Grandma’s hands

Andrew Aaron Ross Sorkin is such an unbelievable tool (I knew it was the NYT guy not the West Wing guy, I just messed up the NYT’s guy name):

He insisted that the pregnancy was a game changer for Hillary Clinton.

“It’s gonna change the dynamic of the campaign,” he said.

How exactly?

“It’s a softening, there’s a compassion thing,” Sorkin explained. “You don’t think that over the next two years on the campaign trail this is gonna be part of the narrative? Come on. That’s interesting.”

The other panelists did not find his observation interesting.

When even the sickeningly stupid cast of “Morning Joe” finds your facile horse-race theories ridiculous….

95 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    I thought the first stupid words on this subject would come from Fox; I guess I was wrong.

  2. 2
    Sly says:

    “It’s gonna change the dynamic of the campaign,” he said.

    How exactly?

    Just ask Vice President Grandma Palin.

  3. 3
    Aimai says:

    Oh for fucks sake.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Aaron Ross Sorkin is such an unbelievable tool:

    I find it very hard to believe that someone so unbelievable is significant enough a media figure to be on a talking head show.

    Oh, wait…that’s his primary qualification!

  5. 5
    David Hunt says:

    I believe that was Andrew Ross Sorkin. Granted Aaron Sorkin can be a bit of a tool as well…

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sly: WIN!

    Of course, Chelsea waited to get legal and get out of college and several other things before she got all naked with her spouse to make a baby, which we can’t say for any of the upstanding “Christian” children of Mooselini.

  7. 7

    Have to give a shout out to the Gil Scott Heron (RIP) reference in the title. Nicely done.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    Now, if it was Hillary who’d just announced her pregnancy …

  9. 9
    Librarian says:

    I think we can all agree that “game changer” is another phrase which should be permanently retired.

  10. 10
    Bill B says:

    Whenever you hear the word “narrative” from a pundit you know you’re dealing with a …pundit.

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    @Amir Khalid: We’d have to call her Sara.

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s not very Christian of Chelsea. How’s she going to be fruitful and multiply if she doesn’t start early?

  12. 12
    BBA says:

    Sorkin’s NYT section is quite possibly the most sycophantic venue in the financial media. And given that the mainstream financial media consists entirely of CEO bootlickers that’s quite an “accomplishment”.

  13. 13
    GregB says:

    Word is that Chelsea was inseminated with a dose of semen from Che Guevara which Hillary has kept hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar under her porch all these many years.

    The final plan is under way.

    Viva Hillary.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    @Emperor of Ice Cream:

    It was actually a shout out to Bill Withers!

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: Lies.

    Lenin’s semen. Or Hitler’s. They were both socialists, so it doesn’t really matter.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but Noisemax at it again:

    Ben Carson: Americans ‘Played’ by Those Who Divide

    Yes. Those who seek to divide the serfs from the 1% are evil, Ben!

  17. 17
    NonyNony says:

    “It’s gonna change the dynamic of the campaign,” he said.

    WTF is wrong with these people? It’s like they’ve never met an actual normal human being in their lives.

  18. 18
    Hunter Gathers says:

    And the 2016 campaign has officially begun. It is going to be so profoundly stupid that, by all rights, it should cause the end of existence. If it ends up being Bush V. Clinton, I’m going to demand that the planet be destroyed.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    You peoples’ lack of appreciation for the first grandchild in America’s Royal Family is shocking.

    Will we call it the Pumalet or what?

  20. 20
    carolannie1949 says:

    @Sly: Do you think Hilary will be hauling her whole family around like Palin did?

  21. 21
    Belafon says:

    Remember how long the Adams, Roosevelt, and Kennedy dynasties lasted?

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    The NYT has a weirdly mixed record on financial commentators. Some of the NYT columnists are excellent. But, OTOH, Ben Stein, no less, was an NYT financial columnist for a while– and it’s genuinely hard to come up with someone worse than Stein.

