Obama: Ahmadinejad "Offensive" and "Hateful"

President Barack Obama called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks at the United Nations yesterday “offensive” and “hateful.” In his first comments on the Iranian leader’s statement that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may have been orchestrated to bolster the U.S. economy and “save the Zionist regime,” Obama told BBC Persian that “for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.” “It was offensive, it was hateful,” Obama said, according to an excerpt of the interview released by the White House. U.S. and European diplomats walked out of the UN General Assembly hall yesterday when Ahmadinejad delivered his remarks on the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon near Washington. Envoys representing Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and New Zealand also left the speech. The interview with BBC Persian is part of the president’s attempt to communicate directly with the Iranian people as the U.S. and other nations increase pressure on Ahmadinejad’s government to comply with UN demands that it halt uranium enrichment. Read more here:

Ahmadinejad Talks - Truthers Cheer

Mahmoud Ahmadinehad
The bizarre U.N. rant alleging a 9/11 conspiracy by Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivered from the same podium where President Obama had just hours before extended yet another of olive branch of diplomacy toward the rogue Persian regime, marks the most devastating setback yet in the administration's campaign of global engagement, foreign-policy experts say.

Truther Van Jones
A host of nations joined America in walking out on Ahmadinejad's tirade -- including the 27 European Union states, Australia, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. But the overwhelming majority of the diplomats representing the worlds 192 nations not only kept their seats, but applauded vigorously when Ahmadinejad finally stopped talking. "They are literally at their wits' end.

Truther Charlie Sheen
They have no idea what to do," Dr. James Jay Carafano, the Heritage Foundation national security expert, tells Newsmax of the administration. "They don't want to take the Iranians on. They don't want to appear soft on Iran. They don't want to say that having an Iranian nuclear program is acceptable, but they're unwilling to do any of the things to demonstrate that the United States truly would hold it as unacceptable." Read more here:

Thomas Sowell - Penny-Wise on Crime

Thomas Sowell
For more than 200 years, the political left has been coming up with reasons why criminals should not be punished as much, or at all. The latest gambit in Missouri is providing judges with the costs of incarcerating the criminals they sentence. According to the New York Times, "a three-year prison sentence would run more than $37,000 while probation would cost $6,770." For a more serious crime, where a 5-year imprisonment would cost more than $50,000, it would cost less than $9,000 for what is described as "five years of intensive probation." Read more here:


Linda Chavez - Gerrymandering?

Linda Chavez
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., seems to believe that her ethnicity entitles her to keep her congressional seat this election. In a Spanish language interview on Univision, the seven-term representative from California's 47th Congressional District accused "los Vietnamese y los Republicanos" of trying to take away a seat she says belongs to the Hispanic community, and therefore her. Sanchez's Republican opponent this year is a state assemblyman, Van Tran, who came to the United States at the age of 10 from his native Vietnam just days before the fall of Saigon. Read more here:

Politics and Education

Del Hanson
Both candidates for office of the governor have continually inundated the airwaves and newspapers with brilliant plans to improve education. The chance that substantive change in our state educational system will occur as a result of either candidate’s plank is nil. In light of this, both would be well-advised to just shut up. Let’s face it, neither has a deep and abiding background in education. They both assuredly want the best for our students. I have no doubt about that. However, neither has been in the classroom instructing children. Both base their educational policy stands from advisors, and in recent “debates” or forums, it is painfully obvious that nothing new is forthcoming from either side. Lt. Governor Denish supports a turbo-charged version of more of the same, and governor hopeful Martinez echoes the tired and oft-used admonition to “cut waste” and give parents vouchers. If either gets her way, education will not and cannot move forward. It will continue to stagger sideways.

