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Tuesday, June 29, 2004
By Steven Taylor

If the goal is to get middle America to accept homosexuality, and specifically homosexual marriage, as mainstream, these kind of events aren’t going to help.

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By Steven Taylor

Turkey Says Three Hostages Released in Iraq

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By Steven Taylor

Kerry Looks to Boost College Graduates

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news – web sites) says if he’s elected president, 1 million more students will graduate from college during his first five years in office and he will bring a special focus to boosting opportunities for low-income and minority students.

Okay, obviously I think higher education is important. Not only did I spend a total of ten and a half years acquiring my degrees, but the food that feeds my kids is purchased by dollars I earn teaching students at a university.

However, this proposal by Kerry is plain silly. While the idea of boosting the number of minority gradautes is a noble one, not only is it not the President’s job to deal with these things, but just providing money for people to go to school does not necessarily translate into more graduations.

Further, speaking as a professor teaching in one of the poorest states in the union, it is my experience that if one has the qualifications to attend college, there are ways to do so. Not only are community college quite accessible, but there are a number of programs available (not to mention working to pay one’s tuition) to help worthy students to go to school. In other words, I question the implicit assertion in the Senator’s proposal that there aer serious barriers to entry for students who wish to obtain a degree.

And not to rain on the Senator’s parade, but it may indeed be the case that there are currently too many students in our colleges and universities who aren’t ready to be college, and in some cases never will be.

Really, I don’t see the great crisis here.

And you have to love the math:

Kerry’s campaign says nearly half the hike in graduation rates will come from population increases, and he’ll achieve the other half by bringing down the cost of education and creating other incentives to bring students to college and keep them there.

So by this logic, if the next President does nothing at least 500,000 more students will graduate, so his proposal is only for half a million.

I wish the Senator would repeat after me: Presidents don’t create gradautes, Presidents don’t create graduates… He can meditate on that one after he writes President’s don’t create jobs 200 times. He also needs to write a 10 page essay on why Presidents have no control over the cost of education.

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By Steven Taylor

Iraqis to Get Legal Custody of Saddam Tomorrow

Allawi told a news conference on Tuesday Iraqi legal proceedings against Saddam would begin within a few days, but his trial would not start for several months.

I wonder if they are going to go through with the plans for a ceremonial turn-over to be broadcast on television, with a US soldier giving Saddam to an Iraqi officier for arrest.

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Monday, June 28, 2004
By Steven Taylor

James Joyner notes the murder of SPC Keith M. Maupin by terrorists in Iraq. Muapin had been taken prisoner in April.

James sums up the the political semantics of the situation quite well:

I tire of the use of the word “militant” to describe these animals. Jesse Jackson is a militant. Malcolm X was a militant. These thugs are simply serial killers.

Indeed.

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By Steven Taylor

Here’s a story on the professor who started the project via the Jacksonville State University newspaper: Professor’s ‘Books for Baghdad’ in National Spotlight.

My original post, with info on how to help, is here.

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By Steven Taylor

U.S. Military Denies Reports of Zarqawi Capture

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By Steven Taylor

Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture is scheduled to be on Kudlow and Kramer today.

This trumps the fact that I am going to be on the local CBS affiliate’s 5 o’clock news to discuss the elections today.

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By Steven Taylor

Romney Replaces Kerry at Mayors Meeting

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney replaced Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry as a speaker for the nation’s mayors on Monday after Kerry canceled a speech rather than cross a police union picket line.

Romney, a Republican, said he would cross the picket line to speak to the U.S. Conference of Mayors as a show of support for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association has been working without a contract for two years.

“Executive leadership requires tough decision-making, and that’s true whether you’re a mayor, a governor or the president of the United States,” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said.

Menino had urged Kerry to attend the conference, which he called “an important event for urban America,” and contended the police union’s demonstrations did not constitute a legitimate picket line. However, Kerry said Sunday night: “I don’t cross picket lines. I never have.”

Ok here’s the scenario: the strike runs into July, Kerry refuses to cross, and therefore has to postpone his nomination so that he can forestall taking the federal grant for his campaign, allowing him to raise money until the end of the summer.

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By Steven Taylor

Ann Althouse makes a rather apt observation about Gore’s brownshirt comment:

Quite aside from the general inadvisability of calling your political opponents fascists, you’d think that if Al Gore wanted to call someone a fascist, the last synonym he’d pick from the thesaurus would be “brownshirt,” considering that he was famous for literally wearing a brown shirt. I’m just distracted into thinking about that whole Naomi Wolf/alpha male business again. He’s lost control of his imagery in more ways than one.

Hat tip: Dodd Harris.

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