Rams looking for seventh seed in MWC with a win

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Justin Warren

With just two games left in the women’s basketball season, it is possible for the Rams (9-18, 4-10 MWC) to enter the Mountain West Conference Tournament on March 10 sitting seventh in conference play.

The Rams are currently tied for the eighth seed with UNLV, a team CSU has swept this season, and will travel to Albuquerque, N. M., Saturday to take on the New Mexico Lobos (18-8, 7-6 MWC) for their last away game of the season. UNLV will be taking on Air Force, who is 0-13 in conference play, the same afternoon, making Saturday’s game a must win for the Rams.

“We just have to go and not worry about anyone else. We cannot worry about if UNLV is going to beat Air Force. We have just got to control our own destiny,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “Bottom line is whoever we play it is what it is. We just have to take it a day at the time and not worry about who is losing.”

“It is a tough place to play. New Mexico is a tough team, but we can be a tough team at times so I know it is a game we can play with them,” senior forward Britney Minor said. “To beat New Mexico we have to come out focused an hour before the game, not once the game starts. When we come out flat, that’s when we always get behind and those are the games we lose.”

The higher CSU stands in the conference heading into the MWC Tournament, the better shot they will have at facing an even caliber team in the first round.

After a loss to the Wyoming Cowgirls 71-62 Wednesday night in Laramie, the Rams’ bid for the sixth position in MWC ended.

“When I watched the tape I saw so many things that we could have corrected and just some fundamental things,” coach Holt said. “You can have effort but if you are not being smart and you are not where you are suppose to be, then that is going to hurt you.”

Wednesday night the Rams’ defense allowed seven three-pointers in the first half and allowed four of the Cowgirls’ players to score in double figures. Emma Langford led Wyoming in scoring with 17 points, while her teammate Hilary Carlson tallied 16 points, along with nine rebounds and five of the Cowgirl’s 10 blocks.

The Rams also had trouble with fouls, committing 18 team fouls in the second half.

“We just have to be disciplined enough to keep (offensive players) in front of us and not foul,” junior forward Juanise Cornell said. “We don’t want to play (New Mexico) like we did Wyoming. We need to get in and pressure them and not commit fouls.”

For the Rams it was sophomore guard Bonnie Barbee who came off the bench to lead CSU in scoring with 11 points, nine of which came off three consecutive three-pointers in the last two minutes of play.

“I would like to see that from Bonnie when she goes in on the first half. Bonnie is really good at scoring at the end of the game but she has got to focus in on doing that all the time,” Holt said.

Senior forward Carine Reimink was second in scoring with 10 points, which was Rimink’s highest total since ending the Northern Iowa game on Dec. 14, with 10 points. Reimink was also perfect from the foul line, sinking all four of her free throws.

Five-foot-10-inch freshman guard Kim Mestdagh was the leading rebounder for the Rams, with a career-high nine boards along with six points.

New Mexico enters Saturday’s game on a two-game losing streak, after falling to San Diego Sate and TCU on the road. The Lobos have only won two of their last seven games, giving the Rams confidence that New Mexico is a team they can beat.

“(New Mexico is) obviously a beatable team,” Cornell said. “UNLV beat them and they are not an unbeatable team. They are good and we are just going to have to come out and play our game.”

In the last matchup between the two schools on Jan. 28, the Lobos defeated the Rams in Moby 76-68 after a late comeback attempt by CSU fell short.

Amy Beggin was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points for New Mexico, while freshman Meghan Heimstra, in her second start of the season, was second in scoring with a career-high 19 points.

Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m.

Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Sports Calendar

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Feb 262009
 
Authors:

Friday:

Softball

San Diego

5:30 p.m.

UCLA

8:00 p.m.

San Diego, Calif.

Women’s Swimming

MWC Swimming and Diving Championships

All Day

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Indoor Track

Mountain West Conference Championships

All Day

Air Force Academy

Saturday:

Softball

Santa Clara

10 a.m.

Oregon

12:30 p.m.

