tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 27, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
as shattered and fearful as that one is it any wonder it is as screwed up as it is. perhaps by observing that problem, we can fix it. thank you for spending a piece of the afternoon with us. chris is up right now. counterattack. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in new york. the danger of strangers. a lot of republicans have a different problem. the strangers in town. people are suspicion of strangers, so hit them where it hurts. define the republicans before they can define themselves. it's already begun with negative ads filling the tv screens. will the strategy work?
will it throw the republican tea partiers on the defensive? what advantage the democrats have is the county vito is with them on ending tax cuts for the wealthy. tonight, i'll ask the republicans what painful cuts he's willing to make so the wealthiest republicans can get tax breaks. plus, mckinnon and bloomberg are pushing back within the reason party. will this strengthen the party or tear it apart? and the latest on the investigation as to what caused that huge bp spill down in the gulf. now, we discover that republicans in the senate are protecting bp from subpoena power and having their people being put under oath. why are they stopping a presidential commission from doing its job? are they taking oil money to protect them? finally, as promised, bill maher
has dug into the christine o'donnell files. if evolution is real, why don't we see among keys evolves into humans. that's ahead, but let's check the scoreboard. let's start with a couple of races where democrats may be gaining strength. in kentucky, rand paul's lead has shrunk to two points in the newest poll. it's a robopoll, but it's a 13 point swing towards conway, the democrat. in nevada, harry reid is up now 45-40 over sharon engel. that's a significant lead considering the outfit. public opinion strategist is a republican pollster. now to california where new "l.a. times" usc poll has senator boxer building a comfortable lead over carly fiorina. look at that number.
51-43. boxer leads by eight points. in the pennsylvania senate race, pat toomey again, a seven-point lead over sestak. to florida, where marco rubio is pulling away. we'll continue to check the "hardball" score card all through the races. now, the democrats strategy. let's taug about this final strategy. here are clips from some of the ads that house democrats are writing. let's listen to all three of them. >> you've heard the old say saing, buyer beware, so beware of dishonest used car sales man tom gwanly.
>> as treasurer, he had ethics problems an a record of mismanaging our money. he wants to force raped women to bear the child. >> submit to me. >> taliban dan webster. hands off our bodies and our laws. >> submit to me. i don't know -- interesting editing there. he's against abortion apparently, but then it says submit to me. is this madman talk? will these work? >> first of all, don't you love the creepy music in the background? they always have the creepy music. sounds as if they're coming to get you. defining the opponent is a time honored strategy and what else are democrats going to do? >> don't they have an advantage here? these guys -- maybe some of that goes over the top.
these are these incumbents fighting for their political laws and they're rightly asking questions -- >> the old argument, if the guy on the other sideline is bigger than you, knee him in the -- what do you think about that, charles, the old argument if you're smaller, you have a right to play rougher. in this case, just being an incumbent is being smaller. >> the point here is that the hour is late and polling is grim. there's not a lot that candidates can do at this late hour. your house speaker is in trouble popularity wise. you really have to throw it --
it's not getting traction, so you have to throw something out there and it's often a negative ad. >> what i'm thinking, the old song vastrangers of the night, e only number one song frank ever sang. you can build a case about a stranger you can't build about a skeleton or guy or gal that's been around for a while. go after the person before anybody knows they're there. for example, christine o'donnell, all we know about her now is witchcraft. seems like that's an easy target. >> in that race in particular, you'll see numbers continue to move in the direction of coons as bill maher rolls out these every week. the scoreboard you just did, i think it's going to help this sort of thing is helping reid and probably is going to pull that out i think. i'm not quite so sure.
it's a -- that conway's going to get over the top with paul and in florida, it kind of looks like marco rubio is going to be the guy. clearly, chris and meek are going to split the democratic and independent voting. >> let me open this up a little bit here. here's "time" -- something out of nowhere, an answer o a tea partier and they come in with that behind them. isn't it fair game to tell people in normal circumstances, this bucco would not be on your dance card is this.
