Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Open Thread for March 19…….

Well folks…… here we are……

Healthcare…..Healthcare……Healthcare

That’s all the political story really is about these days

and

The Dog feels that The Healthcare Bill will pass

Just by the skin of its teeth…..

The Democrats will not use the ‘no vote’ option…..it’s too much trouble…

I do not know what the final bill will be like …but it WILL be a Senate generated Bill…..

Please…..If you can …help the school in Haiti in any way …..

I’m pushing for Duke in getting at least to the ‘Final Four’….

And the Mets staying healthy until August…..

Thanks to all of you fellow pak members who come by everyday…

It’s getting warm outside and people will migrate from their computers (so will the  Dog sometimes)

But the Dog will continue labouring away to give you as much as he can…..

as always

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March 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Media, Open thread, Other Things, Politics, Updates | | 49 Comments

Nate Silver on 10 Democratic seat's to watch on Healthcare…..They have Primary worries…..

Which Democrats are under Primary Pressure on Health Care Vote?

by Nate Silver @ 7:20 PM @FiveThirtyEight

UPDATE: Tim Bishop (NY-1), who made the list below, appears to be a solid yes vote. A constituent tells me that he attended a house party on Friday in which Bishop urged the attendees to write letters in support of health care reform. Bishop also voted for the reconciliation bill in committee today and was a yes vote in November.

____

Unionsactivist groups and Democratic thought leaders are all starting to urge primary challenges against Democrats who vote against the health care bill. In many cases, it’s an idle threat. Want to primary Dennis Kucinich, for instance? It’s too late: Ohio’s filing deadline passed in February.

I identified 10 Democrats, however, for whom all of the following criteria are true:

1. In a state in which the filing deadline for primary candidates is April 1st or later. I assume that at least some lead time is required to launch a primary challenge. This eliminates a number of important states, including California, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
2. Not yet committed yes votes on health care. According to David Dayen’s whip count.
3. In districts with a PVI of R+4 or bluer. This is a critical threshold because Nancy Pelosi could permit all non-retiring Democratic members in districts with PVI’s of R+5 or redder to vote against the bill and still have (barely) enough votes for passage. Everyone in a district of R+4 or bluer would have to vote for the bill, however.
4. Been in office for less than 10 years. It’s very hard to primary incumbents who have a decade or more of service time in their districts, except in the case of gross misconduct, etc.
5. Are not retiring.

Here is that list:


Six of the ten vulnerable Democrats are in New York State, which offers a number of advantages to primary challengers: it has a very late filing deadline, and it has a lot of mobilizing infrastructure between strong unionization, the presence of the Working Families Party, and the number of activist groups working in and around New York City. It’s hard to imagine that the threat of a primary challenge wouldn’t be at least a little bit persuasive to NY-24’s Mike Arcuri, for instance, who has just $400,000 in cash on hand and voted for the health care bill originally. The unions have also explicitly threatened a primary challenge against NY-13’s Mike McMahon, although he hasn’t moved off his no vote so far.

I don’t have much doubt that, if Nancy Pelosi scheduled a floor vote on health care and it failed, Democrats would be out for blood. The influence of the kill-the-bill crowd (perhaps always overstated) seems to have eroded further in recent weeks, with some 83 percentof MoveOn.org members now wanting the health care bill to pass. These people aren’t just going to sit on their hands if health care fails. I got in a couple of friendly debates with some folks after my mildly skeptical post about the primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas; what they emphasized to me is that, whatever abstract questions there might be about the wisdom of particular primary challenges, they tend to go out the window when people are angry enough.

But it’s hard to identify good primary challengers, especially on short notice, and so there’s more than a small element of bluffing here. Still, most of these Democrats have fewer excuses than others in their party to oppose the bill, and even modest pressure could move one or two of their votes — which might make the difference between its passage and failure.

The Democrats will get the votes…one way..or another……

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , | Leave a comment

Nate Silver on 10 Democratic seat’s to watch on Healthcare…..They have Primary worries…..

