Only time I recall a left-winger saying this, but hey, it's a start.
Here's Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, author of "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," talking about the economy and education on Ed Schultz's radio show yesterday with guest host Jeff Santos of WWZN 1510 AM in Boston --
How could anyone oppose big government activism when both Michelle Obama and Elmo the Muppet favor it? It was unfathomable to Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt in his December 26 article 'How did obesity become a partisan fight?'
To a doctrinaire liberal like Hiatt, it's illegitimate to question whether government should be concerned with personal nutrition. Instead, he belittles opposing views with his snarky quips. "Could anyone really object to White House assistant chef Sam Kass trying to interest Elmo in a vegetable-laden burrito? Well, yes, if Michelle Obama is for it, someone will be against it. Someone like Glenn Beck, for example, who was moved to rail against carrot sticks, or Sarah Palin, who warned that Obama wants to deprive us all of dessert."
What Hiatt failed to realize is the real debate over excessive federal intervention where it doesn't belong. After listing some of the first lady's 'Let's Move' initiative, he said 'All of this makes total sense, and historians will marvel (much as they will at climate-change deniers) that anyone could doubt it.' And since global warming is the real cause of the winter blizzard according to the December 25 New York Times so it must be true, right?
CNN's Eliot Spitzer misleadingly claimed on Tuesday's Parker Spitzer that "President Obama has done everything to push the agenda for choice in schools" [audio available here]. In reality, the President's record shows that he has actually worked against school choice, particularly in the District of Columbia.
Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker brought on Stephen A. Smith, an African-American talk radio host, during the lead segment of the 8 pm Eastern hour to discuss his view that the black community should "play hard to get" with the Democratic Party, as the on-screen graphic summed it. Midway through the segment, the former Democratic governor of New York acted as the defender of the Obama administration's record on education: "It seems to me that President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan- 'Race to the Top,' [is] embracing the things from Michelle Rhee's reform agenda, to Joel Klein's reform agenda, getting quality teachers into the schools - all those things."
Smith retorted strongly that the Democrats don't have a spotless record on the issue:
Now that openly gay men and women will be able to serve in the U.S. military, will liberal Ivy League institutions that shunned military Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs work to quickly welcome them back to campus?
A New York Times "Learning Network" graphic informs us that under the proposed Obama-GOP tax and spending compromise, "rates will not change for at least two years for anyone."
Wow. Somebody at the Learning Network needs to tell the Old Gray Lady's beat reporters, editorial board, and opinion columnists. Just today, reporter Helene Cooper, in noting how Vice President Joe Biden is playing a "bigger role" in the administration (translation: picking up the pieces from President Obama's disastrous ongoing alienation of anyone and everyone, friend and foe alike), twice refers to the compromise as involving "tax cuts." Cooper's defenders may claim that the Times reporter is partially referring to the proposed one-year reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%, but that's not a contentious issue at the moment (though given how broke the Social Security really is, it should be). Federal income tax rates for 2011 and beyond are.
Anyway, as far as the Learning Network is concerned, so far, so good. But then it commits its own unforced error:
Who Benefits? All taxpayers, but especially high-income households, which had faced a new, higher rate.
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
In his latest meandering diatribe, MSNBC left-wing bloviator Ed Schultz yesterday hilariously mischaracterized the Republican Party's position on education reform as a scheme to create a cheap labor force of ignorant Americans by abolishing public education.
"They want us to be just like the folks in Indonesia," fumed Schultz. "They love the cheap labor. They love the 40 cents an hour stuff. So the best thing we can do on the right is what they're saying: let's just eliminate, let's abolish public education."
The incensed host of "The Ed Show" pressed on, invoking identity politics:
On Wednesday's AC360, CNN's Anderson Cooper tossed softball questions at openly-homosexual University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong, and labeled him "remarkably strong" in light of attacks he received online from a Michigan state official. Cooper also stated that Armstrong "hardly seems...[to have] a radical agenda," despite his support for gender-neutral housing.
