Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

On Polls and Polling………and Perception vs Reality…..

Let’s start this with this…….

Most Oppose Health Care Plan Until They Hear the Specifics, Poll Says…..

While most voters disapprove of the health care reform legislation advocated by President Obama and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, six of eight key provisions in it draw support from 50 percent or more, according to a poll conducted Feb. 17-18 by Princeton Survey Research for Newsweek.

Forty-nine percent oppose the health care plan as they understand it while 40 percent support it, with 11 percent undecided. Independents oppose it by 62 percent to 26 percent, with 12 percent undecided.

When voters were asked again whether they supported or opposed the overall plan after giving their opinions on the specific components, 48 percent said they favored it and 43 percent remained against it, with 9 percent undecided.

The finding was similar to a Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking poll conducted in January which found that a significant number of people, including skeptics, became more supportive when told of specific provisions in the bill.

Now lets go to this……Which points out that polls are tricky and can be misleading….

How the Headlines Get the Polls Wrong About Obama and the Economy…..

A Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters asked the blunt and politically relevant question of which is more important “reducing the federal budget deficit or reducing unemployment.” The answer in a 72 to 23 percent landslide was “reducing unemployment.” In fact, every demographic subgroup in the poll (including Republicans and “born-again evangelicals”) chose fighting unemployment by a better than a two-to-one margin. The next question in the Quinnipiac survey was straight out of Keynes, asking voters whether “using federal dollars to create jobs” would lead to a lower or a larger deficit. The response should lift the hearts of big-government liberals as voters by a 59 to 33 percent margin said that such government spending would reduce the deficit. A majority of every demographic group (except Republicans and born-again evangelicals) expressed the belief that fighting unemployment would increase taxes and thereby help staunch the flow of red ink.

None of these polling numbers guarantees anything in politics, let alone a safe passage for the Democrats through the shoals of the November congressional elections. But it is intriguing that in the midst of a purported political uprising against Obama’s profligate spending, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that adults gave a tiny 45 to 43 percent edge to the president over the Republicans in being trusted “to do a better job handling the federal budget deficit.”

The truth is that the political community in Washington, egged on by cable TV pundits and newspaper political reporters, periodically goes into hyperdrive following a story line about the mood of the electorate. Headline-making poll numbers become convenient building blocks in constructing this narrative of the moment. But political skeptics (a small but persistent band) like to read the actual poll questions and study the numbers before they jump on any bandwagon. That is why it is a mistake currently to assume — just because February’s theme is Obama in trouble — that the era of Keynesian economics is over and that voters prefer a government whose ambitions are as modest as those of Calvin Coolidge.

Folks…that’s what you call Perception vs Reality……

Note…….Underline and color highlights added by the Dog….

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Fiction, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

The Democrats have found their footing………

The Democrats are coming back…..

…….after floundering for several weeks after the ‘Scot Brown’ win..they have finally found their bearing and are moving ahead…..The Dog note these things….

There will be  ‘Jobs Stimulus Bill’ vote…and the GOP has signaled they will ,probably go along with the Bill….

There will be a ‘Healthcare Bill’ vote….and if the Bill is attached to budget bill…the Democrats can pass it….the Republicans know that…..

The Brown win has been a blessing……It has crystalized effectively to the Demovrats…especially the President what the stakes are in the 2010 elections

The passage of both of the above Bills will take pressure off Democrats and help them in the fall to run on providing jobs and added healthcare benefits ……

Here’s more from The Hill.…..

Congressional Democrats are celebrating what they say was their best week politically since Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts on Jan. 19.

After playing defense on the economy, the stimulus and healthcare for much of the past year, Democrats went on the offensive this week.

Democrats took advantage of the one-year anniversary of the passage of the economic stimulus package and a slow news week to blast Republicans for claiming credit for stimulus funds they opposed.

“It’s a pretty easy case to make that there’s a lot of crocodile tears and a lot of hypocrisy,” Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, speaking of the points Democrats scored. “This gets [Democrats] more on offensive while they’ve been on the defensive.”

Darrell West, director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, said Democrats have found a more effective line of argument the “Party of No” label they’ve tried to fix on the GOP for much of the past year.

“The Republicans complain about the stimulus, but take the money and go home and claim credit,” West said. “You can’t have your hand in the cookie jar while complaining about cookie consumption.”

West said it would more likely resonate with voters than the “Party of No” line of attack.

Democrats knew they had live ammunition when the conservative Washington Times bit on their story line the preceding week.

The Times published a 1,767-word front-page article on GOP lawmakers vying to steer funds from the economic stimulus program back to their states.

The lead example was Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) who quietly sought more than $50 million for two projects in his state despite regularly blasting Obama’s stimulus as irresponsible.

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Winter Olympic Medal Count Update 2.21.10……

At this time this is what the USA count is……


Gold Medals Awarded To:
Lindsey Vonn – Alpine Skiing Downhill (Women)
Shaun White – Snowboarding Halfpipe (Men)
Hannah Kearney – Freestyle Skiing Moguls (Women)
Seth Wescott – Snowboarding Boardercross (Men)
Shani Davis – Speed Skating 1000m (Men)
Evan Lysacek – Figure Skating Free (Men)

Silver Medals Awarded To:
Julie Mancuso – Alpine Skiing Downhill (Women)
Julie Mancuso – Alpine Skiing Super G (Women)
Johnny Spillane – Nordic Combined Normal Hill (Men)
Apolo Ohno – Short Track Speed Skating 1500m (Men)
Bode Miller – Alpine Skiing Super G (Men)
Hannah Teter – Snowboarding Halfpipe (Women)
Shani Davis – Speed Skate 1500 (Men)

Bronze Medals Awarded To:
Bode Miller – Alpine Skiing Downhill (men)
Scott Lago – Snowboarding Halfpipe (Men)
Byron Wilson – Freestyle Skiing Moguls (Men)
Shannon Bahrke – Freestyle Skiing Moguls (Women)
J. R. Celski – Short Track Speed Skating 1500m (Men)
Chad Hendrick – Speed Skating 1000m (Men)
Andrew Weibrecht – Alpine Skiing Super G (Men)
Kelly Clark – Snowboarding Halfpipe (Women)
Lindsey Vonn – Super G (Women)
Apolo Ohno – Short Track Speed Skate 1000m (Men)

This is the Total Count.……….

NATION MEDALISTS GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
USA United States See Names 7 7 10 24
USA Germany See Names 6 7 5 18
USA Norway See Names 5 3 4 12
USA South Korea See Names 4 4 1 9
USA Canada See Names 4 4 1 9
USA Russia See Names 2 3 3 8
USA Austria See Names 2 3 3 8
USA France See Names 2 2 4 8
USA Switzerland See Names 5 0 2 7
USA Sweden See Names 3 1 2 6
USA Netherlands See Names 3 1 1 5
USA China See Names 3 1 1 5
USA Poland See Names 0 3 1 4
USA Italy See Names 0 1 3 4
USA Slovakia See Names 1 1 1 3
USA Czech Republic See Names 1 0 2 3
USA Japan See Names 0 1 2 3
USA Australia See Names 1 1 0 2
USA Latvia See Names 0 2 0 2
USA Slovenia See Names 0 1 1 2
USA Croatia See Names 0 1 1 2
USA Belarus See Names 0 1 1 2
USA Great Britain See Names 1 0 0 1
USA Kazakhstan See Names 0 1 0 1
USA Finland See Names 0 1 0 1
USA Estonia See Names 0 1 0 1
Total 50 51 49 150

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Updates, Women | , | 2 Comments

From Talkandpolitcs…an English look at the media and its influenece…..

Here’s the link ……

It’s……how you say…..cheeky!

And off the cuff……

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Other Things, Updates | , | Leave a comment

From TPL……Jonathan Krohn a 14 year old right wing prodigy….

Conservative activist Jonathan Krohn (© Erik Lesser/ZUMA Press)

Here’s the piece on him from MSN………

Search: 14-year-old pundit

Though he’s too young to vote, Jonathan Krohn has written his second book on politics and given a much-replayed speech (watch). Just who is this right-wing prodigy?

Family values: An only child, Krohn lives here with his mom, a sales rep and drama teacher, and dad (profession). He is home-schooled and worships at this church.

Grass roots: His parents aren’t especially political, hence this comment by his mom. At age 9, something he said he found frustrating aroused Krohn’s conservatism.

Fab four: In his three-minute CPAC speech, Krohn outlined four conservative fundamentals: constitutional regard, respect for life, less government and this.

Loves a crowd: As a younger boy, Krohn acted with a local theater troupe and performed on this Bible radio show. Earnings helped him self-publish his first book.

