December 16, 2014

Positivity: Voucher backers to Colorado high court: don’t exclude religious schools

Filed under: Education,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Denver:

Dec 14, 2014 / 04:54 pm

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs has joined several other Christian schools and organizations in a legal brief to support a county voucher program, saying the Colorado Supreme Court should not exclude schools that are “too religious.”

“To exclude otherwise qualifying schools based solely on religious criteria is to engage in unconstitutional religious discrimination,” the brief says. “It may also lead to unconstitutional religious inquiries.”

The case concerns Douglas County’s school voucher program, called the Choice Scholarship Program. It allows parents of students to receive 75 percent of the district’s per-pupil revenue to attend private schools the district has approved to participate in the program, the Denver Post reports.

Legal challenges halted the program in 2011, just before over 300 children were set to enroll in it. Most of the students intended to attend religious schools.

A provision in the Colorado constitution bars aid to private schools and churches for “any sectarian purpose.”

The Diocese of Colorado Springs’ brief argues that the state constitutional provision mandates “religious discrimination” by treating religion as a “disqualifying characteristic.” It may also mandate “excessive religious inquiries” to determine whether a school’s programs and activities have “religious meaning or significance.”

Religious private school partners of the program are fully accredited and their graduates are “fully qualified” for additional education or work opportunities, the brief notes, adding that the scholarship program was “religiously neutral” and the constitutional provision should not be interpreted to prohibit it.

The Denver District Court ruled against the program, while the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld it in February 2013 by a 2-1 vote.

The Colorado Supreme Court is now considering the issue. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 11, 2014

Celeb-Worshipping WaPo Thoroughly Vets U.Va.’s ‘Jackie,’ Lets Dunham Off the Hook

Two recent items in the Washington Post support my contention that the establishment press is currently doing more than anyone besides Lena Dunham and “Jackie,” both of whom have been irrefutably exposed as rape story fabulists, to cause victims of sexual assault to be reluctant to come forward (Note: That’s not to say that the two women haven’t been victims of sexual assault, “only” that the stories they are currently promulgating cannot possibly be true).

As Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted this morning, the Post provided feminist character witnesses supporting Dunham (including one who still “completely believe(s) her”) and made pathetic excuses for the “Girls” star, including that she has a “demanding job.” Meanwhile — and to be clear, this is appropriate work which Rolling Stone should have done in the first place — the Post has been thoroughly vetting the story of alleged University of Virginia fraternity gang-rape victim “Jackie.” We’re now at the point where the coed’s original story, like Dunham’s, which “evaporated into pixie dust” after Breitbart’s John Nolte’s fact-check, has also become impossible to believe.

(more…)

December 7, 2014

Jonah Goldberg’s Rolling Stone-U.Va. Doubts Vindicated; His Harsh LA Times Critic Should Publicly Apologize

In the Rolling Stone-University of Virginia fraternity gang-rape saga, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg’s journalistic instincts expressed in his December 1 Los Angeles Times column (“Rolling Stone rape story sends shock waves — and stretches credulity”) obviously ran circles around Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Diana Crandall’s.

On December 3, shortly before the story imploded, Crandall went after Goldberg with a vengeance for supposedly “being out of touch with college realities” and for writing the kind of column which “prevents rape victims from coming forward” (bolds and numbereed tags are mine):

(more…)

December 6, 2014

AP Pair More Worried About ‘Impact’ of Rolling Stone Apology Than the Truth

The headline at Saturday’s Assocated Press story at Yahoo News dealing with the implosion of Rolling Stone’s November 19 story about an alleged — and, for all appearances, completely fictional — fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia focuses, as so many other establishment press stories have, on the supposedly “chilling effect” … (it) could have on sexual-assault victims reporting the crimes.” Gosh, whatever happened to “the truth will set you free”?

A central issue here is the magazine’s detail-free apology “to anyone who was affected by the story.” While quoting several people who are outraged by the magazine’s approach, AP reporters Alan Suderman and Frederic J. Frommer withheld key details from their readers — details which make it clear to anyone that Rolling Stone’s story was incurably flawed.

(more…)

November 14, 2014

That Kasich ‘Magic’: Ohio Turnout Was Really Down by Over 11 Points (i.e., Over 21 Percent)

It turns out that Nate Silver’s turnout map was way wrong about Ohio. I don’t have time to audit his state-by-state claims, but someone should.

Silver’s map says Ohio turnout was down by 8.7 percent.

Uh, more than double that, as seen in a press release this morning from Tom Zawistowski of Ohio Citizens PAC (bolds are mine; some minor editing was done and paragraph breaks added by me):

Media Spin of Kasich Win in Ohio Distorts the Facts

PRESS RELEASE 

Akron, OH – Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC, today rejected the spin the media is putting on the re-election of Ohio Governor John Kasich, prompted by Kasich and his staff, as a distortion of the facts.

