Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Last Call For The House GOP Circus Of The Damned, Con't

Our next contestant on "Who Wants To Be Humiliated?" is apparently going to be Minnesota Republican Rep. Tom Emmer.
Republicans on Tuesday picked Rep. Tom Emmer as their nominee for House speaker. The nominee now goes to the full House for a vote.

It’s three weeks since Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy. The House speaker will need to accomplish the seemingly impossible job of uniting the GOP majority. Emmer of Minnesota jumped ahead as the top vote-getter on early round ballots and was battling Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana on a fifth ballot.

Others are dropping out including Florida newcomer Byron Donalds, who’s aligned with Donald Trump, and Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. The nominee will also need to win a majority in a House floor vote.

Also withdrawing from the race were Reps. Austin Scott of Georgia, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Pete Sessions of Texas, Gary Palmer of Alabama and Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania.

The House has been in turmoil, without a speaker since the start of the month after a contingent of hard-line Republicans ousted McCarthy, creating what’s now a governing crisis that’s preventing the normal operations of Congress.

The federal government risks a shutdown in a matter of weeks if Congress fails to pass funding legislation by a Nov. 17 deadline to keep services and offices running. More immediately, President Joe Biden has asked Congress to provide $105 billion in aid — to help Israel and Ukraine amid their wars and to shore up the U.S. border with Mexico. Federal aviation and farming programs face expiration without action.

Some Democrats have eyed Emmer, the third-ranking House GOP leader who had voted to certify the 2020 election results as a potential partner in governing the House.

But Trump allies and other hard-liners have been critical of Emmer over his support of a same-sex marriage initiative and perceived criticisms of the former president.

Trump downplayed, even derided, Emmer, with whom he has had a rocky relationship, while presenting himself Monday as a kingmaker who talks to “a lot of congressmen” seeking his stamp of approval.

Several key Trump allies and former administration officials, however, have harshly criticised Mr Emmer, characterising him as "disloyal".

Mr Emmer drew the ire of many of Mr Trump's supporters for voting to certify the rightful results of the 2020 election, in President Joe Biden's favour. He is one of only two of the Republican Speaker candidates, along with Georgia's Austin Scott, to do so.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon referred to Mr Emmer as a "Trump hater" on his podcast on Friday and urged the former president's supporters in the House to "stop" him.

On the same podcast, a former Trump advisor, Boris Epshteyn, questioned whether "someone so out of step with where the Republican electorate is" can "even be in the conversation" about a new Speaker.

Additionally, US media outlets - including the Washington Post - reported that Mr Trump privately directed his allies to criticise Mr Emmer ahead of the vote.

Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the situation, the Post also reported that Mr Trump's backers circulated a 200-page "opposition research" book about Mr Emmer that critiques many of his policy positions.

The BBC has been unable to independently verify the report.
That means Emmer will need Democratic support to be Speaker, and that's not going to happen unless Emmer is willing to make some deals, and he'll get mauled by the Clown Caucus if he does. The plan to recruit The Odious Patrick McHenry may be on again if and when Emmer fails to get to 217.

Ohio Republican Rep. Dave Joyce said if Rep. Tom Emmer can’t get to 217 votes, he’s willing to bring up his resolution to empower interim Speaker Patrick McHenry — but said he doesn’t know when the breaking point for the rest of the conference will be.

“I appreciate the fact that Tom is trying to get to 217 before we go out and create a spectacle on the floor, but if we go over there and we’re not getting the requisite votes that we need, we have to open the place up,” he said.

He said his new resolution “would do just that,” so they can continue to have conversations until they get the numbers.

House Republicans debated the idea last week but put the plan is on ice amid fierce pushback from some corners of the party.

“I don’t know when this conference will feel enough pain to understand that this practice is an exercise in futility, and we need to open the place back up,” he said.

Joyce said Emmer does not want to leave the room until he has 217 votes, “he wants to go, if you’ve got a complaint, let’s hear ‘em right here, let’s get this over with today, he’s not gonna make a public spectacle, unfortunately, that’s been made over there before.”
So we're right back to square one: the GOP candidate doesn't have the votes, and Emmer dropped out later in the afternoon as a result.

Dude didn't even last the day. Trump bragged that he "killed" Emmer.

Just hours after Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) won the Republican Conference’s nomination to be Speaker on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to deride the congressman as “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters” and a “Globalist RINO.”

He then got on the phone with members to express his aversion for Emmer and his bid for Speaker.

By Tuesday afternoon Trump called one person close to him with the message, “He’s done. It’s over. I killed him.”

Just minutes later, Emmer officially dropped out of the race.
The Clown Show Caucus rolls on.

