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Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 09:25
Prodigy, my family all works in education for the most part (well my parents generation). Everything from teachers to my father who was a superindent for a poor school system, he is now retired and runs a education consultancy. Every single one of them hates Bush for no-child left behind. Instead of giving money to schools to fix problems, they take it away from them for not meeting standards...so you punish them for not improving by making it impossible for them to improve.

The problem with kids "wanting" to learn is the parents. I dont care if you come from the worst section of detriot if your parents value education and push you then you will put effort into it. Heck, our Indian members here are great examples for a culture that values education even in the poorest and most rural areas. Kids dont like school in the cities because its not "cool" and also because they arent all that safe. I think that Obama seems to have the right personality and beliefs to make a change. Also, he provides a great example for what is possible for everyone, not just some rich white guy who is the son of an admiral or governor.

Teachers in horrible school systems, even those with the best intentions generally get burned out by low pay, no parental support, crappy budgets (my mother is a teacher in an average suburban town and pretty much buys all her own supplies if she was 25 and right out of school with loans she wouldnt have the money to get anything)...it goes on and on. Its tough to motivate people that dont have hope...no for profit company is going to give them hope to improve their standing in life. The government is the only entity large enough to actually fix those problems. Provide they dont throw money away uselessly.

Thanks to corporate america we have lost a lot of good blue collar jobs, there is a much greater spread from top to bottom, with many more at the bottom. To increase stock prices .25% they will close a factory laying off 2K workers and shipping the work overseas. Its good for the people who own a lot of stock but what about the families it destroys. Companies need to take more responsibility for their affects on society, yes obviously they should make a profit but is it worth making 10 million extra this year by sending all your manufacturing jobs overseas? I would love to see some big companies to care as much about their affects on society as they do on their stock holders dividends.

The issue today is that some kid coming out of a crap school that realizes his chances of going to a good college are worse than any of ours getting into Stanford on a fullride. He also no longer has the chance to work at a good paying skilled labor job since those dont exist anymore. He is more likely to find work at Walmart for a terrible wage, and will realize his kids will have the same fate. Its a tough challenge to get that kid to want to do much of anything...why should he care about his education, he wont need it stocking shelves or sweeping floors.

As much as we like to think that everyone has the chance to become the next Bill Gates, in reality some kid from the the bad section of Detriot gave up long ago...maybe Obama gives him a little hope, he definitely is a much more inspiring personality than Mccain, Huckabee, Romney, or Hillary. His speaches rival Kennedy's and MLKs in terms of how he comes across and tries to inspire folks. I think we are at a time where the messages are all pretty similar but if someone can inspire folks to believe in America again then thats going to be a much better president than having another person who is like everyone else and we have all given up hope on that type of person doing anything for us.

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 10:28
River, my aunt ( not much older than me) has been a teacher in the rural public school systems of South Carolina for years. What you said about your Mom buying school supplies with her own money, etc. really resonated. My aunt does that quite often. She also purchases cleaning supplies and cleans the bathrooms, if you can believe this, because the school systems down there are so derelict they don't even have money for a part-time janitor. She tries so hard, and her kids love her, but she is on the verge of quitting because it's just so bloody difficult, and of course the pay is sh_t. Even in the rural south, there is the notion that if you are born poor, well, so sad, too bad, don't expect anyone to lift a finger to aid you. My aunt has found it impossible to penetrate the reams of red tape and unabashed cronyism that dominates local politics.

Prodigy, I don't expect you to share any secrets about how you'd like to help mend our education systems, but I am curious as to your feelings re: afterschool art programs - and by art I mean music, painting, the whole spectrum. These programs are almost always the first to be cut in a budget crunch, and yet they are the very programs that can encourage kids to actually want to be in school.

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 10:42
DISCLAIMER: Not a political question but more around the educational system here. Am not VERY well versed with the American educational system. Just posting my thoughts/observations and am looking for some insight into the state of affairs.

I am part of a Financial education campaign run by Citi in the local community. I volunteer on a regular basis to teach inner city kids about basics in svings/banking etc. So have visited a lot of schools and have been surprised to see the lack of a good mix of society in them. Either the schools have amazing facilities and you can see that the kids are affluent or the school just is lucky to have the basic facilities needed. There is NO diversity in the classroom.

