Biden is getting a big bounce with Hispanics
Hispanic voters were one of President Joe Biden’s biggest weaknesses in the 2020 election. Although sources differ on his exact margin, Biden’s advantage with Hispanics was the worst for a Democratic presidential nominee since 2004 — even as he had the strongest performance overall for a Democrat since 2008.A look at recent history and polling reveals, however, that Biden may be primed for a comeback among Hispanics for a simple reason: He’s now the incumbent.Take a look at Gallup polling during the Biden presidency. Aggregating all the polls it has conducted so far (in order to get a large sample size), Biden’s approval rating with Hispanics stands at 72% compared to a 55% overall approval rating.
That 72% is a clear improvement from how Biden did in the election with Hispanics. Biden won 65% of Hispanics, according to the network exit polls. An estimate from the Democratic firm Catalist (which lines up well with what we saw in pre-election polls) had Biden taking 61% of Hispanics. So this Gallup data suggests Biden’s support may be up anywhere from 7 to 11 points from the election.
Farewell to Masks (For Now)
The value of masks is falling. But it may rise again.
So for those of us in New York City, the shift to going barefaced seems especially dramatic. I imagined that it would feel like a culminating event, a transition to an ending. Then about two blocks after leaving home unmasked—and after nearly a year and a half of treating my mask as an extension of myself—that sense evaporated. Walking around without a mask is, it turns out, like riding a bike: It’s exhilarating for the first minute, and then you just take it for granted, and your mind goes back to worrying about other things, such as trying not to get hit by cars.
The Senate vote on the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission showed Trump’s power and a government under duress
Many Republican elected officials want Trump to go away. They want him in their rearview mirrors. They want the upcoming midterm elections to be fought in an atmosphere free of the former president and focused on President Biden. That’s why Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has been such an irritant to GOP leaders, because she refuses to turn away from what Trump’s actions produced on Jan. 6 and, she fears, could provoke again.
Her colleagues are afraid to be more affirmative and aggressive in challenging the former president. They fear Trump, and they fear his followers, who now dominate the GOP rank-and-file, and so they voted on Friday to protect the former president by obstructing the commission, hoping that would protect themselves next year. The vote again showed the hold that Trump has on his party.
A Republican bet that blocking the Jan 6 inquiry won’t hurt them is as safe a bet as Netanyahu’s government surviving.
Towards A Real Democratic MajorityThree theses in search of political entrepreneurship.
No fewer than 84 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump. Two-thirds of Republicans want him to run for president. And most of the rest of the remaining third would prefer a Republican candidate who mostly agrees with, rather than disagrees with, Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the most prominent recent Republican critic of Donald Trump—Liz Cheney—is now deeply unpopular with Republicans: 12 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Cheney, while 52 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view. One expects that if Cheney’s name-ID was higher among Republican voters, then these numbers would be even more lopsided. Her -40 percent net favorability would be higher if she were better known.
On the other hand, in what is surely Quinnipiac’s most striking finding, Democrats—by 44 percent to 16 percent—have a favorable view of Cheney.
Think about that. Trump is so much at the center of our politics that a conservative Republican such as Cheney can become (at least temporarily) a favorite of Democrats simply because she has straightforwardly and steadfastly criticized Trump.
Now hold in mind the fact that Democratic voters seem well-disposed to anti-Trump Republicans. And then consider three three arguments—correct arguments, I believe—made on this website over the last few months.
Jill Lawrence/USA today:
January 6 Commission defeat previews dangerous failures to come on voting and elections
The Senate will not only break your heart, it will imperil your democracy. A 1/6 Commission is only the first failure-by-filibuster we’re likely to see.
The Bible says the truth will set you free. Leading Republicans say the truth could cost you elections and power, so the hell with it.
The successful Senate filibuster blocking an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should not be viewed as just another round of dysfunction. Barring shocking displays of procedural courage by Democrats or political courage by Republicans, it is a preview of massive failures to come in the project of trying to preserve American democracy.
“I’m deeply disappointed,” Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat who was vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, told me. He called the Jan. 6 riot “a very dark day in the history of our country. We came very close to losing our republic and our form of government. Obviously Congress should investigate.”
Scientists Don’t Want to Ignore the ‘Lab Leak’ Theory, Despite No New Evidence
Many scientists welcomed President Biden’s call for a more rigorous investigation of a virus lab in Wuhan, China, though they said the so-called lab leak theory was still unlikely.
After long steering clear of the debate, some influential scientists have lately become more open to expressing uncertainties about the origins of the virus. If the two most vocal poles of the argument are natural spillover vs. laboratory leak, these new voices have added a third point of view: a resounding undecided.
“In the beginning, there was a lot of pressure against speaking up, because it was tied to conspiracies and Trump supporters,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University. “There was very little rational discussion going on in the beginning.”
Virologists still largely lean toward the theory that infected animals — perhaps a bat, or another animal raised for food — spread the virus to humans outside of a lab. There is no direct evidence for the “lab leak” theory that Chinese researchers isolated the virus, which then infected a lab worker.
Deep-rooted racism, discrimination permeate US military
“For Blacks and minorities, when we initially experience racism or discrimination in the military, we feel blindsided,” Davis said. “We’re taught to believe that it’s the one place where everybody has a level playing field and that we can make it to the top with work that’s based on merit.”
In interviews with The Associated Press, current and former enlistees and officers in nearly every branch of the armed services described a deep-rooted culture of racism and discrimination that stubbornly festers, despite repeated efforts to eradicate it.
The AP found that the military’s judicial system has no explicit category for hate crimes, making it difficult to quantify crimes motivated by prejudice.
The Defense Department also has no way to track the number of troops ousted for extremist views, despite its repeated pledges to root them out. More than 20 people linked to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol were found to have military ties.