January 28, 2009

Strickland’s State of the State: Unevaluated Excerpts

Full transcript is here.

Items I gleaned from the transcript are listed below, in order of appearance in the speech. Hopefully I’ll have more to say tomorrow.

Comments are welcome, or just use what follows as Cliff Notes (Update – Matt at WoMD has reax from the Buckeye Institute, John Kasich, and Kevin Coughlin; Lisa Renee at Glass City live-blogged it and has reax from State Rep Matt Szollosi):

We have finally gained federal approval to offer coverage to Ohio children from families with incomes up to 300 percent of the poverty line. With funding provided in this budget, we will soon be able to say that health care coverage is available to every child in Ohio.

…..

Ohioans with employer-provided insurance will be able to buy coverage for their dependents up to the age of 29.

…..

We will work toward the restoration of passenger rail service between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. Our goal is to link Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail for the first time in 40 years. This will be a first step toward a rail system that links neighborhoods within a city, and cities within our state.

…..

Over the last two years we reduced the tax burden on local communities as the state now provides the majority of funds needed for our local schools.

…..

Students will, of course, continue to learn the timeless core subjects like math and science that are critical to their success. But we will also add new topics including global awareness and life skills to the curriculum. And we will use teaching methods that foster creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, media literacy, leadership and productivity, cultural awareness, adaptability and accountability.

…..

Under my plan, the Ohio Department of Education will set standards for Ohio schools requiring innovative teaching formats. Interdisciplinary methods, project-based learning, real world lessons, and service learning will be the norm.

…..

Over a ten-year period we will add 20 instructional days to the school calendar – bringing Ohio’s learning year up to the international average of 200 days.

We will end the outdated practice of giving our most impressionable students only a half-day of learning. Ohio will now require universal all-day kindergarten.

We will provide resources to expand the learning day for all students with activities such as community service, tutoring, and wellness programs.

…..

We will create community engagement teams in our schools. We will place nurses in our schools. We will have professionals in the schools who will help educators, families and community service providers come together to help our children succeed.

And for the first time the state will provide dedicated resources for instructional materials and enrichment activities.

…..

So, under my plan, in recognition of the enormous importance of excellent teachers, we will revolutionize teacher preparation and development in Ohio with a residency program. Just as future doctors begin their careers under the watchful eye of an experienced colleague, we will give our new teachers the benefit of thoughtful guidance from an accomplished senior teacher. After a four-year residency, successful candidates will earn their professional teaching license.

…..

Right now, it’s harder to dismiss a teacher than any other public employee. Under my plan, we will give administrators the power to dismiss teachers for good cause, the same standard applied to other public employees.

We will create a Teach Ohio program to open a path to licensure for professionals who have the subject knowledge but lack coursework in education methods. Teach Ohio participants will complete an intensive course in classroom methods and then be eligible to begin the four-year residency program.

…..

Scholarships will be made available for future teachers who agree to teach in hard to staff schools or in hard to staff subjects.

Our university teacher education programs will be redesigned to meet the needs and standards of our primary and secondary schools. The Chancellor of Higher Education will be empowered to reward university education programs that best prepare their students for success as teachers in Ohio.

…..

And you know, good ideas shouldn’t be something we stumble on accidentally. That’s why my plan creates a research and development function within the Department of Education. The department’s Center for Creativity and Innovation will monitor research and results from across the country and across the world to keep Ohio schools and Ohio educators informed of new advances.

…..

Ohio’s current graduation test does not measure creativity, problem solving, and other key skills. We will make our assessments both relevant and rigorous by replacing the Ohio Graduation Test with the ACT and three additional measures.

All students will take the ACT college entrance examination, not only to measure their high school achievement, but to help raise students’ aspirations for higher education. Students will also take statewide ‘end of course’ exams, complete a service learning project, and submit a senior project.

…..

School districts will undergo performance audits overseen by the Department of Education to make sure they are maintaining the academic and operating standards we’ve established.

…..

For those who may have misunderstood my position on charter schools, I want to be very clear. I support charter schools that meet the same high standards we demand of traditional public schools. Charter schools that hire quality teachers, show fiscal and academic accountability, are regulated by the Department of Education, and are not run by for-profit management services have a place in my plan.

…..

….. my plan lowers what our local taxpayers are expected to contribute to local schools from 23 mills to 20 mills. The state will assume responsibility for providing the difference between what those 20 mills raise and the cost of the full range of educational resources our students need according to our evidence-based approach.Additionally, districts will have the option of asking voters to pass a conversion levy. Now, a conversion levy simply maintains the existing millage on residential property for a district currently above 20 mills.

Districts that use a conversion levy, and all districts whose tax structure already allows growth on 20 mills, will see their tax revenues grow with increased property values, helping schools to keep up with inflation.

