March 12, 2017

Posted by orrinj at 6:27 PM


Immigrants in US Increasingly Educated, Enterprising, from India, China (Associated Press, 10/12/16)

For all of Donald Trump's talk of building a border wall and deporting 11 million unauthorized immigrants who are mainly Hispanic -- and for all of the enduring contention over illegal immigration -- immigrants to the U.S. are now more likely to come from Asia than from Mexico or Latin America.

And compared with Americans overall, immigrants today are disproportionately well-educated and entrepreneurial. They are transforming the nation in ways largely ignored by the political jousting over how immigration is affecting America's culture, economy and national security.

As of three years ago, Census figures show, India and China eclipsed Mexico as the top sources of U.S. immigrants, whether authorized or not. In 2013, 147,000 Chinese immigrants and 129,000 Indians came to the U.S., compared with 125,000 Mexicans. Most of the Asian immigrants arrived in the United States legally, through work, student or family visas.

Immigrants are also more likely now to be U.S. citizens. Nearly half of immigrants older than 25 -- 18 million people -- are naturalized citizens, compared with 30 percent back in 2000, according to Census figures.

Posted by orrinj at 6:23 PM


Russia is getting impatient about resetting US-Russia relations (AFP, 3/12/17)

[Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov] decried the "hysteria" of the US political debate, and said it is hampering efforts to establish warmer relations.

"We consider it a real danger for the future of our bilateral relationship and we sincerely want to see this hysteria coming to its logic end," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn was forced to step down when it was revealed that he misled colleagues about his meetings with the Russian ambassador.

More recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from election-related investigations when it emerged that he too had met the Russian ambassador on two occasions, despite having told lawmakers at his Senate confirmation hearing otherwise.

Speaking on a different CNN program Sunday, Republican Senator John McCain, a top Trump critic, called for greater "scrutiny" in dealing with Russia.

"There's a lot of aspects with this whole relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin that requires further scrutiny, and so far I don't think the American people have gotten all the answers," McCain said.

"In fact, I think there's a lot of shoes to drop from this centipede." 

Posted by orrinj at 6:08 PM

Posted by orrinj at 5:56 PM


Would Donald Trump be less likable as a woman? Researchers wanted to find out (Neha Thirani Bagri, March 10, 2017, Quartz)

Guadalupe began with the assumption that Trump's aggressive behavior would seem even more unpalatable coming from a female candidate and Clinton's informed responses would seem more authoritative coming from a man. But when the performance was staged in the Provincetown Playhouse in New York in January, the audience reacted in unexpected ways. [...]

"In the real debates I thought Hillary won hands down, [but] this has totally made me question my judgment."

"Tonight was a bit frightening as I experienced myself what I always thought is true of "others:" the speed and ease with which I can be manipulated by form. Sobering experience."

"I was a Trump voter and went into this expecting to love Brenda King and hate Jonathan Gordon. I came out mixed. I definitely liked parts of Brenda King's performance, and could've seen myself voting for her, but moments when I cheered for Trump also came off as overdone or grating or too consumed with style over substance."

"I went into this experience disliking both Trump and Clinton and that remains unchanged, but this certainly makes me wonder if we put candidates into boxes too easily. Are we perhaps too harsh with some and too lenient on others purely because of the way they come across?"

"I found it so fascinating both in terms of questioning my views on gender and how it affects how I see people and the exercise itself. I was expecting to be more hostile to the woman but actually found myself "supporting" her and even viewing her as a likeable person despite the fact it was all Trump's words. Shows how perceptions can manipulate your views."

"I finally understand the "bubble" that some people keep referring to--I feel like I can comprehend how and why the populist message of Donald Trump resonated with so many people. I can also see how frustrating and off-putting Hillary Clinton was for many people--especially people who had a negative opinion of her."

Posted by orrinj at 4:08 PM


House Panel Wants Any Evidence Trump's Phones Were Tapped (DEB RIECHMANN, 3/12/17, Associated Press)

The House intelligence committee asked the executive branch to provide by Monday any evidence to support President Donald Trump's claim that his phones were tapped at Trump Tower during the election, a senior congressional aide said Saturday.

