Archive for January 2009

How Much Do I Support My New President?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 27 January, 2009 23:09:03

Where's My Printing Press?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 27 January, 2009 13:54:13

Obama's retraction of the Bush Administration's Mexico City Policy brought on this "conversation" between Senator DeMint (R-SD) and James B. Steinberg, Obama's nominee to be the next Deputy Secretary of State:
Question from Senator DeMint: For more than 30 years the Hyde amendments, which prohibit federal funding for abortion services, have been supported by Republican and Democrat administrations and Congresses. Unfortunately, while this is the domestic policy of the United States, President Obama has vowed to reverse our foreign policy by repealing the Mexico City policy and use the federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortion services overseas. Do you support President Obama's efforts to lift the Mexico City restrictions? Do you believe our foreign policy should contradict long held domestic policies?

Answer from James Steinberg: President Obama has supported repeal of the Mexico City policy, as has Secretary Clinton. Longstanding law, authored by Senator Jesse Helms, expressly prohibits the use of U.S. funds of abortion. The Mexico City policy is an unnecessary restriction that, if applied to organizations based in this country, would be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech.

Actually, it wouldn't be an unconstitutional limitation on free speech. There is no Constitutional requirement that the government provide to any citizen the money to purchase a printing press. It is particularly true that the Government has no obligation to provide to foreign organizations the money to purchase a press.

As Senator DeMint points out in his article, it is well settled law (by Supreme Court decision) that such a subsidy is not mandated for abortion or abortion counseling. That Obama chooses to do so is counter to the Hyde Amendment and other laws governing the actions of the Federal Government.

Read The Stimulus!

Posted by unclesmrgol at 27 January, 2009 06:49:23

The entire stimulus bill, online, searchable.

The First Lady Ought To Have Worn Black

Posted by unclesmrgol at 26 January, 2009 10:02:48

Here's the beef:
With just a couple days into her reign as the First Lady, Michelle Obama is already starting to feel the pressures of her position. Amnau Eele, former model and co-founder of the Black Artists Association, is filing a formal appeal to the First Lady?s office on behalf of the BAA. The charge? They're mad at her for not wearing anything by an African American designer at her inaugural appearances.

From WWD:
Asked if perhaps the First Lady isn?t looking at the world colorlessly, Eele said, ?It?s one thing to look at the world without color but she had seven slots to wear designer clothes. Why wasn?t she wearing the clothes of a black designer? That was our moment.?

Of course, she could also have done something Made in the USA:
She could have chosen any American great: Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors . . . the list goes on. But she chose a newcomer, Taiwan-born Jason Wu. It's safe to say the 26-year-old designer just got a major career boost. The white, one-shouldered flower applique dress is very, very pretty. And what a breath of fresh air it is. Some are saying it's bridal-esque, others are saying that, on the flip side, it's sexy. I say it's both, and neither in a bad way. And let's not forget: Obama's black and white tux is immaculate ? has he ever looked more handsome?

Ok, Michelle, a hint. Go here. Be interesting to see where FUBU is made.

The Debate Becomes The Conversation

Posted by unclesmrgol at 26 January, 2009 08:25:01

Here's the White House press release on Obama's action rescinding the "Mexico City Policy" which curtailed the use of US provided aid for abortions:
For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate.

It is time that we end the politicization of this issue. In the coming weeks, my Administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world.

Barack doesn't want to continue the debate, but he does want a conversation. I do not think that word means what Mr. Obama thinks it means.

Family planning will continue to be a wedge issue as long as abortion remains an integral part of the "family planning" our government wishes to promote and fund, just as slavery remained a wedge issue dividing our nation until its fate was finally settled and it was made illegal. Whether or not Mr. Obama desires to continue the debate/conversation, it will continue, as the debate on slavery continued to its conclusion. There is no half way position. Either the unborn baby is entitled to all of the rights of a human, or it is not.

Obama Talks Trash

Posted by unclesmrgol at 24 January, 2009 14:07:00

President Obama trash talked radio host Rush Limbaugh today:
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

In all his years in the White House, Bush never made a tyro mistake like that -- personalizing your media opposition. Perhaps Obama's personalization is wise, but I don't think so. After all, when Sarah Palin was first announced as the VP candidate on McCain's ticket, the Obama campaign immediately compared her to Obama, thus raising Palin's reputation and damaging Obama's.

This is the same kind of thing, only Obama himself has made the mistake of making the personal attack.

