Wandering Eye: More reason to doubt HUD's homeless figures, the GOP's possible violation of election laws, and more

A brand-new report by the National Center on Family Homelessness, "America's Youngest Outcasts: A Report Card on Child Homelessness," puts the number of homeless youth in America at almost 2.5 million, or one in every 30 children—the highest ever. Maryland ranks 19th among all 50 states for the extent of the problem, 12th for child well-being (scoring food security, health, and education), 21st for risk of child homelessness (measuring poverty, household structure, housing, and available support), and 7th for government efforts to contend with the problem. The number of young homeless people in Maryland rose 11 percent over two years, to 30,645 in 2012-2013, making it about 2.2 percent of the state's under-18 population. The analysis would seem to cast further doubt on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s announcement late last month that the number of homeless people in Maryland declined 27.6 percent since 2010. (Van Smith)


CNN has a kind of amazing story about how Republican political action committees might have violated one of the last remaining campaign finance laws. The law says that outside political groups can't coordinate with the political campaigns they aim to aid. But spending campaign money efficiently is all about coordination. You need to know the latest poll numbers and the campaign message. CNN found three of the GOP's biggest PACs tweeting, via anonymous accounts, cryptic polling figures.There are two things great about this: 1. As CNN notes, it might not be illegal. "Posting the information on Twitter, which is technically public, could provide a convenient loophole to the law—or could run afoul of it." But 2., Someone obviously felt a little self-conscious about it. When reporters called the National Republican Campaign Committee for comment the Twitter accounts disappeared before their eyes. CNN gifed it. Rule One in politics: the coverup is always more hilarious than the crime. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


As news comes out of the NFL suspending star running back Adrian Peterson for at least the remainder of the season after pleading no contest to charges of injuring his 4-year-old son, The New York Times has its second part of a two-part series looking at how the league deals with domestic violence. Part one looked at the ways local law enforcement work with teams to minimize the attention such incidents might draw. Today's installment shines a light on the way teams try to sweep domestic violence under the rug, with team doctors giving medical treatment and front office stepping in to diffuse situations. Two former players' wives quoted in the story said the teams try to foster a family atmosphere that encourages dealing with these issues interally. Oftentimes the only support system for them is other players' wives and girlfriends. "You feel like that's all you have," said Brandie Underwood, who was previously married to a player on the Green Bay Packers. "Other than them, I knew nobody. You come to this town when your husband is drafted, and you get kind of pushed into this group. It is how you get your friends—your support system." (Brandon Weigel)

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