SEC probing Boeing over disclosures about 737 Max jetliner

Boeing’s problems just came under a new microscope. The aircraft manufacturer is now under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, following problems with its 737 Max jetliner, which is still grounded worldwide after two crashes killed 346 people. The regulator is going to examine whether the Chicago-based company gave enough information to its...
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Legendary NFL coach Bill Cowher, his wife tested positive for coronavirus antibodies back in April
Bill Cowher, the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers head coach who was set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, said Wednesday he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.
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Unfortunately, the Russia-Taliban rumors have swirled for years without materializing into actionable intelligence.
Jeff Bezos is richer than ever
The economy might be a shambles, but Jeff Bezos' wallet couldn't tell. He's now worth nearly $172 billion, a new record for the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
America, Land of the Pathetic
I returned to Paris with my family three months after President Emmanuel Macron had ordered one of the world’s most aggressive national quarantines, and one month after France had begun to ease itself out of it. When we exited the Gare Montparnasse into the late-spring glare, after a season tucked away in a rural village with more cows than people as neighbors, it was jarring to be thrust back into the world as we’d previously known it, to see those café terraces overflowing again with smiling faces.My first reaction was one of confused frustration as we drove north across the river to our apartment. The city had been culled of its tourists, though it was bustling with inhabitants basking in their reclaimed freedom. Half at most wore masks; the other half evinced indifference. We were in the midst of a crisis, I complained to my wife. Why were so many people unable to maintain even minimal discipline?Glued as I am to the news from the U.S.—where I was born and grew up and travel frequently— I couldn’t shake the feeling that France was also opening up recklessly early. But I was wrong to worry. As Donald Trump’s America continues to shatter records for daily infections, France, like most other developed nations and even some undeveloped ones, seems to have beat back the virus.The numbers are not ambiguous. From a peak of 7,581 new cases across the country on March 31, and with a death toll just below 30,000—at one point the world’s fourth highest—there were just 526 new cases on June 13, the day we masked ourselves and made that three-hour train ride back to Paris. As I write this, in the previous two days—June 27 and 28—zero new cases have been recorded.[Read: The decline of the American world]America, however, is an utter disaster. Texas, Florida, and Arizona are the newest hubs of contagion, having apparently learned nothing from the other countries and states that previously experienced surges in cases. I stared at my phone in disbelief when the musician Rosanne Cash wrote on Twitter that her daughter had been called a “liberal pussy!” in Nashville for wearing a mask to buy groceries.That insult succinctly conveys the crux of the problem. American leadership has politicized the pandemic instead of trying to fight it. I see no preparedness, no coordinated top-down leadership of the sort we’ve enjoyed in Europe. I see only empty posturing, the sad spectacle of the president refusing to wear a mask, just to own the libs. What an astonishing self-inflicted wound.On June 26, a day when the U.S. notched some 45,000 new cases—how’s that for “American carnage”?—the European Union announced that it would loosen some travel restrictions but extend its ban on visitors from the United States and other hot-spot nations. On Tuesday, it confirmed that remarkable and deeply humiliating decision, a clear message that in pandemic management, the EU believes that the United States is no better than Russia and Brazil—autocrat-run public-health disasters—and that American tourists would pose a dire threat to the hard-won stability our lockdown has earned us. So much for the myth that the American political system and way of life are a model for the world.We didn’t stay long in the city. Although the chance of contagion in Paris is minimal, the thought of unnecessary risk unnerved me, and so we left again for another round of self-imposed confinement. But this was a choice. I think of my mother and father trapped in New Jersey, in their 70s and 80s, respectively, and at the mercy of a society that is failing extravagantly to protect them. And it is failing to protect them not from some omnipotent enemy—as we believed in March and perhaps even as late as April—but from a tough and dangerous foe that many other societies have wrestled into submission.[Read: The 3 weeks that changed everything]I think of my father, whom I realize I may not see this calendar year or possibly even the next, and I picture him housebound indefinitely, unable to experience a pleasure so anodyne as bookstore browsing. I think of my mother, who is missing her grandchildren’s birthdays and watching them grow tall through FaceTime, and I imagine her leaving the house at dawn to arrive at the grocery store during its early hours for seniors. I am infuriated. I am also reminded once again of the degree to which so many other countries deliver what is, in real terms, a palpably higher quality of life by any number of self-evident measures.America is my home, and I have not emigrated. I have always found the truest expression of my situation in James Baldwin’s label of “transatlantic commuter.” I have lived in France off and on since the early 2000s, and it has been instructive over the decades to glimpse America’s stature reflected back to me through the eyes of a quasi-foreigner. If the country sparked fear and intense resentment under George W. Bush and mild resentment mixed with vicarious pride under Barack Obama, what it provokes under Trump has been something entirely new: pity and indifference. We are the pariah state now, but do we even see it?
