Rich? Yes, Smart? No
Everyone knows California is one of the largest economies in the world, rivaling England for fifth place. We are rich, trend setting, diverse, scenic, innovative and have a $30 billion or so surplus in our state’s general and rainy day fund.
But as the saying goes, money doesn’t always buy happiness and California’s booming economy has also produced a state with the highest rate of poverty, homelessness and income inequality in the country.
Now we have one more embarrassing distinction. Our golden state, even with our vaunted University of California system, is also the least educated.
According to WalletHub, out of the largest 150 metro areas in the country, California has the six least educated cities out of the bottom 10. And guess who came in last?
The Visalia/Porterville metro area.
WalletHub looked at the share of adults aged 25 and older with a high school diploma, Associate, Bachelor or Graduate’s degree. They also took into consideration the quality of the metro area’s public school system.
California’s failing education system has economic implications. Higher levels of education tend to lead to higher salaries. And the more that high school or college graduates earn, the more tax dollars they contribute to their hometown, explaining the circular relationship between lower education, poor cities, and poverty.
The top 10 most educated metro areas in the United States according to WalletHub are Ann Arbor MI, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA, Washington DC-Arlington-Alexandria, Durham-Chapel Hill NC, Madison WI, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA, Boston-Cambridge-Newton MA-NH, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA, Austin-Round Rock TX, and Provo-Orem, UT.
The 10 least educated metro areas are Fresno CA, Ocala FL, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC, Stockton-Lodi CA, Salinas CA, Modesto CA, Bakersfield CA, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX, Brownsville-Harlingen TX, Visalia-Porterville CA.
What are the political implications of poorly educated cities? When pollsters analyze the demographic make-up of Trump’s base the one constant is uneducated white males.
But is this true or fake news?
The Visalia/Porterville region is strongly Republican and voted for Mr. Trump – and now we know that we are the least educated. Did the rest of the bottom 10 follow suit?
When looking at the results from the 2016 presidential election, the most educated cities overwhelmingly voted for Ms. Clinton. But the bottom 10 were a little more complicated. The least educated cities needed a deeper dive than just election numbers.
The bottom 20 cities were a mixed bag. Who they voted for depended on the percent of their Hispanic population. Obviously the majority of Hispanics, at any education level, did not vote for Mr. Trump.
So why did the Visalia/Porterville area?
When a city in the least educated bottom 10 hit the critical point of 70% Hispanic the scales tipped towards Ms. Clinton. It seemed that percent was the threshold needed to counterbalance the fact that Hispanics are notorious for low voter turnout.
At 65% Hispanic, the Visalia/Porterville region is just low enough to still vote for Mr. Trump 51% to Ms. Clinton’s 41%
The same was true for the Bakersfield, Modesto, and Fresno areas that all hover around 50% Hispanic and voted for Trump by an 11 point advantage. Modesto and Stockton have a very ethnically diverse population and voted for Ms. Clinton.
Brownsville and McAllen Texas, number 148 and 149 on the scale of least educated cities, have a Hispanic population of 90% and voted for Ms. Clinton.
But in such areas as Ocala FL, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC, number 142 and 143 least educated cities, Whites made up 70 -75% of the population and voted 65% for Trump and 30% for Ms. Clinton. The same was true for low-ranking Lafayette LA, Lakeland-Winterhaven FL, and Reading PA. All have a large uneducated White population and voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump.
In addition, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana were ranked last on WalletHub’s list of educated states and all voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump.
The most educated cities on the other hand voted overwhelmingly for Ms. Clinton. Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan and the most educated region of the United States, voted 27% for Mr. Trump. Only 21% voted for Mr. Trump in the second most educated region, San Joe/Santa Clara.
The only exception to the top 10 most educated cities was number 10, Provo Utah. Being predominantly Mormon, they voted just over 50% for Mr. Trump
The nagging question is that if Russia meddled in our election on behalf of Mr. Trump and the least educated Whites in the country vote for him –wouldn’t those be considered red flags in electing him again?
Democrats’ Last Gasp
In the six hours of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on July 24 Tulare County will be remembered for Congress Member Devin Nunes’ opening statement. He is the Republican ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He along with 10 other Republicans questioned the validity of Mr. Mueller’s final report.
Here is a transcript of Mr. Nunes’ statement.
“Thank you Mr. Chairman. Welcome everyone to the last gasp of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory. As Democrats continue to foist this spectacle on the American people, as well as you Mr. Mueller, the American people may recall the media first began spreading this conspiracy theory in the spring of 2016 when Fusion GPS, funded by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, started developing the Steele Dossier, a collection of outlandish accusations that Trump and his associates or Russian agents. Fusion GPS, Steele, and other Confederates fed these absurdities tonight more partisan reporters and to top officials in numerous government agencies including the FBI, the Department of Justice and the State Department.
Among other things the FBI used dossier allegations to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Despite acknowledging dossier allegations as being salacious and unverified, former FBI director James Comey briefed those allegations to President Obama and President-elect Trump. Those briefings conveniently leaked to the press, resulting in a publication of the dossier and launching thousands of false press stories based on the word of a foreign ex-spy, one who admitted he was desperate that Trump lose the election and who was eventually fired as an FBI source for leaking to the press.
After Comey himself was fired by his own admission, he leaked derogatory information on President Trump to the press for the specific purpose, and successfully so, of engineering the appointment of a special counsel who sits before us here today. The FBI investigation was marred by further corruption and bizarre abuses top DOJ official Bruce Ohr whose own life worked on Fusion GPS is anti-Trump operation fed Steele’s information to the FBI even after the FBI fired Steele.
The top FBI investigator and his lover, another top FBI official, constantly texted how much they hated Trump and wanted to stop him from being elected, and the entire investigation was open based not on five-eyes (PH) intelligence but on a tip from a foreign politician about a conversation involving Joseph Mifsud. He is a Maltese diplomat who is widely portrayed as a Russian agent but seems to have far more connections with Western governments including our own FBI and our own State Department than with Russia.
Brazenly ignoring all of these red flags as well as the transparent absurdity of the claims they are making, the Democrats have argued for nearly three years that evidence of collusion is hidden just around the corner. Like the Loch Ness monster, they insist it’s there, even if no one could find it.
Consider this, in March 2017, Democrats on this committee said they had more than circumstantial evidence of collusion, but they couldn’t reveal it yet. Mr. Mueller was soon appointed, and they said he would find the collision. Then, when no collision was found in Mr. Mueller’s indictments, the Democrats said we’d find it in his final report. Then, when there was no collusion in the report, we were told Attorney General Barr was hiding it. Then, when it was clear Barr wasn’t hiding anything, we were told it would be revealed through a hearing was with Mr. Mueller himself. And now that Mr. Mueller is here, they are claiming that the collusion has actually been in his report all along, hidden in plain sight.
And they are right. There is collusion in plain sight. Collusion between Russia and the Democratic Party. The Democrats colluded with Russian sources to develop the Steele dossier and Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya colluded with the dossier’s key architect, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson.
The Democrats have already admitted both in interviews and through their usual anonymous statements to reporters that today’s hearing is not about getting information at all. They said they want to “Bring the Mueller report to life and create a television moment through ploys like having Mr. Mueller recite passages from his own report.” In other words, this hearing is political theater, it’s a Hail Mary attempt to convince the American people that collusion Israel and that it it’s concealed in the report. Granted, that’s a strange argument to make about a report that is public. It’s almost like the Democrats prepared arguments accusing Mr. Barr of hiding the report and didn’t bother to update their claims once he publish the entire thing.
Among congressional Democrats, the Russia investigation was never about finding the truth, it’s always been a simple media operation. By their own accounts, this operation continues in this room today. Once again, numerous pressing issues this committee needs to address are put on hold to indulge the political fantasies of people who believed it was their destiny to serve Hillary Clinton’s administration. It’s time for the curtain to close on the Russia hoax. The conspiracy theory is dead. At some point, I would argue, we’re going to have to get back to work. Until then, I yield back the balance of my time.”
Mr. Mueller’s report found that the Russians meddled in our election on behalf of President Trump. Mr. Nunes’ findings say that it was actually the Democrats who colluded with the Russians on behalf of Hilary Clinton.
We can be civil and agree to disagree on this issue, right?
But what about respect?
Respecting our war heroes, the United States Intelligence Community, Veterans, and Gold Star Families is not a partisan issue. But Mr. Trump and Mr. Nunes continue to disrespect these groups and their fellow Republicans.
Mr. Mueller received the Bronze Star with a distinction for valor for his actions in one battle, and he’d been airlifted out of the jungle during another firefight after being shot in the thigh.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller were born just two years apart, raised in similar wealthy backgrounds in Northeastern cities, both deeply influenced by their fathers, both star prep school athletes, both Ivy League educated.
But while Mr. Mueller volunteered for the Marines, Mr. Trump dodged the draft by getting medical referrals for bone spurs. And he cannot even tell you which foot.
Mueller, for his part, not only volunteered for the Marines, he spent a year waiting for an injured knee to heal so he could serve. Also, after 9/11, Mr. Mueller with his integrity and hard work ethic as head of the FBI, was the one who kept us safe by preventing further terrorist attacks.
The same is true for war hero and United States Senator John McCain. Why have Republicans remained silent while Mr. Trump has been allowed to disparage his reputation, even after death.
Why hasn’t our representative in the United States Congress, Mr. Nunes, said anything?
I f there is one thing I will believe to my dying day after all the lawsuits, losing my home, and the death of my son – is that silence is complicity.
Shame on the Republican Party.