>> i think it's fair game. i wouldn't concede a lot of these ads are fair. is it fair to call somebody a member of the taliban? when you talk about the tea party candidates and others, they're very susceptible to this because they came out of nowhere. they didn't serve in the legislateture of county council. >> speaking of the new kids on the block and how vulnerable they are to attack, let's look at the new kids on the block. here's the president today, talking to a rally of young people. an audio of obama at a conference call to college reporters around the country to get them gigged up. here is the president. >> i just want to remind young people they've got to get reengaged in this process. they're going to have to vote in these midterm elections, you've got to take the time to find out where your congressional candidate stands on various issues.
where does your senate candidate stand on various issues and make an educated decision and participate in this process because you know, democracy is never a one in done proposition. it requires sustained engagement and involvement. >> why would he be doing a league of women's voters like that? that was totally not partisan. it was like well, you know rk it would be good to read the records of the candidates and get the issues. is that because he knows that young people, if they vote, will vote dems? >> he knows which way they're going to vote. the problem is getting those first time obama voters. those to come out.
there's no question mark as to whether the new voters that obama energized and mobilized two years -- in the 2008 cycle, can be energized and mobilized in the weeks we have left to vote. i think democrats are pretty confident that if we can get them, they'll have their votes. >> as a father, i have personal reasonableties of getting my three kids to vote. i really do feel as long as they're in their 20s and i'm around, to hector them into voting. >> i don't have have to worry about that. my kids aren't close to voting age. that's the demographic if you look at the 18-29 year olds. there's little enthusiasm in that demographic. >> why is that? >> in midterms, typically rk older folks are the ones who show up in greater numbers. i think there are lots of folks
who may be disallusioned. it's a big concern you hear from democrats. why else would the president talk to a bunch of reporters, college reporters. >> is that true? you're ruining my day here. here's politico's new battleground poll showing obama with a 65% personal approval. 46% job approval. 38% says he needs to be re-elected. 49% say republicans have done a better job on the economy than the president would. 51% say -- with a 40% who say the president -- gene, here we are back to the interesting gap between the president's popularity, his family matter, his wife, they like the kids. they like this. coming out spritely, a bit
debonair, up beat. they don't like the record so far. >> some don't like it. some are disallusioned. some who wish he had moved more quickly on his progressive agenda, but he remains personally popular and that's why smart republican strategists are saying gee, we're looking pretty good in 2010, but don't anybody think this tells what's going to happen in 2012. this is still a -- these new voters i think can be remobilized to vote again for barack obama. or a whole lot of them, but the immediate question, can they be gotten out to the polls in five weeks. >> great question, charles, wasn't on my list to ask. you seem like a sophisticated guy. you think business can sit on those billions and trillions of dollars for two more years, are
they going to keep sitting on their money so they don't help the economy for two years to get mitt romney elected president? >> i won't touch the first question. >> it was all one question. >> i prefer splitting the two. i'd say i think what you're going so see the business community do is go whole hog now have. either way, they can envision a scenario in which they lose. that's what the white house wants. either way, equities. >> coming up, democrats think they have a winner in their hand. they want to end bush tax cuts for the top 2%. republicans are holding up those tax cuts for 98% of the country. it's republicans who stopped the
average person and family from getting the tax cut. up next, i'll ask a republican what cuts he'd make in order to pay for the top bract. ♪ ♪ i was young and i was stupid ♪ i had just turned 17 ♪ a harmonica and a box guitar ♪ ♪ in a canvas-covered wagon stuffed... ♪ [ male announcer ] while the world's been waiting on the electric car, maybe the whole time, the electric car has been waiting for this... the wattstation from ge.
it's going to change the way we get to where we all want to go. ♪ i didn't think much of it till i took it apart ♪ republican states will gain house seats for crucial electoral votes. texas is the big winner adding four seats. these are pretty republican states except florida. arizona, georgia, nevada, washington state have all gained -- notice the northeast, the midwest are all losing seats. the big losers, new york and ohio. illinois, iowa, louisiana, massachusetts, michigan, missouri all lose one.
