From Around the Blogroll

From The Victory Girls:


Throwing More Money at Head Start – Why Should Government Pay For Preschool?


by DEANNA FISHER on NOVEMBER 1, 2013

Why is the solution in D.C. always “give it more money”?

Despite having massive, growing national debt and running a huge fiscal deficit, President Obama has stated that he intends to expand the Head Start program by $55 billion (yes, that’s with a B) to spend a total of $75 billion in order to make preschool free for all four year olds.

Uh… why?

Let’s look at the facts.  Despite shoveling money at Head Start, HHS itself has admitted that its effects are largely temporary on a child’s education.  By the end of third grade, there is no measurable difference between a child who went through Head Start and one who didn’t.  (The HHS study links are here – in order to view them, you must have Adobe installed, since they are in spreadsheet form.  If you don’t have Adobe, the Heritage Foundation has a very good summary, complete with reference footnotes from the study.)

So, what was the point of this government spending, if the government itself can’t even prove that preschool makes a difference?

More at the link, including Mrs Fisher’s answers to her own questions. I’d raise a question that she did not: whether a pre-school program is helpful or not, why should it be a federal program at all? The states and localities are responsible for public education, and that’s the way it should be: keep education at government levels closer to the people.

There are a couple of reasons why so many state and local functions have been federalized over the past several decades. First, most of the states have constitutionally-required balanced budget requirements, but the federal government does not. By getting the federal government to take programs (or simply just fund state and local programs), many state and local functions are financed through the deficit spending which is denied to most states; we have, in effect, transferred state and local deficits to the federal government. That removes from the legislatures the necessity of persuading the voters that a program is good enough and valuable enough that they should be willing to pay taxes to fund it.

I don’t know my congressman; I’ve never met him, and probably never will, other than in passing. But I do know the Mayor of Jim Thorpe, and if I need to discuss something with him, I can, easily. We became acquainted several years before he became the Mayor, and if we aren’t close enough to be considered personal friends, I know that if I knocked on his door — he lives just a few blocks away from me — he’d invite me in and offer me something to drink.

I know my state representative. We aren’t closely acquainted enough to be considered personal friends, but both he and his wife know me and I could discuss anything I wished with them. These people are simply closer to the voters they represent, because they represent so many fewer of them. And these are the type of people who would have to explain to their constituents why they thought a particular program would be a good one, and why we ought to be wiling to pay taxes to support it.

A second reason would be the special interest groups. The groups which are invested in such programs would much rather lobby one national legislature than fifty state legislatures. Washington, DC, is an expensive town, but it’s still a lot cheaper to lobby in one expensive town than fifty less expensive ones. Besides, while a lot of people might enjoy being lobbyists in Honolulu or Austin or Atlanta or Boston, not nearly as many would want to be lobbyists in Harrisburg or Frankfort or Bismarck or Des Moines.

Sister Toldjah wrote about Naked Fascism: The real story behind the liberal “defenses” of #Obamacare. And L D Jackson noted that the Administration’s regulations appended to the PP&ACA extend to 2.8 million words, longer, by an order of magnitude, than the (unread) law passed by Congress, longer than the Bible, longer than the longest book ever written, Remembrance of Things Past, and that we told you what was going to happen.

From The Pirate’s Cove:


D.C Court Of Appeals Strikes Down Contraception Mandate


By William Teach November 2, 2013 – 8:07 am

One thing to remember, the contraception mandate isn’t really a mandate in terms of being in the law: HHS made the rule that employers must provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients through their health insurance plans

(The Hill) A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.

Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.

Don’t expect this to end here, Team Obama will most likely take it to the Supreme Court.

More at the link.

If the people who believed the President’s repeated promises that if they liked their health insurance, they could keep it, feel stabbed in the back, so do the Catholic bishops. The Church was a big supported of the wholly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, because they strongly supported the idea that everyone should have health care coverage. But when you ally yourselves with people who have nothing but contempt for you, you shouldn’t be surprised when they stick a knife in your back as well, as the Obama Administration did by trying to force Catholic organizations which were not specifically churches to pay for contraception and abortifacient medications. Mary McCarthy’s famous scathing line about Lillian Hellman is about the most accurate description of President Obama and his Administration that I have ever seen: every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’. The bishops should not have been surprised; I know that I was not.

Hube has an interesting picture:

The left will fall to its collective knees over any President who claims to be a liberal.

Finally, some pictures. We had a cooler, wetter summer than usual, and a dry September and October. As a consequence, the leaves didn’t turn as early as usual; if this is global warming, send us more of it! These photos were all taken this morning:

This is a Red Sunset Maple my daughter and I planted in the summer of 2012. It hasn't grown spectacularly yet, but it's still alive!

This is a Red Sunset Maple my daughter and I planted in the summer of 2012. It hasn’t grown spectacularly yet, but it’s still alive!

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Mostly turned, but still some green in this tree.

Mostly turned, but still some green in this tree.

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