How Biden Lost The Support Of Young Americans

“From my conversations with experts who study the political beliefs of young Americans and an examination of recent polling data, I’ve identified a few key factors that help explain the large drop-off in support. First, of course, they are concerned about the economy — a major driver of disapproval of Biden overall — and about the direction the country is headed. But young Americans also have some concerns that set them apart from older Americans. They are particularly worried about achieving financial independence and other markers of adulthood, for instance. They are also frustrated with the Biden administration’s limited progress on issues like tackling climate change and forgiving student debt, which many young people care a lot about. Moreover, Biden wasn’t the first choice of young voters in the 2020 Democratic primary, so his approval among this group may have been soft to begin with. The question now is whether this dissatisfaction with Biden will affect whether young Americans vote in the midterms, a potentially significant factor in determining how poorly the midterms could go for Democrats since young people voted at a higher rate in 2018 than in previous midterms and overwhelmingly backed Democrats.
In some ways, Biden’s decline among young Americans mirrors his standing overall. As Biden’s approval rating has fallen to 38 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker,1 18- to 29-year-olds’ approval of Biden has also slipped to 37 percent, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance, based on data from FiveThirtyEight’s polling database.2”

Latest Inflation Numbers Show That Rent Is Too Damn High

“The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that prices ticked up by 0.1 percent for urban consumers in August, for an annualized increase of 8.3 percent for the year. The marginal increase in inflation comes in spite of fuel costs falling 10.3 percent last month.
“Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase,” said the BLS in its news release today. The latest CPI numbers show a 0.7 percent increase in shelter costs in August and 6.2 percent over the past year.

The BLS measures both cash rents paid by tenants and something called Owners’ Equivalent Rent—a measurement of how much an owner-occupied home could be rented for. The bureau doesn’t include home prices in the CPI.

Spot rents reported by listing companies are growing at an even faster rate. Apartment List reports a 7.2 percent increase in rental prices so far this year. That’s moderate compared to the 17.6 percent increase in rents the company reported in 2021. It’s still well above pre-pandemic increases from 3.4 percent and 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Rents plunged during 2020, driven by an urban exodus from high-cost coastal metros like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Many of those same cities are where rents are growing the fastest—alongside many of the Sun Belt metros where people fled to during the pandemic.

That suggests at least a partial reset of migration patterns during the pandemic. People are returning to the city (although not necessarily to the office).

The upshot is that the country’s housing affordability struggles aren’t going anywhere. Some analysts warn that they’re likely to get worse.”

Are Ron DeSantis’ Migrant Flights Legal?

“Two big legal questions are germane to the stunt: one relating to how migrants were induced to board flights and the other relating to using state funds. Legal experts, lawmakers, and the architects of the flights are now debating what was and wasn’t legally permissible about the scheme.
DeSantis, for his part, has said the migrant flights were “clearly voluntary.” Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, shared with Axios a redacted consent form for the flight. That form mentions a “final destination of Massachusetts” and holds “the benefactor or its designated representatives harmless of all liability” incurred during the journey, which it says is meant to transport the signatory “to locations in sanctuary States.”

Though much of the form is translated into Spanish, the mention of Massachusetts as the final destination is not. The only mention of Massachusetts in the Spanish portion of the redacted document is a handwritten abbreviation: “MA.”

Three of the migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard filed a lawsuit against DeSantis..alleging that Florida officials “made false promises and false representations” that if they “were willing to board airplanes to other states, they would receive employment, housing, educational opportunities, and other like assistance upon their arrival.” The lawsuit notes that a woman “gathered several dozen people…to sign a document in order to receive a $10 McDonald’s gift card.” Per the suit, the woman didn’t explain what the consent form said. Migrants interviewed by NPR also explained that the same woman promised they would be flown to Boston and receive expedited work papers if they boarded the flights in San Antonio.

