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JULY 26,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

A WINNING ISSUE – FROM FOX:   Several Republican lawmakers rallied alongside Cuban Americans and pro-Democracy protesters who marched in D.C. on Monday to encourage the Biden administration to support the Cuban people in their fight for freedom.  Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., were among those who participated in the Cuba Freedom Rally near the White House.  In a video posted to his Twitter account, Scott can be heard telling the crowd in Spanish that they are not alone in this fight and that the liberty of Cubans is very important to Americans.  "We will prevail if we show up every day and make sure Biden shows up every day," Scott said.  Also in attendance were Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla.  The rally took place on the 68th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Monday sent a letter to Biden requesting a meeting to discuss the best ways to move forward and support the Cuban people against the "oppressive regime in Havana."  "This is a moment when the United States can change the course of human history for the better," McCarthy’s letter read. "We must support our Cuban brothers and sisters as they seek to take control of their future and liberate themselves from the communist malignancy."  An absolutely winning issue for the GOP, and I'm glad they recognize it.  Aside from the Squad, and a group of 1960s academics on life support, who backs the Castro regime?   This issue can explode in Democratic faces in next year's midterms. 

ANOTHER WINNING ISSUE – FROM FOX BUSINESS:   As crime surges across the nation, Democratic mayors in approximately 20 U.S. cities that have called for defunding the police have received millions in taxpayer funds towards their own personal security details, according to a new report.  New data compiled by Forbes auditor Open the Books through Freedom of Information Act requests reveals that the city of Chicago, for example, spent $17.3 million between 2015 and 2020 to guard "unnamed city officials." Despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot's claims that she is opposed to cutting funding for the police, records show the city quietly cut 400 police officer positions in 2020 while the cost of her security detail hit an all-time high of $3.4 million for 22 officers, according to the report. Chicago reportedly spent $2.8 million for 17 officers in 2019; $2.8 million for 16 officers in 2018; $2.7 million for 20 police officers in 2017; and $2.9 million for 16 officers in 2016.  In San Francisco, $12.4 million was reportedly spent between 2015 and 2020 to protect Mayor London Breed as the city said it would divest $120 million from its police budget over two years to be put towards health programs. Security detail spending for Breed amounted to $1.7 million in 2015; $417,489 in 2016; $2.5 million in 2017; $2.7 million in 2018; $2.5 million in 2019; and $2.6 million in 2020.  In New York, the city council approved slashing $1 billion from its $6 billion police budget, with $354 million to be reallocated to mental health, homelessness and education services. However, spending on Mayor Bill de Blasio's security detail reportedly cost taxpayers $358,000 during his failed presidential bid.  What gets you after a time is the sheer blatancy of the corruption. 

July 26,  2021     Permalink

 

THE SINKING SHIP – OVERNIGHT:  The president's approval rating has been pretty solid up to now, but we're starting to see some serious erosion in some important places.  From the Washington Examiner: 

For his first six months in office, President Joe Biden's job approval has stayed pretty steady. As you saw last week, it was based largely on the public's approval of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But of course, that was the pre-delta variant period of the pandemic in which the news (dramatically lower numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths) was nearly all good.

Now, however, Gallup says Biden's approval rating is "showing the first signs of meaningful decline." In the latest Gallup poll, Biden is at 50% approval and 45% disapproval — down from 57% approval and 37% disapproval at the start of his term. That sort of decline is "typical for recent presidents," Gallup notes. Biden, who early on enjoyed great approval in some circles simply for not being former President Donald Trump, is beginning to succumb to the law of political gravity.

Who is behind the decline? Democrats and independents. Among members of his own party, Biden's approval rating has slipped from 98% to 90%. Yes, that's 8 points, but when you start with near-unanimous approval in your party, you're still doing quite well if you "fall" to 90%. Biden's bigger problem is with independents. In the Gallup poll, his approval rating among them was 61% at the beginning of his presidency and has now fallen to 48%. That marks "the first time he has less-than majority approval among independents," notes Gallup. Here is the pollster's chart for Biden's first six months:

The future is not bright for Biden's approval. A new ABC News/Ipsos poll says that Biden's approval for handling the economy has fallen below 50% among independents, and for the issues of immigration, crime, and gun violence, it is in the 30s.

But perhaps the biggest warning for Biden in the new ABC poll is the public's answer to this simple question: "Thinking about the next 12 months, would you say you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the ways things are going in this country?" In a survey at the end of April, 64% said they felt optimistic, versus 36% who felt pessimistic. Today, just 45% feel optimistic, versus 55% who feel pessimistic. That's a huge drop in just 2 1/2 months. And it indicates a lack of confidence that things will get better under the Biden administration.

