U.S. seniors — those aged 65 and older — have moved from a reliably Democratic group to a reliably Republican one over the past two decades.
Gallup reports that “from 1992 through 2006, seniors had been solidly Democratic and significantly more Democratic than younger Americans. Over the last seven years, seniors have become less Democratic, and have shown an outright preference for the Republican Party since 2010.
“In 1992, 53% of senior citizens, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned Democratic, while 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican, resulting in a 14-percentage-point Democratic advantage in seniors’ party affiliation. Last year, 48% of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45% Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage. The full 1992-2013 party affiliation trends for seniors and younger Americans are shown on page 2.
“By comparison, younger Americans, those aged 18 to 64, shifted from +1 point Democratic in 1992 to +8 Democratic in 2013, and tended to show greater Democratic advantages from 2006 to 2013 than prior to that. The changes in younger Americans’ party affiliation generally follow those among the broader U.S. adult population between 1992 and 2013.
“Senior citizens’ changing political preferences are also apparent in their recent presidential vote preferences, according to Gallup’s final pre-election polls. Senior voters favored the Democratic candidate in each election from 1992 through 2004, including a 17-point margin for Bill Clinton in 1992, the highest among age groups. In each of the last two elections, by contrast, seniors were the only age group to support the Republican candidate over Barack Obama. Continue reading “Seniors moving right”
The House Republican leadership is trying to sell their colleagues on a series of broad immigration principles, including a path to legal status for those here illegally.
Politico reports that “Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team introduced the principles at their annual policy retreat here. Top Republicans circulated a tightly held one-page memo titled “standards for immigration reform” toward the tail-end of a day that include strategy conversations about Obamacare, the economy and the national debt.
“In the private meeting where the language was introduced, Boehner (R-Ohio) told Republicans that the standards are “as far as we are willing to go.”
“Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that for her caucus, it is a special path to citizenship or nothing,” Boehner said, according to a source in the room. “If Democrats insist on that, then we are not going to get anywhere this year.” Boehner said the standards represent “a fair, principled way for us to solve this issue.” The strategy marks a shift for House Republicans. In 2013, Boehner’s chamber ignored the bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. But toward the end of last year and early this year, Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) began hashing out this approach to rally Republicans toward reform. “It’s important to act on immigration reform because we’re focused on jobs and economic growth, and this is about jobs and growth,” Boehner said in his pitch in the closed meeting. “Reform is also about our national security. The safety and security of our nation depends on our ability to secure our border, enforce our laws, improve channels for legal entry to the country, and identify who is here illegally.” Continue reading “Republicans and immigration reform”
When you think of adoption, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe it’s the vague, rosy notion of a happy ending — of rescue, salvation or (more likely) some do-gooding Hollywood mouthpiece like Angelina Jolie adding kids of various ethnicities to her big, colorful brood.
Salon.com carries a story that tells a different tale: “What probably doesn’t automatically come to mind is coercion, racism and a conservative Christian agenda that extends beyond mere abortion prevention. Award-winning journalist Kathryn Joyce describes all these issues — and, sadly, many more — as being shockingly rampant in the multi-billion-dollar adoption industry. And she delves into them, in somewhat jarring investigative detail, in her new book, “The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption.”
“Joyce details how the adoption industry has become overly enmeshed with the Christian right — how evangelical, pro-adoption church leaders have, in recent years, been creepily urging followers to adopt en masse, often internationally and from war-ravaged countries. Christian adoption booms are common in countries like Haiti and Indonesia after natural disasters and other crises — remember Laura Silsby, the Baptist church leader from Idaho who was charged with child trafficking after illegally attempting to smuggle 33 unauthorized Haitian children across the Haiti-Dominican Republic border in 2010? Continue reading “How the Christian Right exploits adoption”
As immigration has moved to the center of political debate, the fate of possible citizenship for millions of people hinges on a bolstered southern border.
“We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history,” President Obama exclaimed this week, adding that illegal crossings are down 80% since their peak in 2000.
The president committed a small army to the southwestern states–over 21,000 border patrol agents–racking up an almost $11.7 billion price tag in 2012, up $362 million allotted for the year before, reports MCNBC. “According to the Migration Policy Institute, the federal government spent a total of $18 billion on immigration enforcement agencies, which accounted for an astounding 24% more in federal spending than what was given for the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, and ATF–combined.
“And as the number of agents and resources allocated to the border rose, the number of arrests and apprehensions along the country lines plummeted. Continue reading “The question of the border fence”
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote “for” allowing women to serve in combat roles.These results are from a Gallup survey conducted just after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in direct combat. Gallup states that:”The findings, from a quick-reaction poll conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking on Jan. 24, also show that men and women are equally likely to favor allowing women to serve in combat roles.
“There are modest partisan differences. Democrats, including independents who lean Democratic, are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to support allowing women to serve in combat — 83% vs. 70% — although clear majorities from both parties favor it. Those who are younger are more likely to favor the policy than are those who are older. Among those aged 18 to 49, 84% favor the policy, compared with 63% of those aged 50 and older — a difference of 21 percentage points. Continue reading “Strong public support for women in combat”
There they go again. Congressional republicans are poised to vote down a U.N. disability rights treaty already endorsed by 278 nations––including the United States itself. As reported in Ms Magazine,
“Yesterday the U.S. Senate began debating whether or not to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty, which would recognize fundamental human rights for persons living with disabilities on an international level. Continue reading “Republicans oppose global disability rights”
This isn’t exactly a huge surprise, given the behavior of American conservatives in recent months. But it’s official now. There will be no women running committees in the U.S. House of Representatives in its upcoming session. In fact, there will be no diversity whatsoever within the straight, white leadership.
As Politico reports today, “After a day of meetings closed to the public, the House Republican Steering Committee announced an all-male slate of committee chairs, including 12 returning lawmakers who will head up some of the most important panels in Washington. The chairs for the House Ethics Committee and House Administration Committee have yet to be chosen, so a woman could end up in one of those slots.
Continue reading “The house for straight white men”
From today’s The Onion: “THE HEAVENS—Responding to inflammatory remarks made by Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock during a debate Tuesday night, Our Lord God the Almighty Father sought today to distance Himself from both Mourdock and the entire right-wing fundamentalist Christian movement, sources confirmed.
“’I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Mr. Mourdock’s comments from last night in no way reflect my position on this or any other issue,’ said the Divine Creator, speaking at a press conference this afternoon to address Mourdock’s remarks that rape-induced pregnancies were God’s intent. ‘And furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to say definitively that I, God, do not officially sanction or condone the words or actions of anyone involved in the fanatical, conservative Christian faction that Mr. Mourdock represents.’ Continue reading “God withdraws support for christian right”
“Even for those of us who are well-versed in the war waged on women since long before 2011, the Republicans’ full-blown assault was far worse than we could have imagined. No less than 67 abortion bills were introduced in the last congressional session alone.” Writes Kaili Joy Gray in Daily Kos, adding “It wasn’t just an assault on reproductive rights, though. Oh, no. They also fought against the Paycheck Fairness Act, because while Republicans will give lip service to the idea of equal pay, they don’t really support it. Mitt Romney has said, during this election season, that women’s real concern is having more flex time so they can rush home to cook dinner for their families. Equal pay? Nah.” For more see, “Hey sluts and ladies and Vagina Americans, We’ve got a war to win.”
“Republicans fought against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act too. Why? Because they don’t believe violence against immigrants, lesbians and Native American women is a problem. Those women don’t deserve protection, according to Republicans. As with their shifting definitions of rape, some victims of domestic violence aren’t really victims, so screw ’em. Continue reading “The enormity of the war on women”