Tuesday September 30, 2014
April 2nd, 2014
What would you say if someone told you that your state’s emphasis on algebra was undermining math instruction?
What would you say if that someone was a math instructor?
What would you say if someone said algebra as emphasized — overemphasized — was undermining democracy?
Well, I’m saying the latter.
Blaming poverty on the mysterious influence of "culture" is a convenient excuse for doing nothing to address the problem.
That's the real issue with what Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said about distressed inner-city communities. Critics who accuse him of racism are missing the point. What he's really guilty of is providing a reason for government to throw up its hands in mock helplessness.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's land grab of Crimea, with more threatened to come, has Republican neoconservatives eagerly lining up to denounce President Obama as a deplorably weak leader who settled for throwing snowballs at Putin rather than military muscle.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, laboring to keep his presidential aspirations flickering after a brief day in the sun in the 2012 Republican primaries, has temporarily doffed his anti-abortion hat to get in front of the parade.
One thing I learned covering the Middle East for many years is that there is "the morning after" and there is "the morning after the morning after." Never confuse the two.
The story of Josue Noe Sandoval-Perez, an illegal immigrant recently deported back to his native Mexico, perfectly captures the chaos of our broken immigration system -- and for all sides of the debate. Settled in this country for 16 years, Sandoval-Perez appears to have been the good father and hard worker his champions portray. But his dilemma does not offer an argument for ignoring the country's immigration laws.
Growing up in Jim Crow Arkansas, Bill Clinton saw how the state's dominant political and racial elite maintained power by suppressing the rights of minority voters who threatened its authority -- and as a young activist, worked to bring down that illegitimate power structure. So when Clinton says, "There is no greater assault on our core values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote" -- as he does in a new video released by the Democratic National Committee -- the former president knows of what he speaks.
In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of "takers."
Let's put it this way: If the Koch Brothers were Russians, we'd call them oligarchs: grasping barbarians exercising crude political power.
But this is America, where tycoons can buy respectability by throwing money at their wives' favorite ballet companies and museums. Also by funding "think tanks" staffed by "resident scholars" keen to enhance the boss's fondest delusion: that great wealth invariably conveys great wisdom.