Wednesday's HOT MIC
The only thing Twitter is letting me do today is copy link to tweets.
I didn't get around to listening to the Serial podcast until the end of last year. I had been avoiding it because the hype surrounding it seemed too good to be true. The first season was amazing though. Not only is the case fascinating, but the way they went about exploring it on the podcast was interesting. I'm looking forward to this.
The second season was about Bowe Bergdahl.
This will not be the last we hear of this talented kid:
A backstabber 'til the end:
Flake is not a principled or honorable man. He's bitter. He turned on his constituents, then they (now we since I moved back to AZ) turned on him. His poll numbers were so bad that it was clear that not only wasn't he going to win re-election, he wasn't even going to emerge victorious from the Republican primary. The only people who like him now are Democrats and the most frothing among the #NeverTrump crowd. He's awful and I have yet to meet a Republican in Arizona who believes otherwise.
This is a fascinating study on the "drunkest" and the "driest" cities in America.
Who's the drunkest? According to the website 24/7 Wall Street -- cheeseheads. Ten of the top 20 cities that have the highest number of problem drinkers are in Wisconsin. In fact, all but one city in the top 20 is located in the midwest.
Green Bay gets the booby prize as the drunkest city in America.
The driest city is Provo, Utah.
Across broad populations, excessive alcohol consumption rates appear associated with some economic factors. Alcohol is expensive, and an individual’s ability to drink to excess can be limited by their income. Partially as a result, the cities with the lowest excessive drinking rates tend to have lower incomes, and vice-versa.
Of the 20 metro areas with the lowest excessive drinking rates, 18 have a lower median household income than the national annual median of $57,617. Meanwhile, median household incomes in 11 of the metro areas with the highest excessive drinking rates exceed the national median.
Social factors also play a role. In Wisconsin, alcohol consumption is, for many, an integral part of the state’s culture. Half of the heaviest drinking cities are in Wisconsin. On the other end of the spectrum, large segments of the population in Utah are teetotalers. Over 60% of the state’s population identify as Mormon, a religion that teaches its followers to avoid alcohol consumption. Four of Utah's five metro areas rank among the cities with the lowest excessive drinking rates.
While the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption are well established, a large share of excessive drinkers often does not translate to poor health outcomes across a population. Alcohol consumption is just one of a multitude of factors that can affect personal well-being. In fact, because cities with higher excessive drinking rates also tend to have higher incomes, residents can afford healthier diets and lifestyles than lower-income residents in many cities with low excessive drinking rates.
Here's the profile of Green Bay:
- Pct. adults drinking to excess: 26.5%
- Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 50.5%
- Est. number of restaurants and bars: 652 (204.9 per 100,000)
- Median household income: $58,011
The heaviest drinking metro area in the heaviest drinking state, Green Bay, Wis., has the highest excessive drinking rate of any U.S. metro area. Some 26.5% of adults in Green Bay drink excessively, making it the only metro area in Wisconsin with a higher excessive drinking rate than the statewide average of 26.2%. For comparison, 18.0% of American adults drink excessively.
A high excessive drinking rate does not necessarily increase the likelihood of alcohol-related car accidents. However, the Green Bay metro area is one of only five nationwide where alcohol was a factor in over half of all driving deaths.
For contrast, here's Provo's profile:
- Pct. adults drinking to excess: 8.5%
- Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 14.3%
- Est. number of restaurants and bars: 712 (118.2 per 100,000)
- Median household income: $69,288
Provo-Orem, Utah, is by far the driest metro area in the United States. Just 8.5% of area adults report drinking excessively, well below anywhere else in the country and nearly half the nationwide excessive drinking rate of 18.0%. Provo is the home of Brigham Young University. Towns with large colleges will often have high drinking rates because college students tend to drink excessively. However, BYU’s honor code prohibits students from drinking alcohol because of its close association with the Mormon church.
That relationship with Mormonism extends to the rest of the community as well. As of 2017, Utah County, which contains the Provo area, was 84.7% Mormon. The religious group encourages followers to abstain from drinking.
Most of the 20 driest cities in America are in the South.
It's no accident that almost all of the drunkest cities in America are college towns where binge drinking is a way of life and bars proliferate. And as far as almost all the drunkest cities being in the Midwest, all I can say is that as a proud Midwesterner, I challenge the CDC definition of "heavy drinker."
Excessive drinking, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking — which is defined as four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five or more for men — and heavy drinking, or eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.
Two beers a night is "heavy"? Those CDC guys don't get out too much, do they?
Teachers around the country have been going on strike for better wages and an increase in education dollars at the state level.
The labor action is the latest in a string of teacher uprisings across the country this year that have prompted strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Educators in Kentucky and Colorado have also taken action, staging walkouts and sick-outs in hopes of pressuring lawmakers to stop a decade of cuts in education funding the teachers say have hurt students.
In Puerto Rico, thousands of teachers walked out of classes in March to protest the cash-strapped government's plan to shut down more than 300 schools this year as the unincorporated U.S. territory struggles to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September.
Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said up to 15,000 teachers are expected to march and rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh on Wednesday morning.
The teachers will be marching "to let our General Assembly know and our elected policymakers that this is really about accountability," he said.
The North Carolina educators say their top goal is to get legislators to increase annual per-pupil funding, which is currently about $9,329, according to a 2018 report by the National Education Association.
"We are currently about $2,400 below the national average in how we fund our public school children," Jewell said at a news conference in Raleigh on Monday.
North Carolina teachers are calling for higher pay. The average salary for teachers in the state is $49,970, or about $9,000 below the national average, Jewell said.
There used to be something called "public service" where teachers, cops, firefighters, government workers used to take less in salary in exchange for respect and a certain standing in the community. The title "public servant" used to be something to be proud of.
And now? Public unions give huge amounts to politicians who then vote on what their salary will be. What's wrong with this picture?
I think it ludicrous that athletes playing a kids game make $10 million a year and teachers only a fraction of that. But I also think it ludicrous that teachers should be able to hold up the taxpayer because the numskulls in the state legislature refuse to prioritize education.