Saturday, November 30, 2013

The New York Times: Underdog Auburn Beats Bama on the Last Play of the 2013 Iron Bowl

The article from The New York Times is linked below.

The New York Times: Auburn Wins the Iron Bowl on a Miracle Finish

"With overtime looming Saturday, Auburn’s Chris Davis cradled a desperation field-goal attempt by Adam Griffith, Alabama’s backup kicker, deep in his team’s end zone. With no Tide players near him, Davis gained speed and wound up sailing down the sideline, practically untouched, for a touchdown return of more than 100 yards that triggered euphoria here in Jordan-Hare Stadium."
---Mike Tierney, The New York Times 

Duraid Adnan of The New York Times: Another Bloody Month in Iraq


Duraid Adnan's article in The New York Times is linked below.

The New York Times: A Deadly November in Iraq

"More than 300 Iraqis have been killed this month in bombings and shootings in markets, along roadsides, near schools and mosques, and in bakeries. On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the recent spike in violence in Iraq and the deliberate targeting of places where civilians congregate."
---Duraid Adnan, The New York Times

Timothy Egan of the New York Times: The Republicans are Hoping and Yearning for an Obamacare Failure

Timothy Egan's column at The New York Times is listed below.

New York Times: The GOP Craving for Obamacare to Fail

"It’s hard to remember a time when a major political party and its media arm were so actively rooting for fellow Americans to lose. When the first attempt by the United States to launch a satellite into orbit, in 1957, ended in disaster, did Democrats start to cheer, and unify to stop a space program in its infancy? Or, when Medicare got off to a confusing start, did Republicans of the mid-1960s wrap their entire political future around a campaign to deny government-run health care to the elderly?
Of course not. But for the entirety of the Obama era, Republicans have consistently been cheerleaders for failure. They rooted for the economic recovery to sputter, for gas prices to spike, the job market to crater, the rescue of the American automobile industry to fall apart."
---Timothy Egan, The New York Times 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Libertarian Joshua Katz: The Individual Mandate of Obamacare in Comparison With the Individual Mandate Associated With Public Education

Joshua Katz's column at is linked below.

Joshua Katz: Individual Mandates in Healthcare and Education

"There is a group of people in this country who face precisely such a mandate.  There is a group of people, a rather large group, all of whom are forbidden to vote, who face the requirement to either make use of a particular government service or purchase a government-approved alternative, or prepare a government-approved alternative at home (although this last option is constantly in jeopardy.)  They face this requirement, not in light of any voluntary action, such as owning a car, but rather simply by virtue of age.  I refer, of course, to students and mandatory school attendance."
---Joshua Katz,

November 2013 CNN/ORC Poll: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 24%, Leads Prospective 2016 GOP Presidential Candidates, Trailed by Senator Rand Paul at 13%

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

The CNN/ORC Poll, taken November 18-20, 2013, has New Jersey Governor Christie leading prospective Republican candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination.

The poll found the following:

Chris Christie       24%
Rand Paul             13%
Paul Ryan             11%
Ted Cruz              10%
Marco Rubio          9%
Rick Perry              7%
Jeb Bush                 6%
Rick Santorum       6%

The CNN article on the poll results is linked below.

CNN/ORC Poll: Chris Christie Leads Potential 2016 GOP Field

"Twenty-four percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP questioned in the survey say they'd be likely to support Christie for the Republican nomination, up seven percentage points from a CNN poll in early September."

---Paul Steinhauser, CNN

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson: Pope Francis and His Message About Poverty and Economic Inequality

The Coat of Arms of Pope Francis

Eugene Robinson's column at the Washington Post is linked below.

Eugene Robinson: The Pope and Poverty

"Jesus commanded his apostles to give to the poor. Yet many elected officials who claim to follow Jesus’s teachings are determined to keep the poor from receiving health care, food assistance, housing subsidies and a host of other benefits. Inequality is celebrated as a virtue. Life, we are told with a shrug, is sometimes unfair.
But for Christians, Francis reminds us, life is supposed to be as fair and compassionate as we can make it. Money is a false idol, a golden calf. Our sacred responsibility is to one another.

