Public schools are collapsing under the weight of the Leftist ideology. Students walked out of a public school in Pennsylvania after it allowed boys who say they are transgender to enter the girls’ bathrooms.
As liberals insist on ideological indoctrination in our schools, students are failing reading and math exams. In the entire city of Baltimore, which includes dozens of public schools, not a single student was grade-level proficient at math in 2022.
Among Baltimore high school students, 77% were found to have reading skills at only an elementary school level, while some of the public high school students’ reading skills were even lower, at the kindergarten level.
Democrats control Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland, so it is unlikely anything will be done to address this crisis there. But in red states like Iowa, Florida, and Texas, this new school year brings with it an expansion in options for parents.
When Phyllis Schlafly fought ERA, Iowa was controlled by teachers’ unions who insisted on their liberal agenda. Over the last decade the Iowa legislature has broken the teachers’ unions’ control of that state, such that this year an expansive school voucher program was enacted over union opposition.
Iowa has since approved nearly 20,000 applications for vouchers worth $7,600 per student to attend accredited private schools, with that money deducted from the public schools of those students. In this first year of the program, families qualify only if their income is below a certain multiple of the poverty level, but by the third year these vouchers will be available to all families in Iowa regardless of their income.
Enrollment has far exceeded projections, and substantial defunding of public schools may result. Florida just adopted a similar program for this school year, but some private schools have declined to participate because so many regulations are attached to it, including schools having to certify compliance with conditions while submitting to surprise inspections.
In Texas, the right-of-center Texas Public Policy Foundation has been pushing a voucher program that is opposed by rural Republicans and some other conservatives. Texas public schools are failing to educate their students and some fear this plan will make them worse.
Gov. Abbott has called an extraordinary 30-day special session beginning October 9 that appears to be a Mexican standoff on this issue. A Mexican standoff is a confrontation in which neither side has a winnable strategy, and neither side can retreat.
Education, immigration, a flourishing new community known as Colony Ridge northeast of Houston, and vaccine mandates by private entities are all on the agenda. Gov. Greg Abbott needs to rehabilitate his political reputation after he quietly supported the failed sham impeachment of conservative Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Migrants pour illegally into Texas at many points along the Mexican border, and Gov. Abbott has done almost nothing meaningful on that. Instead, he pivots to this education issue.
Public school teachers are so opposed to giving parents vouchers to redeem at private schools that they are even willing to forgo the raises they had been demanding. Teachers oppose vouchers even though the Texas bill would not directly siphon funds from public schools, but instead would fund the vouchers out of general state revenues.
Texas Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) was introduced on the first day of this special session, with state Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) as its author. It would provide up to $8,000 in taxpayer-funded vouchers for families to pay private educational expenses, which could include tutoring, textbooks, transportation, and uniforms in addition to tuition.
Simultaneously SB 2 was introduced to provide billions of dollars in raises to Texas public school teachers. Boosted by revenue from higher oil prices and many Americans moving to the Lone Star State, Texas enjoys a surplus of $19 billion in its upcoming fiscal year.
But with illegal aliens overrunning Texas schools without the legislature doing anything meaningful about it, the contentious debate about vouchers seems like a distraction.
Immigration is on the agenda but there is no leadership by Gov. Abbott or Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for meaningful action.
Regardless of how this third legislative session concludes on the school voucher issue, more variations on this theme are spreading nationwide. Additional states that have adopted school voucher programs include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and even the blue states of New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin.
Unplug NATO’s War and Corrupt DC
The last-minute deal to keep the federal government open did nothing to rein in wasteful and corrupt federal spending, or avert the predicted recession. Rather than react with relief that the federal government continues on, with its misuse of prosecutorial power, the stock market declined after the Sept. 30th vote in Congress to keep the lights on.
The consumer confidence index dropped to a four- month low in September, while new home sales have fallen sharply by 8.7% as of August. Gas prices have skyrocketed, including an 80-cent increase in merely one month in California.
Yet President Biden seems oblivious to the hard times ahead in this impending recession. It is in his political interest not to say this “R” word, as this impedes his diminishing chances of being reelected.
A silver lining to the stopgap funding bill was how House Republicans blocked sending billions more to the NATO war in Ukraine. As good jobs disappear in our country, it is dismaying that some Senate leaders care more about continuing to fund bloodshed halfway around the world than taking care of our economy back home.
Fortunately, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has led the fight against forcing Americans to fund NATO’s war to expand its membership to include Ukraine. Congress has already sent $113 billion of hard-earned American taxpayer funds to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky without accountability of where it ultimately went.
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), who has a large Ukrainian constituency, opposes pouring more American money into the war there. “Five years from now … you’re going to find a lot of people have gotten rich from this,” he said in September.
On October 1st, voters in Slovakia elected the party that promised to end military support for the regime in Ukraine. The election winners also vowed to oppose Ukraine joining NATO, which is what this war is about.
In the recent October 14 national election in Poland, unhappy voters ousted the ruling party that sent arms and billions to the NATO war in Ukraine, allowed runaway inflation in Poland, and accepted 17 million refugees. This election was a victory for Leftists due to the otherwise conservative party’s support for NATO-style globalism.
