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October 20, 2011 1:14 am MST

Bennet Throws Down on Republican Obstruction of Education Bill

  • by: Colorado Pols

From Fox 31:

Those who have criticized Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet for being bland or quiet should take note of his fiery speech Wednesday morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Speaking without notes, Bennet lashed out at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for stalling the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the legislation Bennet has helped mold that will re-write the Bush era education law, “No Child Left Behind”…

…Only four amendments were considered during Wednesday’s two-hour mark-up session, which ended when Paul blocked a motion to continue the meeting. Senate rules limit committee meetings to two hours while the Senate is in session, a rule that’s often broken when senators agree. But the objection from any one senator is enough to enforce the two-hour rule.

Bennet, a former Denver Public Schools superintendent, took to the Senate floor and with maybe a half dozen senators, including Paul, in the chamber, lashed out.

“Sen. [Paul] speaks of the tragedy of this process,” Bennet said. “I’ll tell you what a tragedy is: the tragedy is that only nine of 100 children living in poverty in this country in 2011 can expect to get a college degree. That’s a tragedy.

“It’s a tragedy that there are people working in our schools right now doing the best they can to serve our kids and we think a two-hour meeting is too long. That’s a tragedy.”

Poll after poll after poll shows that Americans are angry at Congress, which they perceive to be a body that generally doesn’t do much. And time after time recently, Republicans have done their very best to reinforce that negative image. Something’s gotta give here eventually.


80 thoughts on “Bennet Throws Down on Republican Obstruction of Education Bill

      1. Because your comment proves you did not. He talks about No Child Left Behind first and for longer than Occupy Wall Street.

        But if you’re curious, I love what he said about them. Especially the part about how the Tea Party takes a bath afterwards.

        1. Yes, my comment proves I didn’t watch it because I wrote that I wasn’t going to watch it.

          Did you not read the part in the subject line that said “No thanks”? Good Lord. No wonder people have stopped replying to you. You make half wits look brilliant.  

        2. Already seen it elsewhere. You guys really are of a hive mind, aren’t you? (But without the ability to accomplish anything useful, unlike real hives.)

        3. Rand Paul knows how to grandstand on TV? But when it comes to actually DOING something productive, he’s unable to work for more than two hours?

          Thanks for driving home the point.  

    1. except for the parts where he says

      “Heritage Foundation”

      “Eliminate the Department of Education”


      “Tea partiers were responsible, clean”, etc. (Clearly ArapaGOP, you didn’t meet the wife-beater-t-shirt wearing, gun-brandishing, hairy, toothless people shouting “Obama is a socialist” that I did in ’09. Sure, there were a handful who spelled the words on their signs correctly, but many were also clearly on the fringe.)

      1. When R’s associate with fringey loons, or aqua Buddha worshipping kids, no harm no foul because that’s not the point.

        But when fringey loons are associated with D’s – well, that’s proof positive that D’s are crazy and hate America.

    2. This idea that they just got a huge bill without knowing what’s in it is absurd. The discussions about reauthorizing NCLB have been going on for years. If Sen. Paul doesn’t know what’s in the bill then it just shows how terrible a Senator he is. Clearly he doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on in his supposed areas of expertise.

      Jr. is playing on the fact that people are unfamiliar with the process of passing federal education policy. No Child Left Behind is the catchy name that President Bush and Ted Kennedy gave to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which has been reauthorized every few years since the 1960s.

      So, reauthorizing NCLB does not mean maintaining the status quo. It is what’s necessary to get rid of the bad parts of No Child Left Behind. Arapa, it’s sad that you can’t think for yourself and instead fall for the PR obstructionist stunt that Jr. is pulling.  

    1. “arguing with” and “claiming to support” make no sense together in this one.  Bennet supporting a Republican education plan and Wile E Coyote supporting A Road Runner Protection Act would have been just as stupid but would at least have given your non sequitur the structure of an analogy.

      1. does not imply parallelism. It merely compares the degree to which the two concepts are credible. You have no clue what you’re talking about. You dickhead.

        1. a Republican on education policy is one we should not find credible? I suppose that means you think it’s obvious that he would not argue but agree with a Republican on education policy?  You’re confused, dear. No wonder you can’t do any better than resort to “dickhead”.  

          1. Because of his long history of supporting policies that harm public education — policies that are typically identified with the Republican agenda — Michael Bennet has no credibility when posing as a champion of education and pretending to disagree with Republicans over education policy.

            Are you going to be requiring the Cliffs Notes version of everything from here on out?  

            1. your words say within the bounds of cogency provided by the rules of grammar. Second, that he has harmed public education and that any generic Republican has more credibility on education is your personal opinion, not something that works in an analogy because almost any reader could be assumed to be as familiar with the workings of your not at all famous mind or a not at all universal opinion as they are with Wile E Coyote and Roadrunner. And, yes, you forgot “Dickhead”.    

