Third Party & Independents Archives

Those who don't teach, shouldn't

In a dramatic turnaround today, Barack Obama appointed one of his own friends to be Secretary of Education instead of one of Bill Clinton’s. This would be Arne Duncan—who, according to Reuters, is a “longtime basketball partner” of the President Elect, and he has “charged Duncan with improving America’s teachers and schools to help the United States become more competitive.”

Duncan is a Harvard trained sociologist who, according to his Wikipedia entry, has “extensive experience in educational policy and management” but has never been a schoolteacher. But that isn’t to say he’s never taught.

According to the same source, Duncan was raised in Hyde Park, and his mother runs a children’s center for African American youth on Chicago’s South Side.

Duncan spent a great deal of his free time at his mother’s center tutoring children and sharpening his basketball skills, so much so that he absorbed a “black” accent good enough to fool at least one college basketball coach into thinking he was African-American, to what effect we don’t know.

Anyway, maybe Duncan can teach, for his mother.

But one experience we can bet he hasn't had is trying to apply his pedagogical prowess to good effect upon children while simultaneously trying to assuage the administrative fiats and directives of persons exactly like him, who have “extensive experience in educational policy and management,” but who have never been in a gritty little public school classroom trying to deal with the workaday realities of their procedural mandates.

If you’ve ever taught in a public school, then you understand what I mean. (Raise your hand if you know what L.Y.N.T and T.Y.N.T. stand for and how your sanity depends on knowing the exact point at which to begin impugning one and start paying lip service to the other.)

Contrarily, if you’ve never taught in a public school—or have never been a school psychologist or a special educator or a school nurse or anyone else who has to deal with flesh & blood children up-close-and-personal every day in the public school environment and not in your mom's youth center—then you shouldn’t be the Secretary of Education, charged “with improving America’s teachers and schools to help the United States become more competitive.”

Which brings us to the question, should there be a Secretary of Education at all, or a Department of Education that harbors institutional pretensions about divining what are the best teaching methods and programs for all the children in America no matter where they live, who are their parents, and what might be their situations? Isn’t that what local school Boards are for?

But then, what would all those experts do for a living who have “extensive experience in educational policy and management?”

Certainly not teach.

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at December 16, 2008 10:56 PM
Comment #272183

Jeeez…Maybe you could give this guy at least twenty minutes on the job before attacking him.

Posted by: bills at December 17, 2008 7:21 AM
Comment #272184

Mr. Barone,

You’ve joined the right thinking bunch…Republicans have been trying to disolve the Department of Education for about eighty years, and close public schooling (socialism) for even longer.

Obama has asked for this man to find a way to improve teaching and schooling…how can that be a bad thing?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 7:37 AM
Comment #272189

Gotta agree with BillS.
The dudes been the Chief Executive Officer of a very large major public school system for the past 7 or 8 years, so its not like he is totally clueless about public education. He is also kind of young and maybe a “fresh” face is something the public school system needs. I don’t know, but maybe the guy deserves a chance, barring any major negatives of course.

Perhaps Ohrealy has some info on him?

Posted by: kctim at December 17, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #272192

You would like to think that he was vetted by some well accepted leaders in the field of education. Now is not the time to play ‘basketball’ with our failed education system. I can see anyone in the new administration outside the Chicago good ole boys circle having a hard row to hoe in this administration. But, that’s politics as we know it. “Oh well, let’s give these guys a chance for the next four years and see what happens!”

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 17, 2008 10:38 AM
Comment #272195

While I’m not overly thrilled with someone from the Chicago machine running the country’s educational system, the guy does deserve some kind of a chance.
But I have to agree with Stephen on one point. Do we really need a US Department of Education? I’m on the local school board and I don’t see the DOE doing anything to help things around here. They come up with mandates and expect them to be carried out to the letter. The problem is most those mandates either aren’t needed or don’t work in the real world.
Control of the local schools need to be returned to the local school boards.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 17, 2008 11:33 AM
Comment #272202

Stephen B.,

Do we put General’s in the position of Sec’y. of State? How about Fireman at the head of FEMA? Your postulation is absurd that civilian heads of government must be careered in the trenches of the specialty of the agency which they will head.

