Monday, September 30, 2013

Bill Keller of the New York Times: The American Right is Having its Own Version of the 1960s

Bill Keller's column in the New York Times is linked below.

NYT: The Right and Their Own Sixties

"The Republicans are finally having their ’60s. Half a century after the American left experienced its days of rage, its repudiation of the political establishment, conservatives are having their own political catharsis. Ted Cruz is their spotlight-seeking Abbie Hoffman. (The Texas senator’s faux filibuster last week reminded me of Hoffman’s vow to 'levitate' the Pentagon using psychic energy.) The Tea Party is their manifesto-brandishing Students for a Democratic Society. Threatening to blow up America’s credit rating is their version of civil disobedience. And Obamacare is their Vietnam."
---Bill Keller, The New York Times

Laura Helmuth of Slate : The Hows and Whys of Rising Lifespans

Laura Helmuth's article in Slate is linked below.

Slate: The Reasons Behind the Longer Lifespans

"The most important difference between the world today and 150 years ago isn’t airplane flight or nuclear weapons or the Internet. It’s lifespan. We used to live 35 or 40 years on average in the United States, but now we live almost 80. We used to get one life. Now we get two."
---Laura Helmuth, Slate 

National Journal: A Government Shutdown Quite Probable

The National Journal article is linked below.

National Journal: Likelihood of a Government Shutdown

"With just hours to go until a government shutdown, Senate Democrats are promising to torpedo the House's latest legislative volley, Republicans are formulating last-minute plans to score a victory against Obamacare, and both sides are digging political entrenchments that make shuttering the government increasingly likely."
----National Journal

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kaiser Health News: Majority of Uninsured Americans Don't Know that Obamacare Begins in October 2013

Data from the Kaiser survey is linked below.

Kaiser Health News: Most Uninsured Unaware of Obamacare Implementation

"A new poll finds a majority of the public — especially those lacking health coverage — is unaware that new insurance marketplaces created by the health law are slated to open next week. The poll also found deep skepticism of media coverage of the law, with more than half the public saying they don’t trust any media source to provide credible information."
---Kaiser Health News

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Wall Street Journal's Joanne Lipman: In Praise of Traditional Rigorous Education

Joanne Lipman's Wall Street Journal column is linked below.

Joanne Lipman: The Virtues of Educational Rigor

"All of which flies in the face of the kinder, gentler philosophy that has dominated American education over the past few decades. The conventional wisdom holds that teachers are supposed to tease knowledge out of students, rather than pound it into their heads. Projects and collaborative learning are applauded; traditional methods like lecturing and memorization—derided as "drill and kill"—are frowned upon, dismissed as a surefire way to suck young minds dry of creativity and motivation.

But the conventional wisdom is wrong. And the following eight principles—a manifesto if you will, a battle cry inspired by my old teacher and buttressed by new research—explain why."
---Joanne Lipman, The Wall Street Journal 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin on the Government Funding Crisis: "It's dangerous. It's very dangerous. I believe, Mr. President, we are at one of the most dangerous points in our history right now, every bit as dangerous as the break-up of the Union before the Civil War."

Senator Tom Harkin

Coverage of Senator Tom Harkin's comments are linked below:

National Journal: Tom Harkin's Ominous Warning

"Of course, it'd be a stretch to think that the United States is on the cusp of anything as violent as the Civil War. But the consequences of a government shutdown or topping over the debt ceiling could be massively harmful for the U.S. economy, whether you're looking at the possibility of a downgrade in U.S. credit or just the shutdown in payments and services with thousands of government employees out of work."

---Matt Berman, National Journal 

New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait: In the Latest Showdown With Congress, President Obama's Second Term is on the Line

President Obama

Jonathan Chait's article in New York Magazine is linked below.

Jonathan Chait: The Stakes are High in the Latest Debt-Ceiling Confrontation

"The debt-ceiling showdown has snuck up quietly on Washington and is barely registering in the broader economy. Nobody is quite sure what to make of it. A familiar Washington Kabuki dance? A white-knuckle bond market tightrope walk? A final reactionary howl at the onset of Obamacare? It may be these things, but it’s also something much larger: a Constitutional struggle, a kind of quasi-impeachment, that will test Obama’s mettle and, next to his reelection campaign, poses the most singular threat to his presidency."

---Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine 

Associated Press: UN Panel Concludes that Humans Are the Primary Cause of Global Warming

The AP article posted at The Huffington Post is linked below.

AP: UN Panel Asserts High Confidence that Global Warming is Largely Man-Made

"Scientists can now say with extreme confidence that human activity is the dominant cause of the global warming observed since the 1950s, a new report by an international scientific group said Friday.
Calling man-made warming "extremely likely," the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the strongest words yet on the issue as it adopted its assessment on the state of the climate system."
---Associated Press

CNN: United Nations Report Declares Near Certainty That Global Warming is Caused Predominantly by Human Beings

The United Nations

The CNN report is linked below.

CNN: UN Report Cites Human Beings as the Major Cause of Global Warming

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gallup: The Tea Party is Not Popular

Despite the claims of Tea Party members that they somehow represent the "real America," data from Gallup indicates that the Tea Party is not popular with much of the American public.

Gallup's data summary is linked below.

Gallup: Declining Support for the Tea Party

"As Washington braces for another budget showdown, this time with the threat of defunding the new healthcare law in the mix, the key political force pushing for conservative policies sees diminished popular support. Fewer Americans now describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement than did at the height of the movement in 2010, or even at the start of 2012. Today's 22% support nearly matches the record low found two years ago."


The County Board in Modoc County Votes to Secede From California and Form the State of Jefferson

The Al Jazeera American article is linked below.

The Supervisors of Modoc County, California Vote to Secede and Create the State of Jefferson

"On Tuesday, a second California county joined the growing movement. Modoc County supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of secession, following in the footsteps of neighboring Siskiyou County that made a similar decision earlier this month."
----Al Jazeera America

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gallup: Americans Want to be Parents in Nearly the Same Percentages as 23 Years Ago

Gallup Poll data is linked below.

Gallup: American Adults Still Want to be Parents in Nearly the Same Percentages as 1990

"Despite the recent drop in the U.S. fertility rate, Americans' attitudes about having children have remained unchanged over the past 23 years. More than nine in 10 adults say they already have children, are planning to have children, or wish that they had had children."


The Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle: The "Wacko Bird" of Texas Finds His Flock in the Hard Right Talk Radio Venue and Demographic

The Daily Beast Article by Michelle Cottle is linked below.

The Daily Beast: Ted Cruz Among Friends in the Talk Radio World

"Demagogues like Rush and Mark Levin aren’t worried about trivial matters like governance. Their job is to fuel a galvanizing blend of fear and outrage among listeners. They aren’t even that interested in getting ideological compadres elected to office. After all, rage-mongering bomb-throwers thrive best when the oh-so-loathsome enemy is in power
Unsurprisingly, the junior senator from Texas is manna to talk radio warriors."
---Michelle Cottle, The Daily Beast 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pew Research Center: An Estimated 11.7 Million Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S. in 2012, a Slight Increase From the Lows of the Recession in 2009

The Pew Research article is linked below.

Pew Research: A Slight Increase in the Number of Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S. in 2012 Relative to 2009

"The sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants that accompanied the 2007-2009 recession has bottomed out, and the number may be rising again. As of March 2012, 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on U.S. government data."
---Pew Research Center

Dave Zirin: It's Time to Stand With Those Athletes Who are Challenging the NCAA

Dave Zirin's column is linked below.

Zirin's call for solidarity with college athletes who are challenging the NCAA

"The mountain is high, but a group of players are attempting to climb it in the face of a hostile bureaucracy, a largely indifferent public and adults-in-charge who use them with callous insistence on the status quo. They shouldn’t have to do it, but they are the only ones who can, and they deserve our unflinching solidarity."

---Dave Zirin, Edge of Sports 

Salon's Josh Eidelson Explores a Possible Revolt Among NCAA College Football Players

The article is linked below.

