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I read the comments made yesterday by Ccusd Watch and was a little shocked because he or she basically just listed the racial composition of BASIS and University High. It was not said explicitly, but the clear implicit message from that post is not just that BASIS has as much or even more diversity than University High but that there is some sort of cause-effect correlation between race and academic success. Ccusd Watch, just so you know, it's income, not race, that is the determining variable. It is not just higher standards and not just the number of AP classes, and not just the particular Core Knowledge curriculum that Basis uses that make it successful. The same variables that make BASIS successful in Tucson are the same variables that will enable BASIS to be successful in Washington DC -- families with enough time and resources to allow their kids to spend many extra hours after school at home still working. Poverty and low-working class salaries for many families in Tucson do not allow their kids that opportunity. They cannot succeed at Basis because they have to go home and babysit little sister from 4-12 while Mom goes and works a second job cleaning rooms a the Hilton or washing dishes at Applebees. They do not live in families that have the resources to pick them up at school and give them the time, freedom and privacy required. Because of limited family resources, those kids literally cannot spend the extra time at home studying and working at school work that Basis requires. Race has nothing to do with it, it is all income and resources. In Washington DC, families with resources will have kids who can be successful in school too. Race is not the key variable, income is. You said that opening a school in Washington D.C. will be the "true test of whether BASIS works." No, it will not. BASIS works. We already know that. But the salient point is that we all know it is not an realistic option for the entire system because too much of America, just like too much of Tucson is mired in debilitating poverty and kids in those families cannot get picked up at school, be driven home at at 4P.M., eat a good home cooked, nutritous meal made by somebody else, and then sit down and devote their energy studying Core Curriculum material until 8 or 9 P.M. in a quite place, uninterrupted by noise and distractions. A life of poverty or a life supported by a low working class salary does not allow that sort of student or family dynamic.
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Scoop, go over to Ezra Klein's blog at the Washington Post and read the exchange between policy wonk Ezra Klein and Rep. Paul Ryan. Very informative. Even Ryan himself says:"We agree that Medicare should grow...." This is because the tyranny of the numbers cannot be ignored; it's demographics. More old people are retiring, more people need medical care. It's a population bubble. The fact that we will be spending more is undeniable, cannot be wished away, cannot be ignored. Given the context, your STOP SPENDING statement just seems weird and bizarre. So the question is, how do we slow down what the government spends, and how do we reign in medical cost inflation, which grows faster than regular inflation every year. Klein posted 8 questions for Ryan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/some-questions-for-paul-ryan/2011/05/19/AGucUIBH_blog.html), and (give him credit) Ryan did respond (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/paul-ryan-responds/2011/05/19/AGALwkCH_blog.html#pagebreak). It's a very long exchange, well worth the read. What you'll notice is Ryan does not answer Klein's questions, and the only substantive reason he gives for his non-answers is factually wrong. Ryan just got exposed as an emperor with no clothes. Klein's response to Ryan's answers is even more enlightening: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/responding-to-ryan/2011/05/19/AGZVStCH_blog.html#pagebreak Ryan's plan is going to shift huge costs over to the people, and it hopes that the lucky charms of the competitive market in health care will inevitably lower costs, so seniors will not have to bear a too-heavy burden, and the federal government will not be saddled with huge expenses. Problem is, all his assumptions that he uses to build his "plan" upon are wrong, and we all know it. Klein does an outstanding job of showing this clearly. Ryan keeps referring to "experience and economics" to assert that the private market will excel at holding down health care costs. But that doesn't work, and we all know it. Have costs for an education at a university gone down because of the ever-increasing competitive market? No. I like markets - they have supported my pleasurable lifestyle, but they have never held down costs for health care, anymore than they have ever held down costs for a university education or held down salaries for a professional athlete. And the fact that Ryan wants to get away from the 5% overhead costs Medicare enjoys and replace that with 15-25% overhead costs private insurance companies support, and still claim we'll be saving money under his "plan" is patently ridiculous. Now, lucky for us all, smart people came up with some good ideas written into the Affordable Care Act, ideas that will drive down inflationary costs. The dirty little secret many on the Right don't want people to know is that Ryan and Republicans just voted to keep the cost-control ideas Dems put into ACA for the next ten years. That was part of the House Republican budget they all just voted on. So don't check back here for explanations. Go read Ryan and Klein discuss particulars, then go read the House Republican budget and get yourself informed about the cost-saving particulars.
