Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Audacity of Power-Hungry First Ladies

The Nut:
The low rumble is quickly becoming a loud roar of requests that Hillary Clinton abandon her candidacy and surrender the nomination contest to Barack Obama. More and more pundits are calling for her exit from the race. UNM First Lady Janet Schmidly made a power grab forming an organization for the parents that pay the big bucks for their UNM students. She gets a salary for controlling this board of parents as well as a vote with the Board of Regents. The only real reason for the group’s existence that was given was “Because of the money that is spent.” The real significance of Bill Richardson’s endorsement: no one is talking about that Reverend guy any more. What was his name, anyway? You don’t have to listen to Limbaugh to hear Hillary get bashed apart.

The Audacity of Hopelessness

What will be the triggering event to set up the farewell speech for Hillary Clinton? Will it be a surprise loss in Pennsylvania? How about a resounding defeat in North Carolina? Or is it going to be a hot scandal so filthy the Drudge Report won’t have a font big enough for it.

Pick a date and place a bet, it’s just a matter of time. Another drove of pundits join in the call for Clinton to accept the harsh reality of defeat every day. Who would you like to hear tell you that it’s over and it’s time for Obama to start searching for a VP. How about NY Times columnist David Brooks? He calles it the 5% chance. The NY Times Caucus Blog says 'Hillary needs Obama to suffer a political collapse akin to the sub-prime mortgage market -- a view shared by aides in both campaigns.' And Adam Nagourney furthers this thought and points out that this kind of collapse would cripple the Democratic Party heading into the general election.

Its probably all just the NY Times editorial board conspiring against the Clinton family, I’m sure she’ll be just fine and prove them all wrong.


. . . More like the UNM-PA. The professors know they have better things to do than get stuck running in circles with uppity parents and their grand ideas to perfect the University. But that’s not stopping UNM First Lady Janet Schmidly from redefining the meaning of “Everyone’s a Lobo” with a fat handful of a power grab.

Continuing in a dangerous downward spiral, UNM has again demonstrated that the University is not ready to allow adult students to attend school and live an autonomous life. Instead of allowing UNM students to begin to venture into the real world, Janet Schmidly and this new parents organization has extended that magically bubble of high school on through college.

First, don’t question whether it is helpful or harmful to increase parental involvement at the university-level. This is a power grab and an ugly one at that. UNM President David Schmidly’s wife, Janet Schmidly’s wife found a method to get have a stronger position with the Board of Regents and get a little stipend along the way. She has devised a method to ease the solicitation of contributions and build her some political support in the university community.

All of the motivation can be summed up in one quote from Janet, "Because of the money that is spent and the love of their children, parents want to be a part of the university experience, as well. A parents association gives them that power." Its too bad parents can’t appreciate giving their child an education for what it is and they need to have a role and power to feel good about their investment.

Ok, now let’s examine if UNM’s students need their parents peering over their shoulder just like they did in high school. Its just brings tears to your eyes to see a state university not trust their students enough to allow them some space to screw up and learn a few lessons the hard way. Instead they have proclaimed they will never trust any student any further than they could throw one.

Pop Quiz: Do your parents have access to your transcripts and student record? Answer: No. Why: Because 99.99% of you were a legal adult when you began your degree (let alone six years later when you landed that B.U.S.) and it is your degree, not your mother’s, not your father’s, not your dead grandfather that endowed the education. High school has the training wheels of parents and counselors and over-bearing teachers to hold the student’s hand all the way through. High school is the time for intervening before students screw up in unimaginable manners. And there is a time and a place for everything . . . say it all together, its called college.

In college, mom isn’t there to throw you out of bed and on to the bus. In college, mom isn’t there pestering you about completing homework assignments and preparing for tests. If you want to be a full-on worthless lush who does nothing, you absolutely can. And if this just happens to lead to failure, then that is exactly what the student receives.

The average age of a student at UNM is 26 (26.45 if you want to be a dick about it) Will the average 26 and a half year old’s mother be joining Janet for this parents’ club? Will PhD candidates’ parents also be involved? What if the student is paying for all of his or her tuition, will he or she then have the power that the parent’s would have had? After all, this board was created because the parents wanted to have some form of instant gratification for the checks they write to UNM. If the parents aren’t paying anything, where do they buy in to this whole process? The board is made up of 19 members, how helpful can they be to the 20,000 undergrads?

There are good ways and bad ways for parents to be involved with their child’s education. A PTA-like organization for a college is not on the side of good. It is a good thing UNM still stands for University Near Mom -- she won’t have to travel too far to help improve the university experience.

Wait, what were we talking about?

Enough of the ranting, let’s all enjoy a hearty laugh from the bottom of our bellies at the expense of Campaign Clin-ton. In all of the fun media pundits have had debating the significance and impact of Bill Richardson’s endorsement, they overlooked the true consequence of his action. Through the light news weekend, his saturation of the political coverage helped America forget about the last man that was stood up next to Obama. Clinton has tried to rekindle the smothered flame of the Rev. Wright scandal to no avail. Its dead and forgotten and was handled masterfully by the Obama campaign.

Instead of worrying about what a passionate black preacher was saying on Sundays, people are now outraged at Hillary’s bold faced lies about her trip to Bosnia. She described her journey to the region a year after the war had ended as a harrowing adventure through sniper fire. The video cameras that were trained on her and Sheryl Crow as they comfortably strolled through the former war zone told a much different and more accurate story.

Clinton has apologized for ‘misspeaking.’ Translated into real terms, a direct admission like that so quickly is a full acknowledgement that she was caught in a lie and there was no where to go. Damn those media! They’re always there at all the wrong times covering your politically-inspired trips to former war zones to burnish your foreign policy credentials.

There’s so much more. Big Bill’s Easter weekend media bonanza created a kink in the line and there’s all kinds of top-notched ridiculousness still to come. Can you guess which convicted murderer is running for Congress? Barack Out With My Cock Out will have the answer to that as well as coverage of the movie Hillary doesn’t want you to see or me to promote.

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