Happy New Year, and a short message from the podcast host.
In the conversation he mentioned MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again by Mike Cernovich, and referred to Ilhan Omar, the Somali-American member of the Minnesota House who defeated Phyllis Kahn in the Democratic Primary by 2,404 votes to 1,726. Though it seems she had a religious marriage which preceded her civil marriage from another man, bigamy is a criminal offence and there is no suggestion that she has been investigated for that.
They are encouraging Libertarians to move to New Hampshire to create a haven of Liberty.
The only Republican to win the popular vote in the presidential election since 1988 is George W Bush in 2004. Trump has stepped back from his promises to jail Hillary Clinton and said that there is 'some connectivity' between human action and climate change.
More people are already migrating from the US to Mexico than the reverse.
The US president is responsible for nominating the US's ambassadors overseas, but he is pushing for Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, the British party with one seat in the UK House of Commons to be appointed the British ambassador to the United States.
Trump has questioned whether, under him, NATO would defend all of its members.
Want to go to bed early but still be sure whether you will wake up to President Clinton or President Trump? Here are five states that will tell you – crucially they are all on the east coast, so they close early and give an early indication of their results.
They are Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia. The bottom line is that if either candidate gets four or five of this list, you can go to bed and sleep soundly - or not. It’s all over, they have won. The momentum that gave them those victories will mean that it is profoundly unlikely that there is an outweighing momentum against them further west.
If these states split 3/2, then you have to stay up later to be sure of the result.
If Hillary gets just two of those (likely VA and PA), she still has a good shot, but she would need to win at least two out of Nevada, Colorado and Arizona to see off Trump, and it means staying up late if you want to get those results.
If Trump gets just two of the East Coast five (likely FL and NC) then he is unlikely to win, but it’s not impossible; he would need to win all three out of Nevada, Colorado and Arizona.
I mentioned obesity statistics from the Centres for Disease Control:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
- In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
The Harvard School of Public Health says that young people are getting up to 30 per cent of their daily calories requirement from soft drinks. Beverage companies in the US spent roughly $3.2 billion marketing carbonated beverages in 2006, with nearly a half billion dollars of that marketing aimed directly at children.
Since the 1970s the proportion of calories from sugary drinks more than doubled from 4 per cent to 9 per cent.
Economics push food companies to include more sugar in products to increase profits. Since the 1980s, the price of supermarket sugar has doubled, the price of candy bars have quadrupled, but the price of raw sugar has declined, and is set to decline further.
A literature review by the National Institutes of Health indicates that sugary drinks are particularly problematic because the body doesn’t register their calories the way it does for calories eaten, so despite the sugar intake, people still feel hungry.
The British Medical Association's study in the BMJ reported that purchases of taxed beverages decreased by an average of 6%, and decreased at an increasing rate up to a 12% decline by December 2014, comparted to what they would otherwise have been. Reductions were higher among the households of low socioeconomic status, averaging a 9% decline during 2014, and up to a 17% decrease by December 2014 compared with pretax trends.
In our discussion, we referred to the Backfire Effect which was documented in a study by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, which found that people with invested political opinions tend to believe them even more strongly when confronted with refuting evidence.
We also talked about a Fairleigh Dickinson University study which showed that Fox News and MSNBC viewers not only scored much lower on their knowledge of current affairs than viewers of other news sources, but also scored lower than people who did not watch any news at all.
Eric Kingson is a candidate in the Democratic Party primary in New York's 24th Congressional District. He is the author of Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All and other books. Follow him on Twitter here and Facebook here.
Gerald Friedman is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Follow him on Twitter here. His article that I mentioned is What Ever Happened To Jobs? : A Progressive Response To The Latest Jobs Report.
This is Erick Hoffer's book True Believer.
Claire Berlinski is a journalist, academic and author. She has lived and worked in Thailand, Laos, Turkey and France, an an academic for the American Foreign Policy Council and the Manhattan Institute.
I mentioned this case where the IRS confiscated a man's $100,000 life savings for no reason other than they didn't like the pattern in which he lodged the takings from his store. He was never accused, let alone convicted, of any crime. There have been multiple cases of children being used as leverage; victims were threatened that if they contested the seizure, their children would be put into care homes.
It's notable that the amount seized by federal authorities now exceeds the total amount lost in burglaries. Police training in Georgia explicitly states that the reason to be restrained in seizures is to ‘not ruin it for everyone', in other words don’t take so much that they would invite scrutiny.
John Oliver has covered the issue extensively.