Posts Tagged ‘Sequester’

Hey, Arne: Why not Sequester these folks?

March 13, 2013

Remember Education Secretary Arne Duncan pitching the party line on Sequester, saying that 70,000 teachers would lose their jobs.

Implied: no place else to look for the savings.

Well, the Milton Friedman Foundation crunched some nums, and guess what?

In 25 states, the number of bureaucrats and administrators now outnumber teachers in public schools.

Whoa, Nellie.

Here are the 10 states will the worst staff to teacher ratios.

Start looking there, Arne.

Source: Carpe Diem

Grieves me to see my home state of VA at the top of the list … almost 2 to 1 admin to teachers.


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For state-by-state details, check out the cool interactive chart the the Friedman folks put together … everything you need to know about public schools,

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Barack Obama, Derek Bell … and “Operation Shutdown”

March 7, 2013

Last Saturday, my son forwarded a friend’s Tweet to me:



Started me thinking … Sequester announced on Friday … slow down on Saturday … coincidence?

Then, Obama announces that he’s shutting down White House tours because of the Sequester – the Presidential version of taking his bat & ball and going home.

Wait a second: I’ve seen this play before … bat & ball, Operation Shutdown.

Of course.

It’s the Derek Bell story.


The year was 2002.


WaPo: Public SUPPORTS the Sequester’s budget cuts almost 2-to-1 …

March 6, 2013

Hot off the wire …

Despite the Administration’s dire warnings, the release of jailed  criminal immigrants and the slower-than-usual TSA checks …

The  Washington Post is reporting survey results indicating that 61% of folks support the Sequester’s budget cuts overall … though 60% oppose the cuts to military spending.

Said differently, folks overwhelmingly support the non-military donestic spending cuts.

That’s huge!


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Here are some interesting details …


Uh-oh: Maybe the sky is falling …

March 3, 2013

Maybe the President was right when he went around the country shouting that the Sequester would cause great damage.

He probably wasn’t thinking about his approval ratings, though.


The latest Gallup daily tracking poll (a 3-day moving average) reported that 47% approve of the job he’s doing as president.

Obviously, below the 50% Mendoza line.

More interesting: since it’s a 3-day moving average, the drop on March 1 must have been in the low 40s in order to drag the moving average down so precipitously.

Could be noise … or could be signal … reflecting reaction to the debunked catastrophe stories, the Woodward bruhaha, or turn-off to the non-presidential Chicken Little routine.

We’ll see.

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Obama was wrong, Annie was right … case closed!

March 1, 2013

Yesterday, while the President was ringing Sequester Armageddon alarm bells, Annie was  pitching calm and confidence.

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun
Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till there’s none

When I’m stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say

The sun’ll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on till tomorrow, came what may

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If you need an upper today …

click to listen it’ll make you feel better, for sure.


I say, Annie for President !
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OMG: Sequester puts the football season is at risk …

February 28, 2013

OK, here’s the silliness of the day ….

The fiscal pin prick (aka, the “Catastrophic Sequester”) puts this fall’s college football season at risk …  at least for the National Champions — the University of Alabama.


Apparently, the only thing that can possibly be cut from the FAA budget are the air traffic controllers at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama airport on Crimson Tide football weekends.

According to Channel 42 WIAT News:

Looming budget cuts from the Federal Aviation Administration could have an impact on the next college football season.

Budget cuts could include eliminating local air traffic controllers at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.

We’re told that the airport wouldn’t shut down, but pilots would fly in and out using “visual flight rules” and Birmingham’s air traffic system.

Hundreds of flights come in and out of the Tuscaloosa  Airport during the football season.

This development is mind-blowing for a couple of reasons …


Fugetaboutit: Maybe 40,000 teachers won’t lose their jobs …

February 28, 2013

Arne Duncan – Secretary of Education – has been the  one Obama cabinet member who seemed competent to most people.

Then, he jumped on Obama’s Sequester Armageddon train, claiming that:

  • 40,000 teachers were going to lose their jobs, and
  • School districts had already started laying off teachers because of the Sequester


That earned the dude 4 Pinocchios from the Washington Post for “Significant factual errors and/or obvious contradictions.”


Here’s the real story …

According to the Post’s factchecker

Regarding the 40,000 jobs:

An aide to Duncan described it as a “rough back-of-the-envelope calculation,” derived by dividing the average pay and benefits of a teacher — $70,000 — by the amount — $2.8 billion — that needed to be cut in education programs.

But, school districts and states may find many ways to juggle funds or reduce expenses to avoid losing many teachers, which is what has happened during previous periods of financial stress.

Keep in mind that local taxes (i.e. real estate taxes) fund about 90% of teachers. … and, remember that most districts are now bloated with administrators feeding the Federal bear with paper.

Regarding the layoffs already occurring:

The Education Department for days was unable to cough up the name of a single school district where these notices had been delivered.

Then, Duncan appeared before the White House press corps and produced a name — Kanawha County in West Virginia.

But, no one in the county seemed to know what Duncan was talking about, including the education reporters who cover the school district for the Charleston, W.V., newspapers.

“There’s very little sequestration-related panic, at least on the education side of things,” one reporter said.

Our colleague Lyndsey Layton helped unravel the mystery.

She discovered that these were not layoffs, but rather “transfer notices” sent to 104 Title I teachers for reasons unrelated to the sequestration cuts.

In other words, Duncan was peddling a made-up story.

Good luck rebuilding your cred, Arne.

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Ready to Rumble: Woodward vs. Obama (and the rest of the media) …

February 28, 2013

Perhaps, the first break in the mass media ranks.

In a Washington Post blog post, famous journalist Bob Woodward:

  • Repeated his claim that the Sequester idea came from Obama and his sidekick Jack Lew
  • Declared that Obama is now constantly moving the Sequester’s goalposts

Well, that didn’t sit well with the White House.

Woodward told CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,”


Woodward countered on MSNBC, calling Obama’s hysterical Sequester claims “…  a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.“

click to view


I don’t think this bruhaha is over.

Team O isn’t attacking Rush or Hannity … they’re shooting at a journalistic institution.

This one will be fun to watch.

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Want to read the transcript?


WARNING: Graphic image of a catastrophe …

February 27, 2013

With only a day or two until Armageddon

… until life as we know it ends

… or until, at least, the sky falls

… let’s put the Sequester in perspective.

This single graphic says more than a thousand words … or, in Obama’s case, a couple of thousand words,


Please, sleep well tonight … I think the Nation can absorb this fiscal pin prick.

Thanks to MC for feeding the lead.

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