Archive for March 12th, 2011

12
Mar
11

yahooooooooooo!

You know, when the media tries to set a narrative it’s comically stubborn in trying to back it up with evidence, even when the ‘evidence’ is a little shaky.

Take this report I saw today on Yahoo News.

The headline? “Obama Shows Alarming Loss of Ground with Independents, Poll Indicates.”

Okay, that didn’t sound good.

“A new Reuters/Ipsos Poll shows President Barack Obama’s job approval rating among independents (37%) dropped sharply when compared to last month’s rating. According to the poll, the president’s approval rating fell a precipitous 10 percent. Could it spell trouble for his re-election?”

Uh oh.

But wait. Buried right at the bottom of the article were the findings of two other polls, by Gallup and Rasmussen, which put the President’s approval rating among independents at, respectively, 43% and 47%. Yes, 47% – a whole 10% higher than the Reuters/Ipsos poll. That’s just 4% lower than he got in the 2008 election.

“The numbers might be more worrisome for the president … if other polls corroborated the fall in approval ratings … Gallup, which daily tracks the president’s approval rating, showed Obama at 43 percent approval among independents during the same time frame, down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January).”

But it was the Reuters/Ipsos Poll that Yahoo chose to highlight, and feature in their headline.

I dunno, if you had three polls showing wildly different findings, wouldn’t you focus on the middle one?

Or mention that two of the three polls were rather positive for the President?

Then again, “Independent support for Obama down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January)” doesn’t quite fit that narrative, eh?

12
Mar
11

you reap what you sow…. (videos added)

Union supporters drive their tractors near the Capitol as part of the farmers’ tractor parade, Madison, Wisconsin, March 12

Thousands of demonstrators protest outside the Wisconsin State Capitol March 12

Buttons showing the face of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker are displayed during a demonstration outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol

Democratic Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller greets supporters while marching around the Capitol with protestors March 12

12
Mar
11

ooooooops

Sorry for bringing a Politico story here, but this one made me smile…..

Politico: Michele Bachmann’s suggestion Saturday that the Revolutionary War began in Concord, N.H., rather than Lexington and Concord, Mass., marks the third time in recent months that the potential GOP presidential hopeful has committed a puzzling gaffe about history and current affairs.

Making her first trek to New Hampshire as a 2012 prospect, Bachmann told a GOP crowd in Concord: “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.”

The Revolutionary War began, not in New Hampshire’s capital, but in the famous two towns more than 50 miles away in Massachusetts.

For Bachmann, who leads the House Tea Party caucus and champions a return to the Constitution, to get such basic facts wrong about the country’s birth is revealing.

Her comment wasn’t just an off-hand reference that she inserted in her remarks. At a fundraiser Friday night on the New Hampshire Seacoast, Bachmann said almost the exact same thing, according to the Minnesota Post: “It’s your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world, you are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard.”

Bachmann’s geographic mix-up prompted derision among some New Hampshire Republicans. “Is she on her way to Lexington, N.H. now?” cracked Matt Suermann in response to somebody who posted on Twitter that Bachmann had left the building.

…“She makes Sarah Palin look like Count Metternich,” groaned longtime GOP consultant Mike Murphy….

…By late Saturday, Bachmann had taken to Facebook in an attempt to swiftly address her Concord mix-up. “So I misplaced the battles Concord and Lexington by saying they were in New Hampshire,” she wrote. “It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!”

More here

12
Mar
11

you mightn’t have heard….

Remember when the Gallup poll for March 6-8 showed the President’s approval rating had dropped to 45% and his disapproval rating had risen to 48%? Jeez, it got nearly as much media coverage as Charlie Sheen. The latest Gallup poll? Not so much:

March 9-11 – Approve: 49 Disapprove: 43

Yep, in the space of a few days the President’s approval has risen by four points and his disapproval has dropped five – despite growing concerns about rising gas prices due to unrest in the Middle East. Jeez, it’d be nice if the media told us.

Wonder if Wisconsin is a factor in the latest poll? If it is, thanks Gov Walker 😉

Latest Gallup poll here

12
Mar
11

fighting back

The marquee at the Orpheum Theatre (Madison, Wisconsin) mocks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker showing him starring in the Arnold Schwarzengger film Total Recall

The Nation: The blowback from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s union-busting crusade has only just begun — and it may soon hit the governor where it really hurts: in the deep pockets of his biggest donors. Workers have begun organizing a “Move Your Money Campaign” against M&I Bank, whose employees are among his chief financial backers.