With this background in mind, some commentators have suggested the flight scheme may have run afoul of Texas law. Under title 5, chapter 20 of the Texas penal code, the crime of “unlawful restraint,” or restricting someone’s movement without consent, includes actions that involve “force, intimidation, or deception.” An unlawful restraint offense is a misdemeanor, except when the victim is under 17 years old—then it’s a state jail felony. At least some of the migrants DeSantis sent to Martha’s Vineyard were children.

Legal experts surveyed by Politico suggested that federal criminal trafficking statutes weren’t relevant unless migrants were transported against their will. If coercion was involved, the legality becomes much murkier. “If someone is told, ‘Hey, get on the bus. We’re going to Chicago because we have a job for you’ and it’s not true, that person has been victimized,” said Steven Block, a Chicago lawyer and former assistant U.S. attorney who dealt with trafficking and corruption cases.

The matter of state funds is at least slightly easier to distill. Florida’s 2021–2022 budget set aside $12,000,000 to implement “a program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.” Funds that weren’t spent in 2021–2022 rolled over to be used for the same purpose in 2022–2023. This is the pot through which DeSantis financed the Martha’s Vineyard flights, and the governor says he’ll spend “every penny” of it to “make sure that we’re protecting the people of the state of Florida.”

The 2022–2023 spending bill explicitly provides money for transporting migrants “from this state.” That would seem to indicate an origin in Florida. But the Martha’s Vineyard flights originated in San Antonio, which DeSantis acknowledges. Florida Democrats are now questioning whether this rendered the flights illegal. They are attempting to block funding for the relocation effort. A potential sticking point is that the flights were routed through Crestview, Florida, before reaching Martha’s Vineyard, ostensibly to refuel.

Geography aside, the migrants’ immigration status may also clash with the Florida budget language. State Sen. Aaron Bean (R–Jacksonville) stated in March that the relocation scheme wouldn’t apply to people who had requested asylum in the U.S. after fleeing communist or socialist countries since “they are here lawfully.” Further, the 2022–2023 budget specifies that the relocation scheme only applies to people who are “unlawfully present” in the country.

After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the migrants now suing DeSantis—all recent immigrants from Venezuela—turned themselves over to federal immigration officials, the lawsuit explains. Each has “active federal proceedings to adjudicate their immigration status,” which authorizes them to stay in the United States unless their immigration court proceedings determine otherwise.”

Ranked choice is good, but we can do better: STAR, range, and approval voting.

There are at least dozens, probably hundreds, of proposed and discussed systems for determining who wins a single winner election. Unfortunately, the most commonly used system appears to be one of the worst. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh7L9yJgVcU

When Republicans Talk About Immigration, They Don’t Just Mean Illegal Immigration

“The distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration is often not clear-cut, though. Consider that only a minority of unauthorized immigrants, 38 percent, entered the country without proper documentation in 2016, according to research conducted by the Center for Migration Studies. Instead, the majority of unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. that year, 62 percent, overstayed their temporary visas, meaning they initially arrived in the U.S. legally but proceeded to remain illegally with expired paperwork. Moreover, the Pew Research Center looked at 2017 data from the Department of Homeland Security and found that almost 90 percent of those who overstayed their visas were from neither Mexico nor Central America.
Regardless, this doesn’t change the fact that a lot of media attention remains focused on illegal immigration, especially in the context of the southern border. Republicans are also still probably more concerned over illegal immigration than over legal immigration. When Gallup asked Americans in March how personally worried they were about illegal immigration, 68 percent of Republicans said “a great deal” — 27 percentage points higher than the overall share of Americans who said they were worried a great deal and 50 points higher than the share of Democrats who said the same.

And it’s this overwhelming concern around illegal immigration — regardless of its accuracy — that helps explain why Republican politicians still give the topic so much oxygen in their campaign materials. They know illegal immigration is a huge flash point for their voters — at the very least, this is something I’ve found in researching the platforms of various Republican primary candidates running for state and federal office. And yet, I’ve also found that when you look at the actual immigration policies Republican politicians have successfully enacted, efforts to curb legal immigration have been much more successful than policies meant to restrict illegal immigration.

