Just ask the expert(s)
Perhaps you missed it, but the reason the United States birth rate (1.84 births per woman) is so low is Donald Trump.
Now the president has been credited and blamed for many things, some of them true, but keeping down the number of babies born — virtually flat since 1975 — is a new one.
Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak, exploring the topic of "the child-free life" and "Why so many American women are deciding not to have kids" recently, turned to marriage and family therapist Ann Davidman.
Trump is having an effect, she said, going on to cite the experience of a California therapist, who said one potential client canceled a spot in her class after the 2016 election.
The therapist's class, she related, helps "women decide whether they want to become mothers." After the election, the potential client decided against it.
"When Trump was elected, I didn't need your class to decide," Davidman stated that the California therapist said the woman told her.
But she's not alone, Davidman told Dvorak. No, she said, she'd "heard lots of versions of that."
While her evidence was hardly compelling, Davidman might not have been the most unbiased of sources. In a 2017 blog, she said she was "delighted' overjoyed, really — that I do not have a child." And her go-to question for undecided women was: "Do you want to want to raise a child, or do you want to contribute to the next generation?"
What she may have missed is that raising a child does contribute to the next generation, with Trump as president or not.
Nancy's fake news
When the facts aren't on your side, make them up.
That seemed to be U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's modus operandi during her weekly news conference last week.
Confronted with news about May's 3.8 percent unemployment rate being the lowest since 1969, she figuratively threw up a cautionary hand.
"This is one unusual time where the unemployment rate is down but the dependence on subsidies, whether it's food insecurity, housing subsidies has not gone down," she said.
Pelosi was wrong, though.
Indeed, the number of Americans relying on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Program) fell 7.8 percent from October 2016, the month before President Trump was elected, to February (the latest numbers reported).
In addition, 1.2 percent fewer people were receiving housing choice vouchers in 2017 than in 2016, and the government was paying $7 less per person for each voucher for a savings of $84 million.
When MSNBC isn't enough
The majority of Democrats — actually 53 percent — now say pornography is morally acceptable, according to Gallup.
The acceptance by the political left jumped 11 percent in one year, from 42 percent in 2017, and 21 percent since 2011, according to the polling organization.
Acceptance by Republicans has grown 11 percent since 2011 and 2 percent since 2017 and is now at 27 percent.
Among those who say religion is "not very important," 76 percent approve of pornography. Of those who say religion is "very important," 22 percent nevertheless say is it morally acceptable.
In other categories, it gets a thumbs-up from more men (53 percent) than women (32 percent), more who are non-married (50 percent) than married (35 percent), more younger males ages 18-49 (67 percent) than older males ages 50-up (36 percent) and more younger females ages 18-49 (41 percent) than older females ages 50-up (23 percent).
It's OK, we won't tell
Planned Parenthood has covered up sexual abuse for years by not reporting victims who came to the organization for abortions, according to an investigative report by Live Action News.
Lila Rose, the president of the "media movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion," called at a news conference for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make its own investigation of the family planning organization.
Among the speakers at the news conference was U.S. Rep. Diane Black, a candidate for governor of Tennessee.
The incidents cited in the report included that of a 15-year-old Arizona girl who been raped, but Planned Parenthood didn't report it because it was too much of an inconvenience; that of a Washington man who raped and impregnated his daughter three times and took her to the family planning organization for abortions so he wouldn't be reported; and that of another father who took his 13-year-old daughter to Planned Parenthood for abortions, the girl being told to abstain from sex for three weeks and get a birth control device.
"Planned Parenthood's complicity in this abuse," said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, "is absolutely appalling."
A 2014 Loyola University, Chicago, report indicated the organization has reported less than one-third of the cases in which young girls and women came to the clinic with their abusers for abortions.