Amen, Your Holiness. Amen."
---Eugene Robinson, Washington Post 

Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN: Participation in Youth League Football is Declining, Concerns Over Head Trauma Cited as a Major Reason

The ESPN article is linked below.

ESPN: Concern Over Head Injuries and the Decline of Pop Warner Football

"The nation's largest youth football program, Pop Warner, saw participation drop 9.5 percent between 2010-12, a sign that the concussion crisis that began in the NFL is having a dramatic impact at the lowest rungs of the sport.
According to data provided to 'Outside the Lines,' Pop Warner lost 23,612 players, thought to be the largest two-year decline since the organization began keeping statistics decades ago. Consistent annual growth led to a record 248,899 players participating in Pop Warner in 2010; that figure fell to 225,287 by the 2012 season.
Pop Warner officials said they believe several factors played a role in the decline, including the trend of youngsters focusing on one sport. But the organization's chief medical officer, Dr. Julian Bailes, cited concerns about head injuries as 'the No. 1 cause.'"

----Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, ESPN

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mike Stobbe of The Associated Press: In 2010, Abortions in the U.S. Declined 3% From the Total in 2009

Mike Stobbe's article for The Associated Press is linked below.

Associated Press: Decline in Abortions in 2010

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday released the latest statistics, drawing from about 45 states and cities that sent in data consistently for at least 10 years. They reported about 753,000 abortions in 2010. About 60 percent of the women were in their 20s."

---Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press, Posted at NBC News

Major Garrett of CBS News: In Terms Both Positive and Negative, Obamacare is Historically Unique, and Not Just Like Some Other Event During Some Other Presidency

Major Garrett's column at CBS News is linked below.

CBS News; The Historical Uniqueness of Obamacare

"Winners and losers abound. This is true now and will be true for as long as the law remains. And remain it likely will, precisely because of the tight and self-reinforcing alliance the law constructed with insurers, hospitals, and doctors. Americans who lacked insurance coverage will find it through the private sector on federal or state exchanges or via Medicaid. Americans who had policies on the individual market will lose their old coverage and possibly find new and better coverage or more expensive and inferior plans. Americans employed by large corporations will see modest changes in benefit and premium schedules, and those who work for smaller companies may see previous coverage vanish and choose new options that may or may not live up to their expectations. All of this will be destabilizing and generate in different regions and among different demographic groups anxiety, possibility, relief, and rage."

---Major Garrett, CBS News

The Huffington Post's Vincent Intondi: Whither Shall Catholic Congressional Republicans Go, Regarding the Poor? The Way of Pope Francis and Archbishop Oscar Romero…or the Way of Trickle Down Economics?

Archbishop Oscar Romero
of El Salvador,

Advocate for the Poor

Assassinated in 1980 
While Conducting Mass

Vincent Intondi's column in The Huffington Post is linked below.

Vincent Intondi of The Huffington Post: Shall Catholic Congressional Catholics Choose the Path of Francis and Romero, or Shall They Choose the Path of Trickle Down Economics?

"However, examining the Pope's embrace of liberation theology, the memories of Oscar Romero, and Reagan's policies in El Salvador raises an important question: Will Catholics in Congress like Marco Rubio, David Vitter, John Boehner, and Paul Ryan listen to the leader of their Church and help those most in need? Will they follow in the footsteps of a future St. Romero? Or will they pray and worship at the alter of St. Reagan and continue to decimate the hungry, the homeless, and the poor?"
---Vincent Intondi, The Huffington Post 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Conservative Talker Rush Limbaugh Denounces the Economic Ideas of Pope Francis, Saying That "This is Just Pure Marxism Coming Out of the Mouth of the Pope"

Karl Marx, 1818-1883

Media Matters coverage of Rush Limbaugh's denunciation of Pope Francis is linked below.

Media Matters: Rush Limbaugh Claims that Pope Francis is Embracing Marxism

"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope."

---Rush Limbaugh, Radio Show, November 27, 2013

Salon: Coverage of Rush Limbaugh's Statements About Pope Francis

Raw Story: Coverage of Rush Limbaugh's Criticism of Pope Francis' Economic Views

The American Prospect's Harold Meyerson: Forty Years of Decline for American Workers

Harold Meyerson's article in The American Prospect is linked below.