The Federal Agencies are populated with professionals who come from their area of expertise. The Heads of these agencies have 2 primary functions: 1) Gather and transmit expertise from their agency public servants to the President in the form of recommendations, and 2) Oversee the implementation of the President’s policy decisions and objectives within that agency.

There are some exceptions to this rule, as in a Medical Doctor heading up the Surgeon General position, and a scientist versed in the vernacular heading up EPA or NASA. But, these are exceptions, not the rule.

A teacher wouldn’t have a clue as to how carry out the functions of an agency head of the White House. Likewise, the head of Education agency need not have been a teacher to understand the roles of students and teachers, having been educated in some field themself.

Ron Brown, yes, we need a Department of Education and we need national education standards enforced with teeth. Arne Duncan is an excellent pick due to his having improved Chicago Schools by shutting down failing schools and replacing redirecting students to succeeding schools or establishing Charter Schools to fill the void.

We need someone who help insure these failing schools either succeed or lose federal funding in effect moving students to schools which will succeed in providing the students with what they need, security, a disciplined environment for learning, and capable administrators, counselors, and teachers. I say bring it on, and give he Dept. of Education some teeth to sink into State politicians ass where failing schools and students are concerned. Our nation’s future can no longer afford all the crime, abuse, and wasted lives caused by drop out students and students passed through the system of convenience without having learned the prerequisites to responsibly manage their own lives and the lives of their progeny growing up.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 17, 2008 12:40 PM
Comment #272205

I can guarantee that the failing school system in Georgia is NOT the result of DOE failure. The un credeting of entire county systems and the disrepair of many facilties and the hiring of unqualified teachers, is a direct result of local and state malfieseance.

More DOE teeth would seem the order of the day…but, I question what impact DOE can have on funding. States, for the most part, must maintain a balanced budget. It is a simple matter for Republican Governors to hide monies in the same budget that trims funds from education. Purdue has done it very well in Georgia for several years.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 12:51 PM
Comment #272227

I’m being told that the reason that Arne Duncan is going with BHO is that Rahm E (the real version of Josh Lyman on TWW. Ari Gold on Entourage is based on his brother.) is only planning on staying with the new administration for a very short time. He already wants his USHOR seat back, and he hasn’t even resigned it yet. People here are wondering if Alexi Giannoulias will end up following the rest of the basketball team to DC.

It has been stated that Arne Duncan has closed schools and redirected students to other schools. Here is an example of what really happens. Many of the elderly Jewish people that I know attended Marshall HS (built around 1893) on the west side, whose address was 321 s. Kedzie. Theoretically, this school no longer exists. A school called John Marshall Metropolitan John Marshall Metropolitan does though, with an address at 3250 w. Adams. Guess what? It’s the same school, using the address form the other side of the building. There are many examples of this same thing. Unless a private foundation steps in or adopts a school, nothing much changes.

There are a number of problems with public schools in Chicago, the most predominant of which are getting the children to go inside the building, and teaching them to speak, read and write Standard American English. I bet you thought this refers to students from foreign lands. It doesn’t.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 17, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #272230

ohrealy, and not a shred of evidence to support your hyperbole and conjecture. Journalists have and continue to research his role in Chicago schools, and they are the ones reporting his establishment of charter schools to replace failing public schools.

I understand your prejudicial need to tear down all things and persons associated with Obama, but, at least do it with some evidence and credibility, huh?

Provide some links, quotes, or data sheets that support your conjecture that Duncan has not moved students from failing schools to better schools,contrary to media reporting.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 17, 2008 4:53 PM
Comment #272232

It is always an iffy proposition when we don’t choose someone from Harvard or Yale for governmental leadership roles.

Just think of what a terrible government we would have if it wasn’t filled with friends and family members of our politicians.

J.J.Jr’s wife could have had a good job with the Illinois lottery commision if he could have come up with $25 grand in campaign contributions for the good Gov. Perhaps we can find a place for her in between the Senate seats.