Which Democrats are under Primary Pressure on Health Care Vote?

by Nate Silver @ 7:20 PM @FiveThirtyEight

UPDATE: Tim Bishop (NY-1), who made the list below, appears to be a solid yes vote. A constituent tells me that he attended a house party on Friday in which Bishop urged the attendees to write letters in support of health care reform. Bishop also voted for the reconciliation bill in committee today and was a yes vote in November.

____

Unionsactivist groups and Democratic thought leaders are all starting to urge primary challenges against Democrats who vote against the health care bill. In many cases, it’s an idle threat. Want to primary Dennis Kucinich, for instance? It’s too late: Ohio’s filing deadline passed in February.

I identified 10 Democrats, however, for whom all of the following criteria are true:

1. In a state in which the filing deadline for primary candidates is April 1st or later. I assume that at least some lead time is required to launch a primary challenge. This eliminates a number of important states, including California, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
2. Not yet committed yes votes on health care. According to David Dayen’s whip count.
3. In districts with a PVI of R+4 or bluer. This is a critical threshold because Nancy Pelosi could permit all non-retiring Democratic members in districts with PVI’s of R+5 or redder to vote against the bill and still have (barely) enough votes for passage. Everyone in a district of R+4 or bluer would have to vote for the bill, however.
4. Been in office for less than 10 years. It’s very hard to primary incumbents who have a decade or more of service time in their districts, except in the case of gross misconduct, etc.
5. Are not retiring.

Here is that list:


Six of the ten vulnerable Democrats are in New York State, which offers a number of advantages to primary challengers: it has a very late filing deadline, and it has a lot of mobilizing infrastructure between strong unionization, the presence of the Working Families Party, and the number of activist groups working in and around New York City. It’s hard to imagine that the threat of a primary challenge wouldn’t be at least a little bit persuasive to NY-24’s Mike Arcuri, for instance, who has just $400,000 in cash on hand and voted for the health care bill originally. The unions have also explicitly threatened a primary challenge against NY-13’s Mike McMahon, although he hasn’t moved off his no vote so far.

I don’t have much doubt that, if Nancy Pelosi scheduled a floor vote on health care and it failed, Democrats would be out for blood. The influence of the kill-the-bill crowd (perhaps always overstated) seems to have eroded further in recent weeks, with some 83 percentof MoveOn.org members now wanting the health care bill to pass. These people aren’t just going to sit on their hands if health care fails. I got in a couple of friendly debates with some folks after my mildly skeptical post about the primary challenge to Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas; what they emphasized to me is that, whatever abstract questions there might be about the wisdom of particular primary challenges, they tend to go out the window when people are angry enough.

But it’s hard to identify good primary challengers, especially on short notice, and so there’s more than a small element of bluffing here. Still, most of these Democrats have fewer excuses than others in their party to oppose the bill, and even modest pressure could move one or two of their votes — which might make the difference between its passage and failure.

The Democrats will get the votes…one way..or another……

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , | Leave a comment

'No Child Left Behind ' will be changed…..

If the program gets away from its straight reliance on testing and numbers it will come a long way towards dealing with helping the children of America…and not just being a program that forces teachers, principals and school district’s to teach for a couple of months and then cram teaching ‘for the test’ the rest of the school year to get good test scores…

That is simply no way for students to learn…..

On Monday, Obama delivered his much-anticipated wish list for revamping NCLB to Congress, to largely positive reviews.

“A Blueprint for Reform,” as Obama’s outline is called, makes clear that one of the first things to be jettisoned is the name No Child Left Behind (in the same way that New York City real estate developers once tried to change the name of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to Clinton, to distance itself from unsavory associations).

But the changes Obama envisions for the nation’s 10,000 schools go beyond cosmetics.

For more than a year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told any group he’s spoken in front of that the current education law (one of George W. Bush’s signature pieces of legislation) is backwards — that rather than being “tight on goals and loose on how you get there,” it’s the opposite. The “Blueprint” seeks to rectify that. As George Wood, a high school principal in Stewart, Ohio, and the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, says, “There’s a lot of [good] language about teaching, a lot of language about flexibility, a lot of language about districts being able to choose strategies that will work” for them.

