A Word About Pre-Existing Conditions, Mike

"It sounds so good, and it's such a warm message to say we're not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition," Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. "Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, "I'd like to buy some insurance for my house." He'd say, "Tell me about your house." "Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today." And he'll say "I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned." Well, no preexisting conditions."
Really Mike Huckabee?  Those of us with cancer and such are just a fucking burden, I know.  We should just die, and die quickly (Grayson was not being hyperbolic, apparently).

We needed Universal Health Care and we didn't get it.  We didn't even get a public option.  But we got the pre-existing condition (PEC) thing, and the Republicans want to repeal it.  What assholes.

I am now among those with a pre-existing condition and no insurance.  I can't tell you how stressful it is.  I was hoping, if I live till 2014, to be able to get insurance when the PEC part kicks in.  It looks like that may never happen.

I am disgusted by the classism that defines our politics.  I am worried our oligarchy has been cemented in place.  This is a scary time, unless you are rich.

The super-wealthy in America have not been paying their share.  They are a disgrace to the human race.

Fuck you, Mike Huckabee.

BP Has Permanently Capped The Well

The Deepwater Horizon oil platform ablaze on April 21, 2010. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

It looks like the Macondo oil well (Deepwater Horizon) has finally been sealed.

Waiting For Superman: As Important As Rosa Parks (Bad Analogy?)

Arne Duncan is an amazing guy. He graduated Harvard saying things like "incent" and thinks he taught school because his mom had a study-room in her basement. Now Arne is comparing the propagandizing movie "Waiting For Superman" with civil rights hero Rosa Parks. Jim Horn explains why the analogy doesn't work:
Calling it a "Rosa Parks moment," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put a momentous stamp on the upcoming release of Davis Guggenheim's education-reform documentary "Waiting for Superman."
I can think of a couple of ways that this feature-length marketing tool for Eli Broad is not a Rosa Parks moment. First, the person taking the big risk of defying the racist policy that would put black people at the back of the bus was a black person--Rosa Parks. Who is risking what in this present charade crusade? Well, some philanthro-capitalists are risking many millions of dollars, some would say, even though 33 cents on every dollar invested is given back in tax credits. The payoffs could be astronomical, too, if the charterites prevail and end up replacing public schools in urban areas. But Bill Gates or Eli Broad will never go to jail for their efforts or have their livelihoods or lives put in jeopardy.

Another difference between Rosa Parks and the Walton Foundation (it's too absurd a juxtaposition to even be funny) is that Rosa Parks actually had the support of the civil rights community behind her. In the present instance that Arne thinks is a "Rosa Parks moment," the following organizations have offered withering criticism of Arne's Blueprint:

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Council for Educating Black Children
National Urban League
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Schott Foundation for Public Education
From Jim Horn


Friday Cartoon Fun: Bush Billionaire Bailout Edition


Working-Age Poor Highest Since 1960's (It's The Poverty, Stupid)

One in seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009 with the level of working-age poor the highest since the 1960s, the US Census Bureau says.

The number of people in poverty increased by nearly 4m - to 43.6m - between 2008 and 2009, officials said.

The bureau defines poverty as any family of four living on less than $21,954 a year.

The number of people in poverty in 2009 was the largest in the 51 years for which the US government has been publishing estimates.

The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 15.4% to 16.7% - or 50.7 million people - mostly because of the loss of employer-provided schemes during the recession.
BBC via Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009


I Know, But They Probably Don't

I am in the beginning stages of my new career as a private consultant working with families of kids with IEPs and 504s and the like.  I have been pretty busy setting things up, like a website, formulating policy terms, creating brochures, and making contact with schools, parents and educational therapists.  That is why there has been less posting than usual.

I must say that being out of the classroom and out of the public school world, as an employee, has been very stress relieving.

I also find it nice to answer with, "I am in private practice" when asked what I do.

For those of you who find yourselves stuck in a public school with all around you complaining that you are failing your students, I know you are not.  I know you are being hounded by those who know not of what they speak, yet have undue influence (money--it's always money).  I know that you often feed your hungry students with food you bought and brought to school just for that purpose.  I know that you are the one that goes through Johnny's backpack to see if he is taking care of all those handouts you pass out every Friday.  I also know that you suffer through staff development meetings, biting your tongue (like I didn't).  I know that you know that "data" require more than a one-year trend, and the rubrics leave too many things fuzzy.  I know that you assess your students almost constantly, regardless of the forms administration would like you to provide to prove you are assessing them.  I also know that you can't call many of your students because their phones are disconnected, or they don't even have homes.  I know.  I just wish that my knowing these things helped.  Maybe writing them down will help.  That's why I wrote them down.

I am working with a 5th grade student who is using Everyday Math.  I remember when my district chose it, and we all cried.  My student and his mother (a high school soc. studies teacher and Harvard grad) are now painfully aware of the controversy that surrounds Everyday Math.  It is a terrible program.  It should be used as a way to confuse our enemies, not instruct our children.

Hopefully Michelle Rhee's star is fading, though I doubt it.

GOP's Ransom Note

h/t Kos


Professor Willingham On Obama/Duncan Bullsh*t

...The administration’s education policy has four pillars. These were outlined in that first education policy speech, and they were represented in the requirements for Race to the Top applications.

But of the four, only one could be said to have clear scientific support.

The well-supported policy initiative is an emphasis on early childhood education. Aside from ample research by developmental psychologists showing that the early childhood years are a critical time for learning, economists have conducted persuasive studies showing that early childhood intervention programs can have lasting and profound effects on at-risk kids.

Better-educated kids are more likely to be tax-paying contributors to the economy and less likely to be incarcerated or on public assistance. Thus, in the long run intervention programs for at-risk kids more than pay for themselves....
The Answer Sheet

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