BREAKING: The big board which ate Chicago!


Kornacki predicts next year:
Let's take one last look at the data, gruesome though they may be.

These numbers are for the nation as a whole. These numbers are not for Chicago:
Average scores, American public schools
Grade 8 math, 2015 Naep

White students: 291.06
Black students: 259.85
Hispanic students: 269.47
Asian-American students: 305.37
Those are punishing achievement gaps on this, our most reliable test. But as we've noted during the week, you never see the underlying realities discussed on corporate liberal cable.

Those are punishing achievement gaps. That said, it's obvious that nobody actually cares.

The interests of low-income kids are never discussed by our highest-paid liberal stars. Last night, we saw something else instead. We saw Chris Hayes offer this pair of teases:
HAYES (12/21/17): Still ahead, for the first time this cycle, I will speak the words, "if the election were held today." New polling shows Democrats in strong shape for the 2018 election. Steve Kornacki is here with the big board in tow.


HAYES: Coming up, the really early polling shows dramatic swings in favor of the Democratic Party. Steve Kornacki is here for a really early 2018 breakdown, right after this break.
Say what? The elections in question will take place in November of next year. As Hayes noted, he was bringing Kornacki out for a really early assessment.

Might we offer an obvious point? Through no particular fault of his own, Kornacki wasn't able to predict last year's outcome in the last few days before the election. Why would you ask him to predict next year's elections, almost eleven months out?

The answer is obvious—tribal entertainment and pleasure. The numbers look good for Democrats now. So Kornacki was propped before "the big board," where he did his barker routine.

Almost surely, that barker routine isn't Kornacki's idea. We'll bet every dollar your grandmother owns that he has been instructed to perform the hunch-shouldered, fast-talking routine (always with his sleeves rolled up!) by his corporate owners.

Steve Kornacki is thoroughly competent. He wouldn't behave that way on his own. Still, that's what he does.

Kornacki proceeded to supply us with entertainment product. Especially with Donald J. Trump in charge, no one has the slightest idea what will happen next November, or if next November will even exist.

Still, the current numbers are pleasing. For that reason, they're tribally good.

We liberals receive entertainment product every night of the week; it's presented as if it were news. By way of contrast, the interests of low-income kids never get discussed.

Why do you think that is? What does that possibly say about us? What does it say about our team's profit-based corporate owners?

One last question. Why aren't you told how much these people are paid?


  1. Yesterday, Nikki Haley said she'd take the names of countries voting against us at the UN.

    South Korea voted against us.

    Let's see what Nikki, Rex, and Mr Trump will do about it.

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  2. "Those are punishing achievement gaps. "

    Somerby has only shown that they are "punishing" by his concocted "rule of thumb", which isn't necessarily correct. Is there any actual science or study from reputable sources that assigns a provable meaning to the disparities? I won't wait for Somerby to provide this information, however.
    So what was the point again exactly in bringing up these test scores? I will sum up Somerby's presentation: some naep scores less than others; liberal media won't discuss this; no one cares! Now back to Sex In The Movies, part 231.

    Does Somerby have any thoughts on why these gaps exist, or how to fix them? I suspect not.
    I'd say the Howler has failed to discuss anything at all here.

    1. Actually, Somerby has his suggestions which he's gone into at length on this blog. He recommends creating a curriculum tailored for each given student's ability, not for their grade level. This runs counter to the theory that teachers should assume all students are capable of doing grade appropriate work and not discriminate against them by having low expectations for a student, let alone for a group of students- the Michelle Rhee et al. scam.

      Somerby, also, has stressed the reality that pre-school development is often a decisive factor in determining whether a child is likely to be successful in school.

      Here's George Halvorson, a former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, with an interesting data point on that latter issue [LINK (starting at 42:58)].

    2. At 44:30 Halvorson incorrectly claims, "The total number of African American males in jail today in this country exceeds the number of African Americans males who were enslaved at the beginning of the Civil War."

      Given that there were approximately two million African-American males in slavery in the United States at the time of the 1860 census, what I think Halvorson meant to say was that today there are more than that number of African-American males counted among the total correctional population.