Diane Denish

Solutions for the questions which confront education in New Mexico do not lie with politicians. Sadly, they are the only ones who have the power to make the needed changes. So who should they be talking to? Who, if anyone, has the answers?
Let me first list the persons who most assuredly do not have the answers: 1. think tanks of any size and any political persuasion, 2. Arne Duncan, 3. any state department of education, 4. school superintendents or their associates, 5. nationally syndicated talk show hosts, 6. the union, 7. university colleges of education, and 8. anyone running for political office. Who then might that leave to help us understand the problems endemic to education? Let me pose this question first: who might you ask if you needed to determine why patients were developing severe reactions to medicines given to them after a particular kind of surgery? Hospital administrators? How about night custodians? Maybe afternoon talk show hosts? What about aspiring gubernatorial candidates? I would hope and pray one would ask doctors. Now, I pose the question again: Who might we ask about questions pertaining to public education? Perhaps, just maybe, we might ask teachers. I know it cuts across the grain of all common sense and intelligence, but just possibly teachers would have insight grounded in reality. We not only do not ask them, but we shun their input, lest it might be tainted with the residue of poor standardized test performance. Instead, before we ask teachers, we consult numbers one through eight listed previously.

Susana Martinez

My advice to governor of New Mexico hopefuls Martinez and Denish? Convene working committees of teachers to assist them in defining, pinpointing, and synthesizing concerns and problems within the system which diminish their ability to teach students. The fear of the right is that the unions will have undue influence. The fear of the left is that the unions won’t have enough influence. The only true insight into the problems and solutions particular to public education lies with the practitioners--the teachers. Use them and quote them. Somewhere and somehow over the past eight years or so teachers have been the labeled the culprits in the demise of public education. The profession has certainly been dealt a mighty blow, if not lethal. If a kid is not at or above average, much of public perception is that it must be the teacher’s fault. Some of that blame most assuredly lies with her, but an equal responsibility must lie with parents, and, heaven forbid, the child himself. In the disaster and folly of the new century, No Child Left Behind assigns sole culpability in non-achievement to schools and teachers.
The child and her parents are mere spectators who flow through the flawed system. The truth is that no educational system in the world departs markedly from what we try to do with our public education system, except to make their systems selective and non-universal after about eighth grade. Essentially, other nations field their ball teams with students who want to be there and cull the herd each year beginning about middle school, much like our university system does to students between the freshman and senior years of college. In America, using the ball team metaphor, we field teams using every child who walks through the door, no matter the level of disability or inability. It is truly universal to the point of excess. U.S. public education is expensive and not competitive compared to the other nations who do not embrace universally egalitarian education. This writer cringes every time a politician announces how he or she will “reform” education. I heard today that the Martinez campaign, and I am quoting, will “end social promotion.” Really? A new law will just like that end social promotion? Does Ms. Martinez or her expert advisors realize that the vast majority of social promotions come at the bequest of parents, who often override the decision of the teacher?
Who will decide who advances to the next grade? ?A test? Yet another expletive deleted test? What appeal process will be in place to ensure due process? Who will pay for the litigation of court cases when a student is denied grade placement? What if the student is held back four consecutive years? Will we create parallel schools in which to house them, or will we have 15 year olds in fifth grade in the same school with first graders? Does the Martinez camp realize that, due to the Draconian punishment meted out by NCLB sanctions, current law puts incredible pressure on districts to graduate every warm body in the senior class? I would guess neither of those concerns have been addressed, but the sound byte is sweet to the ears of those whose understanding of education is but superficial. The sound I hear coming out of the mouths of the candidates for governor reminds me of the muted trumpet sound issuing from Snoopy’s mouth in the old cartoon specials: waaamp, waaamp, waaamp, waaamp waamp. If they want to reform schools, go to the source. Ask teachers. It’s my guess it isn’t going to happen. It’s a shame. They hold the answers.


Bogus Rumor Back Stabs Haussamen

Heath Haussamen
News New Mexico was stunned yesterday afternoon when we were perusing the Joe Monahans New Mexico blog. It made a potentially damaging claim that NMPolitics.net founder Heath Haussamen's "financial prospects could improve if Susana (Martinez) wins. He's getting prominent mentions in political circles as a possible communications director for a Governor Martinez."
Knowing Haussamen as we do this rumor struck us as 99.99% likely to be completely bogus. Accordingly, we did what the Monahan blog writer should have done. We contacted Haussamen to confirm our suspicions that it was a completely unfounded rumor. Heath immediately responded to our inquiry and assured us the rumor in the blog was "absolutely untrue." Naturally, the potential damage is serious because it questioned integrity and pokes at "reputation." From our viewpoint there is NOBODY working in journalism in the entire state of New Mexico who sets the standard for honesty and fairness higher. Nobody does more unbiased reporting than Heath Haussamen. In our view, given the insidious nature of the statement in this particular blog, we want to call on those involved to apologize for posting an unconfirmed rumor on the site. In the future we recommend more homework before doubts are cast on the objectivity of a truly responsible journalist. Haussamen has no financial interest in the outcome of the gubernatorial race whatsoever and that was a fact that could have been confirmed in five minutes.


Swickard: You Have to Hand It to the Handy

Handy kids are amazing. Your car will not start and your kid pops the hood, “Just a minute Dad, let me get a wrench and I will have it going in a minute.” You reply, “Better not let your mother hear you refer to her that way, but if you can get it going I will take care of Mom.” Your child rolls his/her eyes. “Wrench Dad, with an r.” And as quick as you can say “handy” your car starts. You have a warm feeling for having brought this child into the world. Or there is a water problem in the house. You discover water in places that you find obnoxious. Can you imagine the unbridled joy of having a child who can actually help you deal with the problem? Read more here:


Stress is professional hazard for coaches

From Fox Sports - by Billy Witz - When Michigan State holder Aaron Bates rose up from what looked like a game-tying field goal attempt to loft a pass downfield toward a wide-open Charles Gantt, the calmest person in Spartan Stadium appeared to be Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. He stood on the sidelines with his arms folded, as if he were watching a chess match.
When Gantt caught the ball and sauntered into the end zone, giving Michigan State a stunning 34-31 overtime victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, Dantonio simply raised his hands in the air. The mayhem was left to others. For Dantonio, there was no fist-pumping, no jumping up and down, no sprinting onto the field in celebration. For anyone who wondered how Dantonio, after making such a brassy call, could look so nonchalant after the game, they had their answer within a few hours. Before the night was done, Dantonio was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Doctors performed an angioplasty, opening a blocked blood vessel. Dantonio was released from the hospital Tuesday, but it is unclear when he will resume coaching the Spartans. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell has taken over in the interim. Dantonio’s heart attack has given those around college football pause. When joined with the stress-related health issues that led Florida’s Urban Meyer to take a leave of absence and the sudden death of Northwestern coach Randy Walker in 2006, it has made the health of coaches a much-discussed topic this week. "I need to do a better job taking care of myself," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I do in the offseason, and I feel great. But there's no doubt that you just wear yourself thin trying to win every game in the fall, and there's a lot on your plate." Brown went on to list all the people he has to deal with — fans, alumni, high school coaches, regents, faculty and 130 players who all have parents who must be told that only 11 can play on the field at one time. Read more

Blackwell - "Back to the Seventies"

Ken Blackwell
Fritz Mondale has weighed in. Jimmy Carter’s Vice President has surely not helped President Obama. He just gave an interview to the fashionably liberal New Yorker Magazine. That famously with-it publication titled its Mondale piece: “Back to the Seventies.” Oh my. If there’s one comparison that President Obama hopes voters won’t make, it’s likening him to President Carter. Mondale, like Yogi Berra, says it’s like déjà vu all over again. When the public sours on you, Fritz said, “it’s like a unique four-year marriage contract, in which divorce is not an option.” Mondale offered a reprise of his stormy tenure as vice president during Jimmy Carter’s unhappy single term. “People think the president is the only one who can fix their problems. And, if he doesn’t produce solutions, I’m telling you—when a person loses a job, or can’t feed his family, or can’t keep his house, he is not longer rational. They become angry, they strike out—and that’s what you have now. If you’re President, they say, ‘Do something!’” Read more here: