Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SACS Attack

Even though our son is off at college, I still keep up with local education news via the newspaper of record in Cobb County, The Marietta Daily Journal.

When we last commented on the Cobb County School Board, there was a massive election taking place which pitted a man with a pony tail versus an event planner in the Republican primary (Humor Me; July 18, 2010). The MDJ, in the spirit of journalism that would rival both Woodward and Bernstein, reported that the pony tail man owned vehicles with out of state license plates. These vehicles were parked in the man’s driveway. This exposure of criminality helped the event planner win the primary and the position on the school board since the Democratic Party decided not to run a candidate in the fall election.

Since that time, the event planner has joined two other new members and together with Alison Bartlett focused their laser beam like attention to the problems that face the public school system in this county and solved those problems with efficiency and grace.

Ha, just joking, this is Cobb County where we not only have to win but we have to crush the spirit of our opponents. The first thing they did was vote on the school calendar.

Back when I was growing up (walking to school, uphill both ways through driving rain, sleet, and snow) the school year began the Tuesday after Labor Day. But, for some reason, the start of the school year started creeping backwards until it seemed like the first day of the new school year was the day after the final day of the old school year.

This, of course, was met with the usual resistance and complaints from parents which led some parents to form a committee called “Georgia Needs Summers”. (In the interest of full disclosure, I once shared a pizza with their Vice President, whose team we never could beat in baseball). Their main focus was that school should start later because it did when we were kids and we turned out great.

In 2009 the old school board approved a two year calendar with an early August start, which was called “The Balanced Calendar”. Of course, the new school board had to change that instead of having another year with the early start. This did not go over well with Teachers and Parents who had come to like all the little perks that come with the “balanced” calendar like a mid winters’ break.

Instead of forming a committee, these people complained to SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). SACS, in turn, wrote a letter to the school board questioning what is going on in Cobb County.

Question: This is stupid. Can it get worse? Answer: Yes

The Marietta Daily Journal has a column that is supposedly written by an iconic elderly reporter, the editorial page editor, and the owner called “Around Town”. “Around Town” is usually the vehicle the paper uses to take pot shots at those that either they disagree with or don’t like. It is a sloppy work of journalism that never quotes anyone but uses such phrases as “one wag said”, “many think, or “Courthouse observers” to bolster its case.

The April 23, 2011 “Around Town” begins: “With the deadline for a response fast approaching, Around Town has learned several interesting facts about the accrediting agency that sent a threatening letter in late March to the Cobb School Board questioning the board's decision-making process and governance.” It should read, “Around Town has found the SACS website on the World Wide Web on this contraption called a computer”.

“Around Town adds some explanation about SACS including the “eye popping” salary of its head (which, at best, is irrelevant), Dr. Mark Elgart. It operates out of their “swank headquarters” in Alpharetta. “Around Town” doesn’t include pictures so I guess it is “swank” because it is in Alpharetta. “Around Town” asks, “who anointed Elgart to be the guru for good schools?” Maybe the board of trustees of SACS?

To cut to the chase, “Around Town” feels that since the school board was elected and SACS wasn’t it wields too much power. Then kicker: “the board should stand up and tell SACS to go mind somebody else's business.”

This is a bag of stupid.

For one thing, granted the problems of CCBOE are big and they should be worked out by the elected members of the School Board. However, telling SACS to mind its own business is arrogant and reactionary to the nth degree. The last school board that ignored SACS was Clayton County. SACS yanked that county’s school accreditation.

SACS does not like intramural conflict and this letter was their way of telling everyone to cool their jets. It would have been nice if the new school board and waited a while and changed the start date for the 2012-2013 year. It would have been nice if The “Balanced Calendar” people did not freak out and yelped at SACS to help them. But they did and SACS is not a joke. It was irresponsible to “Around Town” to treat it as such.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pick A Good One

It is getting to be that time of year in which most of the political news will be about the upcoming 2012 election.

President Obama is hoping to raise a billion dollars for his re-election campaign. However, this time around, Obama has a little problem: his record. Unemployment is around 9 per-cent. The “recovery” is sluggish at best. He promised to get us out of Iraq, but instead kept us there and went into Libya for good measure. Gitmo is still open, by the way. Of course, Gas is at four dollars a gallon.

The kindest thing you can say about Obama’s performance as President is that it has been dismal. He had a chance to lead in the budget debate but instead chose to demagogue it. He seems to be saying “what crisis?” He wants continued investment in America, because he doesn’t want to see an America in which old people perish driving over a bridge that collapses. Obama is the wrong man at the wrong time saying the wrong things in the wrong way.

Despite his less than stellar performance as President, he will raise a lot of money for his re-election and has the incumbency on his side. He will not have an opponent in the Democratic primaries, which means his party will be unified behind him.

The Republicans are in their own version of “Waiting For Godot”. They are hoping for the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Good luck with that.

