Russ Gibb at Random
politics

Transparency?

January 15, 2010

I don't know about you, but I am losing faith in President Obama, his Democratic Party, and Government in general.

Eight times the President said that there would be transparency on health care by having C-span open to all of the deliberations. President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi dance around the promise and give us one hour of transparency while the rest of that bill is hacked out and scammed out behind closed doors.

Take a look.


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13 Comment(s)

Russ, this post is disingenuous and obtuse. You say you're "losing faith?" To say that would indicate you ever had faith in President Obama, however over the past year you've made it your mission to explain how he's ruining this country.

You're about as "independent" and "non-partisan" as Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow. Get a life.

--by Johnny Christmas on 1/18/10   Lives: Dearborn  

It's been a long time since I have visited or even posted on your site, and now I know why. Russ, cut the disingenuous act; you have never had any "faith" in this president whatsoever. You and many like you are seriously benefitting from the 'socialist' institution of social security that was set up 75 years ago. In addition, you teacher types don't get taxed in Michigan on your pensions and most of you have gold-plated health care benefits--that we pay for--that the rest of us can't even dream of. Is that fair to the rest of us? Maybe it's time for folks like you who have benefitted so long from so many government perks to let others have some meagre benefits as well, say like affordable health care. Peace and Happy New year.

--by Dearbornette on 1/18/10   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ dont let the liberal BS mob get you down. They read the local and union papers and belive the BS. This is the very reason the "Fringe Media" cannot be believed. Just like the scientist in the "Global Warming" cover up. They feed us what they want. They are liberal/progressive Democratic Party, MSNBC propaganda machines and not news outlets.

--by Tally on 1/18/10   Lives: Detroit area  

Russ:

The thing that is so very disappointing to me is how you are seemingly obsessing on Obamma and have shifted away from the issues that are destroying the school district that served you and your students so well.

Why oh why are you continuing to put Obamma on the front burner when everything that used to be near and dear to you at DHS is now half way to the Detroit River.

WAKE UP RUSS!!!!!!! The Liberals are DISMANTELING WHAT YOU BUILT and erasing any means by which people can express or think for themselves in a high school. Granholm and Whiston are killing off our schools, and your friends on the school board are giving this anti-Christ Whiston the ax to chop the heads off of our kid’s futures.

We have 3 more years to slam Obamma Russ, Dearborn’s schools are dying RIGHT NOW! GET OFF THE SIDE LINES RUSS!

Russ, what would you be doing right now if you were still teaching at DHS? What would you do if your principal told you that Video production is now on the block, along with half of the other electives? What would you have us doing if that happened Russ? Did they get to you too Russ?

--by The W in Group W does not stand for WHUSS on 1/18/10   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ, I don't know what "Not...Whuss" is looking for. Does he think that you know where a magic treasure is buried? I have to salute the passion demonstrated in his (speculation)rant on the Dearborn schools...our schools deserve such whole-hearted interest. But the money supply has shrunk, and may continue to shrink in the future. Does "Not...Whuss" have a funding suggestion? I know that this spring, if the softball teams are still playing, the parents will have to buy the new softballs, because there is NO money budgeted by the schools for supplies/equipment.

--by Whew! on 1/20/10   Lives: Dearborn  

To The W - I agree with you one hundred percent and have asked Russ the same thing in answer to blogs on this site.

Russ - You are a very passionate, educated thinker. Dearborn needs you, now, more than ever. I know that you care and have not given up on your City. Please, start taking an interest in it again. I have never known you to mince words. Why have you stopped now? We want you back.

--by cloe on 1/20/10   Lives: Dearborn  



What we desperately need in Dearborn is for people to step up and take issue with the horrible waste in our district. Russ knows better than anyone how wistful we are and how unwilling this district is to give up “things” as opposed to people. We need to take issue with non-essential expenditures and than take a look at the blunders already perpetrated by our current board.

How can we continue to shed good teachers, keep poor ones, ask one union to take drastic pay cuts and the others to take nominal pay cuts, fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars on upkeep on sporting stadiums we never should have bought, and on and on. How much per year are these stadiums costing the general fund? I hear three quarters of a million dollars not paid for by the state (who is the ones who cut our funding).

We should have implemented a strict new teacher evaluation system and junked tenure like other districts have. We should have 100% pay to play sports, we should take a look at what we pay unskilled and uneducated non-instructional workers and we should ask ALL district employees to start paying into their benefits. The district could save millions if they offer the basic health care coverage (Blue Care) and if anyone wants better than that, let them pay for the difference. We need to raise deductibles and co-pays like everyone else has to. We need to stop paying bad employees to stay home.

We need to start cutting the pay at the top of the pay scale and stop laying off new and enthusiastic teachers who we get for pennies by comparison.

Above all else, we need to close under-utilized schools like Michael Berry and lease them out to charter schools. We need to start looking at privatization of some district services like food service, custodial, grounds, and plenty of others. The district gets very little value for the payout so we need to start cutting where the fat is, not into the bones of our district. The state needs to force teachers and retirees into an insurance pool to save money.

