Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An Interlude: Mobile Homes

One of the better ads.

(With a tip-o-the-hat to SeanMike.)

On The Proper Use Of Markets

One of the fundamental differences between (traditionally) Republican principles and Democratic principles is the superiority of "the market." Republicans have generally been in favor of using the market to allocate any and all resources, while Democrats have asserted that there are some things that should not be valued by price in markets, but have intrinsic, external value superior to that which would be assigned by a market.

In this video, Michael Sandel does an excellent job explaining and summarizing this point.

Well worth a watch.

(With a tip-o-the-hat to the "Ex-Nortel Employees" LinkedIn Group.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Competition Is American

Great new ad from MoveOn.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Mr. McDonnell's Bogus Roads Plan"

The Washington Post has endorsed Creigh Deeds for governor of Virginia. They have especially harsh words for Bob McDonnell's false roads plan.
The Republican candidate, former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, offers something different: a blizzard of bogus, unworkable, chimerical proposals, repackaged as new ideas, that crumble on contact with reality. They would do little if anything to build a better transportation system. - The Washington Post
Some of that bears repeating:

A blizzard of bogus, unworkable, chimerical proposals, repackaged as new ideas, that crumble on contact with reality.

Kind of like his grad school thesis.

And lest people accuse the Post of being lukewarm in their support for Mr. Deeds, the following should be informative.
As we noted in endorsing Mr. Deeds in June's Democratic primary, his record in the legislature ably blended the conservative interests of his constituents with an agenda reflecting the prosperous, politically moderate face of modern-day Virginia. He has been a longtime champion of a more enlightened, bipartisan system of drawing voting districts, a stance to which Mr. McDonnell only recently gravitated. He has played a constructive role in economic development by shaping the Governor's Economic Opportunity Fund, which provides incentives for investors in Virginia, and he has stood for responsible environmental policies, including green jobs and alternative energy research. Despite his rural roots, Mr. Deeds has been ideologically flexible enough to support abortion rights; press for background checks on firearms buyers at gun shows; oppose displaying the Confederate flag on state license plates; and warm to equal rights for homosexuals. - The Washington Post
On November 3rd, vote Creigh Deeds for governor.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sen. Deeds in Sterling Tomorrow

Our nominee for governor, Sen. Creigh Deeds, will be in Sterling tomorrow.

Creigh Deeds at O'Faolain's Pub

Friday, October 16, 2009
8:30pm - 10:30pm
20921 Davenport Dr
City/Town: Sterling, VA

Creigh Comes to Loudoun tomorrow to kick off GOTV! Come to O'Faolain's to meet with Creigh and get ready for the next 19 days to victory.

Invite your friends, Spread the word, Get out the Vote!
There's a Facebook Event, if you can make it, RSVP!

Sen. Webb Honored for Work On Prison Reform

Our Senator, Jim Webb, has been honored by The Atlantic as a "Brave thinker" for taking on the issue of prison reform.

The amazing thing in this video is the chart illustrating massive escalation in incarceration since the Reagan revolution, which started using the criminal justice situation to manage public health problems like mental illness and drug addiction. Billions of dollars and tens of millions of imprisoned Americans later, things are not better. Instead, states are going bankrupt trying to keep their prisons running.

Thank you Senator Webb, for taking on this important issue. We all hope your colleagues listen.

(With a tip-o-the-hat to Blue Virginia.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Helping Parents Understand

John Stevens has a great proposal for our wonderfully diverse school system, provide interpreters for parents in major discipline cases.
Discipline cases involving suspensions and expulsions are very difficult for parents. Apart from the obvious parental challenges, it can be confusing and intimidating for any of us to sit before review panels of authoritative figures who we don't know. Those who are likely to have the most difficult time are those who don't fully understand the many letters and policies provided to them and the implications of their response to all that paperwork.

As a result, I have made a proposla to provide interpreter services to parents whose children face long term suspensions (greater than 10 days) and expulsion. - John Stevens
This seems to me to be a "no brainer" kind of policy. An objective of school discipline is to help the kids get back into gear and reduce the interruptions and lost teaching time incurred by needing to deal with an unruly kid. These problems have a real cost for every other kid in our crowded classrooms, and there is no hope for effective discipline if the parents are not fully involved. Providing interpreters in major cases will insure that parents are given every tool to help address the problems their kids are having.

Some will, doubtless, complain about the "cost." The reality is that this kind of policy will save money by engaging parents in controlling a significant source of classroom disruption and unproductive teacher and administrator time - major discipline problems. The less time dealing with these issues, the more time available for education, the more productive our schools are, the better they can educate with less in this harsh budget climate.

Well done Mr. Stevens.

Thursday, October 8, 2009