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August 11, 2007 03:47 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • 81 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Well, come on generals, let’s move fast
Your big chance has come at last!
Gotta go out and get those reds —
The only good commie is the one who’s dead!
And you know that peace can only be won
When we’ve blown ’em all to kingdom come!

–Country Joe and the Fish

Comments

81 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
    Conspiracy Against Rights

    This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same)…Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both…

    1. oh, it really is about our rights. I thought that in light of Rove’s stepping down, you meant that there was a conspiracy AGAINST right wings.

    1. But I CANNOT agree with their caving on the Bush spy bill.  Instead of  giving in to fear of being called weak on terrorism they should have redefined strength and patriotism on OUR terms, not the terms of the anti-constitutional right who are willing to cower before our enemies rather than preserve our great Republic. 

      Here’s the message they SHOULD have sent:

      It is our duty as  American citizens to stand and fight to preserve our constitutional rights, separation and balance of powers and judicial and congressional oversight to preserve our freedom under the rule of law.  There is no reason to believe we can’t effectively defend ourselves within the limits of our sacred rights but, where a choice must be made, patriots will always give up a little security to defend our civil liberty rather than giving up our to rights to feel a little safer. Patriots aren’t cowards.

      It IS weak and cowardly to fail to stand by our constitution when we are frightened.  Accepting risk and facing fears with fortitude are the price we all must be willing to pay to preserve the United States of America as set forth in our constitution and to preserve our freedom and what it means to be an American. 

      The only saving grace is the concession they won to have the abomination expire in 6 months.  If they don’t work up the courage to undo the damage then, we will never again be a free people absent a new revolution.

        1. I’m not a running for office type.  I’m more a shooting my mouth off type, although I am active as a grassroots party  volunteer.

          I just think it’s so important that we take control of the language and message instead of always defending ourselves against the right’s spin machine.  You can never win by claiming to be just as fill-in-the-blank as the other guy because that assumes the other guy is the gold standard in the first place. You have to take the high ground away from the other guy.  I don’t understand why the consultants who have been losing elections for us since the Contract with America days don’t get that. 

          For the most part, anti-Bush anti-war feeling, and the blatant greed, corruption and sleazy scandals  among Republican congressmen won us the US House and Senate (not by nearly enough) in 2006.  It wasn’t because most high ranking name brand Dem political gurus suddenly got a clue.  2008 is NOT in the bag.

          1. Message, message, message!

            Take control and stop defending against the issues as defined by the GOP. Surely there are some brilliant strategists who can frame the issues as they are understood by the moderate majority.

            The Rs have done a great job of framing, branding, and marketing the issues. I’d like to see the Ds do the same thing from a moderate perspective.

    2. Brief comments.

      1. Bush, while the most desirable to be impreached, as you say, is the hardest.  Start with Alberto, then Dick, and if there is time, George.

      2. You focused on the Senate, but the action starts in the House, which is much more Democratic. 

      3. The Pubs knew that Clinton would never be removed from office.  They did it for show and power.  We need to put the administration and its supporters on notice.

      1.   Relatively speaking, that’s true, but 13 seats is not much of a margin.  And that 13-seat margin consists of DINOs who are queasy at best over the idea of impeachment. 
          Then again 13 queasy DINOs in the House would be more receptive to impeachment than a Senate majority founded upon one Lieberman.

        1. ….wasn’t “wagging the dog” when he invaded Grenada – Grenada! – two days after 241 Marines were killed in Lebanon.  Oh, no, not at all the same.

      2. I can’t remember. I thought that Nixon resigned when the articles of impeachment were voted out of committee.  The Repubs knew in 1998 that they did not have the votes to remove from office because the Dems still controlled the Senate. BUT, I thought that they had a two part strategy.  The first was to so embarass Clinton by putting his Grand Jury testimony (with the specific details of his sexual experience) on the Internet and hope to so destroy his family…targeting his daughter…..that he would resign. Or secondly, beating the talk show drums to possibily get a Republican majority in the Senate…to maybe…..force a removal from office…

        This happened in August of 1998 and Al Queda hit our embassies in Africa….remember when Clinton tried to retaliate, he was accused of “wagging the dog.”……I often wonder whether the spy in the FBI was somehow slipping stuff to the terrorists.

        1. by the House Judiciary committee but, knowing the House, including Republicans,definitely would vote to impeach, Nixon resigned.  In those days Republicans still put loyalty to country and constitution ahead of partisanship.

