16 Feb

Public Policy Polling – Romney and the Birthers

Birthers make a majority among those voters who say they’re likely to participate in a Republican primary next year. 51% say they don’t think Barack Obama was born in the United States to just 28% who firmly believe that he was and 21% who are unsure. The GOP birther majority is a new development. The last time PPP tested this question nationally, in August of 2009, only 44% of Republicans said they thought Obama was born outside the country while 36% said that he definitely was born in the United States. If anything birtherism is on the rise.

via Public Policy Polling – Romney and the Birthers. I’m not even sure what to say on this. Though I should add two points, first PPP is non-partisan but tends to be heavily hired by Democrats, and this is primary voters who on the whole are more ideological/partisan than most Republican leaning voters.

02 Jan

NYTimes.com – Deep Hole Economics

Seriously, what we’re looking at over the next few years, even with pretty good growth, are unemployment rates that not long ago would have been considered catastrophic — because they are. Behind those dry statistics lies a vast landscape of suffering and broken dreams. And the arithmetic says that the suffering will continue as far as the eye can see.

So what can be done to accelerate this all-too-slow process of healing? A rational political system would long since have created a 21st-century version of the Works Progress Administration — we’d be putting the unemployed to work doing what needs to be done, repairing and improving our fraying infrastructure. In the political system we have, however, Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte, delivering the Republican weekly address on New Year’s Day, declared that “Job one is to stop wasteful Washington spending.”

Realistically, the best we can hope for from fiscal policy is that Washington doesn’t actively undermine the recovery. Beware, in particular, the Ides of March: by then, the federal government will probably have hit its debt limit and the G.O.P. will try to force President Obama into economically harmful spending cuts.

via NYTimes.com – Deep Hole Economics. Pretty simple, jobs, jobs and more jobs should be the primary priority of any government in this situation.

09 Dec

NYTimes.com – O’Donnell’s Magic Turns Loss into Win

“Today marks a lot of tragedy,” Ms. O’Donnell said after headlining a fundraiser for the Northern Virginia Tea Party on Tuesday night. “Tragedy comes in threes: Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards’s passing and Barack Obama’s announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits.”

via NYTimes.com – O’Donnell’s Magic Turns Loss into Win. How do you make that statement in all seriousness? How is it good for tax breaks to be extended that mostly benefit the wealthy good and extending unemployment benefits so people don’t end up on the street a tragedy? Oh yeah and which actually costs less and provides better than half the number of jobs the other does (so overall a better deal – costs less per expected job created) unemployment benefits. But yeah kicking people out of their homes is a good thing.