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Last I heard, Sarah Palin was spending this year getting educated - hired tutors, foreign policy experts, started reading newspapers, American history textbooks -- so she could make a political comeback. Her lack of knowledge and reputation as an ignoramus short-circuted her possible political career. So she was endeavoring to fix that obvious shortfall. I guess she gave up on that. She also tried TV. Made a bunch of money, but an unfortunate dynamic occured: initial high ratings were followed by a steady drop...and polling revealed the worst disaster of all: the more people saw of her, the less they liked her. So she had to give up that strategy. So this new move is brilliant: re-energize the Christian Right. Nobody else is doing it, and enough time has passed that many forget why the movement leaders, who previously entered the political mainstream and tried big things, got sullied and lost their way (more tax cuts to millionaires is not exactly reminiscent of Jesus telling people to help the poor and weak). But movement politics does not rely on intellectual coherence or intellectual consistency. No, it's all emotion and psycholical positioning, so it's a really, really, really scary incipient movement from my point of view. Palin will go around to historical sights and tout "One Nation Under God" and "The Fundamental Restoration of America". She will promote a Texas style version of American history (you know, delete out Thomas Jefferson and other inconvenient thinkers), and push the idea that the Founding Fathers were Christian, and everybody else should be Christian too. It's brilliant. Republicans cannot campaign on Ryan's plan. That's a disaster for everybody: people over 65 don't want to see their kids fall through the cracks, people approaching 55 are VERY worried about falling through the cracks, young demographic wants to be free of the pernicious tyranny of the private insurance market. So the Ryan plan, which appears to be all the Republicans have, is a total loser and everybody knows it. Boehener or Cantor don't have any good ideas to increase jobs, McConnell is back in his underground slimy toad hole out of sight, and nobody in the party is doing anything constructive to get America back to work ...so they got nothing. NY Dist 26 just revealed many who voted Republican already have buyer's remorse. SO, Rebrand the campaign as a Christian Revival, and WOOLA, they now have something to run on and energize the tropps with. It's brilliant politicking. And very scary. It's scary because there is a long history of this type of politics in American history. Historian Richard Hofstadter’s classic essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” discussed numerous manifestations of what now is commonly called the politics of ignorance, whereby the conversation is always cast as a battle against some type of enemy plotting to destroy the American way of life. You don't need intellectual coherence for this argument , you just need to gin up an enemy: McCarthy, Goldwater, John Birch, Beck, Tea Party, etc, etc, too many examples to list them all. And now we add Palin. This is a really, really scary proposition.
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Scoop, did you forget about FDR? Afterall, FDR was elected several times when the unemployment rate was higher than 8%. More importantly, you seem to miss the historical reality that the only time the unemployment rate gets really high in this country is when a Republican is in charge. Democrats bring it down, Republicans drive it up. But since post-Great Depression, in all our history through the 50's, through the 60's, through the 70's, through the 80's, through the 90's, through the last ten years, guess what? The unemployment rate has only been over 8% when Republicans are president! Shocking, isn't it. Eisenhower had a rough patch in '58 at 7.5%; then after a long, healthy Democratic stretch through the 60"s at roughly 3.5%, late Nixon and Ford had a stretch of 7 and 8% in 74-75; Carter got it down a little to 6%, then it shot back up under Reagan to 7.5%, then 8.5%, then 9.5% then all the way up to 10.8% at the start of '83. It didn't get under 7% until 1987. In 92, it was 7.6%, and of course we all breathed a sigh of relief when Clinton took over and brought it steadily downward so that when Bush took over it was in the 3's. Then, Bush saw it rise steadily: in the 4's in '01, in the 5's in '02, in the 6's in '03. Then we know about the disaster, absolute free-fall by the time he slinked out of office we were losing 3/4 million jobs every month! Go to this page _ http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=248&count=all - where they list the unemployment rate every year going back to 1948. There is a clear and undeniable pattern: employment is always a lot better under Democratic leadership. Only time the rate ever gets above or close to 8% is when a Republican is in charge.