The American Prospect: Four Decades of Stagnation for American Labor

"In 2013, America’s three largest private-sector employers are all low-wage retailers: Wal-Mart, Yum! Brands (which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken) and McDonald’s. In 1960, the three largest employers were high-wage unionized manufacturers or utilities: General Motors, AT&T, and Ford."

---Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Daily Beast's Daniel Gross: In Praise of Pope Francis' Economic Iconoclasm

Pope Francis Among the Masses

Source: Edgar Jimenez

Daniel Gross' article at The Daily Beast is linked below.

The Daily Beast: Pope Francis' Economic Message

"As I read this, I imagined a fresco depicting the economic section of the document. In the central panel, Sen. Elizabeth Warren whispers into the ear of the Pope as Mitt Romney and hedge fund managers are flayed. To one side, a group of union organizers rip up a copy of the Republican Party’s 2012 platform. In one corner, a pile of Apple iPads and Google glasses are torched in a bonfire. In another, makers, personified by the small, suited figure of Paul Ryan beg forgiveness from a gallery of takers, which include bedraggled peasants with the faces of Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, and Che Guevara. And Alan Greenspan, clutching a copy of Atlas Shrugged, boils in a bath of molten gold."

---Daniel Gross, The Daily Beast

Natalie Angier of The New York Times: American Families, American Pluralism

Natalie Angier's article in The New York Times is linked below.

The New York Times: American Family Structure in a State of Flux

"In charting the differences between today's families and those of the past, demographers start with the kids--or rather the lack of them.

The nation's birthrate today is half what it was in 1960, and last year hit its lowest point ever. At the end of the baby boom, in 1964, 36 percent of all Americans were under 18 years old; last year, children accounted for just 23.5 percent of the population, and the proportion is dropping, to a projected 21 percent by 2050."

---Natalie Angier, The New York Times 

NBC News: Shall Scotland Become Independent From Great Britain?


The NBC News article is linked below.

NBC News: Whither Scotland?

"Scotland will keep the United Kingdom's queen and currency but will create its own defense force and passports if the country votes for independence next year, the nationalist government pledged Tuesday.
A 600-page blueprint setting out detailed terms for Scotland’s possible separation from Britain was published by First Minister Alex Salmond."
---NBC News

Mother Jones' Kevin Drum: The Triumph of Obamacare

President Barack Obama

Kevin Drum's article at Mother Jones is linked below.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: Obamacare is a Fait Accompli

"Republicans have run out of time, and they know it. Their fixation on Obamacare already looks sort of balmy—this weekend's deal with Iran was designed to draw attention away from Obamacare? Seriously?—and it's only going to look loopier as time goes by. Getting Obamacare to the end zone wasn't easy, and Obama almost fumbled the ball at the one-yard line, but he's finally won. There's nothing left for conservatives to do. Love it or hate it, Obamacare is here to stay."

---Kevin Drum, Mother Jones 

Pope Francis Denounces Trickle Down Economics: A Passage from Evangelii Gaudium, an Apostolic Exhortation

Pope Francis' Coat of Arms

"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting."

---Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium   

Pope Francis Denounces "Trickle Down" Economic Theory in His Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium

Pope Francis

Washington Post coverage of Pope Francis' statements about trickle down economics is linked below.

Washington Post: The Pope and Trickle Down Economics

"While Francis has raised concerns before about the growing gap between the wealthy and poor since becoming pontiff in March, his direct reference to “trickle-down” economic theory in the English translation of his 50,000-word statement was striking."
---Washington Post

A Passage From Evangelii Gaudium, an Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis

The Coat of Arms of Pope Francis

The Vatican's online announcement of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.

The Vatican: Announcement of Evangelii Gaudium

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules."

----Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

In Evangelii Gaudium, an Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis Denounces Unrestrained Capitalism as "a New Tyranny"

Pope Francis

Reuters-NBC News coverage of Evangelii Gaudium is linked below.

Reuters-NBC News: Coverage of Evangelii Gaudium

"Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny,' urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff...