If Mr. Duncan says that the best way we can improve or education system is to teach our children to think for themselves rather than believe the propaganda BS of the two political parties then perhaps we have a winner.

Posted by: jlw at December 17, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #272243

David R Remer, what hyperbole and conjecture are you talking about? Prejudicial need to tear down all things associated with Obama? How about asking people to talk about reality instead of continuing the endless advertising promotion of “It’s not politics, it’s BHO”.

A person who links to the misinformation on Wikipedia pages should not be telling others that they are not providing enough detailed information. Go to the Chicago Public High School Directory and see if you can find the information you want.

I know what I am seeing when I look at it. I see schools listed at addresses that look familiar but have different names. I see multiple schools listed at the same address as the school that was “closed”. I see schools that have been renamed but are still in the same place. I see some private schools that were closed that have been taken over by the city.

The most significant change is that some private foundations and companies have adopted some schools and take over from the public school system. That does not mean that there have been any actual results from any of it. No one here is even claiming that the schools are better, or not failing. Do you know what the main difference is between a charter school and the others? The charter schools have much smaller enrollments. More students are being left behind.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 17, 2008 6:18 PM
Comment #272264

My first year in college, I took a course on journalism, and one of the things I was introduced to was the need to document claims.

Let’s take this claim about Rahm Emmanuel. Could be true, but so could any number of other claims as well. It’s no secret that I’m an Obama supporter, so I would be dubious about such a quick shake up. Your job is to make any such doubt an uncomfortable proposition.

So it is a news story? If so, is it from a credible source, or just some gossip with more imagination than solid info?

In a political atmosphere where people get, if you will, creative with the details, it’s important to follow claims back to their foundations.

Following the claims about Obama back to source, I often found information that made me skeptical about the claims.

So when I read about your claims, I find your skepticism about him unfair. Now, let me be plain about this: I don’t find all skepticism unfair. People need to keep an eye on what he’s doing, keep him in line when they think he’s doing wrong. But we don’t do ourselves a lot of favors, one way or another, by simply picking up the items that support our viewpoint.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 17, 2008 10:01 PM
Comment #272274

Stephen D., If Obama’s intentions are to govern from a center right position, I don’t think any skepticism or criticism from the left is unfair.

Do you remember the skepticism and criticism that many of Obama’s supporters dished out about Hillary Clinton during the primary? You didn’t want a centrist during the primary and now you do?

Do you remember how I said Obama would run to the right faster than a scalded dog as soon as he got the nomination and how many of his supporters said that wasn’t true?

Do you remember what Obama’s position on Iraq was before the primary, before the general election and after he won and had a heart to heart with Bush? I believe that if Clinton was the President Elect you would have something to say if she adopted the Bush plan. Will you support him when he announces an agreement to leave permanent bases in Iraq?

If you wanted a centrist Democrat in the White House, Hillary would have been a far better choice. She is more intelligent than he is, she has a lot more experience than he does and she has a better record of working with Republicans and Democrats in the Congress.

You can rationalize all you want but the facts speak for themselves. He lied and pandered to enhance his prospects. In that reguard, he is just a typical politician, nothing more nothing less.

Posted by: jlw at December 18, 2008 12:21 AM
Comment #272279

same response as the first. see above.

Posted by: bills at December 18, 2008 1:50 AM
Comment #272288


I don’t believe what you say about Obama running right. I think he has been right of where the frightened wingers said to begin with. We are not as interested in wherre he stands philosophically as where he stands in honesty and intent.

That socialism thing was and is a scare tactic, and you fell for it.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 8:24 AM
Comment #272297


You’ve joined the right thinking bunch…Republicans have been trying to disolve the Department of Education for about eighty years, and close public schooling (socialism) for even longer.