Media sobriquets: Krohn has inspired several nicknames:
* noting his
lack of facial hair
* after a
1980s sitcom character
* Little
Limbaugh

Teen spirit? The young pundit’s favorite pop star is old enough to be his great-grandfather. Last year, Krohn was keen to meet a polarizing liberal-basher.

Powerful pals: He considers this conservative lion a mentor, and a former House speaker blurbed Krohn’s book.

Just FYI: According to one recent study, people grow more liberalas they age.

Yo….This is all good…but he IS just a 14 year boy……He can’t even get a beer……Tell him to come back in few years after the High School kids through with him….

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Family, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The fighting continues in Marja, Afghanistan…..

U.S. Marines brief British Army as they clear Improvised Explosive Devices from a main route in Trikh Nawar on the North Eastern outskirts of Marjah.

The Marines, Afghans and NATO forces continue there push into the heart of the Taliban held territory…..

Again…the major part of this will be holding the territory after the fighting has ceased……

Here’s part of the story……Here’s the link…..…..

Afghanistan — Marines and Afghan units converged Sunday on a dangerous western quarter of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, with NATO forces facing “determined resistance” as their assault on the southern town entered its second week.

The Marjah operation is a major test of a new NATO strategy that stresses protecting civilians over routing insurgents as quickly as possible. It’s also the first major ground operation since President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan.

In a setback to that strategy, the Dutch prime minister said Sunday that his country’s 1,600 troops would probably leave Afghanistan this year. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende spoke a day after his government collapsed when a coalition partner insisted the Dutch troops leave in August as planned.

Fighter jets, drones and attack helicopters flew over Marjah, as Marine and Afghan companies moved on a 2-square-mile (5.2-sq. kilometer) area of the town where more than 40 insurgents have apparently holed up.

“They are squeezed,” said Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “It looks like they want to stay and fight but they can always drop their weapons and slip away. That’s the nature of this war.”

Insurgents are putting up a “determined resistance” in various parts of Marjah, though the overall offensive is “on track,” NATO said Sunday, eight days after thousands of Afghan and international forces launched their largest joint operation since the Taliban regime’s ouster in 2001.

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Gym Work Out Pet peeves……..

Employees of the software company SAS use their lunch break to stay in shape in a ski conditioning aerobics class.

The Dog used to go a gym to workout…..that was about five or six years ago……

No more……The Dog is a lone wolf most of the time……When it’s warm out the Dog takes a 2 to 5 mile walk most days and combines that with a run every few days of a mile to three……The Dog has been running for about 26 years ……..

I now include biking  in my workouts….

I don’t go to the gym…because I don’t need to pay for my workouts, and some of the reasons mentioned below…..

I hate the gym in January and February, when it’s full of good intentions (“I’m going to lose this couch potato body for real this year!”).
All the machines and cardio equipment are swarming with amateurs who don’t know how to use them, and those of us who do this for real have to reorganize our routines, wait endlessly for equipment to free up, and indulge people who do not know the first thing about gym etiquette. They sit on equipment after they’re done and daydream or watch television. They don’t ask the trainers to show them how to use the machines. They don’t dry themselves off when they come from the pool, leaving puddles of water in the bathroom perfect for slipping and breaking one’s neck.

I’ve been a gym regular for about 20 years now — at a women’s gym in Los Angeles, a fitness center in New Milford, Conn., and a Y.M.C.A. in Manhattan — and I know that all but two of the rookies will be gone by March. Meanwhile, the exercise bike, when I can get one, will not have been dried off and I’ll end up sitting in a puddle of someone else’s sweat.

At times like this, I flee to the weight room where the big guys work out. Talk about serious! These guys didn’t even acknowledge my existence until I had been there four days a week for three years. Then they knew I was serious. I get a half smile from one or another of them every month or so. I love it. It’s like a secret handshake that says, “You may be pathetic, but you’re committed.”

Or this…...

It seems so antiquated, dividing fitness-minded people into two distinct groups. But it might not be such a bad idea, although I’m not advocating segregation based on gender. No, I think people who go to the gym should be separated into two categories: people who are there to work out and people who are not.

This notion came to me one night last week as I did my sit-ups. Nearby, three women were enjoying an animated discussion of their weekend adventures. Although parts of their conversation struck me as insanely intimate, they giggled away, tying up three yoga mats in the process. I did my best to shut them out as I concentrated on my core, feeling like an extra in “Sex and the City.”

