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Today is Flag Day !

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, June 14th is Flag day .Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity.

Continue reading Today is Flag Day !

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Pew Research Center Latest Poll Suggests Most Americans feel the Democratic Party Has Become Too Statist


August 1,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, A recent poll by the left leaning Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans say the Democratic Party “too often sees government as the only way to solve problems.”

The Pew survey, conducted this summer among a national sample of 2,504 adults 18 years of age or older, found that 61 percent of Americans see the Democratic Party as too government-centered, believing that the state should be the only recourse for solving problems in society.

Among those surveyed,substantial percentages of self described Democrats or liberals believe that the Democratic Party has gone too far in turning to government as the universal problem solver. Thirty-eight percent of self-identified “liberals” agreed with the statement that the Democratic Party “too often sees government as the only way to solve problems,” while 44 percent of Democrats subscribed to that view.

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Political Media Earns Poor Marks From Americans


Political Media Earns Poor Marks From Americans

CAMERON EASLEY   |   APRIL 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM

As political journalists prepare to gather at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday to celebrate their work, a new Morning Consult poll is likely to make many of them cringe.

In the new poll, roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media “is out of touch with everyday Americans,” compared with 28 percent who said it “understand the issues everyday Americans are facing.”

President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.

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Americans More Scared of Clowns than Climate Change

creepy clown


Americans are more scared of clowns than they are of climate change.

According to a poll conducted byChapman University, 42 per cent of Americans are afraid of clowns, whereas only 32 per cent are afraid of climate change.

They’re also more scared of terrorist attacks (41 per cent), gun rights infringement (38 per cent), family members dying (38 per cent), economic collapse (37 per cent), Obamacare (36 per cent), and biological warfare (35 per cent).

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Americans are fatter than ever, CDC finds

big belly of a fat man

By Carina Storrs, for CNN

Updated 6:11 PM ET, Wed May 25, 2016

(CNN)The results are in from the one of the largest and broadest surveys of health in the United States. And although many of the findings are encouraging — more Americans had health insurance and fewer smoked cigarettes in 2015 than in previous years — the gains were overshadowed by rising rates of obesity and diabetes.

Every year since 1957, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been asking Americans 18 and older about their health and the health of their family members as part of the National Health Interview Survey. The new report contains data from the 2015 survey, which included more than 100,000 people.

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State by state breakdown on how much Americans spend on Valentine’s Day gifts

love is in the air

photo by ArtChick

February 13,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I wanted to gauge your interest in a story about American spending habits around the romantic holiday, the topic of a recent survey conducted by, a personal finance comparison and education site. The survey, which polled over 3,000 Americans, covered a ton of interesting data points, including how much people spend and the differences in spending based by state, length of relationship and gender. It also looked at secret spending, where a partner knowingly hides purchases from their significant other. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to share the findings, some of which include:

Respondents in Kansas spent the most on their partners on Valentine’s Day, with an average spend of $117, followed by Nevada ($112), Idaho ($111), North Dakota ($108), Hawaii ($102), Arkansas ($93), Virginia ($87), Florida ($83), California and South Carolina ($82).
The states that spent least on their Valentine were New Hampshire ($31) and South Dakota, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming and Kentucky (all $36).
34% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day by going to a restaurant
Those who are in 2 to 5 year relationship will get the highest valued gifts
Married couples were the most likely not to buy a gift at all
30% of Americans have hidden purchases from their loved ones

To check out the state by state breakdown of how much Americans spend, visit –

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Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever


A handful of industries are those “love to hate” types of businesses, such as cable-television companies and Internet service providers.

The federal government has joined the ranks of the bottom-of-the-barrel industries, according to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Americans’ satisfaction level in dealing with federal agencies –everything from Treasury to Homeland Security — has fallen for a third consecutive year, reaching an eight-year low.

The declines represent some backsliding for the U.S. government, given that satisfaction saw some improvement in 2011 and 2012, which may have been the result of spending in the wake of the recession. While the comparison with private enterprise isn’t apples to apples given the nature of government services, the findings have some implications for bureaucrats.