Last November alone we had more than 200 school districts asking voters to approve school levies. Under my plan, school districts that choose this option will not have to go to the ballot year after year just to stay even with inflation.

And, we will strengthen the historic partnership between the state and our local school districts. When I came into office, local school districts paid for the majority of school costs. In the upcoming two-year budget, even with grave economic challenges facing Ohio and the nation, my plan will take the state’s share of education funding to 55 percent. As our Ohio evidence-based plan is fully phased in, the state’s share will grow to an unprecedented 59 percent.

Excerpt: ‘The True Scope of the Housing Bust’ — Fan and Fred Did It

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:15 pm

An interview last week by Chip Hanlon of Safehaven (HT The Independent Institute’s Beacon Blog) of Fannie Mae’s first Chief Credit Officer, Edward Pinto, is probably the best explanation out there, so read the excerpts after the jump (if you’re on this blog’s home page), and go and save the whole thing:

(more…)

Dirty Little Secret of the Day, Via Rush

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:31 am

It’s about time somone shouted this out, because it explains a lot (link will go behind Rush’s subscription wall in a week; bold is mine):

….. look, these Wall Street people, I’m as infuriated as you are, but not for the same reasons. I am mad at them for not standing up when Congress ruined their businesses. I’m mad at ‘em for not standing up and saying, “No, we’re not taking your money.” They thought they had an unholy alliance, they thought they were in the same club with these elected officials. A lot of these guys that are going down the tubes on Wall Street are Democrats being taken down by Democrats. And the Democrats are showing, “We’ll take you down if it means votes for us. I don’t care how much money you’ve given us,” most of these execs on Wall Street we’re talking about are high level liberal Democrats. They’re going down the tubes and they’re having their images destroyed by people they thought were on their team.

Rush doesn’t seem to be aware of the “(figurative) gun to the head” element of the bailouts. But that really reinforces his point: Instead of fighting them tooth and nail, banks generally went along with CRA and lower-than-prudent lending standards and thought that their contributions to Democrats would buy them safety. It didn’t. The fact that so-called allleged Republican Henry Paulson is the one who pushed the panic button, with the unfortunate and legacy-scarring acquiescence of George W. Bush, is irrelevant to the root causes that led to him do what he did.

There’s a term for people like these money center CEOs: Useful idiots.

Well OK, If You’re Going to Go There …..

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:03 am

So LA’s mayor (see 3PM update at link) and the New York Times (HT Michelle Malkin) want to blame the Lupoe family murder-suicide on the economy — in spite of plentiful evidence that there’s much, much more to the story. The Times cites other job loss-related murder examples in its coverage in an effort to create the impression that this is part of a pattern.

Fine.

Let’s accept the in-reality unacceptable twisted premise for a moment.

If we do, the next logical stop for Times reporters Rebecca Cathcart and Randal C. Archibold would be to track down Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid and ask them how it feels, as architects of the POR Economy, to be responsible for these awful deaths.

Former Boss Rebukes NASA Global Warming Alarmist Hansen, Is AGW Skeptic

Filed under: Environment,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:28 am

GlobalWarming.jpgI’ll betcha this won’t get much notice in the Obamedia, so it needs some here.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe’s Environment and Public Works Committee Press Blog released a statement last night reporting that Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of over-the-top global warming alarmist James Hansen, has publicly rebuked his former employee’s conduct, refuted Hansen’s comedic claim that he was being muzzled, and has joined the ranks of AGW (anthropogenic global warming) skeptics.

Hansen’s histrionics were last noted on January 18 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when the UK Guardian carried his dire warning that the about-to-be-inaugurated Barack Obama “Has Four Years to Save Earth” from the impact of global warming.

Here are key excerpts from the press release posted by Marc Morano (HT Watts Up With That via Tigerhawk; bolds are mine):

NASA warming scientist James Hansen, one of former Vice-President Al Gore’s closest allies in the promotion of man-made global warming fears, is being publicly rebuked by his former supervisor at NASA.

Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fear soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.”  Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of man-made global warming fears.

“I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made,” Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009.

….. “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress,” Theon wrote.

….. Theon declared “climate models are useless.” “My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit,” Theon explained. “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results.

We will likely wait quite a while for Obamedia outlets like the Associated Press or the New York Times to take note of John Theon’s thrashing of Hansen. If this anticipated aversion doesn’t strike you as particularly unfair, ask yourself how much notice Theon would have received if he had instead announced his complete agreement with his former employee.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Things I’d Like To Post About Today ….. (012809, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 8:56 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Deceptive Lying Reuters Headline from Last Friday — “FDA allows first test of human stem cell therapy.” Fox, of course, got it right — “First Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Gets FDA Approval.” This Google News Archive search from 1/21/2001 thorugh 1/20/2009 shows plenty of evidence that “human stem cell” tests have been approved in the past (otherwise, the tests described at the myriad links wouldn’t be taking place) — just not embryonics.
  • Here’s a brave statement:

    WellsFargoNoTARP0109

    Yeah right — until new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “puts a (figurative) gun to their heads” like his predecessor Hank Paulson did.