The anchor, who led the 10 pm Eastern hour with the controversy between the college student and Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, has mentioned it on five out of seven of his programs since September 28. After playing clips from his interviews with Shirvell and his boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, Cooper continued with his pre-recorded interview with Armstrong. He began with a sympathetic question: "How are you holding up?" The CNN personality followed up by asking, "When you first heard that this blog had been set up- I mean, what did you think?"
In New Mexico yesterday and probably in several other appearances, President Barack Obama criticized the House Republicans' Pledge to America on several fronts. To me, only because I tend to look at the real numbers during most months, his most obviously off-base critique had to do with federal education spending (as carried at Jake Tapper's Political Punch blog at ABC):
Obama said the Republicans would to cut education spending by 20 percent in order to pay for some of the tax breaks, a charge House Republicans say is inaccurate.
Tapper is one of the few establishment media reporters left who isn't afraid to question liberal authority, but he missed a golden opportunity to dig into facts that might have left him wondering why the Republicans are being so timid.
This column has twice—here and here—taken the un-svelte Schultz to task for his hypocrisy in making repeated fat jokes at the expense of Chris Christie, culminating in calling the NJ guv a "fat slob." Media Bistro has reported[h/t Clerical Gal] that MSNBC prez Phil Griffin reprimanded Schutltz for his crude comment.
Apparently by way of non-apology apology, on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed admitted that he too was fat and would understand if others also considered him a "fat slob." Media Bistro has reported
I began to suspect something was afoot early in the show. On the one hand, Schultz launched into yet another long diatribe against Christie. After taking numerous solo shots at the NJ guv, Schultz brought in a NJ teacher of the year, who was happy to be described as "strongly against Gov. Christie." The pair proceeded to rake Christie over the coals, paying scant attention to the brutal budgetary problems facing the Garden State that have forced Christie to make reforms.
But—in stark contrast with previous shows—the fat jokes had demonstrably disappeared. And sure enough, in the tease for a subsequent segment, Schultz said "I admit that I'm fat." Then came this show-closer . . .
There I was this morning, innocently watching Morning Joe, when suddenly an NBC promo popped up, starring—you guessed it—the prez. It would have been bad enough if this had been a government PSA. But this was a promo for an NBC Universal initiative called "The More You Know," dedicated, its website informs us, to providing "critical" health messages. [You can be sure one thing it won't be "critical" of is . . . ObamaCare.]
It's not quite "earth shaking," but we can be sure it caused a tremor at the National Education Association office in downtown D.C.
On Sept.27, President Obama admitted on NBC's "Today" show that Washington, D.C.'s "struggling" public schools wouldn't educate his daughters as well as the posh, private Sidwell Friends school they currently attend. That night, NBC Nightly News delivered the second half of a one-two punch at public education.
That night, as part of it's "Education Nation" series, Nightly News highlighted a comment from a young teacher at the meeting hosted the day before by NBC anchor Brian Williams. But unlike predictable calls for more government spending or blaming dysfunctional homes and neighborhoods, she spoke out about the damaging effects that teacher's unions are having on the American education system.
"I think we don't understand tenure. I don't see a need for it. I don't need a piece of paper to tell me I have to be hired each year. And I think as younger teachers we're seeing a lot of things we need and the union contract is getting in the way," she said.
It appears we have the answer to that age-old question: John Kerry, why the long face?
After a tour of the Boston Medical Center, Kerry blamed Democrat struggles across the nation on the obvious problem - the voters.
The Boston Herald reports that Kerry took his pent-up election anger out on clueless voters (emphasis mine):
"We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening."
Kerry made the remarks following questions about the re-election campaign of Barney Frank. Doubling down on the fact-challenged voter assertion, he stated:
"I think a lot of the anger today ... is not directed at the right people. Barney is prepared, as others are, to explain what we're doing. I think when people hear the facts and they see what we're doing, it frankly makes sense."
Be sure to explain it. Very. Slowly.
Looking down on people isn't exactly a new platform for Kerry...
So at Palm Beach State College last week, an administrator kicked the conservative group, Young Americans for Freedom, out of some event. The ejector, Olivia Morris Ford, claims she didn't recall giving the scamps permission to be there.
