Opinion | A Better Way to Run Schools – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“Twelve years later, Nigel Palmer still remembers the embarrassment of his first days as a fourth grader in Monroe, La. He was a Hurricane Katrina evacuee from New Orleans, living with his family in a La Quinta Inn, 250 miles from home. As soon as the school year began, he could tell that the kids in his new school seemed different from him.

They could divide numbers. He really couldn’t. They knew the 50 states. He didn’t. “I wasn’t up to par,” he quietly told me. It’s a miserable feeling.

Until the storm, Palmer had been attending New Orleans public schools, which were among the country’s worst. The high-school graduation rate was 54 percent, and some students who did graduate had shockingly weak academic skills.”

David Lindsay Jr:
How complicated. David Leonhardt, your piece was exciting, but in the comments, you appear to have run into a buzz saw of questions and doubts. Well Houdini, do you have the data to back up your enthusiasm, and isolated stories? While your at work, please explain why the 37th percentile is better than the 22nd, and why some commenters say your an idiot to think 37th is OK.

David Lindsay Jr. is a huge fan of David Leonhardt. Lindsay is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

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Opinion | $111 Billion in Tax Cuts for the Top 1 Percent – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“More inequality? Yes, please. Federal tax policy in the 21st century has been like a tug of war. Thanks to President Trump, the rich are winning it once again.

The top-earning 1 percent of households — those earning more than $607,000 a year — will pay a combined $111 billion less this year in federal taxes than they would have if the laws had remained unchanged since 2000. That’s an enormous windfall. It’s more, in total dollars, than the tax cut received over the same period by the entire bottom 60 percent of earners, according to an analysis being published today.”

Opinion | A Good Night for Democrats – David Leonhardt – NYT

“There has been rising anxiety among Democrats in recent weeks — and rising optimism among Republicans — about the midterm elections in November. Last night’s primaries in several states should cause everyone to take a deep breath. The Democrats had a good night:• We still don’t have the full picture, but the trends in voter turnout continue to look strong for Democrats. (The partisan breakdown in primary turnout is a meaningful predictor of general-election results.)

In three New Jersey House districts that Democrats are hoping to flip, for example, Democrats cast between 52 percent and 54 percent of primary votes last night. “Should be careful about reading too much into it,” G. Elliott Morris of The Economist said on Twitter, “but those numbers should make Democrats feel good about November.” ”

DL: And California Democrats dodged a bullet.

Opinion | Some Good News — (universal pre-kindergarten for Chicago — Virginia accepts medicaid expansion) – by David Leonhardt

“First, Chicago announced that it would make pre-kindergarten universal. By 2021, the city’s 4-year-olds will be able to go to school full time. The pre-K classes will have a student-to-staff ratio of 10:1, as experts recommend.

Many economists believe that good preschool programs are the single most effective way to lift living standards. Research by Dartmouth’s Elizabeth Cascio has found that universal pre-K — while more expensive than targeted, income-based programs — particularly helps poor children. They benefit from being in a diverse classroom.

Of course, pre-K also helps parents with child care. “If you’re working class, your kids are getting the shaft,” Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who taught preschool in his 20s, told me. “You’re basically put in the position of choosing between being a good employee and a good parent.”

Best of all, Chicago fits a national pattern, and a bipartisan one. Other cities and states — BaltimoreMemphis and New York; Florida, Vermont and West Virginia — have also expanded pre-K. Nationally, about 33 percent of 4-year-olds were in state-funded pre-K last year, with another 11 percent in other public programs. It’s a major increase since the start of this century:…”

Opinion | Democrats Are Running a Smart- Populist Campaign – by David Leonhardt – NYT

Stacey Abrams and Conor Lamb are supposed to represent opposite poles of the Trump-era Democratic Party. She is the new progressive heroine — the first black woman to win a major-party nomination for governor, who will need a surge of liberal turnout to win Georgia. He is the new centrist hero — the white former Marine who flipped a Western Pennsylvania congressional district with support from gun-loving, abortion-opposing Trump voters.But when you spend a little time listening to both Abrams and Lamb, you notice something that doesn’t fit the storyline: They sound a lot alike.They emphasize the same issues, and talk about them in similar ways. They don’t come across as avatars of some Bernie-vs.-Hillary battle for the party’s soul. They come across as ideological soul mates, both upbeat populists who focus on health care, education, upward mobility and the dignity of work.

Editorial | The Law Is Coming- Mr. Trump – The New York Times

“Why don’t we take a step back and contemplate what Americans, and the world, are witnessing?

Early Monday morning, F.B.I. agents raided the New York office, home and hotel room of the personal lawyer for the president of the United States. They seized evidence of possible federal crimes — including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into silence.

That evening the president surrounded himself with the top American military officials and launched unbidden into a tirade against the top American law enforcement officials — officials of his own government — accusing them of “an attack on our country.”

Oh, also: The Times reported Monday evening that investigators were examining a $150,000 donation to the president’s personal foundation from a Ukrainian steel magnate, given during the American presidential campaign in exchange for a 20-minute video appearance.

Meanwhile, the president’s former campaign chairman is under indictment, and his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. His son-in-law and other associates are also under investigation.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval at Comments to the NYT
Great editorial, “The Law Is Coming,” thank you. Now, please help me understand, why does Mitch McConnell stop the bipartisan bill to protect the Mueller investigation from getting passed? What is his game, or thinking? Does he expect that he and the GOP will prosper by keeping Trump in power? Is he an employee of Koch Industries and their club of coal, oil and gas oligarchs? Is he betting, against your editorial, that the Republicans will keep enough power, to stop the resistance to Trump, till at least 2020? Maybe the law is coming, but when?

