It's an interesting little dance conservatives do, justifying debt when they want to get their war on and crying wolf when Democrats ask for money to build infrastructure, actualize national security, and invest in education.
Just wait until Obama the Anti-Christ unleashes his armies of howling Mastodon-headed demon warriors riding flame breathing unicorns! The fundies will shit bricks the size and density of Old Testaments!
Boise's Rep. Cronin Selected Among “Rising Stars” In Governance for Elite Fellowship In Public LeadershipSubmitted by MeAndG on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 3:04pm.
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is always nice when the political light in Idaho shines on someone other than a Republican. I became impressed with Idaho's House Minority Caucus Chairman Brian Cronin, D-Boise, in 2008, after experiencing a series of negative racial incidents. This elected leader stood up and offered support and solutions.
The Aspen Institute has announced the selection of 24 of America’s leading public officials to participate in the Institute’s bipartisan Aspen-Rodel Fellowship program. Cronin is among them.
The fellowship program, now in its seventh year, is focused on transcending political partisanship and focusing attention on over-arching questions of leadership and governance.
“Fellows are selected based on their reputations for intelligence, thoughtfulness, and a willingness to work across party lines to seek solutions to public problems. We are pleased to welcome this year’s class of Fellows as they continue to make a difference in our public lives across the country,” said Former Congressman Mickey Edwards, the director of the program.
I’m deeply humbled by the honor and recognition that this fellowship represents,” said Cronin. “I look forward to getting to know and learning from some very accomplished public servants. And in today’s highly polarized political environment, this program is an amazing and unique opportunity to look past our differences and explore strategies and frameworks for solving the many challenges currently facing our country and our states in more collaborative and productive ways. The skills, ideas, and insights that I will take away will no doubt serve me well in my work in the Idaho Legislature.
Cronin was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and became Minority Caucus Chairman in 2010. He represents Idaho’s District 19, which includes Boise’s North End, East End, downtown, Foothills, Highlands, Warm Springs Mesa, and Harris Ranch. Cronin is the owner of Cronin & Associates, a marketing and communications firm he founded in 2003. He and his wife Veronica also own and operate Garabatos Spanish Preschool, which they founded in 2006.
Members of the new Aspen-Rodel Fellowship class are: " read more »
Before they became Republicans:
Cared at least as much or more about the sick, vulnerable, and needy than helping the very super rich gain even more tax advantages.
Held fundamental values that govt should do more than kill brown skinned people who believe in a different God myth, help rich folks pull themselves up by others bootstrsps.
Pass laws protecting the natural future of the environment for all yet to come.
Gather unicorn skittle poop to hand out on Halloween.
Republicans tell little kids that outhouses have magic portals to a land of candy and kittens.
Republicans kill snow monkeys just to hear them shriek and burble.
Republicans yank ladyslipper orchids out of the forest soil and plunk them in the rat nested bouffant hairdos of their girlfriends made of seagull feathers and witch hazel.
Republicans grill mermaid and unicorn steaks on their big stupid propane grills and dream of a world sucked empty of magic.
Republicans make love to bullfrogs and teach them how to sharpen switchblades on molar fillings. read more »
THIS is what a Progressive Democrat sounds like. We could sure as hell use a lot more of 'em.
by Michael Strickland
Thanks to No Child Left Behind, my daughters were removed from class on Friday (with no previous warning and explanation to parents or them) and subjected to a test that only a handful of their peers had to take. I'm so glad and relieved to learn that they're fluent in English. Apparently they're at risk because a second language is spoken in the home. And all along I thought they were at risk of being smarter.
The author of this paragraph, Idaho Rep. Brian Cronin, who has a master's degree from Harvard, runs a Spanish language preschool and summer camp with his wife.
Some interesting points were brought up in the Facebook discussion, including:
This is disturbing and upsetting, I can't imagine how you and your wife must feel. As a naturalized citizen of our country (naturalized at age 4 and have been here for 37 years), I am outraged at how this is even an issue. Criminy!
Or is this more of an Idaho problem?
