Patterico's Pontifications

3/12/2013

Lawmaker Responds to Child Getting Suspended for Making His Pop Tart Into the Shape of a Gun

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

So there was a kid suspended for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.

At Park Elementary school, Josh was enjoying his breakfast pastry when he decided to try and shape it into a mountain.

Josh said, “It was already a rectangle and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun but it wasn’t.”

Josh takes full responsib[ilit]y for trying to shape his breakfast pastry, but admits it was in innocent fun. He told FOX45, “All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain but, it didn’t look like a mountain really and it turned out to be a gun kinda.”

Now a lawmaker is introducing the Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013 to prevent similar suspensions. How are you going to legislate something like this?

Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican representing Baltimore and Hartford counties, introduced this legislation on Thursday. The bill would, absent a direct act of violence on school grounds, prohibit students from being suspended for “mak[ing] a hand shape or gesture resembling a gun” — the bill would also stop principals from expelling students who bring to school “any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose.”

My first impulse is to say you can’t legislate common sense. But I’ll have to think about this. The fact is, school officials have absolutely no incentive (other than media exposure) to apply “zero tolerance” policies in anything but an unthinking and absurd fashion.

Somehow, counter-incentives have to be created. Something has to happen to cause principals to say: “I’d like to suspend this child for a clearly innocuous activity, but unfortunately the law requires me to apply a measure of common sense. So we’ll just have to let this one go.” I’m not sure if this law is the best way, but maybe it is. Your thoughts?

CNS News: Feds Spending $1.5 Million to See Why Lesbians Get Fat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

CNS News:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $1.5 million to study biological and social factors for why “three-quarters” of lesbians are obese and why gay males are not, calling it an issue of “high public-health significance.”

. . . .

BWH first received a $778,622 grant for the study in 2011, followed by a $741,378 grant in 2012, totaling $1,520,000. The project has the potential to be a five-year study.

The grants list a “project end date” and a “budget end date” of June 30, 2016. The researchers said the subject is one of “high public-health significance.”

The story says the future of the study is questionable because of sequestration. Air traffic controllers, meat inspectors, and TSA personnel? Definitely out! Get ready for long lines, crashed planes, and spoiled meat. Studies about fat lesbians? We’ll have to look into that further!

This is like that Krugman bankruptcy story, right? This is obviously a satirical story that CNS News got suckered by, right? Onion editors? Daily Currant editors? Who’s hiding behind the curtain, waiting to jump out and yell “you’ve been punked!”

If this story is true, the real shame of it lies in thinking of other ways that $1.5 million could have been spent. With $1.5 million, Obama and his pals could be eating Wagyu beef for weeks. They could crank up the thermostat in the Oval Office high enough to grow orchids for months. Hell, maybe Michelle wouldn’t have to settle for Beyonce at her 50th! Here’s $1.5 million, honey. Now you can afford to have Taylor Swift perform!

(That one was for Kanye West.)

Oh. You were thinking maybe $1.5 million could keep White House tours going for months or years.

Maybe. But if you explain to the children who won’t get to see the White House that we’re using the money to see why lesbians get fat, I’m sure they would understand.

Democrats: We Will Not Tolerate a Single Change to Entitlements

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:37 am

As the car hurtles towards the cliff, Democrats continue to pretend not to see any need to brake, or even turn the wheel slightly:

One hundred and seven of the 200 House Democrats signed a letter to Obama threatening to vote “against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.”

Instead, they want the White House to “rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems,” like getting rid of subsidies for big businesses and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

“I only know one thing: I’m against cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House. “I don’t really care who is pushing it. It doesn’t matter who says it’s a good idea. It’s a bad idea.”

It’s not enough for Obama to say in theory he might agree to this small reform or that one. He has to take on his party. Everyone who thinks Barack Obama will take on his party in any serious way on these issues, line up for your dunce caps. (The line forms at the Jimmy Kimmel thread below.)

We’ve been through the numbers — for a quick review, revisit this post. As I said then:

To make up the gap by taxing people, in 2012 you would have needed another $1.3T on top of the $2.47T we already took in. That means taxes would have to be raised 50%, across the board. Payroll tax, income tax, everything. If you paid $20,000 in 2012, you’d have to pay $30,000 to sustain Social Security and Medicare.

That’s not to pay off the debt — that’s just to meet the deficit in one year. And that’s assuming that raising taxes 50% would actually bring in 50% more revenue — which it clearly wouldn’t. Historically, raising the top marginal rate as high as 90% still doesn’t bring in more than 20% of GDP. No matter what the top rate is, whether it’s 35% or 90%, we take in roughly 18% of GDP regardless, as I explained in this post.

Not one lefty commenter has bothered to try to challenge me on these numbers, because they’re facts, and lefty commenters here seem to run from facts like poison. Prove me wrong, lefties. Take me on. I keep linking these posts. Show me how we can fix this problem without addressing entitlements. Go ahead. I’m here.

Relying on growth? You tell me: what kind of growth are we going to need to erase trillion dollar deficits and pay off a $17 trillion dollar debt — and if we achieve the former, how are you going to keep the politicians’ mitts off the cash to achieve the latter?

And how are we going to achieve growth with stifling regulation and taxation?

No, these “ideas” are fundamentally unserious.

Now. Keith Ellison might honestly be stupid enough not to understand the numbers.

Barack Obama understands them. He just doesn’t care. Party for Michelle’s 50th!!! Woooooooooooo!!!!

Voters: Obama’s Decision to Pardon the Sequester and Move It to Portugal Was Brilliant

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:14 am

You’ll appreciate the refreshing honesty of the last woman interviewed. Remember: it can’t be racism because she’s not white! But it’s definitely racism to notice it.


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