News & Brews June 8, 2024

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Philly youth for Trump? 

The Inquirer takes a look at “why some young voters in deep blue Philadelphia are backing” former President Trump. Back in 2020, President Biden won 60% of 18-29-year-olds. But some national polls show that age group is now nearly evenly split between Trump and Biden. As one 20-year-old put it, “The working class doesn’t really care about which foreign enemy we should be fighting…. They care about why I have to work two jobs this summer, why I have no money in my pocket to take my girlfriend on dates.” The same young man added, “The biggest thing is, Trump is a rebel. Trump is almost punk in a way. He’s a rebel against the establishment — an establishment that doesn’t care about us.”

‘Biden’s economic record overshadowed by inflation in western Pa.’

The Post-Gazette reports that polls show President Biden “can’t escape blame for higher prices, despite key gains.” Let’s put aside for moment any problems with this narrative (indeed, the headline probably should read “Biden’s economic record IS inflation”). The story basically says things are getting better, but voters don’t know it because prices are so high. “It’s a case of perception versus reality,” says Rutgers University pollster Ashley Koning. “Voters are not yet feeling this positivity in their everyday lives.  Despite all of the actual indicators, ratings about the economy are still poor.” And one Republican strategist said, “When people say the economy is bad, what they’re talking about is inflation. Eventually people will get used to the newer prices and maybe even appreciate the stability.” Ummmm.

Pa. lawmakers want to ban divesting from Israel 

GOP Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (York County) and Democrat Sen. Steve Santarsiero (Bucks County) plan to introduce legislation that would prohibit the Pa. Treasury or the state pension funds from divesting from Israel or from companies that do business with Israel. The effort is a way to “uphold Pennsylvania’s steadfast support for Israel” amid current anti-Israel prejudice, including among some lawmakers.

Lesson plans missing from school district

After a parent in Pennsbury School District (Bucks County) learned his 8th-grade son was taught only a single-sided view of Thanksgiving’s history—that it stemmed from the “slaughter of Native Americans”—the parent requested copies of the lesson plan used by the teacher. Come to find out (after months of right-to-know requests, denials, and appeals, which in and of itself raises questions about transparency), the district no longer requires formal lesson plans. A few years ago, a now-former GOP state lawmaker sought to require curriculum transparency. The bill passed the House and Senate over Democrat opposition, and former Gov. Wolf vetoed it. In other words, this parent’s situation is exactly how most Dems want it to be. School choice, anyone?

Jay-Z launches school choice effort in Philly

On Friday, Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, announced an 11-day event blitz in Philly to draw attention to the proposed Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) scholarship program (formerly Lifeline Scholarships). Currently, House Democrats are blocking this proposal, which would help underprivileged children in Philly and elsewhere who are stuck in crummy schools attend a better school. Check out the list of events here.

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