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Obviously a Frank Luntz special - "shared sacrifice." Sounds fair, sounds moral, sounds American. I am continually amazed, astonished, and angry that The Republican party keeps their flim-flam con game alive. Cut taxes for the richest (According to Dave Wells at ASU, 37% of 1.6. Billion in tax cuts since early 90's have gone to the top few percent -- there is our budget hole right there) and in turn cut funds for education, and cut medical care for poor people. That's "shared sacrifice." Take from the middle and poor and give to the top is being sold and accepted as "shared sacrifice" in this massive flim-flam con game. By the way, the poor and middle income people of this state still pay their taxes--actually pay even more taxes since sales tax increase went into effect. According to Eller College of Managment at the U of A, Arizona’s use of the sales tax was above the norm; sales taxes are 30% above average on a per capita basis, or 47% above average on an income basis. In other words, people in the middle and bottom pay a disproportionate amount in taxes, but they get the services they pay for and they rely on cut. They pay more and get less. That's their part of the sacrifice. What does the top get? They pay less and get more. The con game continues, and people still buy it. I don't get it. Rosanne Barr used to say, "Why do the chickens keep voting for Colonel Sanders?"
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Bush used the false, cooked numbers generated by Houston schools superintendent Rod Paige as a campaign talking point to help him win the presidential election in 2000, then he hired Paige as the Secretary of Education for the whole United States. I am sure people at Enron studied how Paige cooked the books in Houston. Flim-Flam masterpiece. When your stats go from 26% passing the 10th grade Math test to 99% passing, people started examining the numbers -- everybody from Washington Post to 60 minutes. Absolutely amazing thing is that Rod Paige kept his job for four years -- the whole Bush first term. Bush never fired him, even after it became widespread public knowledge that the "Texas Miracle" was was really a Texas cowpie, all hat and no cattle. It was fake, false, phony, through and through. The Texas economy success story has always been a mirage too. When the numbers are examined closely, it too is all hat and no cattle. A quick look at the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that since 2007, Texas's per-capita GDP has shrunk by $11. For contrast, look at the bluest of the blue states: in Massachusetts, it's grown by $700. And when I look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I find that most sectors of the labor force in Texas saw a decline in jobs – mining, construction, manufacturing, financial, information, trade, transportation, utilities. Two saw an increase: Education/Health Services (+3.9%) and Government (+1.8%). So no matter what Rick Perry blathers about, the facts show the government is responsible for the jobs created in Texas the last 24 months. The facts just don't coincide with the story that has been created about the Texas Economy, which is extremely low taxes and no regulations spur the economy to run on all cylinders. That's obviuolsy more flim-flam, more of a Texas Tall Tale than reality, because Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada and some other states have also tried low taxes and no regulation and their economies have not responded. No, Texas has low income, high poverty, poor schools and low quality of life, few if any social services for the poor. And they are broke. The truth has been hid underneath Rick Perry's hat and people have been fed a story. Seems like they have a long tradition of tall tales in Texas.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2011 on Keep your eye on Texas at Blog For Arizona
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Times change, but people don't. This is exactly why decades ago teachers formed unions, and in large districts tenure rules were negotiated and instituted. In the early 60's, my parents were both teachers in the same school, and Mom was treated with different standards than Dad, and had to live up to different and unequal expectations. Back then, a teacher could get fired for frivolous reasons. It wasn't just coal miners and factory workers in the automobile plants and farm laborers who were the front line of the Labor Movement in the United States. It was also teachers, who often labored for low pay and were subject to the kind of treatment the subject of this article is being subjected to. If you're young and didn't live through the history, a good essay is posted online by the California Dept of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/re/hd/documents/yr1999hd05.pdf So, this is emblematic of one of the reasons we do not want, as a society, to have our schools run by private businesses. Education is a public enterprise, rightly so, where gov't work rules and gov't standards are appropriate. Fair and equal treatment, some measure of job security, and representation in a union to negotiate salaries and protect work rules is a necessity, just as much now as it was in 1963. Times change but people don't, and we've already spent years and years figuring out standards and working conditions and work rules that work. It is not right to turn over this public enterprise to a private company that can choose to ignore history, and ignore fairness, and ignore decency and run their shop or school in a way that fit right into a Dickens novel.
