Appearing to embrace the new civility and bipartisanship that’s the currently appropriate stance for politicians following the Tucson shooting, President Obama in his State of the Union address tossed a bone to the newly empowered congressional Republicans by giving a half-hearted nod to medical malpractice reform.
Congress may soon once again raise the national debt ceiling — for the 81st time since 1940! The ceiling limits how deeply in debt the federal government can go. Right now, Washington is not allowed to borrow a dollar over $14.29 trillion. And they’re already within $300 billion of that limit, give or take a few billion bucks.
Race to the Top, which President Obama glowingly spoke of in his dismal State of the Union address, is a $4.35 billion U.S. Department of Education boondoggle to get state and local education systems to adopt national reforms affecting curriculum and teacher preparation. Its stated aim is to encourage charter schools, improve teacher instruction, and get state systems to adopt common academic standards. Teacher unions don’t particularly care for the charter school idea.