...In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money' and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens 'dignified work, education and healthcare.'"
---Naomi O'Leary, Reuters, Posted at

Monday, November 25, 2013

U.S. Census Bureau: In the Past 43 Years, The Percentage of One-Member Households Has Increased From 17% in 1970 to 27% of Total U.S. Households in 2013.

The U.S. Census Bureau report is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: One-Member Households On the Rise Over the Past 4 Decades

"The proportion of one-person households increased by 10 percentage points between 1970 and 2013, from 17 percent to 27 percent."

---U.S. Census Bureau, November 25, 2013 Report

U.S. Census Bureau: In the Past 43 Years, The Percentage of Households Made up of Married Couples With Children Declined from 40% to 19%

The U.S. Census Bureau report is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: Households With Married Couples Who Have Children Have Declined in Frequency

"Between 1970 and 2013, the share of households that were married couples with children decreased by about half from 40 to 19 percent…"

---U.S. Census Bureau, November 25, 2013 Report

U.S. Census Bureau: In the Past 43 Years, Family Households Have Become a Smaller Share of Total U.S. Households, Declining from 81% in 1970 to 66% in 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau report is linked below.

U.S. Census Bureau: Family Households Became Less Common in the Past 43 Years

"Sixty-six percent of households in 2013 were family households, compared with 81 percent in 1970. Family households include two or more people (one of which is the householder) living under the same roof related by blood, marriage or adoption; it does not have to include anyone who is married."

---U.S. Census Bureau, November 25, 2013 Report

Dave Zirin: An Anti-Black Racist Attack at San Jose State University

Dave Zirin's column at Edge of Sports is linked below.

Dave Zirin: Racist Tormenting of an African-American San Jose State University Student

"Thrown together randomly as first-year students tend to be, Logan Beaschler, 18, Joseph Bomgardner, 19, and Colin Warren, 18 found common cause in acts of racist sadism against their fourth housemate. They at times forced a bike lock around the neck of this young man. They barricaded him in his room. They nicknamed him “three-fifths” or “fraction” in reference to the three-fifths Compromise of 1787 that decreed slaves to be less than a full person. They hung confederate flags outside their room. They scrawled swastikas on white boards and hung pictures of Adolf Hitler."

---Dave Zirin, Edge of Sports 

Paul Krugman of The New York Times: In California, Obamacare is Working


Paul Krugman: California Shows that Obamacare is Viable

"What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept. Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine."
---Paul Krugman, The New York Times 

Salon's Andrew O'Hehir: The War on Drugs and America's Voracious Drug Appetite Have Rendered the Deaths of Thousands of Mexicans


Salon's Andrew O'Hehir: The Price Paid by Mexico due to the U.S. Drug War and the U.S. Appetite for Drugs

"You can call it compassion or shame or sheer self-interest, but the same war that has killed thousands in Mexico (including many innocent bystanders) has also fueled the growth of the prison-industrial complex in the United States, and driven the widespread incarceration of brown and black people. However many border fences we build and however much we demonize each other, our two nations have a shared destiny, and any cancer that poisons one will also poison the other."
---Andrew O'Hehir, Salon 

50 Years Ago Today: The Funeral of John F. Kennedy

On November 25 , 1963, in a state funeral, John F. Kennedy was laid to rest.

Above: John F. Kennedy, Jr. salutes his father's coffin as it passes in the funeral procession

On Monday, November 25, 1963---three days after the assassination--John F. Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. 

JFK was survived by his wife Jackie and his two children, Caroline and John. In 1994, Jackie died of cancer. In 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr. tragically died, along with his wife, in a plane crash, a plane that Kennedy himself was piloting. 

As of 2013, Caroline remains the only surviving member of the former first family.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

50 Years Ago Today, Dallas Nightclub Owner Jack Ruby Shot and Killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the Accused Assassin of John F. Kennedy

On November 24, 1963, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Above: Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby

Oswald died not long after. Ruby was later convicted of murdering Oswald, and served the rest of his life in prison. Ruby said that he killed Oswald in order to spare Mrs. Kennedy the burden of a future Oswald trial.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Journal: Demographic Analysis of American Residents Ages 16 to 24 Without a Job and Not Enrolled in School

The National Journal article is linked below.