Now that Obama has chosen to engage, Mr. Limbaugh is now entitled to his 15 minutes of fame, and will undoubtedly use it to good effect; Rush has never been a quiet retiring type.

Still Pro-Slavery After All These Years

Posted by unclesmrgol at 23 January, 2009 14:42:03

Abortion is the current slavery -- the remaining American "right" to allow one person to determine the humanity -- and lifespan -- of another person. And Obama is now on record as supporting it.

This is a "late Friday night", no press, kind of order.

In this era of supposed fiscal restraint, why are we doing this?

I don?t think we need to spend the money. The Chinese and Indians in rural areas have already shown us a tried and true technology, which costs nothing, which they use to assure their choice of having a male child; the method is called post-natal abortion.

The rest of the world can easily follow the same method. In the cities, where no fields exist to discard the unneeded female babies, artfully painted dumpsters could easily take their place. The content of the dumpsters could be recycled into fertilizer. Given Mr. Obama?s legislative record in Illinois, he should have no trouble supporting this easily implemented method.

And those female children? They were never really children anyway, because their parents didn't want them.

Note 24 January 2009: The Vatican responds to Obama's act. The Pope is not happy with Barack.

Ignoring Social Issues

Posted by unclesmrgol at 21 January, 2009 22:29:50

If you are going to ignore social wedge issues, be prepared to be irrelevant, because the other side will certainly not ignore them. Rudy Giuliani thinks so.

In the 1850's the Republican and Democratic parties had diametrically opposed views on one of the biggest social wedge issues of the time -- slavery. At that time, the Republican party was a small 'third party', and the big leagues were the Democratic and Whig Parties -- with the Whigs trying to straddle the fence, like Rudy, by taking a neutral position on the slavery issue. By the time the 1860 election rolled around, the Whigs had nearly evaporated.

The Republicans, commensurate with their opinions on slavery, had evolved the concept of "natural rights", which were the ones enunciated in the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States. The Republicans felt that these "natural rights" belonged to blacks; the Democrats vehemently disagreed with the Republicans on this issue.

If we fast forward to now, the current "slavery" is abortion. Is it right that a child's worth (and by extension, right to life) should be determined solely by another human being? Like a slave, to the unborn child "thumbs up" is life, and "thumbs down" is death. Why should we ignore this social issue when the Democrats are not about to, and when polls show that the pro-life side has the greater amount of support?

We are true to our forebears in resolutely supporting the pro-life agenda.

There is another social issue where we have diverged from the original view of the Republican Party. Once, the Republican party was the party of the immigrant, and only where immigrant citizens felt that their rights clashed with the rights of newly freed slaves (such as in competition for jobs) did the Democrats hold any sway. We have nearly lost the new immigrants of this era, because the word "illegal" is so easily dropped from the discussion -- precisely because the laws preventing entry (and which make the immigrant illegal) seem so onerous. When Lincoln was in office, one paid their "landing fee" and walked off the boat ready to become a citizen. That is the state to which things should return.

Singing Praises.

Posted by unclesmrgol at 21 January, 2009 11:55:22

Elizabeth Alexander, in a speech following the swearing in, paid tribute to the contributions of working Americans and slaves:
?Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of."

Ok, I'll start. I sing of Peter Campbell, my grandfather, who died in 1926 of tetanus from a construction injury while building the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York.

And his wife, my grandmother, who sent three kids off to war and got two back, and who went to work at Bell riveting aircraft destined for our ally Russia. And my other grandmother who sent four sons off to war, and luckily got them all back.

And me. I was a janitor for Alan's Almost Instant Cleaning, who's niche market was cleaning the houses of the rich and famous in Saratoga and Sunnyvale up in the Silicon Valley -- certainly "glittering edifices" by any name. My forte was large view windows with cliffs below. And marble floors.

And I'll also sing of something Ms. Alexander didn't think of -- PFC Gordon P. Campbell, who died at Iwo Jima.

Will Obama be Lincoln or Johnson?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 20 January, 2009 09:19:51

187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a
fetus, with malice aforethought.
(b) This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act
that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply:
(1) The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Article 2
(commencing with Section 123400) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division
106 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon'
s certificate, as defined in the Business and Professions Code, in a
case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be
death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth,
although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or
more likely than not.
(3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the
mother of the fetus.
(c) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the
prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.

The above is the definition of murder in California. Note that murder applies to "a human being, or a fetus". Interestingly, a fetus (unborn child) is not defined as human, but can be murdered. Such are the hairs lawyers split in their efforts to make legal those things which should not be.

