New York is the unhappiest city in America, according to a recent study from researchers at Harvard and the University of British Columbia. New York City was joined by Gary, Indiana, and three cities from Pennsylvania — Scranton, Erie, and Pittsburgh — in the Top 5 unhappiest cities. The five happiest? They're all in one state. NBC's Brian Williams does the honors:
The economists who analyzed the CDC data — Harvard's Edward Glaeser and Oren Ziv, and Joshua Gottlieb at the Vancouver School of Economics — weren't trying to bum out New Yorkers or create a buzz-worthy listicle, they were trying to figure out something much more interesting: Why are some cities persistently unhappy, and why do people choose to live there anyway?
Their tentative answer to the second question is that "the desires for happiness and life satisfaction do not uniquely drive human ambitions," and "humans are quite understandably willing to sacrifice both happiness and life satisfaction if the price is right." People in New York and other "unhappy" cities are compensated for their "misery," the authors write, and the residents of Louisiana — plus Charlottesville, North Carolina; Naples, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota — should be glad they stay there:
If we choose only that which maximized our happiness, then individuals would presumably move to happier places until the point where rising rents and congestion eliminated the joys of that locale. ["Unhappy Cities," via Harvard Gazette]
How does your city stack up? Here's their map, from the paper "Unhappy Cities," published by the National Bureau for Economic Research. Blue is happy; red is sad. --Peter Weber
Hillary Clinton's campaign is confident there won't be a repeat of Sen. Ted Cruz's surprise endorsement refusal at this week's Democratic National Convention. In fact, the campaign is so unconcerned, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta admitted Monday on Morning Joe that Team Clinton still hasn't even taken a peek at the speech Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is scheduled to deliver later this evening. "The short answer to that is no, we have not," Podesta said, in response to the whether they'd reviewed Sanders' speech.
Podesta said Sanders' previous remarks at the primary rivals' joint rally earlier this month was evidence enough the Vermont senator wouldn't pull a Cruz and refuse to endorse Clinton. "We already saw what he's going to say when he stood with her in New Hampshire, endorsed her, was full-throated, said this is a campaign that he wants to be involved with," Podesta said about Sanders. "He wants to do everything he can to elect her and defeat Donald Trump, and that's what we're going to get tonight."
Watch Podesta's take on Sanders' coming speech, below. Becca Stanek
If the Democratic National Committee wants to give chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz the boot, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough thinks they should just get it over with already — before even more attention gets taken away from Hillary Clinton. "I think it's political malpractice on the Clinton camp to let her open the proceedings and close out," Scarborough said Monday. "But also, why would Debbie Wasserman Schultz want to help Donald Trump? Because that's all she's doing is helping Donald Trump by getting in the way of Hillary Clinton."
In Scarborough's opinion, if the Democratic Party truly wants to ensure its nominee gets elected, all eyes need to be on Clinton this week and not on Schultz's impending departure. The Florida congresswoman announced Sunday she would resign after this week's Democratic National Convention, following the leak of internal emails indicating her bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) "The convention is all about Hillary. It really is, it has got to be all about Hillary," Scarborough said. "If Democrats want to win in the fall, everything they do over the next four days needs to be focused on getting Hillary Clinton elected president of the United States. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is getting in the way."
Watch the exchange below. Becca Stanek
Loud, chaotic booing temporarily prevented Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz from addressing her Florida delegation at a breakfast Monday morning in Philadelphia ahead of the Democratic convention. An event organizer eventually had to take the mic to try to calm the crowd, which waved signs that said "emails" and "Bernie Sanders."
Man this is brutal: DWS being booed this morning at the Florida Delegation Breakfast ahead of the DNC: https://t.co/nhdCpyMrZO
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 25, 2016
"I can see there’s a little bit of interest in my being here, and I can appreciate that interest," Wasserman Schultz said.
