The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

AOC: Girl-Crush of the Bernie Bros

Posted on | February 25, 2020 | No Comments

 

New York Post columnist Miranda Devine argues that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “was [Bernie] Sanders’ secret weapon in Nevada, wooing the crucial Latino voters who propelled him to victory, and injecting much-needed ethnic, gender and age diversity into his campaign. Without her, he’s just another grouchy old lefty howling into the wind.”

Having a young Latina surrogate — too young to remember all the brutal Marxist-Leninist regimes for which the old lefty is so nostalgic — is helpful to the Sanders campaign. It certainly helps in states like Nevada and California where Latinos are now a majority of K-12 students. The fact that young people are the most enthusiastic supporters of the septuagenarian socialist is simply the triumph of hope over experience.

Selling obsolete economic fantasies to young people is the kind of scam with which no reputable person would wish to be associated, and Jonathan Chait is sounding the alarm about Bernie:

At the heart of Sanders’s campaign is a hard-core socialist vanguard which is indifferent to the Democratic Party except as a potential vessel for the Bernie revolution. Their calculation is perfectly rational. Even if Sanders is likely to lose, the small chance of success is worth the risk to a party they don’t care for to begin with. What is odd is watching rationalizations take hold among a much larger group of progressives who very much do care about denying Trump a second term, and who have explained away the risks of a Sanders nomination with a series of fallacies.
The first of those is a confusion over what it means to predict an outcome. “The truth is we are all clueless about what voters want or will accept,” argues conventional-wisdom-monger Jim VandeHei, in a signal of how deeply the anti-probabilistic fallacy has spread. It is true that there is uncertainty attached to every outcome. The talking heads who guarantee Sanders will lose are wrong — any nominee might win, and in a polarized electorate, both parties have a floor of support that gives even the most toxic candidate a fighting chance. In 2016, Trump was the most unpopular candidate in the history of polling, but he squeaked into office because everything broke just right for him. It could happen for Bernie, too.

Exactly. Intelligent liberals like Chait see the most likely scenario — Bernie leading Democrats into the wilderness, like Jeremy Corbyn did to Labour in the U.K. — while others are trying to argue that maybe Bernie can beat the odds the way Trump did in 2016. But the two big problems with that argument are that (a) a major reason Trump won was because Hillary represented the hated “establishment insiders,” and (b) Trump is an incumbent, running on a record of remarkable success. This doesn’t mean that Trump is a shoo-in for re-election in November, but it does mean that he is less vulnerable to a populist challenge.

There is a certain logic to the pro-Sanders argument: Trump won with right-wing populism, therefore Democrats should counter by running a left-wing populist. As logical as that seems, however, it neither expands the potential base of Democratic voters, nor does it address Trump’s real vulnerability, i.e., his brusque demeanor, which is offensive to the bourgeois sensibilities of the suburban middle class. What Democrats really needed in 2020 was a candidate who promised to restore the norms of respectable public discourse. Such a candidate would not necessarily be “moderate” in terms of policy, but he would speak in a calm and soothing way — polite and boring, the way nice politicians do.

Bernie Sanders is not a nice politician, and the belief that a grumpy old socialist is the ideal candidate against Trump — well, this is an untested hypothesis. Now that Sanders had emerged as the front-runner, his Democratic rivals are ganging up against him:

