Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Today’s good news

One more time for those who continue to believe all these Tea Party demonstrations are founded on the right and favor the Republicans:

A majority disapprove of both political parties, their leaders and most members of Congress, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

Attitudes are reminiscent of those in 1994 and 2006, when control of Congress switched from one party to the other.

The favorable rating for the Democratic Party has fallen to its lowest level since Gallup began asking the question in 1992 —its standing has dropped 14 percentage points since President Obama’s election — but the Republican Party fares no better. Three of four Americans say they are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

It isn’t just anti-incumbent fever, it is anti-party fever.  How many times do I have to say that these Tea Parties are the tip of a very big iceberg and it doesn’t necessarily represent just the right-wing?  I’d certainly say that for the most part you’ll find very few from the left in there because their nominal party of choice is in power.  But these protests probably represent the big middle more than any I’ve seen in my life time.

I know I sound like a broken record when I continue to say that what happened late in ’08 and early ’09 with the financial crisis, TARP, the bailouts and the takeovers slapped a whole bunch of people awake.  I travel – a lot.  And I’m around everyday Americans constantly.  And I hear them talk among themselves.  Normally it’s about the vacation they’re on,  something personal in their lives, sports – whatever.  But rarely if ever is it about politics, government or the like.

Until now.  Now I hear it constantly.  I hear older couples traveling together, for instance, in a small town diner in Tennessee talking about how big government is going to ruin us.  I hear people in a BBQ joint in Alabama concerned about their financial future and saying government needs to get out of the way.  I hear a hotel worker in the lobby of a Hampton Inn – a hotel worker – complain that this country is going to the dogs. I don’t know their party affiliation, if any, but I do know they’re pissed.  I never hear that stuff usually, and trust me, I’m attuned to hearing it if it is being said.  Politics is the last thing most people talk about in public.  But there is a growing grassroots dislike for all that is the federal government and those that represent it.  I’m not talking about violence, certainly not at this stage, but definitely a desire to do something about it.  While the elite like to wave off the “I want my country back” crowd as ignorant rubes (or thugs, or angry white men, or nazis, or brownshirts or terrorists) who just don’t know what what’s good for them or what they’re talking about, that sentiment simmers not that far below the surface.   People are concerned and people are getting angrier.  I use the word “angrier” because they’ve been somewhat angry about this for some time.   They’re getting angrier because they no longer just perceive their being ignored, they flat know they’re being ignored.  And that really pisses them off.

Look at the cite above – 75% of the nation thinks we’re on the wrong track.  That accounts for most Democrats (the 25% not mentioned) and Republicans probably make up another 25 to 30%).  So that leaves 45 to 50% of the country unaffiliated and not at all happy with either party. And of course, remember, Democrats assumed that the election and ascension of Obama and their assumption of power was all that was necessary reverse that (because, you know, it was all about Bush). Well it didn’t, and in fact, it has gotten worse.  That says something about the “wrong direction” with which the people are dissatisfied.  The last administration and especially this administration have vastly expanded the size, scope and cost of government and racked up record deficits and debt.  As that has happened this number has gotten worse.  It’s not hard to figure out what they’re dissatisfied with, is it?

I think it could be safely assumed that at the moment their dissatisfaction is more likely to fall most heavily on the party in power, but if Republicans assume that means they’re in the driver’s seat, they’re simply wrong.  Right now, if you look at the “my Representative deserves to be reelected” those numbers are below 50% and over 10 points lower than in ’94 when the GOP rode to victory in midterms because of dissatisfaction with Democrats. No matter how many times the GOP tries to sell it, this isn’t “just like” ’94 and they better figure that out quickly.

The rubes aren’t as dumb and certainly not as uninvolved as the political elite would like to assume they are.   How the anger they now are feeling will work itself out remains to be seen.  But, despite the assurances of the ruling class that by November this anger will all go away, especially if the economy turns around, this anger is not likely to dissipate.  So we’ll see how it goes – whether it is an anti-incumbency midterm or a dump the Democrats midterm.  While I’m sure a bunch of Democrats are going to be dumped, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a good number of Republicans lose their job – especially if they start waffling on the repeal promise and their principles.  Their losses may put a Democrat in office, but it will be because another candidate took the Republican on and split the vote.  And, if it is because they again abandoned their principles, deservedly so.

