February 24, 2014

Coverage of Dingell’s Retirement Emphasizes Involvement in Obamacare, Omits His Post-Passage ‘Control the People’ Comment

Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat’s career as Congress’s longest-serving member will end with this session.

With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell’s decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration’s regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called “Obamacare.” That emphasis on Obamacare “somehow” overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio’s Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law’s passage in March 2010. It’s the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn’t), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.


Common Core Is a Uniter, Not a Divider: Groups From Across the Political Spectrum Are Blasting It

Filed under: Activism,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:48 am

Criticism of Common Core from sensible conservatives, known in the establishment press as “the far right,” is well known.

Criticism from the teachers’ unions, better understood as “the designated indocrinators of the far left,” is far less known, but real (links are in original; bolds are mine):

The NEA once enthusiastically supported Common Core, making (National Education Association President Dennis) Van Roekel’s criticism noteworthy. POLITICO said it meant a “rocky road ahead for the Common Core standards” and would “give opponents of Common Core a boost.”

In his letter, Van Roekel stops short of completely abandoning Common Core, calling instead for a “course correction” to fix implementation.

“NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly,” Van Roekel writes.

The National Education Association’s concerns come nearly a year after the American Federation of Teachers raised problems with implementation of the standards. AFT President Randi Weingarten said, “they simply don’t get it in Washington.” She also called the implementation of Common Core worse than HealthCare.gov.

Just last month, New York State United Teachers, part of AFT, voted to pull its support for Common Core. The union consists of 600,000 members in New York.

The one thing the teachers’ unions should do unanimously is call for repeal. Other the New York group, I doubt it will happen.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022414)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: La. principal’s success is a lesson in perseverance

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

From Port Barre, Louisiana (HT Daryn Kagan):

February 7, 2014, 7:37 PM

PORT BARRE, La. — Here at Port Barre Elementary in Port Barre, La., we found the most contagious smile in Cajun country. It belongs to elementary school principal Gabe Sonnier and it comes so naturally, it’s like his face has no other option.

Mr. Sonnier can’t even make a frown if he tries.

“The smile just wants to break out,” he said. “That’s just me. That’s just me, Mr. Hartman, that’s just me.”
The guy clearly loves his job.

He’s new to the principal position, but he’s been working at this same school for more than 30 years. In fact, Mr. Sonnier began his career in education just down the hall.

“This was my office right here,” he said, opening the door to a small closet.

Office in the most liberal sense of the word.

“This is a mop room,” he acknowledged.

Mr. Sonnier’s incredible journey from janitor to principal began in 1985 when then-Principal Westley Jones pulled him aside one day.

“He said, ‘I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up,’” Mr. Sonnier recalled.

No one had ever believed in him that much.

“I took it to heart,” he said. …

… “Don’t let your situation that you’re in now define what you’re going to become later,” Mr. Sonnier said. “I always tell them it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Positivity: Be patient even in the midst of trials, Pope encourages

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 17, 2014 / 11:48 am

In his daily homily Pope Francis emphasized that God is not a “sorcerer” who does what we want, but rather has a plan that we should wait for with patience even when we face challenges.

“God does not behave like a sorcerer, God has his own way of proceeding. And God is patient,” the Pope said during Mass on Feb. 17, adding that “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives.”

Pope Francis celebrated Mass this morning in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse alongside the members of the council of eight cardinals, who are holding their third meeting on matters of Church governance and reform this week.

Referring to one of the day’s reading taken from the book of James which speaks of having joy in difficulties, the pontiff said we ought to “consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

Patience has nothing to do with resignation, but rather “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives,” he explained, adding that those who want everything immediately are like spoiled children who don’t understand the wisdom of patience and perseverance.

These people, observed the Pope, cannot grow or face life as it comes, adding that another temptation for the impatient is the power of having what they want immediately. …

Go here for the rest of the story.