Friday, December 15, 2006

A Random Sampling From My Brain

First I must apologize for the long delay in my posting but I've been overwhelmed with personal things, work, and school. While politics hasn't been in the forefront of my mind, it has certainly been on my mind. It just wouldn't be a normal day if I didn't visit some of my favorite liberal Idaho blogs and visit DU. With that in mind I present a random sampling of what's been on my mind!

I did a class presentation on presidential scandals. I chose the topic, so does my topic choice mean I am just a dumb American who is too intrigued by the scandalous behavior of our elected leaders and not concerned enough with really important matters? Nah. The topic was more than the details of Watergate, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, and Monica Lewinsky. It included some statistical tests that predicted the chance of a presidential scandal occuring and what conditions need to be present for it to occur. It was fascinating!

I think many of us are waiting to see how the situation with Senator Johnson's health plays out. My best goes out to him and his family. The situation certainly brings to light the idea of a Governor choosing a replacement when a Senator, or other elected official, has to resign. To me it can fly in the face of the will of the people, but I am not just saying this because the Governor of South Dakota is a Republican. I don't know that there are many other options that would seek to fulfill the will of the people in a timely and fair fashion.

I was born and raised in the Seattle area and my hometown is currently without power. All 90,000+ citizens in the entire city, plus approximately 1,000,000 more. My mom had to call me to pay her house payments earlier today and had me check a few websites to see when they will get their power back. While perusing the Seattle Times website I came across a story about the Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, seeking to put a cap on the tuition increases at Washington colleges. Living in Idaho, I forget that some states are fortunate enough to have Governor's who do something about the increasing costs of attending college. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a quote from a Washington Republican legislator who said Governor Gregoire wasn't doing enough to keep college affordable for Washingtonians. WOW!

Which reminds me of a program Washington has that every state should have, Running Start. In Washington, you can attend a participating community college for free as a high school junior and/or senior. I say "participating" because I can't be sure every community college participates. You basically pay for a parking permit, if needed, and books and supplies, if needed. You pay no tuition, no fees, nothing. I knew a few classmates who graduated with their Associate's degree while simulaneously graduating with their high school diploma. I only took a few courses as a senior but it was a worthwhile experience that gave me a head start when I started at Ricks College. Certainly Idaho could benefit from such a program, though there is no statewide community college system, the state could send students to ISU, BSU, EITC, UofI, etc...

Tom Luna, the recently elected State Superintendent of Public Schools in Idaho, has gotten into trouble for lying on his resume. He will also fire 20 employees at the State Department of Education. No comment!

Lastly, I was again pleasantly surprised to see Nancy Pelosi selected as the most fascinating person of 2006. You may disagree with her politics, but you must admit that what she has accomplished and will accomplish is noteworthy and fascinating.

Wait, I can't end without admitting something. I recently discovered Arrested Development, the genius show that was cancelled by Fox. If you have satellite tv, you can catch daily reruns of this brilliant show on the G4 channel.