Because he’s evil?

Why is Obama killing off D.C.’s voucher program?

The Obama administration said it was going to respect science and respond to evidence — a contrast, many Democrats said, to the previous regime. So why is President Obama killing off the program that offers the best chance to find out if school vouchers work?

Congress has been paying for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps more than a thousand District children attend private schools. It gives a chance of a future to children who otherwise would be condemned to attend failing schools. How can that be bad?

Generally, opponents offer two arguments. One is that it won’t solve the whole problem. Well, no. That’s why everyone should support what Chancellor Michelle Rhee is trying to do to improve all D.C. schools. But even she supports the scholarship program. She testified before the Senate last September that until her reforms have had a few more years to take root, she can’t guarantee a quality education to every District child. No wonder that every year there have been many more applicants for the vouchers than vouchers to give out.

Vouchers are the ultimate litmus test issue for liberals. If you are against them, you are a moral fraud. You aren’t intellectually honest, and you wish to protect the politically powerful (teacher’s unions) over the politically weak (poor families).

In this single issue, Barack Obama has exposed himself as a fraud and a liar.

Nat Hentoff on Barack Obama

Nat Henthoff describes himself as an uncategorizable libertarian who “is also a Jewish atheist, civil libertarian, pro-lifer.” Accordingly, he has angered nearly every political faction and remains one of a few who has stuck to his principles through his many years of work, regardless of the trouble it stirred up.

In this long interview, he discusses Barack Obama.

America Under Barack Obama

John W. Whitehead:
When Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator in 2005, he introduced a bill to limit the Patriot Act. Now that he is president, he has endorsed the Patriot Act as is. What do you think happened with Obama?

Nat Hentoff: I try to avoid hyperbole, but I think Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had. An example is ObamaCare, which is now embattled in the Senate. If that goes through the way Obama wants, we will have something very much like the British system. If the American people have their health care paid for by the government, depending on their age and their condition, they will be subject to a health commission just like in England which will decide if their lives are worth living much longer.

In terms of the Patriot Act, and all the other things he has pledged he would do, such as transparency in government, Obama has reneged on his promises. He pledged to end torture, but he has continued the CIA renditions where you kidnap people and send them to another country to be interrogated. Why is Obama doing that if he doesn’t want torture anymore? Throughout Obama’s career, he promised to limit the state secrets doctrine which the Bush-Cheney administration had abused enormously. The Bush administration would go into court on any kind of a case that they thought might embarrass them and would argue that it was a state secret and the case should not be continued. Obama is doing the same thing, even though he promised not to.

So in answer to your question, I am beginning to think that this guy is a phony. Obama seems to have no firm principles that I can discern that he will adhere to. His only principle is his own aggrandizement. This is a very dangerous mindset for a president to have.

I posted this for some of my lefty friends who seem to think some of my posts on Obama dangerous shortcomings are overwrought.

I respectfully disagree, and Nat does too.

Our silly (but still dangerous) President

Those who follow politics, policy, and culture, know that possibly the silliest people in America are school administrators. This is true at every school level. This class of people effortlessly combine the trifecta of some of the worst human traits, with the near perfect mix of bilious self-importance, political correctness, and complete cluelessness of anything that doesn’t involve “board politics” and useless paper-pushing.

Hence Victor Davis Hansen’s once again hitting the nail on the head regarding our silly president.

Barack Obama, College Administrator
Our commander-in-chief seems to think he’s president of the University of America.

In the world of the university, a Van Jones — fake name, fake accent, fake underclass pedigree, fake almost everything — is a dime a dozen. Ward Churchill fabricated everything from his degree to his ancestry, and was given tenure, high pay, and awards for his beads, buckskin, and Native American–like locks. The “authentic” outbursts of Van Jones about white polluters and white mass-murderers are standard campus fare. In universities, such over-the-top rhetoric and pseudo-Marxist histrionics are simply career moves, used to scare timid academics and win release time, faculty-adjudicated grants, or exemption from normal tenure scrutiny. Skip Gates’s fussy little theatrical fit at a Middle American was not his first and will not be his last.

