Friday, November 30, 2012

It’s Past Time for a Third American Political Party, or a Fourth – Ending the Gridlock in Washington and the Stranglehold on the Public by Two Political Parties.

From a March on Washington circa 2010 - The Tea Party - image

When one thinks of political parties in the United States, two come to mind, the Democrats and the Republicans, there are “fringe” parties, or smaller parties who are on ballots from time to time, and hold conventions, but gain little traction. The reasoning is myriad, but the opportunity for the American Public to enjoy a true Democratic Republic is not an option without more choice when it comes to sending elected officials off to do the people’s bidding in Washington, in the State Capital, and now with polarization so deep, in the City Council. It is not as if there hasn’t been talk of a third party, nor is it a fact that third parties don’t exist, they do, but the conventional wisdom also exists that if a third party candidate wants to gain traction, that candidate must “attach” themselves to one of the major parties in order to get elected.

The Libertarian party has been around for a while, membership has increased since its founding in 1971. The Libertarian principals are a mix of left and right, fiscal conservatism, with an anti-war message that should resonate with the public to a greater degree, but the most visible Libertarian this past election cycle, was Republican Congressman, Ron Paul.

Ron Paul, a Libertarian, had run as a Republican, and remained solidly Libertarian while doing so; yet, fell into the trap of attaching himself to one of the major political parties.

Recently, former Presidential Candidate Herman Cain called for the formation of third party:

The former pizza executive figures that it’s possible to link up with a few other people uncomfortable with President Barack Obama:

“There are just as many disgruntled Democrats, that would probably be a part of this movement, as there are Republicans who are sick of the political class. So I think it is more viable today than it has ever been.”
(Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Herman Cain is right, there are disgruntled Democrats, Republican’s, Green Party and Libertarian Party members and those “unenrolled” or independents voters who are fed up with the two party systems, but where to go from here?

Herman Cain suggests that ”a large faction of Republican Party leaders to desert the party and form a third, more conservative party.” (Outside the Beltway), which would be an extensions of the Republican Party, but it is an option, if those ‘Party Leaders” could be pried from the main party, and give up all the perks associated with a major political party. That’s a tall-order.

Especially when there is a ‘party in waiting’, so to speak, one that has been vilified in the press, and specifically by the Democrats, used by the Republican Party and then maligned by that same body – the Tea Party.

The Tea Party is a cobbled group of three or four main bodies, which members of these Tea Party’s are in all fifty states. But, and here’s the but, they are not, for the most part, political in nature, rather observers at this point, even if they have tea party members who are now elected officials, they are elected officials that are also Republicans! Here we go again!

It would take some time for these similar yet competing interest to form a coalition, and get the party organized – and they can do it, down to the prescient level, and in short order.

The Tea Party is full of as many “crazy” people as is the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, or name a party, but those who are on the fringe are held up as the norm and nothing could be further from the truth.

Tea Party meetings tend to generate interest, and those that appear tend to be independents, disgruntled Republican’s, Disgruntled Democrats, Libertarians, and a host of small regional party members.

The Tea Party, in other words, has the bodies on the ground, and the wherewithal to raise the funds, to organize to the precinct level, get Tea Party Candidates, on the ballot in every state, also within short order.

It takes leadership, and it takes work and gumption, and that is in abundant supply in the various tea party groups around the country. They need to stop running as Republican’s, divest themselves of the stigma, and run on their own. (They also need to stop running as Democrats, as that’s the other pathway to the office taken in States where there’s an abundance of Democrats.)

The Players:

  • Tea Party based in California

  • Tea Party Patriots Listings of Local Tea Party’s by States, the “grass roots” of the Tea Party

  • And

  • The Tea Party Express also based in California, and is the most visible of the Tea Party Groups

  • All of the above referenced call themselves “movements’, rather than a Political Party, enjoying the “clout” of electing individuals to office (Republican cover), the move to being an official party, given the scope of the organizations, would not be t the 20 year recognition project that has stymied the growth of the Libertarian Party.

    The Elephant in the Room - The common misconception is that if the Tea Party were to go out on its own, so to speak, it would pull voters away from the Republican Party and allow the Democrats to win. Perhaps, but then again, perhaps it would also attract those Democrats who are already members of the Tea Party (see disgruntled) and would be attracted to the Tea Party platform of fiscal conservativism, and individual liberty. They are anti-over-taxation.

    What if the Tea Party evolved and ran for state and local offices? They might win, given the organization and messaging that is more inclusive than exclusive. Without taking the chance, and that goes for any organization that is considering the formation of third party, the present system will remain. Is that acceptable?