National Journal: Young People Who are Unemployed and Not in School

"At Measure of America, we have charted the share of 16- to 24-year olds in the 25 most populous metro areas who are not working or enrolled in school; they are America's disconnected youth. Our latest report, 'Halve the Gap by 2030: Youth Disconnection in America's Cities,' shows that 5.8 million youth fit into this category. While youth disconnection is a national epidemic, our research reveals its disproportionate impact on young people of color."

---Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, National Journal

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago Today, on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson Became President of the United States

On the afternoon of November 22, 1963,  Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) became President of the United States, a constitutional necessity in the wake of John F. Kennedy's murder in Dallas, Texas.

Lyndon Baines Johnson served out the remaining 1 year and 50-plus days of Kennedy's term.  In November 1964, LBJ won a landslide victory over Republican Barry Goldwater, and as such, served another four years after Kennedy's term ended on January 20, 1965.  

LBJ's elected term as President ran from January 20, 1969 to January 20, 1969.  

Above: In this iconic photo, LBJ takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. Jackie Kennedy, JFK's widow, stands to the left of LBJ. Lady Bird Johnson, the new First Lady, stands near LBJ's right arm and upright hand.

Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat), 36th American President
Dates in Office: November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969 

Above: President Lyndon Baines Johnson

November 22, 2013: The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a Lee Harvey Oswald, a lone gunman. On that Friday afternoon, as Kennedy rode through downtown Dallas in an open limousine, Oswald fired three shots from a bolt-action rifle while perched in an upper floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building, hitting Kennedy twice, one being a fatal head shot.

Above: JFK, Jackie Kennedy, and Texas Governor John Connnally in the open-top Presidential limousine; A frame from the the Zapruder Film showing JFK being hit in the neck.

In November 1963, President Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and Mrs. Johnson made a political trip to Texas. In Dallas, on Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963, President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy traveled in a large motorcade in an uncovered limousine. Texas Governor John Connally and his wife rode with the first couple. 

At Dealey Plaza, yards from the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building, three shots rang out, with two of them hitting the president. Governor Connally was hit by one of the same bullets that hit President Kennedy. In the second photo above, the moment is captured in which President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit by the same bullet. The third shot hit President Kennedy in the head, and he died a short time later at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Governor Connally survived his wounds.

Despite decades of conspiracy theories, the most sound evidence indicates that the shooter was Lee Harvey Oswald, a twenty-four year old aspiring pro-Castro Marxist political activist who worked in the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building. While trying to escape, Oswald also shot and killed a Dallas police officer. Shortly after, Dallas law enforcement captured and arrested Oswald. 

Two days later, a Dallas nightclub owner named Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as Oswald was being transferred to another jail. Ruby's actions have inspired many a conspiracy theory, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that Oswald was acting alone when he shot JFK, and moreover, Jack Ruby was acting alone when he shot Oswald.

In the wake of the Kennedy assassination, President Lyndon Johnson assembled a high-profile group, led by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the assassination. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone, as did Jack Ruby.

Above: Snapshot of Lee Harvey Oswald with his rifle in 1963; Oswald Mugshot, November 23, 1963 In Alabama, Reactions to the JFK Assassination Were Varied

A Chronicle of the 1960s

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Atlantic Wire: Regarding the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Only About 1-in-3 Americans Alive Today Were Also Alive on November 22, 1963

John F. Kennedy

President: January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963

The Atlantic Wire article on the demographic dynamics of the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination is linked below.

The Atlantic Wire: About One-Third of Living Americans Today Were Alive on November 22, 1963

"The Kennedy assassination is one of America's where-were-you-when moments. But with its 50th anniversary on Friday, there are fewer and fewer Americans who can say where they were. In fact, Census data suggests that only about a third of America's current population was alive on that day in 1963 — and less than 30 percent might actually remember."

---Philip Bump, Atlantic Wire 

Slate's Joshua Keating: What is the Future of Fertility in the People's Republic of China

The People's Republic of China

Joshua Keating's article at Slate is linked below.

