The state of Wisconsin is seeking relief from the No Child Left Behind education reform law after the Obama administration announced it would permit states to receive waivers from the strict testing requirements under NCLB. In an announcement made by Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday, Duncan indicated that states would be allowed waivers if they utilize other accountability measures. Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers and Governor Scott Walker immediately jumped at the opportunity. They created a task force that represented a number of state education interests in order to find alternative accountability measures that would best suit Wisconsin’s interests. According to Evers, No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s signature education law, is broken. Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute concurs. Citing a study conducted by Jaekyung Lee at Harvard in 2006 using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Coulson explains:
The Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals ruled August 8 that two American citizens detained and tortured without trial or court hearing by the Bush-era Defense Department may sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. U.S. Navy veteran Donald Vance and fellow American Nathan Ertel were employed by the private U.S. government contractor Shield Group Security in 2006 outside the Baghdad green zone and witnessed the sale of U.S government munitions to Iraqi rebel groups for money and alcohol. After becoming FBI informants, the two were detained and tortured by federal officials for 97 days (Donald Vance) and six weeks (Nathan Ertel) at Camp Cropper in Iraq after contacting the FBI about corruption in the now-defunct federal contractor. Judge David Hamilton wrote in a 2-1 appellate court decision that concluded, "The wrongdoing alleged here violates the most basic terms of the constitutional compact between our government and the citizens of this country." The district court had earlier ruled that the allegations are the kind that “shocks the conscience."
Students attending a summer school program in Louisville, Kentucky, were treated to lessons on American liberty that focused on the superiority of the free market, the gold standard, the American Constitution, and the failures of tyrannical regimes. USA Today reports: During the five-day Vacation Liberty School, talks, skits and activities mixed conservative values and early American history, including stories about how colonists' prayers once helped turn back a threatening French fleet and the principle of equal opportunity, but not necessarily equal results.
Do you think our elected leaders are crazy? You might be right. According to the thesis of a new book, nearly every one of the great and powerful leaders of history have at least one trait in common: They were (are) mentally ill. In a purposefully provocative new book entitled First-Rate Madness, Nassir Ghaemi, professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, claims that some of history's most noteworthy and respected leaders demonstrated signs of being mentally disturbed in one way or another. Evidence of mental illness, writes Ghaemi, is not only a common thread running throughout these leaders' personalities, but it is the presence of that trait that distinguishes them in the field of public service.
Republicans and Democrats may be at loggerheads about the debt ceiling and what to cut from the budget, but they agree on one thing: It’s OK to bill the taxpayers for gourmet coffee, pricey pastries, and bottled water. In 2010, CNSNews.com reports, then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and then House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) spent nearly $35,000 at a bakery and coffee supplier to keep their hard-working staff members and colleagues refreshed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The conservative news service looked into the disbursement reports of the U.S. House of Representatives to get the data.
With Texas Governor Rick Perry expected to make an "announcement" on Saturday at a conservative conference in South Carolina, scrutiny of his record is more important than ever — particularly a look at his record with regard to China. In spite of posturing as an independent Christian conservative, Perry has consistently contributed to what is called the Chinafication of America. In a video produced by Vince Wade, Wade points out that Perry “preaches less government, less taxes, and other conservative cliches,” but his record says otherwise.
Michele Bachmann is hoping to become the first presidential candidate to go directly from the House of Representatives to the White House since James Garfield made the leap in 1880. But a rapid climb up the political ladder is nothing new for the third-term Congresswoman who has gone from defeated school-board candidate in Stillwater, Minnesota, to top-tier presidential candidate in a mere 12 years. Along the way she has become a favorite with the Tea Party movement and is founder of the congressional Tea Party Caucus. A Des Moines Register poll at the end of June showed her in a virtual tie with early frontrunner Mitt Romney in Iowa, where caucus voters will provide the first test for presidential contenders in 2012. She has been among the most visible and vocal opponents of both the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the Wall Street bailout) that Congress passed in 2008 and the following year’s rescue of the auto industry that left the federal government the principal shareholder of General Motors. She has introduced legislation to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, described by the president of the American Bankers Association as a “tsunami of new rules and restrictions for traditional banks that had nothing to do with causing the financial crisis in the first place.” Above all, she seeks the repeal of the healthcare reform bill that Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress enacted last year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Until recently, Herman Cain was a largely unknown businessman whose major claims to fame included a high-level appointment in the Federal Reserve System and some degree of success in the private sector. But after an early GOP primary debate hosted by Fox News, his name exploded into the headlines as that of a serious contender for the 2012 Republican nomination. Some elements of the Tea Party movement quickly latched onto Cain’s candidacy — basking in his relatively conservative rhetoric, his harsh criticism of President Obama, and his perceived status as a political outsider. Some of that early enthusiasm, however, began to fade as Cain made the rounds on TV and talk radio.
The communist Chinese dictatorship blasted the U.S. government for endangering its massive dollar holdings, calling for America to rein in its out-of-control debt by slashing military spending and welfare. The regime also demanded international supervision of the dollar and even suggested the creation of a new global reserve currency. The attack came in the form of an editorial from Xinhua News Agency, one of the dictatorship’s official propaganda arms, following the downgrade of American debt last week by Standard & Poor's (S&P). It immediately made headlines around the world. “China, the largest creditor of the world's sole superpower, has every right now to demand the United States to address its structural debt problems and ensure the safety of China's dollar assets,” read the commentary. “To cure its addiction to debts, the United States has to reestablish the common sense principle that one should live within its means.”
While much of the nation's news for the past several weeks has been focused on the national debt, the killing of 30 U.S. and seven Afghan troops, along with an interpreter on Saturday reminded Americans of a debt to fighting forces that cannot be repaid. The shooting down of a Chinook transport helicopter by the Taliban insurgents, killing all on board, was another grim reminder that the cost of war cannot adequately be measured in trillions of dollars. The passengers and crew were on a night-raid mission in Tangi Valley in Warduk Province when they were brought crashing to the earth, most likely by a rocket-propelled grenade, according to a coalition source cited by the New York Times. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack that made Saturday the deadliest day for Americans in Afghanistan since U.S forces arrived there in search of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda followers in the fall of 2001, just weeks after the terrorist attack of 9-11. The dead on Saturday included 22 members of SEAL Team 6 unit responsible for the tracking down and killing of bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2 of this year, though the Seals on board the helicopter did not take part in that raid.