Friday, 8/26/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

29 responses to “Friday, 8/26/11, Public Square

  1. 100+ CEOs promise no campaign donations

    Led by Howard Schultz of Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500), more than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to halt all political campaign contributions until lawmakers, as Schultz puts it, “stop the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.”

    Last week, he mounted a one-man bull rush against a political culture that has “chosen to put partisan and ideological purity over the well being of the people.”

    Schultz said he was going to stop writing checks, and he asked other CEOs to join him.

    They have.

  2. An excellent explanation of what’s wrong with our health care system….please take the time to watch.

    New Yorker writer and FRONTLINE correspondent Atul Gawande reports on a doctor in Camden, N.J., who actually seeks out the community’s sickest — and most expensive — patients.

    Read more:

  3. Eager for Spotlight, but Not if It Is on a Testing Scandal

    Ms. Rhee, the chancellor of the Washington public schools from 2007 to 2010, is the national symbol of the data-driven, take-no-prisoners education reform movement.

    It’s hard to find a media outlet, big or small, that she hasn’t talked to. She’s been interviewed by Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw and Oprah Winfrey. She’s been featured on a Time magazine cover holding a broom (to sweep away bad teachers). She was one of the stars of the documentary “Waiting for Superman.”

    These days, as director of an advocacy group she founded, StudentsFirst, she crisscrosses the country pushing her education politics: she’s for vouchers and charter schools, against tenure, for teachers, but against their unions.

    Always, she preens for the cameras. Early in her chancellorship, she was trailed for a story by the education correspondent of “PBS NewsHour,” John Merrow.

    At one point, Ms. Rhee asked if his crew wanted to watch her fire a principal. “We were totally stunned,” Mr. Merrow said.

    She let them set up the camera behind the principal and videotape the entire firing. “The principal seemed dazed,” said Mr. Merrow. “I’ve been reporting 35 years and never seen anything like it.”

    And yet, as voracious as she is for the media spotlight, Ms. Rhee will not talk to USA Today.

    At the end of March, three of the paper’s reporters — Marisol Bello, Jack Gillum and Greg Toppo — broke a story about the high rate of erasures and suspiciously high test-score gains at 41 Washington schools while Ms. Rhee was chancellor.

    • indypendent

      Those who profess to be the the most righteous are often nothing more than the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  4. I plan to keep my eye on this group. At this point I have no opinions positive or negative.

    Commentary: Beware Americans Elect’s lack of transparency

    As the horror show drones on in Washington, D.C., California consultant Mike Arno and some of his friends from back East are offering a “Mr Smith” remake, slickly packaged for the Internet Age.

    These operatives and donors are promoting a concept intended to serve as antidote to counter our dysfunctional system in the form of a nonprofit political organization with the suitably nonpartisan name Americans Elect.

    They hope to offer voters a centrist alternative to Barack Obama and whoever the Republican presidential nominee might be.

    As told on their website, here’s what they’re promising: “The first-ever open presidential nominating process. No special interests. No agendas. No partisanship.”

    Read more:

    • indypendent

      In other words – on the ballot we shall find ‘ none of the above’?

    • I went to their website yesterday, don’t remember where I picked up their link from, they indicated they could tell me which side of the fence I most resembled, blue or red. All I needed to do was answer their questionnaire. I did, but then they wanted me to sign up, I didn’t. Never did find out what side of fence I was on.

      • I know which side of the fence you’re on — the correct one! 🙂

      • indypendent

        I wonder why the need to make people sign up? It makes me suspect that perhaps this is just another one of these focus groups that both political parties like to use to frame their message just right.

        I always wonder about the idea of marketing a message ‘just right’. If your message is a good one – then you would not need to ‘frame it’ – you could just tell it and let the message speak for itself.

        I feel our country has been so consumerized and marketized by these damn corporations – that we cannot even know when a good message is being told to us.

  5. Cantor: Storm Aid Means Spending Cuts

    Looks as though Irene has something to say about the debt crisis in D.C.—Hurricane Irene, that is. A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday that if “additional funds” are needed for hurricane damage, they’ll need to be offset with spending cuts. It’s important to note that the Republican took a similarly controversial stance after the Joplin tornado, and, more recently, after the earthquake in Virginia. Interestingly, Cantor is from Virginia.

  6. Census: South, West lead US in marriages, divorces

    Looks like gay marriage hasn’t been catastrophic yet for the Northeast. Census Bureau data released Thursday show that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts had some of the lowest divorce rates, while Western and Southern states had the highest rates of divorce—as well as the highest rate of marriage. Maine, Alaska, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Nevada were ranked the highest for divorce, while the highest states for marriage—Utah, Wyoming, and Arkansas—also had higher-than-average rates for divorce. Only North Dakota ranked high for marriage and low for divorce. The first-of-its-kind Census analysis showed that the median age for a first marriage had climbed from 22.5 for men and 20.6 years for women in 1970 to 28.4 for men and 26.5 for women in 2010.

  7. We know the GOP has waged war on the middle class, workers, women, freedom and that they want to do away with most everything they deem people are undeserving to receive while protecting their owners — the uber wealthy but here’s why the GOP and tea party are doomed —

    Baby Boomer Statistics: Death Counter (USA)

  8. So Perry jumped in and leaped ahead according to several polls.

    Are these the polls that we’re supposed to believe. or not? You know how that opinion changes when the poll is something you want to hear vs something that goes against the grain of the GOP talking points. 🙂

    Anyway, it’s a long way off. Weren’t the candidates for the 2008 election supposed to be Romney and Clinton at this point? Remember how quickly the GOP chose McCain? It was really early in 2008 and the democrats were poked fun at, ridiculed and accused of not being able to choose a candidate. That stance has changed too! Now the GOP is talking about how careful they are, how measured their choice will be, how wonderful it is they have so many to choose from. They are a laugh a minute!

