Wednesday Edition



The Colorado Supreme Court, which is composed entirely of Democratic appointees, ruled yesterday former President Trump is ineligible to run again under a 14th Amendment clause barring insurrectionists from holding office. (Politico)

The 4-3 decision overturned a previous ruling that, despite finding Trump engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, deemed him eligible for the ballot. Trump plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to take up the case. The Colorado Supreme Court's ruling is delayed until Jan. 4 to give the Supreme Court time to deliberate.

While many of Trump’s critics rejoiced, National Review contributor A.G. Hamilton’s poured cold water on the celebrations: “We have a process to disqualify office holders from running and this isn’t it. As Congress failed to impeach + convict Trump and he hasn’t yet been criminally convicted of anything that would prevent him from appearing on a ballot, it should be left to voters. The CO ruling is absurd and only serves to help Trump. It will be overturned and its only use in the meantime is for fundraising.”


A new New York Times survey adds to the glut of dismal polls that are reportedly frustrating President Biden. (NYT)

NYT/Siena College poll: While former President Trump has a narrow lead over Biden among registered voters (46% to 44%), Biden leads Trump 47% to 45% among likely voters in the 2024 election. In a major shift from past surveys, Trump leads Biden with young voters (18-29 years old) by 49% to 43%.

Other recent polls paint an even grimmer picture for Biden: A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll shows the president trailing Trump in seven battleground states. Trump leads Biden by three points in RealClearPolitics’ polling average. A number of polls have shown Biden losing ground with young voters and non-whites.

Commentary Magazine Podcast co-host Matthew Continetti reacting to the poll: “Once again Trump has a tremendous advantage among people who don’t vote, people who say voting is ‘rigged’ … And that might be what’s leading to our schizophrenic politics where we have these polls that show Republicans ahead, and yet anytime voters actually show up to the polls, Democrats overperform.”


In a new essay, the founder of Politifact argues fact-checkers need to “think like marketers” and partner with social media companies to aggressively “suppress misinformation.” (NiemanLab)

Bill Adair, Politifact founder and Duke University journalism professor: “After I founded PolitiFact in 2007, I often said that our goal wasn’t to change people’s minds or get politicians to stop lying — it was simply to inform democracy. In the last few years, I’ve changed my mind. ‘Informing democracy’ is not enough in an age of rampant lies about elections and public health and climate.”

A 2013 study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University found Republican claims were rated false by Politifact three times more often than Democratic claims. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found 48% of Americans (most of whom are Republican) believe fact-checkers favor one side.

The ongoing debate over the role of fact-checkers splits along partisan lines. Liberals argue fact-checkers are needed to reign in bad actors manipulating the public with disinformation, while conservatives say fact-checkers are biased against right-leaning voices and serve as a tool to suppress inconvenient narratives. X owner Elon Musk has tried to tackle both problems with his platform’s “Community Notes” feature, but results have been mixed.


Tennessee filed a lawsuit Monday against financial asset manager BlackRock, claiming the multinational firm's Environmental, Social, and Governance strategies have misled consumers. (Fox Business)

The lawsuit charges BlackRock, which manages $9.1 trillion, with violating consumer protection laws and incoherently claiming to prioritize both financial returns and investing in climate change prevention.

ESG was once a hot investment trend, but it’s had a rough year: Investors withdrew over $14 billion from sustainable funds in 2023, with 32 of the funds closing and at least five funds announcing they’re dropping their ESG mandates, according to a Wall Street Journal report. In just the first six months of the year, GOP-led state legislatures introduced 156 “anti-ESG” bills in 37 states.


Websites producing AI-generated false articles spiked more than 1,000% since May. (WaPo)

A new report from news rating service Newsguard: The sites, which span 15 languages and several content categories, putting out these articles has grown from 69 to 1,000. They’re created for various reasons, including political influence or generating ad revenue through clickbait content.

A Newsguard report on AI content farms from June: Over 140 major brands have unknowingly paid for ads on unreliable AI-written junk websites. Ninety percent of these ads were served by Google. Twenty-one percent of ad impressions in a recent Association of National Advertisers survey went to low quality “made for advertising” sites.


Look at content through the lens of supply and demand: The number of eyeballs isn’t changing dramatically, but the amount of content just accelerated with development of AI. That much content dilutes the quality of your experience online.

This is a big reason why we started $1 News –– to make it easier to read the news through facts.


Remote work leads to less innovation than in-office collaboration, according to a new study. (Business Insider)

A meta-analysis of 20 million scientific studies and 4 million patent applications over the past 50 years found that teams located in the same city were 22% more likely to produce innovative patents and 27% more likely to generate pioneering scientific insights than teams spread across greater distances. A number of studies have found productivity decreases for workers who are fully remote. Other studies suggest remote workers tend to be happier than their in-office counterparts.

Remote work is on the decline, but that doesn’t mean Americans are fully heading back to the office. Hybrid work policies are the new normal, with 62% of U.S. businesses allowing work from home in Q4, up from 51% in Q1. Office attendance is now only half its pre-pandemic level in 10 major cities, according to Kastle Systems.

Office building owners are in a tough spot. The office vacancy rate hit a record 13.6% in 2023, up from 9.4% at the end of 2019, and is projected to rise to 15.7% by end of 2024 and peak above 17% by end of 2026. The office loan delinquency rate is over 6%, up from below 1% pre-pandemic, and could exceed 8% in the next year.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating has fallen to 6%, and he’s the only GOP leader to have a net negative rating from Republican voters. (The Hill)

A Monmouth University poll released Monday: McConnell's approval rating has dropped to 6% among American adults and 10% among Republicans, a decrease from his previous 12% approval in July.

Axios founders Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen on a much Trumpier Congress: “Most of the likely House GOP leaders — including committee chairs or ranking members, depending on whether Republicans keep the majority — are vocal Trump supporters. … Finally, Trump will benefit greatly from the absence of several of his biggest critics — most notably Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who's retiring after '24, and former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who lost her primary while repeatedly confronting Trump.”


For years, McConnell has been one of most influential and arguably effective figures in the GOP. But as his clashes with former President Trump have made clear, he represents a vision of the party that looks to be on its way out.

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