Friday, May 22, 2020

Trump Fans Prefer Country Music, Biden Supporters Like Pop

In the final blog post following the release of its “Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2,” Coleman Insights provides a look at musical preferences based on political party lines. The information shows that country music reigns supreme for panelists who have a positive opinion of President Donald Trump. “An overwhelming 50% of their Top 100 titles are country songs,” President of the organization writes in the blog post. “At 26%, pop is the only other genre achieving a double-digit share of the Top 100 contemporary songs with Trump fans.” On the other side of the aisle, respondents who support presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden favor pop music, with the genre making up 38% of their Top 100 songs. Hip Hop/R&B is next at 33%. Only 10% of country music titles are included on lists of Biden fans. The one thing fans of both candidates can agree upon is their dislike of the song “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong. Additionally, the survey was in the field from January through March 2020, prior to Biden becoming the presumptive Democratic candidate and before the COVID-19 pandemic came to American shores. In the data, 41% of the respondents were Joe Biden fans; the corresponding figure for Donald Trump was 32%. Coleman Insights surveyed 1,000 respondents ages 12-54 in the U.S. and Canada for its musical look back at 2019. (Inside Radio)


Man accused of gator wrasslin’ along highway, cops called

A concerned citizen called the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Office to report that a man was on the side of a highway, “wrasslin’ gators!” A Deputy with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call and located a shirtless white male in a dried canal bank. After a few questions, the deputy determined that the man’s only intention was to help local wildlife. When the deputy went to talk to the caller, they denied seeing the man wrestle or touch the alligator. The caller also said that he wasn’t sure where the call taker would’ve gotten that information from, the report said. The deputy told the shirtless man to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if he ever thought local wildlife was in danger. The man was removing some of the mud in the sewer to let more fish move through and make it to the alligators, according to the report. No arrests were made and the identity of the shirtless man hasn’t been released by LCSO. (NBC 2)


Kentucky convenience store posts ‘No face masks allowed’ sign

A Kentucky convenience store told customers to take off their face masks or “go somewhere else” — but later did an about-face when called out for the controversial message. A photo of the sign outside Alvin’s in Manchester, Kentucky was shared on Facebook by a man who said he wanted to “spread their shame” by publicizing the business’ call to flout Governor Andy Beshear’s mask guidance, intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “No face masks allowed in store,” the pink sign read. “Lower your mask or go somewhere else! Stop listening to Beshear. He’s a dumbass.” Instead, the shopper’s post, which was shared more than 3,800 times, prompted some Facebook users to call him a “snitch,” and others said they saw the sign as a “patriotic statement.” The store, however, later changed its message, saying it would not turn away customers who are wearing face coverings. “We are not telling you to not wear a mask,” the store wrote on Facebook. “What we are saying is, [it’s] your choice to wear one or not, not our [government’s] choice for us. While some got the meaning behind it, [a lot] did not.” The sign was not intended to “offend anyone,” according to the post. “But we will not apologize for our beliefs in our freedom to make our own decisions, that our government wants to make for us,” Alvin’s statement continued. “We strive to keep our customers safe, and our employees.” (The New York Post)


Pier 1 is closing its stores for good

Pier 1 Imports is closing its doors forever, shutting down some 540 stores after failing to secure a buyer over the pandemic. The home goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and had originally planned to close only half of its brick-and-mortar locations. Pier 1 will wind down its operations after it reopens stores to liquidate inventory. It will also sell its remaining assets including its e-commerce business and intellectual property. (The Wall Street Journal)


Facebook moves into online shopping

Facebook is expanding into the world of e-commerce, announcing a new service that puts it in competition with Amazon and eBay. Facebook Shops will allow businesses to set up free “storefronts” on Facebook and Instagram, working with third-party services including Shopify. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the move will help rebuild the economy and support small businesses, which have been suffering in recent weeks as physical shops are shuttered. Online shopping has seen a bump during the pandemic and e-commerce companies have drawn record sales. (The Verge)


Johnson & Johnson halts baby powder sales

Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its hugely popular talcum powder in the U.S. and Canada following a tidal wave of legal cases from consumers who alleged links to cancer after prolonged periods of use. The health-products conglomerate cited waning sales of the product after years of publicity from the lawsuits in announcing the move. Although it has lost several costly lawsuits, J&J contends its talc-containing powder is safe, and will continue selling it in international markets. It will now market a cornstarch-based version in North America. (Web MD)


