Some Thoughts on Tom Schweich

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Original Post: Some Thoughts on Tom Schweich.

Excerpts from past posts on Hennessy’s View about Tom Schweich “Integrity” is the first word I think of when trying to describe Tom Schweich. Rock n Roll Lunch We met for lunch on a hot day in April 2010. I expected a typical GOP establishment hack: smooth, overly friendly, defensive, and forgettable. I expected the man […]

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Tom Schweich, RIP

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Original Post: Tom Schweich, RIP.

News of Auditor Tom Schweich’s death hit me hard. If you haven’t heard, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported to day that my friend Tom Schweich died of a gunshot wound today. Tom was 54. I am saddened by this news. I pray for Tom’s family and for his rapid entry to eternal happiness. May perpetual light […]

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Action Alert: Stop the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind

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The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote tomorrow morning on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

We must apply pressure to ensure your lawmaker votes “NO” on H.R. 5.

First Congress had a chance to put an end to government intervention in America’s education, but the Republican-controlled House is trying to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (H.R. 5). This bill falls short on every measure of a bold conservative education plan.

Then Conservatives like Reps. Matt Salmon,Ron DeSantis, Mark Walker and Luke Messer offered amendments that would have dramatically improved the bill and benefited America’s children. However, those amendments were ruled out of order!

Now The House will be voting tomorrow on an outdated, bureaucratic and ineffective education policy. We can’t let America’s children get stuck with No Child Left Behind (H.R. 5) until 2021.

What you can do: Call your Representative and urge them to oppose the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (H.R 5).

What the hell got me involved in politics to begin with?

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Original Post: What the hell got me involved in politics to begin with?.

Paul Hamby asked a question last month. I was only one of the many he asked, and, being the rude bastard I am sometimes, I took a month to reply. And being lazy, I figured I should get a blog post out of it. So here’s my answer to the question “who inspired you to […]

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Self Goverance Training

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JeffCo Self Governance Training $50
Level 1, March 4, 9AM to 5PM in Arnold.
Contact: Michelle 636-797-8055
[email protected]
If you have completed Level 1 there is a Level 2
class next week as well.
This is a recommended training course for Patriots
who want to be prepared to defend our liberties.
This has been an effective tool used in 16 states.
Learn how to identify the correct candidates and get
them elected. Learn what is necessary in defeating bad
legislation and more. For more information contact Michelle.

This Seems Like a Really Big Win

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Original Post: This Seems Like a Really Big Win.

I am so embarrassed. I didn’t even know that Fred Sauer, Gretchen Logue, and Anne Gassel were suing Missouri over Common Core. Did you know that? (I probably knew it and forgot. Sorry.) But here’s the thing: THEY WON!!!! Wait. YOU won. You won because Fred, Gretchen, and Anne stuck their necks out for you. […]

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The New Russian Empire

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Original Post: The New Russian Empire.

The last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency will see the rise of a new Russian empire. This new empire will resemble the Soviet Union in shape, the Czars in style. We looked at this subject over the summer (here and here). To summarize those blogs: The US-led coup of Ukraine convinced Putin to reassert […]

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Just the Facts: Allowing States to Opt Out of NCLB

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American Enterprise Institute’s Max Eden has written a post criticizing our Sentinel Brief on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). In it, Eden points to a number of perceived inconsistencies in our position.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s extension of NCLB mandates, A-PLUS itself requires “each State…[to] establish and implement a single system of academic standards and academic assessments.”

Eden has apparently not read the Walker-DeSantis A-PLUS amendment that is pending with the Rules Committee, hopefully to be offered to H.R. 5. There is no such requirement for states to set up a testing system.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s lack of program eliminations, A-PLUS itself does not eliminate programs and amounts to mere consolidation.
A-PLUS is a real block grant to states that allows them to bypass federal mandates. True, A-PLUS itself does not eliminate programs, although Heritage Action believes that is an important aspect of any comprehensive education bill, like H.R. 5. A-PLUS is one part of needed education reform.

