Friday, April 26, 2019

Last Call For The Reach To Impeach, Con't

Democrats have a ways to go before the public will be convinced that Trump should be removed from office as opposed to wading through another election season.

Donald Trump's approval rating is essentially unchanged at a historically weak 39 percent after the release of the Mueller report, just three in 10 Americans accept the president’s claim to have been exonerated and 58 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the president lied to the public about the matters the special counsel investigated.

Nonetheless, support for impeachment is at a new low, 37 percent, in the national survey, albeit not significantly different from earlier this year. It rises to 62 percent among Democrats but falls sharply to 36 percent among independents and just 10 percent among Republicans. And while nearly six in 10 overall say Trump lied, there’s a closer division – 47-41 percent – on whether or not he obstructed justice.

The public overall appears cautiously supportive of the Mueller report, which Trump has characterized as “a total hit job.” Fifty-one percent in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, call the report fair and even-handed – just a bare majority, albeit far more than the 21 percent who say it’s unfair. Still, that leaves many, 28 percent, who are withholding judgment on whether Mueller’s report is fair or not.

While criticizing the report, Trump has claimed “complete and total exoneration” in its findings. Again the public’s response differs: Thirty-one percent say the report cleared Trump of all wrongdoing, almost entirely an ingathering of his political supporters. Many more, 53 percent, say the report did not exonerate Trump. An additional 16 percent have no opinion.

Americans know something is up, but the case against Trump has to be made cleanly and done correctly.  Televised hearings, loads of them, are the way to reach the country.  Democrats appear to be taking that route, and Trump is fighting every summons, every document request, and every subpoena.

Something's got to give and soon.

School Choice...Isn't

Democrats have a lot to answer for over the last 20 years when it comes to going along with Republican plans to destroy America's public education system, but nothing has been more of a detriment to America's kids getting a solid foundation than the abject stupidity of school choice.  It's failed spectacularly in Washington DC, it's failed in Ohio and Alabama and North Carolina, and it's failed miserably in San Francisco where the rich now have segregated enclave schools and millions of kids are left out in the cold with zero resources to compete.

For decades, the education mantra from presidential campaign trails to local school board elections has been the same: Your ZIP code should not determine the quality of your school. Few cities have gone further in trying to make that ideal a reality than San Francisco.

But as education leaders from New York to Dallas to San Antonio vow to integrate schools, and as presidential candidates like Joseph R. Biden Jr. are being asked to answer for their records on school segregation, San Francisco’s ambitious plan offers a cautionary tale.

Parental choice has not been the leveler of educational opportunity it was made out to be. Affluent parents are able to take advantage of the system in ways low-income parents cannot, or they opt out of public schools altogether. What happened in San Francisco suggests that without remedies like wide-scale busing, or school zones drawn deliberately to integrate, school desegregation will remain out of reach.

After families submit their kindergarten applications, ranking as many school choices as they like across the city, a computer algorithm makes assignments. Those from neighborhoods where students have scored low on state tests get first dibs at their top-ranked programs. Each child gets an address-based priority at one school, but it is considered only after those with test-score priority are offered seats.

The district had previously used busing to try to desegregate schools, under a 1983 agreement with the N.A.A.C.P. But a group of Chinese-American families sued in the 1990s, saying their children were being denied seats at elite campuses. The city settled the case by devising a choice-based enrollment process meant to be race-neutral but still achieve integration.

Research shows that desegregation can drive learning gains for students of all races. And on paper, San Francisco’s system showed promise. In recent years, it succeeded in breaking up racial concentrations at a handful of schools.

But over all, many parents and city leaders consider it a disappointment. The district’s schools were more racially segregated in 2015 than they were in 1990, even though the city’s neighborhoods have become more integrated, research shows. That pattern holds true in many of the nation’s largest cities, according to an analysis by Ryan W. Coughlan, an assistant professor of sociology at Guttman Community College in New York.

Segregation looks different in San Francisco than in other parts of the country. The district is one of the most diverse in the nation: 35 percent of students are Asian, 27 percent are Hispanic, 15 percent are white and 7 percent are African-American. Schools here are not racially monolithic. But over the past several decades, white, Asian and Hispanic students, on average, have been clustered in schools with more children of their own races.

