Thursday Reads

Good Morning!! I’m going to start out with some interesting poll results that came out yesterday.

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, a lot of ordinary Republicans are unhappy with their GOP representatives in Washington, DC. From the WaPo:

While Republicans in Congress have remained united in their opposition to any tax increases, the poll finds GOP majorities favoring some of the specific changes advocated by the president, including higher income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

There is also broad dissatisfaction with Obama’s unwillingness to reach across the aisle: Nearly six in 10 of those polled say the president has not been open enough to compromise. Among independents, 79 percent say Republicans aren’t willing enough to make a deal, while 62 percent say the same of Obama.

Republicans may also be losing the war of perception about who stands with whom in the debates over the deficit and the economy. A majority view the president as more committed to protecting the interests of the middle class and small businesses, while large majorities see Republicans as defending the economic interests of big corporations and Wall Street financial institutions.

ABC’s The Note reports that based on the same poll,

Against a backdrop of broad concern about the impact of default, 80 percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’re dissatisfied or even angry with the way the federal government is working, up 11 points in a single month. It last was this high in 1992, during the economic downturn that cost the first President Bush a second term.

The times today are nearly as tough: The ABC News Frustration Index has risen to 72 on its scale of 0 to 100, its highest since just before the 2010 midterm elections and well into the political danger zone. The index combines dissatisfaction with the government, anti-incumbent sentiment and ratings of the president and the economy alike.

But unlike 1992 – or 2010 – the opposition party’s taking even more heat than the president. While President Obama for the first time has fallen under 40 percent approval for handling the economy, the Republicans in Congress do even worse, 28 percent approval. On handling the deficit, it’s a weak 38 percent approval for Obama, but a weaker 27 percent for the GOP. And on handling taxes, Obama has 45 percent approval, the GOP, 31 percent.

It’s good to know that some Americans are getting angry. I wish they’d get out the pitchforks and make some noise about it in the streets.

A couple of GOP governors are dropping in the polls too. Media star Chris Christie is turning off his NJ constituents.

Gov. Chris Christie’s popularity has declined significantly over the first half of 2011 and he would have a very difficult time winning reelection if voters in New Jersey went to the polls today, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling.

While Republican activists outside New Jersey want Christie to seek the party’s 2012 presidential nomination, only 43 percent of Garden State voters approve of the job the governor is doing to 53 percent who disapprove.

The figures represent a 13 point decline from when Public Policy Polling last surveyed voters in January, when Christie’s standing was 48 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval.

Christie’s numbers are steady with Republicans but independents have really turned on him, going from approving by a 55 percent to 39 percent margin to disapproving by a 54 percent to 40 percent margin. And his crossover popularity with Democrats is on the decline as well. Where 23 percent approved of him in January, now only 16 percent do.

Christie has been making huge cuts in government services. I guess austerity isn’t as popular with the grass roots as it is with the power elites.

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is even more unpopular than Christie.

The latest poll released Wednesday by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University showed that only 35 percent of registered voters approve of the job the Republican governor has done in his first six months. Exactly half say they disapprove, up 1 percentage point since May, with the remainder undecided.

“Even after the state budget has been approved as he promised without raising taxes, and even though the Quinnipiac University poll finds that 63 percent say they favor such an approach, Gov. Kasich’s name remains mud in the eyes of the Ohio electorate,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The same poll shows that even some of those who approve of the governor’s performance are prepared to reject his signature law restricting the collective bargaining power of government employees at the ballot on Nov. 8. Fifty-six percent of voters say it should be repealed, up 2 percentage points since May.

Republicans always overreach, don’t they? It looks like the 2010 win may have been just a flash in the pan.

Michele Bachmann is surging in the polls against Mitt Romney.

The Minnesota congresswoman returned to Iowa early Wednesday morning as polls show her gaining ground nationally as a top alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the early front-runner for the GOP nomination. Since formally entering the race last month, she has eclipsed other Republicans in the field, including fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty, who has been actively campaigning all year.