“Satisfaction is linked to broader goals in the political system that it wants to maximize, like confidence and trust,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research at the ACSI. “It’s much more difficult to govern if the entire population dislikes you.”

Although satisfaction is down for the federal government as a whole, the research found that consumers have vastly different views of specific agencies. The department that received the highest score was the Department of the Interior, which received a ranking of 75 points. That could reflect Americans’ positive feelings toward national parks, which many visit while on vacation, Morgeson noted.

The lowest-ranked department may not be much of a surprise to taxpayers: Treasury, which received a score of just 55 points, or 20 points below the Department of the Interior. Treasury, as a reminder, oversees the IRS.

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Americans Tune Out on Obama


Obama’s Last State Of The Union Viewership Dips In Early Numbers
by Dominic Patten
January 13, 2016 9:25am

With all of the Big 4 running it live, the very last State of the Union address of Barack Obama’s presidency saw jokes and barbs about those running to succeed him, a call to cure cancer, pleas to pass the big Pacific Rim trade deal and Paul Ryan’s debut in the Speaker’s chair over POTUS’ shoulder. Overall, the President also offered an optimistic assessment of the nation in his just over an hour speech but the incumbent conceded he hadn’t been able to overcome the harsh bipartisan battles that have characterized his term in office.

If early numbers are anything to go by, Obama wasn’t able to get more eyeballs to watch his speech either. With an average audience of 18.1 million watching the 9 – 10 PM coverage on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, Obama’s speech was down 8% from the early numbers of last year’s January 20 talk to Congress.

Heading into the twilight of his term in office that continues the POTUS downward viewership trend. Obama’s 2015 SOTU was down 7% from his 2014 speech in the early Big 4 audience averages – which was down from the year before. In the final viewership numbers, the 2015 speech ended up being a SOTU low for the President – which we could see as the case this year.

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Most Americans are totally broke


By Quentin Fottrell, Marketwatch

January 6, 2016 | 1:24pm

Americans are starting 2016 with more job security, but most are still theoretically only one paycheck away from the street.

Approximately 63 percent of Americans have no emergency savings for things such as a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair, according to a survey released Wednesdayof 1,000 adults by personal finance website, up slightly from 62 percent last year. Faced with an emergency, they say they would raise the money by reducing spending elsewhere (23 percent), borrowing from family and/or friends (15 percent) or using credit cards to bridge the gap (15 percent).

This lack of emergency savings could be a problem for millions of Americans. More than four in 10 Americans either experienced a major unexpected expense over the past 12 months or had an immediate family member who had an unexpected expense, Bankrate found. (The survey didn’t specify the impact of that expense.) “Without emergency savings, you may not have money to cover needed home repairs,” says Signe-Mary McKernan, senior fellow and economist at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on social and economic policy. “Similarly, without emergency savings, people could raid their retirement account.”

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More Americans Than Ever Use Prescription Drugs



More Americans than ever are taking prescription drugs — close to 60 percent of U.S. adults, according to new research.

And most seem to be related to obesity, with cholesterol and blood pressure drugs leading the pack, researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The single most popular drug is Zocor, a cholesterol-lowering drug in a class called statins, said Elizabeth Kantor, formerly of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and now at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The drug, known generically as simvastatin, is taken by 8 percent of the U.S. population.

Her team used national surveys of more than 37,000 adults to find that the percentage of people taking prescription drugs rose from 51 percent of the adult population in 1999 to 59 percent in 2011.

The population is getting older, but that doesn’t explain it, Kantor said. The pattern looks more related to obesity, which is steadily rising, More than two-thirds of the adult U.S. population is overweight or obese, and many suffer the heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic disorders that go along with being too heavy.

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Trump: I’m winning because Americans are ‘tired of being the patsies’


August 29, 2015, 12:27 pm
By Mark Hensch

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he is leading the GOP race because he represents Americans who have had it with their nation coming up short.

“People in this country are smart,” he told listeners at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies’ 2015 conference in Nashville on Saturday.