Also, my wife and I did think about buying a house and the first thing that I was told is to look for a good school district. Property prices are driven by school systems and so the more affluent populations go the better schools and the divide just broadens between the haves and have nots. So, why is it that school system in the US is not nationalized? Its great that education is free (sort of) but isnt this just dividing the society more?

I dont know if I made sense? :)
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 11:12
Dosa, I think that ties in with what riverripper was saying. Good school districts are found in more affluent areas with higher property prices simply because the higher property prices mean higher property taxes and consequently higher property taxes pay for better schools. So eventually it all does come down to investment in education. Unfortunately, one consequence of this is also that people who are not able to afford homes in pricey school districts are kept out of those top schools.

I don't think giving school education a federal mandate is going to help things further.

In any case some of the best schools in the country are part of the NYC Public Schools system - Bronx Tech, Stuyvesant etc. but admission to these is highly selective and by application. Obviously there are also far more schools in NYC that are severely underperforming, but it also shows that it is possible to have top schools even within an urban public school system.

dosa_don wrote:
DISCLAIMER: Not a political question but more around the educational system here. Am not VERY well versed with the American educational system. Just posting my thoughts/observations and am looking for some insight into the state of affairs.

I am part of a Financial education campaign run by Citi in the local community. I volunteer on a regular basis to teach inner city kids about basics in svings/banking etc. So have visited a lot of schools and have been surprised to see the lack of a good mix of society in them. Either the schools have amazing facilities and you can see that the kids are affluent or the school just is lucky to have the basic facilities needed. There is NO diversity in the classroom.

Also, my wife and I did think about buying a house and the first thing that I was told is to look for a good school district. Property prices are driven by school systems and so the more affluent populations go the better schools and the divide just broadens between the haves and have nots. So, why is it that school system in the US is not nationalized? Its great that education is free (sort of) but isnt this just dividing the society more?

I dont know if I made sense? :)
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 11:13
Dosa some states its worse than others. Overall funding for school systems comes from the towns and the majority of that comes from property taxes. So the more affluent the community and the more expensive the houses the larger the tax base will be. Its kind of self selecting too…typically highly educated folks make more money than people of lower education levels. Thus not only do they value education but they also have the means to locate themselves so their children will receive a very good education.

In many cities the towns are run by older (elderly) people who don’t have children in schools anymore (they vote far more in local elections), they are selfish and don’t want their taxes raised to build new schools or hire more teachers…so schools constantly are fighting for money. A town with a very wealthy base of highly educated people are far more likely to allow their taxes to be raised to increase the quality of schools. I have relatives that live in an extremely wealthy suburb of NYC, when they wanted to build a new school it happened in a year. People voted to provide huge funding and now their new school looks like a college campus. In a poor town that funding would take years to try to get from the state or federal governments and even then it will have a much tighter budget.

This is for two reason, the wealthy on as a whole typically value education more and they also realize that a town with a better education system is more desirable so property values will increase more. Where I live we have one of the better school systems in the area, and we have not had the drop in number of home sales or prices like many of the areas with crappy schools. I know people I work with that bought houses for the same price (nicer house worse town) around the same time, their values have dropped while mine has gone up…all because my town is one people want to live in more.

For being one of the places in the world people dream of moving to, its amazing just how horrible our education system is. It is a complete case of the haves and have nots. If some superintendent in a poor city can squeeze money from the state or feds for a new building, then they might very well have a nice school…but funding will be tight still. A wealthy town have probably will not only better facilities but better pay for teachers usually…so much like companies the best and the brightest of teachers typically are hired since they are very desirable jobs.

So rich town=better facilities+better teachers+more supplies=overall better education.

If you want your kids to have a good education you are better off living in the worst house in the best town than the best house in the worst town, unless they can get into a magnet school in a big city that is (what solaris is talking about)…Honestly though your best bet is if you can afford to send them to a super elite private school like Phillips Exeter where 3 out of 4 kids go to uber elite colleges. We bought our house thinking we would be here long term and probably would eventually have kids...it was the town in the area I would most want to send my kids. My next house/condo will probably be bought with the same thought in mind.

