Tuesday, February 28, 2012

America Built to be Last: the NEA Edition

moand jilly

Hee, hee! No, silly. Lady M and Dr. Jilly aren’t at the  local Laundromat. They’re getting ready to make their entrance to the State Dining Room to address the National Governors Association.

As part of their “Joining Forces” program (second only to No Child’s Fat Behind) Lady M told the NGA that their states have way too much red tape that’s preventing many credentialed, qualified military spouses from getting licenses and hence jobs when they relocate. Imagine that: too much government red tape! Who knew?

She implored them (and their First Ladies) to find a way to get around all that darn red tape! Something business owners everywhere have been trying to do for years. 

Some people have been imploring Big Guy too, asking him to find a way around all the red tape that someone put in place (his Energy Department and EPA, I think) and open up oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, ANWR and on Federal lands in the western states. And to order his secretary, Hillary, to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline. Butt apparently cutting red tape isn’t as easy as it sounds.

red tape on our drilling

Say, I’ve got an idea! Even though that Mad Hatter thing didn’t work out, maybe there’s a role in Big Guy’s Administration for Johnny Depp after all:

edward sissorhandsThe New Red Tape Cutting Czar

Other news from the NGA meeting: Big Guy talked to the Govs too. He told them they aren’t spending enough money on education. (translation: “you’re not spending enough money on teachers and Pell grants)

So in order to achieve our new America Built to be Last, we need to spend more money. That should be easy enough. For the record, the NEA (national education association, if you’re still into irony) is behind this 100%.

Trust me, I know something about trying to deal with tight budgets.[ed. we’ll have to take that on trust.] We’ve all faced some stark choices over the past several years.  But that is no excuse to lose sight of what matters most.  And the fact is that too many states are making cuts to education that I believe are simply too big.

Nothing more clearly signals what you value as a state than the decisions you make about where to invest.  Budgets are about choices.  So today I’m calling on all of you:  Invest more in education.  Invest more in our children and in our future.  That does not mean you’ve got to invest in things that aren’t working.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense to break some china and move aggressively on reform. But the fact of the matter is we don’t have to choose between resources and reform; we need resources and reform.

Now, there are two areas in education that demand our immediate focus.  First, we’ve just got to get more teachers into our classrooms.

Ah yes, reform away; as long as it doesn’t require replacing classroom teachers with on-line instruction - or anything revolutionary like that.

And despite telling the Govs that education is the responsibility of their States:

I believe education is an issue that is best addressed at the state level.

he then tells them that he’s from the federal government, and he’s there to help (with our money):

Now, we want to help you everyplace that we can.  At the federal level, we’ve already provided billions of dollars in funding to help keep hundreds of thousands of teachers in the classroom.[ed. this is an important point]  And a cornerstone of the jobs plan that I put forward in September -- a chunk of which has gotten done, but a chunk of which remains undone -- was to provide even more funding, so that you could prevent further layoffs and rehire teachers that had lost their jobs. [because that’s really important]

And then he went on to explain why we need more money to give stew-dents more grants to go to college, in order to give them a fair shot at paying their fair share. (No mention that more grants and easy access to loans is exactly what’s keeping college tuition so ridiculously high that it’s “outside of most people’s reach.” Although high tuition does allow colleges to continue to employ - with really good wages and benefits – all those professors and administrators who keep these liberal diploma mills running: a key factor in ensuring an America Built to be Last.)

AyersSteppingOnFlag8o10Bill Ayers: father of Teaching for Social Justice

Anyway, Lady M is so totally on board with Big Guy’s education agenda. Earlier, she told stew-dents that Buh-rock had spent more money on them then anyone in the entire history of the universe; doubling Pell grants so they don’t have to work while working hard on their Gender Studies degrees. And she reminded them that both she and Big Guy stay up night, worrying about them. Just like their parents.

According to the First Lady, the President constantly stays up late thinking about “folks who desperately want to attend college but can’t afford it.”  He and the First Lady both respond the same way: “We gotta fix that.”

The Pell Grant and college affordability story seems to have become a favorite tale of the President, the First Lady, and the President’s reelection team.  It came up at a recent speech in Michigan, at the State of the Union, in a speech in Virginia, and in the President’s budget.

According to our polling, Pell Grants are a clear winner, so expect to hear a lot more about them as we fan out to raise more money keep the HOPE alive. A lot.

Below, Lady M is auditioning for the Scissorhands Czarina position: apparently we’ve heard back from Johnny Depp and he has previous commitments in France for the next 5 years.

mo jilly2mo nat'l governors assocmo grey it's a wrap

Michelle Scissorhands: Slicing, dicing and redistributing the wealth one Pell Grant at a time.

built to lastDon’t tell anyone, but the inside is still blank. Architects with any ideas can forward them to our WTF 2012 headquarters.

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, and Sue on JustOneMinute, Thanks!