Archive for ‘liberals’

July 25, 2009

Obama’s $4 billion ‘school reform’ agenda

Everyone remembers Obama’s plan for education reform, right? Uh, actually, no. Never mind that. Does anyone remember when $4 billion was a lot of money?

The rush is on for $4.35 billion in “Race to the Top” grants, targeted to leverage historic reforms in US public schools.
“This is one of the largest investments in education reform in American history,” said President Obama at the US Department of Education on Friday. “And rather than divvying it up and handing it out, we are letting states and school districts compete for it.”
The high-stakes grants are targeted to reward states and school districts that are “ready to do things that work,” the president said. “That’s how we can incentivize excellence and spur reform and launch a race to the top in America’s public schools.” . . .

(Note strategic deployment of the magic words: “incentivize,” “excellence” and “reform.”)

For the past two months, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been telling education groups that if they want to have an edge going into the competition for these grants, they must demonstrate four key reforms. These include:
• Reversing a pervasive dumbing down of academic standards and testing.
• Establishing better data on student achievement, including linking teacher evaluations and pay to student outcomes.
• Improving or replacing teachers who aren’t up to the job, especially in high-poverty schools and hard-to-staff subjects.
• Turning around failing schools, including replacing school staff and changing school culture.
“For the first time in history, we have the resources at the federal level to drive reform,” Secretary Duncan said as he released draft guidelines for the competition on Friday.
“We cannot continue to tinker in terrible schools where students fall further and further behind, year after year,” he added. . . .

To summarize in three words: Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

Another throw-money-at-it giveaway to the teachers’ unions, with “goals” and “standards” that are vague and arbitrary, the primary purpose being to give the president sufficent rhetorical coverage for that (mandatory) paragraph about “education reform” in his next State Of The Union speech.

In other words, it’s No Child Left Behind, Part Deux.

The problem with the public education system is the system itself. Parents who send their kids to public schools are constituents of the world’s largest welfare program. Whatever the total federal expenditure is on K-12 education, every dime of it is “waste, fraud, and abuse,” a stupid idea with stupid consequences.

You cannot defend public education and call yourself a conservative. The entire history of public education shows that it has been, from Day One, a liberal project aimed at achieving liberal policy objectives that have nothing to do with actual education.

More than anything else, public education is a propaganda vehicle for teaching American children falsehoods, including the belief that government can give you stuff for “free.” Let the government give people something for “free,” and you automatically guarantee two things:

  • It will be ridiculously expensive.
  • Whatever it is, will suck.

As Newt Gingrich once famously observed, high school nowadays is nothing but “subsidized dating.” It’s a colossal waste of time and money. Kids learn more playing hooky than they do when they go to class. “Public school reform” ought to be done the same as “public housing reform”:

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July 16, 2009

Barbara Boxer, expert on energy, science and . . blackness?

Ed Morrissey:

I just love it when white politicians set themselves up as arbiters of racial authenticity, especially when they try to scold minorities for drifting off the political reservation.

And now, the YouTube instant classic video:

Harry Alford, an American hero!

June 26, 2009

The Monstrosity From Hell That WillDestroy the American Economy

Latest update on Waxman-Markey at The American Spectator:

According to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Henry Waxman just tacked on another 300 pages in the dead of night! This monstrosity is like one of those 1950s sci-fi creatures that just keeps growing and growing . . .

Read the rest, if you dare. What is the evil bipartisan virus that plagues Washington, D.C., and turns members of Congress into pod people compelled to wreak vengeance on the voters who elected them?

Most of these Democrats are from states whose industrial economies would be devastated by Waxman-Markey. This resembles nothing so much as the way urban Democrats have spent the past 50 years pushing liberal legislation that harms no one — not even taxpayers — so much as it harms the downtrodden inner-city poor whose interests Democrats claim as their personal comfort-blanket of moral authority.

STOP WAXMAN-MARKEY!

UPDATE: Debate? We don’t need no stinkin’ debate!

June 19, 2009

Matthew Vadum, Rock Star!