    If one is in Massachusetts, there is a list of Tea Party organizations one can either join, or visit to find out more about how crazy they are not: MassTea

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    President Obama and Governor Romney Meeting – Petulant Press Shut Out - Speculates on Meeting Content – Romney Role in Government. Analysis

    Romney and Obama greet each other at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner - October 2012. Image Washington Post

    President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will meet for lunch today at the White House and the Press is full of speculation as to the reasoning behind such a meeting, in an attempt to explain why the President would sit down for lunch with his former rival.

    The Boston Globe suggests that this is a normal course of action post election, for the victor to invite the vanquished to lunch, which is historically accurate. However, pointing to past meetings, such as G. W. Bush inviting Al Gore to lunch after winning a Nobel Prize, do not give credit to either the President or Mitt Romney given today’s economy and the great partisan divide that exists in the nation.

    The Daily Beast (Newsweek) gives Romney back-handed complements, ending by suggesting he is out of a job, therefore the lunch is to his benefit. Apparently, those over at “the Beast” don’t read the Boston Globe. That article notes that Romney has rented office space in Boston, suggesting he is not about to retire anytime soon.

    The problem is the conundrum faced by a left-leaning press dealing with a President who, for all intents and purposes, no longer has to please his base, but can, instead focus on the nation and his legacy. Therefore, if the President takes a path that is contrary to left’s conventional wisdom (i.e. supporting Israel’s right to defend itself), dispatches Clinton to the Middle East to broker (buy) a temporary truce, one hears – crickets, except for the venom on the right. (Venom over sending dollars to the Palestinians (Hamas) suggesting they will rebuild in six months with taxpayers dollars and attack Israel again! The problem with that logic is that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed to go along with a brokered peace.)

    Why on earth would Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have lunch, if not for Obama doing what all Presidents have done since Jack Kennedy (Boston Globe) and Romney being out of a job (The Daily Beast)?

    For starters, recalling the October annual Alfred E. Smith dinner, a charitable event where both Obama and Romney roasted themselves and each other(Washington Post) the wear and tear of the campaign was evident, but, in closing statements, both men were extremely generous to one another, suggesting that, regardless of the outcome of the election, there was a mutual respect. Contrary to popular opinion on both sides of the political divide, neither man is a “dummy”.

    Yesterday, Newsmax reported on the lunch meeting, recalling:

    “In his victory speech, as well as in remarks the week after winning reelection, Obama discussed sitting down with his former rival to discuss the major issues facing the country.”


    “There were ideas Romney proposed during the election, Obama said, that “I actually agree with. And so it’d be interesting to talk to him.”

    First things first, Romney obviously loves this country and was willing to be the “sacrificial lamb” for the GOP. The common wisdom that the GOP is more dysfunctional that the DNC should be tossed out the window, as both parties have issues with the base, corruption, and huge ego’s getting in the way of successes. Understanding that the 2012 contest was won by a very narrow margin, only underscores the fact that the nation is politically divided into two distinct camps, rather than there being a mandate one way or the other. The problem with having two major parties running the government is that a) it was not the intent, rather the fear of the founding fathers, and b) takes the power from the people of the Republic and places it squarely in the hands of consultants and lobbyists who are tied to one or the other - or both. Development of third, fourth and fifth parties would better serve the nation. It is ridiculous to assume that if there were a third or fourth party, it would lead to chaos. The only result would be a loss of power over at the RNC and the DNC. (The Problem and the solution re: gridlock.)

    Therefore, the meeting today has two distinct characters, the President who has shown the ability to extend the olive branch, which is quickly shut down by the Press and Harry Reid or one of his “staff”, and Mitt Romney, who has a record of being able to reach across the aisle and move a Commonwealth forward, without blinking an eye, and actually accomplish something. (Note: This type of behavior wins no reward from one’s base, or ones’ political foes (Also see: Scott Brown). These types of “anti-politician’s are within a major political party framework, but are more independent of the Political Party than those in the hierarchy as well as the base would like.)

    It will, therefore, be either a polite lunch, or a meeting of the minds. If, as suggested, the President wants to tap Romney for some of the ideas that the President actually liked, it would most likely be those connected to the economy and government, or how to make said government more efficient. For a clue as to Mitt Romney’s vision on how that might be accomplished, recall Romney’s plan, which was a rather lengthy PDF covering a wide range of topics from Tax Reform to Health Care to Reforming the Federal Government. Topic outline covered here on the 59 point plan Romney devised for economic recovery) In reforming the Federal Government, there are compressive and sane ways in which to cut down the deficit by merging overlapping agencies, as well as placing budget caps on those agencies.