Yes, Idaho has a way to go. I once had a day-care provider refuse to provide services to a bright, healthy refugee child comparing their lack of English skills to being autistic. Needless to say, as they were receiving state funds, DHW got a call...
Cronin, who's wife is from Ecuador, added:
Here's the most troubling/poignant part of all. Alana took this all in stride but Kyra was quite rattled and agitated by the whole ordeal. Getting called to principal's office under mysterious circumstances is somewhat stigmatizing. She came home and both broke my heart and made me proud, talking about her rights having been violated: "Why should I be punished because of where my parents are from? I didn't choose my parents!"
Has anything like this happened in your school district?
And finally, if the students are trilingual, would they have to take even more tests?
On April 6, 1993, Ellen Ochoa, a mission specialist, sat in the space shuttle Discovery, waiting for liftoff.
As the launchpad rumbled and the engines ignited, the Discovery soared upward into the sky. With this space shuttle launch, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina to enter space. brilliant inventor and an experienced astronaut, Ochoa quickly moved up the ranks at NASA and toured schools throughout the country, encouraging students to follow their dreams.
In Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut and Inventor (Latino Biography Library) [Library Binding] - author Anne E. Schraff explores the life of this inspirational woman from her childhood California to her missions in space.
When asked which books have influenced or inspired them, many national and international leaders reply with the title of a biography or autobiography. It used to be common for young students to read Plutarch’s Lives or Shakespeare’s historical dramas. Nowadays, however, students are more apt to read about the lives of music or movie stars in popular magazines. Historical figures, encountered only briefly in textbooks, remain remote and drab, rather than vital human beings to whom students can personally relate. - Mary Lou Meerson, from Harcourt “Lives of” study guide.
That is why books like this are so important. Children canlearn how Ochoa received NASA awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and four Space Flight Medals. They can grow to understand this recipient of numerous other awards, including the Harvard Foundation Science Award, Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, The Hispanic Engineer Albert Baez Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to Humanity, and the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Readers will see why Ochoa was once named San Diego State University Alumna of the Year and why she has two schools named after her: Ellen Ochoa Middle School in Pasco, Washington, and the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy, California.
In Using Nonfiction Trade Books in the Elementary Classroom: From Ants to Zeppelins, editors Evelyn B. Freeman, Diane G. Person, and Diane Goetz Person state: read more »
Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, debunks 6 big Republican lies about The U.S. economy. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, and tears apart the bullshit of the wingnuttia in a simple, easy to understand way. Joe Bob sez check it out.
"In America 46% of teachers quit before their 5th year. ... 'My son just graduted college this year and he is making way more selling cell phones for Verizon than he ever could as a teacher.'"
We are a proud partner of the new documentary American Teacher by the Teacher Salary Project, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that grew out of the New York Times bestselling book Teachers Have It Easy by journalist and teacher Daniel Moulthrop, co-founder of the 826 National writing programs Nínive Calegari, and writer Dave Eggers (novels A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What - both of which I read and loved – among other works). The organization advocates for more recognition of and compensation for this extremely difficult and often misunderstood profession.
American Teacher is produced by Eggers and Calegari, produced and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, and narrated by Matt Damon. The preview has just come out – enjoy below. The San Francisco premiere will be on October 7, and info about the earlier NY and LA screenings is available on the film site.
hate is extremely flammable
its vapors may cause flash fire
hate is harmful if inhaled
keep hate away from heat, sparks and flame
do not breath the vapors of hate
wash thoroughly after using hate
if you accidentally swallow hate
get medical attention
- from the poem 911 by Michael Salinger
I performed Salinger's poem 911 during an NAACP annual meeting keynote that I gave a few years ago, here in Southern Idaho. read more »
grizzly bears hunger
fat piggies a deadly meal
stupid otter gloats
Outside magazine says that Boise is the best town in America, and featured the city the cover of one of their issues.