  23. 23

    Feel bad for Fetus, Husband, Chelsea, Hillary and Bill. They’ll go after Fetus and Chelsea like a mad dog after a ham.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    Hiphopandpolitics: A Tale Of Two Mothers In America In A Post Racial Society

    Catalina Clouser decided to get high and drove for 12 miles with her 2 month old baby on the roof of her car..By the time she realized her baby wasn’t in the car, it was too late.. The baby fell off and was found still in his car seat in the middle of busy freeway.. fortunately unharmed…Clouser was just sentenced and got probation.

    Shanesha Taylor was homeless and trying to get her life on better footing. She had a job interview and could not get anyone to watch her kids ages 2 yrs and 6 months , so she left them in the car, with window open and went inside to do her job interview.. This mom was arrested and charged w/ a felony, her kids were taken away.. Both women live in Arizona.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:


    and it’s genuinely hard to come up with someone worse than Stein

    . No it isn’t. Robert J. Samuelson. He’s still at it, which all by itself makes him worse.

  26. 26
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m not even sure I grok why political observers — well, this one, anyway — are getting all wee-weed up over Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy. I mean yeah she’s Bill and Hillary’s kid, but as far as anyone knows she’s not a political player herself, right? And as far as I know, Chelsea hasn’t made any noises about getting into the game.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Well, that’s the WaPo. The category “WaPo columnist” includes people who should be hauled up before international courts of law.

  28. 28

    @rikyrah: Leaving your kid on the car roof while high is “what those people do” and could have resulted in some Population Control of Undesirable Ethnicities, which the Arizona Klan/legal establishment (but I repeat myself) likes.

    A woman of color looking to improve her station is life is not to be tolerated, however.

  29. 29
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:


    …and it’s genuinely hard to come up with someone worse than Stein

    Robert Samuelson at the WaPo comes to mind.

  30. 30
    Gene108 says:


    I know the link can dial up the rage meter, but Taylor has not yet had her day in court and received a sentence.

    I’d like to know what Clouser was charged with initially and if she spent time in jail.

    It is not an apple’s to apple’s comparison.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:


    It’s like they’ve never met an actual normal human being in their lives.

    They might have met some normal people, but their interactions are mostly limited to stuff like ordering food or getting their hair done. That’s why Thomas Friedman is always talking about taxi drivers; they’re one of the few ordinary people he is alone with for long enough to have a conversation more detailed than explaining a service request.

  32. 32
  33. 33

    I am shocked that rumors or either Bill or Barack being the father have not hit the “mainstream” conservative sewage dispensers yet. It’s been almost twelve hours! These guys are not on their game anymore.

    EDIT: Just ain’t been the same since Drunken Cardiac Andrew left us.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    Over 30 comments, and nobody has yet pointed out that this is excellent news for John McCain?

    Our standards are slipping.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m not even sure I grok why political observers — well, this one, anyway — are getting all wee-weed up over Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy.

    Because they already know who the children of successful politicians are, so it takes minimal effort to follow them. Figuring out which politicians in state and local politics are movers and shakers who have a chance to become serious players is real work.

    Shorter: Shiny object is shiny.

  36. 36
    TooManyJens says:

    There are already wingnuts saying that Chelsea Clinton timed her pregnancy deliberately to help her mother’s campaign.

    I’m trying to make “preggers” happen as a label for these lackwits.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    @TooManyJens: How about ‘pruthers’ instead?

    Show us the long-form ultrasound!

  38. 38

    @TooManyJens: Who will be the first wingnut to come up with a nasty sexist and ageist insult for Hillary with the word grandma in it.

  39. 39
    Mike in NC says:

    Speaking of royalty, somebody has dreamed up a new reality TV show called “I Wanna Marry Harry”, where a parade of shallow young women are introduced to a Prince Harry lookalike, and then after being forced to humiliate themselves in various ways, the fake prince ultimately reveals to the ‘winner’ that he isn’t really a member of the British royal family! Sounds delightful.