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I am encouraged to notice that the regimin of standardized testing that was forced upon us and shoved down our throats is now being looked at with a very critical eye. Finland has scored a the top of the international tests n Math, Reading, and Science for last 12 years, and they deliberately rejected the prevailing standardization movement. What they did instead to reform their education system is quite interesting: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/82329/education-reform-Finland-US Finland pays teachers extremely well. Their teachers make 102% of what their fellow university graduates make (compared to 65% in the United States). They made teaching a highly competitive and very attractive career choice with the high pay, and they get very talented people as a result. What's really interesting in that article though is what else they did. Besides paying teachers a lot more, they also did away with standardized testing (no AIMS in Finland), mandated kids play outside for at least 90 minutes a day, and also mandated kids take classes in art, music, cooking, carpentry, metalwork, and textiles. They take the exact opposite approach we do and have great success! Even before Bush's education guru Diane Ravitch came out in public and said she has changed her mind after looking at ten years worth of data -- The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465014917/) -- Finland had reached the same conclusion and reformed what it did, and has experienced great results. Notice how what Finland does, and how it does what it does, is contrary to the ideas propagandized and pushed by the GI. And the results are indisputable.
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Analyze your statement, Anti-Commie: Start with a personal insult, saying your opponent doesn't have a mind. Then use a second personal insult asserting Dupnik was either over or under medicated. Then a third insult by trying to dismiss the whole discussion as unworthy and asserting that anybody who even tries to defend Dupnik's statements are embarrassing themselves. Then close by calling names again which are insults. Your whole post is four insults and name calling. No substance, no logic, no history, no real ideas. Just name calling and insults. Do you know what IRONY is?
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Effective words if your objective is to frame an issue or perspectives in such a way to that serves your interests. But not effective if you are defending an intellectual position, if you are engaged in a debate that requires substantive ideas to be supported. Let me ask a question: Since the conservatives are in the majority, since they have the power, why are they marketing themselves, or framing the issue so people are connecting words that represent a persecuted and abused minority to themselves? Is this really a backwards world we are living in? The analytical answer is obvious. In a debate, in an argument, in public discourse, when do people resort to ad hominem attacks? That is what this is, after all, isn't it? The word choice is making a clear statement: we're a persecuted minority being abused by an ugly and abusive faction that should now be seen as wrong. We all know you attack the person when you don't have what it takes to attack the ideas, when you are not strong enough to stand up and defend your ideas in an honest and intellectually coherent way. When your ideas are not strong enough to stand scrutiny, then you resort to name calling or resort to distraction. It's emotional manipulation. It's Iago whispering in Desdemona's ear. It's ugly nastiness masquerading as something else. The rest of us need to stand up and shout like Desdemona, "Oh, heavy ignorance! Thou praisest the worst best." If we don't, we'll all suffer the same sorts of fate she and everybody else did in Othello. We cannot let Iago be the strongest voice in our ears. And those who cannot defend their ideas, like high schoolers who didn't really read the book, we cannot allow them to derail and distract us from the real issues at hand.
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President Obama insightfully pointed out that "only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation..." Right now, honesty is more important than civility in our public discourse, in my opinion, for this reason: There are legitimate differences between the two sides, and disagreements that have to be worked out, often compromises need to be made. For example, The Right does not believe the government should have the right to regulate insurance companies; the Left believes the government should regulate insurance companies. There are many legitimate differences between the two sides, but for quite a long time now, the Right has been dishonest in how it describes, characterizes and explains issues, and that dishonesty stops any useful public discourse and prevents effective agreements or compromises necessary to serve the interests of the public and our nation. Issue after issue we are subjected to a Frank Luntz soundbite, almost always dishonestly characterizing each issue, but effective in sticking in people's memories. Latest example? "Repealing the Jobs-Killing Health Care Act." The CBO says Affordable Care Act will allow more seniors to retire, because they can now afford health care, and the impact will be about 0.05% fewer workers in the economy. To twist that and call it "jobs-killing" is exactly what Obama meant when he called for honesty in our public discourse. Think of your marriage or your relationship with your kids. If one person is being dishonest, can you work effectively together toward a solution? Can you be partners? Can agreements and compromises be made? No. Any possibilities become short-circuted. I believe there are real conversations to be had about taxation, about war, about regulation, about education, about free trade, or not so free trade, about social services the state makes available, or not. For our economy to serve our needs, those conversations need to happen and agreements need to be made. But if the Right keeps using dishonest slogans instead of working toward solutions, then nothing will change.