Still, the DNC chair will reportedly not be speaking at the convention after it was announced Sunday that she would resign, following the leak of internal emails in which several party officials appeared to reveal a bias against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton's primary rival. The Florida congresswoman came under intense criticism after WikiLeaks released more than 19,000 leaked emails. Jeva Lange
If you are Team Clinton or Team Never Trump, Monday morning offered a brutal wake-up call. Since the Republican convention, Donald Trump has now passed Clinton in two national polls (and in the RealClearPolitics average), and is projected to win the election were it to be held today, as shown in FiveThirtyEight's models:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 25, 2016
Particularly concerning for the anti-Trump crowd are the projections for the swing states of Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, which the model shows going for Trump.
There is a sliver of good news for Clinton supporters, though; FiveThirtyEight's poll-plus model, which corrects for Trump's post-convention surge, shows her still in the lead:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 25, 2016
FiveThirtyEight's leading statistician, Nate Silver, accurately predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 election and correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states in 2012. Last week he tweeted, "Don't think people are really grasping how plausible it is that Trump could become president. It's a close election right now." Jeva Lange
The Republican National Convention proved to be a hilarious heyday for late night comedians, but John Oliver's Sunday evening episode of Last Week Tonight might truly be a case of saving the best for last. Oliver didn't focus on some of the convention's easier targets, such as Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama or Ted Cruz's mutiny. Rather, Oliver went right for the jugular by acutely illustrating that the Republican Party is giving more import to "feelings" than facts.
Example No. 1: Antonio Sabato, Jr., who declared with no evidence that President Obama is a Muslim — something he claims he knows to be true simply because he believes it to be true. "What is truly revealing is [Sabato's] implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true," Oliver points out. "Because if anything, that was the theme of the Republican convention this week."
Oliver has a sobering number of examples of other Republicans "bringing feelings to a fact fight," which you can watch him list, below. Jeva Lange
If all goes according to plan, there won't be a single rat left in New Zealand come 2050. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Monday that, as part of its "world-first" pest extermination program, the country will be spending millions over the next few decades to get rid of the rats, stoats, and possums threatening its native species, particularly birds such as the flightless Kiwi. The government plans to contribute an additional $20 million a year to the more than $40 million already being spent on pest control.
However, even with that cash investment and New Zealand's previous success with similar operations in its smaller islands, ecologists are skeptical that a full eradication can actually happen across a nation "similar in size to the United Kingdom," The Associated Press reported. "The biggest challenge will be the rats and mice in urban areas," said Mick Clout, a professor of conservation from the University of Auckland. "For this project to work it will need the urban communities to get on board." Becca Stanek
Executives from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and private equity firm Blackstone are descending on Philadelphia in droves to celebrate the nomination of Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. While Donald Trump alienated the financial industry with his talk of Wall Street reform last week, many bankers are breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of Clinton-Kaine at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
"I think [Clinton] has shown perhaps ironically that she has a better understanding of business and Wall Street than Donald Trump does," investment banker Steve Rattner, who formerly worked as President Obama's "car czar," told Politico. "The GOP platform includes reinstating Glass-Steagall. And when you watched that [Trump acceptance] speech, Bernie Sanders could have given half of it. Putting partisanship aside, most of my Republican business friends are appalled at the thought of Donald Trump in the White House."
There is a celebratory mood surrounding Clinton's selection of Kaine, too — especially as Elizabeth Warren had been a possible alternative. Kaine, though, has proven to be sympathetic to regional bank relief, notably supporting Dodd-Frank. Trump has already targeted Clinton's running mate for just this, tweeting, " Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks. Bernie supporters are outraged, was their last choice. Bernie fought for nothing!"
Some say there is nothing for progressives to fear, though. "I don't think Clinton can or should go all Trump-like and build a wall to physically block Wall Street executives from the City of Brotherly Love. Instead, I think she ought to be loud and clear that she isn't going to do anything in particular to reciprocate any banker support," Jeff Hauser, the director of the Revolving Door Project, told Politico.