Men are equally at fault here. As I reached for a set of dumbbells recently, a young guy bouncing his head in time to his iPod informed me in a too-loud voice that he was using them. I restrained myself from saying: “No buddy, you’re not. You’re listening to Abba.”

No sir…these are not my problems…..I just go out there and be with nature….wether the temperature is 16 degrees or 8o……and it feels great!…..especially…..when I’m finished……He, he, he……

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Health, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

The Republican's will probably support Stimulus #2…the Jobs Bill….

…….The Dog can remember a few months ago …the Republican’s saying that the original  Stimulus Bill wasn’t working, and they’d never vote for another one…..

Well sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will……Sen. Mitch McConnell finds himself and his party members in a hard place…..They can complain about government spending all they want….they can complain about the first Stimulus Bill all they want ….But a few things are reality here….

First…..The original Stimulus Bill action worked…..The GOP knows it…..as much as they want to make noise…..the fact is ALL of the Republican Governors took the money in the end….case closed….end of discussion…

Second…..The second Bill is about Jobs…..something American’s need….The GOP can ill afford to be running for offices in the fall with democrats hammering them about voting against putting American’s to work…..

Third……McConnell actually wants a more costly bill …..which the GOP put together……

Fourth……The White House and the Democrats are still the majority parties….They are still in the driver’s seat….

Here’s the piece …….

The top Republican in the Senate said Sunday that GOP lawmakers ”may well” vote for a jobs bill, though it’s not clear whether they will allow a Democratic measure to advance right away.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prefers a costlier version drafted with GOP input and he didn’t commit his support to advance the legislation on Monday to a final vote this coming week.

The pending measure would provide businesses that hire the unemployed a one-year break from payroll taxes and a $1,000 tax credit if those workers stay on the job for a full year. The tax breaks would cost about $13 billion.

The measure would extend a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment, provide an additional $20 billion infusion of highway and transit money, and help states and local governments finance big public works projects.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., upset Republicans this month when he scrapped a bipartisan measure that had many more proposals that weren’t directly aimed at boosting job growth.

Reid dumped business tax breaks and other items on wish lists sought by lobbyists. But he also took out provisions to extend unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless and health insurance subsidies for the unemployed that expire on Feb. 28.

A key test vote looms Monday. It would take at least one Republican to advance Reid’s pared back bill to a final vote on Wednesday. McConnell told reporters after his appearance that he hopes the measure could advance in a couple of weeks. But to do so means Republicans would have tofilibuster Reid’s take-it-or-leave-it approach, which could allow them to seek to restore provisions that have been dropped.

But a Reid spokesman, Rodell Mollineau, said Sunday that Reid won’t bring back the full version negotiated between Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, which Reid criticized on a Nevada news program last week.

”The fat cats did pretty well,” Reid said last week on ”Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” a Las Vegas news program.

On that program, Reid said he was hopeful of winning the support of newly elected Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, saying he was having ”real good luck” with Brown.

The larger measure included about $33 billion in popular tax breaks, including an income tax deduction for sales and property taxes and a business tax credit for research and development, would be extended through 2010.

The tax breaks, more than 40 in all, expired at the end of 2009. They are routinely extended each year — the House voted to extend them in December — but the Senate never addressed them because senators were consumed by the health care debate.

McConnell appeared on ”Fox News Sunday.”

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , , | 4 Comments

The Republican’s will probably support Stimulus #2…the Jobs Bill….

…….The Dog can remember a few months ago …the Republican’s saying that the original  Stimulus Bill wasn’t working, and they’d never vote for another one…..

Well sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will……Sen. Mitch McConnell finds himself and his party members in a hard place…..They can complain about government spending all they want….they can complain about the first Stimulus Bill all they want ….But a few things are reality here….

First…..The original Stimulus Bill action worked…..The GOP knows it…..as much as they want to make noise…..the fact is ALL of the Republican Governors took the money in the end….case closed….end of discussion…

Second…..The second Bill is about Jobs…..something American’s need….The GOP can ill afford to be running for offices in the fall with democrats hammering them about voting against putting American’s to work…..

Third……McConnell actually wants a more costly bill …..which the GOP put together……

Fourth……The White House and the Democrats are still the majority parties….They are still in the driver’s seat….

