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What Californians can learn from Texas Republicans

Hello.

After four years of living at the Trump resistance headquarters, many Californians are adjusting to life under the Biden administration.

This means Gov. Gavin Newsom must deal with the disagreement among Democrats over how to resolve some of the state’s thorniest and most pressing issues.

And it’s also a reckoning moment for Republicans in the state, who must walk a fine line between parts of their base still in love with former President Donald Trump, who tried to subvert the election, and parties trying to forge a way without it. .

[Read more about how California’s relationship with Washington changed on Inauguration Day.]

It’s not a perfect analogue, but a lot about this period of political transition sounded familiar to my colleague Manny Fernandez, who covered Texas for the New York Times during the Obama administration and when Mr. Trump took over. its functions. (Coincidentally, I was covering Texas at the time as well.)

Recently I met Manny to talk about politics and a trip to the central valley to reflect what voters thought of Representative Kevin McCarthy, who demonstrated continued loyalty to Mr. Trump, even though it has faced stiff criticism for doing so. Here’s our conversation, lightly edited and condensed:

So first, tell me how you see politics in California changing now that we’re no longer the center of resistance?

I’ve seen a bit of this game play out in Texas upside down.

When I started in Texas, I started in the Obama days, so I covered the chasm of resistance – the conservative world of Texas battling the Obama administration.

That changed with the Trump era, and it was interesting to see the Texans go from ‘We’re a fighter’ to a different posture, where they were trying to find their own footing, because they had defined themselves by that. what they were up against. .

[Read more from Manny in May 2016, about what makes Texas Texas.]

The Republican leaders in Texas looked for another enemy, and it ended up being the Democrat-run Blue Cities. The leadership of the Red State turned in on itself and began to fight against the cities of Austin, Houston and San Antonio.

So I wonder how this will play out in Democrat-led California, where they will shift from fighters to federally responsible. It is probably easier to define yourself by what you are against than what you are for.

Tell me a bit about why you went to Bakersfield to find out more about Mr. McCarthy.

The idea was to go there and find out what Republicans in his home neighborhood think of him.

From the outside, your sort of knee jerk reaction might be, “I’m sure a lot of Republicans in Bakersfield are outraged at him and can’t believe he’s still loyal to Trump, even after the Capitol riot.”

I found a few moderate Republicans who thought McCarthy had gone too far.

I also found a lot of Republicans who were pro-Trump, post-riot, and they weren’t giving an inch. It was telling to see the amount of support that still exists in the San Joaquin Valley.

[Read the full story about Mr. McCarthy’s constituents here.]

What do you think of the reaction of the Bakersfield Republicans to other Republicans in the state?

For example, Representative David Valadao, a kind of protégé of Mr. McCarthy, was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump. And Shannon Grove, a pro-Trump state senator from Bakersfield, was ousted from the leadership of his caucus role after repeating false statements about the Capitol crowd in a tweet. So it is clear that not all California Republicans felt the same.

It’s that question, “How pro-Trump are you?” How extreme is that? “

On the one hand, with Ms. Grove, the lesson might be that there was a line – albeit an extreme one – that she crossed with this tweet. Then there are other parts of the party that her tweet wasn’t far enough away.

All these clashes over ideological politics will erupt in the weeks and months to come.

[Read more about how to make sense of the attack on the Capitol — from California.]

I want to bring it back to this Texas comparison. Eventually what we saw there was the Lieutenant Governor who was very aligned with Mr. Trump, Dan Patrick, push a so-called bathroom bill, then business leaders who were also Republicans stepped in to crush him.

Have you seen any echoes of this particular tension in the central valley?

I saw it more in Bakersfield, among the very pro-business, Bush-style Republicans who worried about Trump. They didn’t like what they saw in Trump’s White House.

More rural conservatives seemed to be more right and a little more pro-Trump. These two forces are going to hit each other’s heads across the Biden administration, trying to get their people involved in the Legislature, trying to win their local races.

