Tell Congress to Let DC Vote!

22 03 2007

Today could be a historic day in the history of our nation’s capital as the US House of Representatives prepares to vote on H.R. 1433, a bill to give the citizens of the District of Columbia the right to be fully represented in the House of Representatives.  For the over 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia, “taxation without representation” isn’t just in the history books, it’s alive and well. District citizens are denied voting representation in the United States Congress, but are still under the same obligations to pay Federal taxes as any citizen of the other 50 states. 

The House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would give the residents of the District of Columbia voting representation in the House, something they’ve never had.  The legislation has bi-partisan support, but members of Congress need to hear from real people who support this bill. That’s where you come in. Please take a minute and help end the disenfranchisement of over a half-million of your fellow American citizens by visiting http://www.freeandequaldc.com/ and signing the petition, or by calling your Representative and/or Senator’s DC Office.  (To find out who your Representative is, and their contact information, please visit http://www.house.gov/ and enter your zip code in the upper left hand corner.)

The citizens of the District of Columbia have been denied a vote in Congress for over 200 years.  This is the best chance that DC residents have ever had of gaining the right that every other American enjoys.  Please send a message to Congress that 600,000 American citizens should have a vote on issues like the war in Iraq, healthcare, social security, education and any other issue that faces Congress.  Please tell your Representative that you support DC voting rights today.

Your support is particularly needed today, one day after President Bush  threatened to veto the DC Voting rights bill.  Bush has questioned the constitutionality of allowing 600,000 Americans to have a vote in Congress.  If I remember my Civics 101 class correctly, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to determine if a law is constitutional, not the President.  But the Court can not rule on a law that has not been passed.  Let’s give the Supreme Court a chance to fulfill its constitutional obligation to interpret the laws by passing this bill on Friday. 

Thank you for your help and support.





Candidate Video Blogs – More work than you think!

2 03 2007

Welcome to campaigning in the 21st century.  With the advent of video sharing services like YouTube, video web-casts and video blogs are making it easier for candidates to reach voters and share their views with Americans across the country.  YouTube, in recognition of the power of video sharing for political candidates, announced today that it is launching its new channel You Choose ’08 to provide a central place to see the official campaign messages from all of the camps in the presidential race. 

I think that its great that YouTube is providing a space for all of these candidates to offer their message, and for voters to visit and have access to that message from one resource.  If most voters are like me, though, (and according to the Washington Post, they are) surfing through YouTube for candidate videos wouldn’t be complete without the parodies and candid videos that make these politicians just a little more human.   My personal favorite is of John Edwards showing just how hard it is to look good in front of the camera for those “official” videos.  Enjoy!





An Inconvenient Stage Cue

26 02 2007

Gore_Oscars

I’m sure that half the country was holding their breath last night as Al Gore pulled that folded sheaf of papers out of his tuxedo and started into his “My fellow Americans…” bit.  With one more sentence, Mr. Gore could have changed the entire presidential primary race for the 2008 election, by stating that he would throw his hat into the ring and make it a 3 person primary race.  Gore is certainly capitalizing on the success of the Academy Award winning movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” with a number of public appearances scheduled over the next several months, including testifying before 3 Congressional hearings on climate change issues.  Gore will also be releasing his new political book, The Assault on Reason, on May 22 in his most recent foray into political punditry.  The question on everyone’s mind in Washington, DC this morning is whether Gore is positioning himself for a major comeback to the national political scene. 

Former Gore campaign Director Donna Brazile has expressed what many pundits have known for many months but been afraid to say aloud, that “Gore’s political stock is hot right now. ”  Read the rest of this entry »





Grades are up, Scores are down

23 02 2007

The US Department of Education announced today that the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was down dramatically with only 35% of high school seniors across the country scoring “proficient” in reading.  The percentages for math and science were even more dismal with less than 25% of Seniors scoring proficient in math and about 18% scoring proficient in Science.  (The National Assessment is often viewed as the nation’s education “report card” because of the assessment being the only nationally standardized exam.) 

At the same time, the transcripts of students coming out of high schools make these kids look like the smartest generation in years.  The national average GPA for students is a 2.98, about a B+.  So why the discrepancy?  Shouldn’t these little savant’s be aceing the test like it’s just another Teen Beat Poll? (By the way, in case you were wondering, 35.6% of Teen Beat readers LOVE Justin Timberlake’s new “Future Sex/Love Sounds” album.  Come on, you you know you were curious.)  The problem seems to be that the questions on the National Assessment don’t ask about Britney’s new hair style or how many shades of lipstick Paris carries in her Gucci purse, but real questions that should be covered in the classroom and these “high performing students” with B+ averages would be expected to know. 

The discrepancy comes from an issue that has been creeping up in academia for a number of years now, performance blind grade inflation.  Teachers seem to be in an ever increasing predicament with expectations of the performance of their students tied to their career ambitions, as well as to their personal connection with the kids. 

The cycle goes something like this:

Read the rest of this entry »





Lieberman Threatens to Run Away, Again

22 02 2007

In what shouldn’t be a too surprising turn of events, Joe Lieberman announced today that if the Senate voted to cancel funding for the Iraq war, that he would officially turn his allegiance towards the GOP.   This move could only be described as extortion towards either party on Lieberman’s part as he now single-handedly controls the balance of power in the US Senate.  After losing the Democratic primary in Connecticut to Ned Lamont in August 2006, Lieberman successfully won the General Election after changing parties to the “Connecticut for Lieberman” party.  His role as an independent caucusing with the Democrats was viewed as so critical by the Senate Democratic leadership that they named him Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.  I’m sure that the GOP has made him quite an offer behind closed doors to swing his allegiance to the other side of the aisle. 

No one seems to know where this guy stands or what he stands for, not even Joe Lieberman himself.  His only loyalty seems to be to his own advancement, not to a party, an ideology, and one would surmise, not even to his own state.  This is exactly the kind of self fulfilling behavior that voters all around the country rejected in November 2006 when they dumped a number of crooked, self motivated politicians.  Regardless of what party Joe decides to stay loyal to, it’s time for the people of Connecticut to recall this self-interested politician out of office and into permanent retirement.