Whenever I hear anyone say “this is what the American people want”, I immediately discount what they have to say. “The American people” is made up of people of all sorts of different beliefs, liberal, conservative, moderate, libertarian, socialist, fascist, capitalist, communist…we have a myriad of opinions that can’t be boiled down to one question on a robo-poll. It is never accurate to generalize what America believes or wants because “America” is not monolithic in its thinking. At the health care summit we kept hearing the Republicans repeat that the American people don’t want this bill. This poll from Newsweek (and polls are the problem here) shows that when you explain the details of the plan, they do support it.
When asked about Obama’s plan (without being given any details about what the legislation includes), 49 percent opposed it and 40 percent were in favor. But after hearing key features of the legislation described, 48 percent supported the plan and 43 percent remained opposed.
Either way, it’s not a huge margin and no one should claim what the American people want based on it. If one were honest, they would say something like a “small plurality” of the American people prefer, but even that is really not honest since the margin of error for that particular poll is +/- 3.6 % which means it could be as much as a 7.2 % swing either way. Who knows what the American people want? Morning Joe Scarborough is the worst at using polls to try to beat up politicians and put pressure on them. Just this morning on “Press the Meat” with David Gregory, David had a run of questions that were all laced with “what the American people want” or “going against the will of the American people”…..which American people? All of them? Or just those 200 who answered the poll question you are using to make your gross generalization?
I also have a problem with populist governing, let’s take a poll and then decide how we want to proceed. Let’s take a complex, detailed problem with all sorts of minutia and ask the general public what they think about it. How fucking stupid is that? This phenomenon lays open the opportunity for misinformation campaigns, distortions, lobbyist money, all directed at swaying the public so when they take that slanted poll (see link in the next paragraph), they can get the results they want. It becomes a battle of propaganda, who can con the American people the best.
Polls are becoming weapons, just ask Vic Snyder who decided not to run after getting ambush polled by Janey Hamsher. The tactics used by the supposed progressive Jane Hamsher and her organization is just one example of how methodology by pollsters can have a huge influence on results. So once again, how useful is the information gleaned from polls considering all the ways the numbers can be influenced or interpreted? It’s crap.
Now when it comes to election polls, as you get closer to an election the results start to get more accurate when done by reputable organizations with sound methodology. You always have the partisan polling groups on either extreme, but these serve more to try to sway public opinion using the “bandwagon” effect. They try to swing momentum one way or another by upsetting the ongoing narrative. So I guess polls serve a purpose as we get closer to election day, but really to the extent that they do sway opinion, it isn’t a good thing. Shouldn’t people vote for their candidate based on issues and leadership, not because it’s all the rage.
Some conservative commentators are accusing the Obama administration of inviting “hate groups” into the White House by holding a meeting with a coalition of secularist and atheist groups.Officials from the Justice and Health and Human Services departments met Friday with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that includes American Atheists and the Council for Secular Humanism. The coalition called it “the first time in history a presidential administration has met for a policy briefing with the American nontheist community.”
Now that is some change for your ass. Finally a president who really does value all opinions and beliefs, who isn’t afraid to hear a contrary point of view and isn’t so arrogant in his own beliefs so as to foist them on others. Cheers to the Obama administration for this. The right wingnuts are freaking out, they would just as soon burn those atheists at the stake, ya know?
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said the meeting provided a “definitive answer” about the administration’s stance towards religion.
“People of faith, especially Christians, have good reason to wonder exactly where their interests lie with the Obama administration,” Donohue said in a statement. “Now we have the definitive answer. In an unprecedented move, leaders of a presidential administration are hosting some of the biggest anti-religious zealots in the nation.”
And your point is? You have to wonder what they are so afraid of, if they are so right in their beliefs, don’t they have God in their corner? What fascinates me about the religious right is how all the different branches of Christianity and Catholicism have joined forces, even though they differ so much on beliefs that are “fundamental” to them. But somehow they seem to vote as a block and have become susceptible to the brain washing of the right, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the whole gang. They often vote against their own self interest, swept up in the propoganda and mind numbing lies and twisted reality.
So for the first time ever, these groups who are interested in separation of church and state and the rights of “non-believers” are being listened to, it has to feel pretty good for them since I imagine their battle has been a tough one.
But Dr. Ed Buckner, head of American Atheists, praised the Obama administration for including non-believers in the political dialogue, something he said was missing from previous administrations.