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back to "hardball." republicans pushing to extend the bush tax cuts to wealthy haven't said where they'd cut. let's watch mike pence on "meet the press" yesterday. >> where is the painful choice you're prepared to make? >> i never thought you'd ask. cutting discretionary spending. >> on what? >> we could reduce government employment back to 2008 levels. that's 35 billion over ten. we could eliminate government programs. >> are wrou going to raise the retirement age like john boehner suggests? >> the last time i was on this program, we keep our promises to seniors, but for americans under the age of 40, we have to begin
to reform medicare and social security in ways that will ensure it. the pledge to america is not the end all be all. it's meant to be a good start. >> wow. we're joined by two members of the u.s. congress. debbie wasserman schultz and congressman mccall. shouldn't it be a vote right now, up or down, on both the democratic plan on tax cuts and republican plan on tax cuts? both votes right away. >> absolutely. i think the american people need to know where representatives stand on this issue and what the democrat rs trying to do is kick the can down the road until after the election, then find out where they stand. >> both alternatives. let me ask you. should the congress vote now on either the democratic plan, tax cuts or everybody below 250 a year and not the ones -- and
also a republican alternative, tax cuts for everybody? >> sure. we would love to have that vote? >> why won't you have it? >> because the republicans won't allow it. because we're not going to -- what we're focused on is making sure we can extend the tax cuts for middle class and work families. if we know the republicans are going to hold out tax cuts for the wealthest americans, we have members all across the country that are in tough elections and the republicans would like nothing more than to you know, pounce on them and accuse them of raising taxes. >> when we come back in session, speaker pelosi can hold this week if she wanted to, her problem is -- >> no, the problem -- no. the problem is that you all are refusing to support simply an extension of the middle class tax cuts and holding those
hostage in exchange for making sure we can add $7 million to the deficit to give the wealthiest americans a tax break. >> if there were a vote on the democratic plan which is what you said for the middle class tax cuts up to 250,000 a year per family and this was an alternative vote, a republican vote to gef it to everybody, would that be a fair way? would that be fair? >> that might be the fair way to do it except that we all know there would be one chamber that would take that vote and it would leave a lot of members twisting in the wind subject to ridiculous accusations when it's the republicans and senate refusing to allow for that full vote to take place. >> before the break. >> let's make sure that we can
stop holding middle class -- >> let me ask you, you've got the floor here, you're winning the argument i think because you want the vote, but why doesn't is republican party in the senate stop a filibuster and let there be vote so they can see up or down before the election where the two parties stand. why is your party filibustering this? >> i think they should. >> against having a vote? >> i think we should have the vote in the house. i think speaker pelosi has a problem on her hands -- >> i let you win the first round. your leadership is filibustering this bill so it will never get to the president's desk. it's all academic because of your party. admit that. >> it's not my leadership and the house that's doing that. >> mitch mcconnell, huh? we should draw a picture so you can recognize him. so you can say, yeah, i do know
this guy. he's the leader of the senate republicans and i've never called and said, mitch -- so we can get credit for cutti inting taxes. >> what would be a 3.8 tax increase that would severely damage the economy. debbie, i listened to you. with all due respect, listen to what i have to say. there's a president by the name of john f. kennedy, who said let's cut taxes and it worked. there's a president by the name of reagan who did the same thing. a $3.8 billion tax break -- >> what kind of deficits. we doubled the national debt under reagan. why do you think that's a good record? >> kennedy said tax increases will not get the deficit and debt down and it will not create
jobs because he knew that it killed jobs. seems to me that the party of kennedy has gone far astray. >> already had an opportunity. >> i would ask that the conservative democrats join the republicans and what president kennedy stood for. >> i want to understand this. so basically, the senate won't let the vote. so this isn't going to go anywhere. >> my turn now, please. >> okay. i will give you that. >> what we're arguing is that a, the republicans have had their turn. we've had these tax cuts in place since 2003 and that's what took us to a record deficit. it sent the economy careening over a cliff because on top of the deficit spending, we had wall street and almost no regulation run amuck. since the banking and financial services system into the tank and now, the republicans are
asking for the keys back. the choice on november 2nd is very clear. democrats are saying we want to make sure we focus on our taxes. >> right, the choices are really clear. >> excuse me, so, it's okay for you to interrupt -- >> we have a poll that supports congressman wasserman schultz's position. >> it's a strong demand because when you look at those $250,000 tax they're talking about over that income level, what you're really talking is the tax on small business owners -- >> with $26 billion in income. the way they define small business. >> thank you. i think we know the situation right now.