Has the district started requiring teachers who have refrigerators and heaters to pay for the electricity they use? Has the district started having the students start fixing the cars that belong to the district yet? Have any of the cost savings things they said they would do been put into play yet? Other than taking the easy road and just cutting teachers and principals, we need to start giving up brick and steel and hang on to the flesh and blood of our district. Above all else, we need to do like Kalkaska did a few years ago and simply run until we have no more money and close the doors when we are out. This will force the hand of the state. God forbid our school board members grow a pair and push back. The problem is that this Superintendent has no ties to this community and has political aspirations. He only wants to make the bottom line look better at ANY cost. He could care less about the quality of the education we provide in this city.

--by Come on WHEW, are you for real? on 1/20/10   Lives: Dearborn  

To 'Come On..': So you think we should run out of money and close the doors and let the State take over? And you ask if I'M for real? You want to 'force the hand of the State?' And what...they will suddenly find money they didn't have before?

Some of your suggestions above make sense, at least on the surface. We are still paying for the Michael Berry school, but if it makes financial sense to scrap it, let's do it. The same with other suggestions, although asking a teacher to pay for the pennies of electricity for a heater...?

As for 'junking' tenure, I wasn't aware that any district had done that. Certainly that is an issue for the collective bargaining table, and I can't see why any union member would vote for that. I don't disagree that some people - teachers or just office workers - reach a 'comfort level' and don't try as hard at their jobs. I once had a VP of Human Relations tell me that is why Rockwell Automotive believed in ridding themselves of over-50 workers in general. But there are always those certain over-50 workers who are at the top of their profession and show the right way to the younger ones around them.

You also mentioned 'political aspirations' on the part of Brian Whiston. As John Stewart would say..."GO ON..."

--by Scratching My Head on 1/20/10   Lives: Dearborn  

If we look to the example of Kalkaska, the outrage of them closing their doors early forced the state to step in and restore some funding. It was a political disaster for the state government. If districts like Dearborn did the same, the state would be forced to stop playing partisan games with school funding, and start working for the Michigan Tax Payers and their kids. Washington DC's Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rhee found a way to do away with teacher tenure when she took over. They went from the lowest achieving district in the nation to one of the highest by getting rid of bad teachers and rewarding good ones. She spends 80% of her time in her districts schools, not locked up in her office. Here in Dearborn, we do the exact opposite of what they do in Washington DC. We reward bad teachers with high pay and get rid of good ones. We pay bad teachers to stay home. We promote bad teachers to administrative jobs. This is not an issue of age, it’s an issue of performance. Our schools have identifiable poor performing instructors and we are forced to hang on to them at top dollar because of teacher tenure. Instead of our Superintendent spending time in our schools, he sucks our Principals out of them leaving a leadership vacuum in many buildings. I can site example after example of teachers who have no control of class room behavior and poor performing students and could care less. Few of these teachers are going anywhere in February when layoffs begin.

The problem with the "GO ON" issue is that we are stuck with his political posturing here and now. We need leadership in our district now, we simply can’t afford to allow this board to destroy our district and hope we can climb out of its hole later after the fact.

This district will begin losing students like Detroit has. All the good students will be pulled and sent to better schools and what will be left? We have seen time and time again that good families with good students will depart from failing schools. It has happened in a lot of districts as students fled to school of choice districts or private schools.

I suspect that if we had a vouchering initiative in Michigan, DPS would have nothing but ESL and Special Ed students left behind. I hope to God I see a day when I can take my education dollars our of this God forsaken district.

--by P O Bailey on 1/20/10   Lives: Dearborn  

Cloe, just get out of Dearborn like all the non-Arabs already have and don't worry about what happens in that joke-for-a-city. It's a trash can.

--by Clerks in the city can't speak english on 1/20/10   Lives: Detroit area  

Russ,

I, too, would like to see more written about the local issues. There are and have been real problems in the schools and in the city. These issues need to be brought out in the open. On the local level is where people can make the most change.

Having said that, I would like you to stay on the national issues. The Bush hating, Kool-aid drinking, Obamacrats need someone to stand up to them. I’m not thrilled with the Republicans at this time but what is going on in Washington and in Lansing has got to stop.

--by Moe on 1/21/10   Lives: Dearborn  

To Clerks in the City etc - You don't live in Dearborn so I have absolutely no interest in your comments about Dearborn. I'm sure that the city that you live in is perfect - probably because you live there.

Get a life. Dearborn is made up of all nationalities and religions. Why do you care about Dearborn anyway? I'm sure that you don't. Just love stirring the pot, do you? By the way, nice new name. By the way, how do you know that the clerks can't speak English. Since you don't live in Dearborn, you shouldn't have any reason to have business in what you describe as our joke-for-a-city.

Have a happy, uplifting day.

--by cloe on 1/21/10   Lives: Dearborn  

Has anyone noticed that obama has had only two real press conferences since he was elected? The last one was in July of '09. More shocking than this is that he preselects the reporters he is going to call on. Any chance the questions are also pre-screened? Even if they are not, if a reporter asked an 'unfriendly question' you can be sure that would be the last chance he would ever have to question our dictator and beloved leader

--by jlorie on 1/22/10   Lives: USA  

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