Monday Edition



The office of Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., has fired a staffer who filmed himself having sex in a Senate hearing room. (CBS News)

The Daily Caller published the graphic video, which was shared “in a private group for gay men in politics,” on Friday. This has been a difficult time for me, as I have been attacked for who I love to pursue a political agenda. While some of my actions in the past have shown poor judgement, I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace,” the ex-Cardin aide wrote in a LinkedIn post Friday evening.

The halls of Congress and the White House have been plagued by lurid scandals in the past year:

  • Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., was kicked out of a musical in Denver after vaping and fondling her date during the performance.

  • Ousted New York Rep. George Santos allegedly used donor money to pay for Botox and OnlyFans subscriptions.

  • The Secret Service found a bag of cocaine in the White House in July.

  • A transgender activist was banned from future events after going topless on the White House’s South Lawn.


It might be easier to for the American public to dismiss these scandals as unfortunate but minor quirks if Congress weren’t showing huge signs of dysfunction on stuff that really does matter. And it's all reflected in Congressional approval ratings, which went from an all-time high of 84% in 2001, to just 15% last month, per Gallup.


A new study has found journalists tend to favor terms used by Democrats, suggesting conservatives might be right about the media having a liberal bias. (The Economist)

Chart: The Economist

Methodology: The Economist analyzed 242,000 news articles and 397,000 TV segments, scoring them ideologically based on the frequency of 428 partisan phrases identified from Congressional speeches between 2009-2022.

Findings: Most media sources, including 17 of the 20 most-read news websites and all major TV news sources except Fox News, use more Democratic-linked terms. Since Donald Trump’s presidency, the Democratic slant in media has increased. In 2017, CNN used more Republican terms, but by 2022, CNN and major broadcast channels showed a stronger Democratic leaning.

Context: Trust in media has fallen dramatically in recent years, but especially among Republicans.


U.S. Hispanics, already the second-largest group of voting-age Americans, are becoming a growing economic and political force. (NBC News)

On the economic side, a recent report found U.S. Latinos now have the fifth-largest GDP in the world, only behind the U.S. at large, China, Japan and Germany.

On the political side, Census Bureau projections released last month predict more than 1 in 4 Americans will be Latino by 2060. While most Latinos voted for Democrats in the November 2022 elections, Hispanic support for the GOP has increased by 10 points since 2018.

Connecting the dots: A new poll conducted by a Democratic research firm found Latinos cite inflation as their top concern heading into 2024.


Homelessness in the U.S. surged by 12% this year, with about 653,000 people homeless, according to federal officials.

This figure represents the highest since the inception of the yearly point-in-time survey in 2007, and an increase of approximately 70,650 from January 2022. (AP)

The rise in homelessness is largely attributed to first-time homeless individuals, influenced by soaring rents and reduced pandemic assistance.

Non-white people are overrepresented in the homeless population. Black individuals, comprising 13% of the U.S. population, made up 37% of the homeless. Hispanics, 19% of the population, accounted for 33% of the homeless. Over a quarter of homeless adults were over age 54.

Context: The homelessness crisis in major U.S. cities has become a political football of sorts, with Republicans pointing the finger at Democratic policies, and Democrats blaming housing affordability.


A new investigation from the Washington Post uncovered that since 2018, 2,000 elderly residents have wandered away from assisted living facilities, resulting in nearly 100 deaths. (WaPo)

Older Americans have been struggling in other ways. Poverty among Americans aged 65 and older increased from 10.7% in 2021 to 14.1% in 2022. 12% of those 65 and older did not seek necessary medical treatment because of costs and their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses increased by 41% from 2009 to 2019, according to a 2022 Gallup study. Meanwhile, the share of 65+ Americans in the labor force has nearly doubled since 1987, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

Context: The population of adults aged 65 and over is one of the fastest-growing groups in the country. It is projected to reach 80.8 million by 2040, more than doubling the number since 2000.


Over the objections of GOP lawmakers, Arlington’s Reconciliation Monument is scheduled for removal in accordance with a congressional mandate passed after George Floyd’s death in 2020. (Fox News)

Critics of taking down the statue argue that unlike other monuments, which are intended to honor the Confederacy, the Reconciliation Monument memorializes American unity in the Civil War’s aftermath.

Where do Americans stand? A majority of voters say Confederate statues shouldn’t be torn down, per a 2021 Morning Consult poll.

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