Joe Biden’s campaign is airing a new digital ad in South Carolina accusing Bernie Sanders of trying to undermine Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection by threatening to primary him. Pete Buttigieg was on TV in South Carolina hitting Sanders over health care and Mike Bloomberg targeted Sanders’ past gun votes.
“When it comes to building on Barack Obama’s legacy, Bernie Sanders just can’t be trusted,” the Biden ad, first obtained by POLITICO, warns.
The fusillade targeting Sanders on the eve of a Democratic debate in the fourth early state of South Carolina marked the latest turn in a Democratic primary that now has a decisive frontrunner. Each of the candidates, competing for a fraction of the moderate vote, are attempting to blunt the Vermont senator’s momentum coming off a landslide win in Nevada. . . .
Bloomberg, who will not appear on a ballot in South Carolina, is attempting to slow Sanders’ surge as the billionaire businessman is poised to face his first test in Super Tuesday states.
Bloomberg unleashed his own 90-second video spot saying Sanders was elected to the House in 1990 with the support of the National Rifle Association.
Ominous music plays in the background and subtitles read: “Bernie voted with the NRA and opposed federal background checks.”
The ad cited Sanders’ opposition to a background check bill in the 1990s and votes in the early 2000s against allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers, issues that aligned with the NRA’s stance.

It can be predicted that, just as last week’s Nevada debate turned into a gang beatdown on Bloomberg, tonight’s debate in South Carolina will become a gang beatdown on Bernie Sanders. The problem is that Sanders has a hard-core base — somewhere between 20% and 30% of Democratic primary voters — that will not abandon him for any reason.

So the seven Democrats on the debate stage, including billionaire Tom Steyer, are all competing for the same anti-Bernie vote. This will continue into next week’s Super Tuesday primaries and there is no good way this ends for Democrats. Either (a) Bernie gets the nomination, and faces a high probability of catastrophic defeat in November, or (b) Democrats somehow cheat Bernie out of the nomination, thereby alienating 20%-30% of their own party’s base.

The best hope for Democrats, honestly, is a global coronavirus pandemic.




 

College Students Who Can’t Think

Posted on | February 25, 2020 | No Comments

Ed Driscoll calls attention to the latest campus appearance by Heather Mac Donald, who spoke at Colgate University ($72,585 a year, including room and board) where she was accosted by disruptive protesters.

Mac Donald, who has degrees from Yale, Cambridge and Stanford, was at Colgate to speak about her most recent book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. It seems, however, that the protesters wanted to talk about rape. Mac Donald has written critically about the mythical “epidemic” of campus rape, pointing out the fraudulence of the claim that 1-in-5 female college students become victims of rape during their undergraduate years. This widely cited statistic is a wild exaggeration, based on misleading surveys (rather than actual reports of assaults), and simply will not withstand critical scrutiny. Attempts to speak factually about this issue, however, are rendered impossible by the emotional investment that activists have made in a certain set of assumptions about “rape culture.” Consider this scene at Colgate:

Perhaps the most tense moment of the evening took place when a woman took the mic to ask about campus rape culture . . .
“In 2008 you wrote an article called ‘The Campus Rape Myth’ where you decided to claim that rape could be attributed to ‘sluttish behavior’ and that it’s women’s fault for getting drunk,” the question began amid applause, cheers and moans of shock from the surrounding audience, mostly students dressed head to toe in black to protest the scholar’s visit and views.
“You also said in a 2019 interview with the Hoover Institution that ‘all college-aged women can avoid 100 percent of so-called campus rape,’” Mac Donald’s questioner continued in an impassioned tone before dropping her bombshell:
“As someone who has been assaulted on this campus, do you believe that I am at fault?!”

Of course, this heckler deliberately distorted Mac Donald’s argument, but the point is she plays the “My Experience” Card. Obviously, it’s absurd to expect Heather Mac Donald to know anything about this person’s experience, and thus demand that Mac Donald pass judgment on her case. This declaration — “I am a victim of assault” — is intended as a trump card, to silence dissent and end discussion.

THIS IS NOT HOW ARGUMENTS WORK.

A single personal anecdote does not refute a general statement.

What Heather Mac Donald is talking about is, first of all, the prevalence of rape — how often does it happen on college campuses? Her contention is that the “1-in-5” claim is a gross exaggeration, and this cannot be refuted by one person saying, “I am a victim of sexual assault.” Mac Donald’s second contention, made in her 2008 article “The Campus Rape Myth,” is that claims of an “epidemic” of sexual assault are rooted in a “booze-fueled hookup culture.” That is to say, in a climate where drunkenness and promiscuity are tolerated, many college girls will have sexual encounters that they subsequently regret. The collective sense of shame and resentment emerging from this “hookup culture” has been harnessed by activists to justify a variety of programs and policies, based on exaggerated claims about the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.