While black children were slightly less racially isolated in 2015 than in 1990, that was largely a result of their lower enrollment in the district, Professor Coughlan said — a change driven by astronomical housing costs.

Putting all the onus of school choice on parents means the parents and families with resources are the ones able to put their kids in the best schools, just like America's college situation.  The result is a stacked deck against black and Hispanic kids for a lifetime and zero social mobility.  It's exactly what Republicans wanted, and more than a few Democrats too.

It was a disaster fated to happen, and we've wasted a generation on it.

Meanwhile In Bevinstan...

Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin is now the least popular governor in the US, and in the era of Trump that's really saying something.

Kentucky's Matt Bevin hasn't won many popularity contests after being elected governor in 2015.

His publicized fights with the teacher's unions over pensions and with people on social media has led to polls consistently ranking him as one of the least popular governors in the country.

Bevin for the first time snagged the bottom spot Thursday morning in a poll released by Morning Consult, a nonpartisan polling firm based in Washington, D.C.

The poll gives Democrats hope since Kentucky's Republican governor faces reelection campaign this year. Democrats will pick their candidate in a May 21 primary.

Kentucky Democrats in the past 20 years have lost both houses of the state legislature and all but one statewide office in Kentucky.

Morning Consult's poll of Kentucky voters showed 33% approved of Bevin while 52% didn't.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1%.

Only one other governor is above 50% disapproval, Rhode Island Democrat Gina Raimondo. Locally, other Republican governors in the Tri-State are doing much better.

It was a positive poll for Eric Holcomb, Indiana's governor. It indicated 49% polled approved of him while 22% disapproved.

As for Ohio, newly elected Republican governor Mike DeWine fared OK. The poll showed 44% liked DeWine while 26% didn't.

And this all happened before Bevin made an ass of himself again yesterday as his crusade to make Kentucky the biggest political cancer in the nation along with Mitch and Rand continues.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin reopened political wounds with Kentucky teachers on Thursday when he blamed their sickouts for the shooting of a 7-year-old.

During remarks to the Louisville Rotary Club at the Muhammad Ali Center, Bevin responded to a question about what can be done to stem gun violence.

More attention must be spent on looking at behavioral health and firearms safety as opposed to the government creating more gun regulations, Bevin said.

"One thing you almost didn't hear anything about while we had people pretending to be sick when they weren't sick and leaving kids unattended to or in situations that they should not have been in — a little girl was shot, 7 years old, by another kid," he said.

"Because they were somewhere that they weren't intended and because a parent didn't have any option, put them in a situation so that they could go to work, it left these kids in a compromised situation where they encountered a gun and there was not enough awareness."

The governor appeared to be referring to a March 12 shooting in the Shively area when a 7-year-old girl was shot by her 11-year-old brother inside their home while their guardian, their uncle, was outside, officials said.

Bevin's office did not respond to an email asking whether the governor was talking about that incident.

It is unclear whether the children attended Jefferson County Public Schools.

Blaming teachers for Kentucky kids killed in school shootings is a huge reason why Bevin is in the basement, but he keeps doing it.  Sadly, Kentucky Dems seem to be heading for another double-digit defeat to Bevin in November because they can't get their act together.

The Democrats vying to take on Republican incumbent Matt Bevin kept things mostly civil on Wednesday during the first televised debate in the Kentucky primary election.

But fireworks erupted after the one-hour discussion, moderated by "Hey Kentucky" host Matt Jones at Transylvania University, between Andy Beshear and Adam Edelen. They traded barbs over Beshear's representation the Boy Scouts of America six years ago, as it faces new allegations of sex abuse by its leaders.

"If the good thing that can come out of this is that fact that he feels badly about having represented pedophiles in his private practice, then I'm glad that he has come around. My regret is he took the case to begin with," Edelen told a group of reporters.

Beshear, the state attorney general, bristled at that accusation in an interview with reporters.

"He said what?" Beshear asked. "That is desperate, and I expected lies and distortions from Matt Bevin, but coming from a fellow Democrat – that's disappointing."

In 2013, Beshear was working for the law firm of Stites & Harbison, which represented the Boy Scouts in a case against two men who were abused by scoutmasters as minors in the 1970s.  

It's going to be a dismal primary, and whoever emerges from this dumpster fire next month will probably be too broken to beat Bevin.

 We'll see.


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