Might as well disband state and local governments, there’s nothing left for them to do

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negociation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

— James Madison, Federalist No. 45, Jan. 26, 1788

Federalism is a fetid corpse. All money and power and decisions are made in the Kremlin on the Potomac.

The latest example comes not from the socialized medicine scheme that is ObamaCare, as is usual, but from the federal bureaucracy at the Department of Education.

This past Thursday Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, according to The New York Times, arbitrarily announced that states could delay for another year the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings, which can affect a teacher’s pay. (Funny how this comes before the November election and will be welcome news to a huge Democratic constituency.)

The testing requirement was part of No Child Left Behind — yes, a law signed by George W. Bush — which dictates what states must do to get federal education handouts.

Duncan wrote in a blog post, “I believe testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools,” and “States will have the opportunity to request a delay in when test results matter for teacher evaluation during this transition. As we always have, we’ll work with them in a spirit of flexibility to develop a plan that works, but typically I’d expect this to mean that states that request this delay will push back by one year (to 2015-16) the time when student growth measures based on new state assessments become part of their evaluation systems – and we will work with states seeking other areas of flexibility as well.”

Over the past four years, the Times reports, nearly 40 states have adopted laws that link pay to teacher evaluations based on student performance standardized tests, coerced by Race to the Top grants.

That sound you hear is the 10th Amendment flapping in the breeze: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”


Arne Duncan, the secretary of Education, in June. (Getty Images photo via NYT)

Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ continues administration’s obsession with racial quotas

“And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not:Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:9

When Obama announced his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative a week ago many took him at his word that this would not be another huge government program in which money is poured down a hole.

“Just to be clear, My Brother’s Keeper is not some new, big government program,” Obama said in a 40-minute speech in which he repeatedly referred to the need to help “young men of color.” Obama gave the speech on a stage in front of a bunch of “young men of color” from Chicago.

“I didn’t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realized at the time. I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses,” he said in attempt to make it seem like his travails were like those of today’s minority youth, though he was largely reared by white grandparents in Hawaii.

Obama pointed out that “Latino kids are almost twice as likely as white kids to be suspended from school. Black kids are nearly four times as likely.”

The memo that came with this “initiative” sure makes it seem like a big government program.

It creates a task force chaired by an assistant to the president and consisting of members of:

— the Attorney General;
— the Secretary of Agriculture; 
— the Secretary of Commerce; 
— the Secretary of Defense; 
— the Secretary of Education; 
— the Secretary of Health and Human Services; 
— the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
— the Secretary of the Interior; 
— the Secretary of Labor; 
— the Secretary of Transportation; 
— the Director of the Office of Management and 
— the Chair of the Council of Economic 
— the Director of the Office of Personnel 
— the Administrator of the Small Business 
— the Chief Executive Officer of the 
Corporation for National and Community Service; 
— the Assistant to the President for 
Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; 
— the Director of the Domestic Policy Council; 
— the Director of the Office of Science and 
Technology Policy; 
— the Director of the National Economic 
Council; and 
— the heads of such other executive 
departments, agencies, and offices as the Chair may, 
from time to time, designate.

This task force is to provide recommendations for how “young men of color” can gain access to “early childhood supports; grade school literacy; pathways to college and a career, including issues arising from school disciplinary action; access to mentoring services and support networks; and interactions with the criminal justice system and violent crime.”

That part about school disciplinary action sounds entirely too much like the proposal in January from Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who issued a set of national guidelines for discipline in public schools, claiming current discipline procedures disproportionately affect minorities.

“Too often, so-called zero-tolerance policies, however well intentioned they might be, make students feel unwelcome in their own schools; they disrupt the learning process,” Holder said, specifically talking about minority students. “And they can have significant and lasting negative effects on the long-term well-being of our young people, increasing their likelihood of future contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” He ignored the negative impact on education for classmates who must put up with the unruly students.

Holder and Duncan, like Obama, were obsessed with the statistics that show black students make up only 15 percent of students. but blacks account for more than one-third of students suspended once, and 44 percent of those suspended more than once.

Ipso facto, there is bias. Bias that can remedied only by racial quotas.

Racial quotas in home loans and cars. Racial quotas in hiring. Racial quotas in college admissions. Racial quotas for prisons. Now, racial quotas in school discipline.

Or, as Investor’s Business Daily calls it: Race mongering:

“The president didn’t mention in his speech that a new Education Department rule will require every public school district to report suspension and expulsion data by race. Nor did he say the department also wants to know how often black students are put in ‘handcuffs’ or other ‘restraints’ on campus vs. white students.

“Once Obama’s race cops compile their discrimination database, every school district in the country will come under intense political pressure to scrap discipline at the expense of classroom safety. And every black kid will have a built-in excuse for bad behavior: racism.”

It may sound like a carrot, but it is really a big government stick. Make things come out proportionately with race or the attorney general will hammer you with a discrimination lawsuit. And if you disagree, you are a racist.

Obama’s half brother George lives in a shack in a slum in Nairobi. (CNN photo)