In her 2008, Mac Donald easily debunked the “1-in-5” statistic, and she replicated that debunking in her appearance at Colgate:

“Let’s put that number in perspective,” she said. “… Our most violent city, Detroit, when you look at all four of the FBI’s violent index felonies — that includes murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery — all four of those combined gets you a violent felony rate of 2 percent. So 20 to 25 percent [of campus rape victims] is a catastrophe.”
She continued that such a “sexual holocaust,” if it were really going on, would prompt a stampede of women away from college campuses, yet the opposite is true, females are now the majority on them.

Exactly so. Feminists have fostered an irrational fear based on bogus statistics, claiming that rape is more common on university campuses than in America’s most crime-ridden inner cities. When the falsehood of these claims is demonstrated, activists respond with hysterical outbursts intended to silence the voices of truth-telling critics. No intelligent person could possibly believe that women are more endangered on the Colgate campus in tranquil Madison County, N.Y., than in the slums of Detroit, Baltimore, or St. Louis, and yet that is what the “1-in-5” statistic implies.

College students have lost the ability to think. The emotional protests at elite schools like Colgate show that students are incapable of weighing evidence and discerning between truth and fiction. Instead of making arguments based on facts and logic, students can only chant slogans and engage in fascist-style bullying tactics to silence opponents.

Given this proof that irrationality has become common on university campuses, is anyone surprised that Bernie Sanders gets his highest level of support among college students and recent graduates?




 

Rule 5 Monday: Annabella Sciorra

Posted on | February 24, 2020 | No Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

It seems somewhat appropriate to turn our spotlight on Annabella Sciorra, since she was one of the major witnesses against show biz rapist Harvey Weinstein. She’s probably best known for her role as Gloria Trillo on The Sopranos, but she’s also appeared in a whole slew of other movies & TV shows since her debut in True Love.

From American Crime.

Ninety Miles From Tyranny: Hot Pick Of The Late Night, The 90 Miles Mystery Box Episode #902, Morning Mistress, and Girls With Guns.

Animal Magnetism: Rule Five Future Airliners Friday, and the Saturday Gingermageddon.

EBL: Martha Washington, Babes For Bernie, Amie Harwick (RIP), Nevada Democrat Debate, The Waifs, Kaitlin Bennett, Annabella Sciorra, National Margarita Day, and Rio Carnival,

A View From The Beach: Back to the 80s with Erika EleniakThe Beginning of the Dog DaysFish Pic Friday – Queen SnapperDelaware Posts Emergency Striper RegsMaybe She Should Have Stuck With DrewEPA Encourages Killing DeerVirginians Reject Gun ControlBoob Freed at Sanders RallyMuddy Monday and A ‘Special’ Palm Sunday

Proof Positive: Dorothy Lamour

Red Pilled Jew: Sun & Surf

Thanks to everyone for all the luscious linkagery!

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In The Mailbox: 02.24.20

Posted on | February 24, 2020 | No Comments

– compiled by Wombat-socho

OVER THE TRANSOM
357 Magnum: Chicago’s Recipe For More Crime
EBL: Harvey Weinstein Convicted Of Rape, also, Trump In India
Twitchy: Jennifer Rubin Shocked Her New Comrades Love Fidel & Hate AIPAC
Louder With Crowder: Latino Former Democrat Asks “Where Are All The Racists?” At Trump Rally
Vox Popoli: Prepping For Corona-chan, also, Negative Coattails