      According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

      [QUOTE] The total correctional population consists of all offenders under the supervision of adult correctional systems, which includes offenders supervised in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and those held in the custody of state or federal prisons or local jails [LINK]. [END QUOTE]

      [QUOTE] An estimated 6,741,400 persons were supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at year-end 2015, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The population decreased 1.7 percent during 2015, dropping below 6.8 million for the first time since 2002. At year-end 2015, about 1 in 37 adults (or 2.7 percent of all adults) in the United States was under some form of correctional supervision, the lowest rate since 1994.

      Offenders supervised in the community on either probation (3,789,800) or parole (870,500) continued to account for most of the U.S. correctional population in 2015 [LINK]. [END QUOTE]

      According to the NAACP:

      [QUOTE] In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population [LINK]. [END QUOTE]

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  3. "We liberals receive entertainment product every night of the week"

    Unlike those high-minded viewers at the Other network, I suspect.

    And, really, the Kornacki segment was just a small part of Chris Hayes' program last night. There were some reasonably substantive discussions of the tax bill, the CHIP program, Puerto Rico, and on and on. As a matter of fact, Hayes has discussed the tax bill countless times since it first reared its ugly head. He also spent lots of air time back in September going through the ACA repeal nightmare, giving a voice to those who stood to lose their healthcare. He even discussed the badness of Moore not related to sex stuff. And I have seen almost weekly stories about the disastrous federal response in Puerto Rico and the ongoing crisis there, not just on Hayes, but elsewhere on that network.

    I don't recall Somerby discussing any of these topics, either as topics in themselves or their coverage on programs like Hayes. Somerby was too busy het up about the Moore thing or studiously avoiding any discussion of them himself. (Oh, I do remember now: Somerby claimed you would never hear about the tax bill on our One True Channel. FALSE)

    Despite Somerby sometimes being correct (yes I will admit it), he seems to notice someone do 1 bad thing out of 10 good things and claim that the bad thing defines the person.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Have to agree almost with everything you wrote, writing myself as a long-time reader.

      There does seem to be an incessant obsession with what is wrong with sources he quotes, rather than what’s right, but – and this is a big but – that’s what he’s always done for lo these many years. I’ve noticed that he lauds good work from his various sources, and usually only comes down on them when it’s bad work (in his view).

      There’s a lot you can nitpick about here (on a blog, fer chrissakes), but you can’t deny that Bob’s work is quite unique. I might even say, boutique. No one does it quite like Bob. And the comedian does come through quite often.

      No ads, open forum, and sometimes good conversations. That’s why I like it here. Sure, I’ve had my disagreements, but even the naysayers make thoughtful critiques! Well, sometimes anyway.

      Yours certainly fits the category.


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  4. "no one has the slightest idea what will happen next November, or if next November will even exist"

    Yes. I predict that it'll be renamed to 'Donaldber' just as soon as the fascist regime reveals its true face. Which is any minute now.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I predict Trump's fans will keep saying he's doing what he said he'd do during the campaign, yet he'll never release his taxes.
      Which is silly, because his fans don't care that he's a money-launderer.

    3. Oops. That last sentence should read:
      Which is silly, because his fans don't care that he's a money-launderer, any more than they care he's a self-admitted sexual predator.

    4. He's worried his tax returns will show he's almost a "Hundredaire".

  5. When will white parents speak enough words to their little children so they can catch up with those Asian tigers?

  6. Wikipedia says: "The Four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons are the highly developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. These regions were the first newly industrialized countries."

    I think your reference is to Asian tiger moms. Wikipedia says:

    [QUOTE] Amy L. Chua (born October 26, 1962) is an American lawyer and author. She is the John M. Duff Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She joined the Yale faculty in 2001 after teaching at Duke Law School for seven years.

    Prior to starting her teaching career, she was a corporate law associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She specializes in the study of international business transactions, law and development, ethnic conflict, and globalization and the law and is noted for her parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

    In 2011, she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, one of the Atlantic Monthly’s Brave Thinkers, and one of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers....

