The Daily Valet. - 1/25/24, Thursday
✔️ The Nones Are on the Rise
Thursday, January 25th Edition
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Have you ever lost your phone or had it stolen? Luckily, I haven't ... but maybe that's because it's always in my hand.
Today’s Big Story
The Religious Nones
The religiously unaffiliated are now the largest single group in the U.S., But What exactly does that mean?
I'm not talking about nuns. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm talking about those without an official religion. And there's more now than ever before. When Americans are asked to check a box indicating their affiliation with a particular faith, more than 28% now check “none”. This group has been given the title the Nones.A new study from Pew Research finds that the religiously unaffiliated—those who say their religion is “nothing in particular”—is now the largest cohort in the United States. They're more prevalent among American adults than Catholics (23%) or evangelical Protestants (24%). Back in 2007, Nones made up just 16% of Americans, but Pew's new survey shows that number has risen dramatically, reports NPR.In U.S. religion today, “the most important story without a shadow of a doubt is the unbelievable rise in the share of Americans who are nonreligious,” Ryan Burge, a political science professor and author of a book on the phenomenon, told the Associated Press. So who are they, exactly? Burge says they're the atheists, the agnostics, the “nothing in particular”. They're the “spiritual but not religious”, and those who are neither or both. They span class, gender, age, race and ethnicity.But most of them have this in common: They really don't like organized religion. Nor its leaders. Nor its politics and social stances. That's according to a large majority of Nones responding to another recent survey. Most Nones believe in God or another higher power, but very few attend any kind of religious service.And one other thing is clear to most experts watching this rapidly growing group: the rise of the Nones will almost certainly affect American public life. “We know politically for example, that religious Nones are very distinctive,” says Pew's Gregory Smith. “They are among the most strongly and consistently liberal and Democratic constituencies in the United States.” And that could change electoral politics in the coming decades. However, The Conversation says there are reasons to be skeptical of unaffiliated Americans' power at the ballot box. Religious institutions have long been key for mobilizing voters—both on the left and the right. The Nones might be “growing into a more powerful force in politics, but they're not yet a coalition.”
Why do people lose their religion? The New York Times asked and more than 7,000 shared their stories.
ACA Enrollment Has Surged This Year
Obamacare enrollment hits record level as biden pushes to lower drug costs and Trump vows a repeal
The number of people who signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces hit a record high this season for the third year in a row. More than 21 million people have signed up for health plans through the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces between Nov. 1 and mid-January, the Biden administration announced Wednesday. The record level of enrollment comes as former President Donald Trump, seeking the GOP nomination, is again vowing to repeal the program if elected—raising doubts about the law's future.Interestingly, enrollment figures released by federal health officials indicate that Republican-leaning states would be among the hardest hit by the law's repeal. Predominately red states saw some of the largest year-over-year increases in sign-ups: West Virginia, Louisiana, Indiana and Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Ohio.“[T]he American people have made it clear: they don't want the Affordable Care Act weakened and repealed — they want it strengthened and protected,” President Biden said in a statement, touting his efforts to strengthen the law as one way he's working to lower health care costs. The program survived multiple repeal efforts during Trump's four years in office, and congressional Republicans have been wary about renewing their overhaul attempts, with polling on the issue strongly favoring Democrats.
Some of the enrollment surge can likely be attributed to a portion of the millions who've recently lost Medicaid coverage moving to the marketplaces.
Enable Your iPhone’s New Feature
THe just-released feature can help keep your phone, money and identity safe from theives
Our phones have become so intrinsic to our lives that a stolen phone can be a disaster rather than simply an inconvenience. To help prevent that, Apple recently announced a “Stolen Device Protection” feature for iOS 17.3. And since the new OS was released this week, the safety feature is now available to be activated on your devices—and Gizmodo says you should “stop everything you're doing and enable it right now.”Previously, scammers could obtain an iPhone user's passcode or already-unlocked phone and turn off existing theft protections like Activation Lock and Lost Mode. Thieves were further able to use your existing passcode or update the Face ID to their own to take control of your phone, potentially including your banking and payment apps. But this new feature makes it more difficult for an unauthorized user to access and change sensitive information like your passwords or Face ID.If you enable Stolen Device Protection, your iPhone will restrict the passcode's power over certain settings when you are away from a location familiar to the iPhone, such as your home or work. That's a good thing and provides a whole lot of peace of mind. And if you think you don't need it, I'd suggest reading the Wall Street Journal's investigation into iPhone theft—in most cases, thousands of dollars were looted from people's stolen phones.
The Verge says enabling the new feature is a simple process, but walks you through it just to make sure there are no questions.
Jon Stewart is returning to ‘The Daily Show’ as a weekly guest host, through the Presidential Election
Jon Stewart will make a surprising return to The Daily Show, 25 years after starting on the show—and eight years after stepping down. He will host the Comedy Central late-night show once a week through the 2024 election cycle.The announcement brings a consistent and popular face to the program, which has been without a permanent host since Trevor Noah—who replaced Stewart in 2015—announced he was leaving in 2022. The show will continue to air Monday through Thursday at 11pm ET, continuing to rely on a rotating team of correspondents for hosting. Starting Feb. 12, Stewart will be the executive producer of every episode this year and next, but will only host on Mondays.It makes you wonder what the show, back under Stewart's stewardship, will be like. With a peak of viewership of about 2 million in the early aughts, the show gave its audience an alternative lens on major news events and served as a talent incubator that resulted in shows featuring former stars including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Samantha Bee. Under Stewart, the show won 24 Emmy awards, including a record 10 consecutive wins for outstanding variety, music, or comedy series. But these days, the show, like every other late-night comedy program, has struggled to retain viewers in the streaming era.
The half-hour-long show premiered on July 22, 1996, and was first hosted by Craig Kilborn.
In Other News
The announcement shores up union vote in auto-making swing states.
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Unlocking the Secrets to Better Sleep
Use the 10-3-2-1 formula to fall asleep fast
You don’t need us to tell you that America is sleep-deprived. How are you feeling today? Could you be more rested? Would you like a nap later, if possible? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a third of adults in the United States reported not getting enough sleep regularly. Nearly 40% of adults report falling asleep during the day without meaning to at least once a month.Sleep, these days, feels like a luxury that should be attainable and yet is often just out of reach. It's so valuable to us that many say we'd easily give up things to get more rest. A 2022 sleep study found that 63% of Americans consistently hit the snooze button to feel just a little better. Researchers found that a vast majority would skip breakfast to save more time for sleep and 29% would forgo their morning showers, with 27% even will to skip brushing their teeth in order to sleep a little longer. But what if there was an easier way?
What We’re Buying
A deep discount at Todd Snyder
Todd Snyder's sale just got even better with an additional 40% off existing markdowns when you use code EXTRA40. That's some serious savings on high-quality staples like denim shirts and carpenter pants, along with some updated classics like a quilted down hooded jacket and chore jackets. The sale ends soon, so take advantage of prices up to 70% off.
What we're buying:
Ombre mohair cardigan, $498 / $221.40 by Todd Snyder
Embrace the good stuff
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