  40. 40

    @MattF: Adam Davidson is another Wall Street fluffer who writes for the NYT.

  41. 41
    Gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    In a way, I think the GMILF fantasies right-wing men had about Palin were fairly derogatory, when discussing a person’s qualities that make you want to vote for her for national office.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Spawn of Satan.

    Incidentally, loved your “What the Fish” comment a few days ago.

    Hoping to use that to catch myself, in polite company.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:


    Yeah, Gil Scott-Heron is right out.

    “Grandma’s Hands.” (Nice background guitar by Stephen Stills.)

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    Pregnacy related thread? Dropping in my comment from a previous one: pregnancy as alternative lifestyle:

    Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag

    A new graphic memoir.

  45. 45
    chopper says:


    i dunno about the rest, but the addams family lasted only 2 seasons.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    Show me on the doll where grandma touched you.

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s a fairly common non-swear in Malaysian English. At least it was, some years ago.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    Willie Geist and Thomas Roberts are just fine.

  49. 49
    hitchhiker says:


    There are already wingnuts saying that Chelsea Clinton timed her pregnancy deliberately to help her mother’s campaign.

    Another shining example of how deep the disrespect for women goes with these people.

    The underlying assumption here is that women voters are so addled that they’ll be more likely to support a candidate who is a first-time grandmother than one whose only child is childless.

    That’s their version of the devious Clinton plan — to use Chelsea Clinton’s uterus to make her mother more appealing to those stupid female voters.

    You really couldn’t possibly overestimate how much they despise women.

  50. 50
    Belafon says:

    @hitchhiker: At least we’ll have a great retort: Yeah, cause having the daughter of the Vice Presidential candidate in 2008 pregnant helped the new grandma out so much.

  51. 51
    shelly says:

    How s it gonna change? The GOP is desperatley trying to paint Hillary as too old for 2016. Now they can add ‘grandma’ to the stew.

  52. 52
    Tommy says:

    Can I maybe be the first to say congrats Chelsea. I don’t know, until my brother and I my dad, grandfather and great father were single males. My family doesn’t have a lot of children. I don’t have any. When my brother and his wife found out she was pregnant we were giddy. How much my parents love being grandparents can not be underestimated. Heck how much I like being an uncle. Heading to the local flower shop later today to buy her the largest batch of flowers I can find to give her Sunday. I figure a little girl, even five, ought to have flowers on Easter.


    You really couldn’t possibly overestimate how much they despise women.


  53. 53
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Mike in NC: I saw a “prank” show a few months ago where the dumpy, unattractive male comedian/host conned all of these good looking women into thinking they were on some sort of “Bachelor” type reality show with him as the (allegedly filthy rich) bachelor. When he revealed the prank, they were not pleased. I probably should feel bad about laughing as hard as I did.

  54. 54
    J.D. Rhoades says:


    There are already wingnuts saying that Chelsea Clinton timed her pregnancy deliberately to help her mother’s campaign.

    I read this to my wife and she nearly hooted with derision. “No woman would want to be dragging through a campaign with an infant!”

  55. 55
    kindness says:

    Who knew there was a horse race between the NY Times & the WaPo trying to see who wins The Most Politico Like News Release title?

  56. 56
    Bob In Portland says:

    I would rather not have H. Clinton, considering she’s as much of a hawk as McCain, and a better inside player.

    Nevertheless, everything the Repubs and their enablers throw up is bullshit.

  57. 57
    Tommy says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: I don’t have children myself. But I am close with my brother and his wife. They planned to have a child. They will openly admit they had no idea how much work it would be and they looked into it. Pretty sure every second of everyday all they think about is Katie. Pretty sure it will be that way for them the rest of their lives. Having a kid to help a campaign is such bullshit I don’t know what to say.

  58. 58
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Sly: Possession of ladybits, or spawning offspring who possess ladybits, is a disqualifier for public office unless you’re part of the Teahad. Plus having the latter who repeat the process means you’re old which is also a disqualifier with the same exception.


