<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: February 2005

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Report: No Child Left Behind should be left behind

A bipartisan panel of lawmakers conducting a yearlong study on the effectiveness of Bush's "No Child Left Behind" has pronounced it a flawed, convoluted, and unconstitutional program that has usurped state and local control of public schools.

The report also said the law's accountability system, which punishes schools whose students fail to improve steadily on standardized tests, undermines school improvement efforts already under way in many states and relies on the wrong indicators. In addition, the law's rules for educating disabled students conflict with another federal law, and it creates bureaucratic requirements that fail to recognize the educational challenges faced by teachers in the nation's 15,000 school districts.

The Bush administration's response was predictable. Assistant Secretary of Education Ray Simon refuted the report's findings, saying, "No Child Left Behind is bringing new hope and new opportunity to families throughout America, and we will not reverse course."


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bush's mouth betrays his brain again

At a news conference in Brussels yesterday, President Bush said, "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table."

In other words, it would be ridiculous to attack Iraq - er, we mean Iran - so we're going to do it.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

No way! Why didn't anyone warn us?

Yesterday CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists."

No! How did that happen? Why did that happen?

Goss then warned that "These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups, and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other countries."

They're a little slow up there on Capitol Hill, but eventually they get it. Unfortunately, people are dying - and will continue dying - because they didn't get it sooner.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Dean speaks the truth

In his acceptance speech as the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean said, "The Republicans know the America they want, and they are not afraid to use any means to get there. But there is something that this administration and the Republican Party are very afraid of. It is that we may actually begin fighting for what we believe."

Let's prove him right.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Bush's job approval drops again

According to an Associated Press poll, the public's confidence in Bush's job performance and the nation's direction has slipped in the first few weeks of his second term, particularly among people 50 and older.

In January, adults were evenly divided on Bush's job performance, but now 54 percent disapprove and only 45 percent approve. The number who think the country is headed down the wrong path increased from 51 percent to 58 percent in the past month.

How much more death, turmoil, economic devastation, and environmental degradation will it take before Bush's job approval rating is right where it should be: 0 percent?


Monday, February 07, 2005

Quote of the day

"Marine Corps General James Mattis attempted to clarify his controversial remarks of last week, telling reporters today, 'What I meant to say was, it's fun to shoot people, but not nearly as much fun as putting hoods over their heads and making them stand on a box.'" —The Borowitz Report (www.borowitzreport.com)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Marine Corps general: "It's fun to shoot some people"

"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." --Lt. Gen. James Mattis, a career infantry officer who is now in charge of developing better ways to train and equip Marines, speaking to a forum yesterday in San Diego

As Donald Rumsfeld said, "You go to war with the army you have." And we have one sick army.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Frist wants to "heal" opponents by cutting their hearts out

"I can play hardball as well as anybody. That's what I did, cut people's hearts out. On the other hand, I do it to cure them, to heal them, to make them better." —Bill Frist (R), Senate majority leader (and transplant surgeon)

Talk about your mixed metaphors: playing hardball while cutting people's hearts out. And just whom does Frist plan to "heal" by cutting out their hearts?

Physician, heal thyself.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq vote/Vietnam vote déja vu

So Bush and the neocons are "encouraged" by the "72 percent" voter turnout in Iraq (in reality probably much lower than 72 percent, but we won't quibble). A NY Times article shows that something eerily similar happened with Vietnam 38 years ago. See for yourself:

"U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote; Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

"by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times

"WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (1967)-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

"According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

"....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

"The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta."

(Thanks to Tom Tomorrow, http://www.thismodernworld.com/)

Howard Dean: Next DNC chair?

Howard Dean may yet become chair of the Democratic National Committee. Yesterday he won—by a significant margin—the endorsement of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. Dean won 56 votes; his closest challenger, Democratic Party strategist Donnie Fowler, won 21.

The vote for Dean negated a decision by the group's executive committee, which voted Sunday to recommend an endorsement for Fowler, the son of former national chairman Don Fowler.

Dean still has several potential hurdles in his path, including the need to win the heart of the AFL-CIO. But several Democratic Party officials are predicting a win for Dean.

The final vote by members of the DNC takes place February 12.

Go, Dean!