Let the professional left eat cake!
symptom of a 1-term president

"I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs said. "I mean, it's crazy."

The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality."

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."

Without psychoanalyzing Gibbs, I take it that we have no chance for change.  Obama's middle name could be status qvo, just as well.  By 2012 one can say, Der Mohr hat seine Schuldigkeit getan, der Mohr kann gehen.   Moreover, by the time we are ready to inflate another bubble the Chinese may well be #1.

Speaking of bubbles, a very real one is in education, where the situation is just as in healthcare, even including the need for a national system* similar to a single payer.  Local budgets being already bankrupt and universities being so expensive relative to the earning power of their graduates, turn education into a luxury item.   Besides costs, the other taboo in education is the quality of the graduates relative to the needs of an economy that is competitive beyond Twitter or American Idol--just ask the executives at Intel or Microsoft.  We have run for so long an economy that functionally distorts education that even if we were able to correct the situation today, we'd still be 20 years away from the results.  It was also with this second taboo in mind that, at one point in time, I pledged for turning the US universities in the 21st Century Ellis Island.  Obama is considering instead the legalization of the millions of illegal low-skills/intensive laborers when a work permit, if anything less than repatriation, would be the way.  So, between the pressures coming from 3rd world low wages and illegal immigrants, and considering the disappearance of the school as a leveling social force, we'll converge quietly to a low station.  Will polarization be internalized or tear us apart?

Why is education important in any revival scheme?  To match human potential with the needs of the world.  How responsible is Obama?  At certain level, no more than any individual who's put up with made-up stories about better education for several decades now.  Oh well, we really have a chance to see how feedback works in capitalism, won't we?

* For those objecting on principle about the idea of a national education system, consider that many a school superintendent makes probably just as much as the secretary of education in a country like France.  If that's not enough, consider also the billion dollar industries round testing and textbooks.


Robert Samuelson, WaPo said...

Why have we spent so much money on school reform in America and have so little to show for it in terms of scalable solutions that produce better student test scores? Maybe, it is not just because of bad teachers, weak principals or selfish unions.

“The larger cause of failure is almost unmentionable: shrunken student motivation,” wrote Samuelson. “Students, after all, have to do the work. If they aren’t motivated, even capable teachers may fail. Motivation comes from many sources: curiosity and ambition; parental expectations; the desire to get into a ‘good’ college; inspiring or intimidating teachers; peer pressure. The unstated assumption of much school ‘reform’ is that if students aren’t motivated, it’s mainly the fault of schools and teachers.” Wrong, he said. “Motivation is weak because more students (of all races and economic classes, let it be added) don’t like school, don’t work hard and don’t do well. In a 2008 survey of public high school teachers, 21 percent judged student absenteeism a serious problem; 29 percent cited ‘student apathy.’ ”

Obama's Fool said...

Last night, Barack Obama spoke at a $30,000 per plate DNC fundraising event at the "home of Richard and Ellen Richman, who live in the exclusive Conyers Farm development in Greenwich [Connecticut]'s famed 'back country' neighborhood," and said the following about liberal critics of his presidency:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particular derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation.

Anonymous said...






fCh said...

Now that "President Obama agreed to a tentative deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, part of a package to keep jobless aid and cut payroll taxes," those disappointed or surprised by the President's turn, should recall the Jeremiah Wright moment, and how Obama dropped his relation with the Reverend like a hot potato. Who's the hot potato now, the progressive left?

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