New York City spends $65 million a year for 700 teachers to do absolutely nothing:
Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.
The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.
“You just basically sit there for eight hours,” said Orlando Ramos, who spent seven months in a rubber room, officially known as a temporary reassignment center, in 2004-05. “I saw several near-fights. `This is my seat.’ `I’ve been sitting here for six months.’ That sort of thing.”
The House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on the cap-and-trade bill (HR 2454 - American Clean Energy and Security Act). In case you’re not familiar with cap-and-trade, basically the government issues vouchers or credits to businesses which give them a “right” to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases. When a business has reached its limit, it must purchase additional credits either from other companies or the government.
In order to achieve the goal of reducing emissions, the supply of energy would be repressed. What happens when supply of a commodity as valuable and in demand as energy is limited or reduced? The price skyrockets, and the effect is felt throughout the economy. Welcome to Economics 101.
A new study from the Employment Policies Institute shows that the uninsured aren’t entirely incapable of getting insurance:
As many of you know, ABC will be hosting a one-hour special with President Barack Obama on his health care proposal. ABC isn’t allowing opposing viewpoints or ads against the proposal during the airing, which is their prerogative.
Cato has also set up a website specifically on this issue. You can check it out here.
Count me among the apparently small group of people who think the Mark Sanford vacation story has been completely blown out of proportion. I’ll give you the fact that the story is weird, but anyone who has been involved in politics in any capacity knows that it can take a lot out of you, especially if you are as invested as Gov. Sanford was during the most recent session of the South Carolina legislature.
Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the United States just seven months after it launched.
Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program.
A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan.
“People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free,” said Dr. Kenny Fink, the administrator for Med-QUEST at the Department of Human Services. “I don’t believe that was the intent of the program.”
During his press conference today, President Barack Obama offered his opinion on Iran and suggested how the country should be governed:
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people have a universal right to assembly and free speech. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights and heed the will of its own people. It must govern through consent and not coercion. That’s what Iran’s own people are calling for, and the Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government.
Mr. President, I think that consent over coercion is a great way to govern. While you are offering your two cents on how Iran should be governed, might I suggest that we try that approach in the United States as well.
A new Washington Post poll shows that Americans want smaller government:
Obama has used the power and financial resources of the federal government repeatedly as he has dealt with the country’s problems this year, to the consternation of his Republican critics. The poll found little change in underlying public attitudes toward government since the inauguration, with slightly more than half saying they prefer a smaller government with fewer services to a larger government with more services. Independents, however, now split 61 to 35 percent in favor of a smaller government; they were more narrowly divided on this question a year ago (52 to 44 percent), before the financial crisis hit.
The National Institute for Health spent $423,500 on a study about condom use:
The federal government is spending $423,500 to find out why men don’t like to wear condoms, a project government watchdogs say is a nearly-half-a-million-dollar waste of taxpayer money.
Researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, are investigating why “young, heterosexual adult men” have problems using condoms. The study will include “skill-based intervention” to teach grown men how to use protection.
The first phase of the two-year study called “Barriers to Correct Condom Use” will be a simple Q&A, but doctors say the second phase will plumb uncharted territory.