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Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
7 years 11 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 01/27/15 at 04:29 pm in response to Do Republicans really care about 'people like you'?

It may be a case of projection, but I sort of believe that Republicans care about the people in our base in roughly the same way I care about the people in their base. And that's not zero. Like Republicans at least claim, I think what's good for my people is ultimately good for their people and ultimately all of us.

Posted on 01/28/15 at 08:09 am in response to Do Republicans really care about 'people like you'?

I did see that, and I thought that was a pretty remarkable piece. I hope it's one that no legislator, Democrat or Republican, would subscribe to.

My insight into what is in people's hearts is limited. I don't think a lot of people in politics see the world Strain does, and all of us have reason to be grateful for that. I have talked with people about political issues who quite literally see me as the devil incarnate. I make a pretty deliberate effort and choice not to believe that of...

Posted on 01/29/15 at 06:57 am in response to Do Republicans really care about 'people like you'?

Republicans say that “Democrats are always offering "free stuff" …[and], since nothing is really free, Democrats' ideas will inevitably lead to higher taxes or higher deficits and economic collapse”

Democrats say that we have to find a way to pay for stuff that isn't free. While a Republican will tell you we can find ways to have things like health care and roads and bridges without paying for them, Democrats know all to well that these things must be paid for through taxes.


Posted on 01/26/15 at 11:53 am in response to LIFO isn't the culprit in poor student achievement

' But a system of evaluation that doesn't count performance as a formal benchmark is simply not serving anyone.

I don't know that systems of evaluation do serve anyone. Has anyone systematically evaluated them? In any event, while I am indeed all for evaluating folks, the relationship between evaluation systems and quality of education is hardly clear. We talk about evaluation because it's easy to talk about, and a way to divert ourselves from the real problems our schools face. We...

In terms of compromise, I am open to it. Just like the Republicans, I have a very lengthy list of changes that I think my guys should bring to the negotiating table.

When talking about it, I think it's important to understand that compromise is not a goal, but a means to an end, and the end should be good policy. Compromise can be helpful to achieving that end, but sometimes it just isn't.

Consider one big issue on the table now, the deficit and it's relationship to taxing and spending. It would seem obvious that there is a natural compromise that would reduce the deficit a reduction in spending combined with an increase in taxes. Problem solved....

The career politicians have so much baggage that they become unable to do anything but block.

Is that exactly fair? At that rarest point in American history, when the Democratic Party controlled the White House, the House of Representatives, and had a filibuster proof majority in the senate, they enacted Obamacare. And believe me, it took a lot work with a lot of different people to get it done.

"Why would the politicians want to give up a $200,000+ yearly income for doing...

Posted on 01/21/15 at 09:10 am in response to Support schools, end LIFO policies

One of the things I do as an activist, and an editor of activists, whenever I see a bit of advocacy is ask whether the problems match up with the solutions. In reading a lot of stuff, what you often find is that when you strip a lot of the rhetoric, what you find is that the advocate hasn't identified a problem, and hasn't identified a solution to whatever problems might be raised.

What is the problem with our schools? I see a lot of numbers, but what are the real problems which...

Posted on 01/21/15 at 10:29 am in response to Support schools, end LIFO policies

In evaluating the response from the teachers union, one must always remember they are advocates for teachers, not students.

And in fairness, it's important to understand that the focus of a lot of critics here is anti unionism, not support for education.

Posted on 01/21/15 at 10:36 am in response to Support schools, end LIFO policies

I operate from a place of blissful ignorance. I leave substance to others. But just for a moment let's engage is some unsupported speculation and say one of the problems our schools, particularly low performing schools, face is instability. We might very well see revolving doors for students, teachers and administration. That's going to hurt performance significantly I would argue. Where teachers are concerned, you might have a lot of new teachers shuffled in and out, without much chance for...