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
Adam Piggott: Friday Hawt Chicks & Links – The Wrongthink Edition, also, Gay Marriage – It Was Always About The Children
American Conservative: Russiagate II – Return Of The Low-Information Zombies
American Greatness: The Counter-Coup Has Begun, also, #NeverSanders?
American Power: Blacks Flee Chicago
American Thinker: Sexualization, Pornography, & Grooming In The Schools, also, No Bernie, Denmark Is Not A Socialist Utopia
Animal Magnetism: Goodbye, Blue Monday
Babalu Blog: Nicaragua’s Murderous Socialist Dictator Endorses Bernie Sanders, also, Sanders Claims Not Everything About Cuba’s Communist Regime Is Bad
BattleSwarm: Nevada – Bernie First, Biden Second, also, Democratic Presidential Clown Car Update
Cafe Hayek: Thinking Soundly About Trade, also, Data: Mark Perry v. Oren Cass
Camp Of The Saints: Losers Or Losers – Which One Shall I Be Today?
CDR Salamander: Fullbore Friday, also, Sir John, You Should Have Copyrighted That Nuke COA
Da Tech Guy: Why Donald Trump Courts Black Americans, also, Report From Louisiana – Tragedy At Mardi Gras
Don Surber: Record Number Of Republicans Enter House Races, also, DC Press Ignorant Of How Government Should Run
First Street Journal: Surprise! National Security Wiretap System Is A Mess
The Geller Report: Democrats Want Florida Mayor To Resign For Calling Ilhan Omar “anti-Semitic Socialist”, also, “Macho Man” Plays As Trump Enters Stadium Packed With 110,000 Trump-Loving Indians Wearing Trump Hats
Hogewash: Team Kimberlin Post of The Day, also, The Sombrero Galaxy In Infrared
Hollywood In Toto: Adam Carolla To Torch Woke Culture, Trump Derangement In New Book, also, Here’s Why We Need To See Tarantino’s Star Trek Movie
JustOneMinute: Dark Matter Impacts Rotary Cooling Device
Legal Insurrection: President Trump Receives Grand Welcome In India, also, Sweden’s Social Democrats Find Sanders Too Far Left
Megan McArdle: The Berniemobile Is Filling Up With Realist-Idealists, Revolutionaries, & Bandwagoners
Power Line: Soleimani’s Assassination Leaves Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Reeling, also, American Ingrate – Ilhan Omar
Shark Tank: Mucarsel-Powell Denounces Sanders’ Support Of Castro
Shot In The Dark: Triple Down
STUMP: A Look at CT Teacher Pensions – Cash Flow Projections
The Political Hat: 2020 Election In One Clip
This Ain’t Hell: California Sheriff Complies With ICE Jail Record Subpoenas, also, Swalwell Suggests Russian Support For Sanders May Implicate Trump
Victory Girls: Bernie Sanders Praises Castro On 60 Minutes
Volokh Conspiracy: “Veteran” 9th Circus Judges Complain About New 9th Circuit Judges
Weasel Zippers: Former Bill Clinton Advisor Says Bloomberg & Hillary Scheming To Make Her Democratic Nominee, also, Joy Reid, Chris Matthews Mock Trump Supporters As Racists Who Revolted Against “Smart” People
Mark Steyn: La Grande Illusion, also, Bye Bye Blackbird

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Incest in Missouri: 11-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth to Her 17-Year-Old Brother’s Son

Posted on | February 24, 2020 | No Comments

Must be some backwoods Ozark hillbillies:

An 11-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her brother gave birth at home, and now he and their parents are facing criminal charges.
The girl gave birth to a boy in a bathtub in St. Charles, Missouri, according to a probable cause statement.
Her biological brother, who is 17, was charged last week with incest, statutory rape and statutory sodomy of a person younger than 12, while her parents were charged with child endangerment. Police say the girl’s parents did not provide medical care to their daughter after she gave birth.
NBC News is not naming the girl’s parents or brother because it would identify the victim.
Police started investigating on Feb. 11 after the girl’s parents brought a baby boy to a hospital. The baby still had the umbilical cord and placenta attached and a body temperature of 90 degrees, according to a probable cause statement.
The girl’s father initially claimed the baby was his and had been dropped off on their porch by an ex-girlfriend.
He later told investigators his daughter had given birth to the boy and that his son was the father, a probable cause statement states. The girl’s parents claimed they were not aware she was pregnant or that she was allegedly being sexually assaulted by her brother, according to the statement.

While NBC News did not name the suspects, local news did:

Norvin Leonidas Lopez-Cante was charged with statutory rape, statutory sodomy and incest after police said he admitted to having sex with an 11-year-old family member about 100 times.
Police started investigating after Lopez-Cante’s father, Francisco Javier Gonzalez-Lopez, brought an infant to St. Joseph Hospital on Tuesday. Gonzalez-Lopez told police someone dropped the infant off on his front porch. Charging documents said the baby still had the umbilical cord and placenta attached and had a body temperature of just 90 degrees.
Police interviewed Gonzalez-Lopez at his home two days later, where he told police the father of the child was his son, Lopez-Cante, and the mother was Lopez-Cante’s 11-year-old relative.
Gonzalez-Lopez said he did not know the girl was pregnant or that Lopez-Cante was raping her until she gave birth to the child in their bathtub.
After police read Lopez-Cante his Miranda rights, he told police he had sex with the girl about 100 times but did not know she was pregnant. He said he did not know when he first had sex with her but said it happened about twice a week.
Lopez-Cante was charged with first-degree statutory rape, statutory sodomy and incest. His bond was set at $25,000, cash-only.
Gonzalez-Lopez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child for his role in the incident. His bond was set at $10,000, cash only.

 

Apparently, they didn’t already have enough incest in Missouri, so they decided to import the Gonzalez-Lopez/Lopez-Cante clan to fill the quota.

My apology to Ozark hillbillies unfairly impugned.

(Hat-tip: Kirby McCain on Twitter.)




 

Bernie Praises Castro, Snubs AIPAC

Posted on | February 24, 2020 | No Comments

 

On 60 Minutes, the new front-runner’s mask slips:

Self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, in an interview that aired Sunday night, heaped praise on some of the policies instituted in Cuba by the late Communist dictator Fidel Castro.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba — but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, told Anderson Cooper on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
The Vermont senator highlighted a literacy program that Castro implemented after he seized power from Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
“When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” Sanders asked.
It’s not the first time Sanders has expressed his support for policies championed by Castro, who stepped down in 2011 and died in 2016.
In a resurfaced video from the 1980s that aired on “60 Minutes,” Sanders explained why the Cuban people didn’t help the United States overthrow Castro.
“He educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society, you know,” Sanders says in the clip.

Bernie’s supporters will certainly point out that major media never bothered asking him tough questions until he appeared poised to win the nomination. As long as he was just a senator running as the token left-wing opponent of the “moderate” Democrat front-runner, network news operations weren’t going to go very deep into the oppo-research files. Now that the establishment is in disarray? It’s a whole new game.

Meanwhile, Bernie is pandering to the Left’s anti-Israel grassroots:

The pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a blistering statement Sunday night slamming Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont for claiming the organization gives a platform for “bigotry.”
Mr. Sanders announced on Twitter that he would be keeping in tradition by not attending AIPAC’s annual conference this year, writing that the Palestinian people deserve “peace and security” just like the Israelis.
“I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights,” the senator tweeted. “For that reason I will not attend their conference. As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region.”
AIPAC responded to Mr. Sanders in a tweeted statement, calling his attacks “shameful” and touting the group’s diversity.
“Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment,” AIPAC said. “In fact, many of his own Senate and House Democratic colleagues and leaders speak from our platform to the over 18,000 Americans from widely diverse backgrounds — Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Christians. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, progressives, veterans, students, members of the LGBTQ+ community — who participate in the conference to proclaim their support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“By engaging in such an odious attack on the mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel. Truly shameful,” the group concluded.

