commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Nancy Pelosi is doing fine Thank You……..

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cheered after the House passed the health-care bill. Republicans laud her effectiveness even as they decry her politics.

[ Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cheered after the House passed the health-care bill. Republicans laud her effectiveness even as they decry her politics. ]

While Nancy Pelosi may not be popular out in the hustings…….

She is doing fine up on the Hill……

Actually, in this country not too many strong-willed women do well with the public anyways……

But Pelosi who everyone complained about a year ago …has found her way…….

She has held her own with the Senate with the Healthcare Bill and has adopted a policy of getting her bills wrapped up and then waiting for the Senate to come on board……

But under the Capitol dome, Pelosi is a towering figure, perhaps even a historic one. Capped by her central role in passing the landmark health-care bill in March, the California Democrat, 70, has transformed herself from the caricature of a millionaire liberal with impeccable fashion taste into a speaker on par with the revered Sam Rayburn, according to historians, pollsters and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Republicans betting on her unpopularity outside of Washington have made the speaker the face of their effort to retake the House this fall, asking donors to “Fire Nancy Pelosi” while showing images of her engulfed in flames. The first tests of that strategy will come later this month with the GOP trying to win two seats long held by Democrats in special elections in Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

But Pelosi girded for this fight years ago, when she outlined a four-step plan for a lasting Democratic control of the House. The first two steps came with winning the majority in 2006 and expanding it in 2008.

While hoping for big Democratic gains in the 2012 presidential election cycle, the goal this year is merely to “sustain” the majority. With the economy limping along, Democrats are bracing for deep losses but cannot afford to lose more than 40 seats. Pelosi said she’s ready for the fight.


May 3, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , | 2 Comments

What makes a Good Teacher?

My wife is an Assistant teacher in a reading program…….

My wife and I ran a Daycare Center and private school for 13 years…….

We know about teaching……

And there are good teachers…and there are bad teachers……

Good teachers like their jobs and their students..they can control their classrooms,  their student’s like them, and they connect and learn…..

Bad teachers are just there…getting a paycheck and doing their time….at the students expense…...

This piece in the New York Times examines the search by a consultant for the key to finding….or making a good teacher…..while it may be standing still while you are talking to students, or a natural affinity to getting your message and knowledge out….or just plain being taught the nuts and bolts of comuincation….people are working on this using information gleamed from the No Child Left Behind statistics that are being analysed by researchers and education consultants….

In the end it really comes down to this my wife and I agree…

Good teacher ‘s are born...just like good sergeants in the army…oh, you can teach people to be teachers…as the consultant in the piece trying to do…but the lucky school’s find those naturals in their classroom’s and hold on to them….absent of that…. this piece ties the natural teachers skill sor natural abilities to something written by  Doug Lemov, a 42 year old veteran teacher , principal and charter-school founder who is now a teaching consultant in upstate New York….who has written Lemov’s Taxonomy. (The official title, attached to a book version being released in April, is “Teach Like a Champion: The 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College.”) …..this piece is really an extended book review of Lemov’s search for a template for good teaching and it is welcomed…there certainly are a lot of teachers new and old who have no idea of what they are doing in the classroom…..

This at the conclusion of the piece…which is thoughtfull….The author praises (of course ) a young teacher who has embraced some of Lemov’s principles

But of course, content comes up for every teacher that uses the taxonomy. I met one such teacher, Katie Bellucci, this winter when I visited Troy Prep in Troy, N.Y., just outside Albany. She had been teaching for only two months, yet her fifth-grade math class was both completely focused on her and completely quiet. Pacing happily in front of a projector screen, she showed none of the false, scripted manner so common among first-year teachers. She moved confidently from introducing the day’s material — how to calculate the mean for a set of numbers — to a quick cold-call session to review what they had already learned and finally to helping students as they tackled sample problems on their own. She even sent a disobedient student to the dean’s office without a single turned head or giggle interrupting the flow of her lesson. Her cold calls perfectly satisfied Lemov’s ideal. First, she asked the question. Then she paused a slightly uncomfortable second. And only then did she name the student destined to answer.

Bellucci, the daughter of two teachers, is a slim brunette with natural presence and a calm confidence. But her control of the classroom, she says, is thanks to the taxonomy, which she began to learn last summer, practicing different techniques in classroom simulations with her fellow teachers. The simulations were specific and practical; Bellucci told me she spent several hours practicing how to tell a student he was off task. “Without it, I’d be completely on my own,” she said. “I’d be in the dark.”

Good stuff…..and his book and technique’s should be required for teachers and others who pass on knowledge…….

Here’s a link to watch…..

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Education, Entertainment, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama …you to need to stay home for a while..your Congress is scared…..

One could shake their head in disbelief…First Attorney General Eric Holder gets beat up yesterday on the Gitmo five…then today Treasury Secretary Tim Geithners job is asked for by Republicans and some democrats…..And finally Senator Dodd is getting roughed up…..

The thing that is not good, is…all of the people doing the pushing, and shoving are Democrats…all of the people getting pushed, are Democrats too.

While the Democrats control the White House and Capitol Hill….Everyone is still well aware of a few things…..

The unemployment rate has risen to 10.2%, the highest in while, employers are not in a hurry to bring that number down, Two Governors jobs will be in GOP hands come January first..there is a Healthcare Bill on the table, that they will pass, but a lot of people aren’t too happy with it..and the President of the United States, the head Democrat, is off apologizing to people in other countries, who don’t vote in less than a year from now…..

Make no mistake….Instead of crowing that Obama won, and the GOP is dead….There are a lot of scared Democrats out there….And if Holder, Geithner and Dodd have to take the hits…..Oh,well… they don’t really care  about that up on the Hill…..

While I feel President Obama has done pretty good for the last 300 or so days….I still see him as not doing his homework…all politics is local…the two governors that lost a few weeks ago were not really popular with their state’s voters…But the thing that all the seasoned Congressmen and women picked up was that Obama had not coattails at all in the races after lukewarm campaigning for the two….if you put that together with Obama’s conciliatory approach to foreign affairs, and his hands off approach to his domestic programs, you smell trouble….

Presidents don’t really have that much raw power…their power comes from persuasion, threats, and public humiliation…This president has been reluctant to use any power at all, except his media created ‘star power’ , which has slipped away since the day he was elected…..He’s was a smart man at running for president…but so far he hasn’t won too many awards for being president…..

Barack H. Obama needs to come home…he needs to stay home, and huddle with his team on the Hill and have a heart to heart talk….then go back to his handlers, and figure out how to help the Congress, help him get people back to work, how to get private employers to start hiring,  and how to get local democrats re-elected next fall….and while he’s at it..he needs to get a little tougher on the world stage…at least in the media….while we all like that he’s the president (and the people of this planet like him also) that is simply not enough…..

The American President is the ex-facto leader of the World…And while we don’t want step on everyone toes like Bush and Cheney did…it is time for this President to lead…Because his troops are in disarray, and they are scared opf losing their jobs,  just like everyone else.……

November 19, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Breaking News!…….Ludacris is NOT running for President in 2012…..maybe

Here is the talented rapper Ludacris ( Christopher Brian Bridges ) announcing that he will NOT be running for President (or will he?) at the National Press Club…..He goes on to make a speech…haltingly, not rapping…….The actor and rapper asks more people to follow his lead in the philanthropic field, and give back….the guy is alright……..

October 25, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, Media, Men, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment