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Posts Tagged ‘polls’

John Larsen, Chair of Dem Caucus, Says Obamacare Has 216 Votes

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

A Classic Piece from Alphonse Mucha Known as "Les Saisons"

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larsen stated with specificity that the proponents of Obamacare now have the 216 votes they need to pass Obamacare later today through the House of Representatives.
Here’s the NBC News twitter feed reporting Larsen’s comment:

‘We have the votes now — as we speak’ to pass Obama’s health care bill, chairman of Democratic caucus says on ABC’s ‘This Week’

It could be a bluff, but this news certainly is a bad sign for the majority of Americans who oppose the Obamacare package while it is great news for President Obama, who, if Larsen is correct, will undoubtedly receive glowing media coverage and perhaps a bounce in the polls should his health care package receive 216 votes later today.

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Obama Lies, Quotes Lincoln “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

President Barack Obama, pictured here at the House Democratic Caucus meeting today, implausibly claimed that after the passage of Obamacare, all Americans will keep their present health plans and doctors despite clear indications to the contrary

In his last speech before the historic vote on his Obamacare package in the House of Representatives set for tomorrow, President Barack Obama gave a speech to a members-only House Democratic caucus meeting today.   In his speech, the President sadly repeated many of the same lies and misrepresentations he made yesterday at George Mason, including his false claims that everyone can “keep their doctor” and “keep their plan” while also falsely asserting that Obamacare will be an “historic” deficit reduction bill.  Obama made these claims despite their debunking by even establishment media sources many months ago, and the CBO’s addendum to their scoring made public late yesterday that reports an addition to the deficit of $59 billion over the next 10 years from Obamacare once the “doctor fix” is factored in.

Despite making these misleading and explicitly false statements in his speech today, Obama recited an Abraham Lincoln quote about speaking the truth in his speech today, twice:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true”

Apparently the establishment media has no interest in reporting on the explicit lies (you can keep your doctor, you can keep your health plan and Obamacare will be “historic” deficit reduction) repeated again by the President today, as the NYT, CNN, WaPo and the AP all focus on the rhetorical grandeur, the “history being made” and the “impassioned plea” in Obama’s speech to Democrats today while ignoring the substantively false claims made by the President.

Amazingly, none of the above-linked articles make any reference to the President’s claims that all Americans will be able to keep their doctor and keep their insurance after the passage of his reform plan; instead, the establishment media just completely ignores these explicitly false statements.

The Associated Press epitomizes the frenzied, wrongful efforts of the establishment media to cover for the explicit lies of the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats regarding Obamacare, printing this as if it is fact:

The sweeping legislation, affecting virtually every American and more than a year in the making, would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans, forbid insurers to deny coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.

Congressional analysts estimate the cost of the two bills combined would be $940 billion over a decade.

In repeating the explicitly false claims above, as made by Obama and the Democrats, the AP fails to mention the fact that the CBO admitted last night that Obamacare will actually add $59 billion to the deficit over 10 years when the pending “doctor fix” is enacted and further fails to mention that the CBO has also stated that at least $50 billion in additional funds will be required to administer Obamacare over 10 years after its passage, meaning Obamacare will add at least $109 billion to the deficit over the next decade. Sadly, that $109 billion in deficit spending resultant from Obamacare does not account for the many additional budget gimmicks used by the Democrats to entrench the false perception that the bill that creates over $100 billion a year in new federal entitlement spending will actually be an “historical” deficit reduction bill. Even the NYT’s Obama-loving (literally) columnist David Brooks listed the many ways the CBO score is explicitly rendered false by no less than seven Democratic “dodges” designed to game the CBO scoring process:

They’ve stuffed the legislation with gimmicks and dodges designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office but don’t genuinely control runaway spending.

There is the doc fix dodge. The legislation pretends that Congress is about to cut Medicare reimbursements by 21 percent. Everyone knows that will never happen, so over the next decade actual spending will be $300 billion higher than paper projections.

There is the long-term care dodge. The bill creates a $72 billion trust fund to pay for a new long-term care program. The sponsors count that money as cost-saving, even though it will eventually be paid back out when the program comes on line.