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After one and a half days, two ideas are now fairly clear in my mind: The rhetoric will not stop. Excellent article in today's LA Times about how the finger pointing has already begun (http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-na-giffords-shooting-media-20110109/10), and it contains some useful insights, but if you scroll down to the comments after the article, Oh My God! Same Old, except maybe even worse. Therefore, given that we know that some on the fringe will be be made angry and paranoid by certain types of rhetoric, and that the rhetoric will most probably not stop, and that you cannot educate crazy, then how do we solve the problem? Two strategies I can see. One, outlandish, unfactual rhetoric -- the kind that gets people angry and paranoid -- needs to stop. (How is another whole question.) Second, we have to look at guns. The usual arguments we hear from the more guns crowd were shown to be hollow Saturday morning. You can't stop shooters before they start shooting, unless your best friend is a psychic, and contrary to what Mr. Harper or the NRA likes to say, more guns in more people's pockets would not have stopped this tragedy from happening. We have a lot of people asserting that more guns means less crime, more protection, safer lives. I don't know; I question the fact that an obviously disturbed psychotic, one who got dismissed from PCC, one who our military did not accept, is able to walk into a store and buy a Glock and buy extended magazines. Something is wrong in this scenario that needs to be fixed. If we can't get ourselves to restrict access to deadly weapons somehow, someway, then at least we need to go back to the assault weapons ban so people can't buy extended magazines for their guns.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2011 on (Somewhat) Open thread at Blog For Arizona
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That Washington Generals line deserves some recognition too! Best line of the article.
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Another thought with respect to the idea put forward above that "real accountability" is the answer to our educational woes. Is being in 24th place in international math tests a meaningful number? I don't think so because that number comes from comparing average scores. If you look at the numbers for students scoring as "advanced" - the highest scorers - the United States has a much higher proportion of "advanced" scorers than the international median in latest TIMSS test in math and science. So it is not like schools and students don't perform well in the United States. We produce more high scorers than anybody else. In last International Math and Science test, 70,000 American kids scored as "advanced" compared to about 2,000 for New Zealand and Sweden. The next closest country was Japan with about 33,000 top performers. We are a larger country, so it is expected we produce more. But the point is that public education works well for many Americans. We are literally producing more engineers in America than we can employ. Our schools are doing the job. We do have a problem though. If you look beyond the mean and consider the distribution of students and schools, then you can see a clearer picture. Well-resourced schools serving wealthy neighborhoods are showing excellent results. Poorly resourced schools serving low-income communities do far worse. So, is more accountability and more rigorous standardized testing the answer to "fixing" low income students? If they would just study harder and longer (like they have some moral deficiency), will they produce better results? What experience shows is that if we remove kids from poverty, they perform well in school. So I say the real problem in America is not that we don't have enough accountability in education, but rather that we have too much poverty.
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Mr. Springer is advocating for more rigorous testing and more rigorous accountability as the key to more success. Interesting to note though that it appears the top performer in the world, a country many others aspire to, takes a very different approach. Finland, at or near the top in every international comparison (the OECD has them ranked as #1 school system in the world in latest PISA survey) abolished standardized testing in the 80's, and instead relies on a high quality teaching force, giving teachers the freedom to teach creatively. Teachers are held in high esteem, paid very well, and it is the most competitive field in the country, even more so than law or medicine, with only the top 10% of students even considered for acceptance into schools of education. Students in Finland spend less time in class than students in America do, and perform better. No standardized testing...so I say there are other factors at work that must be the key variables in this equation.
