Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cruising the Web

In the Washington Post Kelly Amis, a former public school teacher, and Joseph Robert, an education philanthropist, scold the Democrats and Obama for letting the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships expire. Rightly so. There are some like Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman who would like to save the program. But they aren't enough in the face of the Democrats supplicating themselves before the teachers unions.
Unfortunately, congressional leaders -- especially Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) -- crumpled before teachers union threats, led by American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, who declared everything open to negotiation "except vouchers."

The unions' antagonism toward private school scholarships (they've practically made "voucher" a dirty word) lies not only in their constant drumbeat that scholarships "steal" money from public schools; it's also the fear of losing members. If more students can access private schools, more teachers will eventually find jobs in that sector, and the unions won't have access to their often-compulsory dues.

And this might jeopardize the teachers unions' position as the single-largest contributor to federal-level political campaigns in America.

Norton's opposition to scholarships for local children might seem particularly confusing -- until you realize that her largest political donor is the AFT.

The WSJ reports on how Obama is set to sign an executive order that would expand the Davis-Bacon Act and have the effect of driving more federal money to the Democrats' union masters.

Even as she squeezes her members to get the votes for health care, Politico reports on other ways in which Pelosi is losing part of that iron grip she's had on her members.

Politico reports
on the tricky timing for the Democrats in that they have to pass the Senate bill on the Hill and then the reconciliation bill that would amend it. But the House Democrats don't trust the Senate Democrats to pass the reconciliation once their bill is approved. And it's rather tricky to pass the reconciliation bill first since that would be to amend a bill that is not yet passed. But such shenanigans are nothing when remaking 1/6 of the nation's economy is at stake.

William McGurn notes five words or phrases
that Obama tries his utmost to avoid saying.

For political wonks, Hotline is doing its own whip count of where the Democrats in the House stand. The Washington Examiner has more details on these guys. My prediction: they'll talk a good fight, but then say that they've had their concerns met by something or other that Obama has promised to put into reconciliation.

Just as during the 1930s, as Thomas Sowell points out, the president's anti-business rhetoric is slowing down the economy.

If Castro's Cuba was so beneficent, why are dissidents dying from their hunger strikes?

John Crudele explains how the Obama administration gamed out expectations on last week's jobs report.