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Opinion | The Tragedy of James Comey – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“James Comey is about to be ubiquitous. His book will be published next week, and parts may leak this week. Starting Sunday, he will begin an epic publicity tour, including interviews with Stephen Colbert, David Remnick, Rachel Maddow, Mike Allen, George Stephanopoulos and “The View.”All of which will raise the question: What, ultimately, are we supposed to make of Comey?

He may be the most significant supporting player of the Trump era, and his reputation has whipsawed over the last two years. He’s spent time as a villain, a savior and some bizarre combination of the two, depending on your political views.I think that the harshest criticisms of Comey have been unfair all along. He has never been a partisan, for either side. Over a long career at the Justice Department, he was driven by its best ideals: upholding the rule of law without fear or favor. His strengths allowed him to resist political pressure from more than one president of the United States.

Yet anybody who’s read Greek tragedy knows that strengths can turn into weaknesses when a person becomes too confident in those strengths. And that’s the key to understanding the very complex story of James Comey.”

Yes, and thank you. Readers must read the ending of this piece to get its tragic ending, Comey folley, for which he will never be forgiven.
Here are the most popular two comments I endorsed:
Cat Glickman
ArizonaApril 8
As a prosecutor and a Clinton voter, I have terribly mixed feelings about Comey. He did Americans enormous good by stopping Bush & Cheney. He also demonstrated admirable honor & intelligence in refusing to flatter Trump or accede to his demands & in memorializing those interviews right after they happened.
But Comey’s decision to publicly announce why he was not recommending charges against Clinton was just wrong – it is not the cop’s call to make & he clearly did it for self-aggrandizement. As a prosecutor i was dumbfounded – he was so clearly out-of-bounds. But the real damage was done when he announced he was re-opening the investigation. It is very hard to believe he did not make that announcement with intent to influence the election, & there is no doubt that he did it knowing that it would affect the election.

7 Replies 848 Recommended

J
Judith
ny11h ago
Robert Mueller seems to be the only Republican in Washington that knows exactly what he’s supposed to do, is doing it well, and sees no need for public display UNTIL it’s time to present the next result of his investigation. He clearly knows the difference between serious investigation and show business. I wish there were more like him.

1 Reply 628 Recommended

Opinion | M.L.K.’s Unsanitized Lessons – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“You can read his final speech, delivered in Memphis the night before his death, or you can listen to it. Don’t settle for the usual quick outtakes. The famous lines — like “I’ve been to the mountaintop” — aren’t the only worthwhile ones.

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination,” King said. “And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.”

Another option: If you haven’t yet read Taylor Branch’s great book, “Parting the Waters,” you can start it. It remains one of my 10 favorite books, on any subject.You can also watch the new HBO documentary that Branch created along with Trey Ellis, Jackie Glover and others. (If you don’t have HBO, you’ll need to wait a bit.) “For thirty years, I have been trying and failing to help move authentic civil rights history to film,” Branch tweeted last weekend. “It’s not the familiar, ‘sanitized’ MLK.”

You can also read the collection of Op-Eds that The Times has published in recent days, by Wendi Thomas and others. We’ve linked to each of those pieces in Related Coverage below. If you have questions for Jesse Jackson, who wrote one of the pieces, leave them in the Comments section of his article; he will be replying to some of them in coming days.”

Opinion | Big Business Is Too Big – by David Leonhardt – NYT

The big airlines. The hospital systems that dominate many metro areas. Gigantic retailers like Walmart and Amazon. And, increasingly, technology companies like Facebook and Google.The United States has an oligopoly problem — a concentration of corporate power that has been building for years but is only now starting to receive serious attention from policymakers, think tanks and journalists. (Mea culpa: I’m one of the journalists who was too slow to focus on the problem.)“In nearly every sector of our economy, far fewer firms control far greater shares of their markets than they did a generation ago,” Barry Lynn and Phillip Longman wrote in Washington Monthly, back in 2010. This consolidation has helped hold down wages, raise prices and reduce job growth — while lifting corporate profits.

Does Nancy Pelosi Deserve to Keep her Job? – By David Leonhardt – NYT

“The Pelosi question. A few years ago, Steve Cohen — a Democratic congressman from Memphis — had some buttons made. Each button said, “PelosiCare,” underneath a photo of Nancy Pelosi. At the bottom of the button, in smaller type, were the words “I was there.”

The point was clear enough. Everyone else may refer to the huge expansion of health insurance as Obamacare. But the Democratic members of Congress who voted for it know that it would not have happened without Pelosi. When Obama administration officials wavered over whether to keep pushing for such an ambitious bill, Pelosi bucked them up. Then she delivered the votes to pass the bill.

That’s been the pattern since Pelosi became the Democrats’ House leader in 2003. She pushes hard for liberal policies, but also has a keen understanding of what legislation can’t get through Congress, no matter how much she may personally favor it. She has probably done a better job of keeping her caucus unified, in the majority and minority, than any other recent congressional leader. “She has been an extraordinarily effective caucus leader,” as Jonathan Chait writes in New York magazine.”

David Lindsay:

I like the piece above, and I like Nancy Pelsosi a lot. I think Pelosi should step down for two reasons. 1.She shut down the government a month ago to force DACA reform, which was suicidal for winning the next election. Says who? Wrote David Leonhardt just weeks ago. He wrote, most white Americans don’t care much about DACA reform, and 69% of voters  who actually vote are white Americans.

2. Her big win was the Affordable Health Care Act. Unfortunetly, Obama passed that, and then lost the house, so he couldn’t pass his infrastructure bills, or any thing else. If they had focused on the ecomy, jobs and infrastructure first, and health care later, we would probably have environmentalists in charge of the EPA, and progressives in charge of the Consumer Protection Agency.  et cetera.