Voting Index

Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution.
This voting index is currently published twice a year in The New American magazine. Each index scores all 535 members of Congress on 10 key votes on a scale of 0% to 100%. The more the Representatives and Senators adhere to the Constitution in their votes, the higher their scores on this index.
The secretive conferences where delegates are hammering out the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are effectively rewriting the law for the United States, particularly in the area of intellectual property.   The TPP is an international trade treaty currently being negotiated behind closed doors by nine nations located along the Pacific Rim (Mexico and Canada have been invited to join and would bring the total number of participants to 11) The 14th round of talks will be held on September 6-15 in Leesburg, Virginia.
 There was no Bush, no Cheney, and no mushroom cloud mentioned in the address former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered to the delegates who greeted her and her speech with loud and repeated standing ovations at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.  
 Twenty-nine years ago, on September 1, 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (KAL 007) was shot down by the Soviet Union carrying 269 innocent passengers including 60 Americans and a sitting U.S. congressman, Democrat Rep. Larry McDonald of Georgia. It was widely reported, and much of the world believes, that everyone on board was killed. But family members of the victims and experts who spent years researching the matter are convinced that many survived and are still alive somewhere in Russia. Now, they want a new official investigation.
 An Atlanta math teacher allegedly offered students the answers to a test because she thought they were “dumb as hell,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported August 29. Shayla Smith, a former fifth-grade teacher at Dobbs Elementary School, was responsible for overseeing students while they were taking state-sponsored tests, and all tests monitored by Ms. Smith were reportedly blotched with questionable erasure marks, amounting to a “practically impossible frequency of changes from wrong to right [answers],” according to the Atlanta paper.
 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised August 30 to create millions of jobs — 12 million of them, in fact — if he is elected president in November. He said: "What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs.... I am running for president to help create a better future … a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job.…"
 Among all types of U.S. educational institutions, Americans believe that public schools offer the worst quality of education, according to a new Gallup poll released August 29. In addition to public education, the survey examined four types of U.S. schooling: charter schools, independent private schools, parochial or church-related schools, and homeschooling.
 Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” the techno-geek turned actor who turned kids on to science through an innovative weekly show that aired on PBS during the 1990s, has lately become a secular evangelist, preaching to parents about the dangers of allowing their children be sucked into believing that someone bigger than man created the earth.
 The Obama campaign spared not a moment to respond to Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s convention speeches. Yet its reply was at least as negative in character as it accused Ryan’s and Romney’s speeches of being. Rather than speak to the substance of their rivals’ remarks, Barack Obama continued the same assault against the Republican candidates’ characters that he has been waging for months.
 The official GOP platform approved at the Republican National Convention in Tampa included tough language rejecting the United Nations “sustainability” scheme known as Agenda 21 for the threat it represents to national sovereignty, drawing praise from conservative and Tea Party leaders across the country. The Republican Party document also rejected any form of UN global taxes and slammed a wide range of the international body’s controversial programs.  
 In my previous column I wrote that it is almost impossible to become a good, innovative teacher in today’s public schools. I base that statement on the experiences of one of America’s great teachers, Marva Collins, who tried to teach her students to read with intensive phonics in a public school in Chicago, and was finally forced to leave the system and create her own private school where she could teach in the one traditional way that produces high literacy as opposed to the public school way that produces functional illiteracy.
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