One Board member, Terri Leo, says "We suggest that the opinion misread the Texas Education Code and misinterpreted legislative intent; that State Board of Education establishment of general textbook content standards is lawful under current statute and serves a legitimate state interest."
Because a bunch of yahoos pandering to a political base know what should be in textbooks and not, say, the people writing them.
What Ms. Leo's letter doesn't say?
Her letter did not mention that the Legislature has repeatedly rejected bills over the past decade that would have done what she is now requesting – giving the board of education the right to screen content and reject books board members believe are not appropriate for students.
At least three such bills were filed in the 2005 legislative session. None came close to passage.
The author of the 1995 bill in question, former Sen. Bill Ratliff, said former AG Dan Morales' interpretation was correct. He went on to say that no one in their right mind would give authority over a toilet seat to Ms. Leo and the members of the board, let alone over what goes into the textbooks the state buys. Okay, I made that last part up.
This really comes down to reading the law, which is pretty clear apparently, and Ms. Leo and her ilk cannot even do that. If they can't read the laws, how can they possibly read the textbooks and decide what goes in them?
Those of you who know my work schedule know that Tuesday nights are a busy night. High school basketball calls will start flooding in at about the same time President Bush walks into the chamber to begin the State of the Union.
That's why it sucks that blogging is not my job. If you people would just pay me, I could quit and blog full time. In the words of my personal hero, "What's the matter? Don't you like clowns. Don't we make you laugh? Aren't we fuckin' funny?" Isn't it worth it to pay me to make you smile?
Anyway, I'm going to have to get inventive. I can't liveblog the SOTU, but I am recording it at home. I could go home after work and liveblog the recording, and through the magic of timestamping, make it appear to future generations as if I watched it live.
Or I could just point you all to people who are liveblogging this momentous event. I'm sure Political Animal will have live updates.
I tried to get Common Sense Mystery Blogger to guest blog the sucker for me, but CSMB is actually very shy and was surprised that I posted his/hers/it's email to me last night.
I think we'll go with option No. 2, since it requires less work on my part. There's Political Animal and maybe the news guys at Wonkette will surprise us.
But for next time, you people really need to give me a job where I have zero responsibility, a decent paycheck and a license to come to the office completely smashed at 11 in the morning.
Common Sense Mystery Blogger backs me up on the proposed $11.9 billion cut in student financial aid over the next five years.
Ok, so the whole student loan cut vote found me incensed. Incensed. These politicians say they're for family values and all that, sure you are. Oh, wait! We are until it means we have to spend money. Now,
little Jimmy has no chance of achieving his dream as a neurosurgeon. Why? Because the fat, richly padded politicians in Washington don't understand what a loan is. Too bad all the hard working middle class families that supposedly made this country what it is today are getting screwed.
Don't worry, though. The fact that now most college students won't get a good education because they can't afford it just fits in with the educational trend as a whole. Did you realize most students coming into higher education can't write an essay?? Most of them can barely read. I guess it's just
common sense that if our elementary education has gone down the crapper, why should we waster our money on any higher education? God bless America. Land of logic, and beautiful backward thinking.
Can anyone guess what that quote is a reference to? Huh? Am I that old?
Anywho, Congressman Edwards' office wrote to let us know that we are totally screwed when it comes to student loans:
On January 31st, Congress begins its 2006 session. While public attention is focused on the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, there is a little-noticed scandal brewing that will hurt millions of college students and their hard-working families.& Hidden inside an innocuous sounding reconciliation bill is an $11.9 billion cut in student financial aid. The House leadership intends to bring this vote up quickly, so most college students and their families won't know until after it is too late that a huge tax has been put on the backs of present and future college students who must borrow money to attend college.
This $11.9 billion cut in student loan programs over the next five years is the largest cut in our nation's history. It could not come at a worse time. Hard-working families are already facing fast rising costs for tuition, college textbooks, gasoline and home utility bills. Last year the United States had the largest international trade deficit in history-over $700 billion-and we are competing with China, Japan, India and other countries for good-paying jobs. Thus, the Congressional leadership's plan will hurt both working families and our nation's future economic competitiveness. It flunks the test of fairness and vision.
Ha ha, jokes on you Republicans. I never took out a student loan and I dropped out of college. You'll never get me, ha ha!
Seriously though, just by a show of hands, who thinks that cutting student aid is a good idea? I'm just curious. If you don't want to increase the amount we give in loans (not the kind of loans we give to oil companies; student loans actually get paid back) to students, that's one argument. Cutting $11.9 billion, that's just soulless.
Is the Republican leadership's brilliant plan to make sure no one whose family makes makes less than six figures goes to college so we'll always have people to manage our MacDonalds? Cuz that's what it seems like.
Rep. Edwards' advice is to consolidate all of your loans now so that you get screwed with your pants on instead of a total assrape later. Or, as Pink Dome suggests, maybe contact your Congressman and ask them to pretty please not fuck over the future America, please.
I may not have been blogging this weekend, but I was partying. That's right, a garden party!
Hang on a tick? That's what your thinking, I know. Well, it was a cool garden party hosted by Evan Smith, editor of Texas Monthly, at his house. I got to wander around his house, drinking Shiner Bock and looking through his medicine cabinet. And envying his trampoline.
I didn't know anyone there, of course. I'm a poor blogger from Waco, I don't mix with that crowd. I finally ran into someone, Pink Lady. I told her I felt like I should be cleaning Evan's pool.
We weren't just there to ogle folk art, we were there to welcome distinguished speakers for the annual editors' retreat. The guest of honor last night: Frank Rich, columnist for the NY Times.
The night was spent talking to people and shyly glancing over our shoulders and getting Frank Rich sightings. I finally had to drag Pink Lady over to him so we could introduce ourselves. Yes, I gave him a business card. How embarassing. If PL remembers it any differently, like with me not wanting to go over and possibly spilling wine on my pants, she's lying!
It was over much too quickly, mostly because I was an hour late. I got lost, OK. I don't know my way around the swanky neighborhood; I know my way around the bars downtown.
I'm listening to Frist go on and on now about how horrible the Democrats are being for their partisanship and how his party is above partisanship, so we should just do what they say.
I haven't been around much this weekend so I have no idea how most Democratic senators stand on a filibuster. I got an email back from Sen. Clinton's office, but it was just a thank you form letter thingy.
God, I'm getting such a deja vu feeling from Frist and his "give them a fair up or down vote" speech. Didn't he give this exact same speech at Justice Sunday?
Cloture is a vote to cut off debate for those of you who are not C-SPAN junkies. Instead of actually filibustering anymore, they just call for a vote to end debate, or cloture. If they don't have 60 votes, then they assume a filibuster would be going on. As long as 41 votes or more vote against cloture, debate on Alito will continue until his nomination is withdrawn or until the majority can convince some of them to turn their votes and call another cloture vote. There cannot be a confirmation vote until debate ends.
Well, I've heard that HRC voted no, as did the Mighty Obama. Sen. Lieberman, on the other hand... That was really disappointing. I'd heard he was ready to filibuster on Thursday, today he's ready to end debate and let him walk. I'm not going to call him names or call him a Republican stooge or anything like that. I'm just going to say I am disappointed.
And cloture passes 72-25. You can't help but see all the Republicans smiling. Bastards.
The vote will be tomorrow at 10 a.m. Anybody want to guess how it will go?