“Over 13 percent of the population is considered ‘non-religious,’ and this includes millions of atheists, freethinkers, humanists, rationalists, and other citizens,” Buckner said. “We are committed to the separation of church and state and to equality for non-believers in the political arena. Religious speakers must not continue to be given special privileges.
In the previous administration, the military made several moves to try to institutionalize religion among the troops. People are being harassed and pressured to participate in christian services. A lot of work has to be done to repair our country and make it open to all religions and non-believers. That was the reason my ancestors came to America, to be able to practice their religion without interference, they understood the problem of governments getting mixed up in religion.
This is too funny. Remember back in the 2008 campaign when Rushie Limpbaugh was telling people in Ohio to jump parties and vote for Hillary and screw with the democratic primary. Well, it’s now come back to bite them in the ass. Apparently some of the local “GOP Central Committee” folks did just what their leader Rush told them to do, but now they are ineligible to be on the GOP Central Committee…..they checked Democratic on the form, oh shit. Crooks and Liars has the story here.
These aren’t just voters who screwed up, these people are the leaders of the local Republican party, they are the loyal ones, the die-hard ones and they are now being DENIED! I love it.
Shot by Extreme Liberal in Grand Haven, Michigan
It’s time for President Obama and the democrats in congress to just pass the bill. They need to do it quickly so there is time for it to start working before the November elections. The Republican plan all along was to stop the democrats from accomplishing anything and if they succeed in doing that, they can claim the Democrats can’t govern. Since the internal polls show that people like the reform when it’s explained to them, or the specifics are given to them, it isn’t exactly a risky vote. I think part of the disgust with the congress is not doing anything and part of it is the partisanship.
Pass the bill, there is no other option. The Republican talking point that we should start over is so disingenuous. It’s like Lucy pulling the football away when Charlie Brown goes to kick it. What a bunch of blatant liars, not one of them really wants to pass anything and by making it sound like they really want to be a part of the process, bullshit! Where were they for the last year, if they were so concerned they would have taken up one of the many opportunities that the President and Democrats gave them. Don’t believe them lying bastards, they have a history.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live for very long, I get to go sit in a dentist chair and then go to work. I hope it is as good as the last event where the president showed us why we elected him. All signs point to the Republicans acting like children and lying like crazy. You would think they learned their lesson the last time they were humiliated by the president. But that would mean they actually think, not much of that happening in the Republic Party these days. Let the fun begin. I’ll weigh in later during my dinner break at work.
I just have to weigh in on the great moment on the floor of the House of Representatives today. Anthony Weiner from New York, told the truth. Here is the clip.
Man I wish I had a representative like that, we have the one and only Peter Hoekstra here in west Michigan, cough. My friend Kay in Maine from White Noise Insanity turned me on to this clip that goes to the heart of the health care issue, watch it!!!!! I’m telling you!
Now that’s a good liberal.
This clip is from last week on Morning Joke. It’s amazing, Lawrence O’ Donnell goes off on Marc Thiessen who wrote a book called “Courting Disaster: How The CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting The Next Attack”. Lawrence kicked his ass and went right for the jugular, Joe Scarborough cut him off and went to commercial.
A couple of days ago, Joe Scarborough had Marc Thiessen back on to debate the issue with Daniel Freedman, who does an excellent job countering the many lies that Thiessen is pimping around. Here’s that exchange…
It just amazes me that some on the right, Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney and Marc Thiessen are so intent on torturing people. WTF is wrong with these people. This passage from Elizabeth Holtzman’s piece on MichaelMoore.com says it much better than I ever could. (emphasis mine)
Military interrogations in wartime are critically important. They might reveal, for example, where the enemy is going to strike next, and affect the lives of thousands of American troops. Yet until the Bush Administration took office, the US did not adopt torture as an official tool to extract such information. It’s good to recall why.
After horrific mistreatment of detainees during World War II, including the torture of American POW’s by the Japanese, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces, urged the US to ratify the Geneva Conventions. General Douglas McArthur voluntarily instituted the Conventions for American troops in the Korean War, even before they were ratified.
There are very good reasons why America as a country shouldn’t torture. They all seem obvious to me, but I guess the lessons of history don’t mean a whole lot to some. So many of the people who are the biggest supporters of torture also claim to be patriotic, how patriotic is it to dishonor those soldiers that fought in previous wars and who learned the lessons of war? More from Elizabeth Holtzman…
These commanders supported the Geneva Conventions, not because they thought it acceptable to “tie our hands” during combat and expose American troops to unnecessary risk, but because they realized the real danger to our country lay in using torture, not in abstaining from it. They saw professional interrogations produced important information without torture. They knew torture only weakens our reputation and our ability to project “soft power” — to command respect and persuade abroad. They perceived inhumane treatment of the enemy would only further endanger the lives of American troops.