Salon: College Football Players Engage in Protest

"The leader of the group that just pulled off an unprecedented collective protest by NCAA athletes told Salon such actions will escalate this season.
During nationally televised college football games on Saturday, 28 total players wore the slogan 'APU' — short for 'All Players United' – on their wrist tape or elsewhere on their bodies. Players from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern took part."
---Josh Eidelson, 

Monday, September 23, 2013

GQ: The "Wacko Bird" of Texas, Senator Ted Cruz

The Jason Zengerle GQ article on Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is linked below.

The Wacko Bird of Texas

"The 'wacko bird' dig, however, has only endeared Cruz more to his party's purist wing. Already his fans are nudging him to think about a presidential run in 2016, and he's nudging right back, making trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He's even embraced 'wacko bird,' reclaiming McCain's knock as a badge of honor.'"

---Jason Zengerle, GQ

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reuters: Germany's Angela Merkel on Her Way to Victory


A Reuters article covering Germany's election is linked below.

Reuters: Merkel Winning a Decisive Victory

"Angela Merkel was on track to win a third term as chancellor in a German election on Sunday after her conservatives scored their best result in decades, but it was unclear whether she could avoid being forced into a coalition with her leftist rivals."


The Brookings Institution: "Diversity Explosion" by William H. Frey to be Available in late March 2014

A Brookings Institution promotional announcement is linked below.

The Brookings Institution: Promotional Announcement of "Diversity Explosion"

"Major racial and ethnic changes are sweeping the United States, monumental shifts that will leave deep footprints for years. An aging white population is juxtaposed with new minority groups showing robust growth, as Hispanic and Asian groups now account for all the growth in the nation’s youth population. As this younger multi-ethnic generation grows up, the nation’s labor force and electorate will be transformed."

---The Brookings Institution, Promotional Description of William Frey's new book, Diversity Explosion In 2012, Turkey Led Europe's Nations in Births, and in Crude Birth Rates. France, Great Britain, Germany, and Spain Follow in Total Births.


Per reporting in, in 2012, Turkey led European nations in both number of births (i.e. total births), and in terms of respective crude birth rates (births per 1000 people in a given country).

Last year, nearly 1.3 babies were born in Turkey. Following Turkey's Europe-leading total births were France (approximately 823,000), Great Britain (approximately 813,000), Germany (approximately 671,000), and Spain (approximately 457,000).

The article is linked below. Europe's 2012 Births and Crude Birth Rates

"In 2012, 1,279,864 inviduals were added to the Turkish population, making Turkey the leading country among European countries with crude birth rate of 17 per 1,000 inhabitants." 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New York Times: Among the Candidates in the Republican Primary in Alabama's 1st Congressional District, Tea Party Radicalism is Very Much a Part of the Mix

The New York Times article by Campbell Robertson is linked below.

NYT: How far to the right will the GOP go in Alabama's 1st Congressional District?

"But with no heir apparent for the first time in 50 years, the full spectrum of conservatism is on display: from Mr. Byrne, who speaks sunnily of the country’s ability to overcome any of its current challenges, to Dean Young, a real estate developer and Tea Party favorite who describes the stakes of the election in far less optimistic terms.
'We are witnessing the end of a Western Christian empire,' Mr. Young, 49, said at the forum."
---Campbell Robertson, New York Times The South Has the Highest Regional Homicide Rate

The article is linked below.

The South Has the Highest Regional Homicide Rate

"The South remains the country’s deadliest region, with a 2012 homicide rate of about 5.5 killings for every 100,000 residents. At 6.7 homicides for every 100,000 residents, Alabama’s rate is higher – even after accounting for an error in the FBI statistics pointed out by state officials.

Among cities with at least 100,000 residents, Birmingham ranked No. 9 last year, according to the FBI data. That is higher even than Chicago, a city that has gained a great deal of attention as a place with an out-of-control murder problem."

---Brendan Kirby,

Associated Press: The University of Alabama Has Now Integrated Some of its Heretofore All-White Sororities

The Associated Press story posted at Huffington Post is linked below.

AP: Bama Integrates Some of its Heretofore All-White Sororities

"Black women are joining traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama amid efforts to end racial segregation within Greek-letter social groups, the head of the school said Friday."
---The Associated Press

Friday, September 20, 2013

Salon's Edward McClelland: The Death of the American Middle Class

Edward McClelland's column is linked below.

