy.  I’ll give you one example, which I sincerely hope never occurs.  It is so horrible, but it demonstrates a weak link in the process so I’m using it as an example anyway.

If you are the teacher, and every day your students get sodomized while they are at home,  how can anyone teach with that?

“Oh, she’s a bad teacher; look at her test results;  look at her students, none of them are engaged.  They are all in their own little world.”  Let’s fire this one.

Now do you get it?  How can anyone be a successful teacher in that environment?  You are getting so fired.

Perhaps they weren’t sodomized. Perhaps instead they didn’t eat the whole time they were away?   Or perhaps they saw their neighbor get beat up on the street, eye hanging out of his socket?  Or perhaps they were kept up with screaming, and sounds of fist hitting faces?

And the next day they are in front of you in relative safety, the memories burning on their cortex, and you are explaining the  executive branch of government….  “Excuse me, I (the teacher) asked you a question;  if you aren’t going to pay attention, you have to leave.”  “I ain’t leavin”… Yes you are! You haven’t paid attention since you came in.  Get out, now, take your books, go to compulsory.  You are ruining the educational experience for all these kids.  What’s wrong with you kids these days.  You won’t have a future because you won’t pay attention; you won’t learn..”

(Evaluator watching over the internet notes:  failed to control classroom;  creates incident unnecessarily)…

Teachers can’t win, and that is why there is such animosity to this system created in some office by someone wholly unfamiliar with what goes on in a student’s world.   They think everyone today is growing up just like they  grew up, white in a small all white town,  with a church on every corner…

Furthermore, because these evaluations were thought-out in an office somewhere, there are a rather large number of inconsistencies.

We suddenly have German  and French teachers being rated by how the Spanish teacher did, because there is no evaluator knowing German or French and tests were not created to measure them.  We have the drivers-ed teacher, being rated by how the Physical Education and Health department test out.

Usually the rubrics used to rate teachers, are 1 – 5.   One thing that could assist in the roll out of these new evaluatory programs, would be  that instead of manipulating data to cover the inconsistencies, you simply put down a “5 rating” anywhere there is something that is out of line.

Teachers are worried they will get screwed.  If you do the opposite,  and just hand out 5’s whenever there is a category that can’t be evaluated, much of the anger will ebb and disappear.  Teachers don’t want free high scores; they want to show they can teach well.   Putting these 5’s in place of items completely out of their control, alleviates the fear and stress that something over which they have no control, will make them unemployed.

Later, as the fact finders pick through these fives throughout the evaluation process, the inconsistencies become apparant, they jump right out at  you. The following year you can develop actions that match and test those areas in a fair way.

Seeing the problems Tennessee had with their teacher’s evaluations,  should Delaware just put down 5’s and announce this policy ahead of time,  would make life so much easier for all involved.

Remember, the total score is not what this accountability session is all about.   Keeping good teachers is what this accountability session is all about….  When kids have good teachers, sometimes despite the problems I mentioned above, … a good teacher can somehow, someway, in a way no test can ever determine,  find that secret hidden passage and finally get through to them…

The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”

Local call or not, Sussex County is weighing in on whether to say a prayer before County meetings or to not… Here are a few takes on that policy: one, two, three, four……

As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.

Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…

Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…

If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!

Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…

(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…

The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.

Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.

But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…

If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…

Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….

So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…

It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……

Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….

Reading through much, and reading what others have read, I can say I’ve seen nothing much to be concerned.

People are people, and always will be. If someone acts pompously, expect to get called out on it. Learn from it and move on.

What is funny, is that I’m sure they have opinions of individuals within our state department, that are far more condescending of us, than anything so far leaked about them.

There is a lot to read, but so far, nothing drastic has hit the fan. It makes little difference whether they were published, or kept in secret forever.

Just like a marriage, when secrets come out, it’s a good thing. Things unsaid and therefore never acted upon, can now be fixed.

Were these leaks about hardware, that would be different entirely. They are only about people, and opinions people have about other people. And as everyone who reads this knows, opinions are worth a bag of crap.

Still reading.. Will let you know if something changes. But right now, it’s as if all the hoopla lead up to the release of The Lord of the Rings, only to get The Last Airbender.

Like having bad farts locked up in the bathroom, it’s about time we opened the door and cleared the air.

Tit for Tat:

Anyone who reads this blog knows that comments are where the action is.. The best writing is usually below the canal, where smart minds give and take and dissect the others points of view… Having spent an inordinate amount of time on one such comment, I thought today’s epistle would be, something that in the olden days would have been titled: “Comment Rescue… ”

(Since I didn’t garnish another’s permission, I’m not naming him or her, but if they want to come forward on their own, they most certainly are welcome… They probably will, because their comment is not that hard to find.. But I thought the overall give and take was done well enough to showcase to others how all argument should take place on blogs, and use this as a measure upon which all other future commentary can be judged…)

“Bush is the person who fought a war in which Americans died for oil.” Where was Congress? I seem to remember they voted to send troops but that can’t possibly be so, can it?

There are two ways an administration can approach Congress… One is to say look at all the evidence and come to your own conclusion… The other is to say, take our word, we have the intelligence that says this will happen, we need your support as a fellow American… The latter was the path that was taken… Today, trying to pin Congress in on the instigation of the Iraq War, is nothing but a cowardly attempt to shift blame… Those of us who know human nature, chuckle at each such attempt, because we know that is done only by people who KNOW they are guilty… The act of blaming Congress actually drives home our point that Republicans were guilty and got caught! The proof is there. Cheney constructed the threat of Iraq and sold it… We found out too late it was nothing but a contrivance…

“Bush is the person who bankrupted our nation by spending every dollar of the surplus and then ran our nation on deficit spending for 8 years…Let our children pay for it!” So you’re a deficit hawk then. Great. Please direct me to the post where you go bananas when Obama takes a mere 143 days to surpass Bush’s 8 years of spending which included not one but two wars.