  59. 59
    HelloRochester says:

    It’s pretty naive to believe that it won’t be exploited by Hannity/Rush et al to be sexist and ageist. It’s also pretty naive to believe that it won’t be exploited by Hills to show her soft human side because there’s no such thing as a positive Hillary won’t exploit.

    I’m un-pumped about the Hillary Inevitability Part II. I don’t like DLC-style third-way politics (we’ll protect abortion and hug a homosexual and continue to eff you in the a on every other pro-NotJustForRichAssholes policy). And I’m exhausted by the wingnuttery which will be turned up to These Go To 11 compared to President Obama. If John Kerry or Joe Biden is in the mix, I will be pretty psyched. John Kerry doesn’t care about making sure his family has money/dynasty when he’s done because they already do. And Joe Biden is like a warm hug and speaks to and acts for the middle class in a genuine way.

  60. 60
    Tommy says:

    @boatboy_srq: I keep thinking Republicans will never surprise me, and then they do. I am 44. Mom had me in her mid-20s. Tell her she is old and can’t do this or that and see how that works. Don’t these folks have moms?

  61. 61
    Patrick says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I would rather not have H. Clinton, considering she’s as much of a hawk as McCain, and a better inside player.

    I’ll vote for her as long as her surrogates don’t say stupid, ignorant stuff about Obama. Leon Panetta’s idiotic criticism of Obama while at the same time saying nice things about Hillary is just dumb, let alone has nothing to do with reality. The more of that crap that I hear, the more likely it is that I will simply vote for Donald Duck than Hillary.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    This is so ridiculous. If Chelsea is pregnant or has a baby then it’s all because of her mom’s campaign. If Chelsea didn’t get pregnant or have a baby then she’s distracting her mom by not having a baby or she’s a man-hating feminazi who refuses to have children, which is typical for Democrats. Or maybe she’s infertile which is her fault because she’s a Democrat and we all know they hate families and children and maybe if their women cared about “the family” more they wouldn’t have such problems conceiving.

    Seriously, no matter what Chelsea did or didn’t do, the wingnuts would find a way to spin it into some nefarious plot or personal failing or the fault of her parents and/or Democrats.

  63. 63
    KG says:

    @Belafon: the Kennedys still have members in government, though not as recognizable. And don’t discount the Bushs who have their fourth (or is it fifth?) generation entering politics. Or the Tafts who somehow still seem to pop up in Republican politics.

  64. 64
    danielx says:

    Andrew Ross Sorkin is such an unbelievable tool…

    You mean aside from being the Times’ semi-official Wall Street fluffer?

    Oh yes.

    Aside from that, congratulations to Chelsea and other than that, who cares besides media junkies and wingnuts?

  65. 65
    danielx says:


    Don’t these folks have moms?

    No. They have maternal breeder units.

    This has been another another edition of Simple Answers To Simple Questions.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:


    Possession of ladybits, or spawning offspring who possess ladybits, Anything is a disqualifier for public office unless you’re part of the Teahad.


  67. 67
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    It will make her appear softer? Does anyone else read the rank sexist subtext here? We start with defining Hillary by how feminine she is, move on to implying she is unfeminine and this is very bad and needs correcting, then whittles femininity down to something so simple that small changes in how successfully she has reproduced redefine her. It’s not just that he thinks it’s important, but how he thinks it’s important that reveals his prejudices. Is anyone else biting on this, or are the other courtiers just yelling ‘shiny!’?

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    Jay Rockefeller says “Hi”.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    Agreed. But in a political scene where commentators seize upon everything, I suppose even something as mundane as a young married couple having their first child can’t escape being seen as having some political significance. Even in the absence of any political connection whatsoever except through the unborn child’s grandparents.