Salon: The Demise of the U.S. Middle Class

"For the majority of human history – and in the majority of countries today – there have been only two classes: aristocracy and peasantry. It’s an order in which the many toil for subsistence wages to provide luxuries for the few. Twentieth century America temporarily escaped this stratification, but now, as statistics on economic inequality demonstrate, we’re slipping back in that direction. Between 1970 and today, the share of the nation’s income that went to the middle class – households earning two-thirds to double the national median – fell from 62 percent to 45 percent."

---Edward McClelland, 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Daily Beast's Caroline Linton: Coverage of the University of Alabama's Segregated Sororities Controversy

Caroline Linton's article is linked below.

The Daily Beast: The University of Alabama and its Segregated Sororities

"Around 400 students and faculty filled the steps outside the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They marched to the Rose Administration Building, holding a sign that read “The Final Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.” 
This was not 1963, when Gov. George Wallace stood defiantly at an auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent two black students from attending school. Rather this protest was held some 50 years later, on Wednesday, September 18, as the University of Alabama was forced into the national spotlight for ugly segregation once more."
---Caroline Linton, The Daily Beast 

U.S. Census Bureau: U.S. Poverty 2012 Income and Poverty Numbers Nearly the Same as 2011's

The U.S. Census Bureau news release is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: U.S. Poverty Numbers for 2012

"Income levels and poverty rates were not statistically different for most states and metro areas from 2011 to 2012, according to statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Incomes remained lower and poverty rates were higher in 2012 than in 2007, the year before the recession."
----U.S. Census Bureau

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Salon: The University of Alabama to End Segregated Sororities

The Salon article is linked below.

Salon: Bama to end segregated sororities

"The surprisingly long overdue move comes one week after the school’s newspaper, The Crimson White, told the explosive tale of a promising black student who 'didn’t receive a bid from any of the 16 Panhellenic sororities during formal recruitment.' In the feature, writers Abbey Crain and Matt Ford  quoted a sorority member who said her chapter, Alpha Gamma Delta, had declined to even take a vote on the girl. And a Tri Delta member said that other houses 'wanted to pledge the recruit and were also hindered by alumnae members.'"

---Mary Elizabeth Williams, 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Recession in Alabama in two-thirds of Metropolitan Areas in 2012

Per an article in, only four out of twelve Alabama metropolitan areas achieved growth in 2012.  These metro areas were Birmingham-Hoover, Florence-Muscle Shoals, Auburn-Opelika, and Decatur.

The article is linked below. Alabama recession in 2012

"GDP also fell in Daphne-Fairhope-Foley (-0.5 percent), Montgomery (-0.6 percent), Dothan (-0.8 percent), Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville (-0.9 percent), Tuscaloosa (-0.9 percent), Mobile (-1.7 percent), and Gadsden (-1.8 percent)."

---Alex Walsh,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pew Research Center: U.S. Religious Attendance in Moderate Decline

The Pew Research Center Article is linked below.

Pew Research Center: Moderate Decline in U.S. Religious Attendance

"The percentage of Americans who say they 'seldom' or 'never' attend religious services (aside from weddings and funerals) has risen modestly in the past decade. Roughly three-in-ten U.S. adults (29%) now say they seldom or never attend worship services, up from 25% in 2003, according to aggregated data from Pew Research Center surveys."

---Pew Research Center

Steve Flowers: America's Shifting Demographics

Steve Flower's column at is linked below.

Steve Flowers: American Demographic Change

"William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, predicts that white retirees will be on the receiving end of an economy, which will be fueled largely by the efforts of Hispanics, African Americans and Asians. Frey sees the next few decades as almost an inversion of the 20th century when the white middle class was the engine of our economic growth."

---Steve Flowers, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on the 50th Anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder's column is linked below.

Attorney General Eric Holder: The 50th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

"Half a century ago this month, this safe haven was torn apart by an unspeakable act of hate. The senseless deaths of four little heroines, dressed in their Sunday finest, marked a seminal and tragic moment in our nation’s history. It sparked outrage across the country, leading to clashes between protesters and police, and drawing mourners from all races, creeds, backgrounds, and walks of life to travel to Birmingham to pay their respects."

