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"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."
"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.
Get it? God hates you. Way to go, Dover Pa. You heathens. You scum.
I've got to say, so many people get up in arms about Robertson, but I love him. He makes us progressives look even more sensible than we already are and religious conservatives look even more crazy than they already are.
Keep up the good work, Pat. We should give you a salary. Oh, I forgot, you're already making millions scamming charitable donations. But I suppose God loves you, huh?
DS: What is your position on No Child Left Behind?
MDH: I think NCLB borders on criminal.
DS: Are you aware of the "Sneak-n-Peek" provision in NCLB, and how do you feel about it? (Info on the SNP can be found at leavemychildalone.org)
MDH: Not only do I know about it, I have been participating on panel discussions in the community to talk about recruiting abuses. Children have the right to make up their minds on their own and recruiters that target them and their families do the military a serious injustice. I have a hard time figuring out why more parents aren't speaking out about this issue.
DS: How do you feel about rising tuition rates at public universities? Do you have any ideas about how to keep college affordable?
MDH: Its so sad because its becoming cost prohibitive to go to college. We should have a system that allows every student to get a college education, regardless of income level. This is where the lotto money should go, and allow everyone the ability to go and pay on a sliding scale at public universities.
DS: Do you support repealing Bush-era provisions which prevent students with misdemeanor drug convictions from receiving federal student aid in the form of loans or Pell Grants?
MDH: I do support that because everyone deserves a chance to better themselves, and rise out of the system and poverty that cripples too many that have gone before.
"My kids believe in God. I believe in God. But I don't think it belongs in
the science curriculum the way the school district is presenting it," said Jill
Reiter, 41, a bank teller who joined a group of high school students waving
signs supporting the challengers Tuesday.
It was a big weekend for abstinence-only education. The unproven and unscientifically supported education method got its own first-ever national conference—sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services , no less!—in Baltimore to evaluate how it's working. The results were inconclusive—only one study has found that teens exposed to abstinence-only education programs embrace the idea of chastity, and there's no evidence yet that they actually follow through with it—but the conference's main purpose, as I see it, was simply to put a lot of abstinence-only educators together in one room and let them reinforce each other. It's a lot easier to drown out science that way.
...[F]or now, Republicans concede they are well short of the votes needed to pass a bill that would require longer work hours to qualify for welfare, allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid beneficiaries, cut assistance for child support enforcement, trim student loan spending, cut back agriculture supports, and curb eligibility for food stamps.
The Senate last week narrowly approved legislation that would trim about $35 billion from the budget over five years, but that bill largely avoided the direct cuts to beneficiaries of federal anti-poverty programs contained in the House budget measure. Those proposed cuts have created strong misgivings among some Republican moderates, especially since a five-year, $70 billion tax cut is awaiting action that would more than offset the savings in the budget cuts.
House Democrats have compiled lists of committee votes for cuts to agriculture, student aid, child support and health care programs, as well as for oil drilling in the Alaska refuge, that Democratic leaders vow to use in next year's midterm congressional elections.
"This is going to test whether moderate Republicans are really moderate," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "There are a ton of people who will have a day of reckoning coming."
This week, Democrats will hold a conference call with a Wisconsin college student to talk about student loan cuts and will serve lunch at a District school to highlight the budget's impact on subsidized school lunches. They will also stage a mock hearing to tar the entire budget as an effort to finance tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the poor.
House Democrats and their allies are planning a weeklong assault on the GOP’s proposed budget plan, hoping to kill an impending vote on budget cuts and highlight internal division within the Republican Conference.
Rep. John Spratt (S.C.), ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, plans to hold the mock hearing tomorrow. Many of the caucus’s most senior members, such as Reps. Charlie Rangel (N.Y.), George Miller (Calif.) and John Dingell (Mich.), will likely participate in the hearing, which will probably take place in one of the rooms in the Capitol controlled by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rather than the committee’s usual room in the Rayburn House Office Building, said a spokesman for Spratt.
Headlining the event will be Georgetown University freshman Reggie Douglas, a former member of his high school’s NAACP board, who will talk about how the proposed budget measures will affect him personally. Joining Douglas on the witness stand will be representatives from various special-interest groups addressing potential cuts to child support, agriculture programs and Medicaid.
At the mock hearing, Democrats plan to argue that the spending cuts will be used to fund tax cuts rather than reduce the deficit; that the cuts will threaten vital services such as Medicaid, student loans, child support and food stamps, some of which benefit hurricane victims; and that the budget resolution will still increase the deficit even after these cuts are taken into account.
Aside from the mock hearing, other members are heading up separate events this week.
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and possibly the Congressional Black Caucus will hold an event on the Capitol steps to talk about “Republicans’ misplaced priorities,” according to a House Democratic aide.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and members of the caucus’s 30-Something Working Group are planning to serve lunch at a school in Washington to call attention to Republicans’ planned cuts in the school-lunch program.
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) will host a conference call for reporters with a Wisconsin college student who is poised to lose student financial aid under the GOP plan.
