Monday, July 13, 2020

Last Call For Trump Gets Schooled

California calls the Trump regime's cards on cutting federal funding to schools that do not open classrooms for in-person teaching, as both Los Angeles and San Diego school districts say they will go to online only courses this fall.

California’s two largest public school districts said Monday that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers.
The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, which together enroll some 825,000 students, are the largest so far in the country to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August.
More than a third of California’s coronavirus cases are in Los Angeles County, and San Diego County has had 18 community outbreaks over the past week, more than double the state’s acceptable threshold.
“There’s a public health imperative to keep schools from becoming a petri dish,” said Austin Beutner, the school superintendent in Los Angeles.
The joint announcement came as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continued to press the Trump administration’s case to quickly reopen public schools, not only for students’ social and emotional development, but also to allow parents to return to work fully.
In television appearances over the weekend, she downplayed both the virus and the school reopening guidelines issued by the administration’s own public health officials. “I think the go-to needs to be kids in school, in person, in the classroom, because we know for most kids, that’s the best environment for them,” Ms. DeVos said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She also reiterated the administration’s stance that guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deeming in-person classes the “highest risk” option were not mandatory. President Trump threatened last week to cut off federal funding to schools that did not reopen their campuses.
The recommendations from the president and Ms. DeVos have been disputed by many public health officials and teachers. On Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and AASA, the School Superintendents Association issued a statement saying that reopening recommendations should be “based on evidence, not politics.”
The groups added that “we should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.”
In the Los Angeles and San Diego districts’ joint statement, they noted that research is incomplete and recommendations have been contradictory.
But “one fact is clear,” the statement said. “Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.”

The bigger problem is that COVID-19 is spreading in 48 of 50 states right now, and New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are all getting close to reversing that progress.  Only Maine and New Hampshire are seeing fewer cases right now.

We'll see if Trump and DeVos move to punish school districts, but I doubt they will, hell I doubt they even can, legally.

Stay tuned.

Biden, His Time Con't

CNN's Harry Enten has seen enough Texas polls to consider the Lone Star State in play for Joe Biden in 2020.

New CBS News/YouGov polls show President Donald Trump is in trouble in three states he won in 2016. He's tied with former Vice President Joe Biden in Arizona (46% to 46%), a state he won by four points in 2016. Trump's down 48% to 42% in Florida, a state he took by a point in 2016. 
But it's the third state, Texas, where the eye popping result comes from. It's Trump 46% to Biden's 45%, a result well within any margin of error.

It's pretty clear looking at the data that Texas is a swing state in the 2020 election. The 2020 campaign could be the first time Democrats captured the Lone Star State in a presidential election since 1976. 
The CBS News/YouGov poll is not an outlier over the last month. There have been eight polls released publicly since the beginning of June. The result is that Biden and Trump are basically tied, with Biden up by a mere 0.3 points in Texas. 
Importantly, and unlike in other states, the polls in Texas have not overestimated Democrats over the last few cycles. If anything Democrats actually slightly outperformed their final polls in the 2016 presidential race and 2018 Senate races.
Things may change the closer we get to the election, but Texas really is competitive at this point. 
Texas has gotten progressively more competitive during Trump's time as a candidate and officeholder. A big statewide victory has eluded Democrats, though many races have come within single digits for the first time in a generation. In fact, the state seemed, if anything, to move to the left in 2018, as Democrats were able to achieve wins in some key congressional races.

A Biden win would be a manifestation of that trend on the statewide level.
Four years ago, Hillary Clinton lost Texas by nine points. She was the first Democratic presidential candidate to lose the state by only single digits since the 1990s.

If you look nationally, you see Biden is up about 10 points compared to Clinton's two point popular vote win. If you shift the Texas result by eight points, he should be down just a point to Trump. 
There are reasons to think that Biden could be doing even better than this eight point shift would imply. 
In 2018, Democrat Beto O'Rourke came within three points of knocking off Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. It was the best Democratic performance in a Texas Senate race since 1988. 
It wasn't just O'Rourke who came close. The Democratic candidates for attorney general and lieutenant governor finished within five points of their Republican opponents.
As I noted last year, the reason the Democrats are doing so well in Texas is a shift among college educated white voters. You see this best in the suburbs of Austin, Dallas and Houston, where O'Rourke did disproportionately better than the Democratic Senate did six years prior. 
Indeed, Texas' white voter population is very well educated. One calculation by the New York Times' Nate Cohn reveals that a little more than 42% of the 2020 likely white voters in Texas have a college degree. That's 13th highest in the nation and the most of any state Trump carried in 2016.