The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll offered a statistical glimpse at their diverging fortunes. In the poll, 16% of the registered Republicans picked Ms. Bachmann as their top choice, putting her second behind Mr. Romney, who remains the first choice of 30% of the Republicans polled. In the same survey, 2% of registered Republicans chose the former Minnesota governor as their top pick, down from 6% in April.

Meanwhile, Bachmann is still being hassled about her migraine headaches. Karl Rove is calling for her to release her medical records. Boy those Republican power brokers are really scared of Bachmann, aren’t they?

A doctor who has examined Bachmann says the headaches aren’t a big deal.

A letter dated Wednesday from a congressional doctor whose office has examined Republican Michele Bachmann described the presidential candidate’s migraines as occurring “infrequently” and controlled by prescription medication.

Bachmann’s campaign distributed the letter from Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician in Congress. Bachmann has been evaluated by that office during her three terms in Washington.

Former NH Senator Judd Gregg thinks the Republicans in the House will push the debt limit battle to the brink. In fact, he thinks it will take Social Security checks not going out to get them to agree to raising the debt ceiling.

“My gut tells me that we’ll need a weekend of drama — maybe a weekend of the government not paying its bills — politicians need drama to make something happen. As soon as social security checks don’t go out, the politics will change. I suspect it’ll take artificial drama to get closure past the House.”

“Boehner understands that a shutdown is bad for his caucus and that there’s something viable short of a shutdown but right now… it’s a 50-50 chance that we go into a few days of disruption.”

Gregg said lawmakers don’t really care about the nation’s credit rating:

“Policy-makers only worry about a ratings downgrade at the margins. They don’t really care. The ratings agencies put themselves in a corner that’s foolish. I’ve always found them to be incredibly naive about the political process. To be so definitive is foolish.”

“For the ratings agencies to make this drop-dead date, it’s stupid and naive because we’ll straighten it out, but our process doesn’t allow it to do it overnight.”

Gregg says all this will means the Republicans get most of the blame for the mess. They didn’t learn anything from what happened to Gingrich, did they?

Gregg is probably right about the gang of six plan, since that is basically what the Republicans already rejected. And Brian Beutler reports that they are rejecting it again.

As time goes on, and conservative interest groups and members of Congress rip into it, support among Republicans for the Gang of Six plan to reduce deficits will begin to wane. In fact, that’s already happening.

In a publicly released memo meant to undermine support for the Gang of Six plan in its current form, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) laments, “it increases revenues while failing to seriously address exploding federal spending on health care, which is the primary driver of our debt. There are also serious concerns that the proposal’s substance on spending falls far short of what is needed to achieve the savings it claims.”

And check this out from Politico:

A few wealthy donors have called Cantor to tell him they wouldn’t mind if their taxes are raised. During two closed meetings this week — one with vote-counting lawmakers, and another with the entire conference — Cantor told colleagues that some well-heeled givers have told them they’re willing to pay more taxes. Cantor, according to an aide, has responded that House Republicans aren’t standing up for the wealthy, but rather for the middle class, who want to see their taxes stay low.

Yeah sure, Eric. You’re standing up for the middle class. ROFLOL!

With unemployment so high, all we need is more impediments to getting hired. According to the NYT, even obscure blog comments could come into play as companies evaluate job candidates.

A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence, scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Then it assembles a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.


Less than a third of the data surfaced by Mr. Drucker’s firm comes from such major social platforms as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. He said much of the negative information about job candidates comes from deep Web searches that find comments on blogs and posts on smaller social sites, like Tumblr, the blogging site, as well as Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, bulletin boards and even Craigslist.

….it is photos and videos that seem to get most people in trouble. “Sexually explicit photos and videos are beyond comprehension,” Mr. Drucker said. “We also see flagrant displays of weapons. And we see a lot of illegal activity. Lots and lots of pictures of drug use.”

I’ll end with this nightmarish story from the LA Times: Witness tells of horror as 3 swept over Vernal Fall in Yosemite

Bibee, a 28-year-old carpenter who grew up in Angels Camp, northwest of the park, had brought Amanda Lee, a visitor from Missouri, to the top of Vernal Fall on Tuesday — her first visit to Yosemite, but the latest of many for him.

They were standing behind a metal barricade, peering at the cascade….Bibee saw a man cross over the barricade. He was leaning over the 317-foot waterfall, holding a young girl, who was screaming in terror. People begged them to get back. “I’m yelling at him, ‘You SOB, get over here!'” Bibee said. Eventually, the two returned to safety.

But then Bibee noticed that three other people had also crossed over, and were “taking pictures and being stupid.”

The three people, members of a church group, fell into the water and went over the falls. All are presumed dead. Why would people go past a barricade and warning signs to stand on the edge of a raging waterfall? But it’s not the first time. The article says twelve people have gone over the falls previously–all were killed.

That’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?

41 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. northwestrain says:

    Great White Shark jumps onto research vessel. Really an interesting story — I think. No one died — including the shark.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Wow. That is interesting.

      • joanelle says:

        One of our neighbors looked out when she heard someone splashing in her backyard pool, thinking it was the neighborhood kids again – what she saw as a 100 lb. black bear, having a gay old time. I have a great picture but don’t know how to embed it.

      • Jadzia says:

        Holy crap, Joanelle. Where did that happen? When I was a young-and-vain high school student, I once saw a black bear while I was walking home from school! Because I refused to wear my glasses (Lasik: the best $1500 I ever spent), I thought it was a big old dog until a lady ran out of her house and started screaming. This was in Duluth, Minnesota — where a few years later, a bear crashed through the front window of the local Perkins (kind of like Denny’s).

      • bostonboomer says:

        My sister-in-law lives in New Hampshire, and she gets bears in her backyard all the time. She has to bring in her bird feeders every night because otherwise the bears tear them down and eat the bird seed. She sees moose up there too, but so far not in her backyard.

    • Delphyne says:

      Yikes!! Can you imagine being on that boat when that happened?

  2. Delphyne says:

    That man holding a screaming child over Vernal Falls is extremely disturbing and very stupid. He should have been fined at the very least. Climbing over barricades erected for one’s safety is also very stupid, especially at a waterfalls like Vernal. The wildness of Nature is just that – wild and unpredictable. I’m sorry that those 3 people were swept away to their deaths – unfortunately, they won’t be the last ones to die like that.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I agree Delphyne, that guy holding a kid over the falls is horrible. It disturbed me too.

      • Jadzia says:

        Agreed. Why is it so fucking funny to some people to terrify little children? There may be some pregnancy hormones in play here, but I cried when I read that.

    • Branjor says:

      Reminds me of the time I was little and I went to a friend’s house after school and only her father was home. He held me outside the window suspended 6 stories above a concrete courtyard and then brought me back in again. What is it with some men?

    • Peggy Sue says:

      When my husband and I went to the Grand Canyon I was amazed at people stepping over the barriers, leaning out to take pictures. One slip or loose rock and you’re airborne. People don’t use common sense anymore or maybe commons sense died long ago. I live in the mountains, bear country. Yet I watched a mother urging her kids [little kids, too] to run after a Mama bear and her cubs as if the animals were cartoon characters.

      Fortunately, Mama and baby bears scrambled up a tree. But dumb, really dumb.

      As for the debt ceiling? This will be the end of the Tea Party coalition. They are exposing their truly idiotic side, acting like obstinate children. They would rather see the country slide off the cliff than give an inch. The so-called traditional Republicans have also proven themselves pathetic jokesters. They won’t even use the word ‘rich’ anymore. The top 1% are now the ‘job creators,’ which, of course, is BS. Taxes are at historically low levels. So, where are the jobs????

      And then, there’s the spineless and/or co-opted Democrats.

      Eric Cantor and his ilk are reptiles, playing to the mob and betting against the country’s solvency. In years past, that would be called treason, which is a word that needs to come back into fashion.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, and the three people who fell were his family members. It’s horrifying!

    • okasha says:

      Never mind the fine. Just toss him over.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    BB did you see this: More Notes on the Debt Ceiling “Negotiation” | Ian Welsh

    If Obama didn’t want it to happen, if he didn’t want to “negotiate”, he would have:

    1) raised the debt limit during the lame duck Congress. He could have raised it enough to get him through 2 years.

    2) Accepted the clean debt-ceiling bill, offered by McConnell, as noted by Stewart M.

    3) simply refuse to negotiate. “I cannot say what bills will or will not be paid if the US Congress does not increase the debt ceiling, but whether the debt ceiling is raised or not is a matter for Congress.” I am quite sure that Wall Street and other corporations would bring the Republicans to heel so fast your head would spin.

    This is all Kabuki. Obama wants massive cuts. He always has. This “negotiation” is occurring because he wants it to, and would not occur if he did not want it to.

    • bostonboomer says:

      No. Thanks!!

      • joanelle says:

        This is a definite game of chicken – you’re right if he wanted to raise it he could have when he had the house. But then one of my friends suggested that the Repubs want to totally blow up the economy so they can insure they get back total control in 2012.

        Good grief, they are a bunch of frat boyz

  4. WomanVoter says:

    ggreenwald Glenn Greenwald
    Online Ed Schultz Show poll: Would you ever vote for anyone who cut SS, Medicare & Medicaid?: 5% (yes) – 95% (no)

    Yet, Pelosi, Donna Brazile, Dean, Axelrod, and many others won’t primary Obama, the President that said these programs were on the chopping block. The press is certainly protecting the President Obama just as they did when he removed Single Payer HR676 (when he said everything would be considered), then blocked the Public Option and then blocked The Medicare Buy In.

    • WomanVoter says:

      Please note that Donna Brazile holds NO elected position, yet she remains a delegate, and was one of the ‘influential individuals’ who blocked GAY/LGBT from the Democratic Platform!?! 😯

    • paper doll says:

      Sadly that won’t be a speed bump….we are at the point now where the pressure on elected officals is such, that they don’t care if they are reelected… least they won’t be dead

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hey I just saw this over at Madrak’s blog:
    Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Why won’t the media call out the treasonous little prick?

    Dear Media Types and/or Journalists,
    I know a lot of you read our little blog, so I want to ask you a question: Why won’t you cover the story that an unelected Republican tax czar demands that Republicans sign an anti-tax pledge that supercedes their oath of office, enforces it through coercion, intimidation and threats, and has this country’s political system and the very economy in a state of crisis? Why do you accept the idea that this is somehow perfectly normal, even okay?

    Damn, I do love reading this woman’s blog!

  6. fiscalliberal says:

    Regarding Debt Ceiling negotiation. The other day Lawrence O’Donnell played a clip of Obama regarding the debt ceiling. Obama started out saying – my bottom point is . O’Donnell cut the clip and said “when you negotiate legislation, you do not start with your bottom line. It always end up with that being what you get.

    I think this is relevant because O’Donnell was a high level Senate staffer – he would know how the negotiations go.

  7. Wow, I hope this and other obscure blog comments don’t come back to haunt me, but . .

    Christie will deserve what he gets, Kasich too.

    I do hope the Bachmann’s surge in the polls doesn’t lead to a surge in her blood vessels that could lead to a migraine that she of course could completely control.

    Thanks, Judd Gregg.That’s what we all need. A weekend of artificial drama. We have already had farce.

  8. paper doll says:

    great round up, thanks!!

    People die casting loved one’s ashes into the ocean too! crazy
    Only the kid had sense in that group….I’d file for relative devoice
    if I was them

    Democrats, Republicans vow trillions in US spending cuts

    …..President Obama hailed the Gang of Six proposal while at the same time admitting he had not even read it, but was endorsing any effort based on a bipartisan agreement. “We have a Democratic president and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts and modifications to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare,” he said, adding, “we now have a bipartisan group of senators” who agree with such an approach.


  9. paper doll says:

    if Bachmann is given the GOP nomanation, it’s to help Sir Barry to get reinstalled.
    Even creepy Mitt is seen as too much of a threat to his lame ass…No it has to be a crazy bat boy look alike …we are sooo f-ed

    • bostonboomer says:

      If they pass the budget they are talking about, there is no way in hell Obama will be reelected even if he’s running against the Devil himself.