Garrison Keillor gets this one right, at least.

I was always a fan of Garrison Keillor. Lately, though, he has staked out some anti-gay and anti-Semitic positions that I find troubling (it is possible that Keillor is joking in the second link–a piss poor job at joking). But at least in this critique of the republican strategy during the HCR debate he gets something right.

The Republicans fought long and hard for people’s right to wait three hours in an emergency room for someone to take their blood pressure, and they went down to defeat, and now they should stop and rethink their Waterloo strategy. The picture of the grinning GOP congressmen holding “Kill the Bill” posters was not an attractive one. Those guys all get excellent [healthcare] from the government, at bargain prices. If you choke on your shoe during a speech in the House of Representatives, you’ll be whisked away to Walter Reed, and specialists will extract your hoof from your mouth and your head from your colon and clean you up and all for a tiny annual premium. It does not behoove men who are enjoying a huge pork sandwich to deny a few pork rinds to others and to grin in the process…

Now Sen. McCain says there will be no further cooperation with the administration. OK then. Thanks for clearing that up. Now that bipartisanship has been buried for good, Democrats can get about the business of running the government, which is their duty as the majority party, and let the Republicans sulk in their rooms and work on their Facebook updates. They’ve made it clear that if Mr. Obama suddenly decided to come out in favor of Mother’s Day, they would fight against it as a ruthless exercise of federal power and a violation of due process. Fine. Talk to the hand.

Signs of the times

ht Greg Laden

Hey, Democracy at Work!

Gee, after all the hoopla over the supposed tyranny of the Democrats over HCR, it all came down to  simple votes. The senate passes a bill and the house votes and passes the same exact bill. The president signs the bill. The bill becomes law. Civics 101. Next the Democrats in the House passes a legislation (the amendments to HCR) and sends it to the Senate. If the Senate votes on this and the President signs it, then it too becomes law. No one deems anything, the world keeps spinning, and we begin on the road to becoming a good nation, not just a great nation (ht Balloonjuice).

NCLB and the problem with data

The dirty dark secret of NCLB is that we may know how to identify the worst performing schools, but no one (yet) knows how to turn them around in any consistent and reliable way. And I mean no one. Not the Gates Foundation to date. Not most charter programs. No one.

Sara Mosle paraphrasing former NCLB supporter and statistician Diane Ravitch.