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 11:40
Something that is also being discussed is the academic "brain drain". While there are certainly people out there who teach because they love it, and so the low pay is typically not a factor, more and more people are not considering teaching careers, choosing instead to work in the private sector. You can run all of the misty-eyed commercials you want on TV - "Change lives - be a teacher". but the US is currently a very money-driven society. Speaking in the most general terms, teachers at the grammar and high school level are typically given little to no respect, because teaching is not considered a "power" job. There's very little money to made at it. We even have a saying that I believe originated in the States, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." This pretty much sums up the US's collective cynicism. So if you're smart, and driven, and could get a job doing almost anything else that actually paid you a living wage and had a little cachet attached to it - well why wouldn't you? Why put up with the disrespect, the crappy pay and the diminished lifestyle? Note that I am not referring to the people who land the (relatively few) cushy jobs at the elite prep schools. And most, if not all of those people got their jobs through connections - in short, because they were part of the monied elite to begin with!

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 12:42
I'm not going to say that NCLB is the best legislation ever, but I think it gets way more flack than it deserves. The best thing about NCLB is that it disaggregates the educational data by race and socioeconomic status. Finally attention is being drawn to those kids who often need it the most. I've been in suburban/middle class schools where the non-white/non-east and south asian kids perform poorly but no one bothers to help them out. I'm not from Ohio, but John Ogbu's study of poor minority achievement in Shaker Heights is a good start if people are unfamiliar with this phenomenon. Its no panacea though, and it has a lot of problems. Just another example of government screwing things up (and I say this with full belief that America should have a public school system, btw).

Also, River, I don't think its a good start to motivate people toward blue collar jobs. Nor is it very smart considering how quickly our economy is changing towards requiring more advanced technical skills. I think that to motivate these kids, you have to understand where they are coming from... you have to know what they most want, and that requires a closeness that most teachers and education personnel just don't understand. I pay attention to a lot of the latest news in education and frequently those commenting the most are older white men and women. I've learned a lot from the work they have done, but at the same time, there is a severe disconnect with regards to what these mostly black and latino kids want and need. Is anyone surprised that there hasn't been any real solution yet?

As for Obama being a motivator. Maybe that will be, but if it is, it will most likely be more for middle class black people (which is more and more being made up of 1st and 2nd generation African and West Indian immigrants) than for the 25% who are poverty stricken and stuck in urban school districts. A black boy stuck in an urban ghetto is going to quickly find out that Obama's background isn't at all similar to his own. Its not that poor blacks think its impossible for a black person to do well, its that they don't think black people IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD will be able to make it. Obama isn't from around the way, so he doesn't do much to shake up that narrative.

As for this:

Quote:
Its tough to motivate people that dont have hope...no for profit company is going to give them hope to improve their standing in life. The government is the only entity large enough to actually fix those problems.


I hear some variation of this all the time when I bring up my plans... and boy, I can't wait to prove all the naysayers wrong.

Quote:
Prodigy, I don't expect you to share any secrets about how you'd like to help mend our education systems, but I am curious as to your feelings re: afterschool art programs - and by art I mean music, painting, the whole spectrum. These programs are almost always the first to be cut in a budget crunch, and yet they are the very programs that can encourage kids to actually want to be in school.


I think art and music has its place in schools, but sometimes I think their importance is overstated. I know a lot of people who liked art because it was time to lounge around and not do any real work. If there were some real rigor to these classes (like art history and music appreciation aspects) I would respect the push for art a lot more. But at the end of a the day, a kid who draws or sings really well but still doesn't care enough to do anything in his or her other classes is still going to have math and reading problems.

Last edited by Prodigy on 06 Feb 2008, 13:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 13:04
WOW... river, what have you started? :P

There are so many points and arguments thrown around I don't even know where to start in my reply. I do like the fact that the discussion has been very civil so far, even with a topic as volatile as politics. I don't think I can or want to address everything posted in the past 2-3 pages, but here are just some of my views, and they are as that, my own.

- Clinton vs Obama: I'm leaning Clinton right now, *only* because I don't think Obama knows how complex the government is to run. Obama is much more inspiring and has fresh ideas, but as many people who get elected into leadership know (especially for US government), everything gets compromised and takes a lot more work to move through than just have ideals. Bush somehow maintained his beliefs quite well (thanks to a very loyal Republican congress for most of his tenure), but I'm worried Obama is too idealistic for the position. Like someone said, in 4 years or 8 years, he'll be a GREAT presidential candidate, and I will vote for him if he gets the Democratic nomination in the end. But for now, Clinton instills more confidence for me, partially because Bill Clinton will be back in the White House as "First Gentleman" (or whatever you call it). That's gotta help to have an advisor who *used to be* the president. :P

- Romney vs McCain: While I understand the pragmatism needed for being a politician, Romney's "flip-flops" from when he was MA governor just bothers me too much, especially turning his back on all the human rights issues (abortion, gay rights) he supported while being governor. McCain is likeable, though I disagree with him on the Iraq war issue and his anti-abortion stance. Do we really need another president who forces health clinics to pass out "Abstinence Only" pamphlets? If you haven't seen one, you gotta go pick one up. It's so ridiculous that it's shameful. I have one on my fridge just because of how absurd it is.

