I always get a kick out of folks who criticize homeschooling because the homeschool kids supposedly don’t get the same level of “socialization” as kids in our public schools.
Do they mean like this?
“Teacher Mark Berndt is accused of taping his students’ mouths shut, blindfolding them and placing a giant cockroach on their faces. . . . Berndt was arrested Monday on felony charges of committing lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10…”
That’s from an AP story today which goes on to note that another Los Angeles public school teacher - working at the SAME SCHOOL as Berndt - was arrested on Friday “for investigation of lewd acts on two girls” who “were about 7 years old and said they were fondled in a classroom.”
As a homeschool dad, I’m feeling awfully guilty this morning about denying my kids the “socialization” opportunities afforded those kids at Maramonte Elementary School. Bad homeschool dad. Bad.
LIBERAL INDOCTRINATION CENTERS
Speaking of the publik skools, I attended the GOP caucus meeting for my precinct this morning and looked around the room at all the posters and stickers plastered on the walls. Talk about Liberalville, USA. It was completely and totally obnoxious. Racism, feminism, gay rights, environmentalism, anti-bullyism, you name it – all four walls; ceiling to floor.
Hey, but at least the kids are getting “socialized,” right?
DON’T HEDGE, SIGN THE PLEDGE
I’m hearing more and more stories that GOP legislative candidates on the campaign trail are being asked more and more often whether or not they’ve signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge…which is great news, especially since I’m also hearing that many of the hand-picked “establishment” candidates are resisting the notion of, you know, taking a solid position on the issue.
Once filing ends in March, I will officially send a letter to every candidate running for the Legislature asking them to sign the Pledge, promising the voters of their district that they will “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes” – including any effort to once again extend the “sunsets.”
Those who refuse to sign will be called out for it right here.
FACT: Every Republican legislator who signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge voted AGAINST the $620 million tax hike last year…and every Republican who voted FOR the tax hike refused to sign the Pledge. So if you don’t want your taxes raised in Nevada, it’s simple: Tell candidates: “If you don’t sign the Pledge, you don’t get my vote.”
* The debate coach credited with turning Mitt Romney around in the two Florida debates has been released by the campaign, Morning Score reports, “an apparent victim of internal tensions over staff receiving too much credit for the candidate's comeback.” Hmm. Wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who said: “There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit”?
* In a fundraising email yesterday, Rick Santorum wrote: “Sharron Angle is a fighter and a Tea Party favorite. It's why I'm proud to receive her endorsement.” Once again: Angle was NOT the tea party favorite in the 2010 U.S. Senate GOP primary race in Nevada. She was the out-of-state TEA PARTY EXPRESS favorite. Big difference.
* In that same email, Santorum writes that “Mitt Romney simply isn’t one of us, and Newt Gingrich cannot defeat Barack Obama.” Problem for Rick is that he can’t beat Romney…or Gingrich…or even Paul, so the argument is moot.
* “On Friday night,” reports Karen Demirjian of the Las Vegas Sun, “Sharron Angle made her first public appearance on behalf of Rick Santorum since officially endorsing him for president, headlining a solo rally at Santorum’s headquarters. Twenty-eight people showed up. That’s including her handlers, Santorum’s local staff, and one attendee’s two kids.” Totally…embarrassing.
* Another sign that the Mitt Romney/Newt Gingrich matchup really is a fight between The People and The GOP Establishment: “Romney has the endorsement of Nevada's lieutenant governor, eight of 10 state senators and two members of Congress,” according to a report in Morning Score, while “Gingrich has not been endorsed by a single elected official in Nevada.”
* Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul all were campaigning in Las Vegas the day before the Nevada presidential caucus. Meanwhile, Santorum – who threatened to boycott the state completely if we didn’t bend to New Hampshire’s demand that we move our caucus date - ditched the state and flew to Missouri to campaign. If he gets more than Sharron Angle’s vote today it’ll be more than he deserves.
* Another example of just how dumb the Nevada GOP’s decision was to move its caucus from third-in-the-nation in January to fifth-in-the-nation in February: While millions upon MILLIONS of dollars were spent on advertising in each of the first four early states – Romney reportedly spent all of $249,220 here since last Friday, Paul spent all of $28,340…and neither the Gingrich nor the Santorum campaigns spent a dime. I’m sure the local TV stations are thrilled with the Nevada GOP right about now.
* What to look for in tonight’s caucus results: Will Mitt Romney, as expected, again get over 50 percent of the vote - just as he did in 2008? Will Newt Gingrich come in second - or will his greater general population support be defeated by Ron Paul’s superior caucus turnout machine? And finally, will the caucus itself come off without a hitch - or will Nevada Republicans end up a national embarrassment? High stakes indeed.
ALL THE “RIGHT” MOVES
* Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) has taken a decidedly different and open-minded position on Yucca Mountain from that of his congressional colleagues. Read it here
* Overheard at the First Friday Happy Hour at the Swinger’s Club last night: Former Nevada State Sen. Bob Beers may be interested in the vacancy on the Las Vegas City Council. Also in attendance: City Councilman Stavros Anthony and Assemblyman Richard McArthur.
* Former Nevada Lt. Gov. Lonnie Hammargren told me last night he’s planning a political comeback this year; eying a return to the University Board of Regents where he once served.
* Other candidates who stopped by First Friday last night: Michele Fiore, Chris Edwards, Ed Hamilton, Victoria Seaman and Annette Teijeiro.
* Sources tell me Nevada GOP Vice Chairman James Smack does not intend to run for chairman once Amy Tarkanian steps down tomorrow. And everyone else the GOP establishment has apparently approached about the position has begged off. So it looks like the thankless job is former Las Vegas city councilman Mike McDonald’s. The coronation is expected sometime in April.
* Many of the words I got back for my fill-in-the-blank question, “Steve Commander is a (_____)” aren’t reprintable in a family e-newsletter. Have yet to find one person other than “Little Napoleon” himself to say anything nice about the ex-tea party organizer.
* And finally, for another example of how the tea party movement in Nevada is disjointed, disorganized and dysfunctional, click here
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“(Mitt Romney) is far too moderate for the taste of Tea Party members, who favor more radical cuts to government spending and dismembering the tax code. Tea Party operative Chuck Muth is beating the bushes for Gingrich. Paul has won the allegiance of a swarm of Tea Party activists and organizers. And Angle has endorsed Santorum. Bottom line: A highly fragmented political movement won’t be able to stop arguably the one GOP candidate they dislike the most.” – Eric Pianin, Fiscal Times, 2/3/12