---Attorney General Eric Holder

The 50th Anniversary of the Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

On September 15, 1963, white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, an act of domestic terrorism in which four African-American girls were murdered in the explosion.

The explosion that came from a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan, a racist white supremacist segregationist organization.

Above: The four girls killed in the bombing; The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

The bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church horrified much of the United States and the world. In many respects, the murder of the four little girls in Alabama had the opposite effect from what the Klansmen intended.

The murder of these four young African-American girls occurred a little over two months prior to the assassination of President Kennedy. 

Months after becoming becoming president, Lyndon Johnson began to push for the passage of President Kennedy's civil rights bill. In the summer of 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

The above passage is taken from 

MLeavinsHistory: A Chronicle of the 1960s

Saturday, September 14, 2013

U.S. Census Bureau: A Little Over 1 Million Korean Speakers in U.S. Homes in 2011

The U.S. Census Bureau news release is linked below.

Approximately 1 Million Korean Speakers in U.S. Homes in 2011

"A U.S. Census Bureau report released [ September 11, 2013 ] says that there were 1.1 million people who spoke Korean at home in 2011. Korean was one of eight languages spoken by at least 1 million people."
---U.S. Census Bureau News Release

Friday, September 13, 2013

Joshua Holland: Culture War, Changing Demographics, Secessionism, and White Rural America

Joshua Holland's article at is linked below. Rural America and Secessionitis

"But it’s also another sign of the difficulty that a group which dominated American politics just a generation ago – a group political scientist Alan Abramowitz narrowed down to married white people who identify as Christians – are having adapting to a country that’s becoming more diverse and embracing a different, more liberal set of cultural values."

---Joshua Holland, 

Secessionist Movements in Four States

U.S. Census Bureau: One Million Vietnamese Speakers in U.S. Homes in 2011

The U.S. Census Bureau news release is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: 1 Million Vietnamese Speakers

"A U.S. Census Bureau report released [September 11, 2013] says that there were 1.4 million people who spoke Vietnamese at home in the U.S. in 2011. Vietnamese was one of eight languages spoken by at least 1 million people."
---U.S. Census Bureau News Release

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Daily Beast's Caitlin Dickson: Secession Movements in California, Texas, Colorado, and Maryland

Caitlin Dickson's article is linked below.

The Daily Beast: Secession Movements in Four States

"The wave of U.S. secession movements, the largest since the South tried to break up with the Union, is being fueled by a deep urban-rural split, says Frances Lee, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Department of Government and Politics. The fault lines are partisan affiliations and social issues such as reproductive rights and gun control. So it’s no coincidence that the counties seeking to break free generally identify as conservative or libertarian, nor is it a coincidence that they tend to be in rural areas."

---Caitlin Dickson, The Daily Beast 

U.S. Census Bureau: Nearly 3 Million Speak Chinese in U.S. Homes

The U.S. Census Bureau's news release is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: 2.9 million speaking Chinese in American homes

"A U.S. Census Bureau report released [September 11, 2013] says that after English and Spanish, Chinese was the most widely spoken language in the United States, with 2.9 million people speaking it at home in 2011."

---U.S. Census Bureau News Release

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AlterNet's Alex Henderson Argues The U.S. Increasingly Appearing like a "Banana Republic"

In a very pessimistic column for AlterNet, Alex Henderson provides 10 points to make a case that the United States is increasingly taking on the appearance of a "Banana Republic."

Henderson's 10 points include examinations of income disparity, expansive police power, state brutality, high imprisonment rates, crony capitalism, chronic unemployment, healthcare availability, disparities in life expectancy, food security, and infant deaths.

Alex Henderson's column is linked below.

Alex Henderson's Ten Points

"But 50 years after King’s "I Have a Dream" speech of 1963, poverty has become much more widespread in the U.S.—and the country has seriously declined not only economically, but also in terms of civil liberties and constitutional rights."

--Alex Henderson, AlterNet 

As Another College Football Season Captivates Millions of Fans, Sports Illustrated Makes Serious Allegations Against the Oklahoma State University Football Program

The Sports Illustrated series on Oklahoma State University is linked below.