        2.   It actually had the opposite effect.  Although Hillary was genuinely livid over the whole thing, her hatred of the vast right wing conspirators allowed her to put aside her anger towards Bill and focus on the joint threat that they faced.
            What a strategy…..brought to you by the family values people (Gingrich, Livingston, Hyde, Burton, and Delay)!

    1. Don’t forget the governor and the legislature were behind this bill.  Unfortunately, in the spirit of modern “journalism,” we know nothing about the partiuclars. 

      Maybe, just a thought, that he can’t be fired for wrongdoing of a criminal nature IF he denies culpability and it’s headed for criminal court.  Actually, that doesn’t sound unreasonable.

      On the other hand, we could go back to the days of firing the school marm because she was seen with a man or not going to church. 

      I’ll take the modern problem.

    2. It is impossible to fire TENURED teachers who know how to remain innocuous in the classroom. New teachers (those who have not spent three years in a single school), have no such protection, and often the best and the brightest are weeded out, for multiple reasons: 1) Dismissing new teachers, regardless of ability, is the only way to down-size a district’s workforce, and sometimes is done en masse in large districts; 2) the best teachers, especially in social studies and English classes, often violate the number one criterion of teacher selection and retention, that is, that they do nothing to politically inconvenience the district administration (in other words, that they teach only a bland mockery of their disciplines, so as to offend no one). There are also many ways of weeding out teachers for political reasons (by political, I am referring to district politics, not national partisan politics): Most teachers, and especially those in the disciplines I named who teach anything substantial, are the subject of ocassional complaints from parents and students. In fact, any teacher who actually imposes any kind of real standard on the kids is most vulnerable, because any kid on the wrong side of that standard (caught cheating, for example) has an easy weapon to wield: Make a complaint to the administration about that teacher. District administrations can then selectively exploit these complaints to get rid of the teachers they oppose, usually not for the quality of their pedogogical services.

      While the role of unions in protecting dysfunctional teachers is entirely destructive to education, so is their (the unions’) indifference to excellent teachers. Teachers’ unions simply do not apply themselves on either side to helping to ensure the quality of the workforce. And the local politics of education, in which the most watered down, least substantial, most grade-inflated delivery of educational services is preferred because it flies under the radar, contributes to problems that are completely disregarded in the constant refrain about how lousy teachers are protected. The problem runs far deeper.

      I recommend that all residents of Jefferson County take a much closer look at their school district: They will find that Cindy Stevenson runs a system that protects cronies who often have a history of abuses, while driving out brilliant, dedicated school administrators and teachers who in any way failed to toe her line. They should first inform themselves, and then throw her out, and throw out the board members who have turned a blind eye to what is going on.

      1. …are so imperfect.  I can’t imagine what the answer(s)is.

        I’m quite familar with what you say, my mother was an outstanding teach from 1960 to 1982-ish.  I taught in the same system 1969-1972. 

        1. as part of a far more extensive reform. But eliminating tenure while keeping other factors constant would create far more problems than it would solve. As long as the selection and retention processes remain as they are, great teachers will consistently be weeded out. Giving district administrations as they are currently constituted more freedom to do that does not strike me as a positive move. Furthermore, new teacher attrition rates are enormous. Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, teachers’ salaries in urban areas are actually pretty good, but not good enough to attract and retain the highest quality human capital (except for those who are passionate enough about education to forego millions of dollars of lifetime lost earning potential, and they are precisely the ones who do not survive school district politics). Taking away tenure is just one more disincentive in a profession that already attracts, in general, a lot of people who lack either the confidence or ability to pursue more lucrative careers. It’s a policy that would lead to the ability in theory to fire bad teachers, but the reality of having to settle for worse teachers than we have now just to come close to satisifying the under-met demand.

          In a “tightly-coupled” world (meaning, everything is connected to everything else), the simple solutions are often disasterously wrong.

          1. First off, it would cause a lot of the ones who teach for the job security to bail and that would be good. Second, if the districts need to hire many more teachers – it will force them to treat teachers better. Because nothing will get parents upset faster than a room full of kids with no teacher up front.

            1. but I think you’d still run into a supply and demand problem that, once you’ve weeded out the large percentage who are there for job seurity, would not be solved by “treating teachers better,” unless that mean salaries that would greatly increase either taxes or debt.

