For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020;
or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)

Debate Fallout: * Economic Discussion * D.C. Education System * Colombia



Wolff is an instructor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs
at the New School University. He is a frequent contributor to
Huffington Post, Asia Times and The Indypendent.
He cites a disconnect between the economic crisis and the lack of
meaningful discussion in the presidential race: "We are still talking
tax cuts -- despite a forecast of a $1 trillion budget deficit. We are
still talking energy independence -- despite the fact there is no
chance of that."
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Executive director of the D.C.-based group Teaching for Change, Menkart is co-author of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching.
She said today: "It was unfortunate to hear both Obama and McCain
endorse the actions of D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, though
Obama made important points about No Child Left Behind being an
unfunded mandate and the need to provide meaningful supports for
teachers. Rhee's approach, on the other hand, has been almost
exclusively punitive, firing teachers and principals and closing
schools. What's missing is a plan to improve the quality of instruction
through professional development or other critically needed supports
for quality teaching."

The right-wing Washington Spectator is calling for Rhee to be the next Secretary of Education. The A-section of the Washington Post
features a story that notes: "At events this year, [Rhee] has said that
McCain has been the stronger candidate on education issues." Meanwhile,
the Metro section of the Post features the story "Rhee Fires Shepherd Principal, Raising Questions About Vetting."

Murillo is associate professor of Communication at Hofstra University
in New York (where last night's debate was held), and the author of Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest and Destabilization. He is currently living in Colombia, finishing a book about the indigenous movement and its uses of community media.
He said: "Listening to the debates online from my home in Bogotá on the
same day that Colombian security forces were shooting at indigenous
protesters in southern Colombia makes one realize how little knowledge
people in the U.S. have of this troubled country. John McCain talks
about the Uribe regime as 'the best ally of the U.S. in the hemisphere'
that deserves a free trade agreement with Washington, demonstrating
quite clearly how disconnected he is from the reality on the ground
here, and how much he represents another eight years of Bush policies
in the Americas. It's a good thing that Obama recognizes the long
history of attacks against the trade union movement in this country,
but he needs to be updated about the major contradictions surrounding
the Uribe government, including its links with paramilitary death
squads on the U.S. State Department's terrorism list. The popular
movement is screaming out as we speak, and nobody up north seems to be

Murillo just wrote the piece "History Repeats Itself for Indigenous Communities Under Attack in Colombia."



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