    Although the President is perceived a big government kind of guy, when the big government is getting in the way of bigger social programs (one can’t take the community out of the organizer that easily), then something has to give. One might suggest that reforming the way the government runs (or does not in most cases) may be discussed, as well as ways in which to tweak “ORomneycare” (if anyone recalls that one.), or, how to break it to the base, that the corporate tax rate will be cut. Recalling the 2008 DNC Presidential Debates as well as the 2012 Presidential Debates, on more than one occasion, the President had suggested doing just that to bring manufacturing back to the United States. That is one point that had been made by Romney as well as Rick Santorum and Barack Obama.

    Speculation: A meeting where no-one has a clue as to what will take place, or be discussed between the two men as the Press is shut out (and hoping Romney will hold a press conference). The speculation from this perspective is that the two will sit down and, in true bi-partisan, we’re in a mess, can we fix it, fashion, look at all the options. One can only hope that’s the case, as we, as a nation, cannot afford anymore niceties or platitudes; rather a work together attitude is in order. If there is one person that would put aside any petty B.S., and roll up their sleeves to help, that would be Romney. In which case, it’s time to get over it and admit: good for both men, the beginning of a job well done.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Massachusetts Ranks 46th in Best States to Retire - High Cost of Living, Taxes, Climate concerns for Retirees.

    How far will your retirement dollars stretch? Image:

    The rankings for the top ten states for retirees has been released by A.A.R.P. – the top ten are: Texas, California, South Dakota, New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Hawaii. Hawaii ranks first for weather and life expectancy, however, aside from warm weather and life expectancy, the states ranking highest in terms of economy for those on fixed incomes are: Texas (also warm climate), Virginia, Utah and Idaho.

    The study, conducted by on all fifty states, also ranks those on the bottom. The rankings are based on the economy (taxes), access to quality health care, the climate, and crime rate, so it comes as no surprise that Massachusetts is at the bottom, ranked 46th because “Like New York, Massachusetts suffers from being one of the more expensive states in the nation, in terms of both property taxes and cost of living.”

    It isn’t as if anyone living in Massachusetts isn’t aware of the high cost of everything, let alone “property taxes”, which are capped at the famous 2-1/2%. It’s the other taxes that are constantly on the rise, from taxes on utilities, to the state income tax, state sales taxes, all of which affect seniors (as well as anyone trying to stick to a budget). The cost of medical premiums is also a factor, generally rising annually to keep up with the state’s mandates and rising cost s of doing business as a health care provider in the Bay State. The fact that there are so few health insurance providers (limited by the Commonwealth), the “pool” isn’t large enough for the individual carriers to sustain, therefore, as the cost s of claims increase, those are passed onto the consumer. Other factors contributing to the high cost of local and state taxes is unemployment, specifically among those public employees who are continuously “bilking” the system.

    What taxes are assessed in Massachusetts? Everything from local taxes, including meals taxes, to state taxes on income (including unemployment compensation and social security) to purchases (outside of food and clothing up to a limit), wireless, cable, utilities, water (EPA fees), gasoline, etc. Massachusetts has an effective state and local tax rate of 10.4%, according to the Tax Foundation. The report was released in 2010, and it is not without some concern that the situation has not improved.

    For those whose income is modest, moving to a state such as Texas, might make sense, if, and only if, one can afford to sell one’s home (if anyone would be buying), and have the wherewithal, on social security, to pack up and leave.

    What does Texas have to offer retirees? a 7.9% combined state and local tax rate (Tax Foundation)for starters. Forbes Magazine ranks cities with the highest income when adjusted for the lowest cost of living making the top 10: Houston/Sugarland, TX, Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington and Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos.

    This tells the average retiree, or those facing retirement to get out of “Dodge” if at all possible, especially if one’s state (or Commonwealth), offers burdensome tax rates to the point where one is forced to choose between food, heat or that life saving prescription. Of course, that is if one can “afford” to retire - once faced with living on social security and a modest pension (if that is even an option), those who are able are seeking employment to supplement the necessities of life.