5 restaurant workers share their fears about going back to work
A waiter wearing a protective face shield and mask serves customers at a Third Street Promenade restaurant on June 21, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. | David Livingston/Getty Images “The customer is always right, even during the pandemic.” “All of us workers, we’re scared shitless,” said Shanga McNair, a bartender in Florida who recently went back to work. As states have aggressively pushed to reopen (and many too soon, according to experts), patrons are rushing to eat in restaurants for the first time in months. There are new regulations in place, varying by state and county, with some restaurants enforcing their own rules, including tables spaced 6 feet apart, reduced seating capacity, and disposable menus. But even wearing a mask is challenging in a restaurant setting: “You can’t wear a mask and eat your food and drink your drink,” said Kayla Harter, a server from Southern California. Restaurant work looks very different than it did before the coronavirus, and those returning to serve customers in person are putting their lives at risk. Many employees have been out of work for months, scrambling to make ends meet, and are forced to go back to their jobs no matter what it costs their health. Others lost their employment during the pandemic — with restaurants closing or winnowing staff — and still others have chosen, as reopening ramps up, not to go back to work. Vox talked to five servers, bartenders, and kitchen staffers about the fears and necessities of working in the food service industry during a pandemic. “We’re trying to do our best” When we get into work we put our stuff down, we put a mask on, we clock in, and then we get our temperature taken. As long as we have a temperature under 100, we can start working. If it’s higher than 100, we need to wait five minutes and then try again because it’s really hot here. Once we’re ready to start work, we’ll wash our hands, put on gloves, and then open up our section. Speaking through a mask, and people not always being able to understand what I’m saying, that means that there are sometimes errors in the order. So just being aware of that and learning, making sure I really clarify with my guests what they’re asking for as well as being spatially aware. I don’t have peripheral vision down from my mask. I’ve run into people way more than I have in the past, or tripped on things because I just don’t see below a certain point. But the guests have been excited to be back in the restaurant, and they often have, you know, empathy and compassion for us as we’re trying to do our best. We’ve had a few issues with people almost wanting to get into fights with us about the fact that we only have five people sitting at each physical table. We’ve had multiple parties walk out or start a fight with the manager or just become hostile because of that rule. But other than that, people have been pretty compliant. —Michaela Frantz, server, Las Vegas, Nevada “I chose not to go back” I chose not to go back, because [my] restaurant is in downtown Huntington Beach, which has been the site of a lot of anti-mask rallies and protests. So I chose not to go back quite yet, and I’m actually very glad I did because I guess it has been, first of all, a shitshow. This last week, four of my coworkers tested positive for Covid. Actually, a lot of different restaurants in the Orange County area have had staff outbreaks in the last couple weeks. I only worked maybe two to three days a week, but it was about $1,500 to $2,000 a month and so it’s just been really interesting having to reallocate my funds and figure things out. I have a respiratory immune deficiency where I don’t have the antibodies to fight off pneumonia, and I also got a kidney removed in December. Since Covid causes pneumonia and affects your kidneys, I really shouldn’t get this. So when the cases go down, I probably will [go back to work]. Most of the staff was not comfortable to go back, but a lot of people had no choice. So I strongly urge all my friends [not to] be selfish and sit in a restaurant just because you missed it. You’re putting other people’s lives at risk and their families’ lives at risk. —Kayla Harter, server, Orange County, California “People are still willing to come in and put in the effort to make sure the restaurant is going to survive” Being back at work, it feels like more of a community push. Everyone at work isn’t necessarily there because they need to come back to work, and they’re worried about themselves. I’m in a fortunate situation where I work in a place where we’re all kind of gathered, or rallying around the business itself. People are still willing to come in and put in the effort to make sure the restaurant is going to survive. I think that is a big driving factor behind everyone’s push right now. Before, it never really occurred to anyone that the business would not be able to keep up, and now it’s on the front of everyone’s minds. —Zach Van Horn, cook, State College, Pennsylvania “I’m scared of getting sick and then passing it on to my family, but there’s nothing I can do” We’re not making money like we used to, but we can’t not go to work. You have to go to work; if you don’t go to work, you can’t get unemployment. So, I mean, it’s just a shitshow right now. I’m scared, you know — I’m scared of getting sick and then passing it on to my family, but there’s nothing I can do. I’m 40, and I have a daughter. She’s 20 and she lives in Mississippi and she works in the service industry. So [one day] I’m behind the bar and I get a call from my daughter. So I pick up my phone and she was like, “Ma, I tested positive.” I didn’t know what to do because she’s far away from me. She’s in Mississippi with my grandparents, and my grandparents are almost 80. So I tell my boss, “Look, my daughter just tested positive, so I gotta go, I gotta figure out what to do.” And he was like, “If you leave, you’re fired.” —Shanga McNair, bartender, Jacksonville, Florida “The customer is always right, even during the pandemic” We don’t give out condiments anymore. We give out little portions of steak sauces and ketchup and salt and pepper packages, but we don’t give bottles anymore. And we get lots of complaints about that. All of the servers and everybody who’s out on the floor has to wear a mask, and we get complaints about that. And we’re just sanitizing everything more now. We don’t give out menus anymore, we give out paper menus, or there’s a QR code on the table that they can scan for the menu. Because I work in Texas at a steakhouse, a lot of the guests that come in think the virus is a hoax, and they’ll resent us for wearing a mask and they’ll complain about the way things are different. I’m making money again, but it’s my only option. I like being able to pay my bills, but they just kind of like threw us out there to the dogs; we’re not getting protected at all. We’re having to wear masks, we’re required to for the guest safety, but the guests can basically do whatever they want and we just have to take it, because the customer is always right, even during the pandemic. —Kennedy Hogan, server, Temple, Texas Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
Dr. Fauci's wake-up call to my med school class
Vinay Rao writes that when Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke to his medical school class, he reminded Rao and his classmates that their role in society would be two-fold: caring for both individual patients and for the communities in which they served. As Rao begins his residency at one of the hardest hit Covid hospitals in Philadelphia, Fauci's words take on new meaning.
Step inside Brooklyn Chop House’s chic reopening efforts
Brooklyn Chop House is ready to reopen. The Chinese-infused steakhouse in DoBro will have plexiglass partitions between tables, digital menus and plastic-wrapped flatware — once indoor dining resumes in New York City.   “We have to cautious, smart and patient,” Stratos Merfolk, director of operations, said. “We’re redesigning the whole idea of safety inside the...
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Reopening schools safely can't happen without racial equity
Universities have been quick to affirm their commitments to racial justice, says Roopika Risam, but at a moment when Black, brown and Indigenous communities are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, those same schools need to apply principles of racial equity to their plans and policies around re-opening as well.