Take former President Donald Trump. While illegal immigration was a central pillar of his campaign, especially in 2016, his administration proved much more adept at implementing policies that limited legal immigration than illegal immigration. A week after he took office, he notoriously signed an executive order that initially limited immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. Moreover, throughout his four years in office, Trump also pursued a number of measures to uproot the process for asylum seekers, from banning certain situations in which people were eligible for asylum to introducing new protocols that made the asylum process longer. And later, the coronavirus pandemic unleashed a series of travel restrictions from the Trump administration in early 2020 that contributed to an 18 percent decrease in the average number of monthly green cards and a 28 percent decrease in non-immigrant visas compared with President Barack Obama’s second term. Meanwhile, Trump’s early campaign promises to collect and deport all undocumented immigrants never panned out, and his infamous wall — at least how he envisioned it — has yet to be built.

Trump’s policies may present obvious examples, but the former president is not the only one proposing policies that limit legal immigration. Republicans in Congress have also started to take up legislation that whittles down such pathways. For instance, when Republicans controlled the Senate in 2019, Sens. Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley and then-Sen. David Perdue reintroduced the RAISE Act, which proposed restricting family-based immigration policies in addition to instituting a host of other caps. (An earlier version, which specifically outlined halving the number of green cards issued annually, had previously failed to come to a vote in 2017, when Cotton and Perdue first proposed it.)

The bill also explicitly linked legal immigration to the economy with its focus on highly skilled immigrants, which it defined as immigrants who could help with “improving the fiscal health of the United States” without jeopardizing jobs that could otherwise be held by American citizens or as “protecting or increasing the wages of working Americans.””

Why The Same Temperature Can Feel Different Somewhere Else

““I’m from Wisconsin, and I live in Tennessee,” said Alisa Hass, a professor of geography at Middle Tennessee State University. “Moving south is a huge shock to the body.” That’s because your body acclimatizes to the temperature range it’s used to — literally, your physiology changes. People accustomed to spending time outside in higher temperatures sweat more and have increased blood flow to the skin, two changes that can help the body offload excess heat. These are short-term effects and can go away if the person gets de-acclimatized, a process that helps explain why lower high temperatures in spring can produce the same levels of heat sickness as higher highs later in the summer, Sugg said.

But there’s long-term acclimatization, as well, with people used to living in hotter climates feeling more comfortable at higher temperatures — even if their health risks are actually larger. For example, in a comparison of outdoor workers in Mississippi and North Carolina, Sugg found that the Mississippi workers believed their jobs had lower heat risks but were also the ones experiencing more heat-strain events. Another study that compared the temperature and local perception of temperature across a bunch of European cities found that what people considered “neutral” in comfort corresponded pretty well with local temperature ranges and was, in fact, closer to the local maximum temperatures than the local mean.

There’s a whole host of studies showing that where you grew up and what you’re used to affects what temperatures you perceive as comfortable and safe. The reasons seem to range from physiological acclimatization to behavioral adaptations chosen based on the normal climate — like the fact that more than 80 percent of Tennessee households have central air conditioning, compared to 60 percent of Wisconsin households and less than 5 percent of homes in the U.K.”

Ranked choice is good, but we can do better: STAR, range, and approval voting. Video Sources

RCV vs STAR Voting FairVote. https://www.fairvote.org/electoral_systems_rcv_vs_star_voting Independent Party of Oregon STAR Voting Primary Spotlight on the Data: STAR Voting. 9 28 2020. https://medium.com/@5starvoting/independent-party-of-oregon-star-voting-primary-spotlight-on-the-data-1ab98d6fa8f4 The Limits of Ranked-Choice Voting Aaron Hamlin. 2019 2 7. Election Science. https://electionscience.org/voting-methods/runoff-election-the-limits-of-ranked-choice-voting/ Overvoting and the Equality of Voice