Friday, February 05, 2010

Cruising the Web

Now that Senator Brown has been sworn in, Joe Biden thinks it is time to increase the number necessary to vote cloture on a filibuster. Coincidence? You decide.

John Conyers thinks that there should be some sort of affirmative action on American officials providing disaster relief for Haiti.

One of the benefits of replacing Senator Kennedy in mid-term is that Senator Brown gets to take over Kennedy's plush, large office.

Megan McArdle explains
why teachers unions oppose merit pay. It's in their very nature.

George Neumayr exposes the emptiness of Obama's push for Paygo rules.

The Democrats had a nice staged public event with the President. They were instructed not to raise health care in front of the cameras. And they obediently complied so that Obama wouldn't have to make definite statements on what he wants on health care in front of C-Span cameras. Then when he left, they all said what they really felt. And Democrats are upset that Obama isn't providing much leadership on what form the health care bill should take and has basically shelved their participation in the intra-Democratic debate since the Massachusetts election. And these senators are angry, especially Al Franken who is gaining the reputation for being a particularly nasty guy.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Alex Brill
explain how the Democrats' health care bill would raise the effective marginal tax rate on the lower and middle class.

Steve Chapman explains why
last year's fiscal stimulus didn't add jobs. As he points out money spent by government on make-work temporary jobs is money that is not available to the private sector creating more permanent jobs.

The Raleigh News and Observer covers the plans that North Carolina has developed for the state's history curriculum that I ranted about yesterday. Authorities claim that getting American history in bits and pieces from fifth grade on up is preferable to spending a year in high school with a coherent study of history from our nation's founding to the present. People are not pleased with the idea. It must be more of those peasants revolting. The DPI official keeps citing what "students" are telling her that they don't know enough about. I'd like to see that survey. I bet I could come up with a huge list of what students claim they don't know enough about.

Eric Holder doesn't have time to answer questions that Republicans have sent him about his policies on fighting terrorism, but he does have time to sit down for an admiring profile in the New Yorker magazine. He's impressed with how tough he is.

Clarence Thomas says that he doesn't attend the president's State of the Union address because it has gotten to be unpleasantly partisan and doesn't like the Supreme Court becoming a part of that. That was quite descriptive of this year's address.

Democrats are now reassessing their "Big Bang" approach to government. It's now too late for them to transform their image and they're beginning to understand the cliff that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid had them dive off.


ic said...

a huge list of what students claim they don't know enough about.

A huger list is a list of what students don't know they don't know enough about.

Bachbone said...

Biden's suggestion is just a tidied-up version of Pelosi's, "“We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in but we're going to get health care reform passed for the America people." Some staffer must have written it for him to prevent his usual foot-in-the-mouth gaffe.

My experiences with public school teacher unions show that a few dedicated local militants in leadership positions formulate positions based on state and national guidelines, and sheeple, who pay very little attention to more than economic matters, rubber stamp those proposals. Many studies have shown that despite the millions extracted from union dues and funnelled into the Left's political coffers, union voters usually split their votes along the lines the general public splits theirs. In fact, I've had local union officers stop me in school hallways, when no one was around, of course, and congratulate me for refusing to join the NEA, but saying they couldn't "afford to do that." (Their positions were more secure than mine, by virture of tenure laws, so I failed to comprehend their line of reasoning.) Local NEA affiliate officer/militants did threaten me over the telephone, but never followed through when I let it be known I would carry a concealed weapon to defend myself, if necessary. Perhaps if NEA thugs ever start clubbing dissenters, a la the SEIU, more of its sheeple will re-find their humanity.

Rick said...

It would be wonderful, Betsy, if a student in NC received even a year of US history study. Lamentably, most school systems in the state have bought into the "4-by-4" plan whereby students are exposed to four subjects each semester. Proponents argue that this allows a student to take 8, rather than six, subjects a year, or 32 rather than only 24 during a high school career. What it creates, though, are classes of 90 minute duration, during which teachers struggle in many cases futilely to maintain student focus and interest, rather than a more focus-friendly 50-minute-per-class regimen. As a result, a year's scope of study, usually covered in 150 hours with relative little wastage of time ends up being compressed into a half-year - still 150 hours, but with up to fifty of those hours relegated to "doing home assignments in class" or simply squandered away awaiting the class-ending bell. Regardless of efforts by the NCDPI to reinforce low performance scores on end-of-course testing with state team "experts", scores diminished at an alarming rate until NCDPI finally discovered how to stop such an embarassingly precipitous downward slide in US history EOC scores. They simply discontinued them for awhile, ostensibly to "restructure" the curriculum.
I see now the result of their efforts. Let me offer: rather than implementing "creative solutions", NCDPI should seriously consider returning to the year-long format that proved successful until the social reconstructionists took over education.