San Diego, Calif.

Women’s Basketball

New Mexico

2 p.m.

Albuquerque, N.M.

Women’s Tennis

New Mexico State

6:30 p.m.

Fort Collins

Men’s Basketball

New Mexico

7:00 p.m.

Fort Collins

Women’s Swimming

MWC Swimming and Diving Championships

All Day

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Indoor Track

Mountain West Conference Championships

All Day

Air Force Academy

Sunday:

Softball

UC Davis

3:00 p.m.

San Diego, Calif.

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Softball heads back to California

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Keith Robertson

The CSU softball team is in California for the third straight week for the San Diego Classic I today, after winning the University of Sand Diego Invitational Tournament last weekend.

The Rams (9-6) will play five games in three days for the second week in a row, but the team doesn’t believe it will affect their play, which, as of late, has been nothing short of impressive.

Last week, five Rams batted .400 or better, with sophomore Caitlan Stem batting a team-high .474. The Rams also got strong pitching performances out of freshmen Dani Chaplin and Kellie Eubanks; both are 3-1 this season.

“I just feel like they will continue (to progress),” head coach Mary Yori said. “I think they’ll get better I think they’ve gained more confidence. They have a lot of upside.”

The structure of the Rams squad is coming into focus, and it looks like they’ll have four pitchers willing and able to start — a big advantage when playing five games in three days. According to Yori, the pitching is so deep she never knows who to start.

The Rams are coming into a weekend of games with a winning record for the first time this season. And the team is primed to continue its success.

“I expect us to do very well this weekend,” said outfielder and Denver native Ivory Allen. “I feel like our team chemistry is really clicking now. I think we could have a lot of upsets.”

The Ram’s first game of the weekend is against familiar opponent San Diego (1-9). The Rams are 3-0 against the Toreros this season, winning the first two matchups by two runs each, and the third by eight.

“It’s hard to beat anybody four times,” Yori said. “They’re a quality team, so we just need to put together a good game. We feel that they’re a team we can go 4-0 against, but we can’t look past them or they will get us.”

After the Rams get through with San Diego, they will face their first real test of the season, as they will battle Pac-10 powerhouse UCLA (13-2) in a night game beginning at 8 p.m.

UCLA is led by sophomore Katie Schroeder, with 14 RBI’s in 15 games. The Bruins are currently ranked No. 4 in the country, but ranks don’t intimidate the confident Ram team.

“We like to take the philosophy that every team is the same,” said junior Allison Majam. “We want to go in with the same mentality for every game.”

In their first game on Saturday, the Rams will be clashing with Santa Clara (1-5). The Rams have a slight advantage, as their overall record against the Broncos is 4-2.

Shortly after that game, CSU will be taking on the Ducks of Oregon (6-9). The Ducks have had a less than noteworthy season so far. Still, the Rams are happy to get another chance at a Pac-10 team.

“I know our players are very excited to face them,” Yori said. “We’ll be ready to play, ready to go. We just have to take it one step at a time, one game at a time.”

The Rams will be playing their final game against the only another opponent, besides UCLA, with a winning record, UC Davis. The Aggies are 7-3 and own the overall series with the Rams, winning all three matchups.

The Rams are hoping this weekend’s trip will accomplish several things for the team, including getting younger players experienced and more comfortable. They also want to get some wins and put the program on the map by beating a nationally ranked team.

The Ram’s goals are not that enormous, as Yori said, “You start every game at 0-0, so it’s anybody’s game.”

Softball beat reporter Keith Robertson can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Kowalczyk seeks to increase diversity

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Sean Star

At an overwhelmingly homogenous university, it should come as no surprise there’s a significant lack of diversity in the current head-coaching circle at CSU.

In fact, there’s no diversity. Ten head coaches. Ten very similar looking faces.

Take a stroll through the offices of the McGraw Center and you’ll find that the trend is very much the same.

But don’t think for a second CSU’s problem is a unique one.

Last week The Institute of Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its annual study on racial and gender hiring practices, and collegiate athletics didn’t fare well. NCAA member institutions came in dead last in comparison to the NBA, WNBA, MLB, NFL and MLS with an overall grade of C+, according to the report.

“The primary problem regarding racial hiring practices is that whites still dominate key positions,” said the report, authored by University of Central Florida doctor Richard Lapchick.

CSU Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk says he is very aware of the problem, both nationally and here on campus.

“The only way that this is going to change is if people are truly committed to creating change,” he said.

But is Kowalczyk, whose first three hires at CSU were all white, one of those committed to creating change?

There’s clear evidence he is.

Back in November, Black Coaches and Administrators released a report grading the hiring practices of last year’s head coaching vacancies – a position that notoriously lacks diversity.

CSU received an A for the process that eventually led to the hiring of Steve Fairchild.

But wait a second, how does a school get an A for hiring a white coach? CSU received the BCA’s highest marks in three of the five observed categories — diversity of the search committee, length of search and implementation of affirmative action hiring policies –, which led to the overall grade.

So Kowalczyk and his staff were rewarded for their effort and not necessarily the outcome. But don’t judge the AD’s affective commitment to diversity solely on his time at CSU.

“I have a track record that illustrates my commitment: Whether it was hiring a black men’s basketball head coach or a black female head track coach at Southern Illinois, or in this case grading well in the football search,” he said. ” … I’m a member of the BCA. Having been to their convention before, I’m very sensitive to the issues.”

And though CSU may not currently have any minority head coaches, the picture isn’t all that bleak, said Marcus Elliot, a former collegiate women’s basketball coach and interim director of Black Student Services.

All three of the school’s revenue sports — football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball have minority assistant coaches — Elliot noted.

“As far as coaches are concerned, I think CSU is doing a fairly decent job as far as being able to get the numbers of diverse representation in coaching. We still have a long way to go to get to there, as far as comparable on the national level. I’ve seen CSU make some pretty good strides as far as making sure that those things are taken care of.”

“I just believe that with regard to athletic administration there’s also some steps that need to be taken as far as getting more minorities in athletics administration, he said.”

Kowalczyk has done a great deal to improve the Athletics Department in his brief time at CSU, and there’s no doubt the future looks very bright with him in charge.

Let’s just hope the future is a little more colorful too.

Sports columnist Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Walker, Gardner go once more in FoCo

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

When Marcus Walker and Willis Gardner trot out to center court of Moby Arena Saturday afternoon accompanied by family and receiving a standing ovation from Rams fans, both players will know they had an impact at CSU.

Walker and Gardner have one final game left to play at home before their careers in Fort Collins are over, and both are trying to make the most of time they have left.

Walker, a six-foot guard, said even though the results haven’t come immediately, the Rams have come along way since he first adorned the green and gold.

“It’s come far,” the Kansas City native said. “The wins aren’t going to show it, but as far as people’s mind set and how we approach games, all that type of stuff has changed.”

Gardner agreed with Walker, adding that the wins will come with time. The guard explained that he likes to think he helped play a big part in improving the team.

“I think I had a good role because I’m competitive and tough,” Gardner said. “I showed the other youngsters how to play, and I know they will get better every year.”

Both Walker and Gardner transferred to CSU from junior colleges during a time when the Rams basketball was near disaster. Head coach Tim Miles was entering his first year with the Rams and had lost a majority of the previous season’s team.

Miles said he will be forever indebted to the senior duo for choosing to become Rams, explaining how this year’s senior class will always have a special meaning to him.

“I’m greatly appreciative of Marcus (Walker) and Willis (Gardner),” the second-year CSU coach said. “They bet on us when no one else would. These guys had other options and decided this was the best place for them. I really appreciate that.”

Both Walker and Gardner said they don’t regret coming to Fort Collins, even with the way the team has struggled the past two seasons. During the duo’s time at CSU, the Rams have gone 16-44.

Walker explained that through the adversity of playing for a losing program, people will learn much more than just how to play basketball.