M&I Bank is the largest bank in Wisconsin, and was the recipient of $1.7 billion in TARP bailout money from the federal government. The bundled contributions from M&I executives were Walker’s second-largest source of campaign funds … executives at M&I Bank gave $46,308 to Walker’s campaign. And now, a group of local unions in Wisconsin have threatened to pull their money from M&I Bank unless it denounces Scott Walker’s attack on workers’ rights.

…On Thursday morning, several hundred protesters surrounded an M&I Bank across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol shouting “You Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out.”  International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311 President Joe Conway Jr. told me two union members marched in and pulled a combined $192,000 dollars out of the bank. “Hopefully this sends a message to the bank,” says Conway. “We wanted to illustrate how serious our threat is by having just two of our members pull their money out. “ The union said it plans to escalate actions and will soon begin handing out flyers at protests asking people to move their money.

A senior union researcher estimates that unions have at least $1 billion invested in M&I Bank, mostly through pension funds. Discussions are going on at the highest levels of the labor movement about how exactly to leverage this financial clout in the political debate in Wisconsin. Since the Bank of Montreal is in process of purchasing M&I Bank, US unions have reached out to the Canadian Labour Congress to urge their involvement in a disinvestment campaign.

Full article here

Thank you Marlene 😉

12
Mar
11

tonight…

AP: President Barack Obama is slipping into tails and white tie for his first presidential appearance at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington.

The event brings journalists and public figures together for a night of skits that lampoon the capital’s personalities and issues of the day.

Obama skipped the gala during his first two years in office, though he did speak at the dinner in 2006 when he was an Illinois senator.

This is the 126th dinner for the Gridiron, Washington’s oldest and most exclusive organization for journalists. Its motto is “singe but never burn.”

The event is on the record, but the club does not permit television coverage.

12
Mar
11

wake-up call

Slate: President Obama was roused from bed at 4 a.m. by Chief of Staff Bill Daley after a massive earthquake struck Japan. What’s the procedure for waking up a president? In a 2005 Explainer, Daniel Engber found that only a few people have this privilege…

…When something happens in the middle of the night, who decides whether the president should get out of bed?

It varies from president to president, but the task usually falls to the national security adviser or the chief of staff. In the White House, a small team of “watch officers” – drawn from the CIA, the military, and the State Department – keeps an eye on incoming news and intelligence reports 24 hours a day. If something important comes up during the graveyard shift, the watch officer in charge gets in contact with the national security adviser or chief of staff … the watch officers typically have standing instructions on what sort of news merits a wake-up…

This procedure has been in place only since 1961, when John F. Kennedy ordered the construction of a permanent monitoring station on the site of what was once the West Wing bowling alley. The new facility became known as the “situation room”.

….history remembers a snoozing president more than an alert one. When Henry Kissinger learned of a menacing letter from the Soviet premier in 1973, the White House chief of staff advised him not to wake up the president. (Former aides have said that Nixon, who was distraught over his domestic scandals, had drunk himself into a stupor by 10 the night before.)

Ronald Reagan, who famously slept during Cabinet meetings, also snoozed through two overseas military encounters …. Reagan’s reputation for snoozing even invited a protest: In 1983, steel and auto workers marched on the White House at 4 a.m. to “wake up the president” to the effects of his economic policy. Reagan said he slept through that, too.

Full article here

12
Mar
11

curious

NYT: Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House, has been highly critical of President Obama’s handling of Libya, accusing Mr. Obama of coddling a man who has been an enemy of the United States for decades.

“The idea that we’re confused about a man who has been an anti-American dictator since 1969 just tells you how inept this administration is,” Mr Gingrich, who is exploring a presidential bid, said in an interview with Fox News.

But an operative for a potential rival of Mr. Gingrich’s found an interesting tidbit. Back in 1979, as a representative from Georgia, Mr, Gingrich urged the federal government to allow the sale of a Lockheed airplane to Libya despite concerns that the parts could be used as spare parts for military aircraft.

More here

****

So, if Gaddafi has been an anti-American dictator since 1969 why was Gingrich happy to sell him spare parts for military aircraft 10 years in to his anti-American dictatorship? Just asking.

12
Mar
11

crisis

President Barack Obama is briefed by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, on the situation in Japan following yesterday’s earthquake and its aftermath, in the Oval Office, Saturday, March 12. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

12
Mar
11

women’s history month




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