Short cuts

Pub date May 29, 2013
SectionPolitics Blog

Lots of stuff in news worth looking at today.

We bag on Texas and their generally idiotic governor a lot but recently, he and they did the right thing–under pressure from Texas’ parents, the state is going to slash the number of “No Child Left Behind” tests imposed on school children. NCLB is one of the worst educational ideas ever implemented. Teaching to the test teaches nothing and when its been shown in considerably poorer and smaller nations that drilling and rote are worthless, America should take stock. Good for Rick. That he sort of reversed Bush’s policy (whose actual aim was to enrich a family member, of course) showed some stones.

John McCain snuck over Syria’s border recently to meet with anti-Assad rebels. As the embargo on sending said rebels military aid is ending anyway, it’s hard to say what the purpose of the trip was. As usual, the military’s “worst pilot in history” was advocating more arms, more involvement and naturally, more bloodshed. One would think that after the particularly disasterous embrace of arming an enemy’s opposition in the 80’s and 90’s, the US would have learned, but as Senator McCain has never met a conflict he didn’t like (or that didn’t enrich his friends). no surprise.

Newsweek is for sale again. Its purchase in the first place, says money heavyweight Barry Diller “was a mistake”. It is operating at a loss, even online. Fact is, online content in a “general news” format is very hard to monetize. It’s even hard to monetize in specialty and local forms, but easier. This magazine’s day is over. C’est la vie.

More later!