From redstate.com The Census Bureau today released the official reapportionment figures from the 2010 Census, which will determine (1) what states gain and lose House seats and thus will be prime targets for redistricting and (2) what states correspondingly gain and lose votes in the Electoral College for 2012. By and large, the news was good for the GOP. For the immediate impact, I’ll focus on the Electoral College, although it’s worth noting how many of the redistricting states - especially the two biggest gainers, Texas (+4) and Florida (+2), and one of the two biggest losers, Ohio (-2) - are now under heavy GOP control (and the GOP just recently took control of the NY State Senate, assuring a place at the table in the other state losing more than one seat, as NY is also -2). Here are the other states gaining or losing one seat. Gaining a seat: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington More here
From thehill.com President Obama's political arm vowed to revive the DREAM Act on Monday after the Senate jettisoned the issue in a weekend vote. Mitch Stewart, the director of Organizing for America (OFA), the president's political arm within the Democratic National Committee (DNC), sought to reassure liberal and Hispanic voters that they would look to pass the immigration bill again in the future. "This fight isn't over -- and when it comes up in the next Congress, we need to be on the record saying that Republicans can't hold reform hostage to political games," Stewart wrote. More here
From theblaze.com Without more redistribution of wealth, the United States of America is on the road to becoming a “banana republic,” warns Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. In an interview with Russia Today, Congresswoman Schakowsky claims that the American middle class is disappearing because the federal government is failing to effectively redistribute wealth. Among her top concerns: extending Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels: Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t “banana republics” tend to be found in parts of the world where government become too involved — whether voluntarily or by force? And isn’t free enterprise one of the best ways to deter such concentrated government power? Video and more here
From NM Politics.net - by Heath Haussamen - Gov.-elect Susana Martinez has nominated a woman who implemented education reforms in Florida to be New Mexico’s next public education secretary. From the press release: Hanna Skandera “served as the deputy commissioner of education under (Florida) Governor Jeb Bush, where she promoted and implemented middle and high school reforms that instituted greater accountability, incentives for high performance and the end of social promotion. As a result of the education reforms put in place in Florida, reading scores improved dramatically across ethnic groups, with Hispanic students outperforming all students in 31 other states,” the release states. Skandera has also served as a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Education and undersecretary for education for the State of California. Read more
From pajamasmedia.com They say that opposites attract — but this opposite? Call it a tempest in a teapot or call it a gathering storm (you decide the cliche) but the planned Cable News Network presidential debates with Tea Party Express are already raising more eyebrows than Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Yes, the network and the supposedly grass roots organization are teaming up to stage 2012 presidential debates and the chattering classes are working over time. Most guffaw-inducing comment so far: A Salon blogger criticizes the mating for a lack of “basic standards of journalistic ethics.” More here
From americanthinker.com Documents from the State Department published by WikiLeaks show that the Obama administration surrendered the missile shield previously planned by the Bush administration to Europe because of Russian demands, not because of any supposed intel reports. The original missile defense scheme was devised by the Bush administration, which persuaded Poland and the Czech Republic to authorize missile defense systems (ten unarmed interceptors and a radar) to be deployed on their soil. In April 2008, Bush outmaneuvered Vladimir Putin by obtaining an endorsement of this scheme from all NATO allies before the Russian leader reached Bucharest for the NATO-Russia summit. More here
Posted by Michael Swickard
From the Santa Fe NewMexican.com - by Robert Nott - NewsNM note: this article ran November 22, 2010 but since we are talking about the Florida reforms for education it is good to revisit this article. Matthew Ladner made it clear that legislators have to fire a lot of bullets at the target of education in order to score some successes. Ladner, vice president for research at Phoenix's Goldwater Institute (which he called a free-market think tank), presented a study on Florida's K-12 program to the Legislative Education Study Committee in the Capitol a couple of weeks ago. I wrote about his presentation in last week's column. Among Florida's reforms, initiated over a decade ago, are an A-to-F grading system for schools, a voucher program for special-needs kids to attend private schools, financial incentives for public-school success and recruiting teachers from alternative-certificate programs. Sen. Stephen H. Fischmann, D-Mesilla Park, invited Ladner to speak at the session. "I was supposed to be part of what was to be the 'new liberal' crowd coming into the Legislature," he said with a hearty laugh by phone. "We're elected to get results and put some good policy in place." "Though a Republican governor is coming in, and Ladner is from a conservative think-tank organization, good results are good results, and I don't care where they come from." Fischmann said New Mexico can't try to copy Florida because the demographics of the states are too different. But he likes a lot of the Florida ideas, including the emphasis on reading (if students in Florida can't demonstrate proficient reading skills by the third grade, they are held back). Read more
a) in budget crisis mode and
b) why the economic hole is so deep?
Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” has a insightful overview here that includes the massive problem of state pension plans for public employees that will only get worse unless states make some drastic changes: See video here:
Once upon a time, Democrats argued that if they were in charge, Washington would pass "comprehensive immigration reform." Candidate Obama promised to make passage of an immigration bill a top priority during his first year in office. For two years, the Dems ran the White House, the House and the Senate -- and a bill never passed because they never really pushed it. Clearly, the leadership figured out that immigration is an issue that works best for them if left hanging.