“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

magic to do just for you

Despite the Lege's failure to finance schools, my district has managed to scrape together enough funds to send me to some summer teacher training. So far I've been working harder this summer than I do during the year; hence the long absence from posting. And I've missed y'all.

But I took a break from learning new! and innovative! teaching methods, to participate in a conference call with Chris Bell, potential Democratic candidiate for governor, which took place last night with a number of bloggers from around the state participating. So far I've taken part in two of these things. This one was hosted directly by the exploratory committee, and I heard several new voices over the phone.

Because of the new people, a number of questions and issues were repeated from the previous calls. And although we've called Bell on his "exploratory" bluff since at least April, he still claims that he doesn't have any "bombshells" to drop. He still says that he's waiting until the end of July to decide, and that he wants to see if the Dems are ready to try to win since it will be "one hell of a fight."

I wanted to hear more about education, and to his credit, Bell's been thinking about it. And he's been consulting the right sources, reminding us last night that

Panhandle Truth Squad has brought up some points about testing.
Yes, Chris, we have. And thanks for remembering us.

Since Bell mocked that Rick Perry's 11th-hour attempts to strongarm the Lege into doing . . . uh . . . something! anything!, I asked how Bell would have proceeded differently to get schools financed. He advised us to "draw a bigger circle" and remember that the tax system in Texas is "antiquated." In particular he thinks that loopholes on certain businesses need to be closed, and he doesn't accept "assigning winners and losers based on lobbying." Bell threw out the fact that beer manufacturers have been successful in staving off new taxes, while bottled water manufacturers have not. Because the beer makers have better lobbyists.

Not that there's anything wrong with beer.

Bell was convinced, however, that the "people of Texas are fair-minded" and can be convinced to buy in to a better tax system. To accomplish this, Bell suggests starting much earlier and putting together a representative commission that would devise a better system. I had to hold the phone away from my ear when Chris almost shouted the "start early" part.
Don't just wait for something magical to occur!
he demanded, and I'm pretty sure he was slamming his phone against his table as he screamed the words.

Okay, I exaggerate. Some.