The past events in Charlottesville have become a cultural and political force — a catalyst for America’s latest identity crisis in uneasy times, and one magnified by incessant media coverage. The violence and turmoil four days ago has sparked related rallies, somber commentary, ceaseless criticism of President Trump and continued protests against Confederate-era statuary in public places. Like many observers, Laura Ingraham, talk radio host and founder of Lifezette.com, is wondering how far the critics will go for their cause. Statue removal is not the main motive of the marchers and activists, she says.
“How long before they show up at Monticello or Mount Vernon? What else will be subjected to their eradication and denunciation? This is not about racial healing. This is about the control of the narrative and the destruction of historical recognition,” Ms. Ingraham told Fox News on Tuesday. “This is madness. This is not about unity or getting past the racial divide. This is about controlling the historical narrative.”
WMAL syndicated radio host Chris Plante pointed out to his audience that officials in Germany and Poland had not, for the most part, demolished or removed many Nazi-era buildings or symbols — for a reason.
“They keep them in place, in order to remember. They don’t airbrush their history out of existence,” Mr. Plante observed.
RAISE ACT: A TRILLION DOLLAR MONEY SAVER
Earlier this month, President Trump endorsed the RAISE Act — which stands for “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment” — as introduced by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. The legislation is meant to reform the merit-based immigration system and limit low-skill immigration. The bill, if passed, could prove a profound money saver, however. Robert Rector and Jamie Bryan Hall, both senior policy fellows for the Heritage Foundation, have done the math.
“Low-skill immigration is very costly to U.S. taxpayers. For example, a legal immigrant without a high school degree typically receives $4 in government benefits for every $1 he pays in taxes. By limiting future low-skill immigration, the RAISE Act has the potential to save U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars in future years,” the pair write in a new report.
“There are 12.8 million low-skill legal immigrants with a high school degree or less currently residing in the U.S. The households headed by these low-skill legal immigrants impose a net fiscal cost (total government benefits received minus total taxes paid) of $150 billion each year.”
The research also delved into the political impact.
“Low-skill immigration shifts the political balance in the nation. According to Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, the political alignment of immigrants is far to the left that of non-immigrants. Immigrants in general are twice as likely to identify with and register as Democrats than as Republicans,” write Mr. Rector and Mr. Hall. “This pattern is somewhat more pronounced among immigrants without a high school degree who are almost three times as likely to register as Democrats than as Republicans.”
FOR THE LEXICON
“Impeach-O-Meter.” This the newest editorial feature at Slate.com, which has launched similar projects in past years.
“In the tradition of the Clintonometer and the Trump Apocalypse Watch, the Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same,” explains blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley, the man in charge.
Based on current news events, polls, palace intrigue and other factors, he now gives President Trump a 65 percent “chance of impeachment.”
FOX NEWS AND THE TWITTERVERSE
Some interesting findings from CollegeStats.org, a New York-based research organization.
“Fox News is the No. 1 most shared publisher and news organization near college campuses, accounting for over 13 percent of all the Twitter traffic examined,” the group said in a new analysis released Tuesday.
The “Sharing the News” study analyzed 550,000 recent tweets centered on news organizations, all of the tweets produced within a one-mile radius of multiple college campuses around the nation. It is a specialized finding but an important one. Young news consumers are a much-coveted audience, and Fox appears to have attracted quite a few.
“While some might assume that the South would have a higher level of affection for the often conservatively leaning Fox News, regions like the West South Central, East South Central, and South Atlantic came in behind some more northern areas like the Mid-Atlantic and East North Central. Western regions had the least positive sentiment toward Fox News in their tweets — specifically the Pacific and Mountain areas,” the study said.
How did other news organization fare? In terms of popularity with the campus tweeters, Time was in second place, followed by Bloomberg News, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, CBS News, USA Today, NBC News, Reuters and the New York Post, to round out the top 10.
The researchers also concluded that college students are more “politically engaged” than they have been in decades.
KID ROCK OR ROBERT RITCHIE?
Michigan voters might not see Kid Rock on the ballot next year if the bodacious pop star chooses to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the midterm elections. Voters may see Robert Ritchie instead
The Michigan Bureau of Elections might bar him from using his stage name on the ballot because it does not meet established criteria, writes Nathan L. Gonzales, an elections analyst for Roll Call who advises that nicknames not based on a candidate’s given name are not allowed.
“It’s possible that Ritchie may want to appear as a more traditional candidate and opt against using his stage name, but then he would put a serious dent into his name identification advantage and corresponding outsider brand,” Mr. Gonzales notes.
POLL DU JOUR
•67 percent of Americans say they are “sinners.”
•34 percent “work on being less of one”; 28 percent “depend on Jesus Christ to overcome sin.”
•10 percent say “sin does not exist”; 8 percent say they are not sinners.
•5 percent are “fine with being sinners.”
Source: A Lifeway Research poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2016, and released Tuesday.
• Reasonable facts, chatter to firstname.lastname@example.org
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