The politicians like to talk about how corporate America needs to change its culture.  Well there is no establishment in this country more ripe for major cultural change than that in DC.  And what I hope to see in November is an aroused electorate slap the crap out of those complacent scalawags and start that cultural change rolling. A pipe dream – maybe. But it may actually be one of the last chances the people have of “taking their country back”.

~McQ

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Let’s pretend “mandate” doesn’t really mean “mandate”

That seems to be the solution Andrew Sabl has concocted to temper the outrage directed at Democrats for mandating everyone must buy health insurance.  If you’re a fan of word salad, this will please you:

The phrase “individual mandate,” though it explained to wonks how we were going to achieve near-universal coverage, was always bound to make for atrocious framing.  Pairing it with a subsidy is great policy but possibly even worse framing.  Now one thing people don’t like—being told by the government what to do—is supposed to be made better by another thing they don’t like—admitting they need government help.

Here is another way of describing ACA that’s completely accurate but explains the point much better:

“If you or your family aren’t getting health insurance through your job, the government will pay to get you private insurance coverage, just as an employer would.  You’ll have to contribute something—but the law guarantees, with specific numbers, that it will be no more than you can afford. It’ll be less than three percent of your paycheck if your family makes $33,000 a year, less than ten percent if you make as much as $88,000.  Pre-existing conditions won’t matter.  The government will still pay for your insurance, with the same affordable contribution from you.”

The bill has lots more—things that make it even better.  But that, it seems to me, is the basic idea.  And if we drill it in, people (Fox News junkies aside) will stop imagining that the bill is somehow about government telling people without insurance that they have to get it because the government won’t help them.  It’s the opposite.  Under ACA, it’s the government’s job to get you insurance, and to pay for almost all of it if you can’t afford it.  Before, you were on your own.

Objections?

Well I can think of many, but first let’s start with the good Stephen Bainbridge’s characterization of this attempt at giving a word a new meaning:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Bainbridge goes onto point out that “mandate” comes from the word “mandatory” as in you must do, obtain, be, spend, whatever is demanded. It’s not a suggestion. There’s no option.  It’s not something you can decide to ignore. In this case there’s the force of law behind it and 16,000 new IRS agents to insure you fulfill it – something Sabl seems to have somehow missed. Also apparently forgotten by Sabl is the fact that fines for not buying your mandated coverage are one of the major revenue streams with which this monstrosity is fed.

But the best irony is saved for last: Sabl entitles his blog “The Reality Based Community” with the sub “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Indeed.

~McQ

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GOP beginning to reject spine implant

Principles begin to yield to politics and Republicans begin to waffle and second guess themselves:

Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that’s roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s new health care law.

It’s fine to criticize the health law and the way Democrats pushed it through Congress without a single GOP vote, these party leaders say. But focusing on its outright repeal carries two big risks.

Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade. More important, say strategists from both parties, a fiercely repeal-the-bill stance might prove far less popular in a general election than in a conservative-dominated GOP primary, especially in states such as Illinois and California.

So the party that has unceasingly told us how bad this bill is (and rightfully so), cast no votes in its favor (rightfully so), make the case that it will add trillions to our deficit and our debt (rightfully so) and therefore should be repealed (rightfully so) are now getting cold feet.

Wow. What a freakin’ surprise. And they wonder why they can’t generate any sustainable grassroots excitement about their party. Politics ain’t bean bag, Republicans and it rewards those who take risks.  You either stand for something or you don’t.  7 months, the winning issue handed to them on a silver platter (it’s about the size, scope and cost of government you idiots) and these dopes begin to waffle. Amazing. Not surprising given their record and their seeming desire to be the permanent minority, but amazing that they can’t seem to figure it out none-the-less.

~McQ

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“Everyone deserves health care”

That’s been the starting position for everyone who supported the health care reform monstrosity that just came out of Washington DC.  It’s stated in various ways, such as health care being a “right”, but the axiom is always that in our society everyone should have health care, or as a practical matter, health insurance.

It sounds so compassionate and decent doesn’t it? But that little phrase packs in some nasty principles.

It’s one thing to say that you deserve to control your own life, or property or income.    That’s pretty uncontroversial.  But when you say, “I have a right to have health care–or a pension, or a home–provided for me even if I can’t afford it”, then what you’re really saying is that I have an obligation to provide you with those things.  Whether I wish to provide them to you, or whether it causes me some degree of privation, is irrelevant.  To say that you–or anyone else–has a right to something I must provide is to say that you have an irrevocable claim on my life, labor or property.  I owe you.

