Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Key to Our Future

Current debt ceiling issues aside, probably THE most important issue facing our country for our long term future is education. Since we are busy enslaving our children for the next century, we had better make sure they learn how to think. Currently, we have an ever increasing indoctrination system which is failing our children miserably.

President Obama's Race to the Top boondoggle is a $4.35 billion competitive grant program for States, that seeks to encourage public schools to develop new ways to raise standards and measure achievement for both teachers and students in elementary and secondary schools. What it seems to have accomplished, in typical liberal “unintended consequences style” is to encourage teachers and administrators to cheat. Recently it was discovered that in 80% of Atlanta Georgia's schools, teachers and administrators were falsifying standardized tests in order to meet Race to the Top standards and qualify for grants. That was followed by the revelation that 40 school districts and 9 charter schools in Pennsylvania are being investigated for cheating. In addition more than 1,000 school districts are suspect nationwide.

In 2004 the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program came into being. It provided $7,500.00 scholarships to 3300 impoverished students in the DC area so they could attend private schools. This highly successful program increased graduation rates among its students by at least 21%. When the program came up for re-authorization in 2009, it passed the Congress but was defeated in the Senate along mostly partisan lines. The Washington Examiner said of Mr. Obama's opposition to the program;

“Many parents of children in troubled schools have already chosen the same option that Obama chose for his own children. They've enrolled them in the best private schools in the country.

Not every American parent, though, has the financial resources that the President and members of Congress have. And in places like the District of Columbia, where less than half of public school students ever graduate, the need for immediate assistance and a radically new paradigm is urgent. Yet, many D.C. parents and their children have grown disillusioned by the President's refusal to honor promises already made.

In the spring of 2009, 216 students received letters stating they had been selected to receive the opportunity scholarship. Within weeks, however, the administration rescinded those offers. Republicans tried to allow for the ongoing enrollment of new students.

Democrats, however, opposed the measure and established an effective sunset for the program once the existing awards ran out. And this despite overwhelming evidence of the scholarship's success.”

So much for “Racing to the Top”. Obama's strong support for the National Education Association would not allow him to support a highly successful school choice program, and instead forced the children he claims to want to help back into the hell holes of the DC school system. If it is so good, why don't his children go there?

This is the same NEA that voted down merit pay for teachers on July 6th of this year. What we hear from the NEA and from the Democrats in Washington is that what is needed to fix education is more money, less sugary desserts and no chocolate milk. Hogwash! Utah, one of the few states in the union with a real school choice program, has above average scores in math, science and reading, even though they spend less per student than any other state in the country, $6,612.00 in 2009. Washington DC third only to New York and New Jersey, spends $16,582.00 per student and has scores well below the national average in all categories. Money alone is not the answer. (figures from the National Center for Educational Statistics)

Who then, shall we choose to lead on educational issues in 2012? We need a person who can think outside the big national education union box when it comes to teaching our children. We need someone who knows the value of education, and who knows that the best opportunities come when control is local and incentive is provided to educators. Our next President must understand how absolutely VITAL it is for our future as a country, that our children learn to read, write, understand mathematics and science!

Herman Cain is that man. Mr. Cain understands the need to weaken the Department of Education, and push control back to the States and local school boards where it belongs. He knows that huge one size fits all programs like No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top simply do not work, because one size fits all, doesn't. It is always too large.

Herman Cain understands that when concerned parents are given a choice, they will choose the best education they can for their children and that when schools have to compete for students, the quality of all schools is elevated. He knows that when parents can choose what school their child attends, they tend to be more involved in the school itself, and in their children's education. That benefits everyone.

He believes that most teachers have a genuine passion for educating their students, and should be rewarded for their efforts, based on their merit rather than their seniority. He understands the bureaucracies that overburden teachers with paperwork and restrictions which hamper their ability to shine in the school environment. By unbundling the school system from the National Department of Education, he seeks to set educators free to use their skills and innovation to educate the leaders of tomorrow, our children. He also knows that the schools and teachers need to be held accountable, and that this is better done on a local and State level than by a leviathan in Washington DC.

