A Look at Education Priorities...

Being really good at "learning how to learn," as President Bill Brody of Johns Hopkins put it, will be an enormous asset in an era of rapid change and innovation, when new jobs will be phased in and old ones phased out faster than ever.

Thomas Friedman in the NY Times:



CNN _ Most Americans Think the Iraq War Not Worthwhile (It's about time)

Poll: Most in U.S. say Iraq war not worthwhile
Wednesday, May 4, 2005 Posted: 0322 GMT WASHINGTON (CNN)

-- A majority of Americans do not believe it was worth going to war in Iraq, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they did not believe it was worth going to war, versus 41 percent who said it was, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,006 adults.
That was a drop in support from February, when 48 percent said it was worth going to war and half said it was not.

It's also the highest percentage of respondents who have expressed those feelings and triple the percentage of Americans who said that it was not worth the cost shortly after the war began about two years ago.

The new poll question, asked by telephone on April 29-May 1, had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Asked how things are going for the United States in Iraq, 56 percent said "badly" or "very badly," up from 45 percent in March.

Forty-two percent said "well" or "very well," down from 52 percent in March.

The margin of error for that question was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Americans appeared evenly divided over whether the decision to send U.S. troops to Iraq was a mistake, with 49 percent saying yes and 48 percent saying no. The sampling error was plus or minus 5 points.

On Tuesday, House and Senate conferees agreed to an $82 billion supplemental spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That pushes the total cost of the Bush administration's war on terror to more than $300 billion, according to The Associated Press. (Full story)

In March 2003, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a House panel that Iraq, with its oil resources, "can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

Such forecasts proved to be off the mark. Oil revenues have been lower than predicted partly because the industry's infrastructure was in bad shape. Overall reconstruction costs also have been higher than expected.

White House claims that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq also failed to materialize.

Early Tuesday, the U.S. military found the body of a pilot from one of two missing Marine Corps F/A-18 jets that Navy officials believe collided while flying in operations in Iraq. (Full story)
The number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war stood at 1,585 as of Tuesday, according to the Pentagon.

A poll conducted in February showed that the Iraqi elections January 30 produced a bump in President Bush's approval rating. In that poll, 55 percent of Americans said the Iraq war was not a mistake. (Full story)

Political negotiations since then have delayed the formation of a new government in Iraq.
But on Tuesday, Iraqi politicians were putting the finishing touches on a new Cabinet, with Shiite Arab leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari sworn in as prime minister.

More than 100 Iraqis, most of them security forces and civilians, have died in insurgent attacks since last Thursday, when Iraq's transitional National Assembly approved a partial Cabinet list.
In a prime time news conference last week, Bush said the United States is "making really good progress in Iraq, because the Iraqi people are beginning to see the benefits of a free society."
"A free Iraq in the midst of the Middle East is an important part of spreading peace," he said. (Full story)


Tony Palmeri Ends Chance for Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV)

During a discussion at the Winnebago Labor Council’s Workers Memorial Day Dinner Saturday night, Rep. Mark Pocan stated that an Assembly Republican-sponsored IRV bill was pulled due to the results of the 54th Assembly race.

The pull was blamed on the results of 2004’s 54th Assembly contest. In this, the Republican, Gregg Underheim was re-elected by less that 50%.

Many, myself included, said that the fact that the liberal/progressive vote was split is the main reason for Underheim’s re-election. In fact, I made the comment that because Palmeri ran as a third party in a two-party system, he helped pass the Republican agenda (for the record, while I did believe that, my comments to the A-T should have been less pointed – and I apologize for that).

After the election, Palmeri asserted that implementing IRV would be the only way to make voting fair. I personally disagree, but I am for any candidate needing over 50% of the vote to win – I prefer a run-off between the top 2 candidates, as is done in Louisiana.

Here is the irony – in a rant on his website, Palmeri invited “those Oshkosh citizens taking nasty, cheap shots at Dan Carpenter and myself” to “become an activist to reform Wisconsin’s elections,” because, “The bill is stalled in committee and will not pass unless citizens demand it.”

Yet, now it is Palmeri’s race that is causing the bill to stall.

Also, this is a way to point out what the Republicans already know: Unless the Progressives work together, we will never get out from under their rule. We can talk about everyone’s right to run (for the record, no Dem I know has said that someone does not have the right to run as a third party, if you do, you should know that there will be consequences), but unless we work together to field the best candidates, we will continue to lose ground.

According to Rep. Pocan, this is why the Republicans have pulled this bill. They realize that they can keep the 54th seat, if we continue to split the vote.