  • Sunday, Anchoress put out a fabulous round-up of pre- and post-January 20 inconsistencies on the part of Democrats and the press (I know, that’s redundant). It only took five days for her to hit double digits; this post from yours truly is among the examples. Amazing.
  • On a related note, the Punk Clock is back to five days, based on Obama’s “I won” statement (HT Instapundit) on Friday. Not “we won,” or “my party won,” or “my team won.” Nope, it’s all about him, and he’s in your face with it. That’s pure punk. It’s Nixon’s “I am the President” with an arrogant exclamation point. The revised expiration date on the term “Punk President” has now been moved to March 24.
  • Marc Thiessen on Geithner — “The problem is that now, when the next nominee comes up with these kinds of issues, there will be a ‘Geithner precedent.’  And if it’s a woman or a minority, they will argue that you gave the white guy from Wall Street a pass.  And that will weaken their hand in opposing someone who might not only have failed to pay their taxes, or employed an illegal nanny, but also have dangerous policy ideas.” This is why the excuse proffered by some who voted “yes,” including George Voinovich, that “the alternative would have been worse” (see Update 5 at this link for my full response), is so completely hollow.

Positivity: How Bush Impressed a West Point Cadet

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:19 am

At Pajamas Media, J. Marc Abbott, a first class cadet (senior) and member of the Class of 2009 at the United States Military Academy, relates what happened at a presidential visit in December:

….. President Bush arrived at around 10:00 a.m. and gave his pre-prepared speech (broadcast over the internet via CNN). As he spoke, many of my classmates observed, “Well, it kinda sounds like a State of the Union address.” We’d all heard him say the exact same thing before, and nothing in this speech surprised anyone. He spoke at length about the status of the Iraqi conflict and the successes the military has seen there. He addressed our current and future involvement, and then dismissed the underclassmen.

“That’s it?” This was quite anticlimactic. If he was planning on impressing us, he’d have to do better than that. Little did we know …

About ten minutes later, the first captain called the room to attention. After introducing the superintendent, he announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the 43rd president of the United States!” The auditorium filled with a deafening applause, much louder than the rather tepid response to the speech he had just concluded.

The president quickly motioned for us to sit down. His demeanor was far different than the one I’d seen on camera hundreds of times before — this man clearly was not comfortable being a politician. Far from the stiff that he’d always been when reporters were around, he seemed relaxed, excited, almost like a kid on Christmas.

The next two hours were inspiring, amazing, and ultimately very revealing about who the commander-in-chief really was and what he really believed. After repeating the same injunction about recording devices, he began to take questions. Real questions. Unmoderated questions. Cadets, normally somewhat reticent about asking questions during a briefing, couldn’t get their hands in the air fast enough. He answered everything we threw at him, both the easy and the difficult. As time passed, I began to see this man for who he really was — contrary to all the most popular stereotypes, he was not a power-monger, not an evil oil baron, not the clumsy, bumbling fool as he has often been accused of being.

This was not the George W. Bush that we all thought we knew. Immediately, it became apparent why he didn’t want the press there — he wanted the freedom to be as candid with us as he knew how, as a classic Texas straight shooter down to the last word. Intimately familiar with the new media’s habitual mistreatment of any and all of his verbal missteps or lapses in diplomatic, politically correct language, he knew they would have pounced on this meeting. There would have been no end to the howling coming from his enemies’ camps.

Not politically correct? Yes. Not eloquent? True. Aware of his faults and shortcomings? Absolutely. Honest and sincere in pursing what he believes? Concerned for the welfare of the country, and especially for the welfare of soldiers and their families? You’d better believe it.

He finished, almost reluctant to leave, and thanked us from the bottom of his heart. For the next fifteen minutes, he took the time to chat with the horde of cadets pressing up against the barrier next to the stage. He talked to us, asked us personal questions, and shook every hand offered to him, lingering longer than the average “politician hand squeeze.” No one dared leave the room until after he’d disappeared into the hallway.

As we ascended the stairs and headed back to our rooms, I could hear almost every cadet expressing amazement and admiration for the man, even if they didn’t agree with his policies. I can say that I feel the same. There’s much I feel that he could have done better during his time in office; however, in person he was powerful, honest, and compelling. There’s a reason why he’s popular with the military. In that auditorium, the West Point Class of 2009 came to know firsthand that he actually cares about us.

What will President Bush’s real legacy be? Just ask the members of the United States military.

Read the whole thing.