Tuesday Edition


1. A Shift in Israel-Gaza

Americans aren’t paying as much attention to the war part of the Gaza War. (Commentary)

In the U.S., what’s going on in Gaza has mostly taken a backseat to the wave of protests on college campuses. There have been more than 800 protest arrests across the country since April 18.

Commentary podcast host Abe Greenwald: “The story has become the protests, not the war. That has absolutely overtaken any discussion about Israel, about Gaza. … Just like with George Floyd, the story moved right off of the actual incident with George Floyd and became [the Black Lives Matter] movement. And the [protest] movement is now the story here, not Israel.”

So what’s the latest on the protest movement?

With more and more eyes on them, pro-Palestine student demonstrators have taken aim at college endowments, which are usually built via donations, then invested and used to support schools’ ongoing expenses. Student protesters are calling on colleges to pull their investments from companies with links to Israel or weapons manufacturers.

  • Universities have largely dismissed the idea of divesting from Israel-linked businesses.

Bubba’s Two Cents: I see three trends happening here —

  1. Foreign issues, like the Israel-Gaza conflict, often turn into culture wars in America, splitting along left vs. right lines.

  2. Colleges are increasingly behaving like businesses.

  3. Politics continues its steady creep into big business and institutions.

2. Checking In on Young Money

There’s lots of doomsaying about how young Americans are worse off than their parents, but is it possible the narrative is overblown? (Axios)

A new Center for American Progress analysis: Under 40 Americans’ household wealth has jumped 49% since before the pandemic.

  • Average housing wealth for this crowd rose by $22,000 due to increased homeownership and rising home prices.

  • Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have doubled their wealth since pre-pandemic.

  • The median wealth for households under 35 rose by 140% from 2019 to 2022.

Other analyses have found Gen Z is in better shape financially than Millennials and baby boomers were at the same stage in life.

On the flip side, commentators like NYU professor Scott Galloway warn that young people are struggling in the modern economy and have been failed by older generations.

Galloway in an MSNBC appearance earlier this month: “For the first time in our nation’s history, a 30-year-old man or woman isn’t doing as well as his or her parents were at 30. That is the social compact breaking down … They look up, they see wealth, exceptional wealth across my generation and people in certain industries, and they are really struggling.”

Bubba’s Two Cents: A big part of the lesson is that metrics like GDP and income can tell you a lot, but they don’t tell you everything. The economic aspects may be exaggerated, but as Galloway points out, there are plenty of signs that young people are struggling: “They’re not having kids. Young people aren’t having sex. They’re not meeting. They’re not mating.”

3. Latino Votes Matter

With U.S. Latinos shifting rightward, there’s growing worry about where they’re getting their news. (AP)

Radio Campesina, a Spanish-language radio network, is just the latest organization to take aim at election misinformation targeting Latino voters.

  • Campesina has launched a campaign that includes discussing election-related misinformation narratives and fact-checking conspiracy theories on air.

  • In 2022, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus demanded meetings with the leaders of major social media platforms (Meta, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter) to address the issue of Spanish-language misinformation.

  • One analysis of the 2020 election found that YouTube significantly influenced some Latino voters ignored by Democrats to back Donald Trump.

Combatting mis- and disinformation is overwhelmingly a liberal concern.

  • Virtually all misinformation “experts” are left-leaning, according to a 2023 Harvard survey.

  • Writing for New York Magazine in 2022, Sam Adler-Bell argued that “liberals’ fixation on ‘disinformation’” was counterproductive and allowed them to blame political losses on “fake news.”

There’s a lot at stake with the Latino vote, as Hispanics are set to play a major role in the 2024 election.

  • Latinos have grown at the second-fastest rate behind Asian Americans since 2020.

  • They are expected to represent 14.7% or 36.2 million of all eligible voters in November 2024.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Cope, as the kids say, is a major problem in modern politics. On the right, rather than reassessing policies, messaging or candidates after losses, there's a tendency to make outlandish excuses. With the left, you often see “disinformation” being used to explain away defeats.

4. What Is Kristi Noem Doing?

Kristi Noem’s revelation that she fatally shot her dog has reportedly ruined any chance she had of being Donald Trump’s running mate. (New York Post)

What sources told the New York Post: “She was already unlikely to be picked as VP, but had a shot. … After this, it’s just impossible.”

In a forthcoming memoir, the South Dakota governor described shooting 14-month-old Cricket after the wirehair pointer attacked the neighbor’s chickens. Noem said she included the incident, which took place twenty years ago, to show voters she’s willing to make “politically incorrect” decisions and has “never passed on my responsibilities to anyone else.”

But some fellow conservatives say Noem talks tough but doesn’t back it up. In a 2021 piece for National Review, conservative writer Nate Hochman claimed Noem “has a record of siding with big business over social conservatives in the state legislature.” Then there’s Noem’s revisionist view of her support for COVID-19 lockdowns.

Hochman in a tweet to Noem this week:You tried to lock down your state during COVID, but were blocked by your state legislature. Then you took credit for their courage, and built a national profile around opposing lockdowns.”

Noem caught flak from conservatives in 2021 for vetoing a bill that would have banned transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. The South Dakota governor appeared on then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show to do damage control, but critics weren’t buying her performance, which they called “political theater.”

Bubba’s Two Cents: Shaping your image is part of the game of politics. Every politician does it, and anybody who says they’re not is lying. But there has to be some substance behind the persona. Otherwise, it becomes very obvious that you’re faking it, and then it backfires.

5. Hot Take: Go Outside, Kids

Axios recently compiled some pretty troubling stats about kids’ declining outdoor time. (Axios)

  • Today's children spend under seven minutes outside but seven hours on electronic devices each day.

  • Just 1 in 10 kids walk or bike to school these days, a drop from 4 in 10 in 1969.

  • Teens today walk five fewer miles a week compared to teens in the 1990s.

  • 27 million children don't have a quality park close by.

Bubba’s Two Cents: This is a very hot topic right now. Experts are worried about how much time children spend on their phones and how it might be affecting their mental health. We also have a major kids obesity problem in the country. And yet it’s also less culturally acceptable to let kids play outside by themselves.

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