Slate: The Future of China's Fertility Rate

"On the other hand, it’s generally been the case that when societies become more urbanized and affluent—both currently goals of the Chinese government—birthrates dropSo as China gets richer and more urban, and mainland cities start to look more like the autonomous ones, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll see a big increase in births, no matter how many children people are legally allowed to have."
---Joshua Keating, Slate 

U.S. Census Bureau News Release: Approximately 35.9 Million American Residents Moved in the Past Year

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

Census Bureau: Nearly 36 million moved recently

"The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 35.9 million U.S. residents, or 11.7 percent of all Americans, moved between 2012 and 2013.
The nation's mover rate is down from 12.0 percent in 2012. The decline in the nation's overall mover rate follows an uptick from the record low of 11.6 percent in 2011. That leaves the 2013 mover rate not statistically different from the 2011 rate. The number of people who moved in the past year was not statistically different from the corresponding 2012 number (36.5 million)."
---U.S. Census Bureau, News Release 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Washington Post: Republican Florida Congressman Trey Radel Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Possession

Republican Congressman Trey Radel
Guilty Plea for Cocaine Possession

The Washington Post article is posted below.

Washington Post: Republican Congressman Trey Radel's Guilty of Cocaine Possession Plea

"Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday morning, admitting he had purchased the drug from an undercover officer in Dupont Circle last month."
---Washington Post

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Florida Today's Lyn Dowling: Differing Perspectives on Obamacare From Two Twenty-Somethings in Florida

The Florida Today article by Lyn Dowling is linked below.

Florida Today's Lyn Dowling: Two Takes on Obamacare

Posting in the Asbury Park Press: Two Takes on Obamacare

"Bartoszek added that the federal website is 'not Facebook' and does have its quirks. 'For example, it has places where you’re supposed to click, but they don’t look like links, so you’re not sure. And it can take some time. It took me an hour over two days just to get in to see what the rates would be.'
Nevertheless, he finished the preliminaries, was approved for a policy and will complete the process later.
'I’m not going for a ‘platinum plan,’ because its costs are on a par with what I would have paid before Obamacare, and catastrophic coverage is all I really care about,' he said. 'So I’m not going to get it until it costs me more money to not have it than have it.'"
---Lyn Dowling, Posted in the Asbury Park Press (Originally in Florida Today )

Monday, November 18, 2013

National Journal's Sophie Quinton: Demographic Change in Schools, and the Case for American Teachers to Endorse the Cultural Backgrounds of Their Students

Sophie Quinton's article at National Journal is linked below.

Sophie Quinton: Good Teaching and the Need for Connecting With Student Backgrounds

"Demographic changes have made it increasingly likely that a teacher's experiences don't mirror those of her students. In 2007-08, 83 percent of public school teachers were white, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. During that same year, the demographic breakdown showed a different percentage for public school students: 56 percent white; 21 percent Hispanic; 17 percent African-American, 5 percent Asian, and 1 percent Native American."
---Sophie Quinton, National Journal 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Salon's Michael Kimmel: Angry White Males in Modern America

Michael Kimmel's book excerpt posted at Salon is linked below.

Michael Kimmel: Angry White Males in America

"Perhaps what binds them all together, though, is class. Rural or small town, urban or suburban, the extreme Right is populated by downwardly mobile, lower-middle-class white men. All of the men I interviewed—all—fitted this class profile. When I compared with other ethnographies and other surveys, they all had the same profile as well."
---Michael Kimmel, Salon 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jesse Washington of the Associated Press: New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio and Wife Chirlane McCray Attain Major Milestone for White-Black Interracial Couples

New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio and Family
At Right: Bill de Blasio
Center Forground: Chirlane McCray (de Blasio's wife)
At Left: The Children of de Blasio and McCray

Photo Source: Wikipedia (upload from Flickr)

Jesse Washington's Associated Press article is linked below.