  70. 70
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Lets break this down. Hillary’s kid, of child bearing age is pregnant. Married (although that shouldn’t matter). Pretty sure how our species stays around. If Jeb Bush’s kid or an Republican had a wife or daughter that was pregnant how I’d say anything else then congrats is beyond me. To campaign on this is such a foreign idea to me I can’t wrap my mind around it. I don’t expect anybody will directly, but they will let Rush and Hannity do it for them (wink and a nod).

    Also I should note why is this even news. Chelsea is pregnant. Maybe I am missing something, but pretty common of married women.

  71. 71
    scav says:

    I’m rather amused by the low bar of anything be a “game-changer” when the game is still securely in the future and in no way locked into any sort of form yet. I had pancakes for breakfast this morning, extra syrup. Gamechanger!

  72. 72
    Belafon says:

    @KG: True, but they’re not the Tudors. We’re still at the stage of our Democracy where you have to win the president; it’s not appointed to you.

  73. 73
    Another Holocene Human says:

    He’s nothing more than a political celebrity gossip columnist. He sounds like that guy from American Idol talking about how celebrity marriages affect their careers.

  74. 74
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Belafon: Are you kidding? The Tudors had to win the crown as well … much blood was spilled, my friend.

  75. 75
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @GregB: I don’t think I want to hear about vintage baby juice. Sounds like an Etsy craft gone wrong.

  76. 76
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @rikyrah: I saw that photo last night. I guess it’s getting tweeted around. Shocking.

    @Tommy: Anyone else being reminded of The Left Hand of Darkness when the wagon travelers are gossiping and sniggering about the King’s pregnancy?

    I’m tired of this obsession with royal babies. Caius Julius Caesar was married three times and nevertheless ADOPTED his heir, Caesar Augustus.

    So there.

  77. 77
    PurpleGirl says:

    I think a dynasty should mean more than two generations of a family.

    About those political dynasties: Kennedy is probably closet to a real dynasty with the 3 brothers in significant places, their children however have not been as successful in getting elected.

    I don’t count Roosevelt as a dynasty. Theodore R was elected twice, he did not a son but a daughter at time when women weren’t actively involved in politics. He was also a Republican. Franklin DR was a Democrat and a cousin of Theodore’s. He was a NYS governor before being president. He and Eleanor had a passel of children, but, IIRC, none of them ran for elected office, or if the did, weren’t elected.

    The true political dynasty seems to the Bushes and there are grandchildren and cousins there who want to be in elected office. So many other “dynasties” are often the father and son or cousin but no further down the line (Gore, Cuomo, Rockefeller). Some of these families are in local and state politics and not national.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    The essential point is that they are incapable of seeing Hillary in anything but a political context, generally a negative one. If she does anything, or if any member of her family does anything, they automatically interpret it as being part of her political scheming. They simply can’t imagine that Chelsea might get pregnant for such a mundane reason as wanting to have a family. It must be part of Bill and Hillary’s plan to get back in power.

  79. 79
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gene108: Really? You leave a baby on a car and all you get is probation? What about the poor kid? Did she lose custody? Doesn’t say.

    Whereas Ms. Taylor is arrested, her kids taken away, & so on when the kids were not even harmed. The officers had discretion to give her a warning or cite her and give her a court date without arresting her and taking the kids away.

    Gene, I think the Black community in Arizona know what they’re talking about. When injustice is done to you, you don’t forget. I could tell you about some incidents in North Central Florida … a lot of incidents. Florida is now famous for unequal justice–as it should be, because it is VERY unequal.

  80. 80
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @hitchhiker: You’re forgetting the original “convenient” pregnancy.

    Remember Whitewater?

    Hilary divested from that crap at a really good time. Now, according to her it was because she got pregnant and decided risky investments and baby were incompatible. But that’s just the sort of thing she would say, wouldn’t she?

  81. 81
    JoyfulA says:

    @Amir Khalid: Grandparents on both sides. Chelsea’s mother-in-law is Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky, of Clinton budget fame, who after a decade break is running to return to Congress;* Chelsea’s father is making speeches for MMM at fund-raisers. Chelsea’s father-in-law is a retired congressman from a different state.