On the floor, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) plans to coordinate a series of one-minute and special-order speeches throughout the week lambasting the budget plan.
Democrats will likely criticize the cuts using variations on internal talking points distributed last week.
According to Pelosi’s Morning Message Points from last Thursday, Democrats will tie the budget cuts to the plight of Hurricane Katrina survivors.
“Republicans are moving forward to impose even greater sacrifice on Katrina families with a fiscally irresponsible budget that cuts student loans, healthcare and rural programs,” read one bullet point.
The Emergency Campaign for America’s Priorities, a labor-funded group aligned with Democrats, continues to pursue moderate Republicans in their districts, targeting 38 lawmakers in 16 states with press conferences and ads.
ROVE CAUGHT CHEATING IN WHITE HOUSE ETHICS CLASS
Top Aide Seen Looking at Cheney’s Paper During Pop Quiz
Just days after President George W. Bush ordered the White House staff to take what was called a “refresher” course on ethics, his top aide Karl Rove was caught cheating during the first pop quiz given in the course, the White House confirmed today.
According to Marisa Clomens, the teacher who taught the refresher course, Mr. Rove was clearly seen craning his neck to copy answers off Vice President Dick Cheney’s paper during the pop quiz.
“Once I saw Mr. Rove looking at Vice President Cheney’s paper, I told him to put down his pencil and asked him to stay after class,” Ms. Clomens said. “I had him write ‘I will not leak the name of CIA officers’ one hundred times on the blackboard.”
In this month's edition of barrister's magazine Counsel, Mrs Blair remarked: "The truth is if I hadn't had the funding from the state to go to university I would have worked in a shop."
Responding to Mrs Blair's comments, Ed Davey, the Lib Dems education spokesman, said: "I warmly welcome Cherie Blair's recognition that a free university education was vital for her and, by implication, vital for tens of thousands like her.
"It's a terrible tragedy that her husband has decided to pull up the ladder of opportunity behind him.
"The prime minister seems to be an ever more isolated figure.
"It is no longer just his Cabinet colleagues and Labour backbenchers who are increasingly critical of this government's policies, the growing sense of disillusionment is also clearly felt by his wife."
Although U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced in September that President George W. Bush would ask Congress for funds to help institutions of higher education affected by Hurricane Katrina, colleges and universities that have taken in affected students were not allocated funds in the $17 billion emergency spending plan Bush submitted to Congress Oct. 28.
The proposal announced by Spellings would have asked Congress for $227 million, which would have covered a portion of affected students' tuition at host institutions and deferred loan payments.
Many expected colleges and universities that took in hurricane victims to receive funds in an effort to alleviate the financial burden of enrolling students without charging them full tuition and room and board.
The University has waived tuition and academic fees for students from schools affected by Katrina but is charging room and board. According to University Spokesperson Carol Wood, the University currently is absorbing the costs of educating displaced students.
The University made the decision to waive tuition immediately after Gov. Mark R. Warner amended state policy that prohibited public institutions from waiving tuition, according to Director of Student Financial Services Yvonne Hubbard.
This decision, Hubbard said, was not necessarily based on the expectation that the government would step in to cover the lost revenue.
"You do what you think is right for the people involved at the moment and you go with it," Hubbard said.
Anybody from the Bush Administration want to explain how this is the right thing to do?
DESPITE the prodigious self-promotion that went into Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that he was using his executive power to order merit pay for some Texas teachers, its size is distinctly underwhelming. Perry's entire statewide budget of $10 million is considerably less than what the Houston Independent School district merit pay program will cost for one year.
Teacher union leaders have consistently opposed bonus pay plans linked to tests scores because the criteria for receiving bonuses can be easily manipulated by school principals to reward favorites and punish mavericks. Simply assigning advanced students to particular instructors can rig the system in their favor. Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon says Texas teachers' base pay is about $6,000 less than the U.S. median pay for instructors, and Perry's plan won't make a dent in that disparity.
"I understand that the fad of the moment is to try and do these merit pay schemes," Fallon said, "but the bottom line is none of them work until you have a good base salary."
Alief school board President Sarah Winkler expressed similar sentiments to the Chronicle's Jason Spencer: "I think we need to get everyone's salary up to an equitable level before we start giving rewards here and there."
Perry's likely opponents in the upcoming gubernatorial contest also were unimpressed with the merit pay plan. Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn chided Perry for failing to realize that all Texas teachers, not just those in low-income schools, are underpaid. Democrat Chris Bell derided the governor's plan as treating instructors "like glorified hall monitors."
It's too bad Perry didn't provide the leadership during the series of special sessions this year to secure a fair and adequate system for financing public education, one that would pay Texas teachers a competitive salary. His merit pay executive order is better than nothing, but just barely.
President Bush, reacting to the indictment of a high-level White House aide in the CIA leak case, has ordered his staff to get a refresher on ethics rules.
In a memo sent to all White House aides, the counsel's office said it will hold briefings next week on ethics, with a particular focus on the rules governing the handling of classified information. Attendance is mandatory for anyone holding any level of security clearance.
"There will be no exceptions," the memo said.