No matter how you try to gussy it up, or dress it in compassion, the fact is that by claiming that such an obligation, you place me in indentured servitude.  My wishes are irrelevant.

Indeed, it’s not even indentured servitude.  At least in an indenture, I have to agree to provide you with my labor for some period, after which I am manumitted.  In actuality, by claiming such an obligation on me that I cannot evade, you make me, to some degree, your serf.  You are the laird of the manor, and I have my obligation of labor days to provide you.

Now, perhaps I should be willing to provide you with health insurance.  Perhaps that is the moral and/or ethical course of action I should undertake.  But that, too, is irrelevant.  By demanding it, and by forcing me to provide you with a good or service by law, you not only ignore my conception of morality, you impose your morality on me.  Whether I agree with your morality is not even a consideration for you.  You have a claim,you say, so your morality trumps mine.

Moreover, once you’ve accepted that it’s perfectly all right to impose a form of servitude on me, in order that I might provide you with a good, what’s your limiting principle?  If you may impose an obligation on me to provide a part of my income or property in order to procure a good for yourself, why can’t you simply take all of it?  After all, you’ve already signed on to imposing slavery in principle, because you’ve decided that you can impose an obligation on me against my will.  Why stop  at serfdom?

Slavery, to one degree or another, is, of course, the inevitable outcome of any attempt to enforce some sense of cosmic justice on life, and the lives of your fellow men.  Because there is no such thing as cosmic justice.  Nor is there any general agreement on what cosmic justice should be.  So, your attempt to impose it on others invariably must be done by force, either through the majesty of the law, or with a knife to the throat.

Which is often the same thing.

So, what you are really saying when you claim that “Everyone deserves health care,” is, “I have the right to enslave you, in whole or in part, in order to require you provide health care to me.”  When you strip the high-sounding phrases to the principles, it doesn’t sound nearly so moral and compassionate, does it?

Oh, and by the way, it does no good to tell me that I also have the same claim on others, and can force someone else to provide me with health care, too.  Because all you’re really telling me is that I can become a slavemaster, too.  The fact that I don’t care to be a slavemaster, or that I find it morally abhorrent, is utterly irrelevant to you.  Again, your morality trumps mine.

Because, after all, if you can get everyone else to join you in your crime–indeed, to glory in it–who will condemn you?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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Precarious Guam

This is a congressman grilling the CNO about future plans for stationing military personnel on the Island of Guam.  The Congressman is deeply concerned with consequences of putting too many people on the island, because…well…you have to see for yourself.  The money quote starts at 1:16 into the clip.

And there you go.  These are our “leaders”.  No doubt this is the same intellectual heft and clarity of thought they brought to health care reform.  And will bring to Cap & Trade, Immigration Reform, etc.

Think about that for a while.

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NASA concludes its temperature data worse than CRU’s

Another brick falls from the crumbling facade of “climate science” in support of AGW:

E-mail messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails — and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.

The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.

“My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC’s data for the U.S. means and [East Anglia] data for the global means,” Ruedy told the reporter.

And we all know the story about East Anglia’s CRU data. That’s a pretty damning admission by NASA. I think it should be fairly clear to anyone who isn’t a warmist zealot that there are multiple documented reasons to now doubt the “science” that supports the claim – and that’s all it is at this point, having never really been peer reviewed – that the globe is warming and man is the reason. The usual disclaimer is in order – the globe may very well be warming but it may just as easily be the result of natural cycles than man. And NASA and CRU do the AGW side no favors with their admittedly inaccurate and fudged data sets. NASA, at least, seems to understand the problem:

In an updated analysis of the surface temperature data released on March 19, NASA adjusted the raw temperature station data to account for inaccurate readings caused by heat-absorbing paved surfaces and buildings in a slightly different way. NASA determines which stations are urban with nighttime satellite photos, looking for stations near light sources as seen from space.

Of course, this doesn’t solve problems with NASA’s data, as the newest paper admits: “Much higher resolution would be needed to check for local problems with the placement of thermometers relative to possible building obstructions,” a problem repeatedly underscored by meteorologist Anthony Watts on his SurfaceStations.org Web site. Last month, Watts told FoxNews.com that “90 percent of them don’t meet [the government's] old, simple rule called the ’100-foot rule’ for keeping thermometers 100 feet or more from biasing influence. Ninety percent of them failed that, and we’ve got documentation.”

