Texas Senate rejects creationist’s nomination

May 28, 2009

A victory in a war that should not be.

Texas Freedom Network carries the news (4:43 p.m. Central) that the Texas State Senate voted 19-11 in favor of Gov. Rick Perry’s nominee to head the State Board of Education, Don McLeroy, a wedge politician who represents the Beaumont area on the board of 15 commissioners.  Fortunately for Texas, the nomination needed 20 votes for approval.

Difficulty arises because there is not a candidate on the horizon from among the board’s members who probably has Perry’s favor and who is not a creationist, wedge politician.  Technically, Perry could reappoint McLeroy, some observers think, and he could occupy the seat until the next regular session of the Senate in two years.

It’s a story about a road that goes on forever and the bad politics never end.

Press release from TFN below the fold.

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HippoCampus: Technology’s promise shows

May 28, 2009

Teachers, are you using HippoCampus?  (Tell us about it in comments if you are.)

Topics with lesson plans and great support material:

Algebra
Algebra (Spanish)
American Government
Biology
Calculus
Calculus (Spanish)
Environmental Science
Physics
Psychology
Religion
Statistics
USHistory

HippoCampus is a product of the Monterey Institute, a part of the University of California system.




When earmarks were good Congressional policy

May 28, 2009

Once  upon a time earmarks on legislation promoted the best inventions, and consequently, the economic success of the United States.  Below is the image of a vote count made by Samuel F. B. Morse on the bill to provide money to develop the telegraph.  Image and the text of explanation both come from the Morse Collection at the  American Memory Project at the Library of Congress.

Member list of the U.S. House of Representatives, with notations by Samuel Morse on vote of February 23, 1843

Member list of the U.S. House of Representatives, with notations by Samuel Morse on vote of February 23, 1843

By 1842, funding from the U.S. Congress was essential if the now-impoverished Morse was to be able to build and prove his telegraph system. On February 23, 1843, his bill for appropriated funding passed in the House of Representatives by a slim majority of 89 to 83 (with 70 not voting), but obviously every vote was crucial. This annotated member list of the twenty-six states may have been used by Morse before, during, or after the vote. The symbol “O” is thought to indicate an assenting vote, “-” a dissenting vote, and “>” no vote.


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