Sausage production

Sasusage Chamber01Congress is nice.
The White House and the rest of the Federal Government have their goings-on.

But if you really want to see where gub-mint decisions are being made that could actually affect your life, sit down and watch some city council…or some legislature.

You will be fascinated to learn who is running the place.

For instance, there was a debate in the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee about Charter Schools. We have heard various arguments for and against the bill that was proposed — and did not make it out of committee — on that subject.

But Gwenn Aspen — who ran for the legislature last year — appeared before the Education Committee to argue in favor of the issue.

She brought with her a survey that showed kids who performed at low levels according to various evaluations scored dramatically better when educated in Charter Schools.

Ms. Aspen stated…

In Nebraska, only 5% of African American children, 6% of Native American Children and 10% of Hispanic children are meeting college-readiness benchmarks as defined by the ACT. This is in comparison with 66% of Caucasian children.

Charter schools have obliterated the achievement gap in many parts of the country. Take for instance Success Academy in New York where the vast majority of attending students are children of color from low income families. Success schools have reversed the achievement gap Where 94% of African American students and 96% of Hispanic students passed the Math exam compared with 56% of White students citywide.

Ah, but enter state Senator Tanya Cook. She disagreed with Ms. Aspen.

Well…not so much disagreed.
Here, you figure it out:

Sen. Cook:

I just don’t believe that black people are that much stupider than white people. And that’s what it really sounds like as somebody who is black and who has lived in northeast Omaha her whole life.

It sounds to my ear as a legislator and as a resident of northeast, Omaha, sounds just a TINY bit patronizing.

OK, so you got that?

Senator Cook is insulted by the statistics you have!
She of course ignores that POINT that Ms. Aspen is making, that kids who are in charter schools succeed — based on the SCHOOL and not based upon race.

But you see, this way Senator Cook gets to express her FEELINGS. See, she FEELS that those statistics are being mean. See she LIVED there, her WHOLE life. And how dare Ms. Aspen come in with her mean statistics. (Which is one reason she made a “point” as opposed to “asking a question”.)

(Watch the whole committee exchange here, if you wish.)

This, by the way, isn’t to say the the Charter School bill was better than sliced bread, or that Charter Schools are the cure of all society’s ills.

But it is to note that this is the kind of response that some of these bills get. “The stats are patronizing…”

Awesome. Glad you’re making laws for people.

***

And then we jump to the floor of the Nebraska Legislature where “debate” on the Winner Take All bill is taking place.

You listened to the interview with state Senator Beau McCoy (right?!! Didn’t you???) where he talked about the history of the law and the new bill and the reasoning behind it.

Just to catch you up, the “proportional distribution” of Electoral Votes was passed in 1991 so that Democrats could hopefully pick off an Electoral Vote.

That’s it.
That’s the reason.

Don’t believe me? Hey, here is the former Editorial Writer for the LJS BRAGGING that he was the one who had been arguing for it before state Sen. DiAnna Schimek introduced it and passed it with Governor Ben Nelson’s signature:

The candid hope was that, in overwhelmingly Republican Nebraska, outnumbered Democrats just might have a remote chance in the geographically compact Second District.

You got that? It was a purely PARTISAN plan by the Dems.

Not to induce Presidential campaigns to come to Nebraska.

Not to pump up voter turnout.

Not even the dystopian plan to increase ad revenue for the Nebraska media market.

It was to help the Democrats.

Oh, and prior to the 2008 pickoff, Republicans tried NUMEROUS times to turn this back. Ben Nelson even vetoed a bill that passed back in the later 90s on this.

But now?
Ohhhhhhhhhhh it’s horrrribbblllle!

It’s a GOP plot! (Says the outraged Senator Schumacher.)
It’s about RACISM! (Says the poetic Senator Chambers.)

Senator Schumacher went all Neville Chamberlain and waved a piece of paper in the air (from 2011) that said the GOP demanded that Winner Take All pass.

Hmm. Interesting outrage there. I’m not even going to bother to look, but I wonder what percentage of Republicans have been behind Winner Take All, and what percentage of Democrats have been against Winner Take All.

I’m going to just go out on a limb and say that the Dems have been a solid, unified front against the pulling back from the plan to pick off an Electoral Vote for the Democrats. Republicans, not so much.