Claim: On H.R. 5’s mandate of a statewide accountability system, A-PLUS itself has a mandated statewide accountability system of its own.
H.R. 5 requires a much different sort of statewide accountability system that is designed for “interventions to be implemented at the local level for Title I schools the state determines to be poorly performing.” A-PLUS envisions a different accountability system altogether that is simply designed to give parents information about the progress being made in academic achievement. It has nothing to do with intervening in local schools.

Eden then goes on to criticize our brief for “three misleading claims that Heritage cites and promptly confirms are actually true.” But in doing so, he picks and chooses from our analysis to make his points. The best response is to restate our full points.
Claim: “H.R. 5 eliminates the AYP requirement…”

FACT: H.R. 5 eliminates the AYP requirement, but the bill maintains requirements for states to develop their own “statewide accountability structure, a system of school improvement interventions to be implemented at the local level for…schools the state determines to be poorly performing.

Claim: “H.R. 5 empowers parents with more school choice options by allowing Title I funds to follow children to public or charter schools of their parent’s choice.”

FACT: Adequate portability would extend to private schools of choice, if a state chose. This was an amendment proposed by Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) in committee before being withdrawn–it is a proposal that deserves inclusion in any NCLB reauthorization.

Claim: H.R. 5 protects against Common Core:

FACT: H.R. 5 prevents future federal government coercion of states into adopting Common Core standards. The bill includes language that prevents the Secretary of Education from imposing conditions on the states, including the adoption of Common Core, and prohibits federal funding from being used to “endorse, approve, develop, require, or sanction” Common Core. [Our point being that while H.R. 5 includes good language on Common Core, the bill does not repeal the standards because states must do that on their own.]

No Child Left Behind is Back and It Hasn’t Gotten Much Better

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When you  hear “No Child Left Behind,” you may cringe at the memory of a bad policy put into place back in 2002 by President George W. Bush. Many conservatives pushed against the big government program from the start — and now, we’re back at it.

Unfortunately, the federal government hasn’t “left it behind” yet.

Congress is currently looking at a re-authorization of the failed legislation, which is the largest federal law governing education policy for students in grades K-12.

This time they are branding it the Student Success Act (SSA) and it’s moving along rather quickly — up for a vote this Thursday in fact.

The SSA combines dozens of different programs originally authorized under NCLB and like much of what comes out of Washington, the details are easy get confused.

Supporters are touting the “flexibility” this new version would give states but that line should  be taken with a grain of salt. In reality, the “flexibility” is very small, and the SSA would only perpetuate the problems caused by NCLB as a whole.

Lindsey Burke, and education policy analyst from the Heritage Foundation, writes:

NCLB currently authorizes roughly $24 billion in spending for the nearly 80 programs that fall under the law. Providing flexibility within a single title of the law totaling just 10 percent of overall spending in NCLB, and within a limited scope, is a missed opportunity to truly restore state and local decision-making.

There’s always something. In this case, there are multiple things. For example, the new version of NCLB doesn’t slow spending, cut programs or allow education dollars to follow students.

What’s the point in renewing a program that has made little impact on test scores —  one of the main components of the program — and taken away from other important aspects of educational life?  With so much focus on national test standards, funds were diverted from other things and educational freedom denied. Most of all, it doesn’t do anything to reduce federal mandates and make education effective at the local level.

States shouldn’t be forced into another long tour of duty under this big government monstrosity. Education works best at the local level, where parents, teachers, students and local government make the decisions for themselves.

Mayor Guiliani – what do you mean by America, and why question only President Obama’s love for it?

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Have you heard what what Rudy Giuliani said about President Obama not loving America? Me too! Were you outraged? Me too! Can you believe he only said that he wasn't sure whether President Obama loved America?! Me neither! Huh? That's not what ticked you off? Well... why the hell not?!