- Democrats vs Republicans: In the end, I'm probably a Liberatarian. Socially liberal, fiscally more conservative. Republicans were supposed to represent small government, responsible spending, etc... But they've been hijacked by the religious right and fundamentalists. Democrats aren't much better fiscally, but at the current rate, if both parties are spending like crazy, I'd rather vote the socially more liberal one.

- Education: This will impact me quite a bit if I go to Haas. It's something I've been lamenting for a while now, since I grew up on a mostly public school education. I'm not focusing as much in the K-12, even though I know they're important, but I'm focused mainly on the public university system. The fact that the UC System's professional schools (medical, law, business) broke away from the public school tuition charges shows that they are NOT getting the funding they need to retain good professors, improve facilities, give out scholarships, etc.. to compete with the private schools. It's a miracle that Michigan and Berkeley are still two of the top universities in the country (and world), fighting against the likes of the Harvards, Stanfords, Yales, and Princetons. If this doesn't get fixed soon, the only people who can get good university education will be those who can afford (or place high enough in the application process) the private schools. It would be sad when that day happens.

- Foreign Policy: I think any president that can make better speeches and have more respect for other countries in the world will improve the US image immensely. That means, *any* of the current candidates will do. :P

I probably forgot a bunch of stuff, but that's my stance on the major issues. For me, the dream lineup would be Clinton-Obama for Prez-VP. That would be nirvana... :)

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 13:13
I think alot of people would like to see Clinton/Obama. I just wonder if that would ruin Obama's chances in the future...being lumped with Clinton and all.

I've also ready a few places (liberal sources) that think it would be wise for Obama to hold off for 4-8 years before running. They think Obama could turn into the next Joe Biden, a rising star who ran for president too early and never could gain back that "something".
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 13:27
Well he certainly hasn't been very gentlemanly of late.
Quote:
Bill Clinton will be back in the White House as "First Gentleman"

And I'd even venture to say that part of Obama's appeal is the desire to do away with Whit House "dynasties." 12 years each of the Bushes and Clintons will be too much! Let's try something new this time. Look where the clamor for a "tried and tested leader in these testing times" in the 2004 elections got us.

I think the Democrats are always guilty of playing it safe and trying to nominate a candidate who will be a "realistic politician" over someone who appears to really "inspire" the party. And that takes away any Independent and cross-party support the Democrats could potentially get.
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 13:42
If Clinton wins the nomination, she'll probably pick Obama as VP. If Obama wins, I don't know who he'll pick as VP, since he probably won't pick Clinton since it doesn't fit his "change" and "fresh ideas" image.

Best line from one of the Clinton interviews:

"It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and might take a Clinton to clean up after the second Bush."

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 14:25
There has been talk of an Obama/Richardson ticket, which I think would be awesome.

And more on why is Hillary/Obama is not happening:

http://time-blog.com/real_clear_politics/2008/02/clintonobama_vs_obamaclinton.html
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 15:40
Looks like somebody has got to join up with Prodigy and take the republican side. From all the educational debates it sure sounds like everybody (Reps / Dems / Indies) agrees that more parental involvement would be extremely beneficial, and that some schools are not as well equipped and staffed as others. Wouldn't it be great, if there was some way we could work on both of those problems and come up with a solution? I'm pretty sure that the idea of school vouchers has been around for quite some time, which pushes both increased parental involvement and gives students in unfit schools the opportunity to go to a better school... Sadly, the teachers union (a strong liberal group) has proven powerful enough to lobby against this over and over. This is of course a solution that if implemented has no losers, except bad teachers, but bad teachers are people too, in fact they're govt employees (state ones)! And like most people, when push comes to shove, they're really only concerned with themselves, and not the greater good, and the fear of possibly losing there job as a result of poor teaching leading everybody to leave the school ends up forcing them to fight a system that would make things better for most (but hurt a few) and in turn leave the system where there are no ramifications for poor teaching and job security is immense.
This is just one example of how democrats, especially in recent years with Bush, have been big on spouting off about problems "the war!!", "oil prices!!!", "education!!", "healthcare!!!!", "prescription drugs!!!!!", but also very quiet on ideas.