>> the issue is spending. >> focus on the middle class, not the wealthiest americans. >> what's the biggest thing -- congressman, what's the biggest program we should eliminate? >> i think we should cancel all unspent stimulus. >> what programs -- name the program. >> free discretionary spending. >> "wall street journal" had a very good idea and that is tie spending to the inflation rate minus 1%. if we did that, we could balance the budget. i think that's a really good -- >> what are going to do on medicare? >> thank you. up next, bill maher. by the way, republicans will never tell you eliminating a major program.
you've got to get rid of what the president is promising to do for people at some point or else it never adds up. up next, bill maher releases another old videotape of christine o'donnell. this is chinese water torture for this candidate and it's pretty clear she doesn't believe in evolution. [ manager ] you know... i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs. calm down. i know that it is not your job.
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darwin himself -- >> evolution is a myth? have you looked at a monkey? >> why aren't they still evolving into humans? >> the problem with that -- belief in the bible, refusal to accept science on the other hand and see the evidence of natural history. that's something else. we studied biology in high school. what did christine o'donnell study is a fair comment. on friday, steven colbert was invited to testify by a democratic congresswoman of california. why did he turn himself into a comedy club? >> this is america. i don't want a tomato picked by a mexican. i want it picked by an american then sliced by a gat mallen and served by a venezuelan in a spay
where a chilean gives me a brazilian. because my great grandfather did not travel to see this county -- because he killed a man in ireland. i don't know if that's true. i'd like that stricken from the record. >> steny hoyer wasn't laughing. here he is on fox news on sunday. >> i think his testimony was not appropriate. it was an embarrassment for mr. colbert more than the house. >> and he should not have been called. >> what he had to say i think was not the way it should have been said. >> he should have gone further. you want your tooth pulled, go to a dentist. you want your leg pulled, call steven colbert. why are republicans running -- you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion
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i'm diana oleic. a modest sell off picking up speed toward the close. the dow jones industrial falling 48 points, nasdaq getting ten points. investors re-grouping after gains last week, but a busy monday suggests companies are seeking value in the market. southwest is buying airtran for nearly $1.5 million. multinational firm is buying hair care group for more than $3.5 billion in cash. coca-cola won approval -- walmart is in talks to buy mass mart for 4 billion.
that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." we need to know the truth. and the commission needs the power to get the truth. so who are you protecting? what are we hiding here? >> that was senator mendez. the commissions mandated to find out what happened, but how can it do that without oswub pea na power -- >> i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be
discharged of 3, -- and that th senate then proceed to its consideration. >> it's objection. >> on behalf of all the members of the republican conference, i object. >> i don't -- i do understand. these guys are in bed with the oil industry. why would you protect the oil industry from answering questions under oath? >> well, it's a charade. i mean, in the list of outrages which is pretty long, this ranks way up there. senator jim demint came to the floor twice. both occasions said i object to giving this commission subpoena power. think of this, three-mile island, the terrorist crisis, both had subpoena power and now the bp oil spill, we're going to say whatever voluntary cooperation you can get, good for you? you've got to have subpoena
power in order to do this right. >> we have been watching this wi the american people kept asking how did it happen. my brother was an oil pipeline guy for years. he said bottom line, it's always a management decision. if it was a technical problem, they would have discovered it before, set up a protocal and obeyed it. we haven't gotten to the truth without subpoena power. why would any republican senator think we can do that now without the subpoena power and having them swear they're going to tell the truth? >> at a hearing that i was at, we had halliburton, transocean, bp, all of whom were involved on this rig and in this drill. they were pointing at each
other. the only way you're going get to the real truth is to be able to subpoena all of them and say you've got to produce all your books and records so we can inspect them and understand what happened. >> a friend of mine says you can tell if a member is in the tank because of the way they behave. can you tell that demint or anyone else is in the tank? why else would they protect the oil industry? you guy haves to take an oath. why shouldn't a witness have to take one? >> chris, i don't know that i should go on television and suggest someone might be in the tank, but i would suggest that those who believe there should be a commission without subpoena power, that position is just dom in my judgment. >> thank you. it's great to have you on. let me go to david corn because