I'm not all that much of a fan of Mayor Giuliani to begin with. Why? Because when as a U.S. Attorney in New York City, he practically invented the 'perp walk', arresting high profile professionals to parade them in handcuffs before the press, as a means of boosting his own political aims  - someone who'd do that... that sets off warning bells. But as far as his saying this:
"... I do not believe that the president loves America..."
I'll go ahead and say that - providing that we first define what we mean by America - he didn't go far enough. The real problem with what Giuliani said is that he limited it to President Obama alone, as if the issue begins and ends with him. Why stop short of applying it to all of those of like mind with the President, who seek to impose policies upon America which are opposed to what it means to be an American, and which in doing so causes real damage to what America actually means and is?

If your reaction to that is something like:
"GASP! How can you SAY THAT?!"
Then again, I've got to ask how can you not say that? 

Look, America is not a typical nation. Unlike most other nations, America wasn't simply formed out of the ethnic identities of people who'd lived here for thousands of years. Unless you are a racist or a bigot, to be an American is not about being of a particular race, religion or ethnic identity, it's about being part of a nation formed from a set of ideas which were declared here, established here and fought for both here and abroad. If you don't accept those ideas, if you oppose those ideas, then by means of your own opinions and decisions, you've necessarily defined yourself as being anti - opposed to - what it means to be an American.

To love America means, at the very least, to value, practice and support that particular set of ideas which are based upon the understanding that Individual Rights are not doled out by men but are inherent in the nature of man and irrevocable by men, ideas that value Liberty and recognize its requirements, and the determination to seek to preserve both through a constitutional Govt whose powers and laws are limited to upholding and defending those Individual Rights and the Liberty which results from them. Those who love America, love it not because (or at least not only because) it is where grandma baked her apple pies, or because it's a great place to go camping, but because they love those ideas and the liberty which they bring into all of our lives.

So I'll ask again, unless you base 'loving America' upon nationalistic, ethnic, racist or some such bigoted foundation, how can you claim to love America while opposing the ideas which America was formed from? That doesn't mean, necessarily, that those who believe in that way are bad people - they could be swell folks, good family members, and they might even be fine contributors to the community (in a limited sense), but I do not believe that they can be said to love America - not in any meaningful sense.

The plain fact is that those who support ideas which are antithetical to America's founding ideas of liberty and limited government, are by definition, by choice, by action, demonstrating that not only do they not love America, but that they are passionately opposed to it. If you define yourself as a leftist, a Pro-Regressive (of the Left or of the Right), a Communist, a Socialist, a Fascist, etc., etc., etc., then you, by your own choice and professed ideology, do not love America.

How can you possibly claim otherwise? How could you claim to be offended by the clear meaning of your own ideas and positions?

You might love the idea of replacing what it means to be an American, with what you'd rather America meant, you might wish to transform America into the idealized horror of your dreams, you might even love a particular geographical section within the borders of America, and some of those who live within them with you, but you do not love America.

Sorry, fact.

How is that possibly a controversial thing to say?

And all it requires of you to justify saying that the President and other such people do not love America, is to ask them to explain how their own stated desires might somehow not directly conflict with America's founding ideas. It only requires that you have the willingness to ask them to define the ideas behind their oh so high sounding ideals, and the principles which their political aims rest upon. It only requires that you ask them to explain how their own ideals could possibly come to pass without directly opposing and violating those fundamental principles which this nation was founded upon. And of course, most of all - which, if you do love America, should be the least difficult of all - you will need to be able to briefly state and explain those fundamental ideas of Individual Rights and Liberty which America is defined by.

Fact.

BTW, the other side of the coin here, which should be obvious, is that anyone can come to these shores (lawfully, it should go without saying), and if they accept, value, practice and support those fundamental ideas of what it means to be an American, then they not only love America themselves, but they are American, every bit as much as, and in many cases more so, than those who were merely born here. No matter what country of origin they came from, or what religion they do or don't practice. I hope you get that as well.

Sorry, fact.

So Please. Whether you're from the Left, Right or Center, don't come running to me with your outrage for or against Rudy Giuliani's comments. If you understand what it means to be an American, the only problem you should have with Mayor Giuliani's comments, is that he limited them to President Obama alone.