State of the Union Open Thread

Things are a little different now.

UPDATE: According to our friends at the Washington Post, Colorado’s own Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been designated to lead the United States government, and depending on which movie scenario you’re playing out (geopolitical thriller, biblical apocalypse), maybe the surviving population of the world in the event of a catastrophe at the State of the Union address.

58 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Irish Patti says:

    the orange man will be????

  2. bjwilson83 says:

    Boehner’s head on Pelosi’s body? What is that hideous monster?

  3. Pam Bennett says:

    Watching This is Spinal Tap, might as well be ready for whatever comes from the hallowed halls of the Capitol.  

  4. Middle of the Road says:

    Ken Salazar.  

  5. Leonard Smalls says:

    I feel so warm and fuzzy and unified inside.

  6. RedGreen says:

    From the prepared speech:

    You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

    Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      if someone in the know could provide some comments, or even write a diary, explaining what exactly was done at Bruce Randolph that resulted in this kind of turnaround.

      My sincere thanks in advance.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        They went to war against the DCTA.  Go to the Enverday Ostpay and search for “Bruce Randolph DCTA”.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Keep emharassing yourself. The DCTA refused the first set of reforms, so kiss my squirrel.  

              • Laughing Boy says:

                What happened to you?

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    Tell me how I’m off the mark that the enemy for Bruce Randolph, and their eventually successful ideas was not the Denver Classroom Teachers’ Association.

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      (. . . past performance is no guarantee . . .) — you’ve provided insufficient information for me to make that measure.  I really don’t know anything about the situation or change at Bruce Randolph, hence my original question for information.

                      Here’s my honest critique. Your response on its face seemed pretty glib and overly simplistic.  I’m not convinced you were trying to provide any useful or persuasive information; it strikes me that you’re more about “spouting” tonight — and, threadjacking this diary in particular.

                      DCTA was part of the problem? — OK, maybe.  I hope you’ll understand if I wish to get a little bit of additional information from other sources before I form my opinion.  Your information, however, has not been persuasive whatsoever.

                      And, my apologies to the other Polsters for participating in LB’s threadjack.  It was not my intent to have that happen.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      But at least look into it before you dismiss it or even comment on it.

                      I’m not sure why you’re on such a mission lately to be personally insulting and condescending to me.  

        • cdsmith says:

          I happen to know through personal conversations with a close friend about a lot of the things that happened at that school, and it’s really insulting to the extraordinary efforts of a lot of really phenomenal people to claim it as a political thing with a teacher’s union.

          I’m not going to say that the DCTA wasn’t on the wrong side of a couple of situations there.  One thing is for sure, in some parts of Colorado’s educational system, we’re not accustomed to having administrators that care deeply about schools, and it’s really easy for some people who should no better to dig in and oppose changes because of past experience.  But in the end, the success at that school lies with the people that did it.  They could have just as easily not had the DCTA involved, and if those people hadn’t done the things they did, the school would still be failing or closed.  That’s a fact.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            They fought tooth and nail to get autonomy from an organization that couldn’t have given a shit about what happened to the students if it was going to affect their clout.

            Autonomy, now success.


      • droll says:

        She might be eligible for sainthood (two miracles down).

        In short; commitment (x1000 from teachers, administration, students, and the community), recruitment, professional development in a better way, and they never, never assume the kid is the problem.  It’s not “you’re not doing this”, it’s “what can we do to help you do this?”

        This is a good little place to start:…

        • MADCO says:

          I recognize the style here and there- but there’s no credited author.

        • coloradowahine says:

          Bruce Randoplh was the first DPS school to get released from DPS personnel requirements.  The teaching team also helps manage the school, choosing additional staff who are committed to their common vision. Teachers are protected and nurtured, they collaborate and reinforce each other. And their only goal is improving student acheivement.

          I met Kristin Waters when my kid was at Morey Middle School.  He came home one day shocked, shocked that Mrs. Waters had told the whole school that she was a strong supporter of NCLB.  He asked, “Isn’t that a George Bush thing?”

          We had a great conversation about accountability, and not making snap judgments, and about how the teachers at Morey made him work really hard. Kristin Waters is the rare individual who can attract great people, get great things done, and help you look at things differently, more openly and positively. What a rush it was to hear the President talk about Kristin and all the great staff and students at Bruce Randolph.

          • droll says:

            Too often with this discussion we get “(no) charter schools!”, “(no) unions!”, “whatever else random thing I selectively took from this!”

            The real key is that there isn’t a key.  It’s about finding what works best.  No matter what it is or who it’s from.

            And, Dio, don’t worry about the jack.  It’s a good discussion to have… from all sides.

  7. Laughing Boy says:

    With all it’s platitudes and vagaries sounds so familiar to me….

  8. Laughing Boy says:

    But I thought I just heard him say something like ‘You deserve to know when your elected officials meet with lobbyists’.

    Uh….how many times did Andy Stern visit the White House in the last two years?

  9. coloradowahine says:

    Kristin is a personal hero of mine.  Kudos, kiddo, you are a national role model!

  10. DavidThi808 says:

    First, it was big picture talking about America, and bringing it back to what we strive to be in this country and why we need to step it up. That is fundamental to improving our country.

    Second, what he discussed are the key fundamentals to success. Every single one is a game changer. And every key fundamental was listed. If this is what he focuses on, the impact of his administration will be felt for decades.

    On a couple of the specifics, first on doubling exports by 2014 – that’s doable. My company should be at 5X – 10X the exports by then. That can be replicated by a very large number of companies.

    On reorganizing government, that has tremendous impact. How the government is structured determines where it puts its energies and how effectively.

    Finally, he’s proposing items that it’s hard for the GOP to oppose. They can (and will) fight it on the details. But I think there’s very little of this they will fight on the basic concept.

    • cdsmith says:

      but there is no worthy political goal that’s not subject to distortion in the name of partisanship any more.  Truth just has nothing to do with it.  Seriously, how much of the health care debacle had to do with the truth, and how much had to do with secret government panels that plot to kill old people?

      They can do that with anything.  They are experts at exploiting the constant, repeated trust people are willing to put in them because the media and history calls them a major political party.  After all, surely such a respected establishment can’t just be brazenly lying, right?  Unfortunately, even the people that will laugh and tell you all politicians are liars will turn about and trust that there’s a grain of truth in what one of America’s two major political parties has to say.  And that political party will opportunistically exploit that for everything it’s worth.

    • coloradowahine says:

      …also takes focus off GOP investigations (you know, like Darrell Issa plans to do 24/7). Politically, if people dislike government, it makes sense to push reform. And you get the talking point, “Look, the Republican House wants to investigate TARP money that’s been repaid.  We want to fix things. They want to look back, we’re looking forward.”  

  11. Laughing Boy says:


  12. coloradowahine says:

    80% renewable energy by 2035?

    Very cool – Politico said he would stay away from immigration. Great that he brought up the DREAM act.

    • ardy39 says:

      Painful? Yes.

      Likely? No.

      The technology is there. The natural resources are there. We still lack political will.

      Some hopeful people exist.

      Unfortunately, there are powerful people with short-term interests that conflict with the long term interests of the rest of us.

      But, still we have smart people devoting themselves to identifying solutions.

      Every year we delay makes it more difficult.

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