Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
Now it can be told why Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee asserted that no president, from George Washington on, has been subject to the kind of “disrespect” visited on Barack Obama.
You will recall the Texas Democrat said of Obama, “Why is he different? In my community that is the question we raise. In the minority community that is a question being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?”
Many pundits declared the Texas Democrat was “playing the race card” in defense of the first president of African extraction, but Washington, D.C., insider Howard Bashford begged to differ.
“That ‘race card’ thing is just a red herring,” declared Bashford, a member of the secretive Council on Foreign Trilateral Bilderbergers. “The fact is, she was trying to regain Obama’s good graces after suggesting he be impeached for bombarding Libya. Talk about disrespect!”
We asked Bashford if the tactic had worked, and he said, “The president doesn’t like criticism. He’ll accept her race play as a proper genuflection, but he won’t forget she aligned herself with Dennis Kucinich on the impeachment thing.”
So there you have it. And don’t be surprised if you see similar “defenses” of Obama from others tied to the Kucinich impeachment statement, like Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California.
Shared sacrifice? The University of California regents and California State University trustees have been jacking up enrollment costs as the state Legislature has been hacking up the universities’ budgets (on the order of $1 billion for the University of California).
UC fees, have been boosted about 18 percent this year, to around $12,000, while at CSU campuses they are around $9,000. (The university systems insist on the term “fees.” Apparently fees hurt less than tuition in the same amount.)
Naturally, belt tightening is in order. This used to mean cinching in a notch or two, but to the regents and trustees it means expanding the waist lines of campus bigwigs. The San Francisco Chronicle reports raises of up to 26 percent for some college satraps. The biggest jump was for the boss of the UC San Francisco Medical Center, whose annual salary rocketed from $739,700 to $935,000 – plus a four-year “retention bonus” totaling $1 million.
A UC spokesman called some of the pay raises “a wise and relatively modest investment.” But now comes state Sen. Leland Yee with a bill to prohibit such pay raises in years when the UC and CSU budgets don’t rise as well.
The killjoy state senator actually may understand that big salaries are only part of the cost to the state. Pensions are based on an employees’ highest compensation. In a couple of years many of these terrific “educators” will retire, adding to California’s unfunded pension liability.
Hey! Here’s an idea for saving higher-education dollars: Stop admitting unqualified students. After grad work at one CSU campus and a teaching stint at another, I can report a lot of students wandering from class to class don’t belong at any college. They wouldn’t rate a high school diploma in a more rational era, but many will graduate and enter the job market with devalued university degrees.
Homosexuals are a very small portion of California’s population (except in certain cities), but the affluent among them wield considerable political influence in the aggregation of splinter groups known as the Democratic Party.
Hence, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 48 by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. It mandates that public school social science curricula provide “a study of the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans … to the development of California and the United States.”
One assumes this means – at minimum – specifying sexual orientation on first mention of any historic figure. E.G.: “Thomas Jefferson, who was a heterosexual practitioner of miscegenation …” or “Mountain man Grizzly Mankowicz, who had bisexual relations with bears …”
California students will be unable to read or cipher, but will have a greatly expanded understanding of human diversity.
And finally: Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that any deal on the national debt must “address the fact that if we are asking for some belt tightening and sacrifice from average Americans, from the middle class, we have to also insist that the most fortunate among us also contribute to this.” What he meant was, “contribute more than the 40 percent of their income that already goes into the pot.”
Carney has a very tough job. He has to be able to maintain a poker face while saying things like, “The economy is vastly improved from what it was when Barack Obama was sworn into office as president.” This helps explain why he always looks like a man on his way to a colonoscopy.