Fani Makes A Deal, Or, Ellis If I Know

Another of Trump's Georgia co-conspirators turns state's evidence for Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis's RICO case, this time it's former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis
Jenna Ellis, a former Trump 2020 election attorney, struck a plea deal with Georgia prosecutors on Monday in their sweeping election racketeering case, making her the fourth of the original co-defendants charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to now be cooperating with investigators as they prepare for a trial against the former president and his other associates.

Under terms of the plea deal, which were signed Monday and made public Tuesday, Ellis agreed to a single felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings.

In brief remarks to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Ellis expressed remorse for her actions in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

"What I did not do, but should have done, your honor, was make sure that the facts the other lawyers alleged to be true were in fact true," she said. "...I should have done my due diligence."

Ellis had been facing two felony counts over at least two memos to Trump and his lawyers advising that then-Vice President Mike Pence should disregard electoral votes from Georgia and other “contested” states during the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, certification ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

She's the fourth person charged by Willis to switch course after initially pleading not guilty. Pro-Trump lawyers Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell reached separate plea agreements late last week with Willis to cooperate with her investigation in exchange for their admissions of guilt and less stringent sentences. Those deals nixed a trial that was just getting started last Friday with jury selection in Fulton County.
Like The Big Chese Bro and The Kraken Lady, Ellis is getting probation and a fine in return for testifying against the other co-conspirators at a later date. DA Willis is putting on a master class here in busting organized crime and racketeering by flipping the smaller fish to catch the white whale. Or, you know, the orange whale in this case.

A Bleak Test Case For College

A new NY Times analysis finds that rich kids score far higher on SATs/ACTs than poor kids, which is news something akin to "the sun is a burny hot fusion sphere" because it was true when I was in college 30 years ago, but it's even more true now and to an even more astonishing degree.
New data shows, for the first time at this level of detail, how much students’ standardized test scores rise with their parents’ incomes — and how disparities start years before students sit for tests.

One-third of the children of the very richest families scored a 1300 or higher, while less than 5 percent of middle-class students did, according to the data, from economists at Opportunity Insights, based at Harvard. Relatively few children in the poorest families scored that high; just one in five took the test at all.

The researchers matched all students’ SAT and ACT scores for 2011, 2013 and 2015 with their parents’ federal income tax records for the prior six years. Their analysis, which also included admissions and attendance records, found that children from very rich families are overrepresented at elite colleges for many reasons, including that admissions offices give them preference. But the test score data highlights a more fundamental reason: When it comes to the types of achievement colleges assess, the children of the rich are simply better prepared.

The disparity highlights the inequality at the heart of American education: Starting very early, children from rich and poor families receive vastly different educations, in and out of school, driven by differences in the amount of money and time their parents are able to invest. And in the last five decades, as the country has become more unequal by income, the gap in children’s academic achievement, as measured by test scores throughout schooling, has widened.

“Kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods end up behind the starting line even when they get to kindergarten,” said Sean Reardon, the professor of poverty and inequality in education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.

“On average,” he added, “our schools aren’t very good at undoing that damage.”

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision ending race-based affirmative action, there has been revived political momentum to address the ways in which many colleges favor the children of rich and white families, such as legacy admissions, preferences for private school students, athletic recruitment in certain sports and standardized tests.

Yet these things reflect the difference in children’s opportunities long before they apply for college, Professor Reardon said. To address the deeper inequality in education, he said, “it’s 18 years too late.”

The children of the top 0.1 percent, whose parents earned an average of $11.3 million a year in today’s dollars, got far better scores than even the children of the families just below them, the new data shows. For the 12,000 students in this group, opportunities that drive achievement were amplified — exclusive private schools, summers traveling the world and college prep services that cost more than college itself — said John N. Friedman, an economist at Brown, who analyzed the new data with Raj Chetty and David J. Deming of Harvard.

But the larger inequality is between the children of the merely rich and those below them. As class differences have grown more extreme, and a college degree has become more crucial to achieving a middle-class lifestyle or better, it has bred competition among parents anxious about their children’s futures.

“People are kind of jockeying to get into the school district that they think is going to be most beneficial for their kid,” said Ann Owens, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, who studies inequality in education. “A lot of this is driven by rising income inequality. When people have more money to spend on stuff, they’re spending it on moving to an affluent neighborhood, or buying their kids test prep and tutors and all these things they think will help them.”
And why wouldn't parents help their kids with college test prep? Mine did. The more money you have available, the more assistance you can buy. It's an investment that pays off in the millions over the course of a career.
And remember, these numbers are from ten years ago, 2011, 2013, and 2015. It's even worse now in the post-pandemic, assistive-AI, post-affirmative action era of 2023 which we're only now starting to experience.
The book on this era of college admissions is being written now, and if you thought disparity was bad before, well...
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