Monday, October 01, 2007

Adios, Brian

Brian Porter is retiring from Montgomery County Public Schools, where he has been serving as chief of staff to Superintendent Jerry Weast, effective today. Brian has been in public education administration for thirty years, and now he's leaving to go work on his PhD in education policy and leadership studies at the University of Maryland.

We've put Brian on the spot more than once, and he has shown an amazing ability to keep his senses, including his sense of humor, when things get chaotic. Many times he has given important insights to the citizens advisory committee, often with that trademark understated ironic style that is indicated by the slightest twitch of a smile. He has lent an air of dignity to this whole crazy process of developing a health curriculum in the middle of a three-ring circus.

We sometimes define our mission in terms of supporting the school district, but that doesn't mean we're always real nice to them, or that we support everything they do. Lots of times we've felt a need to push the district, to criticize -- part of supporting them is not letting them give in or give up. Poor Brian has been in the middle of all this, trying to keep order within the bureaucracy that administers classroom content while at the same time keeping the public from storming up the hillside toward Castle Carver with their torches and pitchforks, whether it was the CRC or us. Through it all, Brian has always kept his cool, has proposed real solutions to real problems, has helped everybody work together as well as possible.

Lori-Christina Webb will be the new liaison to the citizens advisory committee, which is good, he's leaving us in good hands. (And Lori-Christina, I saw you in the Tribune -- nice.)

Good luck in whatever you do, Brian, it has been a pleasure working with you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hasta manana, Supreme Court

October 01, 2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Hillary and McCain backed the right horse:

"BAGHDAD - Deaths among American forces and Iraqi civilians fell dramatically last month to their lowest levels in more than a year, according to figures compiled by the U.S. military, the Iraqi government and The Associated Press.

The decline signaled a U.S. success in bringing down violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions since Washington completed its infusion of 30,000 more troops on June 15.

A total of 64 American forces died in September — the lowest monthly toll since July 2006.

The decline in Iraqi civilian deaths was even more dramatic, falling from 1,975 in August to 922 last month, a decline of 53.3 percent. The breakdown in September was 844 civilians and 78 police and Iraqi soldiers, according to Iraq’s ministries of Health, Interior and Defense.

In August, AP figures showed 1,809 civilians and 155 police and Iraqi soldiers were killed in sectarian violence.

The civilian death toll has not been so low since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.

In a joint statement, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. Commander Gen. David Petraeus commended Iraqi’s security forces and its citizens for the decrease in violence.

“We are confident that you and your fellow citizens will continue to display determination, that Iraqi Security Forces will remain vigilant and that additional Iraqis will join our combined effort,” said the statement released Monday."

October 01, 2007 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that dang turning tide:

"WASHINGTON - Powerless in their effort to bring troops home from Iraq, Senate Democrats were on track Monday to help pass a defense policy bill that would authorize another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The developments underscored the difficulty facing Democrats in the Iraq debate: They lack the votes to pass legislation ordering troops home and are divided on whether to cut money for combat, despite a mandate by supporters to end the war."

October 01, 2007 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until the 2008 elections...

October 01, 2007 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have watched the Democrat debate last week. Hillary, Obama and John "I-think- I'll-get-a-real-haircut" Edwards all refused to say if they'd withdraw troopsfrom Iraq by the end of their first term.

With fatalities failing, the rationale for cowardly retreat has disappeared. Remember we still have troops stationed in Europe.

We're in Iraq to stay.

Get used to it.

October 01, 2007 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turn turn turn

"Most in Poll Want War Funding Cut
Bush's Approval Rating Ties All-Time Low

By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 2, 2007; Page A01

Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy battles.

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll also shows deep dissatisfaction with the president and with Congress. Bush's approval rating stands at 33 percent, equal to his career low in Post-ABC polls. And just 29 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, its lowest approval rating in this poll since November 1995, when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. It also represents a 14-point drop since Democrats took control in January.

Despite discontent with Congress this year, the public rates congressional Republicans (29 percent approve) lower than congressional Democrats (38 percent approve). When the parties are pitted directly against each other, the public broadly favors Democrats on Iraq, health care, the federal budget and the economy. Only on the issue of terrorism are Republicans at parity with Democrats."

GOP's gonna lose lots of seats in 2008. Get used to it.

October 02, 2007 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Republicans lost a lot of seats in 2006.

Didn't change much.

Bush isn't running again and the Republican presidential candidates do fine in polls vs Hillary.

Of course, with the Democrats, it all depends if they voted against the war funding before they voted for it.


October 02, 2007 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think 2006's 6 lost GOP Senate seats and 27 lost GOP House seats was "a lot"?

You ain't seen nothing yet baby!!!!!!!

October 02, 2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always like the Democrats to count their chickens before they're hatched.

We all remember George Steph on ABC, election night 2004, giving gloating analysis of how the Republicans lost the presidency. Ha Ha!

We've got alot to talk about before November 2008. You will notice in your cited poll that only 3% of Americans favor complete cutoff of war funds.

The perception is that Bush has mismanaged the war. Somewhat true, obviously, but the fact remains that Americans will prefer to continue if our chance of success is reasonable. Virtually no one wants the consequences that would follow retreat.

The gloom of just three months ago has been replaced by a realization that, yes, our chance of success is reasonable. You see, the Iraqi people trust us more than al quaeda or Iran.

October 02, 2007 9:22 AM  

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