Folks, if you missed the 5:15 p.m. segment of the Glenn Beck Show today, you missed a brilliant seminar on the history of the American Left and its connection to Obama and ACORN.

What tied it all together was the discussion of what’s known as the “Piven-Cloward Strategy,” named for Columbia University professors Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who outlined it in a 1966 article in The Nation. Cloward and Piven were instrumental in founding the National Welfare Rights Organization, which sought to implement their ideas for bankrupting “The System” (i.e., capitalism) by purposefully overwhelming the urban social welfare infrastructure.

In discussing it in his inimitably manic way, Beck made all this sound just a wee bit tinfoil-hat, but it was all real, and has been described in several very reputable books. You can read about Cloward and Piven’s ideas and the influence of NWRO in Fred Siegel’s fine book on liberal urban policy, The Future Once Happened Here. The militant approach to social programs was also famously described in Tom Wolfe’s famous essay, Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers. And if you want some good case-studies of the disastrous results of all this, I would urge you to check out Chapter 8 (“Scene of the Crime”) in Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party.

Here’s the thing: The ’60s theorists of the New Left were such radical freaks, whenever any conservative tries to describe their actual agenda, it tends to make the conservative sound kooky. Youre natural reaction is, “Aw, there could never have been any such wild scheme to bankrupt America in order to lay the groundwork for a socialist revolution.”

Except there was such a scheme. It’s all true. And the foot-soldiers of that socialist revolution were people like Bill Ayers and the founders of ACORN.

The problem is that so many conservatives have a fearful flinch reaction about sounding like a “kook” in describing this ’60s New Left ideology, so you rarely hear it described in a calm, factual way. Kudos to Beck for having the erudite Matthew Vadum help him document all this. Vadum described the ACORN connection last October:

ACORN’s overall strategy has a name. It’s called the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” of manufactured crisis (named after two anti-capitalist sociologists) and it calls for packing the welfare rolls to encourage dependency on the government and to overload it with financial demands in order to hasten the collapse of American capitalism.
ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who created ACORN in 1970, was previously an organizer for the now-defunct National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) that was founded in 1967 by the two sociologists.

There is no need to be alarmist about the Left. Ronald Reagan, you will recall, actually faced off against Communist Party union activists in Hollywood in the 1940s, and never once sounded kooky when he called them what they were. The Left has been defeated before; we just need calm courage and we will defeat them again.

June 18, 2009

WTF happened to ‘caveat emptor’?

Poking around the Web, I noticed lots of liberals whining that Obama’s massive new financial-industry regulatory scheme — which analysts worry will suck the profits out of banks — doesn’t go far enough.

Let’s face it, liberals won’t be happy until there are more regulatory bureaucrats than there are bankers. You’ll walk into your bank to cash a check, and three federal regulators will have to sign off on the transaction, with another regulator assigned to decide whether your kid gets a lollipop.

Don’t believe me? Liberal blogger Simon Johnson:

But based on what we see so far, there is little reason to be encouraged. The reform process appears to be have been captured at an early stage — by design the lobbyists were let into the executive branch’s working, so we don’t even get to have a transparent debate or to hear specious arguments about why we really need big banks.
Writing in the New York Times today, Joe Nocera sums up, “If Mr. Obama hopes to create a regulatory environment that stands for another six decades, he is going to have to do what Roosevelt did once upon a time. He is going to have make some bankers mad.”

OK, so who exactly is Simon Johnson, and who put him in charge of deciding whether banks are too big? Well, ho, ho, ho:

Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is a co-founder of The Baseline Scenario. Update (April 2009): Johnson has joined the CBO’s Panel of Economic Advisers.

Johnson worked for the IMF which certainly gives him credibility to talk about banks being too big, eh? As for experience in the for-profit private sector, we have zero evidence that Simon Johnson could turn a profit on the sno-cone concession in Hell.

Which brings me back to the original question: WTF ever happened to caveat emptor?

Banks are not in business to minimize your risk, but to maximize their own profits. Ditto mortgage companies, real-estate agencies, stock brokers, mutual funds, et cetera. I don’t care whether you’re transacting business with Citibank or a pawn shop, the guy on the other side of the counter is there to turn a profit, and it isn’t his job to look after your interests — except insofar as his reputation for trustworthiness helps him attract customers.