david, i think you know what's going on here. it's pretty transparent. >> it is. >> it was a little republican loving for the bp and by stopping the bill then, they've created months now in which this idea of getting subpoena power has come into play and now, it's attached to an energy bill going nowhere fast. you have to wonder at some point, whether the republicans make a callation that it looks just awful. they're apologizing to bp. whether they're complaining about obama being too tough on bp, which rand paul and sharon engel have done and giving them sort of a get out of committee hearing with subpoena free card. it's staggering. >> i'm staggered by the media's inattention to this. i'm going to keep on it because
it seems that after months and months of covering this oil spill and understanding there was a human behavior management decision that led to it, not some act of god, they were drilling a hole down there and drilling it wrong and putting in sea water when they were have been putting in mud and all sorts of other decisions which were probably very economical, but not too economical in terms of this beloved continent of ours. >> looking at the whole regulatory apparatus and revolving door and who's making decisions for years. not just in the last two, but during the bush and clinton years. i'd like to see people brought in and say were you talking to safety expert or lobbyists from oil companies who you hope to get jobs with later on. if you look at say the republican pledge to america,
not one word about the environment. about alternative energy. about corporate responsibility. this is really just not in the republican -- not playbook. not in their universe. >> their tank. it's an oil issue. thank you very much, david corn, for joining us. up next, the tea party ranked up a string of victories this year and now, some republicans in the middle are pushing back so much. so, which side's going to win this fight? the tea parties are winning now. how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? flying there? how about eating soup to get there? delicious campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition, energy, farm-grown ingredients, and can help you keep a healthy weight. helping you get to a happier place. have a nice trip.
campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. big oil and their backers are spending millions to scare us. saying it costs too much to break our dependence on oil. what they're really doing is putting our security at risk. my big brother went to iraq to keep us safe. he came home in a flag-draped coffin. america lost another hero. big oil wants to talk about costs? don't let big oil lie to you about what our dependence really costs. we've shown you the shocking polls in new york state where paladino is catching up to cuomo. today, he got another boost from rick lazio. he beat lazio for the republican nomination, but lazio says he
doesn'tñi want to hurt the chan of the rival. democrats hoped he would have helped cuomo. "hardball" will be right back. maybe you want to rebuild homes for those in need? or, maybe you want to help improve our schools? whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference.
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j.c. watts and brendan steinhowser, let me go to j.c. haven't seen you in a while. what's your view of -- are they going to be backing people i guess you'd call the mainstream candidates. mckinnon group is backing whitman, kirk, sestak, that's the bloomberg group. >> chris, i don't have any problem with that. i think they are utilizing the american political system. they are utilizing a process, trying to influence it the way that they would like to see it go. i think the tea party folks are doing the same thing. i think the tea party folks, we're putting them in too small of a box. i don't think it's just ignited
here in the last 18 to 20 months. i can make a strong argument that you would have to go back to 1992 with ross perot, then 2004 with howard dean and then you know, here about 18, 16 to 18 months ago, it ignited again. i don't think it started then because of president obama. i think the last two and a half, three years of the bush administration, i saw this and wrote about it for some time and saying this was going to happen. i think the intensity is at a fever pitch level and it's going to be interesting for november. >> what do you make they're starting to move from the center and backing the mainstream candidates against the tea party people. >> that list included senator bennett. those are the types of candidates we've already defeated. we defeated them in the
republican primary -- >> michael bennett. >> sorry. >> he's the democratic candidate and incumbent in colorado, kirk the republican nomination for the senate in illinois and meg whitman who won the nomination for governor in california. these are all winners. lincoln chafee is the only one running as an independent. my question to you is, are you worried the center may hold here? >> well, i think we've got the se center. our message of fiscal responsibility is the center of american politics. the polls show that. that's why charlie crist will be beaten by marco rubio in florida. >> these candidates don't call themselves centrists. joe miller is a conservative if not a very conservative guy. sharron angle is very, very conservative. i think it's not fair to call them centrists. >> i think our message is centrist in the sense it attracts conservatives, independent swing voters, even conservative democrats. that's a big winning coalition for november. that's what our message will be