But the group claims Olivia had responded, and there's evidence: an e-mail from student Christina Beattie to Olivia, and Beattie's phone log showing the call from Olivia.
So it looks like Ms. Morris Ford should lady up and tell the truth.
Something tells me, she won't. Check out the video of the scrape.
At certain schools across the country, parents possessed the authority to pull their children from class Tuesday so as not to witness President Obama's address to students nationwide – and Ed Schultz believes that constitutes an "opt-out for Right-wing whackos." Schultz seemed to be not in favor of academic freedom – in this case.
Decrying opposition to the speech as "perverse conservative hatred" for Obama and "motivated by race," Schultz was apparently doubly-mad about this, as he hit the issue hard for two nights in a row on his MSNBC show. "I think the President's speech should be mandatory for all students," he insisted.
Some public schools notified parents if their children would be watching the speech, while others left the decision to the teachers whether or not to show it. "If you're a superintendent, and it wasn't shown in your school, or in every one of your classrooms, you ought to be ashamed," Schultz raged. "It's amazing you're on the payroll in this country."
The folks at the far-left Nation Magazine have finally figured out the problem that continues to plague the American education system: it's dominated by right-wingers!
A spokesman for the Nation whined to the Daily Caller's Chris Moody about a supposed "tendency for classes to exclude progressive ideas and viewpoints." Most people who have ever set foot in a classroom are now scratching their heads in confusion.
"The real idea behind it is to bring the left perspective to issues to make sure students have both left and right available to them," the Nation's Vice President of Circulation Art Stupar told TheDC. "This is an opportunity for students to view what the progressive left thinks about a particular issue."
Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff [a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?
Well, it didn't take to much digging to find people who think that the $578 million cost of the new Taj Mahal complex known as the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles (pictured at right; noted last night at NewsBusters and BizzyBlog) isn't that big of a deal.
What I found makes me wonder why it took so long for waste of this magnitude to become a national story.
On July 9, at LA's Daily News, Connie Llanos chronicled much of the story behind how costs spiraled out of control. Readers will have to go to the link to get that detail. In terms of the project's final cost, Llanos found plenty of people willing to say that spending over $135,000 per seat is okey-dokey (bolds are mine):
RFK is LAUSD's most costly campus – and it needs more cash
... District officials say the cost of the Robert F. Kennedy complex is more than justified if you consider its urban location, historical significance and expected community role.
The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles, apparently opening soon, will serve roughly 4,200 students in grades K-12. Its cost is coming in at $578 million, or almost $140,000 per student ($2.75 million per 20-student classroom).
This is the LA Unified District's most flagrant example of its Taj Mahal obsession, and it is far from the only one. Also, as the Associated Press's Christina Hoag reported early Sunday evening, LA is not the only place where the Taj Mahal complex is in vogue:
The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.
"There's no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the '70s where kids felt, 'Oh, back to jail,'" said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, a school construction journal. "Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning."
On the heels of a new College Board report that the United States is struggling to compete with other countries when it comes to college completion rates, Vanity Fair's resident straight talker, Henry Rollins, has figured out the problem. The education system isn't struggling because of possible factors contained within the report, such as:
Inadequate funding of preschool programs
Poor college counseling programs for middle and high school aged children
High school dropout rates
A lack of international standardization for curriculum
Skyrocketing costs of education
No, Henry has stumbled onto the real, super secret reason why students are failing to finish their college work: Sarah Palin and George Bush.
To be accurate, it's not so much the direct fault of Palin and Bush - rather, it is those of you who support them, their stupid comments, and their intellectually uninterested ways. Their fans see them as real people and because of that, they feel comfort in an unchallenging environment.
Rollins explains why ‘America doesn't seem to value a college education the way it used to':
Ali Velshi continued CNN's endorsement of the homosexual agenda on Thursday's Newsroom with a commentary where he endorsed legislation that would "require school districts to have policies recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity." Velshi highlighted the case of a Mississippi teen lesbian who, with the ACLU's help, won $35,000 in damages against her school district, who had barred her from taking another young woman to the prom.
