Tuesday Edition



For the third time this year, the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority, ruled in favor of the Biden administration on immigration. (ABC News)

In a 5-4 vote yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled federal officials are allowed to remove razor wire barriers installed by Texas along its border with Mexico. The razor wire fence along the Rio Grande was put in place by Texas in 2021 to deter illegal immigration. But the Department of Homeland Security said the barriers hindered federal border agents from performing their duties and was making it harder for them to apprehend migrants.

In June, the court sided with the Biden administration in U.S. v. Texas and U.S. v. Hansen.

  • U.S. v. Texas: The Supreme Court upheld the Department of Homeland Security's immigration enforcement strategy, dismissing a lawsuit by Texas and Louisiana on procedural grounds.

  • U.S. v. Hansen: The court ruled that a law criminalizing the inducement of illegal immigration was not overly broad and did not violate the First Amendment.


Polling suggests Americans strongly prefer Donald Trump over President Biden when it comes to immigration, voters’ second most important issue, behind the economy. (The Liberal Patriot)

The polls:

  • An ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week: Only 18% of respondents approve of Biden’s handling of the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • The latest Wall Street Journal poll: When it comes to securing the border, 54% of Americans think Trump is best able to handle it, compared to 24% who say Biden.

  • A recent Fox News poll: 79% of Americans support increasing border agents, 67% support deporting illegal immigrants, 64% support penalizing hiring illegal immigrants, 58% support using the U.S. military at the border and 54% support building a border wall.

  • A Blueprint survey from December: 44% of voters align with Trump on immigration, compared to 25% with Biden.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., explaining why Congressional Progressive Caucus members will refuse to back any border legislation endorsed by Republicans: “We’re going to hurt immigrant communities and a progressive base that needs to see a difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on immigration. …There is clearly a difference on many other things — but on immigration, which is the issue that animates a lot of folks in our progressive base and certainly immigrants in Georgia and Arizona … this is going to hurt us.”

American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Ruy Texeira: “For these Democrats moving toward actually-existing public opinion on immigration is a betrayal and, of course (that magical concept), would demobilize the all-important progressive base. With ‘allies’ like this, Biden will likely have a hard time re-positioning himself and his party on this critical issue.”

The latest data from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index:

  • The gauge rose to 78.8 in January, the highest since July 2021.

  • December saw a surge of over 8 points in consumer sentiment, the largest two-month increase since 1991.

  • Both Democrats and Republicans showed increased optimism about the economy.

Why haven’t Americans been feeling good about the economy, despite some positive key indicators? According to an analysis by left-leaning policy analyst Matt Bruenig, most workers’ real wages decreased in 2021 and 2022. It’s only been since February of last year that wages have begun to outpace inflation.

Deadly traffic accidents are on the rise in America, after years of plummeting rates. (NYT)

In 2021, there were over 6 million crashes and 42,939 fatalities, the highest since 2005. Car crash deaths spiked in the early 20th century and midcentury, with a peak of 50,894 deaths in 1966, but declined consistently after the introduction of traffic safety laws in the 1960s. In 2011, traffic fatalities reached a record-low of 32,479 deaths.

So why the change? The increase in traffic accidents can be attributed to a combination of factors, including behavioral changes during the pandemic, decreased seatbelt use, rising intoxicated driving, aggressive and distracted driving behaviors, larger and more powerful vehicles and road infrastructure issues. According to the 2023 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report, 22% of drivers admitted to high-speed lane switching or tailgating, 25% to running red lights, 40% to using phones while driving and 50% to exceeding speed limits by over 15 mph.

Don’t forget about phones. According to The Zebra, an insurance comparison site:

  • “Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s a hand-held or hands-free device, delays a driver’s reaction time by as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%.”

  • “Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving.”

  • “Texting while driving increases by 400% a driver’s time spent with their eyes off the road.”

Americans are spending more and more money on lotteries and gambling. (Ats)

$117 billion was spent on lotteries in the first three quarters of 2023, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

  • $417 billion was spent on casino gambling over the same time period. Commercial gaming revenues are projected to break records for the third consecutive year.

  • From 2000 to 2023, spending on casino gambling grew 61% (adjusted for inflation), compared to 42% growth in lottery spending.

The legal gambling market has grown rapidly of late. Online and retail sports betting is now available in about three-quarters of U.S. states. There’s also been an expansion of casino-operated mobile apps and lottery-based electronic skill games.

The trend has sparked concerns about addiction, especially among young people. In New Jersey, requests for support through the state’s gambling helpline more than doubled in recent years. One survey in Wood County, Ohio, found 11th and 12th grade males experiencing gambling problems rose to 8.3% in 2022 from 4.2% in 2018. 

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