Fix It Again, Treasury!

A mostly political weblog.
May 1 2009 7:43 PM

Fix It Again, Treasury!

Saturday, May 2, 2009  

"Kids don't have a union": What it takes to fire a lousy teacher in the Los Angeles public schools--a chart . ... From the LAT' s accompanying story :

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Jettisoning a teacher solely because he or she can't teach is rare. ...

When teaching is at issue, years of effort -- and thousands of dollars -- sometimes go into rehabilitating the teacher as students suffer. Over the three years before he was fired, one struggling math teacher in Stockton was observed 13 times by school officials, failed three year-end evaluations, was offered a more desirable assignment and joined mentoring programs as most of his ninth-grade students flunked his courses. ...  [snip]

Meanwhile, said Kendra Wallace, principal of Daniel Webster Middle School on Los Angeles' Westside, an ineffective teacher can instruct 125 to 260 students a year -- up to 1,300 in the five years she says it often takes to remove a tenured employee.

It's worth saying again: If the twittish, PC  L.A.Times is now going after the teachers' unions, those unions have lost the PR battle in the mainstream press . Does President Obama ("We can afford nothing but the best when it comes to our children's teachers") know this? Do the Republicans who are desperately looking for an issue to use against the Dems? ... [ via NewsAlert 5:57 P.M.

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The Dish is a revenge best served cold: President Obama's reliance on the excitable Andrew Sullivan has predictably led him into embarrassing error . Even NPR  felt it necessary to correct Obama . ...  Note to NPR's Robert Siegel: In interviewing the Guardian 's Ian Cobain about the London Cage interrogation center , you say

President Obama was quoting Britain's wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. Do we know that Churchill, when he made those remarks, knew very well what was going on in the interrogation centers? [E.A.]

Huh? Do we have any evidence that Churchill ever made those remarks? (Obama's version: "And Churchill said, 'We don't torture,' ..."). As far as I can see, the evidence is Sullivan, which is perilously close to no evidence at all. ... P.S.: Sullivan's characteristically vigorous post-error backpedaling and ass-covering focuses on whether Churchill knew about the torture at Britain's interrogation centers. The claim that Churchill not only didn't know about the torture but actually banned it--or that he said (or even thought) anything like "We don't torture"--has seemingly been left by the wayside. ... 3:38 P.M.

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Friday, May 1, 2009  

We'll know the Chrysler bankruptcy is in trouble when the press starts reporting that Steve Rattner really had nothing to do with it. ... 5:40 P.M

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Faced with the prospect that it might have to balance interests and act responsibly as a new owner of Chrysler, the U.A.W.'s Ron Gettelfinger desperately tries to recreate an adversary system . ( The UAW's VEBA health care fund is "independent"! Controlled by "outside ... directors"! We can go on strike against them anytime we want, really we can! )  There's something infantile about this, as if a teenager were given the keys to a new car and said, "I'd rather you kept the keys and I'll throw tantrums when I need it." ... If you were a neoliberal from the 1980s you might say the Wagner Act has given them permission to be singleminded, legalistic, and irresponsible--and that's the only role they know. Luckily there are no neoliberals around anymore to make this annoying point. ... 5:38 P.M.

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Despite its CEO's appearance on David Letterman, electric car startup Tesla is looking a little more granfalloonish today than yesterday. ... 5:37 P.M.

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I was waiting for the first undocumented-immigrant-legalization advocate to declare that the Mexico-centered flu epidemic required the immediate passage of "comprehensive immigration reform." I figured Tamar Jacoby would win. I was wrong. The winner appears to be the Southern California Immigration Coalition, which wants President Obama to simply legalize all illegals by executive order :

To deport all these people to Mexico would create an emergency crisis in their own economy. And that's the crisis we would have in Mexico. Coupled with the drug wars that are going on, the problem that we have with the virus, the flu, it would just create great havoc for Mexico in its economy.

  5:33 P.M.

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