George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans: Corruption in the Oklahoma State University Football Program

"Players said that they routinely had their coursework completed by tutors or university staff members, that they were provided with answers to exams before taking them, and that they received passing grades despite doing little or no work. Players also allege that the academic counselor for football scheduled them in classes with exceptionally lax professors and pigeonholed them into majors without consulting them."

---George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans, Sports Illustrated 

U.S. Census Bureau: One in Five American Married Couples Has at Least One Foreign-Born Member

The U.S. Census Bureau's news release is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: 21% of Married Couples Have at Least One Member of Foreign Nativity

"The U.S. Census Bureau reported [September 5, 2013] that 11.4 million married-couple households, or 21 percent of all married-couple households in America in 2011, had at least one spouse born in another country. About 13 percent (7.3 million) of households had two foreign-born spouses, and 7 percent (4.1 million) had one native-born and one foreign-born spouse."

---U.S. Census Bureau

Monday, September 9, 2013

Brookings Institution: Incarceration and its Effect on American Social Mobility

The Brookings Institution article by Kim Howard and Richard V. Reeves is linked below.

Brookings Institution: Incarceration and Social Mobility

"Intergenerational social mobility is a reflection of the way a child’s family circumstances determine their later life outcomes. There are plenty of children whose life chances could be affected by incarceration: half of all prisoners in the U.S. have children under age 18. Of black children born in 1990, one in four had a father go to prison (compared to 1 in 25 white children)."

---Kim Howard and Richard V. Reeves, The Brookings Institution

The American Prospect: Life Expectancy and Poor White Women in America

Monica Pott's article in The American Prospect is linked below.

The American Prospect: Low Income White Females, and Diminishing Life Expectancy

"She is one of a demographic—white women who don’t graduate from high school—whose life expectancy has declined dramatically over the past 18 years. These women can now expect to die five years earlier than the generation before them. It is an unheard-of drop for a wealthy country in the age of modern medicine...Lack of access to education, medical care, good wages, and healthy food isn’t just leaving the worst-off Americans behind. It’s killing them."

---Monica Potts, The American Prospect

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Washington Post: Mississippi and the Triple Threat of Poverty, Obesity and Food Insecurity


The Washington Post article is linked below.

The Mississippi Paradox: Overweight and Under Nourished

"That perhaps explains why Mississippi — the state with the highest poverty rate, at 22.8 percent — also has both the highest food insecurity rate (20.9 percent) and the highest obesity rate (34.6 percent)."

---Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post

Saturday, September 7, 2013

National Journal's Ronald Brownstein: An All-White GOP Electoral Strategy Not a Wise Wager

Ron Brownstein's article is linked below.

Brownstein: The White Electoral Demographic is Changing

"Geography poses another complication for a whites-first GOP strategy: Even if the Republican Party can further expand its overall national advantage among whites, its another thing to do so in the states critical to the Democratic presidential victories over the past two decades. Romney's national margins among the various groups of white voters are inflated by Obama's utter collapse in the country's most conservative regions, particularly the South (where the president won fewer than one in six whites in Alabama and only one in nine in Mississippi, exit polls found). In most of the places where Obama needed to do better among whites to win, he did."

---Ronald Brownstein, National Journal 

USA Today: Obama and 2012 Southern White Voters

Pew Research Center's Bruce Drake: U.S. Black Male Incarceration Rate Six Times Higher Than That of White Males

One demographics-related social issue that is receiving increased attention is that of the disparity of incarceration (i.e. imprisonment) rates between whites and non-whites.  The Pew Research Center provides some analysis on this matter, particularly the chasm between U.S. white male and black male incarceration rates.

Bruce Drake's column is linked below.

Pew Research Center: U.S. Black Incarceration Rate

"In 2010, the incarceration rate for white men under local, state and federal jurisdiction was 678 inmates per 100,000 white U.S. residents; for black men, it was 4,347. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black men were more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in 2010."

---Bruce Drake, Pew Research Center

Friday, September 6, 2013

U.S. Fertility Rate in 2012 at 63 Live Births per 1000 Women (Ages 15-44)

A Pew Research Center article summarizing some of the CDC data is linked below.