The CNN anchor gave a one-line preview of his regular "XYZ" segment 57 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour: "Okay- a prom is for everyone, no matter who your date is. I'm going to tell you more about it in my 'XYZ,' coming up." After a commercial break, Velshi launched into his commentary:
On his July 20 afternoon program, Dylan Ratigan shouted down the Washington Examiner's J.P. Freire for challenging the MSNBC host's liberal orthodoxy and accusing him of giving more air time to the liberal panelist appearing opposite him.
Eschewing any sense of balanced reporting, Ratigan thundered: "I said I'm in charge of the show. I decide who I'll talk to. I might spend the entire time talking to Jonathan Capehart and not talk to you at all. And then you can choose never to come on my show again."
"I'm sorry, Jonathan was taking up a lot of my time earlier in the segment," explained Freire. "Look at the amount of time he's been talking and the amount of time I was talking."
The children eager to attend Harlem Success Academies don’t care about partisan politics or ideological turf wars. They just want the best education possible. “The Lottery,” a new documentary by Madeleine Sackler, showcases families desperate for an alternative to the New York Public School system.
The film, playing an exclusive engagement through July 15 at the Starz FilmCenter in Denver, follows four such families who enter a lottery system so their children can attend a prestigious charter school. Strip away the interpersonal dynamics and you’ll find a full-throated argument on behalf of charter schools. And those who think only Republicans support school choice measures will be surprised to see a large number of Democrats eager to give charter schools a try.
On Tuesday's Rick's List, CNN's Jessica Yellin harkened back to her college days at Harvard as she defended Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan against charges by conservatives that she is anti-military: "When I was at Harvard, a full decade before she was dean of the law school, there was already institutional opposition to 'don't ask, don't tell'....it steeps the whole university."
Yellin, actually, was a key left-wing student agitator during her time at the university, as revealed in several interviews with The Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard. She was labeled a "prominent feminist activist in her own right" in a June 10, 1993 profile of Sheila Allen, her first-year roommate and self-proclaimed "dyke of the Class of '93." The then-student certainly earned this label, as she helped resurrect Harvard-Radcliffe Students for Choice after a "relatively inactive period," was a women's studies major, and, in an April 10, 1992 interview, bemoaned how Harvard was apparently opposed to her feminist agenda: "For people interested in women's issues or gender studies, this is an overtly hostile environment."
In a May 1, 1992 article, Yellin expressed how the acquittal of the four police officers involved in the controversial Rodney King arrest was "the most blatant evidence of the indelible racism... in this country."
On Monday's Campbell Brown program, CNN's Soledad O'Brien presented a one-sided report about a lesbian teenager in Mississippi whose senior portrait was left out of her school's yearbook because she chose to have it taken in a tux, defying the school's rules. O'Brien commiserated with the teen, asking her at one point, "I want people to understand because other people will say- oh, for God's sake, it's just a picture. So explain to us, what does it feel like to not be where you're supposed to be?"
Anchor John Roberts introduced the special correspondent's near the end of the 8 pm Eastern hour by trying to make a tenuous connection between the report and the continuing major news of the Gulf oil leak: "All eyes are on Gulfport, Mississippi this morning as the President arrived for the first leg of his three-state tour, but about 150 miles north of the Gulf, in a small town called Wesson, the big news this season was all about the high school yearbook. It was here that a teenager's senior picture triggered an unexpected backlash, and sparked outrage throughout the state."
O'Brien sympathized with Ceara Sturgis, the teen from Wesson, Mississippi, from the start of her report: "For 18-year-old senior Ceara Sturgis, her high school yearbook is more than a collection of memories. It's about her struggle to be who she is in tiny Wesson, Mississippi, population about 2,000." After asking the lesbian to describe herself ("18 years old and I'm gay. I don't like people to push me around, especially when I have the right, and I don't give up."), the correspondent continued that "what she didn't give up on was her fight to get this picture in her yearbook, a picture she took wearing a tuxedo instead of the traditional dress, called a drape."
A speaker leads students in a creepy chant of "I am an Obama Scholar!" at Lincoln Bassett Middle School in New Haven, Connecticut. The chant is part of an educational program called the "Obama Initiative."
