Saturday, February 9, 2008

Political Pop Corn

Politics. It's all the buzz. It's all the rage. It's like pop corn. It's slick with butter and pieces are flying in different directions yet some are sticking together in a clump. Who's brand will be the fluffiest? All the cool kids are blogging about it. Well, I have something to say. WTF! is what I have to say. I'll be straight up. I have nothing to hide. It used to be that discussing who you vote for was like discussing your salary. It's just not something you did.

Times change.

I voted for Obama in the primary here in AZ. There I said it. And no, I'm also not a trader to my gender. I'd like to share with you a comment I recently put on Mrs. Flinger's blog just because it really sums up how I feel about politics right now.
"..Politics to me are like a Far Side cartoon: “blah blah Ginger. blah blah blah blah Ginger.” I try so hard to pay attention and learn what I can and then get confused some more. The answers all depend on who you ask too. In the end, I just follow all the other lemmings, go fill in the little oval for the person who convinces me they will do the best job based on who has the best speech writers. And hair dresser. Then I grab the handles of the hand basket and hang on. I wish I weren’t so cynical, but cheese-n-rice, it’s only February! A lot could happen from now till then.

I think RuPaul should run for pres and that would fix everything. Terrorists would take one look at that and say “oh HELL no” and leave us the frig alone so we can concentrate on getting better Botox injections for all Americans. God helps those who help themselves, right?..."
My point is that I'm growing very tired of all the nitpicking about skin color and gender and whether or not it matters. What matters to me are the same things that matter to most people and the bottom line is who is the best person for the job. I'm not confident that any politician will do what they say they are going to do once they do get into office and in the end, it's not the President who has the final say anyhow. It's all a game of political football and I didn't even watch the Super Bowl this year. Not even for the commercials. That should tell you how much I care for football. (Except when in reference to the below comment.)

What is really pissing me off right now is the candidates' stances on education. Specifically No Child Left Behind — or how teachers around here, like my husband, refer to it more commonly as No Child Gets Ahead. I just don't have a lot of faith in their uses of the word 'reform.' Why can't they just commit to getting rid of the damn thing?

No Child Left Behind: The Football Version
Author Unknown*

1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL

3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents don't like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th games.

5. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals.
If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.
No one seems to know the source of this written work, but if you know differently, please let me know so I can cite it properly. This has been emailed to me several times now and I've seen it on the web in other blogs, so couldn't hurt to post it in mine as well.*

At the very least I can say Obama has a more consistent and more attractively laid out plan (at least on his website) of how he will tackle NCLB. Sure, he doesn't say he'll get rid of it, but he does spell out how he plans to revise it which, for the time being, at least, looks good in RGB.

Billary on the other hand, when I visit here website, I feel my intelligence is a little insulted when I go to check it out. Why? Do they think I won't notice subtle design changes and implementations? Editing? I'm not stupid.

A couple of weeks ago, I checked out her website along side of Obama's and compared where they said, or — excuse me — their web designers said, they stand on education issues. After comparing the sites, Obama's was easier to comprehend whereas Clinton's looked like it wasn't as well thought out while it dismissed the topic of NCLB as just a mistake the Bush Administration made and she was going to reform it, blah blah blah - White House-speak. I could have sworn the text looks different today than it did just a week ago. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought there was more to it than what is there now.

When you go to her site now, it simply says she will "...End the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind." That's it? That's your plan? I just don't trust that for some reason. It just feels like to me she's stretching her positions to make it so it's what people want to hear. All politicians do this, but some just seem more sincere than others. I'm not a Republican so I wouldn't vote for McCain or Huckabee, but at least they seem sincere.

There is also some interesting controversy floating around out there that has to do with her actual position on education "reauthorization." I don't like that word "reauthorization," do you? It's one thing to say you'll get rid of something. It's one thing to say you think something is broken and list how you plan to fix it. It's something else — I don't know what — to say you will "reauthorize" something.

It's gobbledygook to me.

Do take a read on the links directed from this blog post so you can see what I saw.

"Improve teacher training." To me, that still translates into "let's keep blaming the teachers for everything and call it lack of training." Nice.

Just as a side note, I wonder if her website designers have read what was said in the New York Times about Obama being a Mac and Clinton a PC. I don't take it that seriously, but I do find it amusing and tend to agree with Obama's site being more Mac-esque and more appealing to me personally. I also think his communication resonates with a younger crowd.

I hate to be so critical of Hillary, but I just don't like being led by fear and finger wagging. I just don't find her all that inspiring. I wish I did, but I just don't. She reminds me of former female bosses I've had who use their authority to belittle you. That's just how I feel. I realize some women feel they need to be a little bitchy to rise to the top. It shouldn't be this way, but it is in some respects.

Gender and race are really not important to me when it comes to the right person for the job, but how someone represents themselves is and that means all of their mainstream media and communications as well. Sincerity has a lot to do with it also.

Many others have been judged for far more on much less, but these are complicated times in which we live and so to the gallows they will go.

Like popcorn, fluffy is as fluffy does.

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