There is the subsidy dodge. Workers making $60,000 and in the health exchanges would receive $4,500 more in subsidies in 2016 than workers making $60,000 and not in the exchanges. There is no way future Congresses will allow that disparity to persist. Soon, everybody will get the subsidy.

There is the excise tax dodge. The primary cost-control mechanism and long-term revenue source for the program is the tax on high-cost plans. But Democrats aren’t willing to levy this tax for eight years. The fiscal sustainability of the whole bill rests on the naïve hope that a future Congress will have the guts to accept a trillion-dollar tax when the current Congress wouldn’t accept an increase of a few billion.

There is the 10-6 dodge. One of the reasons the bill appears deficit-neutral in the first decade is that it begins collecting revenue right away but doesn’t have to pay for most benefits until 2014. That’s 10 years of revenues to pay for 6 years of benefits, something unlikely to happen again unless the country agrees to go without health care for four years every decade.

There is the Social Security dodge. The bill uses $52 billion in higher Social Security taxes to pay for health care expansion. But if Social Security taxes pay for health care, what pays for Social Security?

There is the pilot program dodge. Admirably, the bill includes pilot programs designed to help find ways to control costs. But it’s not clear that the bill includes mechanisms to actually implement the results. This is exactly what happened to undermine previous pilot program efforts.

All of the above-referenced “dodges” and gimmicks to obtain a good CBO score are based on publicly available information, yet nowhere in the establishment media can you find this information actually reported to rebut the ridiculously false claims by Obama and Democrats over the past few days that Obamacare will actually reduce the deficit and be “one of the biggest deficit-reduction plans in history.” The NYT yesterday even manages to lionize the CBO scoring as unimpeachable and nonpartisan while attacking those who dared to note some of the above-referenced dodges and gimmicks listed by Brooks. In short, the establishment media is allowing the President and the Democratic Party to use an explicit lie (Obamacare reduces the deficit) to sell their comprehensive plan to the American public without informing the public in any way of illusory basis for such claims. Such conduct is a true abdication of the 4th Estate’s role as a watchdog of the American government.

The Misinformation and Lies on Obamacare Presented by President Obama and Deemed by the Media as Truthful Remind Some of the World Described by George Orwell in his classic work, "1984"

Further, Obama concludes by claiming that Democrats must pass this bill for “the American people”:

“Help us fix this system,” Obama said. “Don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid — do it for all those people out there who are struggling. . . . Do it for the American people. They’re the ones who are looking for action right now.”

Amazingly, the Washington Post and the other establishment media articles fail to note that CNN’s latest poll found 73% of Americans want Obama and the Dems to either stop or start over from scratch and only 25% are “looking for action right now.” Similarly, Fox News’s latest poll found that 64% want Obama and the Dems to stop or start over from scratch and only 30% are “looking for action right now.” Even the highly left-wing Kaiser Foundation’s latest poll shows that 56% of Americans want Obama and the Democrats to stop or start over, while 42% want to proceed to a vote now. All of the establishment media reporting also omits any reference to the fact that a full 80% of the American public are satisfied “with the quality of medical care available to them” in the much-reviled “status quo”. Based on these polls, it is impossible to claim with a straight face that passing Obamacare now is what the American people are looking for “right now” – yet this is exactly what Obama is saying, and the media simply cheers without retort, notwithstanding the indisputable facts noted above.

Finally, Obama today made the equally ridiculous claim that Obamacare “runs straight down the center of American political thought” and “is a middle of the road bill” and, again, no one in the media even bothers to rebut this claim with the obvious fact that the only bipartisan thing about Obamacare is the opposition to Obamacare, as at least 31 House Democrats are joining a unified Republican opposition to the bill. Sadly, facts such as these go unmentioned by the establishment media reports as they scurry to defend their hero President Obama as the final hours tick away before the all-important House vote on Obamacare.

When the 4th Estate (media) work so strenuously to support both the President and the Congress in an effort such as Obamacare, avoiding the reporting of any facts which could possibly hinder the Democratic effort to “remake one-sixth of the U.S. economy” while cheerleading every step of the way, the continued viability of the American political system moving forward can reasonably be questioned by centrists and independents as such coordinated misinformation brings to mind the world described by George Orwell in his classic work “1984”.  Should Obamacare pass the House and become law, years from now historians will review Obama’s speeches from yesterday and today and likely designate them as some of the most misleading speeches by an American President in the history of our country.