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Mr. Brodesky expressed a strong opinion (blogs just trade in innuendo and speculation, therefore they are not worthy of paying attention to), but he doesn't have nearly enough support to back it up, and the evidence he does use is not nearly strong enough or representative enough of the facts to support his conclusion. So, using his own standards of journalism, he failed miserably. Quite ironic. If he was a student in Science class, the teacher would tell him to go back and redesign the experiment, run it all over again, then write a new lab report. If he was in English class, he would score "3" in ideas, which is the equivalent of about a C-, and doesn't meet the state standards for a student in Arizona. Brodesky didn't analyze facts and then draw a conclusion. He obviously already had a conclusion and then cherry-picked a few facts to support it. Problem is, there is a very deep body of work present at The Blog For Arizona: Mr. Safier and Michael Bryan have been reporting for a long time about local politicians "hiding in their bunker" (Antenori, Melvin et. al -- those who won't talk to the printed press), the factual and logical nightmares foisted upon us by the slick libertarians at the GoldWater Institiute (e.g., "one beaurocrat for every teacher"), the shenanigans behind many local charter schools (have you seen how much money they rake in!?), the Star changing headlines and editing stories submitted by the AP or other news services in order to slant the "news" in a certain direction. They also link to many local and national news stories in various publications, from the NYTimes, Washington Post, Arizona Republic and they always report on what gets written about in the Star and how stories are presented. And AZBlueMeanie deftly criticizes state politicians, like Russell Pearce, by pointing out the error of their ways. For example, he has written about the history of tax cuts in this state and the subsequent budget deficits, how the tax system has been transformed from an effective progressive system to an ineffective regressive system, and the legal problems with SB1070 (e.g., changing the threshold of 4th Amendment from "probable cause" to the much lower "reasonable suspicion"), how John McCain has changed his mind so many times it's impossible to know who he really is anymore, etc, etc, etc. The Blog of Arizona does express strong opinions about political issues, but they always back them up with enough evidence to make a strong case. Mr. Brodsky also has a strong opinion, but he doesn't have nearly enough support to back it up, and the evidence he does use is not nearly strong enough or representative enough of the facts to support his conclusion. No, Mr. Brodesky's article didn't work, and I agree with Mr. Safier that he just embarrassed himself.
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Using Mr.Brodesky's own "standards" of journalism," his article in the Star doesn’t work. It attempts to smear the Blog for Arizona by casting it as unworthy, but his attempt fails quite badly. Brodesky doesn't analyze facts and then draw a conclusion. He obviously already had a conclusion and then cherry-picked a few facts to support it. The problem is, the facts Brodesky cherry-picked were not represntative of the whole. So what he did cannot be called "analysis." This isn't even "reporting," which shies away from conclusions and just reports the facts so a reader can make up his/her own mind. No, this is a hit piece on the Blog for Arizona, plain and simple, and on the two principle writers on this blog. I understand why, as I read both publications, and the Blog for Arizona is often very critical of the Star. But, just because the BofA is critical doesn't mean it is wrong. Brodesky can't argue the substance, so he attempts to smear the concept. It's like an uncoordinated little kid who can't move his hands and feet well enough to play hockey and stay upright on skates, so he criticizes the game instead, calling it stupid and unworthy. That's what Brodesky is doing, calling the Blog for Arizona stupid and unworthy. The obvious problem is, though, that Mr. Safier has been reporting for a long time about local politicians "hiding in their bunker" (Antenori, Melvin et. al -- those who won't talk to the printed press), the factual and logical nightmares foisted upon us by the slick libertarians at the GoldWater Institiute (e.g., "one beaurocrat for every teacher"), the shenanigans behind many local charter schools (have you seen how much money they rake in!?), the Star changing headlines and editing stories submitted by the AP or other