There was another period of time, in America, where one person determined the humanity of another, and held the power of life and death over that other. The debate over this ethic led to the Civil War and the abolition of slavery by amendment of our Constitution. The fact that slavery was allowed by our Constitution was not a statement per-se that it was right, moral, or correct, but a statement about the power of those who would deny humanity to others for their own profit and power.

In just a short while, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States. While neither he nor his forebears were slaves, the ancestors of Michelle, his wife, were.
African Americans backed the pro-life perspective 62-38
There is a reason why this is the case, not the least of which is the fact that abortionists disproportionately target black babies. The other is that most blacks recognize an echo in the abortion debate of the infamous Black Codes which ruled their lives for a century after they were supposedly freed.

I'm sure the thought that he might be assassinated was very far from Abraham Lincoln's mind when he chose as his running mate for the election of 1864 the ex-Southern planter and Democrat Andrew Johnson. Lincoln had been one of the framers of the Republican Party platform denouncing slavery as an evil. From the Republican Platform of 1860:
7. That the new dogma, that the Constitution, of its own force, carries Slavery into any or all of the Territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country.

8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; That as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished Slavery in all our national territory, ordained that "no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States.

9. That we brand the recent re-opening of the African slave-trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity and a burning shame to our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.

10. That in the recent vetoes, by their Federal Governors, of the acts of the Legislatures of Kansas and Nebraska, prohibiting Slavery in those Territories, we find a practical illustration of the boasted Democratic principle of Non- Intervention and Popular Sovereignty, embodied in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and a demonstration of the deception and fraud involved therein.

11. That Kansas should, of right, be immediately admitted as a State under the Constitution recently formed and adopted by her people, and accepted by the House of Representatives.

The Democrats felt in 1860:
Resolved, That the enactments of the State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.

The Republicans felt in 1864:
3. Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength of this Rebellion, and as it must be, always and everywhere, hostile to the principles of Republican Government, justice and the National safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic; and that, while we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defense, has aimed a deathblow at this gigantic evil, we are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.

On the other hand, the Democrats felt in 1864:
6. Resolved, That the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired, and they hereby declare that they consider that the administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers not granted by the Constitution ? the subversion of the civil by military law in States not in insurrection; the arbitrary military arrest, imprisonment, trial, and sentence of American citizens in States where civil law exists in full force; the suppression of freedom of speech and of the press; the denial of the right of asylum; the open and avowed disregard of State rights; the employment of unusual test-oaths; and the interference with and denial of the right of the people to bear arms in their defense is calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union and the perpetuation of a Government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

Fast forwarding to the present, the Republicans felt in 2008:
Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

The Democrats felt in 2008:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a women's right to choose a same and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

Note the similarity of the words of the Republicans with their forebears, and the Democrats with theirs. I like especially the Republican reference to the Fourteenth Amendment, which was part of their Party's 1864 platform, and was finally passed over the nearly dead bodies of the Democrats in 1866.

We have, in a nutshell, that the State of California considers abortion to be a protected type of murder, that the Republicans oppose that type of murder, but that the Democrats support it.

Back to Obama, Lincoln, and Johnson. Lincoln had been unequivocally opposed to slavery, while Johnson was Democratic to the end -- he gave pardons to the Southern planters who had been so recently in rebellion over exactly that issue, and allowed them to resume the governorship of the Southern states. Johnson was the core reason why the United States suffered a further century of discrimination and relegation of blacks to second class status.

In a few short hours we will know fully Mr. Obama's true opinion on abortion. Will he be like Lincoln, whose monument before which he exaltedly spoke -- unequivocally opposed, or like Johnson, the not so secret supporter? Does Obama truly channel the brooding giant in the chair behind him, or does he channel something else -- something Southern in its echo?

Little to Fear

Posted by unclesmrgol at 11 January, 2009 17:19:48

Read this by Michael Hiltzik:
Having watched 40% of our 401(k)s go up in smoke and jobs vanish by the millions, it's natural to want to see the guilty subjected to divine justice. There's no dearth of suspects.

There are heads of banks and mortgage companies who invested their capital and made loans without the most cursory due diligence -- Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial and Charles Prince of Citigroup come to mind. Richard Fuld and James Cayne, the bosses of Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns, who presided over the extinction of their fine old firms. Maurice R. ?Hank? Greenberg of AIG, whom I saw last year on CNBC saying that a government bailout of that irresponsible company ($150 billion at last count) was in the "national interest."