    As this blogger is on the flip side of fifty, it is not without some concern that thoughts of retirement, especially living Massachusetts, must be weighted by the cost of living, and finding a way “out”. It is more than probable, that regardless of age, individuals living in the appropriately dubbed “Taxachusettes”, are also looking at options and many have taken leave of the Bay State. So many residents have left Massachusetts, in fact, that the State Lost a Congressional Seat during the last census, due to myriad reasons. Some believe it is the solid Democrat lock on the State (which affects taxes (more!), the costs of mandated benefits to the mandatory health care law (more!), and the Taxes!!. There are those who decide to stick it out, economy aside, and bad weather aside, simply because, as Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1955), are more prone to stay put, no matter the climate or the high taxes, and those may find themselves, as the tax rates are increased (there simply is no other way for the Federal and State Governments to continue to live the high-life, without imposing new taxes – it is now a given, and anyone who believes that “taxing the rich” is the answer, needs a reality check. Any taxes imposed on businesses will cause one of three reactions. The business will either move out of the State/Country, causing loss of revenue for the state and federal government, the business will effectively shut-up shop (See Twinkies) causing loss of revenue for the state and federal government, or the business will pass the increased costs of doing business onto the consumer, while cutting back its workforce and pushing full-time employees into part-time positions (cutting the revenue to the State and Federal Government). In the first two scenarios, the government will be forced to collect revenue from other sources, and since the governments only other source of income (revenue) is the taxpayer, expect an increase. In the third scenario, one can expect both a higher cost of goods or services, as well as a tax increase.

    Therefore, unless one moves to another County (ex-pat) with a low cost of living, one will most likely find that the best states to retire will become more costly within the next two years, those living in states that are ranked towards the bottom, may have some difficult decisions to make.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    President Obama and a Third Term – the Reasoning, the Right, The Left, the Money and the Constitution

    The Steps, in brief, to amend the Constitution -image

    There’s a great deal of “talk” about President Obama running for a Third Term and being successful, and talking heads as well as PAC’s are pushing this theory as if it were “gospel”. There is one questions to consider before sending money to a PAC or organization that would help one prevent such a scenario – especially considering how many are wedded to the theory that the United States is going to “hell in a hand-basket” over one man in the White House.

    How would the President, with Congress and a majority of the States push through a repeal of an amendment in time for the President to qualify for a third term? The answer is simple. The 22nd Amendment was passed with what was considered “blazing speed”: it was brought before the Congress and passed on March 24, 1947. It was ratified on February 27th, 1951. (U.S. That’s three years from the time the Congress passed the amendment, until it was ratified. The processes (There are two): :

    1. A Bill must pass both Houses by a two-thirds majority. Once passed, the Bill goes to the State’s to “ratify”. Each State must vote on whether or not to adopt the amendment, again, the magic number is two-thirds of the states. A note: There is generally a time-limit written into the Bill, and that time limit is generally seven years.

    2. A Constitutional Convention may be called. This involves two thirds of the states legislatures asking for a Convention to be convened for amendments. Once the states are convened, Proposed Amendments are then sent back to the states to be ratified.

    When looking at both Constitutional paths to changing an amendment, one understands that the process is both lengthy with no guarantees of passages given the diversity of the States, especially in the two-party system in which the U.S. functions.

    Yes there are other methods not discussed about, the Informal Amendment (or those interpretations of the Constitution brought before the Supreme Court), and the Popular Amendment which has never been attempted. The later would require a national election, which on the surface sounds very simple, and yet, neither of the aforementioned are specifically written in the Constitution itself, the Popular Amendment was proposed by one of the framers. For more information on the above refer to:

    What would anyone gain from spouting off about a change to the 22nd amendment? A change that would be speedy enough to allow for a third term for any President (unless the process was started in Congress previous to that Presidents second term) – is technically impossible. Anyone who donated or supported candidates during the 2012 election might find that they are receiving robo calls from PAC’s in late November! Calls that warn of impending crisis, and how donating to that PAC will allow them to fight for the freedom’s one is losing, has lost or is about to lose. Seriously. There’s a lot of money at stake. One can point to the right, but one also has to understand that there are also PAC’s on the left, looking for continued employment and a source of income – from the individual “patriot” or “progressive”.

    Could they be that devious, or money-grubbing? You betcha.

    The 2012 election was won and lost for one reason and one reason only – the Republican Party failed to get out the vote. (Or enough of the vote to compensate for the 3 to 4% cheating one can anticipate from the Democrats). It is not an impossible task. It has been done before – before there were multi-billion dollar campaigns, and anyone with reason understands that messaging costs. However, the 2010 election should be the model for all elections, as there were PAC’s, but little to no real involvement from the national parties, with the exception of a few blessings (those candidates generally lost), and a change in the House that was historic based on the motivation of the people. One would think people were motivated in 2012, and the truth of the matter, they were obviously not motivated enough. There is an exemplary article written by Erik Erikson at Red State: “A Primer for Rich Donors Who Got Taken to the Cleaners by Republican Consultants” It is suggested reading for those on the right and those on the left of the political aisle.