Kasich won re-election by a 31% margin and won in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties. He and his team are trying to use the results, such as their winning “69% of Independent Voters, 60% of Women Voters, and 57% of Young Voters”, to suggest that Kasich could be a viable republican candidate for President in 2016.

Commenting on the Governors “race,” Zawistowski said “Here are the facts that the media is leaving out of their post election reports of what actually happened in Ohio. As the chart below shows, nearly a million more Ohioans stayed home this year compared with 2010 – 3,956,045 vs 3,010,760 – because the voters are not stupid and they knew they had no real choice for governor.

This year Kasich ran virtually unopposed, due to his nefarious actions, and had … $20 million compared with $4.6 million for FitzGerald, yet he only attracted a measly 33,000 more votes than he got in 2010. Which shows that his popularity is not what he claims.

Furthermore, 88,000 Ohioans voted and left the Governor’s choice blank, more than his margin of victory in 2010. In his two elections for governor, Kasich has yet to attract even 25% of the votes in the state – having had only 23.5% of voters vote for him in 2010 and only 24.81% in 2014. Hardly a mandate.

Kasich did not get people to vote for him, he only got people to not vote at all and stay home. It they would not vote for him his year, they would not come out to vote for him for president in 2016, they would come out to vote against him.”

Zawistowski concluded, “We just had an election for Governor in which not one issue was discussed. Not one debate was held about the actual state of the Ohio economy and our future direction. Despite Kasich’s dubious claims of economic growthOhio is 44th in the nation in job growth, we are still 200,000 jobs down from where we were when the bottom fell out. We haven’t even recovered let alone grown jobs and Kasich is just blowing smoke about how everyone is doing great.

Does anyone believe that Kasich could win Ohio in a presidential race when Barack Obama got over 1,000,000 more votes in 2012 than Kasich did in 2014 running without any credible Democratic campaign or money against him? Particularly after alienating the conservative base with his liberal first term record as indicated in the chart below?

Like we said before this election, not only would conservatives not vote for John Kasich for president, we would not work for him as a presidential candidate and he can’t win if we don’t.  He would not have won re-election this year if he had not bribed the democrats and kept other candidates off the ballot. What he did to win re-election this year will not work in a presidential election.”

Actually, the turnout decline is higher than the 21.5 percent seen in a straight calculation from the first table above (38.66% vs. 49.22% is a 10.56-point, 21.5% decline), whose registration and turnout numbers, after getting burned by Silver, I traced back to the Ohio Secretary of State’s site.

That’s because, in the meantime, Secretary of State Jon Husted did a purge which took 245,000 dead people off the voter rolls.

Redo the math for 2010 considering the purge, and you end up with turnout of 50.77 percent. That would mean that the decline from 2010 in 2014 was really almost 12 points (11.91, to be exact), or 23.5 percent.

Nothing creates apathy and depresses turnout like a poorly performing governor who for all practical purposes is unopposed.

Zawistowski is right. How any of the above credibly translates into presidential viability for John Kasich is a mystery.

What’s not a mystery is why the national press is presenting Kasich favorably as a potential 2016 candidate. It’s because, if he were to somehow win the Republican nomination, he’d lose the general election.

October 20, 2014

Once Again, Kasich and the GOP Betray the People Who Got Him Elected (Keep Telling It Like It Is, Ann Becker)

Filed under: Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:37 pm

Props to Ann Becker for standing strong and telling it like it is — as published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 14 (bolds are mine):

Opinion: Why I was shut out from Kasich rally

Ann Becker is president of the Cincinnati Tea Party.

For the past five years I have been a very vocal opponent of the expansion of government and fiscal irresponsibility. During the past year, my fellow small-government activists and I have taken great issue with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in our state. At many of Governor Kasich’s stops on the campaign trail, we have protested against Common Core.

Monday night at a Kasich rally to get out the vote in West Chester, Governor Kasich and the Butler County Republican Party chose to threaten me, rather than risk being asked about Common Core. I intended to ask the Governor a simple question: “Do you support Common Core? If so, why?”

I was invited to the event. I had RSVPed to the event. When I came to the door, I was turned away with a lie, being told I didn’t RSVP. I was told that if I didn’t leave the premises, the Voice of America Park in West Chester (my voting location), I would be arrested. I was not loud. I was not out of line. I was just a person who wanted answers.

Common Core is a very hot issue. Most of us have been affected by it. If you are a parent or grandparent and see the ‘base 10′ math homework come home in your children’s backpacks and can’t help them with it, you are frustrated. If you are a taxpayer and hear that your school needs a levy because they need more money for technology in order to give the new tests, you are expected to pay for them. You hear things about Common Core’s data collection, about the involvement with Bill Gates and other influences from outside of Ohio.