Any real analysis (which you will not find in Hiltzik's article) must begin with Fannie Mae, the giant domino which enabled (and, in some cases required) lending organizations to fund 100% "subprime loans" for qualified (read that "poor") borrowers.

When Hiltzik mentions Citigroup, he conveniently fails to mention this interesting fact -- that Citigroup was forced to offer these loans by what I'm going to call Obama/Acorn Lawsuits. See here for further reasons why the name fits:
The seeds of today's financial meltdown lie in the Community Reinvestment Act - a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.

CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in "subprime" loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.

Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA - and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.

Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed still further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets.

Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor. However compassionate the motive, the result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been financial disaster.

Attempts to prevent this meltdown were defeated by people like Maxine Waters (my own representative in the House):
Through nearly a dozen hearings, we were frankly trying to fix something that wasn?t broke. Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Franklin Raines.

Franklin Raines later resigned, under investigation for fraud in misstating Freddie Mac losses.

Watch the Hot Air video, in which a pantheon of Democratic operatives tear into Armando Falcon, a fellow Democrat who had been tasked with auditing Freddie, and who came to agree with the Bush Administration that Freddie Mac was overextended and could not cover defaults on its loans.

And then wonder why nothing could be done about the impending doom.

Note 9:02PM: Hiltzik, by the way, is the dishonest reporter who used a sock puppet on his blog to badger his opponents and to make himself look better than he is.:
"It's somehow perfect timing that a dishonest reporter is brought back to cover business at a time when dishonesty is so much a part of the story.

Look, I'd kind of like the LA Times to survive; when will it become apparent to the powers-that-be there that what you are selling me is credible information.

And reporters like Hiltzik - who have shown that they have a - broad - set of values about candor and honesty don't help convince people like me that the apples in your produce stand don't have worms in them.

Oh - and were you not going to mention why?


Seat Burris?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 06 January, 2009 20:33:11

Here's the rule:
To the President of the Senate of the United States:

This is to certify that, pursuant to the power vested in me by the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of __, I, A__ B__, the governor of said State, do hereby appoint C__ D__ a Senator from said State to represent said State in the Senate of the United States until the vacancy therein caused by the __ of E__ F__, is filled by election as provided by law.

Witness: His excellency our governor __, and our seal hereto affixed at ___ this __ day of __, in the year of our Lord 19__.

By the governor:
G__ H__,

I__ J__,
Secretary of State.

Note that two signatures are required, as well as the Seal of the State.

And here is our Senator, Diane Feinstein:
?I can?t imagine the secretary of state countermanding a gubernatorial appointment,? Feinstein said. ?The question, really, is one, in my view, of law. And that is, does the governor have the power to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? And the answer is yes.

?Does that affect his appointment power? And the answer is no, until certain things happen.?

What are those certain things?

Here's the pertainent part of the 17th Amendment:
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

A quick reading of this makes all clear: The appointment by the Governor is temporary, and the legislature may later direct that an election be held.

My take: Burris is entitled to his seat, but the Illinois legislature, or a new Governor, may take that entitlement away.

Feinstein is right.

We'll Have To Refer People Now To Churches

Posted by unclesmrgol at 06 January, 2009 06:38:17

Avoiding the Status Quo Ante

Posted by unclesmrgol at 04 January, 2009 11:54:46

The breakdown along party lines found that 62% of Republicans back Israel's decision to take military action against the Palestinians, twice the number of Democrats (31%). A majority of the latter, 55%, say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first, a view shared by just 27% of Republicans.

55% of Democrats say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first.

I'm sort of wondering what those 55% thought
what were the negotiated cease-fires, which Hamas routinely violates:
"We don't recognize Israel's right to exist. We will never allow Jews to remain in our lands. Today's attack was only a sample of what we can do. We have thousands of rockets ready to be shot. The cease-fire is officially over."

I'm not by any means an apologist for Israel -- I've posted here over and over and commented on other blogs about the harm Israel has done to Palestinians. But when the people with whom you are trying to negotiate want to exterminate you, you really have little choice once they decide to have at it once again.

It's very hard to negotiate with someone who holds these views, and who equate a cease-fire with a hudna. The Israelis did indeed try.

The attempt was enough for several Arab states to go silent rather than to "deplore" or "condemn" Israel's actions against Hamas in Gaza.

As for me, if missiles from Mexico were impacting around San Onofre, and Mexico was making noises about taking back California, I wouldn't begrudge our Armed Forces a free hand to fix the problem. The last thing I'd do is fire off a diplomat while the other side is firing at my civilians.