    *She’s the most conservative of the four Democrats running to succeed Allyson Schwartz, who is running for governor.

  82. 82
    Bob In Portland says:

    DougJ, do you have a big record collection?

  83. 83
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Roger Moore: Yep. It is the clinton narrative. They never do anything unless it is to secure power or distract from a “scandal.” It’s how the press corp interpreted every news story for eight years while they were in office. It’s how the right wing noise machine controlled the narrative and made sure the Democrats could never control it. Hillary could have given a speech about how children need good food, and the press would find some way to not talk about starving children, but talk about semen on a dress.

  84. 84
    cokane says:

    I kind of think he might have point. Pretty telling though the moment where they talked about the celebrity nature of politicians. It’s basically how everyone at that table covers politics, the same way inside edition covers hollywood.

  85. 85
    shortstop says:

    Hillary probably rues being such a terrible mother to Chelsea, what with the working in a law firm and not leaving Bill when he fucked around and so forth, although of course he wouldn’t have fucked around on her if she’d been a real woman and put a little eye makeup on once in a while and stopped having lesbo affairs with women and Vince Foster. So obviously she thinks grandmotherhood is a second chance for her to prove she has maternal instincts and is all loving and shit, but I don’t think America’s gonna fall for that after all the balls she broke as secretary of state. Plus Benghazi. If she’s old enough to be called “Nana,” or “Nana Rodham,” as she’ll probably insist, she’s too old to be president. She planned this stunt pretty well timing-wise, but what I say is, do we want the weight of the free world resting on shoulders that have spit-up on them?

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    This has nothing to do with Chelsea’s baby, but I just think it’s a great little story.

    Shortest strike ever:

    A strike at a Toledo auto parts supplier that threatened to disrupt production of the Jeep Cherokee ended Thursday about eight hours after it started.
    Workers at Piston Automotive on East Alexis Road walked out of the plant around 9 a.m. Thursday to protest what they said was the company’s refusal to recognize union authorization cards. Officials with the United Auto Workers said the cards showed there was overwhelming support to unionize the plant.
    As of 5 p.m., employees of the minority-owned firm were heading back to work after the company’s president agreed to recognize the cards and promised no retribution would be taken against anyone who went on strike.

    The plant is an important supplier for Jeep, and having the plant shut down for any significant length of time would likely stall Jeep production. There were reports that Cherokee production was affected by the strike, but only temporarily.

    Well then! That was easy enough! :)

  87. 87
    shortstop says:

    @Kay: Ah, that company must supply the Jeep plant Romney lied about moving to China in the latter days of the campaign. I was canvassing in Toledo when all that went down. People on the street (okay, at their doors, which they opened when I knocked) were pissed at that falsehood.

  88. 88
    Kay says:


    The Famous Lie. In Defiance, Ohio.

    I got calls after that rally where people told me he had buses to bring “supporters” in.

    I was laughing so much, because I don’t know if it’s true or not that he “bused people in” but I love that people called me to tell how dastardly he was.

    There were all these “bus” rumors about both Obama and Romney. Romney was “busing in” supporters for rallies and Obama was “busing in” voters on election day. I kept picturing this fleet of buses, traversing the state.

  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:


    I kept picturing this fleet of buses, traversing the state.

    The only place you can picture them is in your mind, because they’re invisible in real life. Otherwise, one of the people who talked about them would have some photographic evidence.

  90. 90

    @Kay: What did you think of David Brooks piece on Common Core in NYT this morning?

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I thought it was sneering, insulting and lazy.

