Quartz: “As China steps into the role of globalization’s biggest supporter—a position vacated by the US since Donald Trump was elected on an ‘America First’ platform—Europe is shifting its focus east. Last year, China unseated the US as Germany’s largest trading partner. An added insult: the US fell to third place, behind France, in the trade rankings with Europe’s largest and most powerful economy.”
A new Pew Research survey on the Affordable Care Act found that, while Americans were divided on whether to keep or repeal the health care law, the majority of Democrats and Republicans alike favored its major provisions.
The exceptions: mandate penalties and requiring employers with more 50+ employees to pay a fine if they do not offer health insurance.
Quartz: “In the aftermath of bad news, we struggle to make sense of what we’ve just learned.”
“The chart below is based on a diagram in the foreword by Allan Kellehear, PhD – a scholar on dying and cultural influences – in the book’s 40th anniversary edition. It’s based on a chart by Kübler-Ross and expands on the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This chart has seven stages: It starts with shock and ends with hope.”
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.”
Bloomberg: “While comparing governors directly is problematic because they served in different times amid varying economic conditions, one can examine their median national standings of their states on the 11 indicators. Florida under former Governor Jeb Bush had the highest median ranking at seven, scoring higher in more categories than any other state. Texas under Perry was second, with a median of 11 and Ohio was third at 17. New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie had the lowest median at 41.”
“Scrutinizing the numbers beneath the rhetoric shows how bubbles, booms and outside forces can make the miraculous look distinctly down to earth.”
Regulations.gov offers an online database of public comments on proposed federal regulations that include some of our more popular/extreme swear words.
Philip Bump has compiled the results in a handy chart.
“There were two words that we focused on in our analysis, one of which starts with an F and one of which starts with an S. … F and S have been replaced below with the words ‘FUDGE’ and ‘SHOOT.'”
One example: “You Crazy FUDGErs Are Out Of Your Minds . What the FUDGE Is Wrong With You Cretinous SHOOT-Heads ? S T O P Your INSANE , G R E E D Y BEHAVIOR N O W .”
David Leonhardt: “Yes, virtually every slice of America still watches football in enormous numbers. But blue America — particularly the highly educated Democratic-leaning areas of major metropolitan areas — is increasingly deciding that it doesn’t want its sons playing football.”
“The number of boys playing high school football has fallen 15 percent over the last six years in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. The decline in Colorado has been 14 percent. It has been 8 percent in Massachusetts and Maryland, 7 percent in New York and 4 percent in California.”
“Today, it’s clear that a large swath of liberal, college-educated America has changed its mind about the wisdom of playing football. A recent poll conducted by the RAND Corporation for The Upshot asked people about their attitudes toward having their children playing a series of sports. Nationwide, only 55 percent of respondents said they would be comfortable with their sons playing football. The numbers for baseball, basketball, soccer and track were all above 90 percent.”
“The concerns about football cut across demographic groups, but they were the most intense among Democratic voters who had graduated from college.”
Brookings Institution: “The juxtaposition of historical data on party unity and ideology in this graphic illustrates how these factors have interacted with House members over time. Today, the Republican Party is markedly more cohesive than the Democratic Party and more ideologically consistent.”
What are the sources of money for U.S. elections? Increasingly, the answer is unclear.
Kathleen Miles: “Spending by ‘dark money‘ groups — organizations that do not have to disclose the sources of their political money — has skyrocketed from about $25 million in 2000 to about $336 million in 2012, according to Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service data that the Center for Responsive Politics.”
“The vast majority of dark money can be attributed to so-called ‘social welfare’ groups, considered 501(c)(4) nonprofits. ‘Social welfare’ groups have been a choice form of political spending for everyone from corporations to unions because of the anonymity they provide.”