news services in order to slant the "news" in a certain direction. They also link to many local and national news stories in various publications, from the NYTimes, Washington Post, Arizona Republic and they always report on what gets written about in the Star and how stories are presented. In other words, readers get smart and better informed about a lot of issues, especially issues that are not covered in big papers like the Star or the Republic. And AZBlueMeanie deftly criticizes state politicians, like Russell Pearce, by pointing out the error of their ways. For example, he has written about the history of tax cuts in this state and the subsequent budget deficits, how the tax system has been transformed from an effective progressive system to an ineffective regressive system, and the legal problems with SB1070 (e.g., changing the threshold of 4th Amendment from "probable cause" to the much lower "reasonable suspicion"), how John McCain has changed his mind so many times it's impossible to know who he really is anymore, etc, etc, etc. The Blog of Arizona does express strong opinions about political issues, but they always back them up with enough evidence to make a strong case. Mr. Brodsky also has a strong opinion (blogs just trade in innuendo and speculation, therefore they are not worthy of paying attention to), but he doesn't have nearly enough support to back it up, and the evidence he does use is not nearly strong enough or representative enough of the facts to support his conclusion. If he was a student in Science class, the teacher would tell him to go back and redesign the experiment, run it all over again, then write a new lab report. If he was in English class, he would score "3" in ideas, which is the equivalent of about a C-, and doesn't meet the state standards for a student in Arizona. And I'm talking middle school. (To be fair, he would score "4's" and "5's" in Sentence Fluency, Voice, Word Choice, Organization, and Conventions). No, this article doesn't work, and the author didn't bring enough to the table to serve a complete meal. What he did bring is not representative of the whole menu, like going to a steak house and pointing out the salad as representative of what's on the menu. Fair game to criticize the salad, talk about its texture and freshness and taste and mix of ingredients, but Mr. Brodsky tries to pull the wool over our eyes by saying that the salad represents the whole menu, therefore this Steak House is not worth visiting. Not so. Bad form, poorly done.
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Good analysis, but I disagree on two points. Giffords did more than just saber-rattle to her base. For me, she was very reassuring -- and that was very powerful. For almost a solid year I have been absolutely inundated with anti-Giffords rhetoric from every media outlet, and even drive by humongous anti-Giffords road signs on my way to work every morning. So it was a literal relief to see her on stage being very competent, very smart, very calm, very sure of herself, and very consistent, supporting Democratic positions and Democratic values. She even stood up and defended health care reform. So she was a very reassuring presence. Second, she did present the charisma of a leader. This was especially highlighted because of the stark juxtaposition between her and Kelley, who is nothing but charisma, nothing but slogans instead of solutions. Not once did she sink down to engage Kelley's off-topic talking points and instead stayed focused and on topic, offering reasons and ideas rather than slogans. That was politically and psychologically astute and inspired confidence. So we were left with the feeling that if we were all in battle, the vast majority would rather follow the lead of Giffords because Kelly makes you think he would rashly rush you up a hill without thinking of the consequences. Last night, I was reminded why Giffords was elected in the first place, and why she still is a good choice. She has the strength and integrity to defend her vote on health care, the smarts and calmness not to descend into the mud pit even though Kelley tried hard to drag her in, and the political smarts that inspires confidence. Kelley's positions are crazy, plain and simple, (getting rid of FDA is not how we lower prices of prescription drugs!), and I was relieved to be reassured by Giffords' smart and strong presence.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2010 on CD8 Debate Wrap-Up at Blog For Arizona
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A paddle with holes in it....a decent metaphor for Republican politics, and for the comments Marcus made.
