Michigan Drops Recall Effort After Wisconsin Victory

Another reason why Wisconsin was so important:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall vote is yielding dividends for another Midwestern Republican governor.

A group that sought to force a recall of Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday it’s calling it quits, citing a lack of support and the chilly political climate in the wake of the Wisconsin vote.

Michigan Rising, an independent group that had set a goal of gathering 1 million signatures on petitions to force a recall vote on Mr. Snyder, said Thursday it will stop its recall campaign immediately. The organization’s leaders said in a web post that as of June 4 it had collected only 2,079 names on 655 petitions, well short of a target of 200,000 signatures by June 1.

“It has become abundantly clear that Michigan Rising was not going accomplish its goal of recalling Governor Snyder,” Michigan Rising’s communications director Bruce Fealk said in a statement. “The results in Wisconsin crystallized how difficult a task it is to recall a sitting governor, even when the unions and the Democratic Party play a significant role in the effort.”

Unions Prep to Carry Water for Dems

As if you need any more proof that union bosses exploit middle class workers and cop-opt their organizations to be nothing more than accessories to a political party, behold:

Union leaders will unleash a concerted attack against Republican candidates and their “right-wing agenda” beginning this Labor Day weekend as they rally to stem expected Democratic losses in November’s midterm elections.

[...]

Mr. Trumka said the federation will play roles in more than 400 races nationwide, promoting its election agenda with a “massive mobilization” in 26 states. It will focus on 70 House races as well as Senate, gubernatorial and state legislative contests.

If unions are worried about jobs, perhaps they should stop supporting party policies that lead to job destruction – or lack of construction … jobs, that is.

On the $26B EduBailoutJobs Bill

How much sense does this make: a group of folks in Washington, DC, lobbying to the passage of a bill which will put about $50 million in the pocket of said group.

It’s cyclical!

If you said “no sense,” you would be wrong. Apparently to Washington and the teachers’ unions, it makes total sense because that’s exactly what’s happening right now with the bailout midterm buyout union payoff EduJobs bill. Speaker Pelosi is calling the House back to session next week for just this.

Geez, the logic or lack thereof:

Pelosi and other Democrats say the funding will prevent layoffs, stem higher unemployment and contribute to a growing economy.

Hold up – you mean, like the stimulus saved jobs? Have we seriously not learned this lesson? This woman does realize that private sector jobs actually provide the revenue to pay the salaries of the public sector jobs, right? Is that above the admin’s pay grade to ask?

Congress provided states with more than $200 billion in aid as part of last year’s economic stimulus package.

Because they’ve done such a stellar job.

(More clips from “The Cartel.”)

St. Louis city schools lost their accreditation:

The district met only four of the 14 performance standards set by the state, failing in such areas as middle and high school math scores, graduation rates and college placement. To remain provisionally accredited, it would need to meet six of the 14 standards. Full accreditation requires meeting nine of the standards.

If trends hold, 13,000 of the students now enrolled in the district will not graduate, Slay said. Of those who do, only half will take the college entrance ACT test. Of them, less than 12 percent will score at or above the national average.

We don’t have a funding problem. We have a spending problem. More spending does not equal better education. Ever hear of the Kansas City experiment? (via)

For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, “You can’t solve educational problems by throwing money at them.” The education establishment and its supporters have replied, “No one’s ever tried.” In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.

Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.

The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.

I get the appeal of running a school like a private business and offering nicer perks to attract better teachers – except that the trend shows a greater emphasis on those perks without the benefit of a proven, consecutive record of solid impact in the classroom.

I also get the idea of wanting to reward those teachers out there who don’t view the front of a class as a bully pulpit or abuse their position by pushing partisanship, and yes, it does turn the stomach that professional athletes make more than educators but that’s due to market demand and if you’ve ever paid for a ticket to a baseball, football, et al. game then you’re one of the guilty who perpetuates it. People deserve what society is willing to pay and for the scales to flip and educators to get Nike deals the hearts of the populace has to change – and government bossiness can’t force it. Also, teachers know the playing field before they choose this profession, so don’t whine about it after the fact.

A big long tangent to basically remark at the coincidence of the timing with this bill, right before midterms and all, a nice big reward for the unions which helped push the ruling class into power – right on the heels of the unions announcing how they’re mobilizing to help the Democrats maintain their majority:

“We are set to launch a robust field plan across the country during the month of August, including advertising and grassroots [sic] events,” said Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), in a statement.

Editor’s note after “grassroots” because, yeah. Astrotuf ain’t grassroots, friend.

Sen. Chuck Grassley wonders what on earth happened to the unspent stimulus funds from that $862 perfillion passed just last year:

“To offset this new spending, Democratic leaders could have started with unspent stimulus funds.  About $35 billion of the $100 billion in education aid to states from the stimulus was not spent as of a July 9 report from the Department of Education.

Because THIS new spending has to go to the teachers unions, Grassley! GEEZ KRIZE.

On Medicaid – has anyone possibly thought that the number of Medicaid enrollees increased with THE RISE IN UNEMPLOYMENT?

Facepalm.

Elston McCowan, NAACP, Others Laugh at Calling Kenneth Gladney the N Word

Dude?

Earlier Hoft wrote about how the NAACP leader present derided Gladney by arguing that he wasn’t black enough to protect.

I wrote prior about how, apparently, a HuffPo writer was present. You can see her laughing at the remark in the video. Klassy!

NAACP* = National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

(*except if they’re conservative)

Obama’s Favorite Visitor, Andy Stern, Bringing a “Showdown” to America

One of the scariest things I’ve seen since this administration assumed office. Andrew Marcus is following this over at Big Government:

From the cheap seats, it sure does look like the President of the United States is using the powers of the Executive to coordinate with Andy Stern to organize a series of protests entitled “Showdown In America.”

[...]

Take no prisoner, take no names.
Kick ‘em in the ass when they play their games.

Also posted on Marcus’ site:

With the downfall of ACORN as a “respectable” brand, NPA and NTIC are stepping in to fill the void. They are “cleaning up” their look, having removed the red stars from their current logo.

Last year, together with Andy Stern and SEIU, NPA led an angry march against “greedy” bankers in Chicago.*

Angry, anti-capitalist demonstrations from people who think that an alternative (socialism? Communism?) would work better, except that it’s failed in every other country in which it’s ever been implemented. Ever. Russia. China. North Korea. Cuba. Venezuela.

Is this why Andy Stern left his post at SEIU? Because it would look bad, as Marcus hinted, if the head of a labor union, favorite guest and close friend of the President was leading angry marches (with other close friends of the President’s) comprised of people who are on record as having caused violence at demonstrations in the past?

Can you say astroturf?

Such “neighborhood activist groups” are nothing more than quasi Pizza Connections where Marxism is laundered through the front of neighborhood activism. This demonstration is liberal beltway astorturf helmed by a few people who directly contributed to the President’s rise to power.

RI Town Fires All Teachers at Failing School

Chalk this up as another reason in favor of home education.

A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system.

Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring.  The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.

The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000.

Barely a half-hour to tutor kids, eat a couple lunches with them is an outrageous demand? This fits into my theory that public education stopped being about excellent academics when the system (cough, NEA, cough) began treating children as commodities instead of individuals of unique merit.

A teacher’s job performance shouldn’t only be judged by their ability to show up and drone on in a classroom from a book of published, pre-selected lesson plans; their performance should also be judged by their students’ academic performance – the impact these teachers have in the classroom. Teachers in this district were failing miserably it seems, and refused to put in any more effort to correct the fact or submit themselves to further professional evaluations.

I don’t think an extra 25 minutes would have done a lick of good; the problem isn’t QUANTITY, the problem is QUALITY. What, an extra 25 minutes to continue sub-par teaching? Or will they use the students as scapegoats (as is often done) and have us believe that poor kids (the town is one of the poorest in the state) are just stupid and that where you come from dictates where you go?

Still, the teachers work for the district, not the other way around. They were making hand-over-fist above the town’s average income and by all accounts, were not treated poorly. They cost themselves their jobs by refusing to answer to evaluations that may have uncovered a reason as to why they were having no effect in the classroom – or meet the superintendent’s other reasonable requests.