              1. You may disagree with the opinion I expressed or the literary device by which I expressed it, but that certainly is not an issue of grammar.

                This is a political blog. I expressed a political opinion that you disagree with. You (and Ralphie) were unable to construct a credible counter-argument, so you resorted to personal insult instead. So I smacked you back to teach you a lesson. Get over it.

                And for future reference, since you don’t even know what the words “analogy” and “grammar” mean, perhaps you shouldn’t be trying to invoke those concepts in your petty personal attacks on fellow posters.

                1. with a grumpy temperament. Grumpiness is so much more tolerable, even endearing in a perverse way, in those who know what the hell they’re talking about and deliver with a dash of curmudgeonly wit, like Ralphie, for instance.

                  1. I can just see you now. A friend tells you:

                    “I went out on a dinner date the other night, and I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”

                    (Which is a simple simile, not an analogy, by the way.)

                    And you respond:

                    “That analogy doesn’t make any sense! Which part of your body corresponds to the cat’s tail? Which piece of furniture corresponds to the rocking chair? Are you referring to the booth you were sitting at in the restaurant? Were you afraid the booth would rock and crush your foot? This whole analogy is so ungrammatical! There, I’ve just proven that you weren’t really nervous on your date!”

                    1. She’s one of the best and most consistent commenters here. Let’s not start burning perfectly good bridges because of old sore spots.

                      Furthermore, I just looked on three university websites and none explicitly states that a simile cannot also be an analogy. In fact, my fourth source actually gives a simile as their example of an analogy. Like a square is also a rectangle, an analogy can also be a simile.

                    2. … “Like a square is also a rectangle, a simile can also be an analogy.”

                      Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂

                    3. The fact that a simile can be constructed in the form of analogy does not mean that all similes must be analogies. Cars can be Fords, therefore all cars must be Fords, and any car that is not a Ford is not a valid car?

                      As far as your claim that my comment was “really excessive,” why don’t you try looking at BlueCat’s comment to which I was responding and ask yourself honestly whether my response was disproportionate.

                      Look, the only time I get snappy is when people attack me first. I reserve the right to practice self-defense. Don’t like it? Tough.

                    4. I think it’s out of line to respond with an ad hominem rather than in kind with an attack on her argument.

                      And I freaking HATE how every mention of Bennet turns people who should be allies against each other. Primary him again in 2016 if he’s so irritating, but does there have to be a Democrat on Democrat bloodbath EVERY time he does something worth commenting on?

                    5. I will continue to express my dissatisfaction with Michael Bennet’s performance in office and the un-democratic means by which he obtained that office. There are rabid assholes who jump all over people like me for expressing that dissatisfaction. These rabid assholes are the people to blame for the “Democrat on Democrat bloodbaths” that you lament. I will not let them bully me into acquiescing to their bullshit. Don’t want a bloodbath? Then don’t draw the first blood.

                    6. You didn’t have to make it about your personal feelings on Bennet. Hell, I hate Herman Cain in ways that make me actually use the word “hate” toward a person, which I NEVER do, and I can say he made a good statement on abortion, even though it was eclipsed by his ignorant statement on homosexuality.

                    7. who believe that Pols was a cog in the Democratic machine that steamrolled over Romanoff and brought Bennet to the Senate. As such, they perceive any praise from this site to be salt in the unhealed wounds from the primary. (I don’t endorse that viewpoint, but I think I understand it.)

                    8. If so, fair enough I suppose, but are they supposed to just ignore it when he makes national headlines? I’ve seen the same story all over FB today from various outlets.

                    9. Pols did. At least, that’s the collective feeling I gather when I read their comments at other blogs.

                    10. Please don’t waste your time on this on my account.  I couldn’t care less what the pissant thinks or says about or calls me.  First I would have to have an iota of regard for the source.

                      And if you carefully examine his post what he says is Bennet arguing with a Republican about X is no more credible than  etc. etc. That would mean it’s not credible that Bennet would argue with a Republican about it.

                      Could mean it’s not credible because Bennet, for some reason, is well known not to argue  Could mean that it isn’t credible because everyone knows Bennet agrees with Republicans on the subject. So simile, analogy, whatever, the words as written simply don’t mean what pissant thinks they mean. I will now be happy to let pissant have the last word.  This passed boring long ago. I apologize for my role in the tedium.  

                2. I don’t know that opinions, when they’re expressed in such absolute terms, are entitled to “credible counter-arguments.” It certainly didn’t sound like you were soliciting for any.

                    1. Was I supposed to present a credible counter argument in a Wile E Coyote v Roadrunner debate? Well, you have me there.    