Had you not been trained in modern know-nothing public schools you would know, or would know how to look up, that the Department of Education didn’t exist before the Carter Administration.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 18, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #272308

Going to be one short honeymoon for this administration. Seeing in the news where lots of billionaires and international business folks have contributed to Clinton’s foundation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave more than $10 million to the foundation, which pays for Clinton’s presidential library and his charitable work around the world. Other foreign government givers include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica. Indian interests are represented.
This puts Hillary on a slippery slope when it comes to looking for public support in some of her future dealings with these contributors.
The correct answer is: if Bill wanted to do the foundation bit then Hillary should have stayed out of politics. There is a major CONFLICT OF INTEREST here shouldn’t we think??

Otherwise we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 18, 2008 12:32 PM
Comment #272319

S.D., In “My first year in college”, I was working part time for someone who was a big promoter of Norman Vincent Peale, Napolean Hill, Dale Carnegie, and others, including L Ron H. I understand the entire process of creating the buzz. So do Oprah and David A. Your netroots facilitators make contacts across subcultures and niches, spreading a message to charities, governments, schools, specialist websites and the mainstream media. With luck, word of mouth takes over to provide free publicity. When enough people jumped on the bandwagon, producers and consumers of the phenomenon began to blur. Nonsense became conventional wisdom, reversing cause and effect, and turning a marketing campaign into a social epidemic. (paraphrasing from Damian Thompson’s Counterknowledge)

If it’s a fact for you, it’s a fact (Scientology)

On Rahm E, I was responding to an earlier comment. I grew up in the district he represents, and know many people who still live there.

“your job to make any such doubt an uncomfortable proposition.”

No, that’s your job, I’m just commenting here, not writing articles. DRRemer can ban me for content if he doesn’t like my remarks and relieve me of this addiction.

“creative with the details” is a specialty of yours not mine”

“I often found information that made me skeptical about the claims.” except when you liked the claims or they helped put forward your argument. Then you were pretty good at denying reality.

“picking up the items that support our viewpoint.” except that’s exactly what you have been doing all year.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 18, 2008 1:24 PM
Comment #272321

The problem with The Department of Education is they think that one, or sometimes hundreds, set of mandates fits all. In the real world it just doesn’t happen that way. What might be OK in one district just won’ work in others.
Example: Having a mandate that a district has to have 10% of it’s students minorities.
That works out real good here where the population is about 69% Black and 66% of our students are Black. But what about some counties where the population is 98% White and only 2% minority?
I’m all for improving standards in the schools. They need to be raised in order to pass or graduate. And disciplinary standards need to be raised. This is one place where one size does fit all. Maybe some sort of national standards would work. Maybe not.
I hope that Arne Duncan can get something done to improve our educational system. He’s facing a up hill battle though. He’s going to be bucking a bureaucracy that’s had 35 years to screw things up and is very slow to respond. He’s going to be bucking parents who think that there little darling should pass even if he/she isn’t making the grade. They also think that their little brat shouldn’t be disciplined in any way. Never mind the brat hit a teacher with a base ball bat. Don’t discipline the little delinquent.

BTW, There’s going to be a couple new faces on the school board around here in January. Two incumbents lost there seats this time around. One is from my ward. She’s taught for 25 years in the local school system and is very qualified for the position. She also believes like I do that schools aren’t social experiment stations and the only reason they exist is to educate this countries future. The other is a very good man that I’ve known for several years. He’s very interested in the education of our children. I already know I won’t always agree with him, but he does want to improve thing around here.
The three of us want to take this district from 123rd of 160 district to the top.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 18, 2008 1:39 PM
Comment #272323

Marysdude, maybe you and I were watching a different election campaign. Maybe I was watching some politician in some foreign land instead of Obama dance right after he got the nomination. No it was Obama doing the flip. Most politicians running for president do some fliping. McCain started out a little left of hard core right and it almost cost him the nomination. He had to fall in line quickly. Hillary Clinton started out in the center and had to shift left to compete with Obama.

Honesty? From a politician? I’m sorry but, that is a concept that I honestly find hard to believe.

Roy, the government is family oriented. It would be great to see a list of how many family members of politicians have jobs in the government or the lobbying industry.

