Obama: On second thought, let’s make community service for students voluntary

posted at 12:54 pm on November 8, 2008 by Allahpundit

If one day of carping in the blogosphere is enough to get The One to reverse himself, maybe we can work with this guy after all. The Change.gov plan as of yesterday:

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

And, via Sweetness & Light, the Change.gov plan as of this afternoon:

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.

Interesting that he suddenly decided to slap a number on the program, too. Read Tom Blumer for a back-of-the-envelope analysis of what it could cost and what kind of bureaucracy, potentially, we’re looking at here. The feds already oversee millions of student loans so there’s presumably plenty of institutional knowledge already available to phase this in. Exit question: Why the sudden turnaround? Had they really not thought this through before putting it online, or do they have no real intention of making it happen and are happy to play with the rhetorical particulars so long as it keeps people off their backs?


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Bwahahahaha. The now infamous Change.Gov has scrubbed its agenda.

The original agenda found in a Google cache is here. (h/t ACE)

The new agenda is only two short paragraphs, here.

History always begins this morning for liberals

-Ann Coulter.

Except Stalin didn’t have screen shots to bring us back to yesterday.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 9:02 AM

You elect a matinee idol mayor president, and you get a musical comedy administration

— Robert Moses on John V. Lindsay, two weeks after the start of his disastrous reign as New York City Mayor (quote adjusted to fit the current president-elect)

The thing to remember about the big media outlets is, if all these flubs, gaffs and policy corrections/confusions become standard operating procedure for the Obama Administration, they will report it, while at the same time offering up excuse after excuse for the problems.

And, of course, they’ve already endorsed him for re-election in 2012.

jon1979 on November 9, 2008 at 11:35 AM

The schools are secured so that only those that have a legitimate reason to be in the school are allowed in. How would they insure that the children are safe?
Franklyn on November 8, 2008 at 9:28 PM

Good point. They can’t. The implications of your point are clear — in order to prevent bad scenarios, the social service must either occur in the presence of parents, or in the presence of “cleared” personnel.

As a result, the potential costs (either reimbursed or unreimbursed) are clear as well. Furthermore, Obama can claim all he wants that his idea was a voluntary program (and hence all the risk was voluntary too), but the moment some child’s molestation while performing community service is made public, the discussion we are having here will become a public one in the “real” media — that same media which has failed us so outstandingly up to now.

unclesmrgol on November 9, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Meh I don’t see what the big deal is.

crr6 on November 8, 2008 at 1:56 PM

No one needed another reminder that you’re an imbecile.

$82 billion – minimum – for a socialist-trainee program. Glad we elected this twit because of the economy.

Jaibones on November 9, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Well, well, well. Barry may have scrubbed the word “require” from his Change.Gov website, in Remarks of Senator Barack Obama – A Call to Serve Wednesday, December 5, 2007 Mt. Vernon, IA” he said:

We’ll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we’ll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities. At the community level, we’ll develop public-private partnerships so students can serve more outside the classroom.

Yep, as predicted, schools who refuse to obey will be denied federal funding, and we parents will be at Chairman Obama’s mercy.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 5:58 PM

I don’t doubt that Rahm Emanuel is well-endowed with brain cells. He’s brilliant like an evil scientist is brilliant and the Obama agenda is Frankenstein’s monster.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 8:15 AM

Sorry – I was referring to Obama, not Emanuel. I don’t recall anyone, ever, referring to Emanuel as brilliant. He’s just a vicious little partisan ballerina.

Oddly, though, I swear I heard Michael Medved praising this appointment the other day. Didn’t stick around for the explanation.

I live in Chicago; I know this maggot; Medved doesn’t. Can’t imagine what he’s talking about. I swear he called him a “centrist”. Heh. His voting record in his short time in the House looks exactly like the post-partisan Obama’s.

Jaibones on November 9, 2008 at 6:02 PM

A poor choice of words, perhaps, or a slip where he reveals his true intentions? This is from Chairman Obama’s campaign website.

BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN FOR UNIVERSAL VOLUNTARY CITIZEN SERVICE

And the Corps will draft parents, grandparents, college students or community members to mentor and provide one-on-one assistance to students, and assist
with classroom activities under the direction of teachers.

But you do have a choice. If you can’t manage to enlist your child in involuntary servitude during the winter, he’ll take them during the summer:

Obama believes that middle and high
school students should be expected to engage in community service for 50 hours annually during the school year or summer months.

Barry, think of my kid as being like a gun. “I’ll give you my gun kid when you take it him from my cold, dead hands!”

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 6:16 PM

Jaibones on November 9, 2008 at 6:02 PM

I’ve been doing some research on The Kibbutz, something Rahm of the dual-Israeli passport is no doubt inspired by. We often hear that universal pre-K is a wonderful thing because it “prepares children for school”. Much of this romanticizing comes from studies which claim to illustrate that children raised on a Kibbutz go on to lead wonderful careers.

Here’s a little history:

In the 1920s kibbutzim began a practice of raising children communally away from their parents in special communities called “Children’s Societies” (Mossad Hinuchi). The theory was that trained nurses and teachers would be better care-providers than amateur (and busy) parents. Children and parents would have better relationships due to the Children’s Societies, since parents would not have to be disciplinarians. Also, it was hoped that raising children away from parents would liberate mothers from their “biological tragedy.” Instead of spending hours a day raising children, women could thus be free to work or enjoy leisure.

And

In the 1920s kibbutzim began a practice of raising children communally away from their parents in special communities called “Children’s Societies” (Mossad Hinuchi). The theory was that trained nurses and teachers would be better care-providers than amateur (and busy) parents. Children and parents would have better relationships due to the Children’s Societies, since parents would not have to be disciplinarians. Also, it was hoped that raising children away from parents would liberate mothers from their “biological tragedy.” Instead of spending hours a day raising children, women could thus be free to work or enjoy leisure.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Woops. This is the second paragraph I was trying to copy:

Children’s Societies were one of the features of kibbutz life that most interested outsiders. In the heyday of Children’s Societies, parents would only spend two hours a day, typically in the afternoon, with their children. In Kibbutz Artzi parents were explicitly forbidden to put their children to bed at night. As children got older, parents could go for days on end without seeing their offspring, other than through chance encounters somewhere in the grounds.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2008 at 6:29 PM

Dem stock will trend down like the NYSE will for two years, then the grownups will take back the car keys and take the car to the shop for repairs. Junior will be grounded for a few years and forced to read some good books.

Akzed on November 10, 2008 at 9:06 AM

how dare students be forced to do service when they should be buying guns eating cheetos and playing Halo!

lolwut on November 10, 2008 at 9:59 AM

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