Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gwen Ifill interviewed George Bush in 2004 about the 'ownership society'

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of the great, path-breaking journalist, Gwen Ifill, who died yesterday at the age of 61. Much too soon.

I'm happy I got to meet Gwen once in D.C. and tell her personally how much I thought of and respected her.

She appears in our book, Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society which highlights her 2004 give-and-take with Pres. George W. Bush on the Jim Lehrer Newshour, in which Ifill credits Bush and V.P. Dick Cheney with coming up with the term, Ownership Society. 
GWEN IFILL: During the campaign, President Bush and Vice President Cheney coined a new phrase to describe the economic promise of a second term. They said they would create an “ownership society,” one that would lower taxes and shift more of government’s burden to individuals.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I believe our country can and must become an ownership society. When you own something, you care about it. When you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of your country. 
The ownership society terminology was coined to reassure Bush's relatively small, but single-minded Republican base that "free market" reforms, including the privatization of public space, would be pushed aggressively in the 2004 election campaign.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pritzker gives Hillary a pat on the head and wants her to move into ed philanthropy.

Chicago Billionaire J.B. Pritzker was the chair and chief money bungler bundler for the Clinton campaign. He's the heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune and hotel union-buster supreme. He told Crain's that his aim, "isn't ego gratification; it's all about making money". I suspect it's both.

Last month I called him out on his special-ed hustle with Goldman Sachs. It allows private firms to foot the initial bill for public education services and then be repaid with interest if those services reduce the number of kids in special ed. They call it "social impact" investing. I call it a plot to reduce services for needy kids -- or public education meets the Ownership Society.

Chicago Mag calls him, "the other mayor of Chicago" even though he's lost every political election in which he's run (I think it's one). He's even got a Chicago charter school named after him.

In this morning's Sun Times, Pritzker hands out the party line on the election postmortem. Like the rest of the Democratic leadership, Pritzker takes no responsibility for the defeat and puts all the blame on Comey, the pollsters, and men. He forgot about the Russians and the electoral college for some reason.

So the story goes,
 He praised Clinton for running “a campaign of substance” and made up of “the best statisticians and data analytics people in the world.”
If any of that were true, H.C. would have won by a landslide. What were the substantive issues of her campaign? Basically, "I'm not as bad as Trump and the Russians are rigging the election." Certainly nothing young potential voters or much of anyone else could get excited about. She barely mentioned the education.

And if her statisticians and data analysts were so great, couldn't they at least have told her to visit Wisconsin at once during the entire campaign, instead of spending silly time in Arizona a week before doomsday? Or maybe they did and she just wanted to hang out with her pal, McCain.
“She ran the campaign while Republican bullets were flying and with a media that gave him (Donald Trump) more airtime and enjoyed following his antics more than they did talking about the qualifications and experience of what it would take to be president,” Pritzker says.
Republican bullets flying? Really? Well yeah, it's an election campaign. Unless of course, he's not being metaphorical and mean real bullets, like the kind supposedly fired at her in that cockamamie story about her landing "under sniper fire" in Bosnia.

But the thing that really got me in the Pritzker interview was this...
Looking ahead, Pritzker expects Clinton, now “a statesperson of historic importance,” to advise leaders. And he hopes she’ll become a force in philanthropy — ideally in early childhood education. That issue is especially important to Pritzker, who was co-chair of Clinton’s Education Policy Working Group. Clinton’s view of education is a “big reason” Pritzker supported her.
No mas, please. Hands off public ed. We've been philanthro-peed enough. No more school-closers and privatizers needed. Just pay your damn taxes Mr. Pritzker and leave the schools alone.