Quick Takes

Today I’m introducing a new name for an old standard.

* Establishment Republicans have wanted the 2016 election to be all about foreign policy. The Paris attacks provided them with the opportunity to move the discussion away from Trump’s fear-mongering about immigration onto territory where they felt more confident. Who could have guessed that the American public actually trusts Hillary Clinton more than any of them to handle the threat of terrorism?

* If you have been hearing rumors that Obamacare is FINALLY starting that oft-predicted “death spiral,” Paul Krugman says its still not happening.

Yes, Obamacare has hit a few rough patches lately. But they’re much less significant than a lot of the reporting, let alone the right-wing reaction, would have you believe. Health reform is still a huge success story.

* Those of you who have conservative friends on Facebook have probably seen posts that go something like this: “How dare President Obama reach out to immigrants/refugees when there are thousands of homeless veterans in this country who need help.” Here’s a story you might want to share with them.

Homelessness among veterans declined by 35%, and over a shorter span of time — between 2009 and 2015. The number of unsheltered homeless veterans across the nation has plummeted by 50% in the past four years.

This progress is the result of unprecedented attention from policymakers. Bipartisan support for smart policy in Congress and extraordinary coordination between the federal government and state and local governments has produced some shocking news in the past year. Earlier in November, Virginia became the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness altogether.

One of the key policymakers shaping the federal government’s role in this effort is Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.

* From Ron Brownstein today:

Long the dominant group in American religious life, White Christians have fallen below a majority of the U.S. population, and they are moving to the right politically as they recede.

The result is that, like race and age, religious affiliation marks a sharpening point of distinction between Republicans and Democrats, previously unpublished results from the Pew Research Center’s massive Religious Landscape survey show.

As the nation relentlessly diversifies, both in its racial composition and religious preferences, White Christians now represent just 46 percent of American adults, according to Pew calculations provided exclusively to Next America. That’s down from a 55 percent majority as recently as 2007, and much higher figures through most of U.S. history.

* Finally, if the Republican presidential primary rhetoric has you feeling like you want to set your hair on fire, ask your doctor if Nature is right for you.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.