For example, rather than just testing kids in English and math, the new outline allows schools to test in other subjects, recognizing the value that history, science, civics and other subjects bring to the student (and, expressing my own view here, perhaps in recognition of the richness that a well-rounded student brings to society).

In addition, the proposal shifts the focus from singling out under-performing schools to fostering a “race to the top” to reward successful reforms. It supports the expansion of public charter schools and calls for flexibility in how school districts spend federal dollars “as long as they are continuing to focus on what matters most — improving outcomes for students.” It also allows them to use federal grant funds “to provide differentiated compensation and career advancement opportunities to educators who are effective in increasing student academic achievement.”

There is also much in the plan aimed at closing many of the achievement gaps that plague our schools. One example is that states and districts eventually would have to equalize resources (including top teachers), leveling disparities between high- and low-poverty schools.

Along with greater flexibility, the administration is setting a higher bar. The president has called for all students to be college- or career-ready by 2020 (as opposed to the current law, which mandates that students be proficient in math and English by 2014). The change is a recognition that with a higher dropout rate than those of most industrialized nations and a cripplingly high percentage of college freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework, there’s an urgent need for high schools to prepare students for whatever comes next — and ultimately for success.

And whereas another criticism of NCLB has been that some states compensate for sub-par student performance with low standards and easy tests, the new outline emphasizes stringent standards, ideally achieved by adopting the new national “core” standards released last week by the National Governors Association and chief state school officers — or a tough-minded equivalent.

Mike Petrilli, who worked in the Bush administration and is now at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy group, writes that the proposals represent “a dramatic change in the federal role in education — one that would be more targeted, less prescriptive, and use a lighter touch on the vast majority of America’s schools.”

Not everyone is happy, however. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has said that the proposal “places 100 percent of the responsibility on teachers and gives them zero percent of the authority.”

Dennis Van Roekel, head of the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers union), complained in a statement that “the ‘blueprint’ requires states to compete for critical resources, setting up another winners-and-losers scenario.” This would result, he said, in a “top-down scapegoating of teachers and not enough collaboration.”

As the Forum for Education and Democracy’s Wood points out, “Rhetoric always sounds good. It’s the difference between campaigning and governing. This is a campaign document.”

In other words, while this is a strong framework for the debate in the months to come, it’s only that. Exactly how No Child Left Behind will be reformed — and even the name the new law is given — will be hashed out in the months to come in Congress.

As usual…..

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘No Child Left Behind ‘ will be changed…..

If the program gets away from its straight reliance on testing and numbers it will come a long way towards dealing with helping the children of America…and not just being a program that forces teachers, principals and school district’s to teach for a couple of months and then cram teaching ‘for the test’ the rest of the school year to get good test scores…

That is simply no way for students to learn…..

On Monday, Obama delivered his much-anticipated wish list for revamping NCLB to Congress, to largely positive reviews.

“A Blueprint for Reform,” as Obama’s outline is called, makes clear that one of the first things to be jettisoned is the name No Child Left Behind (in the same way that New York City real estate developers once tried to change the name of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to Clinton, to distance itself from unsavory associations).

But the changes Obama envisions for the nation’s 10,000 schools go beyond cosmetics.

For more than a year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told any group he’s spoken in front of that the current education law (one of George W. Bush’s signature pieces of legislation) is backwards — that rather than being “tight on goals and loose on how you get there,” it’s the opposite. The “Blueprint” seeks to rectify that. As George Wood, a high school principal in Stewart, Ohio, and the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, says, “There’s a lot of [good] language about teaching, a lot of language about flexibility, a lot of language about districts being able to choose strategies that will work” for them.

For example, rather than just testing kids in English and math, the new outline allows schools to test in other subjects, recognizing the value that history, science, civics and other subjects bring to the student (and, expressing my own view here, perhaps in recognition of the richness that a well-rounded student brings to society).

