May 8, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 8:04 PM


New Polling Study: 2016 Trump Voters Turning Against Him (Cody Fenwick, May 8, 2019, National Memo)

In a new examination of voter preference changes between 2016 and 2019, the Voter Study Group found a marked difference in the opinions of a much-discussed group in the electorate: voters who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then Trump in 2016. Unsurprisingly, this group largely had a positive opinion of Trump in 2016 -- 85 percent of these voters approved of him, the survey found.

But these opinions have significantly shifted. In 2019, only 66 percent of these voters still approved of Trump -- a 19-point drop.

"Even small movement among these voters -- who represented 9 percent of voters in 2016 -- may prove significant heading into the 2020 presidential election," wrote Robert Griffin of the Voter Study Group. "Obama-Trump voters are also disproportionately white, non-college educated and, as a result, are likely to be well distributed geographically for the purpose of electoral impact." [...]

State-by-state polling also supports this inference. Morning Consult presents data on Trump's approval across the country and over time. In the key states where Trump won in 2016 -- Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania -- the president started out in early 2017 with a net positive approval rating:

PA: +10
WI: +6
MI: +7

But by April 2019,  he was significantly underwater in each of these states:

PA: -7
WI: -13
MI: -10

There are other states where he's also looking weak. In Ohio, he's at -4; Arizona, -7; Florida, -2; North Carolina, -2; Iowa, -8. Meanwhile, there are no states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 in which Trump now has a positive approval rating.

Posted by orrinj at 5:58 PM


Eugenics, Anti-Immigration Laws Of The Past Still Resonate Today, Journalist Says (Terry Gross, 5/08/19, fresh Air)

Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement -- a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others -- informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S.

"Eugenics was used as a primary weapon in the effort to keep Southern and Eastern Europeans out of the country," Okrent says. "[The eugenics movement] made it a palatable act, because it was based on science or presumed science."

Okrent notes the 1924 law drastically cut the number of Jews, Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans that could enter the country. Even during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and dying, access remained limited. The limits remained in place until 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act ended immigration restrictions based on nationality, ethnicity and race.

Okrent sees echos of the 1924 act in President Trump's hard-line stance regarding immigration: "The [current] rhetoric of criminality, the attribution of criminality -- not to individual criminals but to hundreds of thousands of people of various nationalities -- that's very similar to the notion of moral deficiency that was hurled by the eugenicists at the Southern and Eastern Europeans of the 1910s and '20s."

Only the groups the Darwinists hate most ever change,

Posted by orrinj at 5:54 PM


Florida's pitch for growth: more diversity (Kim Hart, 5/08/19, Axios)

The big picture: The state is harnessing its increasingly diverse population to offset the long-held perception that Florida is a destination only for retirees and vacationers.

That's an important pitch for the state. In Tampa alone, deaths outnumbered births by almost 900 people between 2017 and 2018, per CBS Miami's analysis of recent Census Bureau data. That means the city would have shrunk without the migration of newcomers.

Re-branding itself as a place where under-represented groups -- people of color, immigrants and women -- can thrive economically is the key to changing Florida's "God's waiting room" reputation.

Nationwide, the rate of entrepreneurs among immigrants is substantially higher than among native-born Americans, according to the Kauffman Foundation. The share of Latino and Asian entrepreneurs has also risen substantially since 1996, while the share of white entrepreneurs declined during that period, per Kauffman.

In Orlando, two-thirds of the new residents came from outside the U.S. between 2017 and 2018. City officials estimate that 1,500 people will move to the city every week over the next decade.

In the area's fastest growing county -- Osceola -- 76% of that growth will come from the Hispanic community, per the city's 2030 projections.

The city also became home to tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The city rallied around its LBGTQ community in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting three years ago. "That was a defining moment for our city," said Jennifer Foster, executive director of OneOrlando Alliance, a nonprofit.

In Miami, more than half of the population was born outside of the city, and some of the startup ecosystem's most important support organizations, venture funds and startups are led by women. The city's tagline: "An ecosystem built by immigrants, led by women."

Miami was a finalist for Amazon's HQ2 (Jeff Bezos went to high school there), and it is also a finalist to be an artificial intelligence hub SoftBank wants to create in the Caribbean-Latin America region, per the Miami Herald.

Between the lines: Florida is a perennial battleground state with divisions much like the rest of the country. The fastest-growing metropolitan areas tend to be more liberal and open to outsiders than the large rural areas, where the majority of voters supported Trump in 2016 and helped elect the state's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally.

Posted by orrinj at 5:49 PM


Clash Between Trump and House Democrats Poses Threat to Constitutional Order (Adam Liptak, May 7, 2019, NY Times)

"A president who refuses to respond to congressional oversight is taking the presidency to new levels of danger," said William P. Marshall, a law professor at the University of North Carolina. "We're supposed to be in a system of checks and balances, and one of the biggest checks that Congress has over the executive is the power of congressional oversight."

"Not responding to that is to literally say that you're above the law and you're above the Constitution," he said. "There's nothing in history that comes even close to that."

John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former official in the George W. Bush administration, said Mr. Trump's approach was novel and dangerous.

"The thing that's unusual is the blanket refusal," Professor Yoo said. "It would be extraordinary if the president actually were to try to stop all congressional testimony on subpoenaed issues. That would actually be unprecedented if it were a complete ban."

"He's treating Congress like they're the Chinese or a local labor union working on a Trump building," he said. effectively wipe out all privilege claims.