Hot Air from Bill Ayers

Posted by unclesmrgol at 02 January, 2009 21:38:48

Bill Ayers is now posting at HuffPost, and his first targets were all of his perceived opponents to his anointed choice for the Obama Administration's post of Secretary of Education. He runs through a list of four, and spends a couple of venom sacs on Michelle Rhee, the current chancellor of the Washington DC schools:
Michelle Rhee of Washington D.C., the most ideologically-driven of the bunch, warranted a cover story in Time in early December called "How to Fix America's Schools" in which she was praised for making more changes in a year and a half on the job than other school leaders, "even reform-minded ones," make in five: closing 21 schools (15% of the total), firing 100 central office personnel, 270 teachers, and 36 principals. These are all policy moves that are held on faith to stand for improvement; not a word on kids' learning or engagement with schools, not even a nod at evidence that might connect these moves with student progress. But of course evidence is always the enemy of dogma, and this is faith-based, fact-free school policy at its purest.

Mr. Ayers ought to be careful about where he points those fingers, because
a) three Annenburg challenge failure fingers point back, and
b) the one he is pointing gets chomped off by Rhee immediately in a very up-beat progress report Ayers apparently never bothered to read before galloping off on his faith-based, fact-free policy swoon. The progress report cites real measureables, such as test scores (up 8%) in determining that Ms. Rhee's policies are having a positive effect.

Ayer's real issue was that of Linda Darling-Hammond not being chosen to be Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan was chosen for the job):
Of course I would have loved to have seen Linda Darling-Hammond become Secretary of Education in an Obama administration. She's smart, honest, compassionate and courageous, and perhaps most striking, she actually knows schools and classrooms, curriculum and teaching, kids and child development. These have never counted for much as qualifications for the post, of course, and yet they offer a neat contrast with the four failed urban school superintendents--Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Paul Valas, and Arne Duncan -- who were for weeks rumored to be her chief competition.

So, who is this "Linda Darling-Hammond" Mr. Ayers loves so much? Here is the other side:
During the presidential race, Barack Obama straddled the two camps. One campaign adviser, John Schnur, represented the reform view in the internal discussions. Another, Linda Darling-Hammond, was more likely to represent the establishment view. Their disagreements were collegial (this is Obamaland after all), but substantive.

Now, what is the "establishment view"? Hint: It isn't parents -- its unions and other educators on the progressive side like Bill Ayers (whose track record, I've pointed out above, is not too good).

To be a parent person, Linda would have to be in favor of vouchers, or (and this "or" is not exclusive), merit pay for teachers, and a method of "de-tenure-ing" teachers whose performance is not up to their peers. Obviously, these positions are anti-union, since the union is the protector of teachers -- even underperforming ones.

So, where is Linda on these issues? Well, here's one view:
In comparison, the choice of Linda Darling-Hammond to lead the education working group is quite conservative. Not ideologically conservative, but rather, conservative in terms of what it says about Obama's plans for education. Groups like Democrats for Education Reform -- which favor charter schools and merit pay -- have been hoping for Obama to embrace their agenda. And indeed, early in the primaries, Obama was booed at a teachers' union event for saying he supported merit pay. But since he clinched the nomination, Obama's statements on education have been more circumspect. The appointment of Darling-Hammond, a teacher quality expert who opposes merit pay and is more critical than supportive of NCLB, signals that Obama wishes to avoid a fight with the unions. He'll spend his political capital on energy and health care instead.

I think you get the idea.
By the way. Mr. Obama does not have a dog in this hunt. He's made use of his superior income and not placed his children into the public schools at all.

Can A "Bailed Out" Press Ever Be Free?

Posted by unclesmrgol at 01 January, 2009 08:33:22

Read this:
Providing government support can muddy that mission, said Paul Janensch, a journalism professor at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and a former reporter and editor.

"You can't expect a watchdog to bite the hand that feeds it," he said

Exactly. Why was the right of a free press enshrined in our Constitution? In my mind, it was to allow an independent way of hearing what the Government is doing, and a way to allow unfettered criticism of the Government to exist.

If the Government proceeds to "Bail Out" failing publishers, can the presses of the bailed out ever again be considered free? We will always wonder what the "quid pro quo" was which allowed the successful appeal for aid, what governmental indiscretions are being swept under the carpet, so to speak.

It is better to allow these newpapers to fail and to then have new unbiased (or at least unbought) media declare the news of the day.