In addition, the proposal shifts the focus from singling out under-performing schools to fostering a “race to the top” to reward successful reforms. It supports the expansion of public charter schools and calls for flexibility in how school districts spend federal dollars “as long as they are continuing to focus on what matters most — improving outcomes for students.” It also allows them to use federal grant funds “to provide differentiated compensation and career advancement opportunities to educators who are effective in increasing student academic achievement.”

There is also much in the plan aimed at closing many of the achievement gaps that plague our schools. One example is that states and districts eventually would have to equalize resources (including top teachers), leveling disparities between high- and low-poverty schools.

Along with greater flexibility, the administration is setting a higher bar. The president has called for all students to be college- or career-ready by 2020 (as opposed to the current law, which mandates that students be proficient in math and English by 2014). The change is a recognition that with a higher dropout rate than those of most industrialized nations and a cripplingly high percentage of college freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework, there’s an urgent need for high schools to prepare students for whatever comes next — and ultimately for success.

And whereas another criticism of NCLB has been that some states compensate for sub-par student performance with low standards and easy tests, the new outline emphasizes stringent standards, ideally achieved by adopting the new national “core” standards released last week by the National Governors Association and chief state school officers — or a tough-minded equivalent.

Mike Petrilli, who worked in the Bush administration and is now at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy group, writes that the proposals represent “a dramatic change in the federal role in education — one that would be more targeted, less prescriptive, and use a lighter touch on the vast majority of America’s schools.”

Not everyone is happy, however. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has said that the proposal “places 100 percent of the responsibility on teachers and gives them zero percent of the authority.”

Dennis Van Roekel, head of the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers union), complained in a statement that “the ‘blueprint’ requires states to compete for critical resources, setting up another winners-and-losers scenario.” This would result, he said, in a “top-down scapegoating of teachers and not enough collaboration.”

As the Forum for Education and Democracy’s Wood points out, “Rhetoric always sounds good. It’s the difference between campaigning and governing. This is a campaign document.”

In other words, while this is a strong framework for the debate in the months to come, it’s only that. Exactly how No Child Left Behind will be reformed — and even the name the new law is given — will be hashed out in the months to come in Congress.

As usual…..

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaser…… Meek Runs Even with Rubio in Florida…..

This from PoliticalWire…..
A new DailyKos Poll in Florida finds Marco Rubio (R) way ahead of Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in their U.S. Senate primary race, 58% to 30%. It’s a very similar result as other recent polls.

Interestingly, the real news is that Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) could make the general election competitive. Rubio holds just a slight edge over Meek, 41% to 40%.

In a three way race with Crist as an independent, Rubio leads with 32%, followed by Crist at 29% and Meek at 27%.

Daniel will have an in-depth posting tomorrow….

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Polls, Updates | | 2 Comments

March Madness over at the NCAA tournament……

Ohio University’s Armon Bassett goes to the hoop against Georgetown.(scoreboards will automatically update every 60 seconds)

Final (2OT)
Florida 92
BYU 99
West Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
Old Dominion 51
Notre Dame Video 50
South Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final (OT)
Robert Morris 70
(9) Villanova 73
South Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
Murray St 66
(21) Vanderbilt 65
West Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
North Texas 62
(7) Kansas St 82
West Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
Sam Houston 59
(19) Baylor 68
South Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
St Mary’s Ca 80
(24) Richmond 71
South Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
Final
Texas El Paso 59
(11) Butler 77
West Regional First Round
Recap |  GameTracker |  Box Score |  Preview
2nd Half 1:22
Northern Iowa 66
UNLV 63
Midwest Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
2nd Half 2:19
East Tenn St 67
(2) Kentucky 97
East Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
2nd Half 14:55
Washington 44
Marquette 54
East Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
2nd Half 3:40
Ohio 84
(14) Georgetown 74
Midwest Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
2nd Half 10:04
Southern Miss Audio 41
Louisiana Tech 52
Collegeinsider.Com Tournament First Round
GameTracker
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:30 PM ET
Lehigh
(1) Kansas
Midwest Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:35 PM ET
Wake Forest
Texas
East Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:40 PM ET
Montana
(8) New Mexico
East Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:45 PM ET
SDSU
(15) Tennessee
Midwest Regional First Round
Preview |  GameTracker

We will try to do updates as much as possible……otherwise……Just Click on the team Name for up-to-date information…….