“You’ll learn a lot about yourself,” he said. “You’ll learn that you can take the good with the bad, especially the way we’ve been losing the last two years. I’ll never give up on this and I don’t regret it. I’m happy with my decision to come here. Everything happens for a reason.”

Gardner and Walker have one final chance to win at home as CSU (9-19, 4-10 MWC) is set to square off against New Mexico (18-10, 9-4 MWC) Saturday in Moby Arena. The Lobos outlasted CSU in the pair’s first meeting this season, besting the Rams 68-50, and they enter the game with a two-game winning streak.

Miles compared UNM to perennial MWC-powerhouse Utah, but said he likes how his team has handled that style of team all season.

“We’ve battled those types of teams well,” he said. “We just have to stay with it. I know the guys are down right now. We just have to get past the pity party and find a way to get better.”

CSU enters the game losing two of their last three games, including an overtime loss to Utah and a heartbreaking defeat to rival Wyoming.

For Gardner, Saturday’s game represents one final shot to gain some momentum before heading to Las Vegas for the conference tournament.

“Hopefully we can play hard, go to the conference tournament and make a run,” he said. “That’s a brand new season right there. Anything can happen then.”

Men’s basketball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Marcus Walker

6’0″/175 pounds Guard

Career at CSU:

PPG – 16.6

RPG – 2.7

Steals – 1.05

Miles on Walker:

“Marcus is Marcus. He’s an enduring guy, kind of unflappable. What you see is what you get, high energy and fun to be around. He’s as good as an open floor player as I’ve ever coached and he’s as electric of a player as you are going to find in the MWC. In transition he’s great.”

Willis Gardner

6’1″/182 pounds Guard

Career at CSU:

PPG: 10.7

RPG: 1.66

APG: 2.5

Miles on Gardner:

“Willis has really been the heart of our team. He kind of wills himself to play. We tease him, calling him Mr. Potato Head because he’s had every sort of injury since he’s been here. We just keep putting him back together. Players see that and the things he still does and admire him for it. Coaches do to.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Ramtalk

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Feb 262009
 
Authors:

I have a huge carbon footprint. Ladies you know what they say about big feet …

To the girls who insist on wearing slippers or clogs to school: PICK UP YOUR FEET!

I know the economic crisis is affecting everyone, but did the Collegian really have to cut punchlines from its cartoon budget?

Im glad im not attracted to Barbie-type girls, because I don’t know how I feel about a 7’2″ women that has a size 5 shoe and is only 101 pounds. I’m still wondering when they are going to make a thick Barbie with some junk in the trunk?

Why does the Collegian bother printing any stories on the back page? That’s vital coupon space for Wilbur’s.

To Repeat/Delete: how much is it to rent that van for the weekend?

Apologizing to your girlfriend for hooking up her best friend is pointless. It’s kinda like putting a condom on after sex.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Thursday’s wind really blew my high.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Bumper stickers: Thoughtless war statements, propaganda or both?

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Alex Stephens

I’m starting to see this one bumper sticker around town quite frequently, and perhaps you’ve seen it too.

It reads, “Except for ending slavery, fascism, Nazism and communism, war has never solved anything.”

The assumed connotation is that war has gotten a pretty bad, and unfair, reputation despite all the terrible evils it’s managed to eradicate. I beg to differ.

Is it a serious statement — maybe it’s satirical? Sadly it always seems to be coupled with “Marines rule, you drool” type stickers, so I’d be inclined to take it seriously.

Slavery

Ask yourself, did war end slavery? Of course it did. But only the legal kind of slavery in America, as any third grader can tell you.

The Civil War was fought to end slavery — it’s true — but since then slavery has never been more prominent.

A study conducted by the University of Berkeley estimates that around 10,000 persons (mostly women and children) are “forced laborers” in the U.S.

According to the U.S. State Department, between 600,000 to 800,000 humans are smuggled across international borders annually for the purpose of being sold into prostitution or labor.

In fact, many sociologists claim that slavery is much more prevalent now that it ever was by the time the Civil War began in 1861.

