The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Obama The Lame Duck? Ask Potential College Students

Remember this?
A millionaire at birth spoke to the nation about middle and lower income potential college students about their parents paying for college.  A man who does not realize many do not have money for food, how an they fund their kids college tuition?

Just after the 2014 mid-term election a former Reagan Administration and George H.W. Bush Administration official, Steven G. Calabresi, published a piece related to the prospect of President Obama's lame-duck-ency (spelling for affect). The "Five myths about lame-duck presidents" is a great read despite the prospect of authorship via who served in Republican administrations. The Washington Post link (above) provides detailed opining regarding the following five points.  

Lame- Duck myths
1. Lame-duck presidents cannot get anything done.
2. Lame-duck presidents can only affect foreign policy.
3. Lame-duck presidents have a hard time propelling their party’s candidate into the White House.
4. Lame-duck presidents must resort to second-rate personnel in their second terms.
5. Lame-duck presidents tend to become more unpopular as their term draws to an end.

Just after President Obama won a second term in the Oval Office, I recall a CNN segment with two cable news talking heads (one show host; the other, a guest) positing on Obama's final years. The guest assessed the remaining Obama years with a US House of Representatives infested with republicans and a Senate with enough "Blue Dog" democrats to fill a medium sized kennel. The guest was fulfilling a CNN script while complying with the show producers segment theme: Obama as lame-duck. As I finished the segment my thoughts were, there is no way Obama is going to laisezz-faire his second term playing golf and demurring to the nation killing republicans. The two talking heads were so paradigm to common US politics and past administration lame-duck presidents, they could not imagine the extent to which the nation's 44th President would not go lame-duck.
They could not imagine policy initiatives that are so closely matched with the preaching and values of Pope Francis one would think they attend the same think-tank. 
They could not imagine management of Russian (Putin's) militarization of its south-eastern borders with associated annexation of former Soviet Union countries.  
They could not have imagined normalization of relations with Cuba. 
They could not have imagined that successful management of the Affordable Care Act after a disastrous start.  
They could not have imagined Immigration initiatives. 
If you want to know the full extent of the CNN host's and his guests inane rambling you must know the two could not have imagined what follows.  Neither, could you or I have imagined what follows.
“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.” —President Barack Obama

White House Dot Gov

The President Proposes to Make Community College Free for Responsible Students for 2 Years

January 08, 2015 06:16 PM EST

Today, the President unveiled a new proposal: Make two years of community college free for responsible students across America.

In our growing global economy, Americans need to have more knowledge and more skills to compete -- by 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor's degree, and 30 percent will require some college or an associate's degree. Students should be able to get the knowledge and the skills they need without taking on decades' worth of student debt.
The numbers:

If all 50 states choose to implement the President's new community college proposal, it could: 
Save a full-time community college student $3,800 in tuition per year on average 
Benefit roughly 9 million students each year 

Under President Obama's new proposal, students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelor's degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforce -- all at no cost to them.

The requirements:
What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program. 

What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes. 

What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students. 
Expanding technical training programs:

President Obama also proposed the new American Technical Training Fund, which will expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs across the country. Specifically, the fund will award programs that: 

Have strong employer partnerships and include work-based learning opportunities 
Provide accelerated training Accommodate part-time work 

Politico and the cost of the initiative and comment about GOP lack of support.   

Of course, the GOP will never approve such expenditures.  They will also not applause the initiative at the State of the Union Address.

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