Economic Nerf-World
You got scammed by Bernie Madoff? You bought Citi at $54 a share and now it’s at $3 a share? You mortgaged yourself to the max for a new Vegas condo in 2005, based on your salary at a development company that got wiped out when the Vegas real-estate boom evaporated in 2007?

Whose fault is all that, huh? Why is it the job of the federal government to cover the economy in foam Nerf padding like a McDonald’s Playland so that you never suffer for your own financial stupidity?

Liberals want to make the financial sector so “safe” that I could hand my paycheck to my 10-year-old son, let him invest it in Nintendo games and baseball cards, and still be guaranteed a profit.

Not that I don’t empathize with economic losers. I made the clever decision in 1986 to go into the newspaper business, which hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut of growth lately, as you might have noticed by the fact that I’m now shaking the tip jar for blog-o-bucks. (Despite their expressions of concern for boosting economic recovery, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke ain’t hittin’ my tip jar.)

Compared to some other people, though, I’ve been relatively unscathed by the meltdown. I know retirees who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Big Wipeout of 2008, not to mention all the people I know whose jobs are directly linked to the devastated housing market.

Poverty As Security
I might have lost my butt, too, except for the fact that I had a lot less butt to lose. Couldn’t afford a D.C. condo during the bubble, you see, so I’m still renting, 12 years after we sold our little Georgia bungalow and moved to Washington. So boo-hoo-hoo for the idiots who are upside down on their mortgages, and boo-hoo-hoo for the fat cats who thought Bernie Madoff was going to make them rich.

Becoming a journalist was, in retrospect, a stupid career move, but maybe I’m not quite as stupid as some of those guys who got rich doing something else and then pissed it all away on bad investments. Why should the federal government intervene and deprive us of future opportunities for schadenfreude?

If you went to the county fair and let a carnie hustle you out of $100, do we need a Federal Bureau of Ring-Toss to protect you from yourself? Maybe a federally-mandated advisory sticker on every video-poker machine at the Indian casino: “WARNING: Winning Not Guaranteed.”

Maybe caveat emptor has gone by the wayside because schools don’t teach Latin anymore. So let’s go ahead and ditch E Pluribus Unum while we’re at it. Try a new slogan in English: “Never Give A Sucker An Even Break.”

A sucker is born every minute. You see the suckers every time you walk into a convenience store and have to wait in line behind some fool who requires five minutes to complete his lottery-ticket purchase: “OK, give seven of the Pick Three and five Powerballs . . . yeah, right, now give me six each of Lucky Lady, Pot O’ Gold . . .”

The 401(k) Lotto
You’re reading a blog post about economics and financial regulation, so when you find yourself in that all-too-familiar convenience-store scenario, you almost certainly look down your college-educated nose at the poor idiot throwing away money on lotto tickets.

So, tell me, how’s your 401(K) been performing the past couple of year, Mr. Smart Guy? And how much cash-in-hand would you walk away with, if you had to sell your house tomorrow?

If you’re one of those whiny pukes who wants Uncle Sugar to fix the economy so that you don’t ever suffer a loss on your investments, so that you’re guaranteed permanent employment and health care and retirement security, I despise you far more than you despise that chump buying $37 worth of lotto tickets and a pack of Newports. At least those Newports are worth something, compared to a lot of mortgages brokered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

My idea of “financial reform” is to pull the plug on this bailout/stimulus/regulation/subsidy racket and let some overprivileged Smart Guys get first-hand experience in the virtuous poverty they’re always admiring from a safe distance.

Given the record of previous Democratic administrations, I’d say it’s an even bet that Tim Geithner goes from Treasury secretary to federal prison inmate, so maybe when he gets out of Leavenworth . . .

Well, he’ll sure have a new perspective on the barter value of a pack of Newports, won’t he?

* * * * *

(Get daily financial and economic news updates at NTCNews.com. And hit the tip jar, you swine.)