Here’s the piece …….

The top Republican in the Senate said Sunday that GOP lawmakers ”may well” vote for a jobs bill, though it’s not clear whether they will allow a Democratic measure to advance right away.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prefers a costlier version drafted with GOP input and he didn’t commit his support to advance the legislation on Monday to a final vote this coming week.

The pending measure would provide businesses that hire the unemployed a one-year break from payroll taxes and a $1,000 tax credit if those workers stay on the job for a full year. The tax breaks would cost about $13 billion.

The measure would extend a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment, provide an additional $20 billion infusion of highway and transit money, and help states and local governments finance big public works projects.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., upset Republicans this month when he scrapped a bipartisan measure that had many more proposals that weren’t directly aimed at boosting job growth.

Reid dumped business tax breaks and other items on wish lists sought by lobbyists. But he also took out provisions to extend unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless and health insurance subsidies for the unemployed that expire on Feb. 28.

A key test vote looms Monday. It would take at least one Republican to advance Reid’s pared back bill to a final vote on Wednesday. McConnell told reporters after his appearance that he hopes the measure could advance in a couple of weeks. But to do so means Republicans would have tofilibuster Reid’s take-it-or-leave-it approach, which could allow them to seek to restore provisions that have been dropped.

But a Reid spokesman, Rodell Mollineau, said Sunday that Reid won’t bring back the full version negotiated between Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, which Reid criticized on a Nevada news program last week.

”The fat cats did pretty well,” Reid said last week on ”Face to Face with Jon Ralston,” a Las Vegas news program.

On that program, Reid said he was hopeful of winning the support of newly elected Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, saying he was having ”real good luck” with Brown.

The larger measure included about $33 billion in popular tax breaks, including an income tax deduction for sales and property taxes and a business tax credit for research and development, would be extended through 2010.

The tax breaks, more than 40 in all, expired at the end of 2009. They are routinely extended each year — the House voted to extend them in December — but the Senate never addressed them because senators were consumed by the health care debate.

McConnell appeared on ”Fox News Sunday.”

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , , | 4 Comments

Iran pushes forward in trying to increase trade to Iraq…….

Most people don’t know this…but Iraq’s strongest trading partner is Iran……

Yes……Iran……

While America and Europe seek to squeeze more sanctions on Iran…..That country seeks to improve trade with Iraq…..The Dog has said this more than once here sanctions will NOT work against the regime……which isn’t stupid…on the face of this it seems to be a deliberate move to out fox the United States strategy of trying to limit Iran’s influence in the region…..

The act of improving commercial ties to Iraq by Iran will undoubtedly pull both countries closer no matter how many troops the United States leaves behind….In addition, as the United States has done around the world commercial ties means that Iran can continue to exert influence over wide parts of the Iraqi population which will forced to trade and interact with Iran as an economic partner…..

Make no mistake….. Iraq is desperate to attract investments no matter where it come from…..

If was the American State Department and White House I would be not happy about this…which seems to be saying…

‘..Thanks Guys for getting rid of our biggest headache Saddam….now leave so we can finish up our business of assimilating Iraq into our sphere of influence.…’

Here’s the link for the piece from Reuters…….

BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – Iran hopes to double trade with Iraq to $8 billion this year, an Iranian diplomat said on Sunday, shrugging off Western-backed sanctions aimed at curbing business with the Islamic Republic.

Shi’ite Muslim Iran is the main trading partner of Shi’ite-led Iraq and has been one of the largest investors in Iraq since the fall of Sunni dictatorSaddam Hussein.

A series of agreements between Baghdad and Tehran could boost bilateral trade between the two countries to $8 billion in 2010, up from $4 billion last year, Iran’s consul in the southern oil hub of Basra Mohammed Reza Baghban said.

“We are sure that, if there are no obstacles in Iraqi-Iranian economic relations, bilateral trade between the two countries will be double what it was in 2009,” he told reporters at an Iranian trade fair in Basra.

The main areas of trade between the two countries are the construction, food and industrial sectors.

The United States and its European allies have been trying to pressure Iran to suspend its disputed nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs. Tehran says the programme is for peaceful purposes and will not be halted.

The Islamic state is currently under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Iraq wants to boost economic ties with its neighbors and attract investment to develop an infrastructure and economy battered by years of war, under-investment and sanctions.

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Other Things, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | 3 Comments