    The President won, the Progressives within the Democrat Party may want to enact social changes that those on the right are not simpatico with, and however, there is nothing done that cannot be undone. When one hears: “Obama Care! We’ll be stuck with it for-ever!” Think again. It is an Act that is constantly being changed by those currently in power. Waivers are granted, rules being written and re-written, before the Act takes full effect! In four years there will be yet another election, and if the people are disgusted by the left, then the people will vote for the more “right’ candidate. That will bring about a change in the Administration as well as all facets of the government, and new rules will be written. That is, of course, unless the Act itself is struck down once more on the basis of Religious Freedom (see Liberty University Health Care Suit).

    A reasonable person might be tempted to hold onto their wallet. The reason: there are those that are espousing the third term, even talk show hosts are on the third term bandwagon. These are smart and savvy radio personalities that appear to have nothing to gain – except audience share and their advertisers (who happen to have a good deal to do with prepping for disasters, investing in gold, etc.)who both benefit from – fear. They may also believe some of what they are espousing, but again, as with anything else that needs to be verified, research the possibilities. If one doesn’t trust “Google”, then head to the local library and look it up!

    Finally, there is always the next election, and to date, there are a few names being bandied about – from the Senator from Florida, Rubio, to the latest conjecture , Jeb Bush, or Bush III as the Drudge Report noted. However, those of us in the trenches know one thing for certain, regardless of which major party one is affiliated with, the power brokers are already choosing the next contender. If one is on the right or a Republican, one might look to who ran and lost previous to Mitt Romney. The old – “It’s your turn now” nonsense that continues to push a candidate that is clearly unelectable, unless it is a “dynasty” in which case, that may also be a mistake. (See McCain, See Romney). If one is on the left, get ready for Elizabeth Warren, the newly elected, Jr. Senator from Massachusetts, touted by some Progressives as the perfect candidate to Replace Barack Obama. Gone will be the race card, replaced by the “Feminist Card”. Watch the GOP try to match that. In the meantime, perhaps there will be a movement away from both major parties – towards the Libertarian Party, or if there is any sense in this world – the Tea Party (get organized please). This would allow for what the founding fathers actually envisioned – (Read: the Federalist Papers) a Republic that was free of strong Political Parties.

    When the math doesn’t add up, there’s usually a reason: those factors not considered. For example, the polls and the possibility for a sweep by the Republican’s were there in 2012. What one did not account for was the fact that voters would sit this election out – for a multitude of reasons, including failure of software (nothing beat s boots on the ground). That said, the math for a third term, no matter which way one slices it, doesn’t add up – but what does add up is the money that will be sent by the gullible to either support or defend something that simply will not occur.

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    President Obama, The Debt and Foreign Policy Aside, Health Care Act Costing Jobs, 50% Premium Up-charge for Smokers (the Obese are Next) Public Employees Cheating – Which Headache to Deal with First!

    When the majority is against a piece of legislation that has not been read by everyone of those voting on it - there just might be a reason - image cbsNews

    The President certainly has his hands full, with the “Fiscal Cliff” looming (Chances are he’ll extend the Bush Tax Cut and further, has mentioned cutting the corporate tax rate for manufacturers – that’s also a possibility.), The rascally Palestinians continue to fire on Israel, who had agreed to a truce, but for how long? –In a pragmatic manner, the President has given Israel the Green Light to defend itself, that and additional aid for Israel to attempt a truce in the first place, cements the long –standing between the U.S. and Israel. Now, however, the President also has some fixing to do on the home front.

    First his signature health care bill – The Affordable Health Care Act, also dubbed “Obamacare” – Mitt Romney knows how things can get totally out of control when one has a great idea, then hands it over to a bunch of legislators to hobble together, and that idea blossoms into a nightmare – only Romney never admitted, that yes, the idea was fantastic, but left in the hands of the Massachusetts Legislature, it became an inconvenient truth – the biggest problem – those that cannot afford the States “Commonwealth Care – rather pay the Sates Department of Revenue, and go without healthcare at all.