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)

More on the policy:

  • Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer officially announced he is running for governor – either in 2022, or in the event of Mr. Newsom being recalled. It was a popular moderate conservative who was denounced. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

  • More Democrats publicly criticize governor for the pandemic response of its administration. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • If you missed it, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia who has regularly rehearsed conspiracy theories, wrote a post on Facebook in which she mistakenly suggested that a secret entity caused the devastating and deadly campfire by using space lasers to make way for the bullet train. [Media Matters for America]

This is not how the campfire started. [The New York Times]


  • The Biden administration faces pressure to repair family separations. [The New York Times]

  • Enrollment in California’s K-12 public schools has dropped precipitously during the pandemic. The decline is five times the state’s annual rate in recent years. [CalMatters]

  • Corporate America set 2020 as the deadline for many of its climate targets. Here’s how much (or little) progress they’ve made. [Bloomberg]

And if you missed it, a California lawmaker introduced a bill that would require large companies doing business in the state to report their carbon emissions and set targets to reduce them. [KQED]

  • Jack Palladino, the polarizing private detective from San Francisco credited with the modernization of the profession, died after a “brutal attack”. [The New York Times]

  • New research suggests that football practices present a greater risk of concussion than games for university athletes. [The New York Times]

  • Want to see The famous “firefall” of Yosemite National Park? You will need reservations this year. Here’s what else to know. [The Fresno Bee]


The University of California, Los Angeles is a powerhouse of gymnastics. And the routines of her gymnasts – think of Nia Dennis last week – often go viral. This is in part because the team has a secret weapon: choreographer Bijoya Das.

Find out how she trains gymnasts to let their personalities shine on the mat.


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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Underprivileged students more likely to learn remotely, study finds

NWEA, a nonprofit research group, warned in May that closing spring schools could cost students a third of their expected annual reading progress and half of their expected math progress. Subsequent analysis of the fall test scores showed better results – no drops in reading and more modest drops in math – but many underprivileged students did not take the test, which likely skewed the results.

Data from Zearn, an online math program used by some schools, shows performance gaps are widening, with low-income students’ progress falling 14% since January, even as it increased 13% among high-income students. A recent study of Dutch exams found that the average student made “little or no progress” during an eight-week hiatus last spring, with disadvantaged students suffering the greatest learning loss.

“Distance learning is almost certain to widen the achievement gap,” Lake said. “It has been a complete disaster for low income students.”

Among those affected are Dehlia Winbush of Kent, Wash., And her ten-year-old daughter, Nadira, who suffers from a behavioral disorder that oscillates between depression and aggression.

The switch to distance learning last spring “was extremely horrible,” said Ms. Winbush. “It was constantly a struggle for her to log on, even if it was only for an hour.” The school computer malfunctioned and Ms. Winbush, who is visually impaired, was unable to read it well enough to help Nadira with lessons.

“Personally, I don’t think she learned anything,” she says.

The new school year, she said, brought a longer school day and “a really good teacher.” But the isolation worsened Nadira’s depression and led to recent hospitalization. Ms Winbush took time off from her warehouse job to be by her daughter’s side, but her absences caused her to lose her job, adding financial problems to medical problems.

As Nadira’s screen flashes with interesting lessons – the rise of cities, defense mechanisms in animals – she misses the social and emotional development that comes from being in a classroom.

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Learn the etiquette of virtual weddings

If you are attending a wedding in person, you may need to self-quarantine and take a coronavirus test. Greg Moss, 36, and Danielle Black, 36, who tied the knot on the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm on September 26, asked their 20 guests to self-isolate for two weeks before the wedding and to submit proof of a negative coronavirus test by email.

“We understand that’s a lot to ask,” the couple wrote on their wedding website, which also included a list of rapid test sites. “We are counting on you, our most special people, to honor each other with your honesty and strict prudence.”

A few guests didn’t come because they couldn’t comply – “for a good reason,” Mr Moss said in an interview, “but everyone understood where we were coming from.”

One thing guests can expect – in person and virtually – are shorter receptions. (The ceremonies often appear to be the same length as in The Before Times, with the main difference being that more couples write their own vows, according to several wedding planners interviewed.)

Leah Weinberg, a wedding planner who founded Color Pop Events in Queens, said a “normal” wedding would take place around six hours from the arrival of the guests until the end of the night. Currently, events last around three hours, she said, because in-person parties of 20 or 30 people don’t need an hour for cocktails, and there usually isn’t a lot of dance.

Virtual guests don’t necessarily want to watch dinners in person, so some receptions with a large virtual guest list can go straight from the couple pronouncing themselves married to the first dance, to all the family dances (like father daughter), toast and cup of cakes. Then the virtual guests log out and dinner is served (yes, after the cake), Ms Creidenberg said.

Another particularity of certain virtual weddings: the sub-committee rooms, which the couple organizes, at the wedding table. “Keep your breakout rooms on the front page of Zoom’s gallery view,” Ms. Creidenberg said – in other words, less than 25 people per room. If you’d rather not chat with your “table,” you can always turn your camera off and mute until the couple arrive, said Brittany Ward, head of planning at Modern Rebel, a planning company. based in Brooklyn.