An Ugly Yard Sign

I recently saw a yard sign that said, “Fire Obama.” It made me wonder:

If the homeowner is that angry with a president who has done nothing to destroy American life, he/she must have been livid with the Bush administration’s intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, thousands of dead and wounded American soldiers in Iraq, and the economic collapse of 2008.

The yard sign must have been REALLY ugly back in 2008.


Can you remember three years ago?

The Huffington Post reported the Romney campaign’s reaction to Hilary Rosen’s insulting comments about Ann Romney:

. . . Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told The Huffington Post in an email, “Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law. The sad fact is that under President Obama the poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent in 2011, the highest rate in 17 years. The Obama administration’s economic policies have been devastating to women and families.”

Why did the Romney campaign bring up the 2009 economy?  They must think we can’t remember back to the crisis created by eight years of a Republican administration.  (Remember the housing crash?  Your house is still worth less than it was in 2007.)

So, if it is a sad fact “that under President Obama the poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent in 2011, the highest rate in 17 years;”  it is another sad fact that it would be remarkable, if the poverty rate among women were not the highest rate in 17 years.  We were looking over a financial precipice as President Bush left office at the end of 2008.

I remember eight years of Republican policies driving us to the brink of financial disaster.  I remember the look on Hank Paulson’s face. I remember Alan Greenspan (the Roseanne Rosannadanna of economics) saying, “I was wrong.”

My rallying cry for a better future is, “Remember 2000-2008!”  Thanks for the reminder, Ms. Henneberg.

A Return to False Equivalency

Now that MSNBC has exploded over President Obama’s “compromise” with Republicans, I want to return to Jon Stewart’s claim that MSNBC and Fox News are guilty of the same kind of biased journalism. In my earlier False Equivalency blog I asked readers to compare how often Fox News and MSNBC commentators prop up a “straw man,” which is the debating technique that distorts an opponent’s belief, and then ridicules the distortion.

In the earlier blog I claimed MSNBC does this much less than Fox News, making a false equivalency of Jon Stewart’s claim that the two channels do the same thing from opposite perspectives. I told Stewart that political discernment makes him funny, and he needs more discernment before making MSNBC the liberal equivalent of Fox News.
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Soft Bigotry of Which Expectations?

It’s early December. I am reading final papers from fall semester and planning new courses for spring. I have been moved by both experiences.

I am moved by the reflections of teachers who love their students. Elementary teachers love their little ones — the imagination, the questions, the sincerity, the innocence. Middle grade teachers love their pre-teens — the struggles, the needs, the cooperative moments and the challenging days. High school teachers love their teenagers — the enthusiasm, the energy, the blossoming potential.

I teach adults. I love my students (who are teachers) for their dedication, strength, and generosity. Many of them have written beautifully about their classroom and school struggles, and I have been deeply moved this week.
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