I'm a republican in a republican state, but like most Americans, i had some hopes for change 2 years ago when the senate and congress did there bi-annual turnover and we voted in a lot of change. That change hasn't happened, the democrat led congress and senate has done nothing with regards to "change". That's why the idea that Obama and Hillary are about change is pretty much laughable. And it's not the republican president who is preventing the change, what major bill has Bush veto'd? He hasn't had to because nothing gets done, they don't have ideas. But they do have complaints, and I do believe that a democrat will win the presidency based on that. I just don't see any real "change" happening.

I think that's what Prodigy was getting at when he asked Obama supporters "Why?", i've found myself asking the same question. He's likable, he seems intelligent and well spoken, it's also nice that he represents a minority in such an excellent manner but i'm not sure how these skills translate into a great president, especially one that has the people so convinced he's about change... I guess only time will tell right?

And River, it's always shocking to see a fellow government employee, especially one in almost an identical position, be of the opinion that giving the government more $$ and having them run more programs is the solution to anything. Nothing against our govt, or the DOD, i mean, shoot, it's been run by reps for the last 8 years right? But it's not exactly the most efficient system, and i'm fairly certain we get intentionally ripped off over and over again. Unless of course, you're of the opinion that by spending $400 on a 20 pack of nuts and another $1000 on the bolts to go with them and then throwing them away when you're done with them, because it's actually cheaper than bulk counting, supports local businesses or something. I'm rather of the opinion that isn't the best way to do things. I think we'd support home depot just fine by buying the same stuff there for $50, but hey, maybe that's just us southern folks. :wink:
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 15:48
I take it you are not familiar with the State Children's Health Insurance Program? Don't say no solutions are being proposed.

thunderdogg wrote:
what major bill has Bush veto'd?


And non-governmental entities such as Haliburton, KBR and Blackwater are so much more efficient at nation-building? :roll:
There are some things that simply require administration by a democratically elected governmental body.

Quote:
Nothing against our govt, or the DOD, i mean, shoot, it's been run by reps for the last 8 years right? But it's not exactly the most efficient system, and i'm fairly certain we get intentionally ripped off over and over again.
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 15:52
Thunder you are adding to the view of government waste, I dont know about where you work but where I work its the complete opposite. Where I work I couldnt order $100 of parts with out a valid reason, and everything is accounted for. If its over a certain amount it needs approval. Funding is controlled by specific people anyways. I am always ordering stuff from local suppliers and heck we send guys out to the hardware store to buy stuff that isnt installed on the boats since those are very specific.

Then again where I work turns a profit every year (that might just be the northern folks :wink: ). Overall we are far more efficient than private industry thats why we take business away from EB and Newport News when it goes out to bid...thats the only reason they kept us open since we do things on time and on budget. So in reality its cheaper to be giving that work to a federal work force over private industry. I have a friend who is a production manager at EB and says he hates working with our guys down there since they are so much more into cost control than his general dynamics seems to be...all because they know they could bill the government if they need to. Thats the real government waste, they contract so much out now there is limited control.

As for Dems not doing anything...they really dont have enough of a majority to force stuff through. The margin is so slim that unless its a very clear party position then its very tough to get through. You really need a significant majority to get stuff through. Overall the leaders of our country are completely useless as a whole. The checks and balances thing actually makes it completely impossible to accomplish anything meaningful in a quick time without some great motivating factor like a massive terrorist attack or recession. The dems need more gains in the house and senate this year and then maybe they can make some changes.

Oh by the way I always point out to the guys I work with who are staunch rep, that the dems are the ones that are always increasing our pay more. If the republicans had their way you would get 2% a year every year no matter what the cost of living adjustment should be.

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 16:26
thunderdogg wrote:
And it's not the republican president who is preventing the change, what major bill has Bush veto'd? He hasn't had to because nothing gets done, they don't have ideas. But they do have complaints, and I do believe that a democrat will win the presidency based on that. I just don't see any real "change" happening.


