“Troubled by the Strikes”

Recall the duration of school closures due, allegedly, to the Wuhan Virus situation in our nation. Not everyone is on board with the teachers unions’ attitude toward reopening our schools and getting our children back to in-person learning—where they actually could learn and where they, and school staff, would be far safer than either are cooped up at home.

Tommy Schultz, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the American Federation for Children:

For the past year, there has essentially been a national teachers union strike that has left tens of millions of families without access to an adequate education[.]

A Couple of Test Outcomes

illustrate the problem.

Since schools across the US first closed last spring, sending about 50 million children to learn remotely, one looming question for educators, parents and children has been: how much has learning suffered?
Data from two national testing programs, Renaissance Learning Inc and NWEA, which are used widely by US public schools to assess students’ progress, show widespread performance declines at the start of this academic year, particularly in math.

These are the outcomes. The teachers unions don’t care, though. They don’t want their teachers to return to the classroom unless and until union leadership can be guaranteed absolute freedom from the risk of Wuhan Virus infection. Which is, of course, a deliberately impossible criterion.

Common Ground on Abortions

That’s the claimed hope of the Progressive-Democrat HHS Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra—that he can find “common ground” on his late-term abortion goals.

Indeed, there’s this bit of disingenuousity from Becerra:

I understand that we may not always agree on where to go, but I think we can find some common ground on these issues because everyone wants to make sure that if you have an opportunity, you’re gonna have a healthy life[.]

Except for the aborted baby. That life gets no opportunity for health; that life is simply…terminated.

Another Question

…for President Joe Biden. The President has been decidedly slow to comment on the People’s Republic of China government’s treatment of the country’s Uighur population.

Biden, who vowed to be tough on China while on the campaign trail, has been careful not to classify the human rights abuses against the Uighurs since entering office. The Trump administration declared the actions by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as genocide one day before vacating the White House.
The president didn’t mention China’s human rights abuses during a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday. He said that the US and Canada are coordinating “approaches to better compete with China and to counter threats to our interests and values.”

Stop Worrying about Drilling Bans on Federal Land

The United States actually had the right idea—several of them, in fact—years ago. Today, the Federal government “owns” around 640 million acres of land—28% of the land area of our nation. That’s way too much, and it’s the largest source of leverage the Feds have over oil and natural gas production by our private economy.

There are a couple of things Congress can do to reduce to irrelevance Executive Branch volatility regarding Executive Orders and access to Federal land for mineral extraction; both of them involve reduction of American land that the Federal government presumes to own.

GIGO

The Garbage Out is easily summarized: the Progressive-Democrats’ $1.9 trillion Wuhan Virus “relief” bill that the House is putting its finishing touch on and then will send to the Senate.

The garbage going in:

  • $350 billion for state and local governments, cities, and counties. Progressive-Democrats also changed the funding formula to ensure most of the dollars go to blue states that shutdown their State economies—to the detriment of neighboring States as well as to their own
  • $86 billion to bail out 185 or so multiemployer pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Never mind that these so-called plans have been badly underfunded since their inception by both the employers and the unions that created them

Earmarks

Leave it to Progressive-Democrats to want to bring this exemplar of spendthrift back. You know what earmarks are:

“member-directed spending,” [that] are provisions discreetly tucked away in large spending vehicles that directly fund a pet project championed by a specific member of Congress for the member’s own constituents.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D, CT) and Senator Pat Leahy (D, VT)—the respective chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are about to introduce legislation that would restore the business.

In contrast, Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) and Congressman Ted Budd (R, NC) are pushing the Earmark Elimination Act, which would ban earmarks permanently. Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz told Just the News that

A Proposed Response

Texas State Congressman Matt Shaheen (R, Dist 66 [which includes my county]) has tweeted access to a Request for Comment regarding last week’s snow and cold storm with various utilities’ associated failures to keep supplies of electricity, natural gas, and potable water flowing in major areas of the State.

Kudos to Shaheen for publicizing this RFP.

Below are my inputs.

  1. All, without exception, ERCOT board members and senior executives (C-suite equivalents and their deputies) must reside within Texas. Half of the board members, a separate half of the C-suite, and a separate half of their deputies must reside in separate rural regions of Texas. Within that last, a C-suite executive and his deputy must not reside in the same region.

Some Questions

…I have.

As the coronavirus raged across Boston over the holiday season, the medical director for the city’s [Boston’s] Public Health Commission was working 5,000 miles away in Hawaii.
Dr Jennifer Lo acknowledged this past week that city officials gave her permission to re-locate her family to Hawaii last November so she could care for her elderly parents. She plans to return to Boston this summer.

Lo is a contractor, not a city employee, and so not subject to the city’s you-gotta-live-here requirement, but that doesn’t mean her Medical Director duties didn’t need to be met in situ. Those are city needs, not phone ’em in tasks.

“Working Off” Student Debt

A letter writer in The Wall Street Journal‘s Tuesday Letters section posited an alternative to student debt: trade it for community service.

I would readily support loan forgiveness if the beneficiary were required to do community service for the forgiven debt.

Only so long as the community service work is low-skill, low-education work, with the student debt scofflaw—because that’s what he still would be—working directly under the controlling supervision of a low-skill, low-education person who’s had that job for a while.

Let the scofflaw see who he’s displacing with his preciousness and his debt-ducking.