Readers offer the following:
I apologize that you think I was insinuating anything about your intelligence. I just really thought that the apostrophe thing was a sly dig at Mr. Obama's heritage. I apologize that I was incorrect about that.
For the record, the second comment about Bill O'Reilly was not mine. Why am I voting for Obama, other than the simple fact that I have democratic leaning anyway and I don't care for Mrs. Clinton? If you're historically Republican, I don't guess I can sway your vote on issues that are important to me such as abortion rights, gay marriage, or the war in Iraq. You ask for the positive points of his campaign which might sway your votes. It IS the positivity of his campaign that makes me want to vote for him. Green? Yes. I think that is part of his appeal.
I think all of the other candidates have been tainted by their politics over the years. I have been ashamed of our leadership for the last eight years. Obama is someone who excites me and inspires me. Do I have a point by point presentation of his policies to sway you? Sure don't. I think politics in recent years have been very divisive, and I look to him as someone who can unite our country. I'm sure you think that is a superficial and fluff answer, but that's it for me. Again, I do apologize for the brouhaha over the apostrophe.
Thanks for your take on the positives of Obama's campaign. We do disagree on basic issues such as gay rights and abortion. I know it may sound old-fashioned, but I believe God intended for there to be a man and a woman in a love relationship. I would never outwardly cause dissention or hate to anyone, even if they are gay. But at the same time, in my heart, I cannot believe it is all ok. And abortion -- I believe there are only a select few instances where abortion could be a viable option. However, I do believe it is time to pull out of Iraq, we have wasted enough American money and lives there.
The most important thing about all of this is we are so very fortunate to live in a country where we can all have our own ideas and beliefs, voice them, and then make our own decisions. I guess that out of all the candidates Huckabee appeals most to my personal convictions and religious beliefs. Maybe I'm wrong and living in the ancient ages, but it's how I feel.
"Now that we have been over that point repeatedly (at nauseum), can you please highlight the positive points from Obama's campaign which may sway votes to his side?" It's AD nauseum, not AT.
And you can visit www.barackobama.com to read about his stand on many issues. The clincher for me was a commercial that I heard (I was standing in another room, and raced to see who the commercial was for) in support of some changes and improvements in our system of educating our children.
Excerpts are below:
Reform No Child Left Behind: Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.
Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school - strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.
Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children. Expand Summer Learning Opportunities: Obama's "STEP UP" plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations. Support College Outreach Programs: Obama supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.
Support English Language Learners: Obama supports transitional bilingual education and will help Limited English Proficient students get ahead by holding schools accountable for making sure these students complete school. Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's TeachersRecruit Teachers: Obama will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.
Prepare Teachers: Obama will require all schools of education to be accredited. He will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.
Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, Obama's plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. He will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.
Reward Teachers: Obama will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well. Higher Education Create the American Opportunity
Tax Credit: Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Obama will also ensure that the tax credit is available to families at the time of enrollment by using prior year's tax data to deliver the credit when tuition is due.
Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.
The Obama campagin points outlined above are very interesting, especially to educators. I am in healthcare and I wonder how he will provide universal healthcare? If anyone has heard, let me know. I did search for it, but only found that he was in favor of the initiative.
And, by the way, to those of you who attempt to intimidate others by pointing out their spelling or grammatical shortcomings, shame on you. This is an avenue where everyone (no matter how well they spell or type) can express their opinions. So, come on folks, be a grown up. Why make such a huge ordeal out of something so trivial? There is a lot more to discuss here than a lesson in grading an English assignment.
Thanks to all. Let's hear what you think!