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Obama Buys Up Primetime on Networks as McCain Reaches Nadir of Campaign

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Obama in Catbirds Seat

Obama in Catbird's Seat

In a stunning move only attempted once in presidential election history, the Obama campaign today finalized a deal to purchase an entire half hour block of broadcasting time from a major network. CBS sold Obama a half hour of time on Wednesday, October 29th, starting at 8:00PM. It appears Obama will present his closing argument to the American people in this fashion as negotiations are also ongoing with NBC and Fox for a similar half hour block of evening broadcasting.

The news of Obama’s strong network buy comes at time when John McCain’s campaign stands at its nadir and possibly its last legs. Three of the four debates are over, and both instant polls and later larger surveys of each debate show the public siding with the Democratic ticket. More troubling for the McCain campaign is the strong voter move to Obama over the past few weeks as world’s stock markets have steadily sold off with no end in sight. Indeed, today’s selloff of the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed below 9000, the first time the Dow Jones has seen such depths since August of 2003, to close at 8,579.19. Over 20% of of the Dow Jones has been lost in the past seven trading days, nearing the 22.6% selloff on Black Monday in 1987.

Obama’s purchase of blocks of primetime network time follows in the footsteps of Ross Perot in 1992, the only prior presidential candidate to buy such half hour blocks of network time. In 1992, Perot purchased blocks of time on NBC and even beat some of the other networks for ratings at the time. Considering Obama’s popularity, Obama’s primetime show will undoubtably beat Perot’s numbers and perhaps all other competing broadcasting.

The move into blocks of network time comes on the heels of Obama’s purchase of an entire satellite channel, Channel 73, on the Dish TV network last week. Channel 73 is looping an effective two minute Obama economy ad entitled Barack Obama’s Plan for America. The fundraising advantage of the Obama campaign enables such large and unprecedented media buys and sets up Obama for a strong closing message.

Against that backdrop, the McCain campaign continued with a focus on Obama’s relationship with ex-terrorist William Ayers and explaining McCain’s debate night proposal to buy up mortgages directly and renegotiate them downward with the homeowners. Neither initiative appears to have picked up steam, and the media narrative continues to be dominated by discussion of Obama’s surge in popularity since the economic crisis began.

Centrist, independent and moderate voters are moving strongly towards Obama, and McCain has yet to find the right message to stem that tide. Considering the shocked reaction of many Americans to the recent stock market collapse, and Obama’s skillful linkage of this crash to the GOP as the market’s “final verdict” on GOP’s economic policies, no message may fit the bill for McCain.

McCain now stands nearly 10 points behind in most national tracking polls, with the esteemed Gallup tracking poll showing Obama with a commanding, campaign-best 11 point lead, 52-41%. State polls are following suit, with McCain at his lowest support level of the campaign in battlegrounds such as Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. With only one debate to go and less than four weeks until election day, the McCain campaign is teetering on the edge of a collapse in support which would result in a electoral landslide not seen since Reagan’s victory over Mondale in 1984.

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Can Palin Power a McCain Comeback?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Pressures on Sarah Palin Tonight

Pressure's on Sarah Palin Tonight

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin takes on Senator Joe Biden tonight in the one and only Vice Presidential Debate in this year’s presidential campaign. The GOP ticket has much more on the line tonight than the Democratic ticket as McCain-Palin has dived in the polls ever since the economic crisis took center stage about two weeks ago. The tail of the tape favors Biden, and the public expects Biden to win by a small margin.

Tonight’s debate will probably boast the largest national television audience for any night of the campaign so far, as the first Obama-McCain debate unperformed ratings wise last Friday night. Palin has a platform to talk “over the head” of the media directly to perhaps a majority of all likely November voters. 34% of likely voters report that tonight’s debate is “very important” to their vote, with another 38% percent claiming it is “somewhat important”.

A chance to turn the tide could not come at a better moment for McCain-Palin as the situation is dire, with the public favoring Obama’s handling of the bailout and a steady slide in both national and state polling. Indeed, in mid September McCain-Palin seized a tiny one or two point lead in the national polling average, and Obama-Biden has since surged to a six point lead, with only 6-7% undecided.

