Wednesday, September 1, 2010


My twelve-year-old goes back to school in our Jersey town in a few days and he's facing a diminished school system thanks to the new Republican governor, Chris Christie.

One of the first things Christie did was cut education funding (one of the other first things was push for tax cuts for the wealthy, sound familiar?).

And though he objects to Obama and the Democrats policies and thinks the federal government should stay out of the state eduction system, he was savvy enough to know he had to follow through on Jersey's attempt to be one of the recipients of Obama's Education Secretary's "Race to the Top" funding for the top ten states to qualify.

Turns out, Jersey qualified. But Christie's Republican appointed Republican members of the committee in charge of applying for that money messed up. And then Christie blamed Obama!

Here's Rachel Maddow's take on the events that followed. You have to watch it to the end to see the extent of Republican hypocrisy and how the "big lie" technique is always the political weapon of choice. And after watching it all the way through, think about how many rightwingers and those they influence will never see this tape but will hear about Christie's lie and believe it. The beat goes on.


JIm said...

You forgot to mention the teachers union, who would not even accept paying 1% of their Cadillac health care expenses. Albert Shanker, the than president of the teacher's union, was asked some 20 odd years ago, what is the Union doing to benefit the students. He replied, "When the students begin paying Union dues, we will be concerned with their welfare (paraphrase).

Christy is dealing with a state system that has been bankrupted by runaway liberal policies. Taxes had been raised and big money and business have left the state. Public pensions have been abused and are bankrupting the state. Even with the Christy cuts the state is projected to have a $3billion shortfall. New Jersey finally has an adult in charge. He is a model for the rest of the country. "Christy for President".

Butch in Waukegan said...

The right wing stumblebums’ bungles are sometimes tragic, like the case you describe, and sometimes downright funny.

Your typical framing of the issue as Rs v. Ds is way off the mark. Schools across the country are suffering. My sister-in-law was one of several office workers (along with teachers) recently laid off from a Chicago grade school, after over 20 years on the job. Democratic mayor, Democratic governor.

The wrecking of the economy was and is a bipartisan affair.

Loyeen said...


What Jim is not telling you is that I have been a proud member of the teacher's union in Denver for over 20 years. I feel the budget shortfall with my students daily. I work at a school that is at 95% free lunch. It amazes me how a business man knows how a teacher should run their classroom. I for one would not tell them how they should run their business. I would love to have someone who is
so "knowledgeable" come in my classroom and teach math.

And I am so glad Jim is complaining about the "Cadillac" health care since I pay for the twins and myself.

I feel for your son. It truly makes a huge difference in the classroom when we have such large budget cuts. Good luck with this school year.


Lally said...

Thanks Loyeen

Anonymous said...

as long as the kids and the school system have enough money to buy zip--guns, knives, and
other cheap weapons

things will be ok!

don't worry just blame the Illegal Aliens ... and cut their balls off!

Anonymous said...

Dear M:

Hypocrisy and scapegoating are core republican identifiers. These "personal responsibility" advocates are always the first to run from their mistakes. I've been in a little debate down here with a republican businessman who wants to blame the recession on our local (Democratic) county executive, rather than, say, Bush-Cheney, that criminal enterprise that wrecked America.

JIm said...

Washington DC had a very popular and effective voucher program for inner city students, that allowed them to escape from failing schools to private schools. Obama and Democrats, the champions of the downtrodden, killed it.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Jim, once again you have taken an out of context snippet form a long standing, complex issue, and forged it into a soundbite that suits your agenda.

JIm said...

Apparently the snippet also fits the education agenda of many inner city parents. I can think of no better way to break a cycle of poverty than through education.

Anonymous said...

what you say about vouchers and D.C.


it is an election year so
Fenty and Michelle Rhee

just like everybody else in public office put their own
"spin" on things... just to stay in power.

"they" don't really give a Tinker's Damn about these "kids"

or their poverty Poverty is Big Business!

The D. C. School System and their "educational" results at the bottom 5 cities in the entire country.
and the University of The District of Colombia is also at the bottom.

Thank God that the Teacher's Union cares about "the children"

some one in the union just said yesterday:

"when the kids pay union dues, THEN we will care about them"!

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I agree that education is key. But depends on how one defines education. Sitting in a classroom in and of itself is not education Education starts at home and has as much to do with character as it does intellect. Of being able to have and navigate a mental roadmap beyond hype and fearmongering. A month of money spent in Irag would totally revitalize our school system.

JIm said...

Vouchers work and choice works. Inner city families love it. The Teacher Unions are against it. The Unions give huge amounts of money to the Democrat Party in exchange for their support. End of story.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Not end of story - again, you oversimplify and mis-contextualize and demonize the teachers' union. And not all inner-city families love vouchers - which are a step-gap measure at any rate. Again, I assert, a month of war budget would fix all the schools and libraries in our nation.

Loyeen said...


I totally agree with you and of course disagree with Jim. Vouchers are not the answer. My students made incredible growth in my classroom last year. I tutored them after school four days for five months. If we had a budget that would show how important education is than we could support all of our students. Of course I am only in the classroom and not just sitting in a office giving a quick fix to education with my keyboard. Jim, how many inner city families have you talk to??? END OF STORY!!!

JIm said...

As Tony used to say, "You are rig.. ..... ....My Love.