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“In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals.,” the analysis says.

THE PEA FACTOR

Once it was just “Give peas a chance,” “Visualize whirled peas” and “Peas out.” But thanks to President Obama’s recent suggestion that we must all “eat our peas” or presumably get no ice cream, American entrepreneurs have again elevated the humble pea to cultural status.

“The American public took the ‘peas’ comment and ran with it,” says the online emporium Cafe Press, where citizen designers have created a spate of “eat your own peas”-themed designs to choose from, including one for the dog. See the selection at http://shop.cafepress.com/eat-your-own-peas.

REAL HEALTH CARE

“Hospitalized patients who had conversations about religion and spirituality with their health care team were the most satisfied with their overall care” says a new University of Chicago study, based on more than 3,100 patient responses.

“Our findings suggest that physicians, nurses, health care organizations and pastoral care departments may address an unmet need and simultaneously improve patient satisfaction by talking to patients about religious and spiritual concerns in the inpatient setting.” says lead researcher Joshua Williams, whose research was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

FEAR NOT

One Texas Republican is disturbed that the U.S. Senate is already flirting with an appropriations bill with no budget in place. He also has much to say about President Obama’s “scare tactics” when it comes to the unresolved debt ceiling debate.

“We all know that even if the Aug. 2 deadline passes without a deal, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will still have enough revenue — about $172 billion — to pay for Social Security benefits, to pay for Medicaid and Medicare, to pay active duty military and other national priorities,” advises Sen. John Cornyn.

“The only reason seniors and our troops will see their checks stop coming is if the Obama administration decides to make other spending a priority,” he adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 55 percent of likely U.S. voters say a tax hike should not be included in legislation to raise the debt ceiling; 34 percent disagree.

• 82 percent of Republicans agree.

• 34 percent overall say a tax hike should be included in the legislation.

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