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is "missing the target when it comes to whose interests he's really looking out for" but "then again, that's nothing new for us, is it," MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan complained in the "Busted" segment of today's program.
Ratigan lamented that McDonnell stripped out the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) as an alternative organization that Old Dominion educators could select for gun safety instruction for elementary school students. As it stands now, the National Rifle Association's "Eddie Eagle" program is the only option public school teachers have under state law.
Perhaps Ratigan is unaware that the Eddie Eagle program "neither offers nor asks for any value judgment concerning firearms," it merely instructs children in four simple steps about what to do should they come across a gun: "Stop. Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult."
By contrast, the NCPC has ideologically-colored aims in some of its gun safety materials for grade schoolers. Take this lesson plan for fourth and fifth graders, for example (emphasis mine), which uses the assassinations of Lincoln, Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. as tokens to advance a loathing of guns themselves:
In Wednesday's "Bill Puts Scrutiny on Detainees' Lawyers," New York Times legal reporter Charlie Savage sank his teeth into a Republican proposal that would crack down on lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees suspected of taking actions to harm the military.
A provision tucked into a defense bill before Congress would direct the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate any suspected misconduct by lawyers for Guantánamo Bay detainees, opening a new chapter in a recurrent political controversy over legal ethics and the representation of terrorism suspects. .... The provision would require the Pentagon inspector general to investigate instances in which there was "reasonable suspicion" that lawyers for detainees violated a Pentagon policy, generated "any material risk" to a member of the armed forces, violated a law under the inspector general's exclusive jurisdiction, or otherwise "interfered with the operations" of the military prison at Guantánamo. .... In introducing the proposal last week, Representative Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, focused on the John Adams Project, a joint enterprise of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It provides research and legal assistance to the uniformed lawyers defending detainees who are facing prosecution before a military commission.
Mr. Miller characterized the John Adams Project as a "treacherous enterprise," referring to accusations that its researchers took pictures of interrogators and gave them to military defense lawyers, who in turn showed them to detainees.
The lawyers have defended the legality and propriety of their efforts. They contend that the detainees were illegally tortured in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency, and they want to raise that issue at trial. To do so, they need to identify potential witnesses to the interrogation sessions.
So far unobjectionable, though we could have learned more about those photographs: Were researchers trying to make targets out of interrogators?
But Savage went off the rails in the last two paragraphs:
On Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show, HLN host Behar again suggested that an activity by the state of Arizona could be compared to Nazi Germany, as she discussed plans by the state’s education department to stiffen English-speaking requirements for teachers. Introducing the subject with comedians Mo Rocca and Colin Quinn, after taking a shot at former President Bush’s speaking skills, she asked does the requirement "remind you of any country, 1940ish?" Behar:
The Arizona Department of Education is cracking down on teachers with thick accents or who make grammatical errors when speaking. Well, there goes Snooki`s shot at teaching Algebra in Phoenix. Okay, and what about George Bush and his grammatical errors all those years? They are getting rid of teachers because they have accents in Arizona. Remind you of any country, 1940ish?
Over the past several weeks, during debates over Arizona’s attempt to enforce laws similar to federal immigration laws, Behar has repeatedly made direct and indirect references to Nazi Germany both on the Joy Behar Show and on ABC’s The View to disparage the Arizona law.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, May 25, Joy Behar Show on HLN:
MSNBC's Chuck Todd on Tuesday attacked new standards being adopted for history textbooks in Texas as "odd" and mocked that the state would now be teaching "education by Wikipedia." Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune appeared as a guest and fretted that the school board includes "a conservative, arch conservative bloc."
Todd recounted the changes being made to the curriculum, including "the idea that our Founding Fathers may not have intended a separation of church and state...how government taxation and regulation can serve as restrictions to private enterprise."
Todd derided the story, saying, "...The more you look into it, the odder it gets." He noted that the rise of the conservatism in the '80s would be highlighted and later marveled, "So, is this, essentially, education by Wikipedia? I mean, because, Wikipedia is...when a majority, it seems, accept what the version of a story that might have happened?" [Audio available here.]