        2. Tenure is what makes sure that profs (and even regular teachers) have the ability to say thing controversial AND not be fired. The case with Churchill is a near perfect example of why tenure is needed. The gov. AND even the head of the university came after a prof because he spoke something that was controversial. He had a flaky background, and yet, prior to his statement, the university had allowed. IOW, he was persecuted for his statement (which is also why he will almost certainly win in the courts to the tune of millions). What is needed, is for a tuning of the system (and that includes primary schools). The only way that fast track should EVER be allowed is for somebody transferring from another school. In addition, each teacher should have their background checked. But to say that tenure should be done away with is throwing away baby with water, and is downright foolish.

          1. With tenure you keep the dirty used bathwater with the baby.

            Tenure supposedly protects a teacher when they say something controversial. How often does a K-12 teacher even say something controversial? I can recall one story in the Denver area in the last couple of years.

            How often do you run in to a teacher that has tenure and otherwise would be fired – about 5 % of them for the schools my kids have gone to in BVSD.

            1. What about the whole BVS flap with the World Affairs Conference? Right wing radio can’t wait for controversy in the schools…remember the kid who taped his teacher’s lectures in Social Studies and then went on the Rosen show and then went national? What about all the flag controversy in high schools. Tenture is very important for teachers.

              1. On the BHS/WAC issue the school district and the community backed the teachers involved 100%. No need for tenure there.

                The kid taping the teacher was the 1 instance I was referencing. And yes that is important – but not more important than the 1 – 5% of teachers that should be let go.

                Everything has trade-offs

            2. In addition to the silly flag issue, there was a cherry creek teacher about a year ago, who was taped by a student. Apparently, he pointed out some of the bad things about bush (he took the long route). What was skipped on the  tape (according to other kids in the class), was that the teacher was pointing out a number of things that presidents did wrong. He pointed out Clinton, Cater, Johnson, Kennedy, etc, just like Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower,  In fact, a number of students came out of the woodwork saying that this teacher was one of the best that they had ever had. Why? Because he was willing to argue BOTH sides over a course AND kept it interesting. You can bet that had he NOT had tenure, he would be LONG gone. As somebody pointed out, Social sciences need it (though he said that english needed it, but nowhere near as much). In addtition, you can bet that the science teachers need it as well. You will have some talking about that evil evolution. Other will speak very pro-nkes or anti -nukes. In this day, GW will be a firable issue if not for tenure.

              Tenure is needed. The problem is that it is easy to obtain, and in primary school, the union uses it wrongly. They use it to protect a teacher who is failing. I know that a lot of parents and teachers HATE the standardized testing, but I think that it is a good thing. Of course, it would be better, if they did not try to cram everything in that is to be taught. But the testing gives  a measurement that is devoid of political issues. Sadly, there are LOTS of bad teachers.

              1. …and yes, I was always on an edge of at least being reprimanded.  Token hippie during Viet Namn, you know.  No tenure as I was new, out of college. 

                I think SS teachers are the most vulnerable.  At least science teachers have only one mine field, and as long as they hew to the curriculum, they are safe.  OTH, SS teachers are immersed in controvery by the field’s very nature.

                1. In fact, evolution is just the tip of the iceberg. But I do have to agree with you that SS is by far the unsafest. Just out of curiosity, how were things back then? That would have been 60’s/70’s. Were parents all over you about ‘nam?

                  1. Most of the kids were anti-war and I didn’t express my most fervent opinions.  The principle was a real authoritarian red neck, so I knew I had no allie.

                  1. I DIDN’T have tenure.  It took three years after first hire to gain it. The year I would have qualified the ex and I beat it for Colorado.

            3. if they are any good, must address controversial subjects every day. My (untenured) teaching career ended when I chose to teach the theory of evolution in order to draw a comparison between natural history and human history (and cultural innovation and diffusion). As a former researcher and college lecturer in the social sciences, focusing on the synthesis of game theory and epistemology, my expertse was exceptional for a high school teacher, and I was delivering an education that my students would not have been likely to receive otherwise. My first two principles that year in that school were wonderful enlightened men who had their careers abruptly destroyed by Cindy Stevenson’s crony-machine, to make way for a truly ignorant and belligerent woman (who has been kept in place despite abysmal evaluations and a barrage of formal complaints and controversies). This incompetent last principle tried to tell me that I should teacher creationism along with evolution (unconstitutional), suggested that the fundamentalist mother complaining had a good point that I was teaching my personal opinion (something SCOTUS specifically refuted in one of their decisions on this subject), and then decided to quietly violate both my contract and my (and my students’) civil rights by maneuvering to not rehire me on the basis of these events (and the wound to her ego by my having to politely correct her misunderstandings about the law), to the outrage of my department chair and the five assistant principles in the building. After I wrote what was intended to be a confidential letter to the president of the school board (but was given to the superintendent), the district, in effect, ended my career in retaliation.

