Archive: December, 2010
Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) has found a way to avoid the painful reality of voting for tax cuts for wealthy Americans. He's calling it something else.
Menendez issued a news release Monday afternoon announcing that he voted to approve "the middle-class tax relief package" hammered out by President Obama and Republican leaders. The measure does provide tax cuts for the middle class. But it provides continued tax breaks as well for families earning $250,000 per year or more.
"Throughout this process, Republicans have prioritized millionaires ... which does not sit well with me or many others," Menendez said.
A new poll that shows most adults blame bad parenting for the poor state of education in this country doesn’t diminish the role that teachers must play in improving their schools.
What would elected office in Pennsylvania be without the trappings of power? Take judges, for instance.
In addition to being able to accept gifts -- like a trip to this past weekend’s Pennsylvania Society festivities in New York City, or a round of golf at an exclusive club -- judges in the state get to lease fancy cars courtesy of the taxpayers. The details were spelled out in a recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report, complete with a list of top jurists’ choice in vehicles.
Nothing new there, but the recession and another looming state budget crisis offer a good opportunity to rethink all costs associated with maintaining elected officials in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. Gov.-elect Tom Corbett should add that to his to-do list.
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Looking back at this age of the killer omelet, future historians may puzzle over Congress’ long-standing inability to pass a food-safety bill.
Just a few months ago, egg magnate Jack DeCoster was telling members of that same deliberative body that he was “sorry” about having unleashed a mass poisoning on the American public.
DeCoster’s squalid Iowa mega-farm was the source of a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 1,500 and led to a recall of half a billion eggs. Until then, the Food and Drug Administration had never inspected the facility.
One way to improve public education is to speed up the process to remove bad teachers from the classroom.
Getting rid of bad apples has become nearly impossible under union tenure rules that were crafted to protect teachers’ rights but too often deny children a decent education. The antiquated system that fails to hold teachers with a bad performance record accountable. They should not be allowed to wear tenure like a badge of honor that entitles them to a lifetime appointment in the classroom.
The New Jersey Education Association last week came up with a good idea to allow an arbitrator to handle tenure cases instead of an administrative judge. The change could save time and money.