Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Brief - February 11th, 2008

Looking at John McCain's paunchy on television these past few days, I've been wondering what a direct, televised matchup between him and Barack Obama would look like. If you are not old enough to remember the Kennedy/Nixon debate in 1960, but have heard about it, it might seem like an eerie deja vu.

Contrast Obama's smooth, warm skin tone with McCain's wrinkled visage, Obama's eloquent rhetoric and elegant delivery with McCain's stale, tired lines.

And if you consider their messages, the difference is stark, as shown in this YouTube video (McCain: Like hope, only different). I have faith that America will be voting for a Democrat this November.

Now let's take a look at the headlines:

In the Pacific Northwest
  • Joel Connelly has an enjoyable column this morning analyzing the results of the Washington State precinct caucuses (Obamania clobbers Clinton). Read it at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  • Our friends over at the 43rd State Blues are criticizing the appointment of Mike McGwartney, a board member of a major state employee health insurance provider, to the position of administration director. The plan is for him to work without pay, but that raises the question of how accountable he will be to the state.
  • Two leading biologists with different perspectives have affirmed their support of recent changes to Idaho's wolf management plan. The changes will allow more wolves to be killed under certain cirumstances.
Across the Nation
  • Six Guantanamo detainees who are accused of playing central roles in the September 11th terrorist attacks will finally have their day in court. Although they will be tried by a military commission, the accused will have all of the rights of U.S. soldiers accused of crimes. Prosecutors are seeking to have the detainees executed, thereby raising the international profile of the case.
  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates is endorsing a pause in the reduction of American troops in Iraq. After the last of the troops involved in the escalation are removed in the summer, Gates wants an evaluation of the country's security before resuming troop reduction.
  • Yahoo is playing hard to get with Microsoft after rejecting its $44.6 billion takeover bid today. Microsoft is expected to raise its bid from $31 per share to at least $35 per share.
  • The New York Times reports that one in seven people living in the U.S. may be born outside the country by the year 2020 and that immigrants will account for 82 percent of the increase in the U.S. population. Yale law school professor Amy Chua offers five "tolerant but tough" suggestions on how to accomodate this influx while maintaining our stability and national identity.
Around the World
  • Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez , anegered by the actions of American oil giant ExxonMobil, has threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States. He has made the same threat before, but never followed through.
  • Just two days after two Picasso paintings were stolen near Zürich, Switzerland, four Impressionist materpieces were also stolen from a Zürich museum by desperate criminals. The theft is considered to be one of the biggest art heists in the last twenty years.
  • Negotiations are going well in Kenya between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga and a resolution to their election dispute may come about this week.
If you have something to add, please leave a comment.


Blogger kprugman said...

Contrast the education platforms for both candidates. McCain definitely doesn't represent the interests of public education. I'm not sure of Obama's position. I doubt there will be a republican left in congress who would support NCLB again.

The only reason, there's been no investigation of corruption in school districts in Washington is its so widespread. You can't tie achievement to a single number like a WASL test score. The number will be misused and misrepresented by the organizations who stand to gain most financially from that number. The lower your test score, it seems the less help you are provided.

The latest scandal is textbooks. According to the industry, the truth does not have to be objective, it can be a balance between traditional and reform. That's Roman nonsense. The evaluation of their curriculum was absolutely fraudulent. And now its being imposed on communities whether they want it or not.

There are people who believe that colorless societies are equal. This is ridiculous and predates Plessy. Our schools are more segregated now than before, and worse, disadvantaged children have had a terrible education imposed upon them.

I won't vote for a candidate that supports outcome-based education or NCTM standards. I want this country to be world class, with a single curriculum, well-researched and accepted by all the people.

Millions of children are failing and they are less involved in school than ever before. This is no longer a school issue, but a health issue. This latest effort to reform education we will regret for decades. Where does Obama stand on education, particularly since his mother is from Seattle.

Washington state schools will be a lesson for this nation, one of the worst states in terms of supporting civil rights for children. Shame on them. There is too much violence in schools, and a good part of that frustration is because more children are failing and dropping out of school.

Once again we have no leadership from our elected officials. The reformers are playing with fire when they start breaching people's civil rights. I hope they eat their words, its a literature of hate and resentment.

February 12, 2008 12:17 AM  

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