In other related news, IPCC chief and railroad engineer Rajendra Pachauri has refused to resign, but is saying he plans to change his behavior:

He admitted it had been a mistake to give the impression, in many interviews, that he was advocating specific actions to cut emissions. Last year, he called for higher taxes on aviation and motoring, said people should eat less meat, and proposed that hotel rooms should have electricity meters to charge people extra for using air conditioning.

Speaking in London yesterday, he said he would focus in future on presenting the science on climate change rather than advocating policies.

“I will try to clarify that I’m not prescribing anything as a solution. Maybe I should be more careful [in media interviews] in laying down certain riders. One learns from that and I’m learning.”

Of course it is the “science” that is under fire and the IPCC report has been found to contain claims from non-scientific articles which were presented as science. Glacier melting and rainforest destruction claims both were found to be unsubstantiated scientifically. As noted above Pachauri has claimed people should eat less meat to lessen man’s effect on the climate. That too has been called into question:

In a presentation before the 239th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Frank Mitloehner of the University of California said the misleading claims emanate from a 2006 U.N. report, which said that livestock was “responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions,” describing the figure as “a larger share than transportation.”

According to Mitloehner, the claim is inaccurate because the numbers for livestock were calculated differently from the transport figures.

In the report, the livestock emissions included gases produced by growing animal feed; animals’ digestive emissions; and processing meat and milk into foods. But the transportation analysis factored in only emissions from fossil fuels burned while driving, and not all other transport-lifecycle related factors.

“This lopsided analysis is a classical apples-and-oranges analogy that truly confused the issue,” he said.

[...]

“We certainly can reduce our greenhouse gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk,’ he told the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco yesterday, reported The Daily Mail.

All of this has certainly had an effect. For instance, look at Germany:

Germans citizens are rapidly losing faith in global warming following the Climate-gate scandals, according to a new report in Der Spiegel.

The report indicates that just 42 percent of Germans are worried about global warming, down substantially from the 62 percent that expressed concern with the state of the environment in 2006.

German news site The Local analyzed the results from the poll, conducted by polling company Infratest for the German newsmagazine. Many people have little faith in the information and prognosis of climate researchers, The Local explained, with a third questioned in the survey not giving them much credence.

This is thought to be largely due to mistakes and exaggerations recently discovered in a report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the site.

Of course the last to understand how shoddy the science is seems to be our politicians.

Today, the President gives a speech on energy issues, focusing on expanded offshore oil and gas drilling, which has broad backing as one way to boost domestic energy production.

This is all part of an effort by the White House to stir more support for the work of three Senators, John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who have been trying to put together what might best be described as a “grand compromise” on energy issues.

The reason that a different legislative plan of action was needed on energy was because the original drive for a Cap and Trade bill simply isn’t going anywhere in the Senate.

If President Obama is going to get an energy bill through the Congress, then it will have to be something that allows for more offshore energy exploration, more nuclear energy initiatives, and also some efforts to clamp down on carbon emissions that produce greenhouse gases.

You could call it Cap and Trade Lite, framed as an energy bill.

Of course, the off-shore drilling expansion is an attempt to draw that 60th vote from among Republicans (not that this administration wouldn’t slow walk any execution of that expansion as they’re doing now in the interior of the US). And, of course, there’s Lindsey Graham to oblige. The good news is a few Democrats are adamantly against such an expansion. So, for the wrong reason, they might end up blocking it.  But here’s the point – if the bill passes, cap-and-trade, even just applicable to utilities, is in place. It’s expansion, then, is much easier.

And based on what? The garbage science produced by those above – “science” that is constantly being questioned and disproved. Do you suppose if the Democrats ram this bill through (as they did health care) in the face of this growing proof of the questionable science (and it becomes clear that utilities will raise their prices to offset the tax) even while more and more of the public becomes aware of that questionable science (see Germany), that it will be any more popular a bill than HCR?

~McQ

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Once upon a time when dissent was the highest form of patriotism

A trip down memory lane for those who seem to forget when what is being condemned today as the actions of thugs and terrorists – in a different time and with a different cast – was once hailed as the highest form of patriotism. What it really points to is the fact that both sides have their share of whack jobs and their existence doesn’t mean the majority of those unhappy with a situation share their beliefs or politics:

~McQ

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Party, president and politics will cost Democrats in November

Howard Fineman opens his latest Newsweek article with this:

A Democratic senator I can’t name, who reluctantly voted for the health-care bill out of loyalty to his party and his admiration for Barack Obama, privately complained to me that the measure was political folly, in part because of the way it goes into effect: some taxes first, most benefits later, and rate hikes by insurance companies in between.