Fascism and Nazism

Did war end fascism? On a very large scale it could be argued it did. But what’s also true is that the root cause of fascism was in fact World War I.

Though not necessarily true of Spain, fascism erupted in Germany due to the heavy reparations it suffered from the Treaty of Paris, which ended WWI. Maybe if Germany hadn’t been burdened with an enormous war debt, disparaged by war guilt and driven to extreme desperation, it wouldn’t have become the hotbed for the Nazi party to fester in. In a way, the Allies of WWI caused fascism.

Nazism and fascism — pretty much the same thing — have by no means ended though.

In the post WWII world, anti-Semitic, “National Socialist” fascist parties have sprung up in nearly every country — most especially the U.S.

The Nazis even exploited our First Amendment in 1977 during something called the Skokie Affair.

Under the freedom to assemble, the National Socialist Party of America — the neo-Nazis — planned to march through the heavily Jewish suburb of Skokie, Ill., which was home to many holocaust survivors as well as other ethnic minorities and outspoken homosexuals.

While the NSPA never rallied in Skokie, they did so in three other locations outside of Chicago a year later.

Cleary, war did not destroy Nazism.

Communism

With that, we sail the rocky shores of history books on over to communism.

Again, it was the direct result of WWI, a very brutal and horrific war. There are so many counterfactuals — “if’s” — that I feel I really shouldn’t write this, but if Russia had not been dragged into the war and if the Russian Tsar had rescinded his commitment to it, and if the fabric of Russian society had not been shredded by the war, then perhaps communism would never have surfaced there.

Although many wars were fought to end or contain communism — Vietnam being the most significant — more success was actually made by not fighting.

Russian/European communism imploded on itself due to the unbearable economic and social stress exerted by the West, but Chinese communism is still alive and kicking. In fact, America is pretty much “best friends forever” with China ever since they brokered some of our financial debt.

Enough with the history lesson; you probably get the point by now.

This irksome bumper sticker is an affront to reason and only brandished by the brainless warmonger.

If you ever feel the urge to support the Marines, or any military institution, with bold-worded adhesive statements, choose your message wisely — unless, of course, you’re aiming for that adorably patriotic, yet amusingly childish, method of endorsing propaganda.

Alex Stephens is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Our View: End of an era

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Feb 262009
 
Authors:

With the official announcement that The Rocky Mountain News will print its final edition today, those who aspire to fill the shoes of gutsy men and women who write the rough draft of history feel an overwhelming disruption in the force.

For our newly unemployed brethren at the Rocky we offer our sincerest condolences — and for us, the closure comes as another jarring indication of the field’s mounting struggles, which are outweighed only by the importance of the free press.

The fall of the Rocky, a Colorado mainstay and watchdog for more than 150 years, represents something more, for it is the public — not us notepad-wielding weirdos — who will suffer the wrath of the news media reaper.

As newspapers and journalism as the fourth estate lie beaten, so does democracy as we have come to enjoy it.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.”

Information is power. And the newspaper is the conduit through which the people organize and execute their power. For this, journalism must persevere, and it will in some unforeseen permutation of the word.

While the press remains free in a Jeffersonian context, the framers of the constitution could not have foreseen a world in which news media was so beholden to its advertisers — companies who, upon the mainstreaming of the Internet, have abandoned the greatest example of dissemination of truth and protection of democracy for blogs and Yahoo! “news.”

Is a press really free if it is so easily maimed by the whim of Wall Street and inflated conglomerates? And how does the answer impact those to whom we are truly beholden — you, the public?

Ask The Rocky Mountain News.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Letter to the Editor

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Feb 262009
 
Authors:

To Ian Bezek:

To say your analysis of organic farming was blatant sophistry would be generous. It seems you are both “against the environment” and a strong opponent of reason as well.