Our own presidential election is a year away, and the pro-globalism Senate leadership thinks that voters will forget by then or fail to assert themselves against this looting by D.C. of America. But on September 30th, the American people won on this issue of pouring billions more into this war in Ukraine.
“Senate leadership tried to get Ukraine jammed into the CR and they just got bucked,” celebrated Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), talking about the continuing resolution enacted on September 30. Yet the next day President Biden announced that he expects more funding of this NATO war in Ukraine to pass in a separate vote, which no Republican Speaker of the House should schedule.
“There’s going to have to be a major debate in this country” about continuing to fund this war, observed left-leaning Politico. This conflict has already killed or wounded a half-million soldiers and the practical effect of funding it is to keep Zelensky in power rather than give him an incentive to negotiate for peace.
CNN admitted over the summer that most Americans oppose Congress providing more funding for this war. Among Republicans, 71% oppose sending more money there.
Phyllis Schlafly correctly predicted in 1967 that President Lyndon B. Johnson could not be reelected if the Vietnam War continued through 1968. “Johnson’s political future depends on ending the war in some way,” she wrote 56 years ago in her book against the Deep State entitled Safe – Not Sorry.
That war did continue, and then as now we were entangled in it without a full debate and formal declaration by Congress. Subsequently the otherwise invincible Johnson was humiliated in his own primary and forced to withdraw from the presidential race in order to be replaced as the Democrat nominee.
As the recession takes hold and deepens in the United States, Biden and Democrats will lose badly on Election Day next year if they continue to send money to fuel NATO’s agenda in Ukraine. They can avoid talking about the recession, but they cannot avoid voters’ wrath for advancing a pro-war globalist ideology rather than America First.
The average length of recessions after World War II has been 10 months, but the so-called Great Recession that swept Democrats into power in 2008 lasted 18 months while one in the early 1980s lasted 16 months. Ballots will be cast next year while Americans are unable to keep up with the spiraling inflation and interest rates.
Democrats talk of replacing Biden as their nominee because of his age, but an equally large problem for him is trying to defend his pro-war policies during a recession. Robbing Americans further to fund perpetual foreign violence during a recession is not a successful formula for Democrats to win an election.
Supreme Court Caves to Left on Racial Quotas
The Supreme Court sided on September 26 with federal interference in the Alabama legislature for the second time in four months, by ordering or allowing the liberal judicial override of a redistricting plan. This misuse of the Voting Rights Act obstructs a state legislature from exercising its constitutional authority to reformulate its congressional districts based on population changes.
Some 15 years after Americans elected a black president, and long after black congressmen and senators have been elected by majority-white constituents, the Supreme Court is still falling for the liberal lie that whites won’t elect a black representative. Liberals perpetuate this fiction to increase the number of Democrat-controlled congressional districts, rather than to protect voting rights.
Alabama already has one majority-black congressional district out of its seven overall. But liberals insist that an additional district be drawn based solely on race, even though the Fourteenth Amendment stands against racial discrimination by the government of any state.
Last June the Supreme Court pontificated against universities for basing their admissions decisions in part on race. But that same month, and again in September, the same Supreme Court held that a state legislature must redraw Alabama’s congressional districts based on the race of its voting age population, in order to create the highest possible number of majority-black districts.
A few Justices appear spooked by the possibility that the liberal media might call them racist if they do not require racial quotas in redistricting, even though that was never overtly required before. The Court implicitly adopts the false argument that a district would not elect a black Representative if fewer than half of its voters are black.
Congress currently has four African-American members representing districts with far less than a black majority: Byron Donalds, whose Florida district is 7% black; Wesley Hunt, whose Texas district is 7% black; John James, whose Michigan district is 3% black; and Burgess Owens, whose Utah district is less than 2% black. Sen. Tim Scott represents South Carolina, which is only 26% black, and is a candidate for president.
Of course, all these fine elected officials are Republicans, which is not what liberals seek. Instead, what they want is to maximize the number of Democrat-held districts, regardless of color.
The Supreme Court obliges, as two Republican- appointed Supreme Court Justices who otherwise purport to defend state sovereignty flipped to the liberal side to override the Alabama legislature. This Court that refused to touch any election issue brought by Trump is eager to appease progressives who misuse race to manipulate election outcomes.
The Court refuses to admit that it is demanding the equivalent of unconstitutional racial quotas. Yet on September 26, by issuing unsigned orders without comment, the Court reaffirmed its Allen v. Milligan decision last June that requires Alabama to use racial quotas in redistricting.
John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh were the GOP- appointed justices who joined the liberal bloc to expand Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to force this extraordinary override of a state legislature. Roberts joined despite his ruling in 2013 that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was no longer needed, and Kavanaugh concurred despite his caveat that “the authority to conduct race-based redistricting cannot extend indefinitely into the future.”
The fiction of liberals and federal courts pretending to prefer race-blind policies is laid bare by their racial quotas for redistricting. States should not be forced to perpetuate the balkanization of voting along racial lines, coupled with ballot harvesting strategies that in some precincts have delivered nearly every ballot for the Democrat Party.
