They are generally referred to as "talking points," but are sometimes called "marching orders." They are instructions members of Congress, or candidates for same, receive from their party's headquarters or its congressional leadership to help them stay "on message." That means not only holding on for dear life and campaign funding to the substance of the message, but also clinging even to specific words and phrases, usually tested in polls and with focus groups. It's enough to make you think "talking points" are what Edgar Bergen gave Charlie McCarthy. Or what Joe Stalin gave Franklin Roosevelt.
One of the requirements to become a Dayton, Ohio, police officer is to successfully pass the city's two-part written examination. Applicants must correctly answer 57 of 86 questions on the first part (66 percent) and 73 of 102 (72 percent) on the second part. Dayton's Civil Service Board reported that 490 candidates passed the November 2010 written test, 57 of whom were black. About 231 of the roughly 1,100 test takers were black.
The latest published data from the 2010 census show how people are moving from place to place within the United States. In general, people are voting with their feet against places where the liberal, welfare-state policies favored by the intelligentsia are most deeply entrenched.
Back in November 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts released an alarming report on the state of literacy in the United States, Reading at Risk. It was unusual for a liberal cultural entity created by the federal government to bring attention to an educational problem, but credit must be given to the Endowment chairman, Dana Gioia, for bringing this issue to the attention of the American people. He said: “This is a massive social problem. We are losing the majority of the new generation. They will not achieve anything close to their potential because of poor reading.”