Making a comeback improbable is the historical trend of voters (less than 5%) changing their choice for president after the end of September. For instance, in 2000, the defectors from Bush and Gore after September canceled each other out. In 2004, Bush received a slight net gain from defectors, about 1% of the national vote as Bush lost 2.8% of his September voters and Gore lost 4.2% of his. Even if McCain-Palin can take a net 2% of the national vote from present Obama supporters, the GOP would have to take 75-80% of the undecided vote just to tie.

Against that backdrop, Palin steps into the spotlight again tonight. The McCain campaign is relying upon Palin for a third time to revive their campaign. First, McCain used suberfuge to pick her out of the blue as VP the night after Obama’s convention speech, limiting Obama’s momentum boost. Second, Palin delivered a solid convention speech in the face of mixed expectations, partially powering McCain’s move to a small lead in mid-September.

Now, the McCain campaign has come under severe criticism for its mishandling of Palin’s press availability and overall strategy. By keeping Palin away from press scrutiny, the strategy ensured that even small mistakes with the press would be magnified and the press would dig relentlessly into her background. The media narrative has caricatured Palin in negative terms in recent weeks, epitomized by the Saturday Night Live brainless bimbo version. While many of the media accounts of Palin dirt have been debunked, polling suggests that the negative press narrative is dragging down her favorability. The media is now discussing how Palin is a net drag on the ticket.

Many of the undecided voters are moderates and centrists with no strong party affiliation. Palin will likely try to play to these undecided, independent voters tonight with a focus on her reform record and blue collar roots. A major gaffe, or even a minor one, will feed into the present narrative.

Tonight is Palin’s chance to connect with the voters directly. Nothing less than a big win tonight for Palin both in the post-debate polling and the pundits (at least a majority) will reverse the strong momentum built up by Obama during the economic crisis. For only the second time in American history, tonight a woman will take part in a general election vice presidential debate and the stakes could not be higher.

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Country First or Obama First – McCain Comes out Swinging as Obama Spikes in Polls

Monday, September 29th, 2008

McCain Steps up Attacks

McCain Steps up Attacks

At noon today John McCain escalated the attack rhetoric significantly, lashing out aggressively at Obama on a wide range of issues. Obama similarily excoriated McCain at his rally yesterday in Virginia, so today’s speech is partially in response. However, McCain signaled that the political battle over the bailout is far from over while railing against the “evil and greed” of Washington as a key cause of the present economic crisis.

A series of polls taken in the aftermath of McCain’s suspension of his campaign and Friday’s debate show movement towards Obama. Obama now stands nearly or above Obama’s largest leads of the campaign, standing now at about 5-6% nationally, with undecided voters down. Taken together, the McCain campaign appears to now realize that last week’s manuevors fell flat with swing voters and are scrambling to find a different tone.

Many commentators were disappointed that McCain did not seize the initiative at Friday’s debate by exploring the roots of the present economic crisis and the role of government regulation in creating the housing bubble. Today’s speech upped the the rhetoric with the renewed use of the catchphrase “Country First or Obama First” and strong assertions that Obama cannot be trusted to tell the truth. The Obama campaign’s spokesman Bill Burton had an immediate, sneering response that McCain “packs a lot of lies in a short period of time.” Spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter piled on moments later by asserting McCain was lying and that is more evidence of his “erratic” tendencies.

In the background of today’s swinging by McCain, the bailout bill stands now at a very close margin in the House of Representatives while the market continues its slide. Voting just started in the House and both parties are working on head counts. It is essentially a game of chicken, with both Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner trying to put forth as few votes as possible, and the package may not pass.

Indeed, should the market continue to slide if the bailout package passes, the focus may turn to who gets the blame for a flawed package. Never before in modern presidential history has the campaign been so heavily driven by day-to-day economic news. So far, Obama’s campaign has capitalized on the escalating daily negative news to build a lead and both campaigns are saying they’ll “probably” vote for the package on Wednesday.

A large focus of McCain’s speech today was his action and Obama’s “standing on the sidelines” during the economic crisis with reference to his campaign’s suspension. The next 24 hours and the direction of the news cycle – who gets credit, who gets blame – will determine whether McCain can regain the initiative he lost when the economic crisis escalated with Lehman’s bankruptcy.

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