In the midst of such a great situation in which to raise our three little girls, I'm reminded of how my parents always used to repeat the idea that you don't get something for nothing. Thus. I was inspired by these words from a city council member:
It's time for an election. A city election. Few turn-out. Few understand the impact local races have on our lives. It has been my honor to serve you on Council. But without a strong team we can achieve nothing. Dave Bieter for Boise has served us well. Boise City Council Member Lauren McLean is a strong addition. And we have fresh talent in Vote Ben Quintana for Boise City Council. Ben represents what our city needs during difficult economic times. Please keep this on the radar. Let's go, Boise! - TJ Thomson
frothy pompous spuds
fatten quickly, taterbugs
clamor on waistbands
Originally posted to Daily Kos Readers and Book Lovers
Also republished by Daily Kos: Education Alternatives; Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter; and DKOMA.
While children's books are an art in and of themselves, when art and music are the topic, creative sharing experiences abound. Such texts give children a point of reference for understanding the role of the fine and performing arts in their own lives. Books in this category help develop children's imagination, pique their curiosity, and enhance student confidence in their ability to connect with various genres, making them say: "I can be an artist or musician too."
Here are a few of my favorite books for young readers that accomplish the above goals:
Internationally acclaimed artist Tyree Guyton grew up on Heidelberg Street in Detroit, Michigan. When he was a boy he collected bits and pieces—trash—to create his own fun. Eventually Tyree left Heidelberg Street to find his way in the world, but his mind often traveled back home. When he did return, hard times had fallen on his neighborhood: homes were abandoned, trash was everywhere, and troublemakers haunted the street. Tyree re-imagined his decaying neighborhood, and with the help of his grandpa Sam, who had encouraged him to paint the world, Tyree set to fixing up the mess. He created sculpture out of the trash that littered the neighborhood, painted the dilapidated houses with color and design, and changed the world on Heidelberg Street.
2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the Heidelberg Project, an ongoing art installation where Tyree Guyton still works. Magic Trash is the story of Tyree’s transformation of a dying neighborhood, the opposition he faced, and how a residential neighborhood in Detroit became famous. An inspiring story of urban renewal and the healing power of art.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s mixed media collage art is a fitting tribute to the beauty of Tyree Guyton’s vision that anything can become a beautiful thing when used for a purpose.
Oscar’s Great-Granny showed him how to draw. Oscar was not good at drawing. But he loved art, so he kept the drawing of a red chicken that Great-Granny gave to him and he loved to look at it. He bought another drawing at a flea market, and he loved looking at that one, too. As he grew up, Oscar collected more drawings and paintings, filling his bedroom with color and shapes and scenes. Oscar collected and collected until a museum had to be built to hold all of his drawings and paintings.
Not everyone can become an artist, but as Oscar learned, everyone can love looking at art.
Oscar’s passion for the stories in paintings and the thoughts they provoke will inspire young readers to see art in a new way—even if they don’t enjoy making it themselves.
Grammy Award–winning singer Judy Collins and illustrator Eric Puybaret (best-selling illustrator of Puff, the Magic Dragon; The Night Before Christmas, performed by Peter, Paul and Mary; and Over the Rainbow, performed by Judy Collins), who together created the New York Times best-seller Over the Rainbow, collaborate once again to bring a classic song to life, with equally enchanting results.
Written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington in 1940, the Academy Award®–winning When You Wish Upon a Star is beloved by listeners from 2 to 92 for its sweet hopefulness, poignant melody, and simple yet profound lyrics. Promising that “anything your heart desires will come to you,” it appeals to the believer and child in all of us. The words weave a vision of a world rich in love and happiness—a world open to everyone, “no matter who you are.” And no singer can capture the haunting beauty of this classic like Collins, with her emotionally resonant voice.
Eric Puybaret’s captivating art, with its graceful lines, stunning use of color, and strong sense of fantasy, is the perfect complement to Collins’s lovely interpretation. His art has been called “elegantly rendered,” by the New York Times; “graceful [and] whimsical,” by Publishers Weekly; and “lovely . . . and indeed magical,” by Kirkus Reviews.
This type of literature helps children develop insight into universal human concepts, such as compassion, morality, relationships and empathy. It is one way to hand down our artistic and musical heritage to the next generation, both validating the child's own culture, and introducing others.
My favorite part of this video is when he asks the young Tea Party woman:
"What is the provision in the bill that makes you concerned that they might want to kill senior citizens?"
Below is another dialogue* between one of my students and Idaho's senior senator.
NOTE: I have around 100 students this semester. It's time to have some of them hear from, analyze, challenge, and think along with the other side of the aisle; perhaps responding to the points presented by this Republican official.
Exploring this notion of "common sense" sounds like fertile ground for some rich class discussion.
Which Democratic leaders would you suggest for such interaction?
I am a student in MeandG’s Communications class. As an assignment, I have been asked to formulate questions for you to answer about something I am concerned about or interested in.
How do you think the budget crisis will affect my children in the future and their children?
What do you think can be done now to help ensure my children are not taking on the debt crisis when they become adults?
When, if a plan is passed, do you feel that the budget crisis would be on the path to being resolved?
Why, in your opinion, has the budget crisis become so bad?
Where do you feel the best concerted efforts should be made to improve this crisis?
Thank you again for your time. I look forward to your response.
Thank you for contacting me to express your dissatisfaction with the current political situation in Washington, D.C. I agree with you and welcome the opportunity to respond on this very important issue.
Americans are fed up with out-of-control and unsustainable spending coming from the federal government, a frustration I share. This country is facing an unprecedented budget crisis—one that threatens the stability of our economy and the fiscal viability of future generations. If left unchecked and unresolved, our children, grandchildren and future generations will have to shoulder the responsibility to repay debts incurred today through irresponsible spending. The problem is simply that the government spends too much money, and it has so far refused to enact meaningful policies that will bring common sense back to our federal budgeting process. In recent months, we have faced a debt ceiling crisis and a potential government shutdown, yet Senate leadership continues to refuse to pass a budget. When added to sluggish economic growth, government regulatory policies that are choking small business and continued high unemployment rates throughout the country, it is no wonder that Americans are up in arms over federal spending and debt. Washington simply cannot continue to operate this way without enacting significant changes. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have seen many 10-year budget plans, but without adequate enforcement provisions. Congress inevitably finds loopholes to avoid spending controls. It is time to stop borrowing money from future generations, as these actions do not lead to long-term growth and economic stabilization. The solution to our problems will require dramatic action and shared sacrifice. The sheer scope of our fiscal situation means every part of our government ledger sheet must be scrutinized. read more »
I'm baaaaack. Now that d2 has officially un-fucked June and July, its time to blog again. And lo, we have today the discovery that normalization of relations with a ruthless Libyan dictator was done the old fashioned way,
through skilled negotiations, a consummate diplomat with firm credentials, the token female in a paternalistic White House batting her eyes at a misogynistic cretin responsible for killing hundreds of innocent Americans. And let's not forget the role these hypocritical senators played. Steve Earle's song seemed quite prophetic. read more »
Sorry about a day of our site looking like May 23rd all over again.
I've spoken with the ISP, and we suspect that it must somehow be Senator McGee's fault.
There are perfectly valid medical explanations for all this. I got a concussion. My cab dropped me off at the wrong house. An otter was chasing me. I'm rushing Alpha Chi Sigma's. Well, now that that's been fully explained, I think we'll all agree that it's better if we just put it behind us once and for all -- The central committee has called for a vote.
All in favor, say Aye.
(three 'Aye's heard from the McGee table).
All opposed by the same sign:
(a groundswell of 'Aye's)
Ah, good. The Aye's have it. Let's speak no more of this or any other tawdry bit of silliness involving Senator McGee's personal proclivities. read more »
Just thinking of giving up the piano makes me break out in hives. Big fat red ones. But I think about it all the time. Allegra Katz—Alley Cat to her mother, just plain Ally to her friends—is struggling to decide whether music is really worth giving up her Saturdays with BFF Opal and just being a regular kid. As Ally moves through Juilliard’s precollege program and a Vermont summer music camp, Zalben explores the life of young, gifted musicians who are yearning to experience more than music and who must negotiate with parents who push in typically high-achieving fashion. Zalben’s peripheral characters are just as compelling as Ally. Yes, her parents are controlling, but they are loving and dimensional, as are acerbic and demanding Miss Pringle, the archetypal music teacher, and Ally’s few friends, who provide sparks of joy, occasional jealousy, and support. Pair this memorable title with Virginia Euwer Wolff’s classic celebration and acknowledgment of the challenges and opportunities of growing up gifted, The Mozart Season (1991).
