June 6, 2019

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Posted by orrinj at 1:17 PM


Trump Faces a Rocky Road to 270 (Josh Kraushaar, 6/04/19, National Journal)

3. New Hampshire

Now the map gets markedly more difficult for Trump. His next-best bet is New Hampshire, where he had his narrowest loss of 2016, falling short by fewer than 3,000 votes. The Granite State has voted twice for Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

But all the other in-state indicators are dismal for the president. His job approval rating was merely 39 percent, according to the April Morning Consult survey. And Senate Republicans are pessimistic about their prospects of unseating Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who's up for reelection in 2020.

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Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The Use and Misuse of Income Data and Extreme Poverty in the United States (Bruce D. Meyer, Derek Wu, Victoria R. Mooers, Carla Medalia, May 2019, NBER Working Paper No. 25907)

Recent research suggests that rates of extreme poverty, commonly defined as living on less than $2/person/day, are high and rising in the United States. We re-examine the rate of extreme poverty by linking 2011 data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and Current Population Survey, the sources of recent extreme poverty estimates, to administrative tax and program data. Of the 3.6 million non-homeless households with survey-reported cash income below $2/person/day, we find that more than 90% are not in extreme poverty once we include in-kind transfers, replace survey reports of earnings and transfer receipt with administrative records, and account for the ownership of substantial assets. More than half of all misclassified households have incomes from the administrative data above the poverty line, and several of the largest misclassified groups appear to be at least middle class based on measures of material well-being.

Our greatest "poverty" problem is obesity.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Fox News' Tucker Carlson has some effusive, dubious praise for Elizabeth Warren (Peter Weber, 6/06/19, The Week)

Congressional Republicans, in thrall to Wall Street and "libertarian zealots," failed to learn from the 2016 election and never "understood and embraced the economic nationalism that was at the heart of Donald Trump's presidential victory," Carlson said. But "many of Warren's policy prescriptions make obvious sense," like buying American and encouraging workplace apprenticeships. "She sounds like Donald Trump at his best," he added.

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"I was sick of hanging around all day. I wanted to be doing something."

Lawrence Peter Berra was signed by the Yankees as a 17-year-old and assigned to the team's affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia, near the U.S. Navy shipyard. The 5-foot-8 prospect quickly demonstrated his prowess behind the plate and in the batter's box, once driving in 23 runs in a doubleheader. But with his country at war, Berra, like so many other ballplayers of the day, including major leaguers Ted Williams and Bob Feller, put his baseball career on hold, enlisting in the Navy when he turned 18.

"I kind of enjoyed it. We had our own boat."

The young Berra signed up to join the "amphibs," even though he didn't really understand the concept. "They asked for volunteers to go on a rocket boat," he later put it. "I didn't even know what a rocket boat was." As it turned out, a rocket boat, also known as a landing craft support small (LCSS), was a 36-foot wooden-hulled vessel with steel plating. The seamen referred to them as "big bathtubs" -- bathtubs that came equipped with 48 rockets, one twin .50-caliber machine gun and two .30-caliber machine guns. It would be the LCSS' job to fire on the beaches at Normandy to help clear the way for the landing crafts. "We called it landing craft suicide squad," Berra said.

"I'd have to say I was involved."

Berra was next stationed in Plymouth, England, where for three weeks he and his fellow seamen waited. They didn't know when they were going out or what was coming next -- and they weren't allowed to share details of anything in their letters home. Early on June 4, Berra's LCSS set off aboard the USS Bayfield, a Coast Guard transport that was the smallest craft to take part in the invasion, the largest amphibious assault in history.

"I never saw so many planes in my life. It was like a black cloud."

Berra's boat was lowered from the Bayfield at 4.30 a.m. on June 6. Most stories about the invasion focus on the troop-filled landing crafts that poured their contents onto the Normandy beaches, but the tip of the spear for the invasion was actually the 24 LCSS crafts, including Berra's, that approached the German fortifications first and were the most vulnerable to enemy fire. Berra manned a machine gun and helped load the rocket launcher, but he couldn't help marvel at the spectacle of it all. "Boy, it looks pretty, all the planes coming over," he said at one point about the Allied planes overhead. "You better get your head down in here, if you want it on," the officer on his boat retorted.

"Nothing happened to us. That's one good thing."

Berra's boat received little fire from the Germans on the beach, and the crew spent the next two weeks helping relay messages and direct new arrivals. At one point, Berra's gun crew was directed to fire at enemy planes. They shot one down ... an American plane. "The pilot was mad as hell, and you could hear him swearing as he floated down in his parachute," Berra recalled. "I remember him shaking his fist and yelling, 'If you bastards would shoot down as many of them as us, the goddamn war would be over.'"

"Being there at Omaha may have changed my life a little."