I am on record stating Mitt Romney is the only other person that could be President on 1/21/13. He has money, success, and experience.

It is not that I am Rah-Rah Romney. Romney is seen as the “second place” finisher the last time around and Republicans have nominated the “next line” every time with the exception of 1964 and 1976.

The only problem is he may not be able to win any of the Republican primaries. One reason is due to “Romney Care” which is the state mandated healthcare in Massachusetts. His response to this is to deny he was ever in Massachusetts, which is problematic seeing he was once the governor.

The second reason Romney may not win the Republican nomination is that he is a Mormon. Being prejudice against a Mormon is one of the few acceptable bigotries remaining in which both Evangelical Christian Conservatives and Liberal Agnostics can attack a man’s religion without fear of getting a cultural frowny face. It probably would have been better if Romney was a “Muslim Mormon” (A man on a jihad for more wives!). Or a member of a church where the pastor is an anti-Semitic creep that curses America.

Due to this, some other candidates have started bubbling up. One is Donald Trump, who I wrote about last week. Good points about Trump: you never have to wonder what is on his mind. Bad point about Trump: what is on his mind. I’ll say this about Trump: he has taken egotism to a whole new level of performance art.

Here are some quick bullet points on some of the others.

*Michelle Bachman: A poor man’s Sarah Palin.

*Sarah Palin: A Michelle Bachman that knows somebody.

*Tim Pawlenty: If Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line, has does Pawlenty win the nomination when nobody knows who he is?

*Jeb Bush: Wrong last name. Will always be remembered as the Bush who should have been President.

*The Players in AAA: Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, and Bobby Jindal: The future of the Republican Party. Will probably wait it out.

*Mike Huckabee: Doesn’t seem to want it. Putting the weight back on.

All of these people lose to Obama in polling done now. That’s the rub-the election isn’t today and most people, despite what us political junkies believe, do not eat and breathe politics and haven’t focused on the 2012.

The GOP needs to remember that it is still early in the count and to pick a good one.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who Will Not Become President: Donald Trump

A look at another person wasting their time.

I received my monthly bulletin from The Humorists of America(“HA”) and it contained this prayer:

Lord, we beseech Thee. Please let Donald Trump run for President.
The harvest of Yuks will be plentiful. Amen.

I understand what they are saying. Who wouldn’t love to see a State of the Union address given by President Trump?

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Omarosa, and the rest of you. What I’m going to tell you tonight is going to blow your socks off. We got some awesome plans for the United States and it is going to be First Class all the way.

Donald Trump is a wealthy egomaniac with the most comical hair of any grown man that is not a professional athlete or entertainer. He acquired most of his wealth by constructing buildings and slapping his name on them, which is a pretty good gig if you can get it.

Trump currently has a television show called “The Apprentice” and it is one of the top shows on NBC, which says a lot about NBC. It is a game show in which the contestants perform a series of tasks to see if Trump will hire them. At the end of each show, he gets to “fire” a contestant. Again, a good job if you can get it.

Trump is currently running second in the polls in New Hampshire for the Republican primary. This does not mean much. These polls should be called: “Hey I know that guy!” polls. I think if you ran a poll showing Mr. Ed, Donald Trump, Hawkeye Pierce, and the rest of the Republican field, it would look something like this:

Mitt Romney: 17%
Donald Trump: 15%
Mr. Ed: 15%
Mike Huckabee: 13%
Hawkeye Pierce: 10%
Everybody Else: Less than 2%

Then you would have stories in the papers that a horse is running third in the New Hampshire primary. (Mr. Ed’s slogan: “A Horse-Of Course!”)

Trump is raising all kind of sand regarding President Obama’s birth certificate. Previously, most people questioning the President’s birth place were considered racist retards, and for the most part, a lot were. However, but for some weird reason known only to someone as highly intelligent as the President, Obama has refused to release his birth certificate.

(A good argument in Obama’s favor is to point out that the Clintons, who have always been willing to do what it takes to get ahead, didn’t think too much the birth certificate issue to do anything about it.)

It is hard to tell if Trump is really serious about running for President or if he’s doing it as a stunt to attract attention to his current version of “The Apprentice” in which he evidently got every loony celebrity this side of Charlie Sheen to participate. Either way, Trump is on TV a lot running his considerable yap.

Trump is a clear and concise person and you never wonder what is going on under that mop of hair of his. He understands economics, which makes him head and shoulders above what is now parading around as members of the Democratic Party. Trump is a leader, not an “organizer”. That is the huge difference between him and the President.

However, Trump’s record when working with others, which is what the Presidency is about,is not that hot. He practically ran The USFL into the ground all by himself. It is easy to have everyone jump when you are the boss. It just doesn’t work that way in the Presidency.

My fear is that Trump will pull a Ross Perot and drop out of the Republican primary and run as an Independent. That would insure an Obama re-election, even if gas prices are at $10 a gallon and it turns out Obama was born at the South Pole.