    Here’s a NY principal who takes her work seriously and isn’t an over-paid, phone-it-in hack like David Brooks:

    I’d like to tell you what was wrong with the tests my students took last week, but I can’t. Pearson’s $32 million contract with New York State to design the exams prohibits the state from making the tests public and imposes a gag order on educators who administer them. So teachers watched hundreds of thousands of children in grades 3 to 8 sit for between 70 and 180 minutes per day for three days taking a state English Language Arts exam that does a poor job of testing reading comprehension, and yet we’re not allowed to point out what the problems were.
    This lack of transparency was one of the driving forces that led the teachers at my school to call for a protest rally the day after the test, a rally that attracted hundreds of supporters. More than 30 other New York City schools have scheduled their own demonstrations.
    I want to be clear: We were not protesting testing; we were not protesting the Common Core standards. We were protesting the fact that we had just witnessed children being asked to answer questions that had little bearing on their reading ability and yet had huge stakes for students, teachers, principals and schools.

    My school wasn’t an experimental site (they’re testing the test in Ohio) but I’m on this school advisory board now so I asked teachers about what they thought. They have all kinds of opinions, but they have clearly THOUGHT about it. Mostly, they like the standards but they are very (rightfully!) wary of yet another standardized test regime. I agree with them. I’m wary of another standardized testing scheme. It’s been more than a decade now of test, test and more test. Enough already with these tests.

    For Brooks to dismiss all those earnest people I have now met and read as a “circus” is just incredibly patronizing and disgusting. I am so, so sick of these know it alls who do no work yet know everything about the work that other people do. Why doesn’t he shut up for once and listen to what they’re saying? WTF does he know about education anyway?

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You know, I have to say, too, all of the adults who are pushing these tests never sat for a high stakes test in 3rd grade.

    Not one of them. I think some humility and compassion is called for here, and they should drop the tough-guy act they’re affecting with third graders, and stop telling them to suck it up. David Brooks wasn’t sitting for 3 day tests in 3rd grade, and neither was any other adult in this country. It’s real easy to tell someone else to suck it up. David Brooks was probably carefully coddled and encouraged when he was 9 years old.

    I love the demands for “accountability!” and “rigor!” from the most privileged, pampered adults on the planet. Give me a fucking break.

    The 9 year olds may do okay, but none of the adults have any idea what it’s like. Maybe they could resist the urge to deliver stern lectures to other (very small!) people? I’d be embarrassed to do that if I were them.

  93. 93
    mai naem says:

    I was watching Mornin Ho when they were talking about this. I actually didn’t think Andrew Sorkin said anything awful and it seemed like it was the others on the panel who jumped on him when his comment was just a throwaway comment. The way I took what he was saying was that Hillary would look a little softer with her grandchild(which she will.) The GOP and the media in general have always portrayed Hillary as a super strong, possibly gay, in control, Type A personality. Having her seen with a grandkid will change that. So what? I don’t see this as much different than when you hear male elected officials(esp. ones who are in trouble) in literature and other campaign stuff with their family.

    Also too, Andrew Sorkin is for sure a fluffer but there are way bigger fluffers than Sorkin – Kudlow,Kernen, Kavuto. Not to sound sexist but Maria Bartiromo appears ready to give almost any Big Corp CEO a blow job when she’s interviewing them.

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    J R in WV says:


    I was born in a small WV coal town in 1950. I went to a wooden school with the children of miners and workers.

    We took standardized tests back then. Not every year, but for sure 3 or 4 times in grade school. It was a big deal, learning how to use those #2 pencils to fill in the circles for the answer you guessed was correct.

    I don’t know if people forget that these tests were around back then, or hated it so much they’re blocking the memory or what.

    But standardized tests in public schools have been around a lot longer than people seem to be allowing for. A long time!

    I’ll be the first to agree that 3 days is way excessive, and gagging teachers on a test that they administer seems both stupid and illegal.

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    Kay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Yeah, I hear this all the time and it’s not comparable. I have kids fifteen years apart and it’s much worse than it was even a decade ago.

    This isn’t the Iowa Test of Basic skills. It’s near-constant assessment and data collection and analysis. The CC tests alone are two huge test blocks every year. My fifth grader is “assessed” constantly. It’s driving every decision made in his school. The tests ate everything, and they’re voracious beasts. The schools, teachers and students are evaluated based on the tests.

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