Another Reason Liberals Should Ditch Unions

Every time a conservative resists increasing funding on some additional social program (God help them if they’d actually cut), Democrats reliably trot out the underclass and play their ace card; “What about the children?” Whatever currency this bit of rhetorical manipulation has left will quickly disappear as stories like this percolate out of New Orleans.

Here’s an amazing article (also courtesy of Mickey Kaus) detailing how unions (and their liberal politician allies) are making the children of inner cities poor and stupid.

ROBERT THOMPSON wanted to give away $200 million to help children escape some of America's worst public schools. But for three years the successful businessman turned education philanthropist suffered the wrath of Michigan's Democratic establishment for his politically incorrect charter-school proposal. Then finally in August, Thompson found an ally willing to accept his charity. The nonprofit Skillman Foundation will join him in creating the first of 15 planned charter high schools in Detroit. The schools' goal is a "90/90 system"--that is, a graduation rate of 90 percent (up from the city's current 50 percent) and a college admission rate of 90 percent.

Officials reacted to Thompson's proffered $200 million not with gratitude but with rage. The Michigan Federation of Teachers urged a walkout, declaring a school holiday so that union members could march on the state capitol in protest of charter schools. State Democrats cowered before the union, while Detroit's politicians bristled at a white suburbanite's "meddling" in the city's affairs. Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick--whose own children attended a charter school--responded to Thompson's offer by saying, with a dismissive wave of the hand, "Let us make the rules, and if he can't abide by the rules . . "
Says Thompson, "We thought if we tried to do good things, people would appreciate it. I guess we were naive." Shunned and saddened, Thompson withdrew his offer in October 2003.
Yet he persevered. "I thought, How can you change the world a little bit?" he says. "You can't let those kids down. You've got to figure out how to do this."
The breakthrough came in March 2005, when he received a call from another rich businessman with a passion for Detroit's poor: ex-Pistons basketball star Dave Bing.
Bing's color was a powerful political asset for Thompson, and together they approached the Skillman Foundation, a black-run nonprofit that has long worked with Detroit's public schools. Even so, Bing and Skillman came under immediate fire from Detroit liberals.
A group named the Call 'Em Out Coalition gave Bing a "Sambo Sell-Out Award" at its annual dinner for partnering with a white businessman. The award was bestowed by Democratic City Council member Sharon McPhail. And the Detroit Federation of Teachers expressed its displeasure with Skillman by threatening to end its cooperation with the foundation on other city school projects.

Here's hoping...

Drudge has his little siren up. Looks like Delay is going to be indicted and it says he may have to step down from his leadership position.