              You can recall just one case because the other thousands of cases don’t make the news. Most such cases don’t go to court, and most that do are settled with a non-disclosure clause included. And most aren’t brought to public attention by a student recording the lecture on a cell phone.

              And, again, new teacher attrition is about 50% in the first four years. Teachers shortages are common, especially in rural areas, where they are constant. The average quality of our teachers is poor because there’s a huge demand and the current deal offered to fill it simply cannot attract enough people of higher quality. Abolishing tenure, without completely reconstructing the education industry, only serves to make an already unattractive job less attractive, and to give an already dysfunctional selection process to do even more damage than it already does. You assume, on the basis of faith alone, that if tenure were abolished, the bad teachers would be fired and the good ones retained. I can assure you, on the basis of first hand experience and observation, that if tenure were abolished, it would be much more common for the best teachers to be fired and the worst retained.

              David, on this subject, you really are utterly clueless.

                1. At first, I was more careful not to give enough information for anyone to figure it out, and then gradually loosened the restrictions over time. I always thought that there was enough in my posts to give me away almost from the get-go, but relied on the combination of assumptions and indifference (you don’t see what you aren’t expecting, especially if its something that doesn’t matter). If anyone else figured it out before you, they kept it to themself.

                  But, you figured it out just in time for my second departure: Law school starts next week, and I doubt I’ll have much time for this, at least during the school year!

                  Are you still in Denver, or did you move to Florida? How’s your dad doing?

                  1. should have clued me in!  I presume that when school starts that will be a historical moment.  Good luck, but I know you’ll do well!

                    Thanks for asking about my situation.  Dad is on chemo in hopes that surgery can be avoided or delayed until…….he dies from something else.  He’s doing real well.  I’m on track to leave CO at the end of September.  Too many hours sorting, packing, selling, giving away, etc.  The old bones have ached too many times. 

                    Oh, dang, shoulda just emailed you, but the deed is done and no secrets out here.

          2. ….although that certainly caused folks to review his work.

            His sins were multiple, with plagiarism being the worst.  Also sloppy research.

            He is/was a fraud and a charlatan from the day, or before, he got hired.

            1. Otherwise, he would have been left alone. His plagiarism had already been looked before, and the school left him alone (IOW, he was tried twice for the same crime). There was not enough evidence in the first place. As to that, until he confesses or there is exact duplication, it will be difficult. and neither was the case.

              As to the fraud/charlatan, I agree. He should NEVER have been given fast track tenure. CU (and all schools) should be very careful about the tenure that they give. That is what needs to change.

              That is why the main group who looked over him said to NOT fire him. You can not prove it. That is also why the made the recommendations that they did (demotion, cut in salary from near 100K to 25K, and would have to teach intro classes; would have been far worse than what has happened to him). WC will be back teaching at CU within 5 years, with millions in his pocket.  And we will then offer to pay him another 5 million to walk away.  Cooler heads should have prevailed.

              1. …that is “little Eichmans” statement opened Pandora’s box, yes.  But that is not what he was left twisting in the wind for by any stretch.

                Something like 3 committees with numerous non-CU staff looked into his writings and all came to the same conclusion:plagarism.  As best as I recall, anyway.

                1.   Despite his calling them insulting names, the faculty committees were juries of Churchill’s peers. 
                    For self interest reasons alone, whenever there was a question of his conduct which could have gone either, you would presume that they would give him the benefit of the doubt.  (There but for the grace of God goes Professor So-And-So…..)
                    Now he’s in a totally different environment.  I was alughing when he and David Lane were threatening to file in federal court, and I was not surprised when they opted for state court instead. 
                    The venire panel alone would have finished off their case in federal court.  Can you imagine how receptive a jury consisting of a couple of Republican suburban housewives from Centennial or Littleton, a farmer from Greeley, and truck driver from Commerce City would look upon his claims!

                2. In fact, they were very opposed to it. Ppl like brown and those not connected directly with this were the only ones recommending that he be nuked. That is exactly why this is going to boomerang. The tenure committee recommended that he be demoted, have his salary be brought down to junior level, and be teaching intro classes. IOW, he would be treated like a junior prof, but with tenure (he would have left on his own). IANAL, but I am guessing that a judge will say that it was what the tenure committee recommended as well as they had previous history to judge this by. I would also guess that all the other groups that were calling for his firing are totally irrelevant to the issue.