Obama did not vet Jones before hiring him because he saw nothing unusual (much less offensive) about him, in the way that Bill Ayers likewise was typical, not an aberration, on a campus. Just as there are few conservatives, so too there are felt to be few who should be considered radicals in universities. Instead everyone is considered properly left, and even fringe expressions are considered normal calibrations within a shared spectrum. The proper question is not “Why are there so many extremists in the administration?” but rather “What’s so extreme?”

Some people are surprised that the administration is hardly transparent and, in fact, downright intolerant of dissent. Critics are slurred as racists and Nazis — usually without the fingerprints of those who orchestrated the smear campaign from higher up. The NEA seems to want to dish out federal money to “artists” on the basis of liberal obsequiousness. The president tells the nation that his wonderful programs are met with distortion and right-wing lies, and that the time for talking is over — no more partisan, divisive bickering in endless debate.

That reluctance to engage in truly diverse argumentation again reveals the influence of the academic world on Team Obama. We can have an Eric Holder–type “conversation” (a good campusese word), but only if held on the basis of the attorney general’s one-way notion of racial redress.

America is starting to rue the day it hired this twit.

Our ridiculous (but still dangerous) President

Those who follow politics, policy, and culture, know that possibly the silliest people in America are school administrators. This is true at every school level. This class of people effortlessly combine the trifecta of some of the worst human traits, with the near perfect mix of bilious self-importance, political correctness, and complete cluelessness of anything that doesn’t involve “board politics” and useless paper-pushing.

Hence Victor Davis Hansen’s once again hitting the nail on the head regarding our silly president.

Barack Obama, College Administrator
Our commander-in-chief seems to think he’s president of the University of America.

In the world of the university, a Van Jones — fake name, fake accent, fake underclass pedigree, fake almost everything — is a dime a dozen. Ward Churchill fabricated everything from his degree to his ancestry, and was given tenure, high pay, and awards for his beads, buckskin, and Native American–like locks. The “authentic” outbursts of Van Jones about white polluters and white mass-murderers are standard campus fare. In universities, such over-the-top rhetoric and pseudo-Marxist histrionics are simply career moves, used to scare timid academics and win release time, faculty-adjudicated grants, or exemption from normal tenure scrutiny. Skip Gates’s fussy little theatrical fit at a Middle American was not his first and will not be his last.

Obama did not vet Jones before hiring him because he saw nothing unusual (much less offensive) about him, in the way that Bill Ayers likewise was typical, not an aberration, on a campus. Just as there are few conservatives, so too there are felt to be few who should be considered radicals in universities. Instead everyone is considered properly left, and even fringe expressions are considered normal calibrations within a shared spectrum. The proper question is not “Why are there so many extremists in the administration?” but rather “What’s so extreme?”

Some people are surprised that the administration is hardly transparent and, in fact, downright intolerant of dissent. Critics are slurred as racists and Nazis — usually without the fingerprints of those who orchestrated the smear campaign from higher up. The NEA seems to want to dish out federal money to “artists” on the basis of liberal obsequiousness. The president tells the nation that his wonderful programs are met with distortion and right-wing lies, and that the time for talking is over — no more partisan, divisive bickering in endless debate.

That reluctance to engage in truly diverse argumentation again reveals the influence of the academic world on Team Obama. We can have an Eric Holder–type “conversation” (a good campusese word), but only if held on the basis of the attorney general’s one-way notion of racial redress.

America is starting to rue the day it hired this twit.

Obama blatantly lying to Americans

Obama keeps saying his plan (actually the House Democrat plan as well) won’t cost your current health insurance. Nonsense.

He also told the crowd at his recent town hall that he doesn’t support single payer. He’s a liar.

You aren’t going to be able to keep your health insurance. The current bill will provide too many incentives for you business to keep it. Your employer will drop your coverage simply because it will be in their financial interests to do so.

President’s coverage promise no keeper

President Obama promises that, if health-care reform is enacted, people will be able to keep their current coverage.

“I keep on saying this but somehow folks aren’t listening: If you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan. Nobody is going to force you to leave your health-care plan,” he said Saturday in a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., much as he said Friday in Belgrade, Mont., and earlier in the week in Portsmouth, N.H.