Do you see how this hurts Democrats? They have spent four years claiming that Trump is Hitler, supported by “alt-right” Jew-haters, but now Democrats are going to nominate Bernie Sanders, who disses Israel in the name of “Palestinian rights,” so that Trump — who moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and strongly backs Netanyahu’s government — actually has the high ground on this issue. Why should Jews vote Democrat, when their nominee is sucking up to Palestinian terrorists?

Time is running out for “moderate” Democrats:

Eight days remain until the crucial “Super Tuesday” primaries, and the unmistakable momentum of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has the Democratic Party establishment quaking in fear. Longtime Clinton adviser James Carville went off on potential Sanders voters on MSNBC Saturday when it became clear Sanders had scored a crushing victory in the Nevada caucus. “If you want to vote for Bernie Sanders because you feel good about his program, you don’t like the banks on Wall Street or you don’t like pharmaceuticals, that’s legitimate, I understand that,” Carville said. “If you’re voting for him because you think he’ll win the election, politically, you’re a fool. And that’s just a fact. It’s no denying it, there’s so much political science, so much research on this that it is not even a debatable question.”
At a campaign rally Sunday in Houston, Sanders predicted that he would not only win next week’s Texas primary but that he would also defeat President Donald Trump in the Lone Star State in November. This was a bold boast, considering that no Democratic presidential candidate has won Texas since 1976, and that Trump beat Hillary Clinton by an 800,000-vote margin in the state four years ago.
While Bernie’s fans cheered his confident prediction of November victory, establishment Democrats and their media allies were struggling to accept the more sobering near-term reality that “moderate” candidates are unlikely to stop Sanders from winning the nomination. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.




 

Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Caucus; MSNBC, #NeverTrump Hardest Hit

Posted on | February 23, 2020 | No Comments

 

First of all, the Nevada caucus still had only half their precincts reporting as of 8 o’clock Sunday morning, so it’s another Iowa-style clusterfark. The party that can’t even count caucus votes wants to run your healthcare. The numbers with 60% reporting:

Bernie Sanders ………… 46.0%
Joe Biden ……………….. 19.6%
Pete Buttigieg ………….. 15.3%
Elizabeth Warren ……… 10.1%
Amy Klobuchar …………. 4.8%
Tom Steyer ………………. 4.1%

This is a decisive victory for Sanders, who more than doubled Biden’s total, and a major setback for Warren and Klobuchar, both of whom needed to show some kind of momentum to keep their campaigns viable. While it is possible that Biden could still bounce back with a win next Saturday in the South Carolina primary, even the most enthusiastic supporters of Warren and Klobuchar must see they now have no path to the nomination. Their money is running out, whereas Buttigieg (who at least got a narrow win in Iowa) could continue if he does well on Super Tuesday. Unless two or three of the non-Sanders candidates drops out before Super Tuesday, however, there will still be multiple candidates splitting the “Anybody But Bernie” vote with billionaire Mike Bloomberg, and that means Sanders could emerge with an insurmountable delegate lead after March 3. And this means . . . panic time!

“I’m reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940 and the General Renault calls up Churchill and says ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘how can it be? You got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said ‘It’s over.’ So I had that suppressed feeling. I can’t be as wild as Carville but he is damn smart and I think he’s damn right on this one.”
Responding to James Carville, “‘You’re describing what sounds a lot like political suicide,’ said ‘Deadline: White House’ host Nicolle Wallace. ‘I think we need a psychologist to understand that.’”

 

 

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.) The Daily Caller provides even more highlights of the MSNBC meltdown:

Matthews also wondered on air if it would be better for moderate Democrats if Sanders didn’t win in the general election.
“I’m wondering whether the Democratic moderates want Bernie Sanders to be president. That’s maybe too exciting a question to raise. They don’t like Trump at all. Do they want Bernie Sanders to take over the Democratic Party in perpetuity?” he said.
“I mean, he takes it over, he sets the direction of the future of the party — maybe they’d rather wait four years and put in a Democrat that they like.”
In another viral clip, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace compared President Donald Trump and Sanders, accused them of using “dark arts” on the media, and called supporters a “squeaky, angry minority.”