Essential workers lose hazard pay

Some major U.S. retailers — including Amazon, Kroger and Rite Aid — have been phasing out the extra wages they were offering front-line workers to compensate for the risk they’ve been taking on by working during the pandemic, also known as “hazard pay” or “hero pay.” The move comes as business costs tied to safety measures have climbed and a higher unemployment rate is giving power back to employers. Unions are pushing back, saying that staff are still risking their health to be at work. (Yahoo)


Lawmakers wants swastika memorials removed from U.S. veterans’ cemeteries

The campaign to remove the Nazi symbols from the Veterans Administration-run graveyards in Texas and Utah (where they sit alongside memorials to fallen American service members) is rapidly gaining momentum, picking up support from a pair of influential lawmakers and prominent anti-hate groups who say the symbols represent a national disgrace. Two of the controversial inscriptions are in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in Texas, while another stands at Fort Douglas Post Cemetery in Utah. The headstones attracted relatively little attention until recently, when the Southern Poverty Law Center and other advocacy groups launched a public campaign pressuring the federal government to remove them. But the federal Department of Veterans Affairs said it has “no plans” to disturb the gravesites of Nazi soldiers, sticking by a policy that’s stood for nearly 80 years and signaling that the Nazi symbols will remain for the foreseeable future.  (Washington Times)


More than 80% of the patients over 80 put on ventilators did not survive, according to a study of two New York hospitals

Ventilators are typically used as a last resort for patients who don’t respond well to other treatments. The study looked at 257 “critically ill patients” from March 2 to April 1 and the results showed:

  • The median age of all patients was 62.
  • Two-thirds of the patients analyzed were male.
  • 87% of patients showed signs of kidney damage and 31% required renal replacement therapy, which replaces the kidney’s blood-filtering actions.
  • 71% of the critically ill patients under 50 in the study were obese.

A number of researchers have previously sounded the alarm about high mortality rates of those placed on ventilators. Some health professionals have stopped recommending them for use in COVID-19 patients. (Washington Post)


Colleges plan shorter fall semesters

A number of colleges across the United States, including The University of South Carolina, Notre Dame, Rice and Creighton, are considering shorter fall semesters to avoid an expected “second wave” of coronavirus infections. By skipping breaks, some are hoping to have students return to their homes before Thanksgiving, instead of just before Christmas. The reduced travel will mean fewer opportunities to contract and spread the virus as the flu season begins, they estimate. (The New York Times)


Americans are skipping home payments

U.S. home mortgage delinquencies jumped by a record amount in April, with notable rises in Miami, Las Vegas and New York City as the job market turned sour and many took advantage of penalty-free delays. Missed payments on home loans were up by 1.6 million last month, reflecting a 90% climb, while 6.45% of mortgages were at least 30 days in arrears, according to data compiled by Black Knight. Home owners affected by the pandemic are allowed a six-month penalty-free payment deferral, thanks to a federal relief program. (Bloomberg)


Another 2.4 million jobless in US

Another 2.4 million Americans filed new jobless claims for the week ending May 16th. The new claims bring the total number of unemployment applications filed since the start of the pandemic in mid-March to roughly 39 million, representing nearly one in five U.S. workers. Yet, the numbers may not capture the full picture of the economic devastation caused by the new coronavirus since self-employed professionals are not counted among the claims despite those people receiving benefits. (Department of Labor)


Global virus cases see record jump

The number of confirmed global coronavirus cases has surpassed 5 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That comes after a record 106,000 new cases were recorded in a single day, prompting a warning from the World Health Organization that the outbreak is spreading in poor countries. A majority of the newly reported cases are coming from the Americas, according to the WHO. (Reuters)


Finally Feel Good Friday Comes With:

  • Canadian Immigrants Day
  • Don’t Fry Day (Friday Before Memorial Day)
  • Harvey Milk Day
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • National Cooler Day (Friday Before Memorial Day)
  • National Craft Distillery Day
  • National Polka Day (Always Memorial Day weekend)
  • National Road Trip Day (Friday Before Memorial Day Weekend)
  • National Title Track Day (4th Friday)
  • National Maritime Day
  • National Wig Out Day
  • NF2 Awareness Day
  • Sherlock Holmes Day
  • US Colored Troops Day
  • World Goth Day
  • World Paloma Day

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