Dec 09 2013
Dec 07 2013
But common sense shouldn’t be...
Mike HuckabeeHere’s a sampling of some things people have posted on my FB page lately: “I hear you support Common Core education standards; I’ll never watch your show again;” another: “If you support Common Core, you’ve lost my trust.” Or this, “You need to learn the truth about Common Core.” I guess the person who said he’d never watch my show again won’t hear this and that’s too bad. Let me cut right to the chase: I don’t support what Common Core has become in many states or school districts. I’m dead set against the federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject; I oppose the collection of personal data on students that would identify them and track them and any effort to give that personal information to the federal government. I am steadfast in my belief that parents should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education, whether public schools, private schools, religious schools or home-schools. I believe education is a local or state function—not a federal one. Sadly, the very label Common Core has come to be associated with things I detest, like agenda driven curriculum that indoctrinates instead of educates. I’m convinced that the term Common Core needs to disappear from the lexicon of education policy. It’s a toxic term because it’s come to mean things that most of us can’t stomach, like top-down federal intrusion into the local schools where you live. But Common Core as it was designed had nothing to do with the federal government. It was conceived and controlled by elected governors and state school chiefs to keep the federal hands from interfering. It only dealt with 2 subjects, math and English, and in those 2 subjects, established only state-initiated standards in those subjects, and intentionally did not write or even suggest curriculum. It set voluntary goals---VOLUNTARY goals—controlled by local school boards. Unfortunately, the locally controlled and very simple creation of standards in math and English, created so that students would be measured by comparable regardless of geography has been hijacked by those who took the label Common Core and applied it to curriculum, subjects other than math and English, and even unrelated things as personal data collection. As a result, Common Core as a brand is dead and hopefully the perversions of it will die as well. What I hope does not die is setting higher standards for students, keeping score to see how well they are doing, and having accountability for results. Educational bureaucrats have long fought honest assessments and accountability and have been satisfied with under performing students who were far behind their peers in other states or other countries. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that schools in the US were performing below those in Vietnam, Lithuania, Russia, and Hungary; that our 15 year olds haven’t seen improvement in over a decade compared to other nations. For those who think I embrace Common Core, I don’t embrace or even want to tolerate what it’s come to mean in too many locations. Yes, it’s been hijacked, and I don’t support the hijackers or the destination, but I don’t blame the airplane for getting hijacked. I just hope we aren’t willing to accept mediocrity as a standard. Let’s kill the name Common Core and all the nonsense that’s been tacked on to it. But let’s insist that if we continue to spend the most money in education we demand that the end result is achievement. Every Governor should take the wheel and steer his or her state to adopting strict and rigorous standards. Keep it simple; name it what you will. Don’t let anyone corrupt the goals by adding things not part of the goals. Common Core is dead. But common sense shouldn’t be.
Nov 24 2013
Mike HuckabeeThis past week has seen Washington, DC at its most disgraceful, disgusting and dysfunctional worst. The President continues to attempt to sell his wrecked used car called Obamacare and thinks Americans are dumb enough to be more likely to buy it if he throws in an AM radio on this clunker whose engine won’t start and which has no tires.
