26 January 2011

SotU

I only watch this on CSPAN. And with good reason. There aren't people on there telling me what was just said.

So I missed out on this little gem of commentary, where apparently Faux decided to take offence that the President was unspecific in a broad speech about a specific thing that they and their various commentators have never offered or even preferred a solution. In otherwords...

"Fox news anchors chiding the president for not offering "specifics" in this speech for how he would simplify the tax code is not the pot calling the kettle black, it is the pot calling the color black black."

One good summary of the speech: "Gay soldiers will win the future by riding high speed trains to salmon farms". The salmon joke was effective, I was not laughing out loud, but it was amusing. I would find it more effective if they (the President, the various executive branches agencies, or even the new GOP Congress) had any intention and will to cut the various agencies that needlessly duplicate and/or confuse the regulations concerning salmon farms, among other useless federal programmes.

And get rid of those oil (and corn) subsidies along the way. Good luck with that. We've been trying to tell you how stupid those things are for decades.

I was at least pleased he talked about schools and a need for reform, but I am less likely to see anything meaningful emerge as a legislative achievement of school reforms than we are to see troops departing, and returning to, Iraq this year and next. On the plus side though, the broad strokes of reforms he's discussed, and in a few cases put in practice, are not nearly the pro-teachers union ridiculousness as we've had for decades as stock Democrat/liberal position. I'd be pretty ecstatic if we could hire and fire people as teachers with greater ease. For instance, in DC, there's a proposal contract in place finally that would reduce the amount of time it takes for firing a teacher, the various hearings and so on required, to a mere 100 days. If they get that down to 1 day, that would be a considerable achievement. If they also lowered the barriers to entry (considerably), again, a major reform. If they reduced the amount of top-down control over curriculum, again, a major use for recruiting new teachers and opening new schools (and fewer foolish battles with parents who want their kids to learn creationism instead of science, or learn revisionist histories about the Civil war and the deification and idolatry surrounding the Constitution, those kids can go be brainwashed with..err learn those things and leave the rest of us in peace instead of waging war on textbooks and local school boards).
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