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Wow... I have different perspective. Goddard does not suffer from lack of name recognition and does not need to debate Brewer in order to siphon off some her name recognition. We all know who he is. And most of us respect him for maintaining integrity with the office of Attorney General. He made a couple statements about defending the bill as AG, but Brewer took him off that job. We know he couldn't be out there campaigning and simultaneously maintain the integrity of his office. He took the higher road, which is what we respect in our public office holders. No, there is another dynamic at play. Brewer and the Republican SB 1070 immigration fiasco has been all about distraction, and the Republicans needed to get the public's attention off their undeniable failures: their tax policies have put our state into deep debt; their trickle down ideas like their recent "Jobs Bill" that was just a big corporate tax cut are completely idiotic and can't be defended; their massive cuts to public education has further degraded our state's ability to attract high paying jobs; the legislators (like our local Antenori, Gowan and Williams) continually get on the airwaves and parrot GoldWater Institute talking points, which are always offensively incorrect and often just massively stupid; and the only notable laws this Republican legislature has passed that could even be argued as beneficial in any sort of way (and even these are very debatable) are the ones that allow concealed weapons and to get rid of those speed trap cameras off the highways. They can't campaign on successes. There haven't been any. Just massive failures. (They are even worse than failures, if that is possible: in committee this last year, they voted to give boy scouts a free fishing license, but denied the same to girl scouts. Offensively bad.) But guess what, is anybody talking about all those failures? No. The massive budget deficit? No. The obviously unfair and unworkable, regressive tax policies? No. Underfunded schools? No. Private prisons? well, a little bit. Goddard is correct in his call for debates - the public needs to know how a lot of things are going to get fixed and made to work again. This is what we expect from our public servants. We pay them. They work for us. We want answers. The political dynamic assessment above is correct, imo: no upside for Brewer, and nothing but upside for Goddard. But the important thing from my perspective is not the political dynamics related to winning and losing, but rather what helps further progress in our state. We have problems that need fixing. Right now they are just being ignored. And my perspective is if Brewer is going to ignore her public duty to serve the public interest and ignore her duty to let us all know how she is going to fix the massive problems (no, another tax cut to corporations will not do it) as a strategic political calculation, to help her win, then she doesn't deserve any respect. Period. Maintain integrity with the duties of your public office and remember you work for us. Let us know what the plans are. Goddard is willing to do so. And I am anxious to hear some plans, because I hear nothing but SB 1070 from Brewer.
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Dwight Leister, I wonder what you're smoking. Seriously. Obama has not bankrupted Social Security, nor has the Congressional Budget Office declared that Obama has put the future of our country at risk. Read the news, Mr. Leister. It was just reported that the Social Security trust fund has a $2.6 Trillion (that's Trillion, with a "T") dollar surplus right now. It's been taking in more money than it spends, then investing that surplus in U.S. Treasury Bills earning interest. The surplus alone will keep Social Security solvent until at least 2037. Then it won't be broke, it will just be working as it was designed to work. So, Mr. Leister, your statements above are not supported by reality, not founded in facts, cannot be taken seriously, and appear to be just more hot air bowing in the desert wind.
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Mr. Safier, A few months ago, we all watched Huppenthal get embarrassed by a high school student, so much so he decided to get up and leave the interview rather than endure more humiliation, so we already know he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But reading your statement that Huppenthal argued "if students take an ethnic studies course instead of American History, they miss out on learning the truth about our common history -- like the story of our Founding Fathers" really shocks me because I thought ethnic studies courses were in addition to the regular curriculum, not in place of the regular history classes high school students take. So the question now is: Is Huppenthal that factually challenged that he literally doesn't know what is going on? Or is he just that dishonest to frame the issue in such an inaccurate way? Listening to my own thoughts about this right now, I realize you were perfectly correct when you stated simply that Huppenthal has mastered the art of being a Republican politician.
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Talking about confused, Dwight Leister: One sentence has the lucid point that Independent voters are key to election, but then another sentence has the absolutely looney implication that Kelly is better choice because he is very tall and Giffords is very short. Trying to connect those logic dots makes me confused. Just so you know, short or tall, married name or not, CD8 Independents will vote for Giffords because she voted to keep the state afloat when it was sinking (big block of voters), she has voted to help vets and military in Sierra Vista (huge block of voters), she has voted to curb our growing deficit and voted to help seniors and to save them money by closing donut-hole and supporting Medicare (another huge block of voters). So, people who care about good government services, people who care about jobs, people who care about education and public safety, people who care about our military, and people who care about feeling more secure in their old age will vote for Giffords. Heck, she was smart enough to vote to allow people to carry firearms in state parks, remember that? That is the kind of thing that appeals to rural CD 8 voters, and there is a lot of us. Kelly just has more of same-old, same-old that we all know doesn't work. Trickle-down tax cuts to the top of the food chain will NOT create more jobs; less regulation and smaller government will NOT create more jobs or make our life better; getting rid of the FDA is NOT the way to lower cost of prescription drugs. Only a small percentage of population falls for that flim-flam hockum anymore, and they are the ones voting in Republican primary. But most of the Independents who vote in general will go for proven track record of useful, smart choices that help our lives -- and that's Giffords.
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Phillip D is now following The Typepad Team
Aug 14, 2010