Why Are Republicans So Angry?

Washington Post: “Deep in the new NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll are two questions that help explain some of the big shifts in the American electorate – particularly the Republican electorate – that have flummoxed many longtime political operatives and observers in this campaign so far. They help explain the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the anger at the Republican establishment and the potential dangers lurking in the general election for the GOP nominee.

“In both cases, pollsters read a series of statements about the direction of the country, then asked respondents how well each of those statements described them. All the answers are revealing, but two of them stand out.”

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Americans Not Too Worried About Climate Change

“Americans are hot but not too bothered by global warming. Most Americans know the climate is changing, but they say they are just not that worried about it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And that is keeping the American public from demanding and getting the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from reaching a crisis, according to climate and social scientists.”

“As top-level international negotiations to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions start later this month in Paris, the AP-NORC poll taken in mid-October shows about two out of three Americans accept global warming and the vast majority of those say human activities are at least part of the cause.”

“However, fewer than one in four Americans are extremely or very worried about it, according the poll of 1,058 people. About one out of three Americans are moderately worried and the highest percentage of those polled — 38 percent — were not too worried or not at all worried. Despite high profile preaching by Pope Francis, only 36 percent of Americans see global warming as a moral issue and only a quarter of those asked see it as a fairness issue, according to the poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.”

The U.S. Is Much More Violent Than Other Countries

Slate: “The U.S. really is far more violent than other advanced countries, and you need only to glance at the above chart to see it. The chart, created by Kieran Healy, a professor of sociology at Duke University and republished here with permission, shows the rate at which people die by assault in the U.S. and how that rate has changed over time in orange. In blue, it shows the rates of 23 other wealthy countries. The good news is that the U.S.’s rate has steadily declined since 1980. The bad news is that we’re still about three times as violent as any other country in the dataset.”

GOP Favored on Issues Despite Worse Image

Gallup: “Less than half of Americans (43%) view the Democratic Party favorably, but the party’s image is still better than that of the Republican Party (38%). Neither party has been able to gain favorable opinions from a majority of the public since June 2013, in the early months of President Barack Obama’s second term.”

“Yet while Americans are more likely to view the Democratic Party favorably, they are split on which party is better at keeping the country prosperous. Americans are slightly more likely to say the Republican Party is better at handling whatever issue they personally define as the country’s ‘most important problem,’ and much more likely to favor the GOP on ‘protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats.'”

Americans' Overall Opinions of the Two Parties and Views of the Parties on Issues

Americans Don’t Want Pope Speaking Out on Climate Change

Washington Post: “Basically, more people are comfortable with the church bashing free-market capitalism than with it bashing people who doubt that climate change is caused by humans. You have to figure that some not-small part of this derives from the vagueness of the capitalism question and the specificity of the one about climate change, and you have to figure that some part of it is rooted in the hyper-partisanship of climate change politics in the United States. It reinforces, though, that the pope’s efforts to convince the heaviest greenhouse-gas polluters per capita in the world (that is, Americans) of their folly probably won’t succeed.”

What Hillary Clinton Didn’t Say About Keystone XL

Washington Post: “It’s important to note what Clinton did not say. She did not say that the pipeline would significantly increase carbon dioxide emissions. She did not say that it would significantly undercut President Obama’s climate policies. She did not say that Keystone XL would be “game over for the climate,” nor did she repeat any of the other rank hyperbole that activists have deployed in the pipeline fight.”

“She did not say any of these things because the pipeline is unlikely to have much of an impact on the climate one way or another in the long run, according to the State Department and independent analysts. Environmentalist efforts to choke off the supply of fossil fuels by rallying against a pipeline here or an export facility there are fierce but misdirected. The way to really turn the needle on fossil fuels is to reduce demand for them, either by pricing carbon emissions or regulating them away. The Keystone XL fight has been a massive misallocation of time and passion that Clinton has now indulged.”

Rich and Poor Eat Fast Food Equally

A new CDC study finds that on a given day, roughly one-third of American children will eat fast food and the breakdown among income levels is pretty even.

The Atlantic: “Some researchers suggest that it’s actually supermarkets, those ammonia-dusted empyreans and oft-cited silver bullets, that play an outsized role in the national obesity problem. That’s not to say that fast food is good for you, but rather that Americans having cheap access to sugary goods might be a bigger problem. At the very least, the discourse about what causes obesity, particularly among lower-income Americans, deserves some tempering.”

The Case Against Clinton’s Plan to Control Drug Costs

“When critics complain about the high cost of a prescription drug, drug makers tend to have two main defenses. One is that developing drugs is an expensive, risky endeavor, and so companies need high prices to cover the cost of medical research. The second is that their products bring value by improving health and wellness, and the companies should be rewarded for those public benefits,” the New York Times reports.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton is unveiling her proposal to lower drug costs Tuesday, and she has taken aim squarely at that first defense: If companies really need high prices to spend it on science, then they should be required to spend a set amount of their revenue on research and development costs. She proposes requiring that any additional drug company revenue be plowed back into government research for new therapies. The proposal would apply to any drug company that benefits from federal support — which would mean most of them.”

Trump Is Rich Because His Father Was Rich

Vox: “A new analysis suggests that Trump would’ve been a billionaire even if he’d never had a career in real estate, and had instead thrown his father’s inheritance into a index fund that tracked the market. His wealth, in other words, isn’t because of his brains. It’s because he’s a Trump.”

“It’s hard to nail down Trump’s precise net worth, but Bloomberg currently puts it at $2.9 billion, while Forbes puts it at $4 billion. So he’s worth about as much as he would’ve been if he had taken $40 million from his dad and thrown it into an index fund.”

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Most Favor Path to Citizenship for Immigrants


Gallup: “Two in three U.S. adults favor a plan to allow immigrants who are living illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country and become citizens if they meet certain requirements over time. Far fewer support allowing those immigrants to remain in the U.S. to work for a limited period of time (14%), or to deport all of these immigrants back to their home countries (19%). U.S. adults’ views have been largely stable over the past decade.”

Number of Uninsured Drops By 15 Million

“The number of people without health insurance continues to decline and has dropped by 15.8 million, or one-third, since 2013,” the New York Times reports.

“The decline occurred as major provisions of the Affordable Care Act took effect. The law expanded coverage through Medicaid and through subsidies for private insurance, starting in 2014. In the first three months of this year, the National Center for Health Statistics said, 29 million people were uninsured. That was seven million fewer than the average for 2014, after a reduction of 8.8 million from 2013 to 2014.”

“The data may bolster Democrats’ claims that the law is working as they intended, but it is unlikely to prompt Republicans to let up on criticism of the law, which was passed without any Republican votes.”