                  1. I can’t imagine any non-academia employee doing what he did, within whatever field that might be, and get a demotion.  Whoopee.

                    Obviously, the not inconsequential Brown and regents felt that dismissal was the right choice.  If Lane and WC want to waste their efforts and all our monies, so be it.  They probably would have sued with just a demotion on some ground or another.

                    1. Now, he will sue and I expect him to win. That gets my goat. This whole attack was orchestrated by Brown and Owens, but with the same leadership, foresight and intelligence that W. had has shown in Iraq. All in all, this will also turn into a quagmire, where it will cost us plenty. Ritter will end up taking the blame for mishandling this, when in reality this was caused by the previous admin.

                      And I guess in the end, we will just have to see who is right. After all, it will be another 2 years before something happens (unless his lawyer is able to do something to get him back with some temporary order).

              2. I should have added that WC’s most fervent supporters don’t address the plagiarism/sloppy academics because they don’t have a proverbial leg to stand on.  So, they go back to the “freedom of speech” angle for his “Little Eichmans.”  I would agree with them if he didn’t have all the other integrity problems.

      2. You said:

        “While the role of unions in protecting dysfunctional teachers is entirely destructive to education, so is their (the unions’) indifference to excellent teachers. Teachers’ unions simply do not apply themselves on either side to helping to ensure the quality of the workforce.”

        I completely agree.

        Followthemoney.org reports on campaign contributions.  In the 2006 election, the Ritter campaign received $83,000 from individual educators and about $130,000 from teachers and public unions.

        Teachers’ unions contributed about $1.5 million to Colorado races, almost all of it to Democratic candidates.

        I guess we can look forward to elected officials who will press for improvements in Colorado education under the Democratic majority, right?

        1. what’s the problem with labor organizing?

          And I’ll ask again, how would teacher unions encourage excellence? 

          I was a teacher, as was my mother, when the state and national “education associations” were professional and not adversarial.  School districts ran roughshod over individual teachers and the group, starting with salaries.

          Unions never come into existence when employers treat the employees fairly and with dignity.  See “IBM.”

          Obviously, the only solution is publicly funded campaigns.

          1. though in practice I think teachers unions are a destructive influence, particularly when they are lobbying on educational matters. To what extent they actually represent the will of teachers is difficult to determine: Teachers join the union mostly for the legal protection they provide in case of some accusation of abuse (which happens far, far more often than actual abuse happens). The union then uses those dues to pursue their own agenda. Having said that, however, I believe the union does represent teachers fairly accurately on educational policy matters: Teachers are highly conservative in this regard. They value comfort and security more highly than almost any other consideration; thus they choose the presumably safe profession of teaching over risking but more lucrative endeavors (see my above comments about what kind of human capital is usually attracted to education). As a result, our school systems are a public trough (an extensive though shallow one) from which people who want to keep going through the motions with comfortable security that nothing will ever change for them happily feed. This is true despite the fact that a large percentage of teachers put in hours far in excess of those for which they are contractually obligated, and have a genuine love of children and passion for teaching. They still don’t value education enough to permit it to become an efficient and effective enterprise, and thus one that offers less job security and less certainty of never changing in any substantial way.

          2. Unions do not encourage excellence.  They create a system where unionized teachers are rewarded the same whether they are good teachers or bad and they get paid the same whether our children are educated or not. 

            Under Colorado campaign laws, corporations cannot give money to candidates.  In the last legislative session, Democratic legislators (Green, McGihon, Carroll T., Madden,
            Merrifield, Primavera, Borodkin, Buescher, Carroll M., Casso, Fischer, Gibbs, Kefalas, Kerr A., Peniston, and Todd; also SENATOR(S) Gordon, Bacon, and Tupa) closed the technical loophole that allowed LLCs and partnerships to contribute to campaigns.  (HB 07-1323)

            However, labor unions are still allowed to contribute to candidates even though the logic of prohibiting corporations and LLCs from making contributions seems to apply equally to unions.

            From a cycnical perspective, I guess that Democratic legislators who sponsored HB 07-1323 did not want to bite the hand that feeds them and prohibit contributions by unions.  In my opinion, our Democratic legislators are “captured” by teachers unions and are unlikely to enact anything that improves education in Colorado if it does anything adverse to their union campaign contributors.