June 15, 2009

Bill Kristol is wrong

And you ask, why is Bill Kristol wrong?

It is one thing to assume (at least, for the sake of argument) that a liberal like Obama desires what is good for America. It is another thing to assume that a liberal actually knows what is good for America, or that, knowing what is good, he will actually pursue the good competently and persistently. The history of liberalism disproves any such assumption. . . .

Stop Obama: Because He’s Not Grover Cleveland. If conservatives need a slogan, I say that will do.

June 9, 2009

Megan Fox, you ignorant slut

It breaks my heart:

The “Transformers” bombshell-cum-uninhibited philosophizer also contemplates — reluctantly — what she would say to Megatron to keep him from destroying the world. “I’d barter with him,” she muses to the July issue Total Film UK, “and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?”

Via Hot Air, where Allahpundit has thoughts. Me? It totally kills the buzz. Liberalism is the anti-hot.

June 2, 2009

Remember all those liberalslecturing us about ‘civility’?BUMPED: It gets WORSE!RE-BUMPED: The latest

(BUMPED 7:15 EDT; RE-BUMPED 8:24; UPDATES BELOW) After I linked pro-lifer Becky Brindle, she got some interesting comments from such progressive exemplars of peace, love and tolerance as “Maine Cat Woman“:

Using Fox News as a mouthpiece and allowing a major media figure like O’Reilly to continually profile an abortion provider as bloodthirsty as Caligula means you are all have as much blood on your hands as the actual terrorists who pulled the trigger. Sorry, we really don’t want to hear any of your cynical, self-serving “regrets.” Conservatism: the party of illegal war, torture and murder. Congratulations. Hope you are really proud of yourselves. Go to hell, murderer.

Thank you, our moral superior! “Maine Cat Woman’s” blog is called Bill Kristol’s Brain. And Becky Brindle’s blog is called . . . uh, BeckyBrindle.com. Take a look at both sites and ask yourself which one might aptly be described as “People With Minds That Hate.”

UPDATE: Speaking of “people with minds that hate,” NTCNews chronicles the latest wretchedness. Remind me of this the next time someone calls me a misognynist . . .

UPDATE 8:24 EDT: Ed Morrissey:

Playboy has pulled the article, with no explanation, Allahpundit reported on Twitter. I think we know the reason, though.

And the latest via Allah’s Twitter:

@AmandaCarpenter Playboy thought they’d get away with it bc they didn’t realize they’d targeted bloggers, who talk back. Simple as that

Yep. BTW, I’m on Twitter. Not all the time, like some people, but I’m on there. And as for Playboy, don’t believe any guy who says he only reads it for the articles . . . Rule 5, anyone?

June 1, 2009

‘How Should Congress Respond?’

Salvation through legislation is the liberal gospel, and Ezra Klein is in the pulpit:

[The murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller] is the final, decisive act in “an ongoing campaign of intimidation and harassment against someone who was providing completely legal health-care services.” That campaign stretched over decades of protests, lawsuits, violence, and, finally, murder. . . .
This was, in other words, a political act. Tiller was murdered so that those in his line of work would be intimidated. In conversations with folks yesterday, I heard well-meaning variants on the idea that it would be unseemly to push legislation in the emotional aftermath of Tiller’s execution. I disagree.
[I]n my view, [it would be] a perfectly appropriate response for the Congress to decisively prove [the murderer’s] action not only ineffectual, but, in a broad sense, counterproductive.

Murder is already against the law, but liberals can’t save the world if they let mere facts get in their way.

May 27, 2009

What Part of ‘It Won’t Work’Is So Hard to Understand?

Dec. 8, 2008: It Won’t Work
Feb. 9, 2009: It Still Won’t Work
May 4, 2009: Hey, By The Way, Just In Case You Didn’t Notice, It Won’t Work
May 27, 2009: OK, Now I Will Speak Very Loudly So Maybe You’ll Understand: IT WON’T WORK!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: IT WON’T WORK!

UPDATE: “Are the people of this country really that stupid??” Adrienne, did you ever hear of something called “the public education system”?