However, under legislation drafted by House and Senate Democrats, that would not necessarily be true.

Obama’s promise is not just at odds with legislative proposals — it is also at odds with reality. Under the current system, employers can drop coverage, alter benefit packages and switch insurers. In addition, as the president has noted, people who lose or leave their jobs can lose their health plans; that is one of the fundamental problems the legislative proposals address and one of the main arguments for reform.

But in the campaign to overhaul health care, Obama’s promise may serve to reassure people anxious about change. As he said at a news conference on July 22, people may favor the devil they know over the devil they don’t

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The Debt Car

Hat Tip to Illinois Review

Arne Duncan’s empty rhetoric

As some one who has been saying “Fund Children, not Bureaucracies” since before 2005, it’s nice to see Arne Duncan lift some of my rhetoric.

Imitation truly IS the sincerest form of flattery.

Now if only he could make the rhetoric a reality by telling his new boss (Obama) how morally wrong he is to destroy the DC voucher plan, thus throwing 100s of disadvantaged kids back into the worst urban school system in the nation.

Unions don’t care about children, and they never did. They care about their nearly unlimited power and greed.

When Duncan says that, I may start to take him seriously. Given that he’s using my rhetoric, what ever the actual source he derived it from, I guess the day may come where they actually start believing it and acting on it…

…Assuming the Teacher’s Unions give them permission.

Arne to Illinois, “Shape Up”

So what does Duncan want?

He wants Illinois to lift its cap on charter schools. State law says there can be no more than 60 charter schools in the state, but there is demand for more than that. Why the cap? Because charter school teachers usually don’t have unions, and the teachers unions see that as a threat.

“Great charters make a huge difference in kids’ lives. What I loved about charters is they’re a school of choice,” Duncan said. “If kids stop showing up, we’ll take the school out. The money follows the kid.”

Duncan is absolutely right—the cap on charters just cheats children, and it has to be lifted.

Duncan wants Illinois and other states to chart the performance of children, and connect that performance to their teachers, and connect those teachers to the education schools that produced them. He’s saying: Let’s find out who’s turning out good teachers and which teachers are turning out educated kids.

Monstrously Pro-Death

What else would you expect from some one so self-absorbed that he says “I wouldn’t want to punish my daughter with a child,” never realizing he’s talking about his own grandchild.

If and when Barack Obama craters in, I hope he leaves a deep crater, and I hope he takes many of his ideological fellow travelers with him.

Monstrously Anti-Life

The most radically anti-life administration in American history is on the march, trampling over every moral qualm of the pro-life community by forcing taxpayer funding of various abortion-related services here and abroad, weakening (and threatening to eliminate) the rights of conscience of those who do not want to aid abortions, making Catholic hospitals fear they might need to close down rather than abet what they consider to be mortal sins, appointing radically pro-abort officials to high positions, and reversing President Bush’s elegant and thoughtful executive order on embryonic stem cell research. All of which should not surprise, considering that our president is so monstrously — yes, monstrously — anti-life that he opposed legislation to protect infants born alive after “botched” abortions. There’s a more precise term for the actions defended by his Illinois legislative position: murder.

In response to the aggressive anti-life moves by the Obama administration, the Susan B. Anthony List, which is dedicated to electing pro-life women to office, had an utterly smashing success at its big annual fundraising dinner March 12, with tables crowded so closely together in a hotel ballroom that there was barely room to walk. It was one sign that the pro-life community is mobilized and on high alert.

And it’s a good thing.

That’s what I’ve never written before. It’s what I’ve always shied away from: directly and unambiguously addressing the issue of abortion itself, square on. I learned long ago that it’s almost impossible to have a reasoned conversation about abortion, because feelings are too strong and too raw. So I just avoided it. Avoidance is so easy.

No longer. With an administration that seems determined to push the outer limits by ignoring even the rough national consensus on reasonable restrictions such as parental notice, it’s time to say that it’s a good thing that groups like the Susan B. Anthony List are fighting back. It’s a good thing because — deep breath — abortion generally ought to be illegal.