Parents Need to Know the Facts About Kids and COVID-19
Given that bars and restaurants in many parts of the United States are beginning to reopen, while the prospects for school remain hazy almost everywhere, you might think that scientific evidence about kids and the coronavirus is nonexistent. The truth is that we are still somewhat in the dark, but not completely. Here’s what we know, what we kind of know, and what we need to do to know more.Back in February and March, when the pandemic was in its early stages, the big question was whether kids were at high risk for COVID-19. It wouldn’t have been surprising if they were; other respiratory diseases such as the flu are known to significantly affect both children and the elderly. But one of the robust findings about COVID-19 in the past few months is that children are among the least affected groups. They are less likely to contract the disease, and if they do contract it, they are more likely to have a mild or asymptomatic case. Death rates are much lower. This evidence doesn’t mean that kids cannot get sick, and or cannot fall seriously ill, but older adults are far more susceptible.The other big question was: Are children major vectors for the virus? At least one government has argued that children could not transmit the virus at all. Some research teams countered that they were just as likely to transmit it as adults are. At this point, neither of these claims seems quite right. If a kid is sick and shedding virus particles and an adult is exposed to those particles, of course the adult can get sick; but children do seem to transmit the virus less than adults do. In an early case, an infected child went to several skiing schools and was exposed to hundreds of contacts without infecting anyone. Data from the Netherlands suggest that children are relatively unlikely to be the “index case” in their families—that is, they are unlikely to be the first case in a family cluster.[Read: What happens when kids don’t see their peers for months]If kids are probably low-risk (in terms of both getting sick and transmitting), that doesn’t necessarily mean states should go ahead and reopen schools. That’s because schools do not contain only children. This is not Lord of the Flies. The adults at schools may be at risk from interacting with kids, but also from interacting with one another, and with parents, and with other adults as they travel to and from work.We have some information from abroad. France, Germany, Denmark, and other countries have reopened schools. Sweden has had schools open the whole time. Oddly, among the most compelling pieces of evidence is provided by what we haven’t seen: much in the way of large-scale outbreaks linked to schools. Some cases, yes—but not super-spreader events like the ones documented all over the world at bars and meatpacking plants.Beyond what we haven’t seen, some early information on adults at school is encouraging. In Denmark, some preliminary data suggest that teachers are not an especially high-risk group. A recent report out of Sweden looks at risks of exposure to COVID-19 by occupational group, and notes that school staff are not more likely than other occupations to contract the disease. Preschool and high-school teachers are actually less likely to get COVID-19. The highest-risk group here is drivers—of taxis and buses in particular.An exception is Israel, where the school-reopening process has been up and down. Israel opened schools in May, but subsequently closed a number of them temporarily after detecting cases. The country had one large outbreak tied to a school. Perhaps Israel is faring less well than European countries because it opened with fewer social-distancing measures. But even in Israel, the total count of cases tied to schools since they reopened stands at about 300—a very small share of the country’s students, teachers, and staff.[Read: The school reopeners think America is forgetting about kids]The above does not amount to airtight evidence—I’ve gleaned this information from a close reading of news reports, which is not how data gathering should work. I should not be trying to answer the question “What is going on in schools that reopened?” by Googling around; I resorted to that method because of the absence of a publicly available data set derived from a universal school-based testing regime. Some countries are collecting good data: In Germany, at least some schools are testing kids and teachers twice a week. This is great, but whatever Germany has found, it hasn’t yet shared with the public.If countries with open schools simply reported the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per school each week—if any—that would do wonders. In the U.S., schools are closed but some child-care centers and camps are open. Local governments should be collecting data from these sources. I started doing this—in an unscientific and nonrandom way—simply out of frustration that no one else was. This lack of information-gathering perhaps shouldn’t be surprising, as the overall pandemic response in the U.S. has been worse than elsewhere; we have fallen down on testing, contact tracing, and everything else.Even minimal data could start to answer certain lingering questions. Does age group matter in transmission rates? (One difference between Israel and countries such as France and Sweden is that Israel opened all its schools at once, and others started with younger children.) Which prevention measures matter? Do kids need to wear masks and socially distance, or is conscientious hand-washing and mask wearing for teachers enough?The fact is, parents can’t wait around forever. As long as they have to stay home with children, they cannot truly participate in the workforce. The facts right now suggest that reopening schools would not lead to disaster, but more information shouldn’t be so hard to come by.
Trump's anti-mask crusade is coming back to haunt him
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Does wearing a face mask pose any health risks?
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A College Degree Is No Guarantee of a Good Life
Editor’s Note: “How to Build a Life” is a biweekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness.I magine a young man, a senior in high school. His academic performance has never been over the top, but he’s done well enough. Among his classmates, the assumption is that all of them will go to college. However, just as his parents are about to send the deposit check to a college where he has been accepted, the young man admits to himself and his parents that he doesn’t want to go—not now, maybe never. To him, college sounds like drudgery. He wants to work, to earn a living, to be out on his own.What should he do? What should his parents do?This is not a hypothetical situation for many families—and it wasn’t for mine, either. Our oldest son was valedictorian of his high school class and went to a top university. But right about this time two years ago, our second son told us he wasn’t interested in college. My wife and I consider ourselves free thinkers and are willing to entertain almost any new idea. But we are hardly neutral on the college question: I am a college professor; my father was a college professor; his father was a college professor, too. Some say college is different from real life. For our family, college is real life—it’s the family business.Children have to build their own lives; we all know this. But parents want the best for them and don’t want them to commit errors that will make it harder to build those lives. How should children and their parents think about this conundrum?College is often discussed as an investment in the future: You pay up front so you can benefit abundantly for the rest of your life. The financial benefits of a college education do indeed look great, on average. According to research by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, as of 2011 a college degree delivered an inflation-adjusted annual return of more than 15 percent per year. That’s a good deal. “The return to college is more than double the average return over the last 60 years experienced in the stock market,” they noted, “and more than five times the return to investments in corporate bonds ... gold ... long-term government bonds ... or housing.”However, as investors like to say, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Many analysts see wage growth stagnating for college graduates, with average starting salaries increasing just 1.4 percent from 2015 to 2018—a period when the economy was roaring.[From the April 2020 issue: The college president who simply won’t raise tuition]When you figure in the costs, the plot thickens even more. From 1989 to 2016, college tuition and fees went up by 98 percent (in inflation-adjusted terms), which is roughly 11 times more than the growth in real median household income. This has led to a lot of student-loan debt. According to the Federal Reserve, the average person with student loans in 2017 owed $32,731.It may be worth the cost for kids who want to go into a field that requires a college degree. Some kids think they know what they want to do after college, but others don’t, so for them college is like buying an expensive insurance policy. Still, it’s worth noting that in 2019, just 66 percent of college graduates were in jobs requiring a college degree. What’s more, as of 2010, only 27 percent were in jobs related to their college major.Finally, enrolling in college doesn’t always translate to a degree. While nearly 67 percent of high school graduates were enrolled in college in 2017, only 33.4 percent of Americans held a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016. According to the National Student Clearinghouse database, 36 million Americans have received some postsecondary education but haven’t completed college and are no longer enrolled.[Read: Why is college in America so expensive?]Obviously, dropping out is not randomly distributed. According to the research, it is the least economically advantaged students, and those who don’t want to go to college in the first place (such as our son), who are among those most likely to leave midstream. As he reminded us, an unfinished degree costs time and money and is of little use in the labor market.Perhaps you aren’t homo economicus, and don’t primarily use cost-benefit analysis to make decisions about your life or your child’s. But everyone wants to be happy, and wants their child to be happy as well. So let’s look at the happiness effects of college.People who go to college are slightly likelier to report that they are happy about their lives than those who don’t go to college. In 2011, researchers found that 89 percent of high-school graduates who did not attend college said they were happy or very happy, compared with 94 percent of bachelor’s-degree holders.This is correlation, of course, and it is not at all clear in the scholarly literature that education causes greater happiness. Some scholars have found that, when controlling for other factors in life such as income and religious faith, education by itself has no independent explanatory power over happiness. Some actually believe that education is negatively linked to happiness, and hypothesize that some college attendees trade off ambition for life satisfaction. The bottom line is that the case is not closed here.