I don't see change happening for different reasons, but to say that because Bush hasn't vetoed "any" major bill as the reason for Democrats not having ideas is just not true. I do love how many people turn a blind eye to these things. :P

Because of the filibuster and the very loyal republican base in the senate, most bills won't make it through to get vetoed by Bush. In fact, Bush is probably one of the very few presidents who have used so few vetoes in his 8 year presidency, and all but 1 since the Democrats took over. It's not a result of having no ideas for change, but the procedural blocks that occurs in the Senate. And when the Dems tried it between 2002-2006, the Republicans accused them of "obstruction" and tried to remove the filibuster for certain issues.

Oh yeah, Stem Cell research is another major bill that Bush vetoed, twice, along with the children's health care.

Iraq timetable is another one he vetoed a couple times. Whether you agree with the withdrawl or not, that counts as a "major bill" of "change." Employment non discrimination act (to include sexual orientation) was also vetoed.

this doesn't even include all the "veto threats" that Bush has put out, which defeated some bills in the Senate and never got passed: Tighter supervision of gov't surveillance program, anti-torture/waterboarding, and hate crimes bill to include sexual orientation. How can one say he hasn't vetoed any major bill?

With that said, I'm refraining from commenting on my personal views of Republicans vs Democrats so this thread doesn't turn into one of those heated arguments thread. But I just had to point out some historical facts about this whole "veto" issue.

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 16:35
btw, very interesting constitutional power discussion on the "pocket veto" Bush used for the spending bill.

http://hnn.us/articles/46161.html

Edit:

Another reason why Bush doesn't need to use the Veto. I'm NOT arguing whether the Democrat sponsored bill is a GOOD OR BAD idea at all, but it is "change" that the Republicans are blocking such that Bush doesn't need to use his Veto.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080207/ap_ ... timulus_21

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 19:24

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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 19:29
This has turned into a bar anthem on the East side of Manhattan over the past day or two.

riverripper wrote:
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Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 19:31
blaming filibusters? that's quite an amazing thing, did congress and the senate just learn of this technique? Come on, you could say that about any congress and any president. "well they didn't get stuff accomplished because although they're they majority, the minority used filibusters." or "the majority just isn't major enough"...sounds more like excuses to me. But we've obviously got different vantage points.

I wouldn't classify a time line for troop withdrawal to be a very "original" idea that the democrats came up with, and yes we all know Bush is extremely anti stem cell research and has been for 8 years, i'm sure numerous stem cell related bills have been shot down or died in progress multiple times of the last few years, again nothing new and "change oriented". As for "threats" of vetoes, if that's enough to turn away the "change oriented" democrats, man..... We're probably going to have differing views on what would be considered a "major bill" to veto, while i'm not considering the $600 tax rebate bill a major bills, some may, and again it has nothing to do with "change", unless you're implying that democrats are all about tax rebates now?

We'll chalk it all up to regional brainwashing? I mean we've got a guy from New England and another from California explaining the virtues of being a democrat, and a guy from Virginia (myself) not in agreement. Although Virginia is probably a battleground state this next election, it'd be harder to get more cliche' in terms of regions.

lastly,
river, i'm not "adding to the view of government waste", i firmly believe we're knee deep in government waste. I've experienced it time and time again, and that's a big factor in my political belief that the less govt the better.
And come on man, i work at the same place you do, doing very similar things. Maybe you forgot that? But, we are "one shipyard" after all. We have the same corporate policies with regards to money, we use the same stock system to order material, and we're the government so we're not exactly turning "profits". We all beat out the EBs and Newport News's when we want to because, we're non-profit and they are, surprise we can undercut you if we like. It is interesting to see how different the employees at different locations view some of what goes on. I'd wager there is a significant amount of difference between what SRE's order material wise, and what a cog tech code rep like myself on the testing side orders regularly and that's part of our differing view. Not sure if you're as heavily involved in the material ordering and the signing of each and every MRQT or JML you have to process like we are, i don't think our SRE's are. Refueling is it's own little world. But I have to sign off to verify the correctness of each and every item i order (no i have no input in who provides it, or what the cost is) so I see the $40 nuts, the $100 bolts, the $12000 pumps, and even the $0.12 o-rings. 95% of the stuff i order is available through our own government stock system, you get the same stuff, and yes it's ridiculously overpriced, and yes you're paying the same amount. We do not however, ever buy anything from a local hardware store, this is naval nuclear work man, home depot or lowes is not up to code. even for temporary stuff.
Re: Totally of topic...but SUPER TUESDAY   [#permalink] 06 Feb 2008, 19:31
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