As to the honeymoon, there are a lot of cynics these days and rightfully so. The people have watched the government give carte blanch to the to big to fail banks then print money out of thin air to bail them out.

Posted by: jlw at December 18, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #272336

Agree jlw: Instead of bailing them out the government should be about enforcing anti-trust law and busting up the too big to fail’s. Tyco Intl is supposedly managing over 600 businesses. How utterly stupid is that? Sacs and Stanley is using their bailout to buy up firms with good numbers. How stupid is that?
Ron, wish you success in your education effort. If there is a ‘tower of babylon’ syndrome it is with the national education effort.
People are frustrated with everything being BIG. I think we may be seeing the impetus for a return to the farm, keep things on a more local scale. Education, agriculture, politics, banking and investment, etc. With a failed government there is not trust of China products, large intl investment houses, etc. I can easily see that by pushing this globalization thing the people will revert to localism. If industry gets their way all the worlds text books will be put together and printed by the controlling printing company at the time. Bring this to mind.
I’ve posted the ‘40 years downstream’ thing a number of times. Don’t know what people think of it as I never get any response. Here it is again.


If you take ‘globalization’ to its logical conclusion somewhere down stream, what might our world be like? Let’s take a well needed vacation to, say, Kenya in 2050. You get in your car and head for the airport. Except for the color, your car looks like all the other cars on the road because it has been determined that one model of car can be manufactured for less. You get on your plane and you know exactly where you want to sit, as you know the layout well. That’s because all the planes are the same, except the color. The wings are made in Europe, the engines in Asia, and the rest in America. You know, the northsouthmiddleamerica. It was determined that it’s more efficient to manage aviation if all the planes operate the same. Cuts down on training for all involved. When you get up in the air you fly at the same speed as all the other planes. See, a computer in Tibet, the only remaining cheap labor market in 2050, controls the speed and route for all the flights that are in the air at any one time. On arriving in Nairobi you head for the Stanley Long Bar for a cool one, only to find that it’s been replaced by a 43 story hotel. So, you try the Lemon Tree restaurant and can’t believe what you find. A McDonald’s has replaced the restaurant and a tall statue of Ronald McDonald stands where the lemon tree once grew. So, you have a #6 chicken and retire for the evening. Next day you rent a car and head for the bush. It’s comfortable to drive as it’s just like the one you have at home, except for the color. Wonder of wonders, the roads to the bush are not dusty or muddy. They are just like your roads back home. Fifty foot, well groomed right-of-ways, with concrete drainage infrastructure. Even the signage is the same, except for the color. Makes it easy to drive and it’s cheaper to manufacture that way. You head for the Rift Valley and your mind wanders to a thatched roof motel alongside a river or lake. You arrive, with big expectations and find your hotel is 43 stories of steel and glass. Looks like the hotel back in your hometown and the one in Nairobi, except for the color. Puzzled by this you check in and try to find someone who speaks English. Well, its not called English anymore. It’s called ‘one world’. So you ask the attendant if he speaks ‘one world’ and, wonder of wonders, everyone there speaks the same language. In fact, you notice they have your mannerisms, even seem to have the same knowledge level as you. That’s because education, culture, etc. is taught from the same textbooks. Also, it’s way cheaper to manufacture them in one language. First question you ask is, what happened to the thatched roof venue and why does a hotel in the bush need to be 43 stories tall. They remind you that some years ago it was determined that some countries had to many people and some to few. So people were spread out across the world to balance things out. It was determined that for a balanced population a 43-story hotel building was needed for each locality. And, they are cheaper to build that way. After dinner you watch CNN WorldWide for a couple of hours and hit the sack. Next day you find a guide and head for the bush. On the way you try to find some commonality with your guide and start a discussion in ‘one world’. You find he makes $4.73 an hour as a guide, which is the same as a fishing guide charges on Lake Anna back in Virginia. He tells you his brother is a welder and makes $5.10 and hour, same as your welder neighbor back in Virginia. You tell him you work as an engineer and make $8.23 an hour. He relates that his neighbor is an engineer working for Microsoft and he makes $8.23 too. Seems to be pretty well accepted around the world that wages are fixed for each skill or trade, except in Tibet. You ask him what an executive or CEO makes. He doesn’t know and you don’t either so you just go quite for a few miles. As you enter the valley you expect to see native hut villages but all you’ve seen is small Jim Walters style homes, all different colors, along the highway. People seem to be wearing Nike tennis shoes and those slinky nylon sports shirts and shorts with the holes punched in them for airflow. All different colors. You see nobody standing around on one foot much less drinking cows blood through a straw. With some chagrin you ask, where are the lakes with the pink flamingos? Dried up he says, because of over population. He related that the balanced population delivered to his area was just too much for the natural environment to handle. As you turn to head back to the hotel you note that you’ve seen no wild life. No, he said, our balanced population included a lot of Asians and before their culture could be changed they ate all the wild life. Disgusted with your vacation you cut it short and start thinking about going back to work. After boarding your plane for the return trip you sit back and think about the highlights of your vacation. You wonder if the textbooks they use are different colors. Seeking solace, sanity and friendship you pop on the video screen and click on A relaxing smile comes to your face … . .

