September 15, 2020

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Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Let's Stop Shaming the SuburbsResearch shows that Americans are happy living there, and critiques that rely on outdated tropes are polarizing. (Samuel J. Abrams, 9/09/20, Dispatch)

Data from AEI's Survey on Community and Society--conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic--shows that socialization patterns were as high in the suburbs as city centers and that Americans rated suburbs as very desirable places to live. For instance, when respondents are asked about their satisfaction with the number of friends they have in their neighborhood, 72 percent of city dwellers and 72 percent of suburbanites say they are satisfied. This number ticks up for small-town residents (74 percent) and those in rural areas (75 percent).

Relatedly, when asked about how well one knows one's neighbors, 56 percent of urbanites say the know them well, but so do 48 percent of those in suburbs. When asked about feeling isolated from others, 37 percent of city dwellers say sometimes or often, which is not very different from suburbanites who feel lonely 39 percent of the time. Rural Americans felt the most isolated at 42 percent--which is again only a handful more than in suburbs. These are minor differences and if urban life is the benchmark, suburban life is anything but isolated and anti-social.

What about overall quality of life? In this case, while the numbers are still close, suburbanites show the highest overall satisfaction, with 87 percent rating their area as a good or excellent place to live. For city dwellers, it was 74 percent. (Small town and rural residents were in between those two.) Moreover, comparable numbers survey respondents in cities, suburbs, and towns all respond that local amenities--place to buy groceries, be social and entertained, and have a meal or a drink--are close by; only rural Americans are truly missing easy access to these local institutions. So, it is hard for me to accept statements that the suburbs are hellish, empty, and anti-social places considering huge numbers of Americans rank them a good places to live with ample resources and find that they are socially happy there. 

And, I should note, with the advent of COVID-19, suburbs are even more desired today. New survey data from AEI collected in the midst of the pandemic shows respondents finding the suburbs vastly more desirable, and their interest in cities plummeting. Just 13 percent of Americans today state that they would like to live in a city, while 29 percent of Americans said that they would ideally reside in a suburban area, 29 percent in a small town, and 28 percent said a rural area. 

When current urbanites are asked about city living, just 34 percent stated that they would like to remain in a city, while the rest were fairly evenly split among suburbs, towns, and rural areas. In contrast, majorities of those who reside in suburban and rural areas along with small towns all stated that that they would not move from their urban type. Cities are now out of favor across the board and the suburbs are not. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM

60-40 NATION:

Poll: Americans united on a slew of issues, despite contentious election season (CAITLIN OPRYSKO, 09/15/2020, Politico)

[T]he survey -- conducted for Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights and Institute of Politics and obtained by POLITICO ahead of its release -- found that more than 7 in 10 Americans believe they have more in common with one another than many people think.

It also found that most Americans hold an expansive view of their rights beyond those explicitly laid out in the Constitution, but which they say are under threat.

"Overall I think Americans want not to be divided as politics are forcing it to be, and that's probably the biggest message of this poll," said John Shattuck, director of the Carr Center's project on Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States and a former U.S. assistant secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

"Division is not what most Americans are seeking," he added. [...]

The right to clean air and water, for example, was considered important by 93 percent of those surveyed; protection of personal data, by 93 percent; the right to a quality education, by 92 percent; racial equality, by 92 percent; affordable health care, by 89 percent; and the right to a job, by 85 percent.

Of 16 rights and values polled, a majority considered every single one either very or somewhat important to being American today.

Even issues like immigration (66 percent) and protecting a woman's right to choose and make decisions affecting her body and personal life (72 percent) -- typically viewed as highly divisive -- garnered bipartisan support, though with more of a partisan divide.

The survey found its biggest partisan gap on the issue of race and policing. Although more than 6 in 10 agreed that Black Americans and other racial minorities are targets of racism in policing, that total included 84 percent of Democrats compared with just 32 percent of Republicans.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Biden campaign adds more staff in Texas (Patrick Svitek, 9/15/20, The Texas Tribune)

Joe Biden's campaign is expanding its staff in Texas, bringing on 13 more people as the state continues to look competitive with just over seven weeks to go before the November election. [...]

For months, polls have pointed to a close contest in Texas between Biden, the former vice president, and President Donald Trump. While Biden's campaign has discussed Texas as competitive territory and made TV ad reservations here this fall, Trump officials continue to dismiss the notion that Biden will seriously contend in the historically red state.

Adding TX to his win column would just be gilding the lily for Joe, but he can tie the GOP and its money down there.
Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Police Caused At Least 115 Head Injuries During Recent Protests (JORDAN CULVER, 09.15.2020, Undark)

AT LEAST 115 people were injured this summer when police shot them in the head or neck with so-called "less-lethal" projectiles at protests over racial injustice and police brutality, according to a report published Monday.

It's the most comprehensive tally of such injuries to date, with about twice as many victims as KHN and USA Today cited in a July examination of how police across the U.S. wielded the weapons to control crowds.

But Physicians for Human Rights, the organization that compiled the incidents, believes even its figures are an undercount because its analysis is based on publicly available data and excluded some reports without adequate evidence.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump alma mater says Biden plan would lead to more economic growth (STEPHEN GANDEL, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020, CBS News)

[T]he analysis, published on Monday, found that Biden's proposals on education, infrastructure and health care would largely pay for themselves. That would be in part by raising taxes, but also by boosting wages and lowering health care costs.

"If you got the U.S. on this path, you would lower the debt and raise GDP," said Richard Prisinzano, the director of policy analysis at the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan group at the top business school. "It is productive spending that Mr. Biden is proposing."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Nurse, detained migrant women say mass hysterectomies performed by ICE contractor in Georgia (The Week, 9/15/20)

Several legal advocacy groups filed a whistleblower complaint Monday alleging that an unusually large number of hysterectomies are being performed on detained migrant women at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia, run by the private prison firm LaSalle South Corrections to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees. A nurse who worked full-time at the facility until July and several migrant women interviewed by one nonprofit, Project South, said the women did not know why they were being sterilized.

"When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp," said one detainee who had spoken with five women given hysterectomies -- removal of all or part of the uterus -- between October and December 2019. "It was like they're experimenting with their bodies."

Totally not Nazism!

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs to Be Deposed in Seth Rich Case (Will Sommer, Sep. 14, 2020, Daily Beast)

Fox News star Sean Hannity was once his network's most prominent booster of conspiracy theories about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, only stopping the rumor-mongering after Rich's grieving parents publicly begged him to knock it off. 

Now, Hannity will have to answer questions, under oath, about Fox's coverage of Rich's death. Hannity, along with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and a host of Fox staffers, is set to be deposed in late October over the network's debunked reporting on Rich, which falsely claimed that he had leaked thousands of Democratic emails to WikiLeaks--a leak, they suggested, that led to his politically-motivated murder. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump ad asks people to support the troops. But it uses a picture of Russian jets.(DANIEL LIPPMAN and BRYAN BENDER, 09/14/2020, Politico)

The ad, which was made by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, features silhouettes of three soldiers walking as a fighter jet flies over them. The ad first appeared on Sept. 8 and ran until Sept. 12.

"That's definitely a MiG-29," said Pierre Sprey, who helped design both the F-16 and A-10 planes for the U.S. Air Force.