Posted by orrinj at 12:54 PM


Fox & Friends is very impressed with Trump for reportedly losing over $1 billion (The Week, 5/08/19)

Trump's favorite morning show spoke after The New York Times obtained financial documents showing that Trump's businesses lost more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994.

"He's a bold businessman, which is chronicled here," Brian Kilmeade said in response to the story. Kilmeade went on to argue that the article shouldn't "surprise anybody" and that the business practices described in the story "make sense" because Trump wanted to "take chances."

Even better is the defense that he falsified his returns for the tax breaks. Criminal Genius! 

Posted by orrinj at 4:28 AM

THE rIGHT IS THE lEFT (profanity alert):

The Trade and Immigration Views of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are Basically Trump's (VIKRAM BATH · MAY 8, 2019, Ordinary Times)

I. Trade

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren share Trump's trade agenda verbatim. The three of them argue that trade with China and other countries should be drastically curtailed if not stopped altogether. Warren, if anything, attacks Trump from the right, expressing concern that by negotiating with Canada at the same time with China, Trump isn't being strong enough in fighting China [...]

II. Immigration

When it comes to immigration policy, Bernie Sanders has famously called open borders a Koch-brothers proposal.

Trump says "our country is full." What does Bernie Sanders say when asked about open borders?

I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. That is not simply--You're quite right--if your point is you open the borders, my God, you know, there's a lot of poverty in this world and you're going to have people from all over the world, and I don't think that's something we can do at this point. Can't do it.

It's understandable to oppose open borders as a policy, but Sanders goes far beyond that. His rhetoric describes poverty and "people from all over the world" as akin to an infections disease that will enter if we let our guard down. While his language is rated G, his sentiment is certainly akin to someone who might use the phrase "sh[***]le countries."

Posted by orrinj at 3:57 AM


Biden Soars, Everyone Else Stalls (David Catanese, May 7, 2019, US news)

Biden got even more good news from a pollster in Arizona on Tuesday that bolsters his most persuasive argument of electability. According to the Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights, Biden is ahead of President Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election match-up in the Grand Canyon State.

Biden leads Trump 49 percent to 44 percent and was the only one of the six Democrats tested who came out on top of the president in traditionally red Arizona. The last Republican presidential nominee to lose Arizona in a general election was Bob Dole in 1996, when President Bill Clinton carried the state during his re-election.

It'll be nice not to see any ads for Donald here.
Posted by orrinj at 12:02 AM


You don't need that: Average American spends almost $18,000 a year on nonessentials (Maurie Backman, 5/08/19, The Motley Fool)

It's one thing to spend a bit of money treating ourselves to life's various luxuries, but it's another thing to splurge to the point where it hurts our finances. Many Americans are guilty of the latter.

In fact, the average adult in the USA spends $1,497 a month on nonessential items, according to research commissioned by Ladder and conducted by OnePoll. All told, that's roughly $18,000 a year on things we can all do without. And that's a lot of money, considering the extent to which Americans are letting their savings and other crucial goals fall by the wayside.

Consumption taxes will force savings.

Posted by orrinj at 12:01 AM




The fastball rate was down from 64 percent as recently as 2003. That year, sliders and cutters made up 14.6 percent of all pitches thrown. Last year, that secondary rate was up to 22.6 percent. Put simply, pitching repertoires have never been more diverse, making it impossible to know what's coming in the batter's box. No wonder strikeouts are at an all-time high.

Of the 15 hardest-throwing qualified starting pitchers this season, only Syndergaard (60.5 percent), the Rays' Tyler Glasnow (64.1 percent), the Yankees' James Paxton (63.6 percent) and Miami's José Ureña (64.3 percent) throw their fastball at least 60 percent of the time (all stats as of Tuesday). Meanwhile, aces Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros -- MLB's most progressive pitching staff -- rank among the top average velocity, but throw fastballs barely more than half the time.

"It's no longer just specialists or aging veterans throwing more off-speed pitches," says MLB Network analyst Mark DeRosa. "Every pitcher in the league can deliver two, three, four 'plus' pitches in any spot in any count in an at-bat. How [is a hitter] supposed to handle that?"

Take Cleveland Indians ace Trevor Bauer, one of the game's leading data-driven thinkers, who has focused on adding a plus-pitch (aka a pitch that would receive an "A" grade) each off-season. This winter's experiment, the changeup, gave Bauer a fifth pitch in his arsenal.

Bauer throws one of the hardest fastballs in the league (94.7 mph average) just 47 percent of the time -- in the bottom third of the league. While in the past he leaned heavily on his curveball, this year his four secondary pitches are fairly evenly distributed, making it that much harder to know what's coming. "Just knowing [Bauer's curveball] exists is enough to give a hitter pause," says former MLB catcher turned ESPN analyst David Ross. "And then it's even more devastating when you finally see it."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump deplores Chavistas, but did he cash in selling property to one of them? (BEN WIEDER AND  KEVIN G. HALL, MAY 07, 2019, McClatchy)

The Trump Organization sold an ocean-view property in the Dominican Republic in 2015 to a mysterious shell company that appears tied to Venezuelans linked to a powerful politician now under U.S. sanctions, according to records obtained by McClatchy and the Miami Herald.

The Venezuelans are close associates of Diosdado Cabello Rondón, widely believed to be the second most powerful man in President Nicolás Maduro's regime in the troubled, oil-rich South American nation. The Trump administration has accused Cabello of drug trafficking and money laundering.

The family business is money laundering.