Sunday, April 04, 2004

A promising idea ... and trouble in Paradise,

According to CNN Bush has announced a long overdue overhaul of job retraining programs:

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States will be given more flexibility in designing job-training programs in return for meeting new accountability standards, the officials said.

"Innovation training accounts" also will be introduced that will give workers a stipend they can use to upgrade skills on their own, they said...

The changes will affect two federally funded programs that provide job training for adults and displaced workers, and train about 206,000 people a year.

The administration's goal is to increase that number to 412,000, at a cost of $550 million.

Of that total, $300 million would come from cost savings realized by streamlining and consolidating existing programs in the $4 billion work force investment system, the officials said.

The additional $250 million is part of an initiative Bush previously announced to increase funding to community colleges, where much of the nation's work force training takes place....

About 35 percent of the funding for job-training efforts, which are administered by state and local agencies, is consumed by administrative costs for complying with federal mandates and duplicative programs, the officials said.

Governors have complained about the rules, which are so complex that some potential training providers have decided not to participate, the officials said.

Bush will propose capping those administrative costs at 15 percent and simplifying the mandates so that states can meet the new limits, the officials said.

In return, accountability standards would be put in place to monitor whether people how receive training actually get a job, how long they keep it and how much they earn, the officials said.

Programs could include innovation training accounts, in which federal job training money would be given to people to pay for their own training if they meet eligibility requirements, the officials said.

***

This is something that the oldman likes - less bureaucratic regulatory hoops to jump through and more scrutiny and accountability reporting. We could have really used something like this in the past two years. However, better late than never. Two problems the oldman has with this is what happens if the money isn't realized from "streamlining" the other Federal programs? There ought to be a guarentee that the money will show up for these programs. The other problem the oldman has is that it's not enough to move our country on the economic restructuring path that it has to take.

As for trouble in Paradise, the original Biblical paradise of human origin is the Garden of Eden and was likely located as the epicenter of the origin of recorded human civilazation in Mesopotamia or better known as modern day Iraq.

However as Juan Cole reports, Shiite anti-US violence has rocked several cities in Iraq, and Washington Monthly reports that the CPA is more interested in political 'hype' and 'spin' than governance and policy execution in Iraq.

This as Juan Cole points out is a gross mismanagement of Iraq. Here is a poster from Iraq talking about them, and here is Collounsbury a blogger who is a finance guy in Iraq talking about the piss-poor execution of the American Administration there. Remember, Collounsbury only profits if things go well so if he's reporting that things are getting botched it's because it's frustrating his chance to make more money - in other words I find this more convincing than all the spin coming from the CPA put together. This site was first brought to my attention by the Canadian Empty days blog.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reports that Powell has actually admitted to the truth on WMD evidence shakiness.

While the oldman appreciates the willingness of the Administration to tell the truth eventually he would prefer it early on instead of the shabby and incompetent lies, and he would like the feel that proper policy in the Administration is the first goal of governance and not the last resort after all political spin and attempts to subvert policy to whacko agendas have already failed completely.

It's as if Rove were in the White House going again and again, "What?!?! Yet another hare-brained idea with no substance completely collapsed after it's been tested against the real world? And the spin has failed too, with the public finally beginning to catch on to the lies and even the moronic press finally catching on that we're not the good guys? Well I guess we should trot out those policy guys ... didn't one of them have a good idea how to handle this?"

Doesn't the White House ever learn? It is the credibility gained from taking care of necessities, that buys the freedom to implement discretionary programmes. If we're all honest, we'd agree that there is usually more than one way to get things done successfully. There being pro's and con's to each approach. Ideally, if such a word can be applied to politics, one demonstrates one's competence by "taking care of business" on the necessary items by acting sensibly, successfully, and with maximum public support. In return, the public extends its trust to allowing one to lead them into risky endeavours or promoting programs that will work among a variety of possible policy initiatives. Theoretically, again a word that either too much or too little depending on one's application, the contest of competence should be the measure of governing success and voter approbation.

Now in practice, people win in politics all the time by senseless rhetoric and demagogery. However, even those liars in the past realized that when push came to shove, they needed to put down real policy while selling themselves using lies or else everything would fall apart. Now we have the spectacle of an Administration so disconnected from reality that the reason why they're not lying is that they're too deluded to see reality, or correct their mistakes when confronted by obvious short-comings (MSNBC).

In this story, everyone does not laugh when they finally admit they see that the Emperor has no clothes because they can obviously see that the Emperor has no intention of admitting that he has no clothes on and his loyalists perfectly willing to smear, berate, or persecute anyone who states the perfectly obvious.

Iraq is not going well. I wish that our President would finally bend to reality and decide to send some guys who really knew what they were doing to handle Iraq. Like the jobs' program it's better late than never, and it's not too late though the hour is very late to turn things around there.

The oldman reiterates his offer to personally take charge, and full responsibility, for Iraq and clean it up himself to the White House. Not that there's much chance of that happening, but I get tired of waking up in the morning and getting pale because of the headlines and moreover the implications of them for America's future. America does not need a second Vietnam to haunt her for the next few decades. America needs all her credibility, moral authority, and successful vigor from successes to meet the challenges of the future.

If Bush can bring himself to admit that tax-cuts were not by themselves enough to reform the economy, perhaps he can still be brought to listen to reason and immediately start the true reconstruction of Iraq.

Throw away those advisers consouling you to "stick to your guns," Mr. President! Listen to people who actually care about this country, and are willing to put themselves on the line to see things done right! If you want to see your ideas carried out, you have to show that your Administration can get the job done for the American people! That means throwing away ideological arguments -and advisers- that will consoul you to implement foolish programs that have no chance of success! It also means, realizing that we have to take charge and do something different (YglesiasM) if we want the future to change as well. I thought personal accountability, like in the jobs reformation program, was supposed to be part of conservative ideas. Let's stop blaming the Iraqis and realize that we got ourselves into this situation by our own choice, and against the advice of many. We have to take responsibility now for making it go right (via Nathan Newman).

Listen to those of us in the grass-roots conservative base, and not just the big-donors and foaming-rabid neo-cons! Your legacy and the future of the country depend on you abandoning the flawed policies of the past and embracing those that can get the job done for this country! If you don't, then whoever wins in November (Instapundit) I fear our country may be set upon a course of no return.

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