Monday Edition



Donald Trump handed Nikki Haley a GOP presidential primary loss in her home state of South Carolina on Saturday, as the former president looks to be a near lock for the Republican nomination. (NYT)

Trump’s dominant victory (he won 60% to 40% and claimed all but three counties) wasn’t surprising, with polls ahead of the South Carolina primary showing him leading by double digits. Trump decisively won the first four GOP primaries this cycle (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina). Americans for Prosperity, the powerful Koch network group that’s poured millions into Haley’s campaign, said yesterday it would stop spending money on the former South Carolina governor’s presidential bid.

Haley on why she’s staying in the race despite having no apparent path to victory: “I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president. I’m a woman of my word. In the next 10 days, another 21 states and territories will speak. They have the right to a real choice, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate. And I have a duty to give them that choice.”

Exit polls suggest Haley, who has positioned herself as a saner alternative to Trump, isn’t resonating with the GOP base and much of her support is coming from outside the Republican Party.

Haley has continually hammered the message that she’s a surer bet to defeat President Biden in 2024. Recent polls show her beating Biden handily in a head-to-head matchup, while those same polls show a Trump-Biden rematch is basically a coin flip.


Critics are accusing Google of engaging in ideological bias following the disastrous rollout of image generation functionality for Gemini, the company’s AI chatbot. (AllSides)

Google has temporarily suspended Gemini’s image generating capabilities after it depicted racially diverse Nazis in a misguided attempt at inclusivity. The chatbot’s also been criticized for creating historically inaccurate photos which erase white people and giving ambivalent responses about pedophilia and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

But Gemini isn’t the only Google product that’s under the microscope. A new report from media bias watchdog AllSides highlights how Google News shows a bias towards left-wing sources.

  • An analysis found 63% of sources on Google News’ homepage were left-wing, compared to only 6% that were right-wing.

  • 8 out of the 10 most curated news sources were left or left-leaning, compared to just one that leaned right (Fox News).

  • In 2022, 61% of Google News homepage sources leaned left, and 3% leaned right.

Reflecting what conservatives say is an industry-wide problem in the media, news aggregators like Google News generally lean left, according to AllSides.

There are more data points that support conservatives’ complaints. Only 3.4% of journalists identify as Republicans, according to a recent study. News rating services, such as NewsGuard and Ad Fontes, tend to rate conservative media sites as less credible than liberal ones. And even popular AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT and Grok, exhibit a liberal bias.


With demand for electric vehicles slowing, Mercedes-Benz announced it has abandoned its plan to have EVs make up 100% of sales by 2030. (The Verge)

Mercedes joins other carmakers that have made similar moves in recent months. Ford said in January it was stopping shipments of the electric version of its F-150 pickup truck. In November, GM announced it had abandoned its goal of producing 400,000 EVs through mid-2024.

The state of the EV market:

  • EV sales are increasing: A record-high 1 million EVs were sold in 2023, and sales in the final quarter were up 40% from a year before.

  • But the growth rate is slowing: Year-over-year growth was 90% last summer.

  • EVs are taking longer to sell: In October, it took an average of 57 days, compared to 39 days a year prior.

  • American interest in EVs has slumped: According to a Deloitte consumer study, only 6% of U.S. consumers want their next car to be a battery-powered EV, down from 8% the previous year.


Half of all U.S. teachers say students shouldn’t be learning about gender identity in schools. (The Hill)

A new Pew Research Center survey shows there’s a partisan divide on the topic.

  • 53% of Democratic teachers vs. 5% of Republican teachers support teaching that gender can be different from sex at birth.

  • When it comes to the U.S. public at large, 60% say a person’s gender is determined by their sex at birth, according to a 2022 Pew survey.

  • A Fox News poll from August found a plurality (48%) of voters think public schools are doing “too much” teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Over the past few years, Republican-led legislatures have passed several bills limiting lessons on race and gender. Supporters say the laws, such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, advocate for parents who want to have more control over what their children are taught. Critics say the bills are motivated by bigotry.

  • In response to laws like the Parental Rights in Education Act, two-thirds of teachers nationwide say they’re dialing down classroom discussions about political and social issues.

The prison population in the U.S. rose by 2.1% from 2021 to 2022, marking the first increase in almost a decade. (Axios)

According to a recent Department of Justice report, the number of people incarcerated in the U.S. climbed from 1.21 million in 2021 to 1.23 million in 2022. The last time a prison population spike occurred was in 2012, when 1.57 million Americans were incarcerated. The U.S. has the sixth highest incarceration rate in the entire world, according to the World Prison Brief.

While criminal justice reform movements and Black Lives Matter gained widespread support following George Floyd’s May 2020 death, there’s since been a backlash. A Gallup poll from November found 58% of Americans now think the U.S. isn’t tough enough on crime.

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