So, there it is – America, screwed by slavish loyalty to party and president.  And the people?  Well this was about politics, pure and simple, as this unnamed Senator admits.  And only now he realizes the political folly – he and the party are screwed.

Pardon me if I don’t shed a tear.

The bill remains hugely unpopular, the people remain very uneasy and they are very aware of the fact that they were totally and unequivocally ignored while being fed absolute BS to justify this power grab:

Brown won in Massachusetts for a reason. The Democrats had failed to make their case for this reform to the American public. They pressed the case for some sort of reform, but that was easy: the country was already there. What the country dislikes is this particular bill, and the Democrats, intent on arguing among themselves, barely even tried to change its mind.

People struggle to understand how extending health insurance to 32 million Americans, at a cost of a trillion dollars over ten years, can be a deficit-reducing measure. If cuts in Medicare will pay for half of that outlay, as the plan intends, they struggle to see how the quality of Medicare’s services can be maintained–let alone improved, as Pelosi said again in her speech on Sunday. The CBO notwithstanding, the public is right not to believe these claims.

And that’s from a guy who was pleased the legislation passed.  He thought it about time that the US joined the rest of the world in their rationed medical misery.

It’s a turkey and even Fineman knows it. 2/3rds in a USA Today poll say the bill goes too far.  Tell me again there’s no market for repeal or, if not total repeal, drastic changes in the bill.

Party, president and politics were the three priorities that were put in front of the people.  In November the people have their say about those priorities.  And I think it should be clear to those who voted for it, despite all their happy talk about how wonderful this is, that they’re going to pay.

And that brings me to the latest nonsense passing as punditry – that by passing this Obama has increased his prestige and power.  Maybe among Democrats – but among the rest of us, as poll after poll indicate, not so much.  Obama’s made it abundantly clear through out this process that he’s not a man to be trusted, that he’s a pure partisan party hack who purposely alienated the opposing party and that he talks out of both sides of his mouth. He used every bit of his political capital to pass a health care monstrosity.  Like the country he’s broke and he still hasn’t made the sale where it matters most.  It is clear that during all of this, he and the Democrats have lost the independent voters who were so critical to their rise to power and they’re most likely not coming back. And he’s somehow “increased” his power and prestige?

With a result like that, I’d hate to see him “decrease” it.

~McQ

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Using the race card to drive off independents

As the health care debate has raged over the last year, one of the side benefits has been to watch the left make absolute fools of themselves trying to make it all about race.  I mean to any impartial observer it is clear which side is obsessed with the issue – to the point of making statements like this:

“The conjunction of a black President and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”

That, of course, is Frank Rich.  And Mr. Rich has never met anyone who opposes what he supports that isn’t a racist, homophobe or, well, whatever it takes to dismiss them and ignore their arguments.

The proof of this, at least to Rich, is the fact that the majority of those who’ve turned out for Tea Party events are white. Therefore, it must be about race. Not about opposing ideas. Not about freedom. Not about liberty. Race obsessed leftists simply can’t see beyond the predominant color of the crowd. And Rich isn’t the only one, of course. Joan Walsh, infamous for her pronouncement that all who oppose Obama are traitors, has crawled out from under her rock again to add racist to her condemnation.  She sort of tiptoes around it, but her intent is more than clear:

The “I want my country back!” rhetoric does reflect a mind-set in which one’s country has been taken away by … others. But in thinking about race this weekend, I got more out of a column by Ron Brownstein, which examined poll data showing that white voters — wrongly — tend to believe healthcare reform helped “other people,” not themselves.

Note the premise – the “I want my country back” isn’t driven by the obvious power grab made by government this year in a myriad of areas.  Oh, no – it’s about race.  And it’s about whites not being happy with becoming a minority and with seeing “other people helped”.  Walsh is pretty sure “other people” is code for, well, you know. Their dissatisfaction couldn’t possibly be government, or politicians, or God forbid – Democrats – could it?  And they certainly couldn’t possibly conclude that any help their family might get would be vastly overshadowed by what it will eventually cost them to obtain it where that might not be the case for “others” (regardless of race)?

Oh, no.  It has to be about race.

By playing the race card, Walsh, Rich and Brownstein miss the point completely.  Health care is only the current reason for the demonstrated dissatisfaction.  Government expansion, cost and intrusion are the real issues driving these protests.  Protesters are mad at those who are doing the expansion, intruding and the spending.  And protesters really don’t care what their race might be.   It isn’t about race – its about redistribution, intrusion, more government and more regulation.  It’s about the increasingly bigger and more costly federal government and it’s attempt to build a dependent class while billing the rest of us.

