Wednesday, September 22, 2021
The chart above is from the Economic Policy Institute. It shows that poverty increased in the United States in 2020. The poverty rate rose by 0.9 points to 11.4% for the entire population. It was even worse for children -- rising by 1.7 points to 16.1%. How can the richest nation on the planet justify over 16% of its children living in poverty?
The poverty rate was also different for different groups, even though it rose in 2020 for all groups. Poverty among Whites rose by 0.9 points to 8.2%. Poverty among Hispanics rose by 1.3 points to 17.0%. And poverty among Blacks rose by 0.6 points to 19.3%. We still have a lot to do to make the economy fair to everyone.
The charts above are from the newest Monmouth University Poll -- done between September 9th and 13th of a national sample of 802 adults, and has a 3.5 point margin of error.
It shows that the public strongly favors keeping the Roe vs. Wade decision intact. About 62% says it should be left as it is, while only 31% say the Supreme Court should revisit it.
The public also disagrees with the new Texas law banning abortions. About 54% disagree with the Supreme Court allowing the Texas law to go into effect. And 70% disagrees with allowing private citizens to enforce the law.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
There are 15,000 or so Haitians on our border, and the Biden administration has started a process to deport them back to Haiti. I disagree with this policy. Haiti is already a country in trouble -- having recently suffered another earthquake and having just had their leader assassinated. Sending these immigrants back just compounds the misery of both them and their country!
I know that letting immigrants into this country is not currently politically popular, but we should do it anyway. Even double or triple the number wanting in is a drop in the bucket compared to our population of over 330,000,000. The white supremacists won't like it, and will whine about letting more non-whites into the country, but the truth is they would make almost no difference at all in the population ratio.
And they would help the country. We currently have many jobs that need filling, and these immigrants would take the lowest paying and most dangerous of those jobs -- not the high-paying jobs that American citizens want. They are desperate, and will take what's available to them. And letting them take those jobs will help them to start building a better future for themselves and their families.
Giving them green cards will not only allow them to work, but also to begin paying taxes. By taking the lowest-paying jobs, them won't immediately pay much in income taxes, but they will be paying Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid taxes. And with those programs needing more money coming in, that would help them.
The truth is that our population is not growing enough to take care of the economy. We need more immigrants -- not less -- just to maintain a healthy economy. And these people, who have endured numerous hardships to get here, are the kind of people we need.
We should weed out the violent criminals and drug dealers, but the rest should be admitted. It's the decent thing to do, and it's needed. Stop compounding the misery! Do what's best for these people and our country!
The charts above are from a new Fox News Poll -- done between September 12th and 15th of a national sample of 1,002 registered voters, with a 3 point margin of error.
Republican officials, on both the state and national levels, have been playing politics with the COVID pandemic. They oppose both wearing of masks and any vaccine mandate. They know this appeals to their base, and they think it can help them in the 2022 election. They think the public will blame President Biden if the pandemic is still going strong next year.
But the public is not as stupid as Republicans think. They are tired of the pandemic, and they know it's the GOP that is keeping the pandemic going. This could easily hurt Republicans in the 2022 general election.
The chart above reflects the results of the latest Public Religion Research Institute Survey -- done between August 9th and 30th of a national sample of 5,415 adults, with a 1.86 point margin of error.
The survey asked respondents if they thought Donald Trump was a "true patriot". Only 34% of the public said yes.
Of course, Republicans (79%) and white evangelicals (68%) disagreed. It shows that a large percentage of white evangelicals -- and too many white mainline protestants (45%) and white catholics (45%) -- have abandoned their religion to politics, and are now members of the Cult of the Orange Demagogue.
The following is part of a thought-provoking article by Anthea Butler at MSNBC.com:
According to new analysis from Pew Research center, "evangelical" doesn’t mean born-again anymore; it means Republican. Of course, evangelicals have embraced the Republican party since the late 1970s, but, per the analysis, more white Americans adopted the evangelical label between 2016 and 2020, years that include former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns and his time in the White House.
When it comes down to it, evangelical is more a political label than a religious one. People who embrace the label use it to signal that they’re against immigration, science and abortion and to signal a belief that discussions of racism in America are antithetical to their idea of America.
The Pew survey shows that Trump garnered even more support in 2020 from evangelicals than he did in 2016. Between 2016 and 2020, 16 percent of people who had not self identified as evangelical in 2016 identified that way by 2020. Interestingly enough, this 16 percent did not vote for Trump in 2016. In 2020, out of the 78 percent of white evangelical voters who voted for Trump, 18 percent of these were Trump converts — evangelicals who didn’t support him in 2016.
The Pew Survey isn’t the only evidence pointing to this hardening of American evangelicalism. A PRRI survey finds that while the majority of Americans place the blame of the insurrection on white supremacist groups, Trump, and conservative media platforms, conservatives like evangelicals do not believe those were the culprits. To the contrary, 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe liberal left-wing groups such as antifa were responsible for the Jan 6. riots, and 68 percent of white evangelicals surveyed believe Trump is a “true patriot.”
All of this points to the fact that evangelicalism is not a religious group exclusively, but a majority white religious group linked strongly to Trump, the Republican party and particular ideas about race, gender, morality and America. . . .
There are a lot of reasons one might attribute for more people calling themselves evangelical, but it certainly isn’t because of a great religious revival. Evangelicals are engaged in a political revival, steeped in racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, sexual morality and misplaced nostalgia. . . .
These surveys tell us the trajectory Republican politicians will use to stoke their evangelical base in 2022 and 2024 election cycles. Now that those who don’t know the theological beliefs of evangelicalismare identifying themselves as such, there should be no confusion about what evangelicalism really is in America: a full-fledged religious political movement whose allegiance is to the Republican party’s issues and to whiteness.
Monday, September 20, 2021
President Biden has proposed a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill to help families. The total the bill spends is spread over 10 years, and would be paid for (so it wouldn't add to the deficit). Every single Republican in Congress is opposing the president's bill. That's not surprising, since the GOP is only interested in helping the rich and corporations -- not everyday Americans.
Here, from Robert Reich, is a short summary of what the bill would do:
Right now, Democrats are working to pass a $3.5 trillion package that will provide long overdue help for working Americans.