    Those writing the rules are often coming up with ways in which to further the “health of the Nation”, while finding ways to pay for the program (watch for so many mandates on insurance carriers, that premiums, not unlike Massachusetts, will average 20 to 40% upticks annually.) and they are starting with those that smoke, premiums for the elderly, etc. Please note these are proposed measures, however, in Massachusetts those proposed are generally law, and the national program does not have a checks and balance systems, run by bureaucrats rather than legislators or even those in the medical field.

    Smoking: According to the Washington Post, smokers or their employers will see a 50% or greater rise in health care premiums, unless they quit smoking.

    Higher Deductibles - Again, someone has to give the insurance plans a break – so the administration agreed to higher deductibles – up to $2,000 for per individual – or chump change if one is making six figures (Washington Post).

    Throwing Grandma and Grandpa off the Fiscal Cliff: Those age 65 plus will be seeing the largest increases in premium coverage simply because it is now managed by tiers grouped by age.

    That’s just three the administration friendly Washington Post uncovered.

    One has to ask: if health is the issue, how long will it be before we see Obesity – the number one health care problem in the country – going the way of “smokers” – those not losing 200, 50 20, 10 pounds, will find their insurance premiums adjusted upward, or their employees. And that will result in less income or loss of a job.

    Case in Point: The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that they are no longer hiring individuals who smoke to avoid the higher premiums associated with smokers on the new rules.

    If one is not overly fond of flu shots (what with the mercury and tie in to Alzheimer’s), one might be losing one ‘s job WLWT, Cincinnati, has reported that 150 employees were fired for not having a flu shot.

    So far, with the new Less Affordable by the Minute Health Care Act, employees and the elderly will see increases in health premiums, and deductibles, while losing their job if the y smoke, or have other health ailments such as obesity, and of course, will be forced to have immunizations or lose their job.

    One has to ask, with the economy not on firm ground, how long the President will let this nonsense go unchecked. Obviously he cannot read every single article , however, one can bet he will be made aware of this type of situation, and ask it to be modified – or have additional bodies, not paying taxes, (on both tobacco products as well as income tax) on unemployment.

    The Teachers Unions, both of them, have backed the president to the hilt, however, the rules governing teachers, and tenure, need to be addressed as the nation is completely dummied down, and it is obvious that we, as nation, will so be unable to compete with nations that have no education system at all (the aforementioned is sarcasm). The latest craze – since the Teachers Licensing and Testing is well, not the hardest of the tests one might consider taking (they have example tests one can take on line – just visit your state’s teachers licensing site. Choose the most politically correct multiple choices, and, no matter how ridiculous it appears, it is a correct answer). Which begs the question, a Progressive, a good Progressive, would certainly be able to take the test and not fail! – Not True. Apparently the dummying down also applies to 4 year colleges and Masters Degree Programs. NBS is reporting that via AP:

    It was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.

    For 15 years, teachers in three Southern states paid Clarence Mumford Sr. — himself a longtime educator — to send someone else to take the tests in their place, authorities said. Each time, Mumford received a fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam. In return, his customers got a passing grade and began their careers as cheaters, according to federal prosecutors in Memphis.

    If teachers , for 15 years, have been finding stand in’s (most likely those 8th grade parochial students) to take their exams for them in tree Southern States, imagine how many have done that and more to cheat in the rest of the country – and then they receive tenure, are not only poorly trained, but are collecting salaries (and if one lives in Massachusetts – unemployment for times not spent in the classroom – or double dipping the state), and due to the unions in place, they cannot be fired!

    There is much that can be fixed immediately – now that the President is a “lame duck” for the most part, and does not have to worry about reelection, and his base.

    1. Get together with those rascally Republican’s and any blue-dog democrats left, and force a vote on a new Affordable Health Care Act, leaving in attractive provisions such as preexisting condition clauses, and of course, the student coverage up to age 26, and then open it up to competition across state borders. Offer subsidies to those who cannot even afford basis coverage – in other words, he needs Mitt Romney’s suggested plan.

    2. Pare down the Department of Education and invest in the nation’s education by demanding that a) teachers are cable of taking a test, and b) tenure is conditional upon performance and a spotless arrest record.

    In Realty, the nation would benefit broadly and the President would be given accolades by that 67% of the populace that is not fond of the health are mandate, as well as the parents of students who repeatedly fail, while finding out their teacher cannot pass a test.

    One now understands why Romney looks relaxed, disheveled, and comfortable – he dodged a bullet, the Presidency. That also explains why in a recent interview, the President suggested getting Romney’s opinion on certain issues. One might believe that both men, who love the country, might be able to come up with a solution to please everyone (well the majority) – what’s more, drive both bases out of their minds – it’s a win-win situation.

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