    Chua was born in Champaign, Illinois, to ethnic Chinese parents with Hoklo ancestry who emigrated from the Philippines. Her parents raised her speaking Hokkien. Her father, Leon O. Chua, is an electrical engineering and computer sciences professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His ancestral hometown is Quanzhou, Fujian. Chua's mother was born in China in 1936, before relocating to the Philippines at the age of 2. She subsequently converted to Catholicism in high school and graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, with a degree in chemical engineering, magna cum laude [LINK]

    The average white American child is going to have a hard time matching the academic achievements of the bilingual children of self-selected, highly driven immigrants who are disproportionately drawn from the Asian business and academic elite.

    1. As an educator, I meet the kids who rebel against tiger parenting. This isn’t a panacea.

  7. Not to mention the average black American child.

    Interesting angle, Cmike, and one not addressed by Bob, since his focus seems to be African American (brown) achievement in what is a Jim Crow society to this day, in my view. Your view on academic achievement stents into an almost new category, one of social science, but I think Bob certainly goes there at times.

    Not to make this a racial thing, but I think there are plenty of high-achieving youth throughout the human spectrum. The difference between those successful and those not, besides natural talent and inclination, seems to hinge on parental involvement.

    Now, I’m not sure about Tiger moms. I think they may not be a good example to follow for raising a child. In this age, the concept of child-rearing seems to be focused through a capitalist lens. Always has, but that’s one of the reasons capitalism sucks. It’s well-documented that schools, from public to University, are cutting back on the humanities and art, the things that make for a well-rounded education, because those things matter less than ever in this age.

    We need good public schools, which has been Bob’s focus of late (and lo these many years), period. Otherwise, we get a system which rewards the rich that can pay for it.

    Saudi Arabia, anyone?


    1. The arts aren’t only for well-roundedness. Where do you think creativity comes from?

    2. It'd be nice if the corporations (who, BTW, just got a massive tax cut) would pay workers enough so that only one parent needs to work--freeing the other parent for more involvement in their children's education. One can dream. More likely, not only will both parents need to work --many will need to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.

    3. Yeah, that'd be real nice. But then they'd have higher costs, thus higher prices, of those who pay less to workers. Then they'd go out of business. The labor market has been expanded and thus larger than the demand, therefore labor is less expensive. If you want one parent working households you need to reduce the labor market. Traditionally this was done by excluding people such as: Minorities, Women, Foreigners. Under current leftist thinking, this isn't going to happen.

      Another way may be to lower costs to maintain a household. Ways to do this generally include lowering standards of care. Such as: Lowering standards of car seats and age requirements, expectations of freedom for children to roam the neighborhood or play alone with each other without social services being involved or "facebook shaming", accepting that not having the latest video game or phone is OK, using older textbooks, disallowing excessively expensive students like the disabled or rowdy to drain school budgets.

      You guys want equality? Well, you're going to pay for it. What are you going to do? Bleed the billionaires? That will last like a couple years at most.

      "The population of billionaires rose by 145, or about 10 percent in 2016, to 1,542 billionaires, according to the report by UBS and PwC. The wealth held by those billionaires increased from $5.1 trillion to $6 trillion, according to the report."

      The federal budget is almost $4 trillion. OK, now what?

      If you want to get what you want, you have to exclude people. If you insist on equality, you want mediocrity. Simple as that.

    4. "Then they'd go out of business."
      Boo-hoo. If they can't afford labor costs, they don't have a good business plan, and they should go out of business.
      If there's enough value in the products/ services they sell, some smarter businessperson will come along who can make it work without stiffing their employees. If there isn't enough value in the products/ services they sell, they never should have been in business in the first place.
      Show me a businessperson who says they believe in the "free market", and I'll show you a businessperson who doesn't believe in the "free market".

    5. "If they can't afford labor costs, they don't have a good business plan, and they should go out of business."

      Hey, I feel the same way about illegal immigrants working illegally. There's quite a bit of that going on. Why has that issue been allowed to fester for the last 40 years?

      The arguments are that without cheap, illegal labor there would be food rotting in the fields! It's a job that Americans won't do. Well we don't know that because they are hiring people illegally and god knows what else. If these fat cat businessmen running the farms had to pay market wages to get the job done, then we'd have hundreds of thousands of more opportunities for American citizens to have work. And you're right, if they just can't pay enough, they should be allowed to fail.