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 18, 2008 3:07 PM
Comment #272355

Arguing with slogans and emotional impressions is like pillow-fighting. Everything’s soft and easily deflected. If Obama had been about merely building hype, he’d have been gone in a second. He went one better: he fulfilled his hype.

He beat his Democratic and Republican Party Opponents without sinking to their levels. He did in fact expand the voter base for the Democratic Party. He ran what is universally considered one of the best run campaigns of modern times. Rather than tack hard left on his appointments, he genuinely went for people of all different political persuasions. He said he was going to bring new states into the blue column, and he did.

As of yet, he doesn’t seem to have pulled off his mask, or had the Scoobie gang do it for him. Even his first scandal barely involves him. The Prosecutor’s said he wasn’t playing ball, and the reports are likely to exonerate him of any role in the corrupt side of things.

He has yet to be inaugurated, so any judgments of his peformance will have to wait for actual data. But so far, so good.

So far, Obama’s maintained public affection for him by essentially delivering on his promises. In other words, he supports the hype with results.

Meaningful information is made meaningful by its correspondence to reality. People can learn to ignore hype when it turns out to be empty. That’s how the Republicans fell. They made their slogans and prophecies about how bad the Democrats would do meaningless. They invalidated their own hype.

I think that’s what you’ve always misunderstood about Obama: He’s not some hollow fraud, perpetually balanced on the cliff’s edge of being revealed as a huckster. If he were, he’d be out of the running long ago. He’s got a great deal of skill in leadership. The question is whether he can successfully push his new policies, avoid making too many terrible mistakes. That remains to be seen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 18, 2008 5:45 PM
Comment #272362

Ron, thanks for the comments.

I don’t know Arne or his philosophy of education. I do know that he took a pragmatic approach to Chicago schools and made positive changes on net for thousands of students, according journalists reviewing his record. I also know Obama is about solutions, not ideology, which is why he is keeping his word on Republicans in his cabinet and inviting a Republican religious conservative to give the inaugural invocation. By doing so, he is sending special interest groups in HIS OWN Party a clear message. Special interest groups regardless of Party are NOT going to sidetrack his solution oriented pragmatic approach to governing.

I find that extremely hopeful. As for schools, I think there will be more money for school maintenance and infrastructure rebuilding where desperately needed, but, the thrust of the initiative will be on raising and meeting academic standards for students, better preparing them for the work force and college if they choose.

I think the Obama adminstration will move to remove religion from the public schools and back into the churches where it belongs, while restoring real ethics studies to the curriculum, primarily in high schools as part of the national standards requirements. One cannot study humanities and history without a healthy dose of ethics understanding to get any benefit from literature and history. Obama knows this first hand in his own personal history.

So while he offers inclusion of the evangelical right at his inaugural, he will no more favor their special interests than he will the Gay Groups of his own Party, if doing so will impede his plans for pragmatic solutions for the nation’s challenges. Pretty smart too, because the majority of Americans according to polls agree we have bigger fish to fry than to war over social, religious, and partisan differences of ideology.

Big question is, how tolerant of such a pragmatic agenda will Congressional Democrats be? That is a huge unknown at this point, but one can safely bet that Obama will be fencing with special interests in his own party, and he will test the sincerity of the Democratic Party’s public assurances that it has learned from its long stay in the wilderness of the minority party, beginning in 1994.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 18, 2008 7:27 PM
Comment #272368


Yep…I use exaggerated verbiage sometimes to draw attention to a particular thing, i.e., I might say, ” about a thousand years ago I found out…blah, blah, blah…sorry if it went over your head.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 8:01 PM
Comment #272369

>Marysdude, maybe you and I were watching a different election campaign.
Honesty? From a politician? I’m sorry but, that is a concept that I honestly find hard to believe.
As to the honeymoon, there are a lot of cynics these days and rightfully so. The people have watched the government give carte blanch to the to big to fail banks then print money out of thin air to bail them out.
Posted by: jlw at December 18, 2008 01:50 PM


We were watching the same campaign, but I was not listening to Rushie, Billie, Annie or any of the other blatherers on the right, other than to keep up with the stupidity they were spewing. You, apparently fell for a bunch of it.

The first time I heard some idiot being squirrly with the, “he’s so far left, he’l soon fall off the edge of the world”, I recognized it for what it represented…a falsification to enhance the opposition’s chances against a juggernaught.

I’m sorry you missed that.

As far as the honesty thing is concerned…we will just have to wait to find out for sure, but with the way he’s handled things so far, I have hope.

I agree with you about the government being on the hook, and I agree it won’t be easy to change that, but, like I said, I have hope. Do you have something against hope?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 8:12 PM
Comment #272373

Marysdude, the only pundits I dislike more than liberal ones are conservative ones. I used to listem to fuzz lintball just to see what the enemy was up to but that got old quick. But it is funny that you should mention rightwing pundits since some of them are praising some of Obama’s decisions.

I like hope. I don’t like the statis Quo.

And yes, It bugs the heck out of me when I hear conservatives calling liberals the left. Perhaps on social issues, liberals could be called the left but, on meat and potatoes issues, liberal and conservative politicians are rather close to each other.

Like you say, we have to wait and see so I’ll begin to be less critical until the results start coming in. I would love to see the liberals break up some of these two big to fail corporations and develop public financing of elections but, I know that is just wishful thinking.

Posted by: jlw at December 18, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #272378

You can bet your last dollar Obama will be bucking his own party and special interest if he tries to make the changes your talking about. But then if he’s gonna be an effective President he’ll have to buck them on other fronts too.
While I didn’t support him I do hope that he will do what’s right.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 18, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #272409

>I know that is just wishful thinking.
Posted by: jlw at December 18, 2008 09:52 PM


I wonder where we’d be today without some powerful wishful thinking…there is a ton of evil out there, and only a pound of good to fight it…a little wishful thinking goes a long way.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 19, 2008 1:20 PM
Comment #272433

S.D. “He’s not some hollow fraud, perpetually balanced on the cliff’s edge of being revealed as a huckster.”

From Dictionary dot com

4. a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.
1300–50; ME fraude OF ML fraud- (s. of fraus) deceit, injury

2. a person who employs showy methods to effect a sale, win votes, etc.
1150–1200; ME huccstere (perh. c. MD hokester), equiv. to hucc- haggle (c. dial. G hucken to huckster) + -stere -ster

We don’t even agree on what actually happened in this year. most significantly, the economy tanked close enough to the election to help elect someone whose big qualification was not having been a very dedicated member of the Senate. He keeps talking and all I ever hear are more platitudes and BS. Most problematic to me, is his unwillingness to let things bottom out for about a year, allowing prices to sink to more realistic levels. At $6.59 for a jar of Kraft mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, they can keep it.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 19, 2008 4:03 PM
Comment #272535


semantics again…”it depends on what the meaning of is is”???