  2. Gov Mitt Romney won the 2007 Ames straw poll, receiving 4516 votes, or 31%.

    In a surprise, Gov. Mike Huckabee finished second with 2587 votes at 18.1%

    11. John Cox with 41 votes.
    10. John McCain with 101 votes.
    9. Duncan Hunter with 174 votes.
    8. Rudy Giuliani with 183 votes.
    7. Fred Thomson with 231 votes.
    6. Tommy Thompson, 1,009 votes, 7.3%
    5. Ron Paul with 1305 votes, and 9.1%
    4. Tom Tancredo with 1961 votes, 13.7%.
    3. Sen. Sam Brownback with 2192 votes and 15.3%

    Iowa state auditor David Vaudt unofficially certified the results.

    14,203 ballots were cast.

      1. the New Yawker and Arizonian.

        Wow, how could they lose by such large margins to…to….to…Tommy One Tune?

        Mitt & Hillary, I tell ya… Welcome to The Center.

      1. Thompson has been on the decline since his exploratory committee raised only three million when the goal was five. Couple that with him never announcing, and he wants is an ego boost, rather than an ego bruise by actually announcing. Of course, with his trophy wife trying to run his non-campaign causing defections I think he leaves without ever actually announcing.

      2.   I know that sounds like an advertising slogan for the lottery but it applies to the Ames Iowa Straw Poll.  I’ve never heard of a “draft” candidate (or any other candidate who did not actively ask for votes) going on to win this poll.
          As an aside, the Washington Post went over the mixed blessing winning in Ames, Iowa brings to a campaign.  Yes, the Shrub won the straw poll, the nomination and the election in ’99-’00, and Bob Dole tied for the straw poll before winning the nomination in ’95-’96.
          However, Pat Robertson won the poll in ’87 and lost the nomination in ’88, while Ronald Reagan finished fourth in ’79 only to go on to win the nod and the election in ’80.
          That should give Tommy “One Tune” Tancredo something to brag about…..he finished in the straw poll in the exact same place where “the Gipper”  finish 28 years ago!

    1. Huckabee, the guy conservatives look at wistfully wishing he could only be a “top tier” candidate, comes in a respectable number two.  Dark horses come in behind and beat two other big names.

      This is why the small-state primary system works – it churns out guys people genuinely like and agree with, while the guys who have the big bucks, big buzz, and big machines don’t do well unless they can back that up (which apparently Romney did).

      It’s be a shame to see it go.

      1. but wasn’t Romney the only big bucks, big buzz candidate who actually made a big money effort here? I thought I read that McCain, Guiliani, and the other front leaders basically skipped the straw poll.

        1.   So Gumby’s sweeping mandate (of 32%) was over opponents like Tank, Huckabee, Brownback, and Ron Paul.  The Democratic equivalent would be Hillary and Obama skipping a straw poll where John Edwards then goes on to clobber Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.
            Back to the Republicans……It would be interesting to see who spent how much per vote won.  Anyone have those numbers? 
            If you combine the vote totals for the two real conservatives in the race (Huckabee and Brownback), you get 33%, just one point more than the faux conservative got.

          1. spent over $ million… round it down to $1 million flat, divide that by 4516 and that comes to $221.43 per vote. Well, if that’s what it takes to keep him in contention I guess it’s well spent…

        2. But they do so at their peril.  They just gave a bump to Mitt and ostensibly brought probably the smartest guy in all the debates thus far up to the “top tier” with them.  It’s a dangerous move, for sure.

    1. There are so many layers of software where none of it knows what any other layer will do. And no programmer is perfect so it all has bugs in it. (And some companies hire the cheapest programmers they can find and their software tends to be very buggy.)

      – dave

      1. …that the level of complexity in so many of our endeavors, especially IT, will lead to partial or complete meltdowns of critical systems.  We are treading beyond our abilities.

        Just my not so humble opinion.

        And, what about redundency? 

  3. Another installment of Paul Revere’s warnings about how far America is behind in so many standards from much of the world. 

    This just in:  Life expectancy fall be hind other nation.  More.  Again.

    See Page 4A in today’s Post.

    We are now behind JORDAN! And Guam, and the Cayman Islands.  To say nothing of Japan, Australia, and most of Europe.

    Alleged biggest reasons are obesity and lack of good health insurance. 

    I think I recall that we are number 18 or less in infant mortality, which this article touches on indirectly.

    We have the lowest broadband coverage at the highest prices.

    We export ag products and import tech products.

    We spend disproportionately on the military and not enough on human services.  We value death over life.

    It’s not too late, but it soon will be, to turn this around. Less military, more health care, more education.  Them’s good starting points.

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