As the old adage goes, Texas isn't a red, blue, or purple state.  It's a non-voting state, with basically the lowest turnout of any of the ten most populous states at 51.1% in 2016. (interestingly enough, New York is almost just as bad but its larger urban percentage tilts it towards the Dems, although it does explain how Republicans keep ending up as governor.)

Basically if Texas's turnout was higher, it would be a blue state.

Having said that, while I appreciate Texas is in a unique position in 2020, overlooking Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin again will prove fatal to a Biden win, Texas or no. Yes, a Texas win will break Trump's back, but if it comes at the expense of those three states, Trump comes out ahead with 43 electoral votes compared to Texas's 38. Trump *would* have to capture either Nevada, Minnesota, or New Hampshire and run the table on all the other swing states, but it's not a guaranteed Biden win.

I appreciate that Texas is genuinely in play.

But Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan are where Biden and his team need to be concentrating on right now, and throughout the election.

Besides, the amount of voter suppression shenanigans in Texas will almost guarantee a Trump win there.  Better to carve a path through the Rust Belt, and then move to put Trump away for good.

Right now, Biden's lead in WI, MI, and PA aren't too much larger than Texas.

The Regime Goes Viral, Con't

With it becoming clear that COVID-19 management by the Trump regime has failed completely and that tens of thousands, and most likely hundreds of thousands more will die from the virus between now and Election Day, the regime in the last 48 hours has sharply shifted towards blaming Dr. Anthony Fauci and offering him up as a sacrificial scapegoat.

The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings in the U.S. coronavirus response.

In a remarkable broadside by the Trump administration against one of its own, a White House official told NBC News on Sunday that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." To bolster the case, the official provided NBC News with a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci earlier in the pandemic that the official said had ultimately proven erroneous.

Among them: Fauci's comments in January that coronavirus was "not a major threat" and "not driven by asymptomatic carriers" and Fauci’s comment in March that "people should not be walking around with masks."

It was a move more characteristic of a political campaign furtively disseminating "opposition research" about an opponent than of a White House struggling to contain a pandemic that has already killed more than 135,000 Americans, according to an NBC News tally.

As I've long predicted, Dr. Fauci has now become the opposition, the Enemy, and will now be treated as such. And the regime always needs new Enemies.

Fauci, who runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and a key communicator with the public about the virus until the president soured on Fauci's sober assessments of the situation, which have increasingly conflicted with the more sanguine picture of a virus in retreat that the president has sought to paint.

In recent days, Fauci has deviated from Trump by disputing that the U.S. is "doing great" and faulting the decision in some states to re-open too quickly and sidestep the task force's suggested criteria for when it's safe to loosen restrictions. In one particularly alarming prediction, Fauci said he would not be surprised if the U.S. was soon adding 100,000 new cases per day— a figure that would reflect an abject failure to slow the spread.

Fauci declined to comment on the White House's attacks.

The White House effort to cast doubt on Fauci's judgment comes as coronavirus surges nationwide, which Trump has repeatedly downplayed as a result of increased testing rather than increased infections. Florida on Sunday reported over 15,000 new cases, the most any state has reported in a single day since the pandemic began. The U.S. on Friday also surpassed 70,000 new coronavirus cases nationwide for the first time ever.

As physicians and scientists have learned more about the novel coronavirus, the medical consensus on how to treat the virus and limit its spread has evolved — and not just in the U.S. Many of Fauci's assertions called into question by the White House official were based on the best available data at the time and were widely echoed by Trump, other members of the task force and senior White House officials.

"When you learn more, you change those recommendations," Surgeon General Jerome Adams, another member of the task force, told CBS News on Sunday. "Our recommendations have changed.”

I expect Jerome Adams and Dr. Deborah Birx will become the new government faces leading the "new" response, while Fauci is reassigned or demoted, or is driven to resign. At this point he may even be fired outright.

We'll see how long Fauci lasts, but the White House is clearly trying to lay the groundwork for his imminent departure from the government.

Meanwhile, lockdowns are coming, and they need to come sooner rather than later.

Houston leaders are calling for another lockdown as the number of active cases of the coronavirus in the county increased to more than 27,600 on Sunday. Houston's Harris County — the most populous county in Texas — has been the hardest-hit in the Lone Star State.

"Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalization curve comes down, not just flattens," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted Sunday. "Many communities that persevered in that way are reopening for the long haul. Let's learn from that & not make the same mistake twice."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who had previously resisted a mask order in the state, warned Friday that the state would need to lockdown further if the case numbers don't decrease.

Republicans and the ignorant, selfish public will resist and ignore these orders, I'm sure.

And they will die as a result.

Think about that.


Back to a normal schedule this week with your daily StupidiNews.

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