“We’re tired of being the patsies for everyone,” Trump said.

“There is a big, big, growing-by-leaps-and-bounds silent majority out there. [The 2016 race] is going to be an election based on competence.”

Trump argued he is surging in national polls because he represents the Tea Party supporters ignored by Democrats and betrayed by Republicans.

“I love the Tea Party,” Trump said. “You people have not been treated fairly. These are people who work hard and love their country, and then get beat up by the media. It’s disgusting.”

“At least I have a microphone and can fight back,” the outspoken billionaire added.

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Pew: Huge spike in Americans ‘very concerned’ about domestic Islamic extremism

Youssef Abdulazeez

By PAUL BEDARD • 7/17/15 10:24 AM

Even before the killing of four Marines in Chattanooga, Tenn., in an “act of terrorism,” Americans revealed a deep concern about Islamic extremism and a very high worry about ISIS, according to the latest poll from Pew Research.

Some 53 percent, more than the average in the non-Islamic world, said they are “very concerned” about Islamic extremism in the United States, said Pew.

While the numbers were lower than for some countries in Europe that have experienced domestic Islamic terrorism, they were much higher than a few years ago. In 2011, for example, 32 percent told Pew that they were very concerned.

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How Sanctuary Policies Have Directly Led to Thousands of Crimes Against Americans


Hans von Spakovsky / @HvonSpakovsky / July 09, 2015

There has been a fiery debate over the past few weeks about illegal aliens and crime, which has intensified with the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by a seven-time felon and five-time deportee as the direct result of the city’s sanctuary policy.

What seems to have been overlooked in the back and forth on this is some of the very disturbing, actual data on crimes committed by illegal aliens, which should concern every American—particularly those who live in sanctuary cities like New Orleans or San Francisco that release criminal aliens rather than turning them over to the Department of Homeland Security.

As Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studyoutlines, Department of Homeland Security records show that in just one eight-month period in 2014, more than 8,100 deportable aliens were released by sanctuary jurisdictions. Three thousand of them were felons and 62 percent had a prior criminal record. Nineteen hundred were later rearrested a total of 4,300 times on 7,500 different offenses.

Thus, these sanctuary policies directly victimized thousands of the residents of these sanctuary cities who were subjected to assaults, burglaries, sexual assaults, thefts and even murdersthat would not have occurred except for these sanctuary policies.

But there is more. In 2005, at the request of several members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office prepared two reports on criminal aliens—legal and illegal—in prison for committing crimes in the United States. Those reports are very revealing. For example, the first report (GAO-05-337R) released on April 7, 2005, found that:

The percentage of federal prisoners who are criminal aliens is about 27 percent;
In 2004, there were 49,000 such prisoners in federal jails;
In 2002, the federal government gave reimbursements to the 50 states under the “State Criminal Alien Assistance Program” (SCAAP) for incarcerating another 77,000illegal aliens in state prisons; and
At the local level in 2002, the federal government reimbursed 750 local governments under SCAAP for incarcerating an additional 138,000 criminal illegal aliens, which jumped to 147,000 prisoners in 2003.

It is important to note that these reported numbers “represent only a portion of the total population of criminal aliens who may be incarcerated at the local level,” since the federal government does “not reimburse localities for all criminal aliens” and some states don’t submit requests for reimbursement. So where were all of these criminal aliens from? According to the GAO report, the breakdown was as follows:

Federal prisons:  Mexico (63 percent); Colombia (7 percent); the Dominican Republic (7 percent); Jamaica (4 percent); Cuba (3 percent); El Salvador (2 percent); Honduras, Haiti and Guatemala (each 1 percent), and the remaining 11 percent from 164 other countries.

State prisons: In the five states (Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas) incarcerating about 80 percent of SCAAP criminal aliens, the prisoners were from Mexico (58 percent); Cuba (5 percent); Dominican Republic (5 percent); El Salvador (4 percent); Jamaica (3 percent); Vietnam (2 percent); and the remaining 22 percent from 148 other countries.