      But hey, back to why that hasn't been done. If this issue can't be fixed, which has been happening for decades now, why in the world would anything else? Why haven't these super smart business men who can make it work without stiffing their employees rise to the top of the cream and put these penny pinchers, who aren't even just hiring cheap labor but explicitly ILLEGAL labor, out of business? Because it *doesn't* work. They even have long on the books laws and potential power of the federal government on their side to nail their illegal immigrant hiring competitors. Just doesn't happen! Why not?

    6. "Just doesn't happen! Why not?"

      For the same reason bankers and Wall Street financial firms paid no price* for their epic criminal fraud which crashed the world's economy. Something about how wrong it is to "criminalize success".
      It's a club, and we aren't in it.

      * The fines don't count. They're just passed along to the consumer, like every other business cost.

    7. "It's a job that Americans won't do."
      "...for the shitty pay being offered."

    8. "It's a job that Americans won't do."
      "...for the shitty pay being offered."

      That's pretty much my point. Despite it being blatantly illegal there are apparently millions of illegal immigrants willing to do work illegally and no one wanting to enforce it. We already have labor laws against this kind of thing. Nobody wants to do anything about it. Every good liberal and benefactor of the common man wants labor laws enforced right? *roll eyes*

    9. Is the only way to stop child labor laws from being broken to punish the child?
      I think there are other ways to deal with inequities of capitalism, without punishing women, minorities, foreigners or immigrants.

    10. "I think there are other ways to deal with inequities of capitalism, without punishing women, minorities, foreigners or immigrants."

      Such as...?

      The question of whether denying employment opportunities is "punishment" really is the crux of the issue. If you want a free world with no restrictions on employment due to nationality or ethnicity or age or whatever then you'll have a global race to the bottom. It will be extremely efficient but also exploitative. Try growing a garden without weeding: you'll have an extremely full and green plot but dandelions and crab grass taste like shit and aren't very good for you. You have to have discretion and be exclusionary.

    11. Dandelions were once delicacies eaten by the Victorian gentry, mostly in salads and sandwiches.

      As to crabgrass, hm, uh, well, you could try harvesting the seeds as a cereal.

    12. Denying employment opportunities isn'r "punishment". Putting a CEO in prison for breaking the law is "punishment".

    13. "Such as...?"

      Perp walk the Executive suites.

    14. "Perp walk the Executive suites."

      If we put them in "general population", we'll get the bonus of "prison reform", since they'll use their money to push back on the acceptance of prison rape and such.


    15. Jeez, this all seems to be in response to something I wrote. I’m not so foolish as to believe that’s true, given the comments.

      That being said, I’d like to amend something I wrote:

      “The difference between those successful and those not, besides natural talent and inclination, seems to hinge on parental involvement.”

      In terms of academic success, I forgot to add, “and, access to money.”

      I myself like the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) becoming real. But the wage-slavery model has taken full hold, and the rich won’t soon relinquish their grip on it. Too bad it’s actually invisible to most people, given our Puritanical belief that work for work’s sake is a virtue. And of course you can’t live without money, over which we have no control other than our ability to make it, adding to the societal pressure to work, work, work!

      Caesar, your link was a breath of fresh air. You know why dandelions exist.

      BTW, is a hot dog a sandwich? I still haven’t decided.


  8. “We liberals receive entertainment product every night of the week; it's presented as if it were news. By way of contrast, the interests of low-income kids never get discussed.”

    Well, let’s see here. Last time I checked, all our media/news/entertainment products were owned or run by plutocrats as FOR-PROFIT enterprises that strive to sell products to affluent consumers through advertising. Under such a business model, for obvious reasons, low income people do...not...EXIST. Honestly Bob, I don’t know how you could have remained so naive after all these years.

    1. Think about all the liberal idiots who don't realize it's an entertainment product. We're talking about most liberals. Millions of them.

    2. 2:12 PM,
      Most liberals I speak with realize it's "the propaganda arm of plutocrats". Conservatives tell me they think it's "liberal". LOL.

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