Posted by orrinj at 4:02 PM


Republicans Clueless on Obamacare Repeal Because Obamacare Was Their Own Plan (David Atkins, March 11, 2017, Washington Times)

The problem is that the only way to provide better, less expensive care for everyone that improves on the ACA is the universal, government-backed insurance offered by nearly every other developed country in the world. Allowing insurers to sell across state lines would create a regulatory race-to-the-bottom and do almost nothing to lower costs. Most Americans have so little in savings they can't retire or put their kids through college, much less cover $500,000 of cancer treatments through an HSA. And covering people with pre-existing conditions through market processes requires a mandate to make it work.

Republicans know all of this. They know it because the ACA is actually the conservative, market-based alternative to single-payer. It was essentially was the Heritage Foundation's alternative to Hillary Clinton's 1993 healthcare plan. It became the basis of Romneycare, the plan backed and enacted by the 2012 Republican nominee for president. It's the Republican alternative to single-payer.

Universal HSA/catastrophic would work too.

Posted by orrinj at 4:00 PM


Roger Stone, Trump confidant, acknowledges 'innocuous' Twitter conversation with DNC hackers (Andrew Blake, 3/10/17, washington Times)

Mr. Stone wrote an article for Breitbart News on Aug. 5 attributing the DNC breach to Guccifer 2.0, not Russia, and swapped a handful of direct messages with the persona in the weeks that followed, according to copies of the conversations provided to the Times.

In one of the messages dated Aug. 14, Mr. Stone said he was "delighted" that Twitter had reinstated Guccifer 2.0's account following a brief suspension. Two days later, Mr. Stone again privately messaged the Twitter account and asked for it to retweet a column he had written about the prospects of the 2016 presidential election being "rigged."

Posted by orrinj at 1:55 PM


Price: Success for Trumpcare would be more people covered at lower costs (Axios, 3/12/17)

When asked by moderator Chuck Todd how he'd define success, Price declined to set an exact coverage goal -- but he said success "means more people covered than are covered right now, and at an average cost that is less. 

Posted by orrinj at 1:52 PM


Comey Letter Swung Election For Trump, Consumer Survey Suggests : Emotion and peer influence play much bigger roles in influencing behavior than previously understood. (Brad Fay, 3/11/17, Engagement Labs)

My firm has been tracking face-to-face consumer conversations about brands for more than a decade. Our methodology is to conduct a daily online survey among consumers to ask them about the product categories and brands they have been talking about in the last 24 hours. Thus we are using a survey to measure behavior rather than opinion data. Third party statistical modelers have validated this methodology by showing that when combined with social media data it can predict between 5% and 25% of a brand's sales, depending on the category.

Although it is not our main line of business, every four years since 2008, we have added a few special questions to pick up the daily conversation about presidential candidates during the General Election campaign. Only after Election Day last year did we go back to see what the data showed, and it was startling.

The first thing to know is that people were talking very negatively about both Trump and Clinton, in contrast to the mostly positive conversations we see for products and brands. Between Labor Day and Election Day, 53% of all the Trump conversations were negative about him, and 20% were "mixed" positive and negative, while only 26% were purely positive. If you subtract the negative and mixed from the positive, you get a "net sentiment" of -47. For Clinton, it was 43% negative and 21% "mixed" compared to 33% positive, producing a "net sentiment" of -30. That both candidates were so deeply into negative territory tells us something about politics generally, and also about these two candidates, who performed worse than Obama, Romney, and McCain in the last two elections.

More important than the absolute results for each candidate were their relative performances, as well as the trends over time. While both candidates were always firmly in negative territory, Clinton nevertheless enjoyed a persistent lead over Trump that opened up after the first debate. Both candidates experienced significant drops in the immediate aftermath of the infamous audio recording of Billy Bush and Donald Trump, although Clinton still had the advantage.

Most decisively, there was a sudden change in the net sentiment results that followed immediately after FBI Director James Comey released his Oct. 28 letter to Congress about a renewed investigation of Clinton emails. Immediately afterwards, there was a 17-point drop in net sentiment for Clinton, and an 11-point rise for Trump, enough for the two candidates to switch places in the rankings, with Clinton in more negative territory than Trump. At a time when opinion polling showed perhaps a 2-point decline in the margin for Clinton, this conversation data suggests a 28-point change in the word of mouth "standings." The change in word of mouth favorability metric was stunning, and much greater than the traditional opinion polling revealed.