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Tags: Romney | Donors | Like | Jeb | Students Spurn Michelle Obamas Lunches | UN Vote on China Called Disgraceful | Americans Increasingly Working From Home

Romney Donors Like Jeb for '16; Students Spurn Michelle Obama's Lunches

By    |   Sunday, 09 March 2014 04:09 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Romney Donors Like Jeb for President in 2016
2. Report: Global Warming to Cause 180,000 More Rapes by 2099
3. Students Spurning New Nutritious Lunches
4. UN Vote on China Called 'Disgraceful'
5. Americans Increasingly Working From Home
6. World Wide Web Turns 25 This Month

1. Romney Donors Like Jeb for President in 2016

Mitt Romney raised more than $1.1 billion in his 2012 campaign, and Jeb Bush is the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate most likely to enjoy support from his donors.

"Every single Romney donor we spoke with this week listed the former Florida governor as their top choice," Wesley Lowery wrote in The Washington Post.

"The donors said that, like Romney, Bush's time as governor proved he can be an effective leader and manager."

Romney donors also consider Bush the most electable of the potential GOP candidates, which the donors believe is the most important asset for a candidate.

"If Jeb Bush is in the race, he clears the field," one major Romney donor told Lowery. "The natural inclination for Mitt supporters would be to gravitate toward Jeb Bush because he's a candidate that can win a national race."

Bush hasn't made up his mind on a White House bid, and has said he will decide later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As for other potential candidates, one Romney donor told Lowery that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is "a name to watch," and another said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan "should run."

A Massachusetts donor said that if Bush does not run, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul would be his top choice.

But a Romney fundraiser commenting on a possible run by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said "there is a question of Christie's electability."

2. Report: Global Warming to Cause 180,000 More Rapes by 2099

"Global warming isn't just going to melt the Arctic and flood our cities — it's also going to make Americans more likely to kill each other."

That's the opening paragraph of an article in the liberal political magazine Mother Jones, reporting on a "controversial" new study.

But the magazine gives no indication whether it is taking the study seriously, or having some fun with its seemingly outrageous conclusions.

"Looking at the past, we see a strong relationship between temperature and crime. We think that is likely to continue in the future," said study author Matthew Ranson, an economist with the consulting firm Abt Associates, whose study was published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Using global warming projections, Ranson calculated that from 2010 to 2099 climate change will "cause" an additional 22,000 murders in the United States, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft.

Ranson said property crimes go down when temperatures drop, in part because people would be more likely to close windows, and go up with warmer weather. Also, "warmer temperatures increase the frequency of social interactions, some small percentage of which results in violence."

Ranson also said research has shown that as temperatures rise, people tend to become more aggressive.

Andrew Holland, a senior fellow for energy and climate at the American Security Project, told Mother Jones that the study appears to be "tailor-made for a headline," but that "on further analysis, I don't know what it tells us."

And the Climate Depot website points to Bureau of Justice statistics showing that "the number of rapes per capita in the United States has plunged by more that 85 percent since the 1970s," and asks: "If warm weather causes more rape, why the significant drop in the U.S. rape rate since the 1970s?"

3. Students Spurning New 'Nutritious' Lunches

First lady Michelle Obama has spearheaded efforts to promote healthy eating among children and supported a bill to set new nutritional standards for school lunches.

But those efforts have led to an unanticipated outcome — 1.6 million students who used to pay for school lunches have stopped buying them.

One significant reason for the drop: Students have issues with the new lunches' "palatability," according to a report from the Government Accountability Office, "Implementing Nutrition Changes Was Challenging and Clarification of Oversight Requirements Is Needed."

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2010, set new nutritional standards and allocated $4.5 billion for their implementation.

School lunches may no longer include whole milk or trans fats, must limit sodium content, and must contain servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Some students who still buy school lunches have responded to the requirements with what the GAO calls "plate waste" — throwing away food.

"Nationwide, student participation in the National School Lunch Program declined by 1.2 million students (or 3.7 percent) from school year 2010-2011 through school year 2012-2013, after having increased steadily for many years," according to the GAO. "This decrease was driven primarily by a decline of 1.6 million students eating school lunch who pay full price for meals, despite increases in students eating school lunch who receive free meals.

"State and local officials reported that the changes to lunch content and nutrition requirements, as well as other factors, influenced student participation."

The report stated: "All eight [school food authorities] we visited also noted that students expressed dislike for certain foods that were served to comply with the new requirements, such as whole grain-rich products and vegetables in the beans and peas and red-orange sub-groups.

"Lunches must now include both fruit and vegetable choices, and although students may be allowed to decline two of the five components they are offered, they must select at least one half cup of fruits or vegetables as part of their meal."

Students were already complaining about the new standards back in 2012, with some reportedly saying that 850 calories — the most allowed in high school lunches — isn't enough, especially for a rapidly growing teen.

4. UN Vote on China Called 'Disgraceful'

The 2014 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy has taken the United Nations to task for once again electing China to the world body's Human Rights Council, along with several other nations often accused of rights violations.

"The presence of abusive regimes in the 47-member council has long frustrated democratic governments and human rights advocates, since they use their positions to block scrutiny of their own records while defending each other," CNS News noted.

China has been a member of the HRC since it was established in 2006, except for last year when term limits forced it to step down for 12 months.

Late last year, China was voted back on the council for a three-year term, receiving 176 votes out of a possible 193 in a secret ballot at the U.N. General Assembly.

"That means only 17 countries in the world did not vote for communist China," said U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, who chaired the recent gathering of activists in Geneva on the eve of the new HRC session in the Swiss city.

"If you assume that perhaps America, Canada, and Australia were among those 17, you're left with maybe 14, let's say, European countries."