[Graeme Wood: There’s no simple way to reopen universities]And there’s all that student debt to consider. According to a Gallup study from 2014, student debt is negatively correlated with financial and physical health and sense of purpose, and is associated with lower well-being on these dimensions for as long as 25 years after graduation. Again: That’s correlation, not causation. But it is easy to imagine how $393 per month (the average student-loan payment) could dampen one’s spirits even in service of a career you love, let alone one you don’t.The evidence on the economic and happiness benefits of college is mixed. The only thing we can say with assurance is, “It depends.” On what? On the unique attributes of each person. Just as no one actually has 2.5 kids, averages don’t help much in figuring out the particulars of one person’s life. A child’s gifts, circumstances, and career ambitions all affect whether college is the right choice. Most of all, it depends on what they want to do. As a long-time academic, I can assure you that the number-one predictor of a failure to thrive in college is not wanting to be there in the first place.That may be obvious to would-be students, but to many of their parents it isn’t. The college decision is often as much about the parents as it is about their kids. Tisha Duncan, a professor and college adviser, told Alia Wong for a piece in The Atlantic, “Instead of students announcing, ‘I got into college!,’ the parents are announcing, ‘We got into college!’” It’s easy to project our own desires onto our kids—to try to see our own potential come alive through them.[Read: Six-figure price tags are coming to colleges]But it’s a mistake. No one can build a life alone—we all need help—but in the end, our lives are our own. I remember making this case to my own parents at 19, when I told them I was going to drop out of college to go on tour as a classical musician. My wife, who grew up in poverty, made the same case to her parents when she dropped out of school to sing in a rock band. In both our cases, we completed our education later in life, but there was no guarantee at the time that we ever would. These were decisions that were staunchly opposed by our parents. Our son, wily devil that he is, reminded us of all this when he told us he didn’t want to go to college. He had us dead to rights.So we blessed his decision.The summer after our son graduated from high school, many people who knew us sensitively avoided asking us about our son’s future plans—assuming that we must be none too pleased that he wasn’t going to college.But he did have plans: He found a job across the country on a wheat farm in central Idaho. This wasn’t a hobby or a whim. He became part of a community of honest, hardworking people. He worked from dawn until well past dark through his first harvest, driving a combine, fixing fences, and picking rocks out of the soil. In the winter he found a job apprenticing to an expert cabinetmaker, and started his own small business hauling firewood.At this point, word about our son started getting around among people we knew who had children his age. Some of their sons and daughters were starting to struggle in college with grades, drinking, and loneliness. At gatherings, other fathers would sometimes sidle up to me and ask, “Just out of curiosity, how did your boy find that job out in Idaho?”[From the January/February 2018 issue: The world might be better off without college for everyone]After his second harvest, with money in the bank, our son joined the Marine Corps, a dream he had had for several years. He finished boot camp and is now at infantry school in North Carolina. He wakes up at 4 a.m., is tired all the time—and is happy. He is, as a translation of the second-century Saint Irenaeus puts it, “a man fully alive.”I am a believer in the power of higher education to change lives and create opportunity, and am proud to teach at one of the greatest universities in the world. College is absolutely the right choice for many. But my son reminded me of a fundamental truth, which is that each of our lives is a start-up enterprise, and there is not just one path to success.The college-for-all fever that has overtaken so much of our culture is a crass and classist mistake, because it ignores the gifts that people like my son have to develop and share. Maybe my son will still decide he wants to go to college someday. Maybe he won’t. But he is building his life with integrity and grit. And, frankly, that’s all a father could ever ask.