The true cost of pesticides is not 20 deaths each year. Include the 67,000 poisonings every year (according to the Association of Poison Control Centers); the increased rates of cancer, infertility, immune and neurological deficiencies, diabetes, Parkinson’s, miscarriages, birth defects and developmental disorders linked to pesticides; the cost of treating contaminated groundwater; and a conservative estimate of the cost of biological services lost to get a total social cost between $2.2 billion and $4.4 billion yearly in the U.S. That’s far from “virtually harmless.” (For now let’s ignore the estimated 3 million severe poisonings and 18,000 deaths worldwide due to pesticides.)

Organic farming has costs as well. Charitably, let us ignore your analysis. Reduced yields are the most often cited example of the social costs of organic farming. However, some crops, such as corn and soybeans, have similar yields with organic farming. In developing countries, where farmers cannot afford expensive pesticides, organic farming can actually increase yields two or three-fold.

Promoting organic farming in developing countries can save thousands of lives, while increasing productivity. Organic farms also use 30 percent less energy, conserve water, preserve soil quality, mitigate soil erosion and promote biodiversity.

Organic farming is certainly not a panacea, but it deserves more than the outright dismissal you afforded it.

Erik Anderson

Senior

natural resource

management major and economics minor

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Democrats harming bipartisan spirit

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Feb 262009
 
Authors: Chelsea Cane Indiana University

(U-WIRE) – With the recent passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, much of America has been buzzing about the provisions within the bill as well as the mode by which it was constructed and passed.

The Obama campaign ran on a promise of fiscal responsibility, transparency and bipartisanship. While I commend President Barack Obama for the introduction of http://recovery.gov to help Americans track the payments and projects supported by the new stimulus package, our new leadership has forgotten its promise of bipartisanship and its desire to bring the nation together.

Long before President Obama entered the White House, our Democrat-led Congress had been pushing Republicans out of the legislative process. (Before I continue, I do acknowledge the past shortcomings of Republicans in this same arena. However, my argument against Democrats currently centers on their outspoken aspirations to achieve “real” bipartisanship and to bring Americans together to achieve responsible government.)

On June 10 of last year, the Congressional Research Service released a report indicating that 855 of the 911 bills passed by the Senate of the 110th Congress were streamlined by Democratic Party leadership with a procedural tactic known as Unanimous Consent. Unanimous Consent requires neither a debate nor even a vote.

Is this the vision our founding fathers had for our nation’s legislative body? I maintain that it is not. But it also begs the question: Where is the line between obstruction and delay and constructive debate?

The House version of the stimulus package was passed without a single Republican vote, the final vote tallying 246-183. The Senate narrowly avoided a filibuster by passing the bill 61-37, just one vote more than what was needed to close debate.

Only three Senate Republicans voted for the bill. More Democrats in the House voted against the bill than Republicans in the Senate voted for it.

In July, the House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, dismissed all debate on the issue of offshore drilling. This callous disregard for the process is another prime example of Democrats’ unwillingness to engage in open debate about which they so often pontificate.

President Obama has worked hard to push this stimulus bill through Congress. His vigorous rhetoric communicates intolerance to ideas presented by the right. It has been made clear that President Obama cares little for the bipartisanship that he previously endorsed. He frequently stated that Democrats need not yield to changes in the bill, save for minor items.

This harsh rhetoric is not the push Congress needs — in fact, it is exactly the opposite. For the president of the United States to advocate the swift passage of the most expensive bill in U.S. history, discouraging its debate is disrespectful to the office of the presidency and to the people of the United States.

Despite the president’s forceful endorsement of the bill, the most shocking statements of this whole debacle came from Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. He said the following on the Senate floor: “And let me say this, to all of the ‘chattering’ class, that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments — the American people really don’t care.”

Is that so, Sen. Schumer? We don’t care?

People of all walks of life certainly care about where and how their money is being spent. These people deserve the respect of the representatives they worked to elect. These people deserve honest debate, something that many hoped the Obama administration would inspire. However, we are now seeing a markedly more partisan-sounding President Obama and a more polarized Congress than I have seen in several years — and we’re only 38 days into the new administration.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm