TONIGHT SENATOR JOE BIDEN DEBATES GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN. THE DEBATE COMES AMID GROWING CONCERNS AROUND BIDEN'S PINOCHIO PROBLEM WHICH INCLUDES CLAIMS OF BEING ON A HELICOPTER IN AFGHANISTAN THAT WAS "FORCED DOWN" BY ATTACKERS WHEN IT WAS, IN FACT, FORCED DOWN BY SNOW. HAS BIDEN DECLARED THE WEATHER ELEMENTS PART OF THE "AXIS OF EVIL"?
SPEAKING IN VIRIGINIA AND ATTEMPTING TO RELATE TO THE WORKING CLASS, BIDEN STATED HE WAS "A HARD COAL MINER" WHEN, IN FACT, HE HAS NEVER WORKED IN A COAL MINE -- THOUGH WE ARE TOLD HE CAN HANDLE A MEAN COAL PIT FOR A B.B.Q.
THESE MISSTATEMENTS ONLY SERVE TO AMPLIFY HIS FALSE CLAIM THAT FDR, AS PRESIDENT, WENT ON TELEVISION IN 1929 TO DISCUSS THE GREAT DEPRESSION. AS DOES A FELLOW DEMOCRAT, SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL, DECLARING HAT JOE BIDEN "SAYS THINGS THAT ARE KIND OF STUPID."
MAYBE SHE WAS THINKING OF BIDEN ANNOUNCING LAST WEEK, "WE'RE NOT SUPPORTING CLEAN COAL." NOT ONLY HAS HIS RUNNING MATE CLAIMED OTHERWISE BUT ONE WOULD THINK "A HARD COAL MINER" WOULD BE PREPARED FOR THE QUESTION.
Moving over to the US presidential race. David Hoff (Education Week) explores what the presidential choices mean in terms of the No Child Left Behind Act (also known as "No Learning, Just Crib Notes") since both GOP presidential nominee John McCain and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama support it. Hoff notes three who are for quality education (first step, end NCLB):
Ralph Nader, who is running as an independent, says "federal policy needs to be transformed from one that uses punishments to control schools, to one that supports teachers and students; from one that relies primarily on standardized tests, to one that encourages high-quality assessments. Broader measures of student learning are needed that include reliance of classroom-based assessments along with testing."
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate, writes: "Turning education over to the federal government, as through such legislation as the No Child Left Behind Act has not worked. Trying to fix failing schools with more money and regulations also has failed to do anything other than waste taxpayer money without results." He proposes ending the federal government's role in education and turning decisions back to state and local governments.
The Green Party, which has nominated Cynthia McKinney to be its candidate, writes in its draft platform that "the federal Act titled No Child Left Behind punishes where it should assist and hinders its own declared purpose. It should be repealed or greatly redesigned." The federal government's roles should be limited to ensuring students across states have a "level playing field," the platform says.
Hoff notes that Barr and McKinney did vote for NCLB in 2001 while both were members of the US House of Representatives. Anita Zimmerman (The Chetek Alert) covers many presidential candidates and we'll note this section:
The state's Green party has many of the same challenges. They don't get much media coverage, their candidates are rarely invited to debates, and their resources are too limited for national advertisement. Like the Constitution party, there are "scattered individuals" but no cohesive Barron County organization, says Jeff Peterson, co-founder of the Wisconsin Green Party.
Peterson, a 20-year veteran of the party and a Luck resident, believes presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney appeals to urban voters and young people. Peterson's been "politicking from his computer," he adds.
On the national level, the Green party's base is split between 20-somethings and 50-somethings, Peterson explains. While the party enjoys support on college campuses, it has never succeeded in garnering the 5-percent vote necessary to "unlock all sorts of resources," especially the monetary kind.
Peterson's goal for the election is to "maintain a presence." Voters need third-party options, he believes, and candidates like McKinney, a former congresswoman from Georgia, take stances on issues Republicans and Democrats may not address.
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Team Nader's Ashley Sanders explains:
Many people tend to see the economic crisis as a problem from nowhere, divorcing it from the deliberate and systematic dismantling of regulation and oversight waged by the corporate sector in its fight for ever-greater profits. Many of these same people view Barack Obama's candidacy in similar but opposite terms, seeing him as the change candidate from nowhere who will save our economic and political our economic and political system--divorcing his hope message from his actual platforms and legislative history. In part two of her February analysis of Obama's campaign, Pam Martens makes the connection between our rootless critiques of the economy and our rootless support of Obama. When the same people causing a crisis are funding the man claiming to solve a crisis, we can expect more of the same.
Governor Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee for vice president and yesterday Katie Couric interviewed the McCain-Palin ticket for The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric (link has text and video and click here for transcript):
"I do," Palin said. "I'm a feminist who, uh, believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try to do it all, anyway. And I'm very, very thankful that I've been brought up in a family where gender hasn't been an issue. You know, I've been expected to do everything growing up that the boys were doing. We were out chopping wood and you're out hunting and fishing and filling our freezer with good wild Alaskan game to feed our family. So it kinda started with that."
Today, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Durant (Ret.) issued the following statement on Joe Biden's apparently false accounts of near-misses on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq:
"Senator Biden claimed at a debate last year that he'd been 'shot at' while visiting Iraq. And he has claimed repeatedly, most recently last week, that his helicopter was 'forced down' in Afghanistan -- leaving his audience with the impression that it was fire from the Taliban which had grounded the aircraft. Neither of these stories appears to be true, and Senator Biden has never accounted for the discrepancies.
"I've been on a helicopter that was 'forced down' by enemy fire, and I've been 'shot at.' Neither is easily confused with being caught in a snow storm or awakened by a loud bang in the night. Senator Biden has a responsibility to come clean on what actually happened, and explain why he would ever say such things to the American people. And with the Vice Presidential Debate coming up on Thursday, it is incumbent on the news media to ask Senator Biden the tough questions -- as they have so far failed to do -- and examine his responses closely for inconsistencies of the kind we've witnessed in recent months.
"The American people expect and deserve leaders who tell the truth about their record and their experiences, and a news media that holds all candidates -- no matter their party -- to the same standard."
When it was Hillary, it was BIG NEWS. Was it just because she's a woman? Was it just because the press wants to elect Barack? Tomorrow night Joe Biden and Sarah Palin are scheduled to debate. Prior to the start of the vice presidential debate, (3:45 p.m. local time), Senator McCain will be participating in the Women's Town Hall Meeting in Denver.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Iraq: The 'handover'"
"couric interviews palin"
"The unlistenable KPFA"
"Katie Couric interviews the McCain-Palin ticket"