Subprime Schools: L.A's new school superintendent David Brewer has announced a plan to rope 44 of the cities crappiest schools (containing 105,000 students) into a separate district. Apparently the idea is to "target" these schools for smaller classes, different courses and special teacher training. But normally, in business, is it a good idea to put all your most disfunctional units together on the grounds that somehow they will combine into a functional unit? Brewer talks about "drastic reforms such as all-boys academies and neighborhood literacy centers for parents." But the special Crap Schools District would also make it easier to turn the worst schools over to new charter organizations without disturbing the education bureaucracy's control over the remaining schools (which would still have over 500,000 students), no? ... P.S.: Is it really possible that the pompous, Pulitzer-obsessed L.A. Times-- which suppresses juicy celebrity stories in order, theoretically, to cover worthier topics--has failed to write about this important development? Looks like it. ... 1:16 A.M.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Edwards Scandal(?) Update: Drudge isn't biting, at least not yet. A bizarre number of people, including several kf emailers, seem to think that you just can't have a sex scandal unless Drudge is driving it. In part because they assume he has a low evidentiary threshold, he's become something like the new accepted Arbiter of Truth. No Drudge, no story! But--from what I can tell--Drudge doesn't link to lots of stories, for both traditional (evidence, relevance) and idiosyncratic reasons. This isn't the first time kausfiles hasn't met Drudge's journalistic standards! And while it's to his credit that he makes up his own mind and doesn't jump on every salacious rumor that comes along, that means it's not true that there's no scandal until he ratifies it. ... Update: Noted astrologer Jerome Armstrong has Rielle Hunter's denial.
The innuendoes and lies that have appeared on the internet and in the National Enquirer concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous.
My video production company was hired by the Edwards camp on a 6 month contract, which we completed December 31, 2006.
When working for the Edwards camp, my conduct as well as the conduct of my entire team was completely professional.
This concocted story is just dirty politics and I want no part of it." [Emphasis on Clintonian qualifiers added]
Via Ben Smith, who notes that 20% of American Media, which runs the National Enquirer, is owned by an investment firm run by Clintonite Roger Altman. That makes it possible for the press and others to discount the Enquirer story as a Hillary-promoted smear. But a) I think I know how the story started to come out, pre-Enquirer, and it had nothing to do with Hillary's campaign; b) The story, as suggested below, arguably helps Barack Obama in his race against Hillary, who has a better chance against a divided field; c) If Roger Altman already controlled the National Enquirer for the Clintonites, why would Clinton-buddy Ron Burkle be moving to buy it? ... Update: d) Why would Hillary of all people want to open the door on stories about marital infidelity? ...
More: Smith also has a too-broad denial from Edwards: "The story is false." (As every press secretary knows, that could logically mean there's nothing to the story; it could mean an affair didn't start "18 months ago" but rather 8 months ago). ...
Update: The AP has Edwards adding "It's completely untrue, ridiculous" and saying the story was "made up." By the Enquirer? Or by one of the people the Enquirer cites? Either way, it's a direct attack on the integrity of someone (not necessarily a smart move for a politician in Edwards' position). ...
With Edwards' denial, both the MSM and Drudge now finally mention the allegations. ...
Edwards' peculiar vulnerability should the allegation be believed is suggested by this Reuters lede:
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.