Oh, and Senator Chambers says its all about racism! Racism, we tells ya! What else could it be???!

“President Barack Obama is black! And when he was up for election against Bob Dole in 1996…uh…well…

“But when Barack Obama is up for election in 2016…and…then…uh…uh…RACISM! RACISM! It’s OB-VEE-US! And now, let me quote ‘Men at Work’!”

Senator Pansing Brooks regurgitated that in the Voter ID bill — all the supporters are RACIST! — and you just keep hearing it, over and over.

It’s sort of like the adage on Godwin’s Law. If the other side pulls that out, you know you’ve won the argument.

***

The DCCC put #NE02 Rep. Brad Ashford atop their “defend” list.
The NRCC put Brad Ashford atop their “target” list. (With a bitchin’ photo, I might add.)

At least everyone is on the same page, yeah?

***
You want to talk about the Keystone XL Pipeline?
Have at it.

      • The President said he will veto, and will most likely veto.
      • He said he’d listen to environmental points.
      • The State Dept. says it’s fine.
      • They say the oil drilling won’t make a difference on Global Warming or Climate Change or that 2012 movie when the world ended and they built that Ark in China, or that other movie where all the super duper cold winter survivors holed up in the New York Public Library.
      • And the Nebraska expert on the Ogallala Aquifer says it’s cool — and even some of the anti-pipers seem to agree with that.
      • And trains are derailing all over the place and dumping oil.
      • And this would be the safest, best pipeline yet.
      • Oh, and it would absolutely create jobs.
      • They’d be “temporary” jobs — you know like the temporary jobs when a skyscraper is built, and all of the “temporary” support jobs that are created for all of the people that have to supply and house and feed them.

But please remember folks, the anti-pipeline effort creates jobs too!

  • It creates the jobs for people at Bold Nebraska.
  • And it creates jobs for the other liberal efforts that revolve around them.
  • And we are sure it has been a boon for the liberal bumper-sticker industry, so that’s awesome too.

No doubt, the President is taking this allllll into account when he makes his veto decision.

***

Didja know…

Senator Deb Fischer hasn’t missed a single one of her 712 votes since entering the Senate.

That little nugget in a recent story about those in Congress whose voting history is less than stellar.

***

ICYMI, Senator Ben Sasse made a video, similar to the ones back in the campaign, on the Iran nuclear threat.

In is his signature long-form style he takes on the Obama administration for the half-assed (my words) approach they are taking on this most serious of subjects.

See it here:

And if nothing else, you have to give him credit for knocking these out with apparently no notes or anything else. He’s not standing there trying to come up with his next point, or umm-ing or like-ing.

You try it. Not an easy task.

***

Keep coming back to Leavenworth St!
More and more to come!

21 comments

  1. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Do you mean to tell me, Sweeper, that there has never been a report that presented statistics that were somewhat less than honest and complete? Who’d a thunk it?

  2. Country Grammar says:

    Tanya Cook has demonstrated that you need not play with a full deck so long as the Race Card is up your sleeve.

    Senator Cook exists only to speak to her feelings of discrimination and indignation. She has no solutions to help the kids in failing schools in the community where she lives and has “served” for years.

    When someone offers a solution that has PROVEN to provide hope to these kids and communities, but offends Senator Cook’s very delicate sensibilities, the result is not cooperation but condescension and criticism and cries of racism. That’s gross, and typical.

    Kudos to Gwenn Aspen. She’ll do more in a week to help poor black children get an education than Tonya Cook will in her lifetime.

  3. Anon says:

    The only ones holding black people down are their elected officials, the last guy that opined this was thrown out of the meeting.

  4. Interested Observer says:

    I guess I’m not necessarily a big fan of this whole charter school idea. I kinda like the traditional concept of accountability of the taxpayers’ money by those elected or appointed to manage it. I also kinda like the traditional idea of a local school board, made up of and elected by the parents of the school students, making the decisions that affect those students. What ever did happen to the idea of local control?

    If there is any credibility at all to the premise that this Ms. Aspen presents, vastly improved results from charter schools, then why not simply have our public schools adopt those specific procedures that benefit charter schools and replace those procedures that are not benefiting our public schools?