As of 9:25 DST 3/18/10

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Updates | 5 Comments

The Atlanta Hawks Dancers……

Atlanta Hawks: A-Town Dancers

All this AND a Basketball Team also!……..

Here’s their Home Page…..

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Women | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Race for Texas Governor goes back and forth…..

Texas gubernatorial candidates Bill White, left, and Rick Perry

Here’s CD’s posting on Bill White not wanting to release his tax returns…..

For everyone on the Dog and James B or Daniel G., post the Bill White tax return problem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xanTwcCMaGlw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXz1FS0SI

http://www.youtube.com/user/LiberalBillWhite

It’s not a good sign when the former Houston mayor refuses to release his tax returns on his business transactions and even Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D) slams the way White spend money during his 6 years in office.

CD……

Here’s a little something about the Chances for Rick Perry……

When Texas Governor Rick Perry scored a convincing win earlier this month over U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, his rival for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, talk of a possible 2012 Perry presidential push began. But before Perry can stride into the national arena, he must win re-election this fall in what some say will be his toughest face-off with a Democrat yet — against former Houston mayor Bill White. Indeed, political analyst Charlie Cook has moved the Texas governor’s race from “leaning Republican” to “toss-up” status.

White supporters point to his strong base in Houston (the state’s largest city), his family roots in San Antonio and his ability to speak fluent Spanish, which is seen as a draw in the bluest part of the state, South Texas. The most recent poll by Rasmussen showed Perry with a 49%-to-43% lead over White. The popular ex-mayor, who served in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Secretary of Energy, may still be considered an underdog, according to Richard Murray, political scientist at the University of Houston, but he has “a real chance of winning.” Murray expects White to have adequate campaign funding because of his connections with deep-pocket donors, support from the Democratic Governors’ Association and, perhaps, his own personal resources — he gave his first mayoral campaign a $2 million kick-start. (White, a lawyer, worked for an oil company and then ran a Houston energy investment group after leaving the White House.) Plus, White is a disciplined campaigner who will run a focused campaign, Murray says.

More…….

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, CD @ PolitcalDog, Counterpoints, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 8 Comments

From CD….Past Idol winners……

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson (Texas-2002): Anglo

Season 2: Ruben Studdard (Alabama-2003): African American

Season 3: Fantasia Barrino (North Carolina-2004): African American

Season 4: Carrie Underwood (Oklahoma-2005): Anglo

Season 5: Taylor Hicks (Alabama-2006): Anglo

Season 6: Jordin Sparks (Arizona-2007): African American

Season 7: David Cook (Missouri-2008): Anglo

Season 8: Kris Allen (Arkansas-2009): Anglo

Season 9: ???

american-idol-winners

[ Top…….Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino…..bottom…..Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks…..]

American Idol Top 12 party in Los AngelesKris Allen

Kris Allen….                                                                                          David Cook……

American Idol is still going to be pressured to have a Latino or Asian winner on the show.

The closest an Asian came to cracking the Final 2 was Jasmine Trias in 2004, and David Archuleta (2008) and Diana DeGarmo: she’s mixed for sure (2004) were the only 2 Latinos to make the Final 2.

Allison Iraheta (2009)was a heartbeat away from making the Top 3, maybe even the Final 2 last year, had it not been for the judges pimping for Adam and Danny, which backfired bigtime when Kris picked up all of Allison and Danny’s voters.

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, CD @ PolitcalDog, Entertainment, Media, Men, Music, Other Things, Updates, Women | , | 6 Comments