For the long term, for the future of our country, and for the future of our children, we need a leader who knows what it takes to provide a world class education for our youth, to once again bring our nation to the forefront of science, technology and the arts, and to once again have the best educated high school and college graduates in the world!

That man is Herman Cain!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Herman Cain vs. Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann is a wonderful person. She is strongly conservative. Fiscally, her position is clearly on the side of balancing the budget. She has led the fight against Obamacare. She is intelligent, thoughtful and caring. As far as policy goes, she is Tea Party all the way. I believe Mrs Bachmann and Herman Cain are relatively equal on the issues. If she were to win the GOP nomination, I would have to vote for her in the general election. The problem I have with Mrs. Bachmann, and the reason I prefer Mr. Cain, is one of debate ability. I don't mean that we should debate it, I mean the Michele Bachmann, for all her wonderful qualities, just isn't a very good debater. She seems to get stuck on a single point, and when questioned, even though she is correct, she seems to leave herself nowhere to go. Often she simply repeats the same point, using the same words. It looks like she is avoiding the question, or just repeating “talking points”.

Last Sunday, I watched Bob Schieffer from CBS, make Mrs. Bachmann look like she didn't know what she was talking about. He brought up the fact that she had said the Obama Administration had issued only one oil drilling permit since the BP oil spill, and that in fact they had issued almost 300. He failed to mention that when she made that statement, she was talking about deep water drilling permits. He continued to berate her, stopping short only of calling her a liar. Mrs. Bachmann stammered and sputtered and said she stood by her statement. If I were an uninformed viewer, I would have been left with the impression that she didn't have her facts straight. She could have easily defused the situation if she had only said that she was talking about deep water drilling permits, for on that point, she is 100% correct. The Administration HAS issued about 37 shallow water permits, and some land permits, but the original statement she made was about deep water drilling permits. Sadly, when she had the chance to put Schieffer in his place, she failed to do so even though she was correct. I know she is a busy woman, but whether she doesn't have broad enough knowledge about a subject, or just isn't able to think fast enough on her feet to bring that knowledge forth, I don't know. On the subject of abolition, she said the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery. When asked incredulously, which of them worked against slavery, she stated correctly John Quincy Adams had. Though he might not fit the definition of Founding Father by some, he certainly was present in the fledgling government when our constitution was drafted; he was an ambassador at the time. There were others she could have mentioned. Dickinson, for one. She could have explained the 3/5ths clause, which was designed to make sure the slave states would not be over represented in congress. With that clause the abolitionists assured themselves a fighting chance to draft future law to do away with the practice. Instead she back peddled, fumbled around a bit, and came up with a line about John Quincy Adams being a boy at the time. Again she was factually correct, but the media, skillful as they are, made her look like she doesn't have a firm grasp on the facts.

What I do know, from watching, is that Herman Cain is masterful at debate craft. I watched Juan Williams interview Mr. Cain on Monday. Mr Williams asked Cain what he thought about Michele Bachmann's entry into the race in a gotcha manner. Mr. Cain was not only able to get Williams to concede the point, but Cain had him laughing in agreement in a matter of seconds. For passion, stance on the relevant issues, like-ability and background, I can fault neither. Both would make stellar Presidents in my humble opinion. The problem is getting elected. We must have a candidate with the skill of Ronald Reagan when it comes the media. Herman Cain has that skill. This is a man who got Bill Clinton to admit he was wrong about Hillary-Care's impact on small business. Bill CLINTON! Mr. “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is,” Bill Clinton. Herman Cain is rock solid on the issues, a wonderful speech maker, an intelligent businessman, and he knows how to take on the main stream media and make them look like the silly ones. Herman Cain is the man we need to nominate for the GOP candidate!