COMMENT:  The national parents' revolt over conditions in the schools will not help Biden.  Nor will his near-indifference to the demonstrations in Cuba.  And the non-performance of his vice president does not build confidence.  If Biden can't claim a victory in the near future, his presidency will be in doubt.

July 26, 2021       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

JULY 25,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

AMERICANS SEE GRIM FUTURE – FROM ABC NEWS:   As President Joe Biden completed 100 days in office, the country was optimistic about the coming year, but now, just after hitting the six-month mark, Americans' optimism about the direction of the country has plummeted nearly 20 points, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.  A majority -- 55% -- of the public say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, a marked change from the roughly one-third (36%) who said the same in an ABC News/Ipsos poll published May 2. In the early May survey, Americans were more optimistic than pessimistic by a 28-percentage point margin. Optimism is now underwater by 10 points. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, fewer than half -- 45% -- now report feeling optimistic about the way things are going, a significant drop from about two-thirds (64%) in the May poll.  The decline in optimism has occurred across the board among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Optimism is down about 20 points among Democrats and Republicans and down 26 points among independents. Among Democrats, about 7 in 10 (71%) now say they are optimistic about the direction of the country over the next 12 months. That's much lower than the near universal (93%) approval from Democrats on Biden's handling of the pandemic. In politics today, partisans usually are more unified in their support or opposition to particular issues or people. If this polling trend continues, the Dems may well be cooked in next year's midterm elections.

A BAD PIECE OF WORK – FROM FOX:   Liberal mega-donor George Soros has directed $1 million to an activist group attempting to defund the police as violent crime surges in major urban centers across the nation.  Soros sent the million dollars via his Color Of Change PAC on May 14, according to Federal Election Commission files obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  The organization describes itself as "the nation’s largest online racial justice organization" and actively engages in efforts to defund police departments such as spreading an online petition calling for "divesting from and dismantling the systems that unjustly harm Black people."  The group also backed a push by the Milwaukee City Council to defund the police.  "Policing is a violent institution that must end," the group’s president wrote in a statement supporting the move. "We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision."  Mayor Guiliani had a more grown-up vision of policing, and his worked.

July 25, 2021       Permalink

 

SIGN OF A TREND?  I HOPE SO – AT 11:21 P.M. ET:  The pandemic revealed, to many parents, that their local schools weren't exactly Oxford, and many parents have taken action.  Homeschooling has grown dramatically, and new, innovative ideas are coming to the fore.  Call it the parents' revolt.  It has the potential to change the face of American education.  From Newsmax: 

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They're now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.

The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.

“That’s one of the silver linings of the pandemic – I don’t think we would have chosen to homeschool otherwise,” said Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Zoë thrived with the flexible, one-on-one instruction. Her curriculum has included literature, anatomy, even archaeology, enlivened by outdoor excursions to search for fossils.

The surge has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported in March that the rate of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling from 5.4% just six months earlier.

Black households saw the largest jump; their homeschooling rate rose from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall.

The parents in one of those households, Arlena and Robert Brown of Austin, Texas, had three children in elementary school when the pandemic took hold. After experimenting with virtual learning, the couple opted to try homeschooling with a Catholic-oriented curriculum provided by Seton Home Study School, which serves about 16,000 students nationwide.

The Browns plan to continue homeschooling for the coming year, grateful that they can tailor the curriculum to fit their children's distinctive needs. Jacoby, 11, has been diagnosed with narcolepsy and sometimes needs naps during the day; Riley, 10, has tested as academically gifted; Felicity, 9, has a learning disability.

“I didn’t want my kids to become a statistic and not meet their full potential,” said Robert Brown, a former teacher who now does consulting. “And we wanted them to have very solid understanding of their faith.”

Arlena Brown, who gave birth to a fourth child 10 months ago, worked as a preschool teacher before the pandemic. Homeschooling, she says, has been a rewarding adventure.

“In the beginning, the biggest challenge was to unschool ourselves and understand that homeschooling has so much freedom,” she said. “We can go as quickly or slowly as we need to.”

COMMENTS:  Very encouraging.  The battle for full school choice will be long and bitter, and you may be sure that the teachers' unions, who are largely responsible for the decline in the trust parents once had in public schools, will fight hard against choice.  The parents, I think, will ultimately win in many states, but the left will make their stand in New York and California.

July 25, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

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