Associated Press: NYC Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio and Wife Chirlane McCray Break a Barrier as a White-Black Interracial Couple

"Another milestone is passing in America's racial journey: The next mayor of New York City is a white man with a black wife.
Even in a nation with a biracial president, where interracial marriage is more accepted and common than ever, Bill de Blasio's marriage to Chirlane McCray is remarkable: He is apparently the first white politician in U.S. history elected to a major office with a black spouse by his side."
---Jesse Washington, Associated Press

The American Prospect's Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio: Dallas, in 1963, was a City Dominated by Rightwing Extremists That Also Hosted a Murderous Leftist Named Lee Harvey Oswald

Edwin A. Walker
Relieved of Duty General and Rightwing Activist

Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio, in The American Prospect, have penned a gripping profile of Dallas, Texas' political atmosphere in 1963.

Per Davis and Minutaglio, 1963 Dallas was a cauldron of rightwing anti-Kennedy extremism that foreshadowed the vitriolic rage of anti-Obama Tea Party activists that emerged decades later.  JFK's assassin, of course, was not a rightwing extremist, but was rather a down-and-out frustrated leftist named Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who, months prior to November 22, 1963, unsuccessfully tried to gun down rightwing activist General Edwin A. Walker.

As described by Davis and Minutaglio, Kennedy entered a Dallas in 1963 that was brimming with a type of conservative animus that is now commonly found throughout  the United States. They contend that, if JFK were to cast a glance around America today, "he would see that the Dallas virus has gone national."

The article by Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio in The American Prospect is linked below.

Davis and Minutaglio: Political Extremism in 1963 Dallas, Texas

"A confederacy of like-minded men had coalesced in Dallas: the anti-Catholic leader of the largest Baptist congregation in America, the far-right media magnate who published the state’s leading newspaper, the most ideologically extreme member of Congress, and the wealthiest man in the world—oilman H.L. Hunt. Together they formed the most vitriolic anti-Kennedy movement in the nation. And they began to attract others who were even more extreme to the city."
---Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio, The American Prospect 

Lee Harvey Oswald
Frustrated and Murderous Leftist

Stanley B. Greenberg at Politico: The Rise of the Interracial and/or Multiracial Household Demographics

President Barack Obama

Stanley B. Greenberg's article at Politico is posted below.

Stanley B. Greenberg: The Rise of American Interracial and/or Multiracial Households

"In that sense, the often racially charged opposition to America’s first multiracial president is due less to his own mixed heritage and more to what he represents: the big demographic and cultural wave that threatens to swamp the Republican Party. For the modern GOP, whose aging, overwhelmingly white base increasingly resembles the United States not as it is today but as it once was, the same feverishness that animated the partisan fights of years past is now joined with a sense of powerlessness as a younger generation of Americans looks like increasingly hostile territory—for now."

---Stanley B. Greenberg, Politico

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gillian Wong of the Associated Press: Coverage of the Plan by the People's Republic of China to Allow More Exceptions to its One-Child Policy

The People's Republic of China

The Associated Press article is linked below.

Associated Press Article Posted at Huffington Post: Plans to Liberalize China's One-Child Policy

"The Chinese government credits the one-child policy introduced in 1980 with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty. But the strict limits have led to forced abortions and sterilizations by local officials, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs."

---Gillian Wong, Associated Press 

Chris Buckley of The New York Times: The People's Republic of China Scaling Back its One-Child Policy

The People's Republic of China

Chris Buckley's article in The New York Times is linked below.

The New York Times: China's One-Child Policy Significantly Diminished

"If carried through, the relaxation would mark the first significant nationwide easing of family-size restrictions that have been in place since the 1970s, said Wang Feng, a demographer who teaches at both the University of California, Irvine, and Fudan University in Shanghai. He estimated the policy could lead to 1 to 2 million more births in China every year, on top of the approximately 15 million births a year now."
---Chris Buckley, The New York Times 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

National Journal: The Specter of Poverty Haunting American Public Education

The National Journal article is linked below.

Katherine Dunn of the National Journal: Poverty and American Education

"In the 2010-11 school year, more than half of the students in 17 states qualified for free or reduced price lunches. And across the country, nearly half—48 percent—of public-school children were low income. When the language gap between low-income and higher-income students begins as early as 18 months, this demographic shift has big implications for the success of our nation's students. Almost half of U.S. public-school students may be arriving at school for the first time already behind—with higher chances of falling further behind academically, having lower test scores, dropping out, or being 'pushed out'—a finding of the Dignity in Schools Campaign."