Don’t you think this matter is serious?

>Most problematic to me, is his unwillingness to let things bottom out for about a year, allowing prices to sink to more realistic levels.
Posted by: ohrealy at December 19, 2008 04:03 PM

You are, of course, joking…right??? Two to five million productive workers unemployed, an increase of homeless that corresponds with that…and, all it’s woth to you is, “letit bottom out for a year or so”???

GO on with your bad self…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 21, 2008 12:10 AM
Comment #272550

You’re kind of splitting hairs here. Oh, a huckster is somebody who sells thing in a showy manner! Well you’re accusing him of being overhyped fraud. Hype is showy selling that raises expecations. Jeez. Big difference. Obama’s won the election by demonstrating his leadership skill in fact, fulfilling his promises. That makes him better than a million other politicians who simply said what people wanted to hear.

He takes his job seriously.

As for prices bottoming out? Deflation is not a good idea. You want prices and wages to keep pace with one another, not diverge. The trick with deflation is that if prices go down too fast, then fewer folks can keep their heads above water on their expenses. That takes out jobs and businesses.

The better approach is stimulus. If more money flows through the economy, for one reason or another, people can better afford the higher prices.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 21, 2008 10:43 AM
Comment #272558

S.D., “leadership skill in fact, fulfilling his promises” you say hope, I say hype. He had no record to defend, so people went after his associations. He is assembling an administration of theoreticians.

Prices and wages haven’t kept pace for years, except where unions have fought for it. People with money are holding on to it, looking for safe investments away from Wall st and LaSalle st. Locally, real estate speculators are stuck with overvalued properties, while people put in offers they keep refusing because they are expecting the government to artificially prop up housing prices. Stores here are pretty empty. There is no reason for them to buy more inventory. That is what is going to “take out jobs and businesses”.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 21, 2008 2:40 PM
Comment #272626

>He is assembling an administration of theoreticians.
Posted by: ohrealy at December 21, 2008 02:40 PM


I’m not all that sure that what you say is fact…but, my question would be: And, your point is???

We have been in the hands of doers, not thinkers, for eight long, abusive years. Perhaps it is time to be in the hands of thinkers for a while? Look where thoughtless ‘doing’ has gotten us…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 22, 2008 8:07 AM
Comment #272852

Obama hasn’t lived up to any promises yet because he hasn’t done anything yet. The only promise he made that he has had the chance to break (AND DID) was sticking with lame duck McCain on campaign finance. Why would he when so many Hollywood idiots were willing to throw him humongous campaign fundraisers.

Ohrealy is right, the only thing that ever comes out of Obama’s mouth anymore are platitudes and BS.

Early on in this thread, David said it is absurd to think that White House cabinet members have experience in the trenches of the fields over which they reign. What is absurd is that David believes that having that experience would not lend itself to better and more well informed policy decisions. Having people who are neptistic appointees in the cabinet is a HUGE part of where the Clinton/Bush trainwrecks have gotten us. I can’t strongly enough disagree with you on this David. I do agree that being a teacher doesn’t make you a natural for a cabinet position, but if you are the kind of person who can lead, and you are chosen to lead the education department, then being a prior-teacher is not a bad qualification nor a detriment to experience or ability.

Having a guy who thinks that a gay high school is a good idea for anything other than a sexual playground is NOT fit to lead the entire nation’s education system. In my opinion anyway… I’m all for strong punishments against people who verbally or pysically abuse gays, but high school kids only think about one thing anyway, so if you rubber stamp the lifestyle, and then surround them with like minded peers - I would wager my house that the whole affair would turn into the same kind of meat market found at gay fraternities. Again, IMO.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 25, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #272893

>Having a guy who thinks that a gay high school is a good idea for anything other than a sexual playground is NOT fit to lead the entire nation’s education system.
Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 25, 2008 05:43 PM


I’m assuming then, that you believe our current public and private schools are heterosexual sexual playgrounds? And you don’t mind discriminating against the gays who want to play on the playground too?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 27, 2008 9:33 PM
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