Local jails: In the five local jails with the largest criminal illegal alien populations, the prisoners were from Mexico (65 percent); El Salvador (6 percent); Guatemala (3 percent); Honduras (2 percent); South Korea, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines (each 1 percent); and the remaining 20 percent from 193 other countries.

Thus, it is clear that criminal aliens already represent more than a quarter of all of the prisoners in federal prisons and are present in large numbers in state and local jails.

The second GAO report (GAO-05-646R), released on May 9, 2005, looked at the crimes committed by 55,322 aliens who “had entered the country illegally and were still illegally in the country at the time of their incarceration in federal or state prison or local jail during fiscal year 2003.”

The path of destruction weaved by these 55,322 illegal aliens was truly shocking. According to GAO, these criminal aliens:

Were arrested a total of 459,614 times, averaging about eight arrests per illegal alien;
97 percent had more than one arrest, while 26 percent had over 11 arrests;
Committed almost 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging 13 offenses per illegal alien;
10 percent of these illegal aliens were arrested for committing 26 or more offenses;
Out of all of the arrests, 12 percent were for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, assault and sex-related crimes; 15 percent were for burglary, larceny, theft and property damage; 24 percent were for drug offenses; and the remaining offenses were for DUI, fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, weapons, immigration and obstruction of justice; and
80 percent of the arrests occurred in just three states: California, Texas, and Arizona

Of course, these statistics reflect the criminal histories of aliens who were in prison. Unfortunately, in fiscal year 2013, the Obama administration released over 36,000 convicted criminal aliens awaiting the outcome of deportation hearings upon an unsuspecting public, and another 30,558 in fiscal year 2014 according to the House Judiciary Committee.

The offenses for which they were convicted involved “dangerous drugs, assault and domestic violence, stolen vehicles, robbery, sex offenses, sexual assault, kidnaping, voluntary manslaughter, and even homicide.” As the House Judiciary Committee outlined, more than a quarter of these aliens “were so called ‘level 1s’ according to the administration—the worst of the worst.” And in 2013 alone, the administration didn’t even bring removal proceedingsagainst an additional 68,000 criminal aliens convicted of everything from homicide to sexual assault.

If the over 134,000 aliens released by the administration in just the past two years follow the pattern of those aliens studied by the GAO in 2005, they will commit hundreds of thousands of more crimes, victimizing countless innocent Americans in crimes that could have been prevented.

How many Americans have to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed, or have their homes, cars and personal property burglarized, stolen or damaged before both the federal government and local governments like San Francisco will finally do what is necessary to lock up criminal aliens who are a danger to the safety and lives of the public?

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Poll: 70 percent of Americans believe news media is intentionally biased


file photo by Boyd Loving
BY EDDIE SCARRY | JULY 3, 2015 | 11:34 AM

Nearly three quarters of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias, according to a new survey.

The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today, was released Friday. It shows that only 24 percent of American adults agree with the statement that “overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias,” while 70 percent disagree.

When the question was asked last year, 41 percent agreed, a 17-point difference.

“These are discouraging results for those of us who have spent our careers in journalism,” Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today on Thursday. “In 23 years in newsrooms, I saw consistent and concerted efforts to get stories right. Clearly, the public’s not convinced.”

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Americans Are Delaying Major Life Events Because of Money Worries



About half of American adults have postponed a major life decision in the past year for financial reasons, mainly because they lack sufficient savings or are worried about the economy, or both, a new survey finds.

The survey, conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, found that the proportion of people delaying big decisions like buying a home or getting married had risen to 51 percent, from 31 percent in a similar survey in 2007, before the start of the financial downturn.

(The telephone survey of 1,010 adults, age 18 and older, was conducted in March by Harris Poll. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.)

The change was striking, and the percentages more than doubled in some areas. Nearly a quarter said they had delayed higher education, up from 11 percent in 2007, and 18 percent said they had put off retiring, compared with 9 percent in the earlier survey. Twenty-two percent said they delayed buying a home in 2015, compared with 14 percent in 2007.