---Katherine Dunn, National Journal 

Prior Blog Entry on the Southern Education Foundation Report

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Alternet's C.J. Werleman: The Tea Party is Southern-Rooted, and Staying Put

C.J. Werleman's article at Alternet is linked below.

C.J. Werleman; The Tea Party is Here to Stay

"Despite political feel-good rhetoric, there are two Americas. Not just ideologically, but geographically. That’s what still makes this country unique among other Western democracies. America is two distinct nations with a distinguishable border that runs the breadth of the country from the Mason-Dixon line across the southern border of Pennsylvania, finishing in some Baptist church somewhere in rural Texas.
The Tea Party is overwhelmingly Southern."
---C.J. Werleman, Alternet 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen Compares and Contrasts the Anxieties of Cultural Conservatives to Those of the 1948 Dixiecrats, and Uses Provocative Language to Describe the New America as Seen by U.S. Traditionalists

Segregationist Strom Thurmond of South Carolina
1948 Dixiecrat Presidential Candidate

Source: Wikipedia

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has penned a recent column in which he examines Chris Christie's compatibility with cultural conservatives in the GOP.  In short, Cohen is skeptical that Christie can resonate with the Tea Party right.

For one, regarding the process of securing the GOP nomination, Cohen does not like Christie's 2016 chances in early caucus and primary states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Given that the Iowa Republican Caucuses are noted for hard-right participants, Cohen claims that "Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old."

Cohen sees a similarity between the Dixiecrats (Southern segregationists who split from the Democratic Party in 1948) and the hard-right of today's GOP.  He claims that, like Strom Thurmond's States' Rights Democrats of 65 years ago, todays GOP hardliners in places like Iowa see their world facing existential threats.

Cohen's views about Christie's chances, however, might prove to be among the least memorable aspects of his November 11th column.

In particular, Cohen uses some rather vivid and provocative language to describe the objections of cultural conservatives to the  lifestyles and mores of the new America.

Cohen specifically uses New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio's wife (who is Black) and their children (who are biracial) as embodiments on this new America. He moreover claims that, for American traditionalists, thoughts of  New York City's next first family surely must induce nausea.

Richard Cohen's column is linked below. A quotation from the column appears below the link.

Richard Cohen: The Tea Party Wing of the GOP and its Lost Country

"[The contemporary Republican Party] is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.
As with the Dixiecrats, the fight is not over a particular program — although Obamacare comes close — but about a tectonic shift of attitudes."

The New Republic's Nate Cohn: Blue Counties Versus Red Counties and the Value of Cartograms That Account For Population Proportionality

Cartogram of the 2012 Electoral Vote

Obama: 332 Electoral Votes
Romney: 206 Electoral Votes

Source: Wikipedia
In terms of interpreting election results, county-by-county maps can be rather deceptive, particularly when considering the factor of high population densities in urban and metropolitan areas.

With conventional national or state maps designating counties, rural counties--if shaded a color distinct from urban and suburban counties--might seem to be the dominant area.

If the issue is land area, that would be correct, but in terms of population proportionality, conventional county-by-county maps for election results can be counterproductive for communicating a larger truth.

In short, election results communicated graphically on conventional county-by-county maps tend to understate the importance of urban and metropolitan areas.

Nate Cohn addresses this matter in an article for The New Republic. In doing so, he praises the value of cartograms for illustrating the proportional value of highly populated areas.

Nate Cohn's article at The New Republic is linked below.

Nate Cohn: Red Counties versus Blue Counties, in Proportion to Population

"I wish infographic departments would give readers the power to flip between a traditional county map and a cartogram. Otherwise, many or maybe even most readers will wrongly assume that the most common color on the map is most representative of the population, while largely ignoring the metropolitan communities that dominate the country."

---Nate Cohn, The New Republic

2012 Presidential Election, County-by-County Winners

Counties won by Obama in Blue
Counties won by Romney in Red

Source: Wikipedia

2012 Presidential Election, County-by-County Results
Cartogram Reflects Size of County Population and Margin of Victory

Counties won by Obama in Blue
Counties won by Romney in Red

Author: Mark E.J. Newman, Cartogram posted at Wikipedia