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This Isn’t Hillary Clinton’s Polling
Recent polls could hardly be more reassuring for voters who want to be done with Donald Trump. “Biden Builds Largest Lead This Year,” a CNN headline declared. “Biden Hits 55%–41% Against Trump in Biggest National Poll Lead Yet,” reported The Daily Beast. “Republicans should be petrified by the polls,” a Washington Post opinion piece asserted. Yet the polls also frighten Democrats who, four years ago, got their hopes up amid favorable numbers for Hillary Clinton. Noting reports that Joe Biden holds a healthy lead in Michigan—one of three Rust Belt states in which Trump narrowly upset Clinton—Representative Debbie Dingell told participants in a recent online Democratic campaign event, “I don’t believe these numbers.” And Dingell, who introduced herself at the event as “Debbie Downer,” has standing to dispute polls that look rosy for her party. In 2016, she’d warned me that the Clinton campaign was going badly in Macomb County—the suburban home of the white, working-class, Catholic voters whom my research decades earlier had labeled “Reagan Democrats.” Dingell’s fear that Clinton could lose Michigan was borne out.But this moment is very different. To start, during the summer and fall of 2016, Clinton never had the kind of national poll lead that Biden now has. She led by an average of four points four months before the election and the same four points just before Election Day. This year, after Biden effectively clinched the nomination, he moved into an average six-point lead over Trump, which has grown to nearly 10 points after the death of George Floyd and the weeks of protests that have followed. The lingering apprehension among Democrats fails to recognize just how much the political landscape has changed since 2016. We are looking at different polls, a different America, and different campaigns with different leaders.[Adam Serwer: Trump is struggling to run against a white guy]I am a pollster who works to get Democrats elected. Four years ago I, too, believed—based on public polling and information from the Clinton campaign itself—that our candidate was going to win. I still didn’t take victory for granted. I wanted to win down ballot so Democrats would make gains in the House and Senate. I wanted to close the campaign on economic issues that would create a mandate for change. Today, the numbers suggest that the electorate is ready to repudiate Trump and his agenda. Instead of living in fear that 2016 will repeat itself, Democrats should listen to what voters are saying and seize the opportunity to push for the most possible change.The Clinton campaign’s worst blunder came in September 2016, when the candidate described “half of Trump’s supporters” as “deplorables” and walked right into the white working-class revolt against elites. Her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders had exposed a lack of enthusiasm for her in white working-class suburbs that Barack Obama had won. Her campaign hoped to make up for the lost votes with landslide wins among women, voters of color, and voters in big cities. White working-class voters noticed the lack of respect, and Trump ran up startling margins with them: He won these men by 48 points and women by 27, according to exit polls.And the white working-class shift toward Trump is the biggest reason the national polls overestimated Clinton’s margin by two points and the state polls by much more. Mostly using exit polls from prior elections as their guide, pollsters—including me—had overestimated the number of four-year college graduates in the electorate. Getting that wrong mattered a lot in an election where the white working class was in revolt. Crucially, many pollsters, including me, have adjusted our assumptions about the makeup of the November 2020 electorate.So one reason to trust my polls more now than in 2016 is this change: Four years ago, those without a four-year degree made up 48 percent of my survey respondents; today they account for 60 percent. Whites without a college degree were 33 percent of my surveys; today they are 43 percent. That is a huge change—an elixir against being deceived again. The pain of Trump’s victory and disastrous presidency has concentrated the minds of campaign staff and the polling profession in ways that give me confidence that Biden’s lead in the polls is real.But much more important than all of that is the sustained, unwavering, and extremely well-documented opposition of the American people to every element of Donald Trump’s sexist, nativist, and racist vision. Indeed, the public’s deep aversion to Trumpism explains why Biden has such a poll lead.[David A. Graham: White voters are abandoning Trump]The Women’s March, just one day after Trump’s inauguration, launched the revolt against Trump, and it has never paused. In congressional races in 2018, Democrats won white women with a four-year degree by 20 points; in the electoral-battleground states, Biden is now leading by 39 points, according to June’s New York Times/Siena College poll. While college-educated women are a big part of the suburban revolt against Trump, the shift among white unmarried women, who make up a fifth of the electorate, may prove more consequential. Democrats lost them by two points in both 2012 and 2016. According to my June battleground poll for Democracy Corps and the Center for Voter Information, Biden is winning them by 57 to 43 percent.Much more devastating to Trump’s prospects is waning support from women who form a majority of the white working class. Without strong support from these voters, Trump cannot win. Right now, Biden is losing them by only seven points in my same battleground poll.Trump’s raison d’être as a candidate and mission as president is to stop immigration. He promised a wall