    • indypendent

      The only reasonable and sane person in the GOP field is Huntsman and he does not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting past the Evangelicals’ purity and loyalty test.

      I suspect Romney thought he would waltz in and just take the GOP nomination because ‘it is his turn’ and that has been the way Republicans have always picked their candidate – the next wealthy white male in line.

  9. indypendent

    On a serious note – I’ve thought about how the 2012-2016 years will be if Obama does win re-election.

    Will it mean just more deeper divisions and even more hatred towards Obama or will the Far Right finally admit they are wrong and try to work with Obama?

    I suspect the first scenario is what we’ll see – and the possbility of the GOP splitting wide open.

    But at what cost to the country will more deep division cause? I’m tired of all this crap and partisan political nonsense.

    I want grown ups in Congress and if the present two-year-olds cannot get potty trained and grow up – then they do not need to even show up at the Day Care Center come Jan 2013.

    This currrent Do-Nothing Congress is nothing but a drag on taxpayers and we will still get the short end of the stick.

    • I think the GOP’s stupidity won’t be tolerated longer than mid terms of 2014, if that long. There are many people who pay absolutely no attention but the shenanigans of the tea party / religious right (one in the same!) are too obvious to go unnoticed.

    • indypendent

      Taking from the working class to give to top 2% wealthy is NOT class warfare?

      I guess that is the view from the top – huh? No wonder Reagan pushed for that trickle down theory – Reagan started all this B.S.

  10. These nice Christians will do the judging! Sinners probably shouldn’t be in church anyway!

    Church attended by Bachmann bans non-Christians, sexually-active singles from daycare staff

    • indypendent

      Did you notice adulterers, liars, hypocrits, cheats and thieves were not included in that list?

      If this preacher started weeding these sinners out – who would be left? LMAO

      • indypendent

        P.S. – where was the ban against child molesters? I did not see that listed either.

      • You think child molesters might be as dangerous to children as non-Christians, sexually active singles or gays? These people are just plain haters! They’re probably ‘perfect.’

  11. Check out this piece which contends the creation of the Tea Party may prove to be deadly for the Republican party.

    Golem Turns on its GOP Masters
    By Elstun Lauesen

    There is a powerful tale of biblical dimensions unfolding in the politics of these latter days. It comes through the drama within the Grand Old Party. As we all know, the Republican Party has used religion and ‘faith’ as its most powerful organizing weapon. But what we are witnessing in the political theater today is what happens when that weapon is turned upon its creator. Those within the Republican Party who understand the mainstream purposes of government are staring helplessly at the advancing shadow of their own creation like the legendary Rabbi of Prague beheld the ravages of his golem.

    The golem was created (according to legend) to serve mankind but it was a crude creation and understood commands only literally. Carelessness by the golem’s owner can lead to disaster. According to the narrative of Judah Leow ben Bazalel, the Rabbi of Prague wanted to protect the Warsaw Ghetto from the persecution of Rudolph II, the Holy Roman Emperor, so the Rabbi used magical incantations to turn clay into a life form—a golem. Across the forehead of the golem was written the Hebrew word ‘emet’ or Truth; to destroy the creation, the creator would have to remove the Hebrew ‘aleph’ which changed the word to ‘met’ meaning ‘dead’. To the golem ‘Truth’ was whatever its creator told it and there is no more dangerous creation than unthinking ‘Truth’.

    One day, the Rabbi carelessly gave his creation a command and it began to destroy innocent gentiles and virtuous Jews. To his horror, the creature had turned on him, spinning its own versions of ‘Truth’ to justify its terrible actions. Finally the Rabbi used an incantation to remove the Aleph from the golem’s forehead and it lost its animation.

    Karl Rove is now famously at war with Rick Perry, his creation. What Karl understands is that Perry only knows one play book—the one that made him a success in ultra-conservative Texas, but will surely doom him in a national contest against a centrist incumbent president. Karl knows that he has to kill off Perry and do it soon because, while the Texan knows only one play, he knows it really well—well enough to win the early nominating contests dominated by his other golem, the Tea Party Republicans. Newsweek’s Howard Fineman even used a golem-like metaphor recently to describe the Rove-Perry conflict. “The Perry-Rove story is shaping up as the ultimate tale of dangerously unintended consequences, with Rove in the role of Dr. Frankenstein and Perry as his living, rampaging political creation.”

    “Unintended consequences” is also the story of the Tea-Party. While most Tea-Partiers fancy themselves as part of a spontaneous movement, most unaffiliated observers recognize the important role that was played in organizing the Tea Party movement by the very billionaires who stand to gain the most by its anti-government ideology. The Koch Brothers funded Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks to seed the Tea Party. News Corps Billionaire Rupert Murdock and his Fox News Channel helped spread the word. Armey organized and Fox News fed the Tea Party its lines. Here, too fits another legendary golem metaphor. Legend and folklore suggest that writing a specific series of letters on parchment and placing the paper in a golem’s mouth could activate golems. In this case, the power of the words fed to the monster was greater than any learning, wisdom or truth that could be arrayed against them.

    Just imagine the horror of Karl Rove as the Tea Party congress took the nation unnecessarily to the brink after wrangling more concessions out of a weak Democratic leadership than Rove would have dared to dream would be possible. He wanted Boehner and the Republicans to declare victory and hit the campaign trail with Obama’s scalp and the Democratic base angry at their president and in disarray. But, instead, purists took certain victory and drove public opinion against the Republicans.

    Far wiser minds than mine say that the legends of the golem are moral tales of the consequence of hubris. Appropriately, then, the creation of the Tea Party may prove to be deadly for the Republican party.