Via this post Sure, the public thinks the budget’s too big, but nobody wants us to cut any of its line items By Jonathan Bernstein, Chart of the Day: Cutting the Deficit
Ah, the American public. God love ’em. The Economist asked if they’d rather tackle the federal deficit by cutting spending or raising taxes, and the runaway winner was cutting spending, by a margin of 62% to 5%. So what are we willing to cut? Answer: pretty much nothing.
There is a few things about findings like this that are both frustrating and funny. One is that it shows how much internet bloggers like Drum and Bernstein can indulge in real populism – you know the kind of truth based populism where the tea bags and Washington are smoke and mirrors. It is the kind of information that politicians are loath to use – most of my constituents are at best blissfully ignorant armchair quarterbacks when it comes to spending priorities and public policy. It is also why polls have a way of reflecting the public’s ignorance rather than a revealing snapshot of a grasp of the issues grounded in reality – The National Review and Powerline ( both of the invading Iraq and cutting taxes for fat cat millionaires are inspired ideas school) are all a flutter over these poll results,
Just 41 percent of people had a favorable impression of the Democratic party while 54 percent saw the party in an unfavorable light. The last time Gallup asked the question in early September, Democrats fared far better with a 51 percent favorable score and a 45 percent unfavorable score. The 41 percent who currently rate the Democratic party favorably is four points lower than its previous low ebb, which came in 2005.
[ ]…While the GOP isn’t soaring in terms of overall impressions (42 percent favorable/51 unfavorable), it has — for the first time — pulled even with the Democratic party in terms of overall impressions among the public.
It took the same public almost half way into Bush’s second term to realize he and Dick had trashed the country. It will probably take that long to realize the accomplishments of the current Democrats in Congress. Many us of might not agree on the details in the policies that Democrats used to pull the economy back from the brink or the specifics of and health care reform, but both were part of that effort. Another reason for the chart results at the Kevin Drum link and the Gallup poll results is the enormous amount of daily bull piled on the public by the rabid Right media – Beck admits he doesn’t give ‘a flying crap about the political process. … We’re an entertainment company.’
In February he told USA Weekend that “you’d have to be an idiot” to “not notice the temperature change” caused by global warming, and that he thinks mankind may play a signficant role in the phenomenon. Beck has previously described himself as “a rodeo clown” and conceded, “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”
Beck is at the top of the conservative assclown pyramid and like Limbaugh, Hannity, Always Wrong Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, he is easy for many of us to write off. His motivations are questionable as are those of Ann Coulter – Why Coulter is Better Than Malkin. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit, but what they say and what they claim to believe are so ridiculous it is difficult to assume they’re honest and sincere all the time. They are incendiary mercenaries of right-wing news-speak. While they are conservatives their actual views are a mystery. If they believe in anything it’s cold hard cash. If the noise they make misinforms the public and makes even a small contribution to moving America in the wrong direction – they laugh all the way to the bank. In Joe Conason’s Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, he writes a passage about Coulter’s elite South Miami beach lifestyle. She regularly hangs out at high-end clubs drinking the best French champagne. Like Joe I do not especially care, she is certainly free to spend her money and free time as she likes. Yet that money and free time is paid for by the conservatives and tea bags that assume from her books she stands for good old-fashioned Bible Belt values. It seems that as long as what he says pays the mortgage on his McMansion and other aspects of his privileged lifestyle, Beck will also pour gasoline on America’s discontents. Like many fire breathers from America’s past since that terrible tyrant President Obama has not sent the troops to round up dissenters yet, the unhinged Right is free to lay on the lies and BS as thick as they want,but there do seem to be consequences – their viewers/readers not having a clue about what is best for the country. This poll is funny considering the millions in astrturf money and promotion by Faux News – More Americans have a ‘favorable’ opinion of the IRS than of the Tea Party. The Right relies on astroturf to do two things simultaneously – misinform the public by, if nothing else, distorting issues and making themselves seem more popular than they actually are – Newspaper chain astroturfs its ‘right-wing’ editorials
When you read an editorial in your local newspaper, your natural assumption is that it expresses the views of that paper’s staff and reflects local concerns. This, however, does not appear to be the case with the many small-town papers owned by Ogden Newspapers, Inc.
On March 31, an editorial headed “ACORN can’t distract public from the truth” appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel, published in Fairmont, MN. It was bylined by Gary Andersen and Lee Smith, the paper’s publisher and editor, and it slammed ACORN as a “front for liberal politicians” that has been involved in “illegal actions.”
The exact editorial has ‘mysteriously’ appeared in many newspapers. It has been found that James O’Keefe with the help of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government conned the American public and most of the media went along, Maddow: Raw footage reveals O’Keefe lied about ACORN tapes
Last week, California Attorney Gerneral Jerry Brown released some of O’Keefe’s raw footage, which he obtained as part of an agreement not to prosecute O’Keefe for violating state privacy laws. Maddow reviewed several of the most severe distortions revealed by the footage, starting with O’Keefe’s claim that he was wearing his outrageous pimp outfit when he visited the ACORN offices.
That claim, which Brad Friedman at Brad Blog has been debunking for months, was promoted heavily by Fox News and swallowed uncritically by most of the mainstream media.
In honor of that segment of the American public with a tragically short memory who want to return to the good old days of conservative rule of all three branches of government – George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent’
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.
The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.
Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.
General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN, is understood to have backed Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration.