Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sour on Sweet Caroline

Now, Lord knows I hate to rain on the parade of any more rich people. What with the economic downturn, it's all some of them can do to maintain their strings of poloponies. I know Smellington G. Worthington III would agree.

Caroline Kennedy is no exception. Despite being filthy rich, with an estimated wealth in excess of $100 million, Caroline has nevertheless felt the pinch of the current recession, telling the Times that she has been personally affected by the economic crisis. How she has been affected, she refuses to say. Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg will only take the calls of those with a nine figure net worth.

Despite my empathy, I am afraid I must withhold my endorment of her quest to be appointed senator from New York. As far as I can tell her platform consists of the following planks:

1. I am a Kennedy.
2. I have written a children's book, which got published because I am a Kennedy.
3. I have raised funds for education, mostly by virtue of being a Kennedy and thus able to put the bite on other rich people. ("Hello. I'm a Kennedy. Would you care to contribute tax-deductible funds to my cause?")
4. I am a mom.

Now, thanks to the Times, we can add a fifth plank. It appears that she would do away with tenure for teachers. Oh, she didn't say that, of course. What Caroline said, in her best Palinesque voice (Sarah, not Michael) was, “To pick out the most controversial [issue] as a stand-alone thing, I don’t think that’s really the way to go about this." If the Times had asked me that question, the interview would have been brief:

The Times: If appointed senator, would you abolish tenure?
Mr. Talk: No.

NY1 asked her whether she'd support a third term for Mike Bloomberg. My answer, again, would have been a simple "No." Caroline said that she thinks the mayor is doing a good job

You know, maybe she knows more about being a politician than we think.

I watched the NY1 interview. What struck me the most is how she asserted that the education system in NYC is in "crisis". In the next breath, she discussed what a fine job she thinks the mayor is doing. Hey, isn't this the same mayor who has had total control over the school system for the last seven years? How long would you have a job if your classroom was in crisis for seven days, let alone seven years?

Of course, the mayor doesn't need tenure. His job is secure, he has $20 billion in the bank, and he has the support of the woman who appears poised to be the next senator of New York. I bet his poloponies are well fed, too.


Betsy Davenport said...

This is way too long; I apologize. Couldn't shorten it. If you approve these before they appear, go ahead and edit if you like. Just please let me differ with you. Thank you.

Books by Caroline Kennedy -- List below

All right. What this list means is this: Whichever author’s name comes first is the primary author. That means she wrote the books as a joint effort with someone else, also smart and informed.

This list also means that her two most important books were published in hardcover first. Books that sell well are then (especially back then) published in paperback. Then, because they continued to be relevant over time, both of them have been published in new editions. Books don’t get published again in hardcover unless there is a certain percentage of new material, which varies with publishers, but is likely to be at least 25% and maybe one-third.

I remember when these books came out; they were much praised by the sort of people who know about such books and who know about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

To have as a member of Congress someone who actually admires the Constitution (and has read it! Ask Pelosi and others what it says and why it is important) is a gift. It shouldn’t be; all members of Congress ought to be required to read it once monthly and to be tested on what is says and why it matters. But barring that, New York will be doing itself and the country a favor to replace Hillary Clinton with someone who understands the purpose of government and how its business ought to be conducted.

It fascinates me that of all the books Caroline has written, people seem to know only about her children's books. They put her down for having written them, as though that implies she’s both an inferior writer and that an audience of children isn't significant.

Whose weightiness is revealed by that?


An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward: Caroline Kennedy, Phillip Knightley
Hardcover, 1987

In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Hardcover, 1991

In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Paperback, 1992

In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Hardcover, 1999

In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Hardcover, 2008

The Right to Privacy: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Hardcover, 1995

The Right to Privacy: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Paperback, 1997

The Right to Privacy: Caroline Kennedy, Ellen Alderman
Hardcover, 2008

A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love: Caroline Kennedy
Hardcover, 2008

NYC Educator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYC Educator said...

Sorry, but just because her name comes first hardly signifies anything more than her name is what sells the book. It's hard for me to believe that Ivana Trump was the primary author of those potboilers, but you're free to differ. Also, lots of people have written books on these topics, and they aren't on the short list because their names aren't Caroline Kennedy.

It's important to note education expert and deeply caring Kennedy sent her kids to private school, just like Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein.

Anonymous said...

Public Education Is Not For Sale To Coporatism.Haven't we seen enough golden parachutes ? We don't need to close down school buildings under PL107-110 a law unfunded and sell the buildings to developers and subcontractors for profit. We need a Public Education bailout package ! Rhee reform is like the Twilight Zone !Operationally and proceedually out of control. Now alleged discriminatory intent effects ? When it's wrong, it's wrong and it is what it is ! Who asked the American citizen if they wanted to sell out our Public Educational system. Do you think the reformers need to publish a school system audit for public transparancy and accountability? Very little over sight and millions of federal dollars connecting to school systems.Who over sees it ? The Mayor and Rhee as the Counsil files disapproval resolution for being unclear about the budget. Unreal !Meanwhile another school building closes and is sold to a developer under Pl107-110 an underfunded law. Let's all stay politically correct ? Not researched on Caroline Kennedy and won't shoot wooden arrows but do like her dad's executive order affirmative action for equal opportunity. Justice for both the advantaged and disadvantaged.We're ready to go ask for a fire truck and find a marching band.We'll race you to the Washington Monumentfor the 14th Amendment.We have the jam box and connected to a fire truck speaker it rocks. Is there a song that you'd like to hear ? End the mandates on NCLB and it's not working.Visualize Public School teachers dressed up like the Blues Brother's hanging onto the fire truck.Let's put a little funding centrally and equally to the plan.We'll pray divine intervention and declaratory relief finding creative solutions.Who's going to score the permit for the National Public Education rally in DC ? Don't ask Mayor Fenty and he's busy closing Public School buildings and selling them to developers.Happy Holidays and see you there ! Get your strategic planning book and let's go !"Everybody Needs Somebody!" Where is advertising and marketing ? Yes we can !Identify with a new generation policy makers for an organized,fun protest to oppose NCLB and 10% !

Anonymous said...

Country mice visit the city mice !We're finding a firetruck and a permit for this educational promotional.Oh no,don't send all that city educational road rage here !We've got enough problems with a state in the red viewing this current economic crisis and NCLB Tom cat 10%. Smells like a cat box that won't turn to methane.Teachers get creative ! Rollout stage for educational skits and .....? What else can we come up with fun ? Motivate to engage and grab Guskey and Marzano. We need them driving this firetruck for the Public Education pep em up rally. That under funded NCLB has about knocked it out of the best of us ! Batter up ! Washington has a baseball stadium !See Voices Across America question #1.We'll have a dunking booth for the reformers set up !One dollar and take your best shot ! Hotdogs and hamburgers !"Yahoo",said the country mouse! "Stay in the saddle and lean with the trees !"

Mr. Talk said...

I have nothing against authors. Nor do I have anything against moms, nor children of politicians, nor even fabulously wealthy folks. My objection to Ms. Kennedy is that she seems to think those things qualify her to be annointed a US senator.

She's no more qualified than you or I. If she wasn't a Kennedy, no one would give her a second glance.

Anonymous said...

NCLB and 10% ? It's all a political cartoon !Public Education teachers pop the bubble testing ! Hoist the lines and cut off their wind cause Woody Wood Pecker just blew in !