Common Core is a set of standards that teachers use to instruct our children. It began in 2006 as an idea proposed by the National Governors Association (NGA), headed at the time by Janet Napolitano. With the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several organizations funded by the Gates Foundation, the NGA created and pushed through the standards. Money from the Department of Education was promised and received if states adopted these “high-quality standards.” Common Core is currently being used in 45 of the 50 states, including Ohio.

One of the main problems with Common Core is constitutional. Under the terms of the U. S. Constitution, the control of education is left to the states. The state of Ohio has complete control over the education of our children. The Ohio House is considering House Bill 597, which would repeal Common Core and replace it with a higher-quality set of standards. Our Governor and the Ohio Senate have not stepped to the plate either to consider repeal or to defend their decision to keep Common Core. Ohio has a chance to become a leader of education in the nation if our politicians have the courage to move forward.

There are many educational problems with Common Core. They are not considered by experts to be high-quality standards. The writers of the standards did not do a good job integrating educational research into the expectations for Common Core. They are not rigorous, internationally benchmarked (as the creators claim they are) or research-based.

The National Republican Party and the Hamilton, Warren and Clermont County Republican parties have all passed resolutions condemning Common Core. In previous interviews, Governor Kasich has repeatedly dodged the question about his position on Common Core. He states that he is for higher standards, but will not say if he thinks Common Core fills that bill. Yet the evidence remains: Our children in Ohio are being taught according to the Common Core State Standards.

We protest with signs and letters. We make phone calls. When we show up at public events to ask the Governor to express his views on Common Core, we are told to leave or risk arrest. We are simply looking for answers.

In honor of the persistence of Ann Becker and those who oppose Common Core, here’s Aaron Neville singing “Tell It Like It Is”:

OKAY … here are TWO encores … Heart’s version — studio and live:

_________________________________

UPDATE: The Enquirer’s Oct. 15 story on the incident (“Tea party leader ejected from Kasich rally”) is here.

October 1, 2014

Amen: Elbert Guillory on Mary Landrieu

Filed under: Economy,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:36 pm

Spot on, and about time:

Go here for the Free At Last PAC.

UPDATE: From the YouTube comments —

This ad speaks to EVERY AMERICAN, no matter your political party. We all know the war on poverty has failed….the biggest problem we have is people returning these failures to Washington. It’s time for THE PEOPLE to see results, to stop voting for anybody, either side, who does nothing for the people who sent them to Washington.

September 11, 2014

D.C. 6th-Grade School Assignment: Compare Bush 43 to Hitler

Filed under: Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:10 pm

Haven’t brought out the “reasons to homeschool” graphic for awhile.

If I brought it out every time a government school did something stupid, I’d use it at least twice a day. So I try to be selective.

This one makes the over-the-top cut — by a mile:

D.C. Public Schools homework assignment asks 6th graders to compare Bush to Hitler

A D.C. public school gave a sixth grade class a homework assignment that required students to draw comparisons between former President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler.

The assignment was given out this week at McKinley Tech Middle School in Northeast and has angered at least one parent who complained about the homework.

A copy of the assignment, made by the parent, instructs students to draw examples from two texts they were assigned and to fill in a Venn diagram with similarities and differences between the two men.

“Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways, we will compare and contrast them and their actions. Please refer to your texts, ‘Fighting Hitler — A Holocaust Story’ and ‘Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD’ to compare and contrast former President George W. Bush and Hitler. We will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!” reads the text at the top of the assignment.

I should remind readers that the “No WMD” claim is an historically proven lie.

Plenty of irrefutable proof is herehere and here at previous BizzyBlog posts. Wikileaks documents, purloined by Bradley/Chelsea Manning, considered a folk hero by many on the left, also show that there WMDs in Iraq.

With that matter re-established, let’s bring the homeschooling graphic, originally created by the estimable Darth Dilbert at Return of the Conservatives, apparently updated from when I last used it, and shamelessly appropriated for the purposes of this post:

ReasonsToHomeschool2014

August 14, 2014

Barely News: Teachers Union Head’s Promise to ‘Punch’ Common Core Opponents ‘in the Face’

Give the New York Daily News credit for surfacing a video which originally appeared at Ed Notes Online, a publication whose “about” page says it opposes “the education corporate-based reforms … undermining the public school system” and exposes “the motives behind the education deformers.”

The video shows Michael Mulgrew, the president of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers, threatening to “punch you in the face and push you in the dirt” if you oppose the nationally imposed and controlled Common Core standards, and from all appearances laying claim to America’s children as the property of its teachers. Give the rest of the establishment press — which routinely pounces on inflammatory statements coming from the right and distorts others into making them appear to be — demerits for almost completely failing to expose an education tyrant. Video and excerpts from the Daily News’s coverage follow the jump.