Why are the MSNBC talking heads so despondent? Because they are convinced that if Democrats nominate Sanders, they’ll alienate middle-class moderate voters and thereby guarantee Trump’s re-election. I wish I believed this as much as they do, but can we trust the conventional wisdom dispensed by cable-news “experts”? These are the same people who thought Trump could never win the GOP nomination, and then believed Hillary Clinton could easily defeat Trump, so when they start predicting future political events, my hunch is they’re wrong again.

Glenn Reynolds seems to share my concern: “You can assume that Trump would crush Bernie, and you’re probably right. But any major-party nominee, however lame, has a nonzero chance of becoming President, and that’s bad when we’re talking about a commie.”

As much as I want to believe Trump would score a slam-dunk victory over Sanders in November, I’m disturbed by the fact that MSNBC talking-heads have the same opinion. Maybe I’m just being a worry-wart about this, though. In an all-out battle between a socialist Democrat and a capitalist Republican, Trump wins — if the American people are still the American people. If Bernie were to win, we might as well call ourselves “Southern Canada.” Meanwhile, Bill Kristol and the cruise-ship contingent of #NeverTrump ex-Republicans have reached a fatal reckoning; having committed to 100% opposition to Trump, they must now find a way to make the “principled conservative” argument for Bernie Sanders. They didn’t have much credibility left to lose, but once you sell your soul to Pierre Omidyar, you must pay that debt in full.

If you don’t get that joke, “The Lincoln Project” is an anti-Trump super PAC whose principals include George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson. There is so far zero evidence that they have influenced anyone’s opinion about anything. Least of all have they been able to convince Democrats to support the kind of “moderate” candidates they believe can beat Trump. So now, like the MSNBC pundits aghast at Bernie’s victory in Nevada, the #NeverTrump crowd is in a panic at the prospect of another four years in the wilderness. They are a spectacle of frustrated impotence. And let’s hope their fears are fully realized.




 

A Failed State: California Admits It Can’t Teach Black Children How to Read

Posted on | February 22, 2020 | No Comments

An admission that will cost California taxpayers $50 million:

The state of California [on Thursday] agreed to settle a years-long, high-profile lawsuit that accused the state of depriving low-income students of color of their constitutional right to a basic education — by failing to teach them reading skills.
Under an agreement reached with plaintiffs in the complaint, Ella T. v. State of California, the state will provide $50 million specifically to improve literacy in the 75 California elementary schools with the highest concentration of third-graders scoring in the bottom tier of the state’s standardized reading exam.
The agreement, part of which needs the Legislature’s approval, also requires the state to advise public schools how to reduce disparities in discipline of students of color, according to an outline of the agreement provided by Public Counsel, the pro-bono firm representing the suit’s plaintiffs.
Public Counsel celebrated Judge Rupert Byrdsong’s approval of the settlement, calling it “a historic first step forward towards affirming the (right to literacy) for all children in California.” . . .
The plaintiffs represented by Public Counsel and the law firm Morrison & Foerster included current and former students of three California elementary schools with some of the lowest reading proficiency marks in California: La Salle Avenue Elementary in Los Angeles Unified School District, Van Buren Elementary in Stockton Unified, and the Inglewood charter school Children of Promise Preparatory Academy. The suit sought to hold the state responsible for the students’ poor literacy, noting that 11 of the country’s 26 lowest-performing large school districts were based in California.
Ella T., a 7-year-old black student at La Salle Elementary when the complaint was introduced, did not receive the “intensive support” and interventions she needed by the time she left first grade reading below kindergarten level, according to the suit.
Several other students of color represented in the complaint also were several grade levels behind in reading literacy. One black student who attended La Salle, identified in the suit as 11-year-old Russell W., did a book report for his fifth-grade class on “Cat in the Hat,” a book meant for kindergarten readers.