Pew Research Center: 2012 Birth Rate Data

"Here are the preliminary numbers: There were 3,952,937 babies born in the U.S., no different statistically from the 3,953,590 born the year before. The fertility rate was 63.0 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age, only slightly lower than 63.2 in 2011, which itself had been the lowest on record."

---Pew Research Center

Associated Press: Per the CDC, U.S. Birth Rate Decline Slowing Down

The Associated Press story posted at The Huffington Post is linked below.

AP: The U.S. Birth Rate in 2012 Nearly the Same as the Year Before

"After falling four years in a row, U.S. births may finally be leveling off.
The number of babies born last year – a little shy of 4 million – is only a few hundred less than the number in 2011, according to a government report released Friday."
---Mike Stobbe, Associated Press

Thursday, September 5, 2013

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Nearly 15% of U.S. Households Suffered "Food Insecurity" in 2012

A United States Department of Agriculture report contends that 14.5% of U.S. households experienced some degree of insufficient "food security" in 2012.  Essentially "food insecurity" is a situation  in which one or more members of a household lack consistent access to the nutrition necessary for proper health and well-being.

A link to the U.S.D.A. report is below.

Department of Agriculture: Approximately 15% of U.S. Households Experienced "Food Insecurity" in 21012

"An estimated 14.5 percent of American households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2012, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members."

---U.S. Department of Agriculture

Pew Research: Hispanic College Enrollment Rate Now Exceeding Whites

The Pew Research Center takes a look at recent U.S. Census Bureau data on American school enrollment.  In addition to data indicating that U.S. Hispanics have a higher rate of college enrollment than whites, data also indicates that 25% of U.S. public school students are Hispanic.

Pew Research: Higher Rates of Hispanic Enrollment Rates

"For the first time, a greater share of Hispanic recent high school graduates are enrolled in college than whites."

---Pew Research Center

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The New Republic's Elizabeth Weil: Schools Are Damaging Non-Conformist Students

In an article for The New Republic, Elizabeth Weil argues that American schools, in creating a cult of student "self-regulation," are doing significant damage to those students who are non-conformists by nature.

Weil's article is linked below.

Elizabeth Weil: Harming Non-Conformist Students

"Yet here in 2013, even as the United States faces pressure to 'win the future,' the American education system has swung in the opposite direction, toward the commodified data-driven ideas promoted by Frederick Winslow Taylor, who at the turn of the century did time-motion studies of laborers carrying bricks to figure out how people worked most efficiently. Borrowing Taylor’s ideas, school was not designed then to foster free thinkers. Nor is it now, thanks to how teacher pay and job security have been tied to student performance on standardized tests. 'What we’re teaching today is obedience, conformity, following orders,' says the education historian Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System."

---Elizabeth Weil, The New Republic 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

U.S. Census Bureau: College Enrollment Down by Nearly 500,000 in 2012

The Census Bureau's press release is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: College Enrollment Down

"Non-Hispanic white children in 2012 comprised 53 percent of elementary school students, down from 58 percent in 2005. Hispanic children made up 24 percent of elementary students in 2012, up from 20 percent in 2005. Black children comprised 15 percent of elementary students in 2012, down from 16 percent in 2005."

---U.S. Census Bureau

Monday, September 2, 2013

AP's Carole Feldman: Back to School Enrollment Numbers for U.S. Students

AP Report via ABC News: 50.1 Million Students Return to School

"The National Center for Education Statistics estimated that in 2013, 50.1 million children will be enrolled in U.S. public schools and 5.2 million will be in private school. That doesn't include students who are home-schooled."

---Carole Feldman, The Associated Press

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Atlantic's Allen Barra: The Hazards of Youth League Football

Noted sports author Allen Barra argues in The Atlantic that youth league football is the worst-supervised level of the game.

Barra's column is linked below.

The Atlantic's Allen Barra; Youth League Football and its Dangers

"One of the most troubling issues raised by the documentary [The United States of Football], thoughsome might say the most troubling issueis the potential danger to boys playing youth or 'pee-wee' football, which includes boys anywhere from the age of 5 to 14. There are numerous youth leagues, the most popular among them being Pop Warner, which boasted more than 250,000 participants in 2010."

---Allen Barra, The Atlantic