Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's Only Teachers Who Are Accountable

The financial system nearly collapsed last year because people in the financial industry at "Too Big To Fail" institutions like AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and others took too much risk and needed to be bailed out by hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Many of those same people are being rewarded with seven and eight figure bonuses this year.

The financial policy makers who helped create this mess - like Ben Bernanke who voted yes on every Greenspan "moral hazard" policy decision and who has been printing money hand over fist to give to the "Too Big To Fail" institutions and Treasury Timmeh Geithner who oversaw the AIG bailout wherein he handed AIG counterparties 100 cents to the dollar on money owed to them for toxic assets they themselves had bought that were worth at best 20 cents and who asked one of those counterparties, Goldman Sachs, to keep this deal secret from the investigators at the SEC - continue to cheerfully make financial policy.

In fact, Obama renominated Bernanke for another four years and the administration said last week that Geithner has the full confidence of the president.

On December 25, 2009, a Nigerian man set his penis on fire trying to blow up a plane over Detroit. The man's father had warned the State Department that he had become radicalized and was a danger to the United States. In addition, the CIA knew he visited radical elements in Yemen and was a danger to the United States. Nonetheless the man bought a one way ticket with cash and bordered a plane in Nigeria without any luggage and flew to the United States with a visa that said he was coming for a "religious ceremony" (a jihadi euphemism for martyrdom.) The attack was only averted because passengers on the plane noticed his crotch was on fire and held him down until the plane landed.

Two days after the incident, Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said "The system worked..." when talking about the incident. Widely ridiculed for that statement, the administration forced her to walk that back the next day when she said "The system actually didn't work..." and Obama himself said there had been systemic failures throughout the intelligence apparatus that kept the Feds from stopping this man before he got on the plane to Detroit.

Nonetheless, Obama said he was not going to be part of a blame game and point fingers at anybody, so nobody was fired, nobody was held accountable for any of this.

Essentially Obama said "Mistakes were made" and left it that.

Now compare the way Obama has treated the "Too Big To Fail" institutions, the people at those institutions who are pulling in seven and eight figure bonuses for 2009, the policymakers who helped create the mess and the people in his government who missed the very obvious signs of a incoming terrorist attack and then afterward brushed aside criticism by saying "The system worked..." with the way he treats teachers and schools that he considers "failing."

You work in a school that used to be a "good school" but had hundreds of ELL's, support service students and other at-risk students dropped on it in the last few years from other schools that were closed, but have received no extra resources to handle the new students - too bad, Obama says your school needs to be closed down, the teachers need to be fired and a non-unionized charter should be opened in its place. Remember, it's only the test scores that matter.

You work in a school that has few resources, an overpopulated building, overcrowded classrooms, and bathrooms being used to hold math classes in because a charter school has been placed on the first and second floors of your building - too bad, Obama says your school needs to be closed down, the teachers need to be fired and a non-unionized charter should be opened in its place. Remember, it's only the test scores that matter.

You're teaching students who come from impoverished families with generations of dysfunctional behavior, mental illness, alcoholism and other addictions, students themselves who are in great emotional pain and act out that pain through angry outbursts in school or by simply never coming to class and you don't have any way to reach them - too bad, it's your fault they're that way and Obama says you're school needs to be closed down, the teachers need to be fired and a non-unionized charter should be opened in its place. Remember, it's only the test scores that matter.

In Obama's America, like in Bush's America, nobody is accountable for anything except for the teachers and the public education system.

Everybody else, including the president who gave himself a B+ for his first year in office (record deficit, 10% unemployment, hundreds of billions in giveaways to the "Too Big To Fail" firms, no major legislation passed, health care reform turned into major giveaway for the health insurance industry, reneged promises on Card Check legislation and DaDT) gets a pass, a "Heckuva job, Janet" pat on the back, or an eight figure bonus for taking the economic system to the point of collpase and needing billions in bailout dollars and continued access to Federal Reserve 0% interest-free loans to survive.

I cannot wait to hold President Accountability accountable come November 2010 and November 2012.

It's time everybody hold President Accountability accountable for not holding all these other crooks and incompetents accountable.

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