The European Union has 28 members, so at least 14 of them voted for China to rejoin the council, according to Neuer.

"This is disgraceful, and the EU needs to be held to account."

The election of China to the council "calls into question the council's credibility," said Britain's Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice president of the European Council.

"Numerous reports by the U.N. itself have highlighted degrading and inhumane treatment that is routine in China: forcible abortions, religious persecution, the oppression of minorities, etc."

Speakers at the Geneva gathering included China's Chen Guangcheng, a lawyer who was jailed and harassed for years after exposing many cases of forced sterilization and abortion by local officials enforcing China's "one child" policy.

He fled house arrest in 2012 and took shelter at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing before coming to the United States.

Also speaking was Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, a Tibetan activist, who said "we must make sure China remains accountable for its actions."

The Geneva gathering also heard from abuse victims from other council members Vietnam, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

Cuba also is a member of the Human Rights Council.

As the Insider Report disclosed earlier, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China have all been designated "not free" by Freedom House, a Washington-based watchdog organization that assesses political rights and civil liberties around the world.

5. Americans Increasingly Working From Home

The percentage of Americans working at home has grown 1.5 times faster than mass transit usage over the past decade, and there are now more telecommuters than transit riders in 38 of the 52 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

"One clear driver of this trend is technology, particularly the growing ubiquity of high-speed Internet," the NewGeography.com website observed.

"A consultant in New York can now serve customers in Fargo, and vice versa, greatly expanding the range of places where people can live. This is particularly true for aging boomers, as well as younger workers having problems finding a full-time job in this tough economy."

The U.S. Census Bureau agrees: "Advances in communication and information technologies have allowed for a more mobile workforce."

Most metros with the highest percentage of home-based workers are those with high-tech, information-based economies. Of the 52 metros with at least 1 million residents, No.1 is San Diego, where 6.6 percent of workers are based at home, according to recent figures provided by NewGeography.com.

Next are Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore., both at 6.4 percent; followed by Denver (6.3 percent); Raleigh, N.C. (6.2 percent); and San Francisco-Oakland (6.1 percent).

The lowest percentage is in Buffalo, N.Y., 2.3 percent, and the national average is 4.4 percent.

"Rather than driving down snarled freeways, or taking slow mass transit, individuals may do better working from home and heading into the traffic maelstrom only when absolutely necessary," NewGeography.com notes in an article that first appeared at Forbes.com.

Including smaller communities, the largest percentage of at-home workers can be found in Jacksonville, N.C., home of the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune and many military retirees, where 13.8 percent of workers are home-based. Next is Johns Creek, Ga. (13.1 percent), followed by Boulder, Colo. (11.6 percent).

About one in four home-based workers are in management, business, and financial occupations, according to the Census Bureau.

The metro with the highest percentage of workers using mass transit is New York, at 31 percent; followed by San Francisco (15.6 percent); Washington, D.C. (14.1 percent); Boston (12.2 percent); and Chicago (11.1 percent).

But New York also is the metro with the highest percentage of workers who walk to work, 6.1 percent, followed by Boston (5.4 percent).

Nationwide, 76.3 percent of workers drive alone to their job, 9.7 car pool, 5 percent take transit, 2.8 percent walk to work, and 0.6 percent bicycle to work.

6. World Wide Web Turns 25 This Month

Just 1.4 percent of American adults used the Internet in 1983, and as recently as 1995, 42 percent had never heard of the Internet.

But 25 years after the creation of the Internet's greatest tool, the World Wide Web, 87 percent of American adults now use the Internet, including nearly all adults under age 30, a survey by the Pew Research Center reveals.

In 1985, 10 percent of adults said they had a home computer, and only 14 percent of computer owners used a modem to send and receive information.

Then on March 12, 1989, British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee released a paper proposing an "information management" system that became the backbone of the Web, and the next year he released the code for his system for free.

The Web allowed computers to access files and pages that were hosted on other computers, and sparked a revolution in Internet usage.

By 2000, 46 percent of American adults used the Internet, and that has soared to 87 percent today, according to Pew.

Among those 18 to 29 years old, 97 percent now use the Internet, and even among those 65 and older, 57 percent use it.

Among households earning at least $75,000 a year, 99 percent use the computer.

Pew also found that 71 percent of American adults use the Internet on a typical day. Ninety percent of them go online from home on a typical day, and 44 percent go online from work.

Other findings of the Pew survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, include:

  • 81 percent of adults use computers at their workplace, school, home or elsewhere.
  • 90 percent of adults own a cellphone, up from 53 percent in 2000, and 58 percent have a smartphone.
  • 53 percent of Internet users say giving up the Internet would be "very hard," and 20 percent say "somewhat hard," while just 35 percent of all adults say giving up television would be very hard.
  • 49 percent of cellphone users say giving up their phone would be very hard, and 36 percent of email users say giving up email would be very hard.
  • 70 percent of Internet users say they had been treated kindly or generously online, while 25 percent say they have been treated unkindly or been attacked by someone else.
  • Asked if the Internet has been a good thing or a bad thing for society, 76 percent said a good thing, 15 percent said a bad thing, and 8 percent said it has been both good and bad.

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Romney Donors Like Jeb for President in 2016 2. Report: Global Warming to Cause 180,000 More Rapes by 2099 3. Students Spurning New Nutritious Lunches 4. UN Vote on China Called 'Disgraceful' 5. Americans...
Romney,Donors,Like,Jeb,Students Spurn Michelle Obamas Lunches,UN Vote on China Called Disgraceful,Americans Increasingly Working From Home,World Wide Web Turns 25 This Month
Sunday, 09 March 2014 04:09 PM
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