David Patreus, the hero of the right until recently, was on Meet the Press this past weekend and reiterated his feelings about torture. Here’s part of what he said on that show.
I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we’ve perhaps taken expedient measures, they’ve turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on, in the 101st airborne division, we just said, we decided to obey the Geneva Conventions…
Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are non biodegradable. They don’t go away. The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick…. Beyond that, frankly, we have found that the use of interrogation methods in the army field manual that was given the force of law by Congress, that that works.”
Whenever I hear one of the neo-cons arguing for torture, I can’t help but think to myself that there is some other reason why the crave torture. Why could they be so adament about it in the face of so much evidence from psychologists, professional interrogators in the FBI and by people like John McCain who actually was tortured? Why do they ignore all that evidence and continue to pine for the days of torture under Bush/Cheney’s regime? In a post by Peter Levine called “What’s Wrong With Torture”, he helps to explain a possible reason.
While there are no major ancient or medieval critiques of cruelty, the classical liberals (who were the intellectual ancestors of today’s conservatives and progressives alike) focused on cruelty as a special evil because it represented what they feared most: state tyranny…
it tends to “normalize” torture. Normalization is a powerful and dangerous pyschological phenomenon. As Luban writes (pp. 1451-2):
“we judge right and wrong against the baseline of whatever we have come to consider “normal” behavior, and if the norm shifts in the direction of violence, we will come to tolerate and accept violence as a normal response. The psychological mechanisms for this re-normalization have been studied for more than half a century, and by now they are reasonably well understood.”
Dick and Liz Cheney along with Marc Thiessen seem almost desperate in their attempts to “normalize” torture and they like to use people’s fears and emotions to gain their support. I’m certainly thankful that President Obama has put a stop to it and we are returning to the morals and principles that our country was founded on.
Shot by Extreme Liberal in the side yard
The one and only Bob Cesca has a post up about some details emerging about the health care plan that is being released today. It’s here!
Kay in Maine at White Noise Insanity has a great post up about Glenny Beck and his CPAC speech, the Republicans are a parody of themselves. Funny stuff, it’s here!
We democrats need to listen to Nate Silver, the man knows of what he speaks. It’s here!
I just came across this story that says that the Senate democrats will pass health care reform within the next 60 days. They will do it by using budget reconciliation to pass a series of fixes to the bill they passed in November. I’m still skeptical whether it can really happen, given so many loopholes in the rules in congress, but it’s great to hear that they are at least considering doing it. I think the democrats are screwed in 2010 if they don’t pass something. From The Hill…
“We’ll do a relatively small bill to take care of what we’ve already done,” Reid said, affirming that Democrats would use the reconciliation process. “We’re going to have that done in the next 60 days.”
The move would allow Democrats to essentially go it alone on health reform, especially after losing their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate after Sen. Scott Brown’s (R) special election victory in Massachusetts.
Of course the Republicans are crying fool play, which just cracks me up. They think it is a “hyperpartisan” move to ram through the bill. Now I guess using a 41% “majority” to stop EVERYTHING including low level appointees….well, that wouldn’t be hyperpartisan, would it? This is the height of hypocrisy. They also are saying that this really makes the bipartisan health care summit moot, and of course what have they been saying since the summit was planned? More hypocrisy for you from the party of No!
Speaking of hypocrisy, Jane Hamsher and her Firedoglake brigade are showing us once again, that hypocrisy isn’t just a conservative thing. These so-called progressives are fighting the president not just on healthcare, but many other things. I read a post from Jane herself where she scoffs at the public option coming back, makes several snarky comments, the usual crap she and her gang trot out. Here is a particularly snarky comment from Janey…
The last of the rationalizations for ditching the public option have been peeled off the pundit apologists, who now stand naked and exposed atop their piles of selectively chosen factoids and statistics. (And therein lies the danger of laundering “tips” fed to you by “anonymous sources” who keep their hands clean while you affix your name — you ultimately have to own it.)
Her posts are always stream of consciousness rants, that often make no sense not just because of the lack of support, but for the confusing wording. But she does throw in her buzzwords periodically as red meat to the brainwashed supporters she has tapped into. I wonder what exactly she means by “selectively chosen factoids and statistics”? Would that be oh, pre-existing conditions, not being able to drop peoples coverage, expansion of child health care, community clinics, children being able to stay on their parents insurance till age 26, subsidies for poor people? Are these the “factoids” she is demeaning? What a complete absence of compassion for those who would benefit from any versions of the bill.