-- Booklist, on Four Seasons, by Breskin Zalben
Young adult fiction readers will find this book powerful, filled with intrigue, high drama and strong characterization. Four Seasons tells of four seasons in the life of an aspiring young pianist. Ally is a master at playing the piano. She has been taking lessons since she was four. She is now thirteen. She takes lessons from one of the most talented teachers in New York City at the pre-college program at Juilliard. You have to audition to get into the program, and to stay in the program you have to live and breathe music. She needs to practice at least six hours a day, and she goes to lessons during the week and all day on Saturdays. Her teacher wants her to quit her public school and be home-schooled so she will have even more time to practice.
Ally isn't buying this anymore. She realizes that she is missing out on being a kid. She wants to spend a Saturday hanging out with her best friend and her almost-boyfriend. But her parents are into music, too. Her dad makes his living playing the violin and her mother sings. They don't want her to give up her dream.
Ally is confused and doesn't know what she wants to do. She has a love of music but also a passion fro mathematics. The story in Four Seasons is not lighthearted. This tale tells about how stressed kids can be who are over-programmed in life, and how that stress can cause many problems for them.
I really enjoyed this book and hope that many others will, too.
Strict practices, music classes, and regular school leave her little time for a personal life. Her professional musician parents don't know she's thinking of quitting piano, and Allegra needs to find out if she really loves the piano and why she plays so avidly.
Ally's intense story springs to life in this engrossing novel.
"A fascinating life lesson--one that resonated with me personally. Sometimes you have to destroy who you are to create the next you. Readers will be captivated by Ally's musical journey, and in her personal journey, they will see themselves. What a great story! I loved the book.”—Gordon Korman, coauthor of the 39 Clues series
Usually good humor works because it’s based on a modicum of truth. Sometimes attempts at humor are funny because they’re so far removed from the truth. Such was the case with the Journal’s editorial cartoon in Friday’s paper. It depicted Barack Obama attempting to resuscitate a persona labeled “Economy” extricated from waters where it was apparently on the verge of drowning, while the GOP sat comfortably on a lounge sipping a beverage of undisclosed composition. The cartoon was obviously drawn either by an Obama ideologue (one of those believers in the elusive “hope and change” mantra) or someone just ignorant to fact and oblivious to history.
Put in accurate contemporary perspective, the cartoon may have needed several frames. The first, starting with Obama’s election, would have had him dunking the economy in the water (sea of debt) with his first round of spending increases (modified bailout). The second frame would have had him nearly drowning the economy with a failed trillion dollar (with interest payments) “stimulus,” that was more political payback than it was economic stimulus.
The next few frames would have been Obama’s repeated attempts at drowning the economy in the sea of debt with FinReg, ObamaCare, significantly expanded EPA job-destroying regulations, “Cash for Clunkers,” and another 608 regulations imposed in July alone by the administration. All the while, the Pelosi and Reid Congress was helping him dunk the economy, attempting to hold it under the sea of debt, and cheering Obama on from the bank. For accuracy, the cartoon should’ve shown congressional conservatives attempting to save the economy by preventing Obama from dunking it again, and striving to find the drain plug to the sea of debt, and looking for buckets to lower the debt level.
In contrast, let's first look back to the beginning of Obama's presidency.
From the Christian Science Monitor (February 18, 2009):
Few Americans have any idea how bad the financial problems are that President Obama inherited from the Bush administration. Never mind the housing bubble, the bank meltdown, or the bailout scandals – I am talking about the failure of federal government to honestly account either for its own actions or for America's most important programs: Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.
George W. Bush took office after three years of budget surpluses under President Bill Clinton. Eight years later, Obama walked into the Oval Office to find – gift-wrapped with a bow, as he recently joked – almost $11 trillion in Treasury debt, and deficits of more than $1 trillion a year for the foreseeable future. That's a $30,000 burden on every man, woman, and child in America, on top of the taxes they are already paying. Under better management, that number could have been zero. read more »