(more…)

August 13, 2014

Positivity: Advocates advise that First Amendment protects school choice

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Denver:

Aug 11, 2014 / 02:07 pm

Faith-based schools should not be excluded from Colorado’s educational choice programs, according to a brief filed by attorneys in a case which is due to be heard by the state supreme court.

“School districts have a responsibility to provide the best educational choices for parents and their children without discriminating against religious options,” commented Gregory Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, in an Aug. 5 statement.

Baylor affirmed that religious schools in Colorado “provide an excellent education that meets all state standards. They should continue to be welcomed into programs like this one so that students, the community, and the government will all benefit.”

Taxpayers for Public Educations v. Douglas County was filed by those who maintain that the acceptance of religious schools in the county’s Choice Scholarship Program breaches the state constitution, violating provisions governing the church-state relationship.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled against the lawsuit, supporting Douglas County’s decision that religious options in education do not oppose the state constitution.

However, opponents filed for an appeal against this decision which will be reviewed by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The attorneys of Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief with the Colorado Supreme Court in defense of the appellate court’s decision, stating that the “Court of Appeals affirmed that the Choice Scholarship Program respects the first amendment and the private religious choices of Colorado families.”

“The Colorado Supreme Court has every reason to reach the same conclusion.” …}

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 11, 2014

Cinti. Enquirer Keeps Michelle Obama’s Name Out of Story on District Ending Federal School Lunches

Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Northern Kentucky have decided to get out of the federal school lunch program, specifically because of the requirements imposed in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Simply put, the district is tired of being forced to give kids food they won’t eat.

Until it ran into problems, HHFA was seen as Mrs. Obama’s signature achievement, and the press fawned over its alleged awesomeness. Now that the program has encountered fierce real-world resistance, her association with it seems to have vanished from many press reports. One such report was filed by the Associated Press last month from the School Nutrition Association’s annual convention in Boston. A local example appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer Saturday evening. Excerpts from that report by Jessica Brown follow the jump (bolds are mine):

(more…)

July 31, 2014

Very Funny: Evan Sayet

Filed under: Education,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:42 pm

I argue that the modern liberal is the stupidest human being to have ever lived.” (HT Eagle Rising via Instapundit):

Some may take offense at Sayet going after “teachers.” I think it’s clear that he’s going after college professors, whose mission all too often seems to be to undo all the good things elementary and secondary ed teachers do.

June 25, 2014

Ridiculous: NYT, Brookings Spin Student-Loan Debt as a Non-Problem — Using 2010 Data

On Tuesday, the Brookings Institution, with a David Leonhardt column at the New York Times serving as its de facto press release, published a study (full PDF here) entitled, “Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?” Unsurprisingly, their finding, in one word, was “No.” Their more qualifed finding: “[I]n reality, the impact of student loans may not be as dire as many commentators fear.” Their underlying “logic”: “typical borrowers are no worse off now than they were a generation ago.”

It’s bad enough that much of the data presented by Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos, the study’s authors, directly contradicts the sunshine they’re trying blow up our keisters. What’s even worse is that you don’t even need to dig into the detail once you learn which year’s data they used — 2010. For heaven’s sake, guys, total student loan debt has grown by between 50 percent and 60 percent since then.

(more…)

June 19, 2014

NBC/WSJ Poll Cooks Its Common Core Questions, Fabricates Claim of Strong Majority Support

Yesterday’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll garnered a great deal of attention, primarily because of its findings about President Barack Obama, particularly the one showing showing that “54 percent – believe the term-limited president is no longer able to lead the country.”

The poll also asked respondents a series of three questions on the Common Core standards which were clearly designed to elicit majority support for them and to then mislead the public into believing that those who the standards them are a noisy, anti-Obama minority which should be ignored. Stories covering the poll at both NBC and the Wall Street Journal indicated as much.

(more…)

June 17, 2014

AP (‘Struggled’ For ‘Traction’) and Delusional Bloomberg (‘Industry Stabilized’) Completely Disagree in Reporting on Today’s Homebuilding Declines

There must have been a double delivery of Obama administration koolaid over at Bloomberg News this morning.

The business wire service, which ordinarily is slightly less imbalanced in its business and economics reporting than the Associated Press, somehow interpreted a 6.5 percent seasonally adjusted decline in housing starts during May and a nearly identical percentage drop in building permits — with both figures lower than May 2013 — as evidence that “the homebuilding industry stabilized after a first-quarter swoon.” That’s ridiculous. The first quarter was supposedly as bad as it was because of bad winter weather; so there should have been an overcompensating bounceback. It hasn’t happened. Meanwhile, that second Bloomberg koolaid delivery must have been the one meant for AP, whose Josh Boak turned in a report noteworthy for its unusual sobriety (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(more…)