against Mexicans, imposed a Muslim ban, and has obstructed legal as well as illegal entry. Yet during Trump’s term, Americans have grown more pro-immigration. About half of Americans viewed “immigrants to the U.S.” favorably when Trump took office; now about 62 percent believe that immigrants benefit the country. And as Trump highlights the 200-plus miles of wall on the border with Mexico, polls have shown that Americans oppose it by big margins.Finally, most Americans have strongly rejected Trump’s divisiveness, intolerance, and racism in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. While Trump claimed the mantle of a law-and-order president, two-thirds of the country supported Black Lives Matter, according to a June Pew poll. Two-thirds. A majority of white Americans now believe that George Floyd’s killing was “part of a broader pattern of excessive police violence toward African Americans.” It has left the president isolated, as have his tweets promoting his white nationalist supporters. This president has created a country that is committed to defending its values. Just not his values.Trump has also left the Republican Party a diminished entity, as I argued in The Atlantic in March, that is shedding voters. If you want to understand how precarious Trump’s position is, look at the number of Americans who call themselves Republicans under his watch. The percentage who identify as Republican dropped from 39 percent when Trump took office to 36 percent before Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, and has fallen to only 33 percent now, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.That has created quite a headwind for a president who makes every day a referendum on himself. For most of his presidency, only about 42 percent of Americans approved of how he was handling his job; about 52 percent disapproved. That 10-point spread was not far off the Democrats’ nine-point margin over the Republicans in the House midterm elections.Recently, Trump’s average approval rating has slipped a bit to about 41 percent, while his disapproval rating has jumped to about 56 percent. That looks a lot like the 14-point margin for Biden over Trump in the most recent New York Times poll.[Read: What does Nate Silver know?]More and more, Trump looks as though he is holding a popgun when he promises to rouse his base and create the kind of late fervor that changed the 2016 election. Trump held election-eve rallies last year to support Republican gubernatorial candidates in Kentucky and Louisiana, and they lost. He called on his Tea Party followers to “liberate” Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia. The small groups of armed people who turned up in state capitals were intimidating, but governors stood firm. Then Trump boasted that 1 million supporters wanted to attend his rally in Tulsa, but only 6,200 did, according to the fire marshal.Right now, 67 percent of Republicans in a recent poll strongly approve of Trump, but that pales against the 91 percent of Democrats who strongly disapprove of him. Unless something radically changes, the anti-Trump voters will write history.In the next four months, many things could put Biden’s current lead at risk. On occasion, between now and November, Biden will garble his words in an interview or make some public statement that many people will struggle to understand. He will surely sound out of touch or offend one group or another. Younger voters and Sanders primary voters do not appear to be rapturously excited about Biden. Calls for defunding the police reveal genuine fractures in the Democratic Party.Meanwhile, as states struggle to adapt their voting procedures to the pandemic, Republicans in state office will do nothing to guarantee Black and Hispanic Americans access to the polls. And the Russians who interfered in the 2016 election have a lot at stake in keeping Donald Trump as president.Still, other factors give Democrats reason for optimism. The Biden campaign likely won’t repeat the mistakes of the Clinton campaign, which underestimated Democrats’ vulnerability in the supposed “blue wall” states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. And while events could pose new challenges for Biden, the same is true for Trump.Which scenario is more likely: that Biden will blurt out something in the next few months that alienates women voters whose support he needs, or that Trump will express support for white supremacists that alienates almost everyone? That the economy suddenly kicks into high gear after a few months, or that millions of people remain unemployed? That America gets the coronavirus under control, or that new outbreaks tear through state after state? The escalating number of infections and hospitalizations, as The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein recently pointed out, is wreaking havoc in the very suburban counties of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, and Texas that Trump needs to carry.Even before the pandemic, the American political landscape had changed dramatically since Trump’s election, and not in ways that favor the incumbent. Biden’s big poll lead should not make Democrats complacent, but neither should members of my party shake their heads and think, Here it comes again. Rather, the current polls should persuade Democrats to work for the greatest possible rejection of a widely distrusted U.S. president and the political party that enables him.
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Vladimir Putin is on course to become one of the world's longest-serving leaders
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Help! My Wife Threatens to “End It All” Whenever I Ask Her to Get a Job.
She has $100,000 in loans from a master’s program that kicked her out.
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