Nov 17 2013
Mike HuckabeeTo better understand the true economics of Obamacare, I’ve turned to one of our nation’s foremost experts on the acquisition of goods and services by way of long-term debt. Most of his expertise is in the field of commodities trading and food supplies. Yes, Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons understood the dynamics at work in Obamacare decades before it would even be introduced. I studied economics under Wimpy as a result of my devotion to Popeye cartoons when I was a young tike. Thanks to Popeye, I downed many a can of Popeye brand Spinach from the Allen Canning Company so I could be strong. But it was Wimpy who understood the value of enjoying a product today that would be paid for later. I think he can help us understand Obamacare. This week we learned that more than 3 times the number of people signed up for free Obamacare health care through Medicaid than signed up for a plan they would pay for and many of the ones paying will only pay part of the cost thanks to generous subsidies for some people. So let’s say Obamacare is like a hamburger. And suppose hamburgers have cost $5. 85% of people have hamburgers and like the burgers and think $5 is a good price. But it’s not fair that 15% of the people didn’t have hamburgers, so we create Obamaburger that will create universal hamburger access. Now true, some of the 15% don’t have hamburgers because they are vegetarians, and some because they’d rather buy hot dogs, so there are only about 5% who truly can’t get hamburgers. With Obamaburger, we will have to raise the price of burgers to $7.50 for those who used to pay $5 so they can pay for the ones who don’t have burgers. And some people will now get Obamaburgers for free, others will only pay $2 for the $7.50 burger. But so many people want free burgers and the $7.50 burger for $2 that the people who used to buy the $5 burger and thought they would have to now pay $7.50 will actually have to pay $10 for their burgers to make up the difference from the free ones and reduced cost ones. We are going to give all the folks in our audience a coupon that will let them pay $10 for the $5 dollar Obamaburger. No, it’s not a coupon that let’s them have a $10 dollar burger for $5, but a $5 burger for $10. Some of the customers don’t want the deluxe burger because they can’t afford it, but we think everyone should have a burger with lettuce, onion, cheese, pickles, tomato, and mustard so you will have your burger OUR way—not yours and you will pay for all the extras even if you don’t like them or are allergic to them. If that sounds utterly ridiculous, it’s because it IS ridiculous. But that, my friend is Obamacare. It is based on the notion that Americans would just love to pay up to 4 times what they are currently paying for a policy that they don’t want with features they can’t afford or won’t use, so they can give free insurance to people who didn’t want it until it was free. And Thursday, even the Salesman in Chief had to admit that he hadn’t been telling the truth about keeping your burger if you liked it. I have one thing to add, Mr. President: “Would you like fries with those lies?”
Nov 09 2013
Nov 07 2013
Mike HuckabeeIf you want to see how the tide has turned for Obamacare, notice that HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius is no longer just being grilled by House Republicans. Wednesday, she got turned on the spit by the Democrat-run Senate Finance Committee. She denied that Obamacare needs to be delayed, claiming that the website can now handle up to 17,000 applications an hour with hardly any glitches. That’s the very definition of the phrase, “close enough for government work.” As for the security of your data, she admitted that felons may be hired as navigators, but we can depend on the contractors who helped create this Rube Goldberg washing machine of a website to take the same care in screening their hires that the government did. I know I’ll rest easy now. Incidentally, the head of Medicare/Medicaid tech services who was in charge of this project announced that he’s resigning to join the private sector. I’d suggest he see if Burger King is hiring. Finally, one of the most interesting moments was seeing Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts hammer Sec. Sebelius on whether she understands that this isn’t about glitches, it’s a rare life-or-death situation for Americans who are losing policies they depended on for vital medical care from specific doctors. She’s the former governor of his home state. Usually, there’s a certain amount of deference there, but not in this case. As Peggy Noonan’s new article in the Wall Street Journal and Ken Cuccineilli’s near-win in Virginia show, Americans are waking up to what some of us have been saying for weeks: the website fiasco was just the opening act.
Nov 04 2013
Mike HuckabeeIt’s no secret that I have major policy differences with President Obama on about everything---I believe in American exceptionalism, standing strong with Israel, lower taxes, de-centralization of government from the federal to the local level, the sanctity of every human life, less regulation, taxation, and litigation, and on and on…but President Obama can’t be blamed for an economy that is killing the middle class, for broken promises about taxes going up for people making under $250,000 a year, for not being to keep your health plan or your doctor, for the dismal standing of our nation in the eyes of the world—so bad that even our friends are spitting mad at us. Turns out, it’s not his fault. Because he didn’t know anything about it….any of it. It’s a good thing a newspaper gets delivered to the White House, or otherwise President Obama wouldn’t have a clue about Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the criminal activities of the IRS, the Justice Department trampling over the 1st amendment rights of the AP and Fox News’ James Rosen, the disastrous Obamacare website, the fact that under the not-so affordable care act, more