Our Constitution is color-blind and should be interpreted that way on all issues, not just college admissions. As explained by Clarence Thomas, the senior black justice on the Court, disputes about drawing congressional districts should be resolved “in a way that would not require the Federal Judiciary to decide the correct racial apportionment of Alabama’s congressional seats.”
Every ten years a new census results in states redrawing their congressional districts to account for shifting population and the gain or loss of a congressional seat. The Alabama legislature justifiably sought to keep its southwest Gulf Coast region within one congressional district because there is a community of interest there, while plaintiffs sought to break it into separate districts in order to forge a second majority-Democrat, majority-black district.
Democrats challenged the legislature’s decision based on their theory about the “Black Belt” region of Alabama, so named for the color of its rich soil and not the color of its residents. The Alabama legislature included much of this region in a district where blacks comprised 42% of its population, which should have been enough.
By racially balkanizing Alabama, the Court reduces the likelihood that a black congressman can be elected statewide as Tim Scott has been reelected as senator in South Carolina.
“Social Justice” Demands 4-Day Work Week
The Democrat takeover of Michigan in the last election is yielding more harmful consequences. The Detroit-based United Auto Workers (UAW) union has a new far-Left, anti-Trump president, who was elected by fewer than 500 votes in the runoff after losing on the first ballot.
This new UAW President Shawn Fain has unleashed a first-ever strike against all three Michigan automakers. While denying that he is wrecking the economy, Fain declared on September 15 that “the truth is we are going to wreck the billionaire economy,” and he will “go the distance to win economic and social justice at the Big Three.”
Fain’s demands on the Detroit Three would double their labor expenses, which are already far higher than at Tesla and other auto manufacturers. About half of cars sold in the U.S. are assembled at foreign-owned plants whose American workers have consistently rejected the UAW’s attempts to organize and represent them.
A central demand by the militant new UAW leadership is to shrink to a 4-day work week while insisting on full 5-day pay. This would harm the competitiveness of the Detroit automakers, and set the precedent for a broad reduction in other services to the American public, such as reduced mail delivery.
In August this radical new UAW president Shawn Fain declared that “billionaires in my opinion don’t have a right to exist. The very existence of billionaires shows us that we have an economy that is working for the benefit of the few, and not the many.”
“The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership,” President Trump said before the strike that President Biden failed to avert. The UAW leadership should be demanding an end to Biden’s electric car mandates and subsidies, which are wrecking jobs at Detroit automakers.
On September 27 Trump addressed union workers rather than participate in a second Republican debate against rivals who have no chance of winning. Trump has vowed to enact a “complete and total repeal of Democrats’ catastrophic EV mandate,” referring to electric vehicles, on Trump’s first day back in office, to save Michigan and American jobs.
One-third of U.S. auto workers voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. But instead of representing his politically divided membership, Fain has lashed out against Trump and thereby given away any political leverage the UAW might have had with Biden.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board observed on September 15 that “the underlying cause of the auto walkout is the Biden Administration’s forced electric- vehicle transition.” Democrats cannot broker an end to the strike unless they stop crippling the Detroit auto industry with demands for electric cars that use components from China.
Democrats are mandating that electric vehicles become two-thirds of the Detroit automakers’ sales by 2032, even though they are less than 3% today. The car companies’ profits that liberals cite in this strike are being plowed back into money-losing electric car development that few genuinely want.
Disappearing jobs in Michigan and the Midwest would result from the EV mandate that favors Tesla’s manufacturing with cheaper labor. Ignoring this, the UAW’s headquarters in Detroit is called “Solidarity House” while their new leader is a throwback to prior strike waves that destroyed Motown as the engine of America’s prosperity.
This UAW strike is music to the ears of far-Left Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who quickly piled on by deploring “the outrageous level of corporate greed.” His comrade in the U.S. Senate, the foul-mouthed John Fetterman (D-PA), joined picketing strikers.
CNN reports that union members, once uniformly Democrat in voting, have increasingly shifted to vote Republican. Impervious to this, Fain warned prior to the strike that “either you stand for a billionaire class where everybody else gets left behind, or you stand for the working class, the working-class people vote.”
It is not the billionaire class that is choking off growth in auto workers’ wages, but the war against the traditional car that is being waged by liberals in California and the Biden administration. California has banned sales of Detroit’s traditional cars beginning in 2035, and California recently sued the oil producing companies on which cheap gasoline depends.
One study by the University of Michigan estimated that a four-week strike against the Big Three – General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) – would cause a loss of 161,000 jobs in Michigan itself. Already this strike involves 13,000 workers, with ripple effects harming far more, and before long this work stoppage could mushroom to harm hundreds of thousands of families primarily in the Midwest.
The future for American workers is Trump’s consistently strong stance against losing automobile jobs to China and against subsidizing electric cars that Detroit cannot afford to make. Rather than be left behind due to their outdated class warfare rhetoric, the UAW leaders should catch a ride with Trump to attain employment growth with good-paying manufacturing jobs.