no november. >> let's get our terms straight. is sharron angle a conservative or centrist? >> i think sharron angle is a conservative that has a centrist message when she's talking about fiscal responsibility. >> what about second amendment remedies? if you don't like the way congress voted. take firearms and use them against congress if you don't like the way they voted? she said that. >> i don't think that position is centrist. >> i hope not. >> when you look at fiscal responsibility and the types of messages we have. we're knocking on doors making phone calls. this movement and the candidates we're supporting. when they focus on those issues we're going to win in november. that's what's clear. >> you're trying to get them to be sound centrists. j.c. watts, you're a mainstream republican. do you honestly think there's not a difference between you and the people on the far right who are running this election? joe miller up in alaska who knocked off senator murkowski, or sharron angle who knocked off
sue lowden in nevada? or mike castle who was defeated by this o'donnell? christine o'donnell? these people are from the right and they've knocked off people from the center right. >> chris, i am an oklahoma conservative that rural america, community of 2, 500 people that thought more about using common sense to solve problems, and i think we're getting -- in politics today, i heard a pastor friend of mine say once, he said, you know, everybody's concerned about the right wing and the left wing, and the poor bird is dying. and i think, you know, this movement that you see, chris, i really think it's kind of -- it's benefiting the right, but i think there's republicans, democrats, moderates, conservatives out there who have rallied around, i think, you know, excessive spending, you know, high taxes, some
constitutional issues that they're concerned about. and again, this didn't just happen in -- pop up in the last 16 to 18 months. >> i want to go over to brendan on this. clearly there's been rebellions against the federal government since george washington had to put down the whiskey rebellion. i had the whiskey rebellion flag in my office. i know about the history. where is the activity in the streets or the washington mall under george w.? i didn't see crowds of glenn beck types waving flags and showing up in the summer raising hell under bush. i saw a president who never vetoed a single spending bill and congress obsessed with earmarks and lots of pork and you guys didn't whimper. >> that's not true at all. freedom works fought very hard against the bailouts under bush, the spending. >> where was this done and where was the reaction? i had to go over -- i like dick armey. i went over to the headquarters of your organization to interview him. there wasn't any rallies on the mall. >> we weren't able to do that
yet. we had to build the movement. we had to use the technology to organize this opposition that started under president bush. by the time we did that, we got our feet under us in the fall of 2008, we mad a petition where 80,000 people opposed the wall street bailout. we pounded republicans on that. it wasn't until we were able to get our feet under us to organize to do tea parties in 2009. >> who did the wall street bailout? republican or democrat? >> it was the hank paulson and george bush wing of the republican party, the very wing that's losing now, by the way. >> that's the fight that's on right now. mr. watts, we have to go. i'm sorry, sir. please come back. j.c. watts, mentioned his home state again and again. brendan steinhauser. i think what you're going to like what i have to say about public schools. we invented them in this country. now we have to fix them. [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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"let me finish" tonight with how america became a great country this past century. we did it because we took everyone at a young age and educated them. we created something called public school. they had nothing like it in the country so many of our families came from, had nothing like it here before. it was the basis o a true democracy. everyone gets a chance to learn, to grow, to become a full share in the accumlative knowledge of man kind. we have a problem today. washington is sitting where the congress meets where the federal government is set, now produces young people who are not able to compete in our society.
the numbers of those below level in math, to take an example is 92% in eighth grade. 8% of our eighth graders are up to the national level. why do we put up with this? why do teachers get passing grades for teaching when students get failing grades in what they're expected to have been caught taught? the democrats protect the unions, the unions protect the teachers. republicans hate standards, hate having anything done on a national basis. the localities lousy in educating children get to keep their lousiness secret they think. who protects the students? i don't want to make fun of hardworking committed public school teachers. some should be canonized. i understand the desire of people to make local decisions locally. think of your kid. your kid. would you like him or her condemned to a life of mediocre education, low achievement, low hope? once upon a time, people would write home to europe, with