Inital Argument for Herman Cain

OK, I'll just go ahead and admit it now, I'm a Herman Cain fan. I have been trying to keep an open mind, but I've been leaning for so long now, I've fallen over. Actually, nothing would make me so ecstatic as a Cain/Bachmann ticket, but only the delegate counts will tell.
Why Cain? So many reasons. I think the thing I like about him the most is that he knows what he doesn't know. That is an extremely rare quality these days, particularly in politics. Yet it is an essential one for the leader of the free world. Now we have a guy in the White House, who thinks he knows everything. We all see how well that is working out for us. The current President knows more than his generals, his lawyers, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American People. Every single day, he is ignoring yet another advisor, commission, or court decision. It would be one thing if his arrogance proved out in the real world, but time after time the misguided policies coming from this Administration are leading us further down the road to tragic ruin.

I was impressed right away when, in the South Carolina sound bite fest, Mr. Cain said he didn't have enough information to make an informed decision about the troops in Afghanistan. He went on to describe a well thought out, reasonable decision making process that has served his enterprises well over these many years. That kind of thought process and honesty is something I can get behind.

My heart was warmed as well, by a man who says what is on his mind. Particularly since that mind is sharp. Donald Trump says what is on his mind too, unfortunately what is on his mind is Donald Trump, and his ideas only work on reality TV and Park Avenue. If we wanted to build a spiffy new embassy somewhere or create a new show; “Congress Unclothed”, Trump would be my guy, but we have a country to save.

Mr. Cain's platform is rock solid. He is strong on the military, noting that the common defense is a primary purpose of the Federal Government. On spending we have a man who had to not just balance budgets, but turn a profit. He know about serious belt tightening, and the fact that he hasn't done it in Washington is a bonus. As we all know, few of the folks there have ever balanced a budget and even fewer have the stomach for doing it now!

Cain talks about securing our borders and strengthening existing immigration law so that it provides a path for LEGAL immigration and puts an end to illegal immigration. He speaks about expanding domestic energy production by loosening regulations on oil and coal companies, and letting free market forces work on alternative energy sources.

On the economy he is an “empowerment” guy not an “entitlement” guy. On health care, Obamacare must be repealed and replaced by market-centered, patient-centered policies that make health care more affordable for everyone. On education, one of the most important issues, he recognizes what a dismal failure our public education system has become. Mr Cain has a plan for unbundling education from the one-size fits all, federal government system to provide local choice and local control for parents over their children's education.

On social issues, Mr. Cain stands right smack in the middle of the Tea Party ideals. This is a sharp guy, who gives a GREAT speech, can think on his feet, and believes in the principals that this country was founded upon.

The other thing that has made a big impression on me though is that the national media ignores him. This morning on “Face the Nation”, Bob Schieffer did not even mention Herman Cain despite the fact that Mr. Cain finished third in the Des Moines Register poll Schieffer was extolling. Set to interview Michelle Bachmann, Schieffer correctly said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann finished first and second in the poll. But then skipping Cain completely, even though he got 10% of the tally, he incorrectly said Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich finished next after the two front-runners. I was incensed.

Time after time I have watched as Herman Cain finishes at the top, or near the top of straw polls, and likely GOP voter polls, and the media insists he hasn't got a chance. I had the chance to meet a well known Washington conservative pundit recently, and I asked him about Mr. Cain. He can't even get nominated was the response I got. Then he won the first Presidential Debate in South Carolina. On June 16th Rasmussen had Cain 3rd with 10% of likely GOP primary voters, and gathering steam. Yet the main stream media largely ignores him, calls him a second tier candidate, and looks around for someone else to run.

Why do I like that, you ask. Well maybe you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway. The media is scared of Herman Cain. The Democrats are REALLY scared of Mr. Cain. Unlike Sarah Palin, or Michelle Bachmann, who they crucify on a regular basis, they have to ignore Herman Cain. He takes away their ability to claim racism every time someone criticizes our current President. If Mr. Cain is Barrack Obama's opposition in November of 2012, the race baiting tactic is all but neutralized, and the President is left to run on his record, which as we all know, and even THEY know, is abysmal.

The Tea Party loves Herman Cain. His stance on all the relevant issues is spot on. He is an inspiring speaker. He is a proven administrator. He is funny and personable and he looks good on TV. Herman Cain is the media and the Democrats worst nightmare, so they are pretending he doesn't exist for as long as they can!