There are two kinds of deficits. one is flagrant spending of favors to bolster the Republican party’s power; the other is to borrow to save a nation… Deficit spending saved us during WWII… The deficit spending that was spent recently, is an investment that saved the entire financial global network. The government of the United States of America, absorbed the stupid Republican-caused collapse. We now own shares of the banks. When the economy grows, we can cash those shares in at a profit. Your deficit argument is like castigating a well-meaning American homeowner for going into debt for a house… After all, someone signing a $250,000 note while making $30,000 is scary. But it is a good thing for the rest of us, that a lot of homeowners have balls, isn’t it..

Republicans obviously don’t have balls or brains. … Their wimpy whinings are no more relevant than the naive advisor who says “don’t buy a house, rent… You don’t want to go in debt.” Bottom line, the deficit of saving a nation, worked.. or has so far. The previous administration’s deficit, of making the wealthier even wealthier, didn’t work. Instead it fucked up this nation….

“Bush is the person who pushed the Medicare Reform that first tripled the cost of pharmaceuticals and then reimbursed drug companies three times over what the drugs originally were worth.” Cite please. I agree that the program was ill conceived and even poorly executed but I’ve not seen anything approaching these numbers.

If you bought drugs over the counter and paid $40 dollars for your supply before the Medicare pharmaceutical supplements came to be passed by the Republicans, today those same drugs cost $120 dollars, and the government covers $80 of those dollars and you pay….. $40 dollars… What has changed for you? The pharma companies are now getting $120 dollars for the same drugs they once got $40 for…. you pay the same $40, and your children and grandchildren pay the $80, which assuming interest will accrue, could amount to about $240 dollars depending on how long we allow the debt to continue unchecked…… The sacrilege comes from the fact that the $80 dollars part, was added to the deficit, so the wealthiest 1% could receive a tax cut… We doubled the cost, while cutting the revenue stream in half…

Smart Republican policy… WE are all paying for our nations stupidity now, aren’t we? As for citation… go to you own bills or ask you parents… That is far better citation than I could ever give… Go look.

“Bush is the person who deregulated our finance industry, so it collapsed on his watch.”
Nope. Bush warned three times that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were headed for trouble and he was rebuffed three times. Misregulation was the cause not deregulation. The largely unregulated hedge fund industry (Cerebrus Capital notwithstanding)skated through while the very tightly regulated insurance and banking were devastated.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not the problem although Bush was right to warn us of their unwieldiness… No, they were secondary symptoms caused by the main problem which was in Phil Gramm’s Commodities Act, a clause he inserted which allowed all derivatives to be unregulated. Insurance on these derivatives, was also unregulated… When the time came for AIG to cough up? There was no money! It had all been spent on bonuses… and when the Feds coughed money to save AIG, they tried again to spend it on their bonuses… such malfeasance among our corporate brethren, can only happen on a Republican’s watch… “do what you want… we Republicans won’t interfere.” The Democrats would have been all over that before a crises had occurred…

“Bush is the person who sent your manufacturing jobs overseas.” Really? Did he put them in boxes or…? Labor and regulatory costs sent them overseas. Blame our high standard of living.

No, our jobs went overseas because it was cheaper under the tax codes made up by Republicans to make something in another country and bring it back over… Under a better tax package this would not have occurred, we would not have had as deep of a deficit, and we would have had a much healthier economy. As pointed out in the Kavipsian theory of economics, the difference of only 5% in our top rate, is all we needed to keep our economy steaming forward as it did during the Clinton years.. Pure and Simple. It is the Republican financial philosophy that caused us to experience what earlier this week became official: 0 % real job growth over the entire Republican presidency… That is just plain sick.

“Bush is the person who tried to remove your social security.” If remove = privatize then yeah he made a half-assed attempt and then quit.

Facts are in: Had Social Security been privatized.. as of around somewhere in November 08… It would not have existed. I call that getting rid of Social Security.

“Bush is the person who tried to get rid of Medicare.” By increasing funding?

Medicare has always been on the Republican chopping block. Bush was nothing new at putting lip service into eradicating it… The increased funding you mention, was passed on to future generations… That shows real responsibility… “Here, spend as much as you can on your health… Don’t worry! Your children and grandchildren will foot the bill…”

“Bush is the person who came close to nuking Iran.” Define close.

As for defining usage of nuclear weapons upon Iraq, that is what all were saying… In fact, one ranking officer said he would refuse the order if given to bomb Iran… Everyone who wasn’t a neocon, received a sigh of relief…

“Bush is the person whose policy made the US hated around the world.” Really? How’s Barry’s Charm Offensive going? Poland hates us, he snubbed the King of Norway and the UK, our closest ally isn’t returning our calls. Bang up job there Barry. Oh, and Muslim terrorists are still trying to blow up our airplanes.

As for Barack, I haven’t seen the evidence you mention… I do know, however, that the entire globe breathed a sigh of relief to see the former president step down…

“Bush is the person who destroyed the economy…” Please keep it straight. Is he a dunce or an evil genius. He can’t be both. (I’ll give you a hint. Liberals typically make Bush the dunce and Cheney the Evil Genius.) YMMV.

So say what you will about Barack… He is no Bush and for that, every American can be thankful…..

Since taking office, he has saved this nation several times… Bush in eight years… with help from all Republicans, mind you… destroyed it… At the rate were are currently on, (knock on wood) we should be in good shape to remove the rest of Republicans from office by this November…

With lies about Barack circulating about, yes, we do have some work to do, but then again, everything wonderful that ever happened to this nation, has always had some work behind it….

He says so.