                    2. then why are you complaining about getting none?

                      You (and Ralphie) were unable to construct a credible counter-argument…

                      When you begin sentences this way, the implication is that you expect rational discourse to follow your comments. And if “people are free to agree or disagree,” then getting into pissing matches implies that you don’t really believe that. People who believe that leave insulting replies unanswered.

                      Things can quickly deteriorate to a middle-school level here. But you can’t be a willing participant in that as well as someone who complains about it. I advise you to make up your mind about how you’re going to engage us here. And remember, if someone decides to give you shit, it’s still your choice if you take it.

                    3. It just means that they didn’t provide one.

                      But more important, why are you continuing to flog this insipid point of dispute that you raised? Why don’t you take your own advice and drop it? Why did you interject yourself into this in the first place?

                    4. Because I’m enjoying myself. You don’t seem to be, and I’m trying to help, but maybe I’m misinterpreting your angry-sounding and insulting posts, and you’re actually having fun, too.

    2. But he probably knows education policy better than any other Senator in D.C. And he’s coming from the point of view of what has been shown to work, not wishful thinking based on obsolete philosophies.

      If you want to disagree on some specific point, go crazy. But on a blanket ad hominem attack, that just shows that you have nothing.

      1. Please provide real evidence that rigid standardized testing and the scapegoating of teachers are methods that have been “shown to work.” Do you have actual data to support this belief?  

            1. Did you not read this? Here’s an excerpt:

              Senator Michael Bennet, DFER “Reformer of the Month” and recipient of nearly $500,000 in DFER campaign contributions, is sponsoring the GREAT Act, which calls for taxpayer dollars to fund private revenue generating alternative certification models.

              Angela Engel

              Do you deny any of that?

              When are you going to provide data supporting your contention that the education “reform” policies that you support actually improve public school systems and communities and the lives of our kids? Fact is, if you take an honest look at the real data, you’ll discover that the opposite is true: that these so-called reform” schemes are causing great harm while sucking scarce resources out of our public schools and transferring that wealth to Wall Street robber barons.

              1. And what’s wrong with alternative certification models? One of my daughters went to a private middle school and had a superb teacher. He does not have a teaching certificate.

                And what’s wrong with his gaining the support of DFER? The entire purpose of DFER is to improve our public schools. (No I am not a member of DFER.)

                1. It’s always some anecdotal, cherry-picked assertion:

                  One of my daughters went to a private middle school and had a superb teacher. He does not have a teaching certificate.

                  That was the deceptive device that was used again and again in “Waiting for Superman.” Of course you can name some kids who are doing better under “reform.” But how is “reform” impacting the rest of the kids? Overall, they are demonstrably worse off.

                  And this:

                  The entire purpose of DFER is to improve our public schools.

                  Um, no, that is its stated purpose.  

                  1. Something that sounds, to me, like

                    No matter what the candidate I oppose says or does I know if their heart they are pure evil.  

                    Only my candidate is good, all others must–by definition of not being my candidate–support all that is bad and wrong with the world.  

                    Even if my candidate loses by 8 points I know that it can only be becasue the other guy cheated, somehow in spite of any absence of proof–an unsupported grudge I will carry all my life and use it to flog mercilessly (if not somewhat crazy-like) any and all politicians with whom I subsequently disagree.

                    Such obsessive crazy-looking tactics help my candidates, because if there is one thing we know–Colorado loves to vote for crazy.

                    1. I made one but not the other.  I stand by my impression of what you sound like to me…

                      A bitter person with no tactical sense.  But please carry on.  I’m sure Anne is glad that you are…

                    2. dickhead

                      Very substantive there, ‘pal.’

                      I will add a lack of self-perception to my observed impression of you.  

                    3. Look at the context of what I was responding to.  When you and others launch third-grade-level attacks at me without provocation, I reserve the right to toss your own shit back in your face. If you don’t like it,  don’t start it.  

      1. Isn’t that one of the things Bachmann or one of the other genius joke candidates is claiming they can do once they’re President? In any case, If Bachmann thinks she can reduce the price of gasoline to $2 a gallon (by decree?), I’m sure she’d be happy to wave her magic presidential wand over the length of bills, too.  And a unicorn under every Christmas tree.

    1. The bill is so large because it includes EVERY federal K-12 education policy. That includes programs and funding for special needs students, programs and funding for low income students like free and reduced price lunch, literacy programs for children, accountability standards like measuring student achievement, and much more.

      I would be fine getting rid of the US Department of Education if I was confident that every state would provide an adequate education to children. But there is no way states can afford to provide educational services for special needs students, or healthy free and reduced-price meals for kids who would otherwise have nothing to eat.  

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