Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yes, Virginia, earthquakes happen in California, too

Oh boy, for a news junkie like me, what a day!  I mean, what a day!

From the West Coast, which is known for literal and metaphorical earthshaking:
A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was reported Tuesday evening eight miles from Ridgemark, Calif., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Ok, that is not the one, but this:
Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled, in effect, that it was too easy for teachers to gain strong job protections and too difficult to dismiss those who performed poorly in the classroom. If the ruling stands, California will have to craft new rules for hiring and firing teachers.
Gee, I am shocked, shocked that (awful) teachers with tenure are a major part of the education mess.  I had no idea!  (Yes, I am being gleefully sarcastic!)

Could this ruling get us out of the Jurassic Age of the education system?
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of nine schoolchildren, concentrated on three areas: teacher tenure, dismissal procedures and the seniority rules. The plaintiffs had argued that the rules resulted in grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment, and these teachers were disproportionately in schools serving low-income and minority students. The judge said this violated fundamental rights to equal education. "There is also no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms," he said, adding that “the evidence is compelling. Indeed it shocks the conscience.” 
Indeed.  Remember that lengthy New Yorker piece on the awful teachers who cannot be fired?  The Rubber Room?

Meanwhile, on the other coast, a huge political earthquake:
 In one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, was soundly defeated on Tuesday by a Tea Party-backed economics professor who had hammered him for being insufficiently conservative.
I can't decide which earth-shattering news excites me more; damn, couldn't they have happened on two separate days so that I could have enjoyed them, savored them, both!

Compared with Cantor, Speaker Boehner was a "moderate."  And how does Cantor compare with the guy who beat him in the primary?  And what does it mean for the next two years of Obama's lamest of lame duck presidency?
“How do you get that or anything done now? Eric is too liberal? This was the guy holding Boehner back.”
Muahahaha.  Eric Cantor is a liberal as far as the Tea Party is concerned.  On that scale, Nancy Pelosi is more of a communist than all the communists of the world put together.

The good ol' US of A, where the political theatre can be even more exciting than the one in the old country!

Yes, I am sufficiently entertained! ;)


Ramesh said...

No comparison there.

The California judgement is overdue since the Jurassic Age as you observed. T----E (remember all the options you suggested commenting on my post ?) is worse than a four letter word.

The Virginia stuff is reinforcing my growing view that you lot have no future anymore. You are starting to resemble Thailand - two entirely different nations intent on grinding each other to a standstill. This makes even Indian politics resemble a sweet smelling rose . God save America has a more literal meaning now.

Sriram Khé said...

Both were unexpected.
The tenure for teachers has been so abused, and with the teachers unions so adamantly defending its members, well, I liked the constitutionality angle ;)
As for the Congress, now it will be all the easier for the nutcases to run the asylum. America, what a country!
Meanwhile, Iraq has started to completely unravel and, thanks to the dysfunctional politics, there is no real discussion about that at all. If only we had tried Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld for war crimes and torture and ...
Moral of the story: we humans, in any part of the world, are quite messed up that we make sure that we ruin any semblance of a good thing!

Sriram Khé said...

I am like most of the country, only now getting to the guy who came out of nowhere to knockout Cantor ... and, there are plenty of things he has said that appeal to me, and will appeal to you too ... like this one:
"In his campaign against Cantor, Brat turned every issue into a morality tale about big business cheating ordinary Americans. He attacked Cantor for supporting the farm bill (“Do those billions of dollars go to the small American farmer? No, they go to huge agribusiness, right? Big business again.”), the flood-insurance bill (“Who does that go to? A lot of the money goes to gazillionaires on both coasts who have homes in nice real-estate locations.”), and the STOCK Act, an effort to stop insider trading by congressmen, which Cantor gutted by including an exception for spouses. In his Stephenson-inspired stump speech, Brat was more worked up about the STOCK Act than anything else. He promised, “If you tell your friends or neighbors about this issue, I will be your next congressman!”

Yeah, get rid of those corporate welfare schemes that amount to hundreds of billions every year.

From: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/06/david-brat-the-elizabeth-warren-of-the-right.html?mobify=0

As that commentary is titled, "David Brat, the Elizabeth Warren of the Right"

Ramesh said...

Despite all that is written about in that article, I don't think he won because of those views. He won because he trumpeted the no compromise view on immigration. Period. Cantor is an ass and I am delighted he lost, but if this result is going to kill the immigration debate I am convinced on one thing - US politics has descended into such a farce, that Nothing, yes NOTHING can be done for a long long time. The US will suffer greatly in the long run if this is going to be the case.

Sriram Khé said...

I agree with your points here. About Kantor, about immigration, and about nothing constructive happening in terms of political decisions on a long to-do-list: immigration, climate change, unemployment, ....

BTW, the Dems are also largely to be blamed for the mess. Obama and his Dems misplayed the mandate they won in 2008 and squandered it. That further strengthened the loony fringe on the right, which now has taken the entire GOP hostage.

I shudder at the thought of the presidential hunting season starting in 2015 :(