One of the reasons the Democrats are losing independents in droves can be seen in statement’s like Rich’s and implications like Wash’s.  When independents see a policy they don’t like and they dissent, the first thing they’re accused of is being a racist.  It has to be true – the crowd is mostly white and the president is black.   The independent knows perfectly well, of course, that race has nothing to do with the reason they’re protesting, yet the Richs, Walshs and Sharptons of the world (and yes, Rich and Walsh belong in the same class as Sharpton – race hustlers) insist that’s their primary motivation.  It couldn’t possibly be anything any more noble.

Walsh notes:

Even though the Obama administration tried to stress the bill’s benefits to all families — insurance for folks with preexisting conditions, restrictions on companies dropping you when you get sick, letting kids stay on parents’ policies until they’re 26, as well as subsidies that will mainly go to middle- and working-class families (the poor are already covered by Medicaid) — a Gallup survey found that 57 percent of white respondents said that the bill would help the uninsured, and 52 percent said that it would improve conditions for low-income families. Only a third of whites thought it would benefit the country, and shockingly, only 20 percent thought it would benefit their family. (Nonwhites polled were more likely to say the bill would help their families.)

I hate to get into word parsing, but read that through carefully.  In fact, click on the Brownstein link and read it as well.  Note the final sentence above.  Nonwhites polled were “more likely” to say the bill would help their families.  That means a significant portion of nonwhites apparently said the opposite.  So what does that make them?

These are the sorts of convoluted arguments one is forced to make when they’re a professional race-baiter.  Well, if a majority of whites are racists if they oppose health care because  (pick your reason from those listed in Walsh’s quote), then what are the minority of nonwhites who feel the same way?  Or are they instead just ignorant?  Misinformed?  Stupid?  Or could they too be worried about the eventual cost to them of the monstrosity the Congress passed and called “health care reform?”

Anyone who didn’t fall off the turnip truck last night knows the purpose of playing the race card as Walsh and Rich are doing is to stifle debate and discredit dissent (when you can’t fight their ideas, call ‘em racists).  It doesn’t take long for such attempts to backfire on those making the groundless accusation.  That’s because the people they continue to accuse of racism know quite well they’re not racists and that race doesn’t factor into their dissatisfaction at all.  That allows them to reject the argument and those making it. And one by one, independents, many of whom were Obama voters, finally tire of the continued accusations thrown and the dismissal of their dissent and they desert the Democrats.

The funny thing?  I expect the Walshs, Richs and Sharptons of the world to characterize their defection as being racist as well.  I’ll be interested to see their explanation of how the racists managed, at one time, to overcome their inherent racism long enough to vote Obama into office. That should be quite a treat.

~McQ

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New poll – leave GITMO open

In another poll that Democrats will do their best to ignore, the majority in favor of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for terrorist detainees has melted away.

The significance of the poll isn’t that the majority now favors leaving the facility open – although that certainly has some significance.   Instead, it is found in who has changed their mind about GITMO.  Hint: It isn’t Republicans or Democrats:

Attitudes about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have changed dramatically since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new national poll.

Support for closing the facility has dropped 12 points over the past 14 months, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates.

Shortly before Obama’s inauguration, 51 percent of Americans said they thought the facility in Cuba should be closed. Now that number is down to 39 percent, and six in ten believe the United States should continue to operate Guantanamo.

The poll, released Sunday, suggests independent voters are contributing to the 12 point overall drop.

The big change?  Among independents.  75% of independents now want the facility kept open.  Previously it was about a 50-50 split.  That’s a dramatic shift.

CNN, who commissioned the poll, doesn’t advance a reason for the change, but I’d venture to say that many independents have reconsidered their stance when they realized that the claim that GITMO was a recruiting tool for al Qaeda was so much over-blown campaign rhetoric.  That regardless of where the prison is, the fact that we were detaining terrorists is the recruiting tool, not the prison facility itself.  And, with the talk of moving these dangerous inmates to facilities inside the US – bringing a possible threat of terrorism to US communities – they realized the security benefit of keeping the facility off shore.

Not that any of those excellent reasons for leaving Guantanamo open will penetrate the close-minded thinking of those in the administration or anything.  But it is another example of an issue in which independents are deserting the Democrats.

~McQ

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