    It really doesn’t seem so complicated that one must throw the baby out with the bath water.

  5. The Truth Is... says:

    There’s nothing stopping anyone from opening a charter school any place in Nebraska. They aren’t against the law. That Ken Larsenbaugh bill that keeps coming up again and again in the Legislature isn’t about allowing charter schools. It’s about funding charter schools with tax payer money. The answer to educating under served, poor, children in North Omaha isn’t to take away funding from their schools to provide funds to pay for charter schools in West Omaha.

    If Senator Larsenbaugh wants to start a charter school all he has to do is go out and find the private funds to pay for it. The Lutherans and Catholics and Adventists and others seem to be able to get the job done without siphoning cash off from the public schools. If it’s such a great idea it shouldn’t even be a hard sell to get a couple of corporations to finance the project. Stop asking tax payers to fund your private schools guys. Get off your butts and raise the money yourselves.

  6. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Can I set up my own charter school and get me some of that public money? I promise I won’t leave anyone behind and I’ll teach ’em that Jesus walked with the dinosaurs so long as they’re filling my pockets with cash!

  7. KHDS says:

    And the Jesuit Academy in North Omaha (founded by the recently deceased Fr. Jim Michalski) has essentially a 100% success rate by every single metric and all the students are black.

    And the cost per pupil is less than half of OPS.

    How can anyone explain those numbers?

    Jerry, You went to Prep. Why doesn’t anyone discuss the GREAT success that is Omaha’s Jesuit Academy? It’s not like it is a secret or invisible.

  8. KHDS says:

    And when does Jane Kleeb release her personal tax returns?

    Who is paying her? OPEC? Russia?

    How many people will die in railroad accidents because there will be no KXL?

  9. Macdaddy says:

    Ooh, Sasse can make a video. What is he going to do about Obama’s stupid actions? What is he going to do about his fellow Republicans betraying the base on immigration? What is he going to do about any of it? Make a video that nobody watches? Guess what Senator, I didn’t watch that one. It was a waste of your time. Now go do something useful.

  10. Bob Loblaw says:

    The Voter ID isn’t that high on my list of pressing things that need to be passed this session. However, why are the arguments against it always how hard it is for poor and minorities to get an ID. How patronizing is that? Why do Dems think that minorities are too ignorant to be able to spend 20 minutes at the DMV and get a license? Isn’t this bigotry of low expectations?

  11. Let’s state the bleeding obvious. The charter schools bill didn’t fail because charter schools don’t work. It failed because the teachers’ union opposed it.

    Nebraskans, as befits inhabitants of a state with an inferiority complex as big as Colorado, are forever patting ourselves on the back about our public schools. The fact is, folks, they’re not very good. In fact, many are downright awful. Think of this: our good pal Bud, who can’t write a grammatical sentence to save his life, was a high-school history teacher. Many of our rural schools are so small they have teachers way out of their area of expertise, and the city schools really aren’t much better. My kids all went to Lincoln East. Their history teacher, a devotee of Howard Zinn, taught history ‘backwards’, starting from the present. My daughter said they all had a great time and learned absolutely nothing. I taught a freshman seminar for wannabe biology majors who didn’t know DNA carried the genetic material. Not one of them. Kids who have high-school calculus can’t do algebra.

    And don’t get me started on purple penguins.

  12. To those riducling charter schools says:

    Seriously, if anyone knew how OPS operates, you would see why charter schools are necessary. The advantage of charter schools is largely based on cutting substantial red tape including union restrictions. When you get past those restrictions, children thrive.

  13. Anonymous says:

    That’s it Gwen bore them with stats and data when the crux of the matter is taking tax dollars from tax payers to pay for corporate profit. Great spin, but there’s a long trail of charter school failures. A child wanting to learn with a supportive family wanting the child to learn…..learns. Parents blame public school and look for magic pills when they need to be looking in the mirror checking their own involvement with little Johnny or Susie. I thought you were a conservative. To hear you this AM on the radio, you’d have thought it was the teacher’s union fault for a poor bill that should have failed by its merits or lack therefor. All charter schools do is move the problem around while the taxpayers pay for the corporate interest.

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