In another segment of her rant, she says this…
But the bottom line is that the health care bill that the White House drafted, the one they pushed through the Senate, the only one they ever wanted, is dead. There is not enough graft and payola in the world to get the Blue Dogs to line up for Martha Coakley duty.
Now, I could go and weed through all her previous bullshit posts and find where she criticized the president for letting the congress write the bill. They railed against Obama for not writing the bill, but now that the congress has made the sausage, she wants to put it all in Obama’s lap. It’s only recently that the White House has tried to pull together all sides in the debate and this is because they didn’t want the repeat of Hillarycare, which was criticized for not including the congress in the process. Remember? So her above statement is pure propoganda, she’s trying to appeal to those teabaggers she has been reaching out to and apparently lying is her best tactic. It’s pretty sad, really. The Martha Coakley comment to me reads like she is dancing on her grave, a democrat. Her gang was part of the chorus trying to spin the loss in Massachusetts as a referendum on Obama, another democrat. Hmmmm, what’s wrong with this picture.
This one is subtle, because it doesn’t necessarily equate it with the president, but of course we all know that he is taking the blame for everything these days and has the responsibility to try to fix things. Here is the headline.
Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but the article it links to is a New York Times piece that says this…..(emphasis is mine)
Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.
Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.
Ok, so the passage they get their headline from says “Economists fear…”, well economists might fear a lot of things but it doesn’t make it come true. And then the last sentence “potentially for years to come”. So that is the basis for this headline that is ominous, fear based (Bushlike), and has no qualifiers….it’s a bold statement “Millions Of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs”. Now the reason why this is so bad in my opinion is that it is playing on people’s fears, making a definitive statement that isn’t even backed up in the actual article that it links to. The New York Times is guilty of this too. The editors at the Huffington Post just love doing that shit. I don’t know how many times I clicked on one of their slanted headlines only to find out that the article inside often doesn’t have anything to do with the headline. They seem to use their screaming headlines to further their anti-Obama agenda. I think they also count on people not really reading what’s inside, because they probably skip over these economic type stories and go to the latest “nipple slip” of some celebrity.
It all adds up over time and has the impact of lessening support for this president who is trying to bring American back from the brink of the Bush/Cheney years. How does misleading people help to accomplish that? It’s obvious that Arianna and the gang in her syndicate (Hamsher and all her minions, Uygur) really don’t care about progressive progress, they want to take down this president. Why, I really don’t understand except to say that Arianna used to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich and his “Contract on America” and the rumors have it that Newt is prepping to run for President. Hmmmm, is Arianna setting the stage to support her buddy Newt again?
Here are a few videos via Sikkdays, he has lots of good stuff, go there and take a break from the politics. The first is an incredible note for note rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, if you like the song you have to see this.
This is a nice little tune that I’ve never heard before. I likey!
Here is another nice little tune and a well done video too, it’s from a music video contest. It’s friday night, have some fun.
Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person left on the planet who is patient. I certainly have moments when I am not, but I’ve had a lot of opportunity to practice it over the years. Ugh! As the health care debate has gone on over the last year, I’ve been holding my fire, watching to see what would come to be.
When the Obama Administration signaled, a while ago, that it might be flexible on the public option – oh my god, the outcry was deafening, the freakin sky was falling in on some of these folks. I always like to name them….the Arianna Huffington-Jane Hamsher syndicate, Cenk Uygur, who is also aligned with the syndicate…Howard Dean (who I still love though), he’s the most reasonable one in the “sky is falling crowd.” , I’m not sure about Aravosis because he is dead to me. :) I won’t grace his piece of shit blog ever again, unless it is to attack his traitorous, bitchy ass. Oh, sorry….I lost it for a second, I was treated by him and a few of his whiners like scum. Onward!
So I saw a few stories about an effort by a group of Senators to bring back the public option through reconciliation and the number was growing throughout the day. It looks like they all want us to shut up about it….shhhhh, don’t tell the Republicans and Joe Lieberman. The White House isn’t commenting. So maybe I’ve jumped the gun and I should be more patient. Shit. Too late.
My previous post about LGBT getting some change and now a possibility of the return of the public option, I think some folks need to apologize and get back on-board this movement to repair the damages of the “Idiot Years” as I hope the history books will call them, you know from the day George W. Bush was inaugurated to the time we all waived goodbye to them.