Americans have LOST their health care than have signed up. The President had no idea that death benefits would be denied to those killed in action during the government shutdown; he was completely unaware the NSA was illegally spying on millions of America citizens or tapping phone calls of leaders from European allies all the way to the Pope. This is like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple saying he didn’t know Apple had a new iPad until he read it in the papers; or Theo Epstein, when he was CEO of the Boston Red Sox saying he wasn’t aware that Boston won the World Series until he glanced at the sports page; or that Roger Ailes was surprised to find out that Fox News beat all the other news channels for 12 years in a row until he heard it on the Huckabee Show. Whenever there is a crisis or controversy, the answer with this President is the same (SOT). The President’s biggest problem is that he hasn’t a clue how to run an organization...he has zero executive experience. I’m not sure he could organize a 2 car parade, and if he did, he’d have to read the news accounts of it to know which cars were in it. When I was Governor, there was a standing order: Don’t let me ever learn something about a problem in state government by reading the paper. Good news can wait until the morning, but bad news is to be delivered immediately, regardless of time of day or night. I never fired people because they made mistakes. I made more than anyone and mine were always far more visible than theirs. If a mistake was made, there was no reason for me to use up my energy screaming about it—just get it fixed. But one thing would get a staffer or agency head fired on the spot—not informing me that we had a problem. No one can know everything going on—my chief of staff used to say, “If I know everything going on, not enough is going on,” but if there is a problem or a breakdown, or a failure, or a looming disaster, that had better be delivered to me faster than President Obama can get to the golf course. This President has outsourced much of the functions of government and all of the responsibility. If he can’t or won’t do the job of President, then maybe he could outsource to someone who can and would do it. And Mr. President, I am available.
Nov 02 2013
Would you trust Washington with a credit card that has no limit?...Those Congressional battles over raising the debt ceiling aren’t the best way to instill confidence in America. But both parties think they have a solution. On the Republican side is a proposal to break impasses by raising the debt ceiling for a limited period, then if negotiations fall through, there would be an automatic one percent cut in spending. Senate Democrats have a counter-proposal: no spending cuts, and do away with the debt limit entirely. The plan by Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer and Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono would give the President power to authorize endless federal borrowing, unless a veto-proof supermajority of Congress voted to stop him. I have two questions about that: wouldn’t giving the President power to run up unlimited debt violate what’s left of the Constitution, which puts budget-writing power squarely in the House, the branch closest to the voters? And my second question: how do I get Visa to offer me that same deal? And this is the HR.
By the way, if you’re wondering what all of those increases in the debt ceiling mean to you, the folks who run the National Debt Clock have worked up the numbers. There’s the $17 trillion national debt, plus all the government’s longterm unfunded liabilities, like $16.6 trillion for Social Security, $87.6 trillion for Medicare, and another $22 trillion for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. They calculate the total for all the government’s unfunded liabilities at $126 trillion. That works out to $1.1 million for each American taxpayer. The good news is, you don’t have to pay it all at once. You can just be like the government, and go on living as if it never has to be paid at all.
Nov 02 2013
Retailers are hoping that Halloween weekend will scare up some business….Thursday night was Halloween, but Americans have turned it into such an over-the-top celebration, parties will roll on through the weekend, and some haunted houses will still be open for business well into November. Retailers now think of Halloween as a stimulus program, and I don’t mean just from all the sugar. But it’ll take a pretty big lightning bolt to reanimate our zombie-like economy. The National Retail Federation surveyed Americans in September and found that a quarter planned to spend less this Halloween. But retailers are optimistic that as Halloween grew closer, people would get swept up in the celebration and forget their tight budgets. We’ll soon find out if that was true. Or if they couldn’t afford any treats after finding that nasty trick in their new health insurance bills.
If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you spent Halloween night inspecting all the candy your kids brought home, and separating it out into two piles: safe to eat, and too suspect. Of course, “suspect” might mean you suspect it’s too tasty for the kids, so you plan to eat it yourself. If it will set your mind at ease, chances are the only damage any of that candy will do is to your waistline. Every year, we hear scare stories about the epidemic of sickos handing out tainted candy. But University of Delaware criminology professor Joel Best researched the subject going back over a quarter century and says it’s a myth. He couldn’t find one single instance of a stranger giving tainted candy to children at Halloween.
The tale apparently got started with a Dear Abby column back in 1983. But in all the time since, there’s been only one verified case of a child being poisoned with Halloween candy. That was in Houston, where a sick father poisoned his own son for the insurance. And he won’t be doing it again because he was executed 29 years ago.