To understand how bad it is, look at this graph (click to enlarge):

 

In California, 77% of Asian students and 66% of white students score “proficient” on reading tests, compared to 41% of Latino students and 33% of black students. In other words, white students are twice as likely as black students to read at a “proficient” level, and two-thirds of black students are reading below grade level. The lawsuit claims that the state of California is to blame for this education disparity, and I’m perfectly willing to accept that claim, because f**k California, a state wholly controlled by the Democratic Party. If, however, you reject such a simplistic explanation, liberals will help confuse the issue:

Over the last decade . . . California has initiated sweeping reforms in an attempt to channel more resources to high-needs students and to better level the educational playing field. These and other efforts have, to some extent, improved academic outcomes — but black, Latino and poor students still lag dramatically behind Asian American, white and wealthier students. . . .

(Note the assumption that “resources,” and the distribution thereof, can lead to “improved academic outcomes.”)

UCLA researchers recently found that California was the most segregated state for Latinos, “where 58% attend intensely segregated schools,” exacerbating inequities in educational opportunities. More than half of the state’s black students are concentrated in just 25 of the state’s 1,000 school districts. Of the students enrolled in K-12 public schools in California, less than 30% are white, the researchers found. . . .

(Wait a minute — California is “the most segregated state for Latinos”? Has anyone told Nancy Pelosi about this? And what’s up with the shortage of white children in California? Maybe Democrats can start a program to import white kids to California from out of state.)

A recent study by Stanford researchers found student achievement gaps are mainly driven by school poverty — not a school’s racial composition. “Racial segregation appears to be harmful because it concentrates minority students in high-poverty schools, which are, on average, less effective than lower-poverty schools,” the study found. . . .

(Keep in mind, when they say “segregation,” they’re not talking about some kind of Jim Crow policy, but merely the fact that “minority students” go to schools in their own communities with children from similar backgrounds. And notice the assumption that the school is independently responsible for education outcomes, as opposed to the individual student being responsible. If your kid flunks math, just blame the “high-poverty” school.)

In 2018, researchers with the American Institute for Research looked at California’s spending the prior school year and calculated that, to educate all the state’s K-12 students to California’s learning standards, the state would have had to spend an extra $25.6 billion over the $66.7 billion it spent that year.

A simple solution — MORE MONEY!

Do you see now why California is circling the toilet bowl? Their entire way of thinking is limited by their liberal worldview, so that they can never understand any problem where the facts contradict their belief system. The “sweeping reforms” intended to “level the educational playing field” were premised on the idea that differences in test scores could be explained in terms of “resources,” so that all they needed to do was target more “resources” (i.e., taxpayer money) at schools with low test scores. Throw in a lot of social-justice talk about poverty and “segregation,” and you make it seem as if only a racist bigot could be skeptical of the efficacy of such “sweeping reforms.”

After years of this kind of “reform” effort, you’ve got fifth-graders doing book reports about The Cat in the Hat, and taxpayers will have to pay out an extra $50 million to settle a lawsuit, but did you notice where this money will go? To “the 75 California elementary schools with the highest concentration of third-graders scoring in the bottom tier of the state’s standardized reading exam.” Yes, the worst-performing schools in the state will get this money, so that the result is to reward failure, and does anyone think that’s actually going to solve the problem?

Liberalism is a mental disorder, and putting liberals in charge of public education guarantees that the madness will become an epidemic.

Oh, and for the record: As of the 2016-2017 school year, 54.2% of California public school students were Latino — an absolute majority — while 23.7% were white, 12.1% were Asian and 5.5% were black.

What do these numbers suggest about California’s future? Are the state’s educational problems likely to get better, or worse?




 

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