Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ABC Poll: Obama Surges Ahead Of GOP In Trust On Jobs

Who could have imagined that by taking a spirited fight to the American people, as he did with his speeches in Dallas on Tuesday, the President could jump his approval rating? From ABC News:
Barack Obama has jumped to a 15-point lead over the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle job creation, a sign the beleaguered president’s $450 billion jobs package has hit its mark in public opinion. Fifty-two percent support the plan – and most say it just might work.

Overall approval of the U.S. Congress, meanwhile, has dropped to its lowest in polls back to the mid-1970s. And of the eight in 10 Americans who are dissatisfied with the way the country’s political system is working, more blame the Republicans in Washington than the president.

A month ago, Americans divided evenly, 40-40 percent, on whom they trusted more to handle job creation, Obama or the congressional Republicans. Now, after his jobs proposal and ongoing promotion of his plan, it’s 49-34 percent, Obama’s first significant advantage over the GOP on jobs in ABC/Post polling since early 2010.

The president’s also maintained a large advantage over the Republicans in Congress in being seen as more concerned with the interests of middle-class Americans, now 52-32 percent. And the GOP, by a vast 70-17 percent, is seen as being more concerned than Obama with protecting the interests of the wealthy, a sentiment on which Obama has capitalized with his proposed millionaires’ tax.
It's all not all good news, however. Obama's approval remains near is his all time lows in the poll. Still, this is the first sign that his numbers may be turning around. And it's because he's been consistent on his "progressive" message, fighting back against the Republican's conservative vision for America. And it's working.

What You Need To Know About The Top 1%

Income inequality in the U.S. is higher than at any other time since the Great Depression, and the U.S. is currently more unequal than countries like the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. Though Republicans dismiss concerns over the gap as “class warfare,” the ever-increasing level of disparity has tangible consequences, leading to poor work performance and a greater gap in life expectancy.

And now, according to a new Finance & Development study, income inequality also “kills economic growth.” Looking at how to sustain economic growth, the research found that “making an economy’s income distribution 10 percent more equitable prolongs its typical growth spell by 50 percent.”

Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson noted that this lesson is nothing new, pointing to Depression-era Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner Eccles, who “blamed the Great Crash on the nation’s wealth gap.”

More on this topic in another Jobsanger post that's worth taking the time to read:
Are you one of those people who thinks "wealth redistribution" is a dirty term, and something we should never do in this country? If so, then you don't understand much about economics in the United States (and elsewhere). The truth is that wealth redistribution is going on all the time in every country, and that includes the United States.

The problem with the wealth redistribution that is happening now in the U.S. is that the wealth is being redistributed from the vast majority of Americans to the richest Americans -- especially the top 1%. This has created a wealth and income inequality not seen in this country since the 1920s -- before the Great Depression. And that vast equality was the major cause of both the Great Depression and our current Great Recession.

Here are some facts you need to know about the richest 1% of Americans:

Read the full Jobsanger post...


Political Strategy Notes For Oct 5th 2011

The Democratic Strategist

At HuffPo Pollster, Mark Blumenthal's post "Obama's Approval Rating Is Underwater, But Don't Try To Predict 2012 Yet," notes that, despite lowered approval ratings, President Obama lead GOP frontrunners Romney and Perry. Although approval ratings are slightly better predictors of election results than trial heats, "none of these polling numbers can predict the winner of the presidency a year or more before the election," as Blumenthal points out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Obama Paid Another Visit To Texas Today

For the second time this year, President Barack Obama paid a visit to Texas. Obama attended a fundraiser in Dallas before heading to Mesquite for a 2:55 p.m. speech at Eastfield College. President Obama got a warm reception at his campaign stops at both the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, Texas and again at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas.

-- Obama's concluding remarks at Eastfield College --
Dallas, the next election is 13 months away. I need you all to lift your voice -- not just here in Dallas, but anyone watching, anyone listening, everybody following online. I need you to call and tweet and fax and visit and email your congressperson...

At both stops the President pitched his American Jobs Act legislation to crowds of enthusiastic supporters.

Obama used unusually blunt language to rebut critics who say he's engaged in class warfare quoting Ronald Reagan's argument from 26 years ago that tax loopholes for the rich were unfair.

“Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense,” he said at his Mesquite stop: Now, when I point this out, some of the Republicans in Congress say, ‘oh you’re engaging in class warfare.’ Let me tell you something. Years ago, one great American had a different view. I’m going to get the quote, just so you know I’m not making this up. A great American said that he thought it was ‘crazy’ that certain tax loopholes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary. Alright. You know who this guy was? It wasn’t a Democrat. It wasn’t some crazy socialist. It was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan. Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense. So next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them I’m with Ronald Reagan. I agree with Ronald Reagan that it’s crazy that a bus driver pays a higher tax rate than some millionaire because of a loophole in the tax code. And by the way, I don’t mind being called a warrior for the working class. You guys need someone working for you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Organized Climate Change Denial To Block Green Programs,Top Scholars Conclude

Riley E. Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State, and Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State call it the “climate change denial machine” in their book chapter, “Organized Climate Change Denial,” for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.

Key Components of Climate Change Denial Machine page 147 of Organized Climate Change Denial

In a note, the authors explain:

The actions of those who consistently seek to deny the seriousness of climate change make the terms “denial” and “denier” more accurate than “skepticism” and “skeptic,” particularly since all scientists tend to be skeptics.

Some try to downplay the central role of the denial machine in U.S. politics, but the fact is that what the deniers have accomplished in this country is unique in the world, going far beyond the spread of disinformation. They have allowed fossil fuel interests to “capture” almost an entire political party (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).

Here is the conclusion of the study:

GOP Presidential Candidates Support Constitutional Amendments Outlawing Common Forms Of Birth Control

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) told Fox News host Mike Huckabee this weekend that he would support an amendment to his state’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception:

HUCKABEE: Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established definition of life beginning of life at conception?

ROMNEY: Absolutely.

Constitutional amendment give legal rights to fertilized eggs go much farther than merely outlawing abortions. As ThinkProgress’ Marie Diamond noted, they could also have the effect of outlawing common forms of birth control, since contraceptives like the pill and IUDs can prevent fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Personhood amendments consider these types of birth control a form of abortion, and could potentially even treat them the same as homicide. If these amendments make terminating pregnancy a criminal act, they would also deter doctors from saving the lives of women with abnormal pregnancies because any doctor performing an abortion could risk prosecution.

Some of the Republican presidential field’s more radical candidates like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich have already voiced support for giving legal rights to unborn children, but it’s surprising coming from Romney considering that he was staunchly pro-choice for much of his political career.

New Voting Laws Could Keep 5 Million Voters From The Polls In 2012

Strict voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report (PDF) by the Brennan Center. That's a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.

In 2011, Texas and 17 other state legislatures across the country debated a requirement to have voters show one of a very limited selection of government issued photo identification to polling place officials to qualify to vote. The motivation for this legislative discussion is the widely distributed conservative allegation that Democratic voters commonly commit in-person voting impersonation fraud to qualify to vote.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Van Jones Calls For Progressive Push Back Against Tea Party

Van Jones, president of the progressive organization Rebuild the Dream, joins The Last Word to discuss what Washington should be doing about jobs. Jones calls the US' deficit problem "phony" and made up.

Van Jones
"Hold on to your hats, we're going to have an October offensive to take back the American dream and rescue America's middle class," Jones told MSNBC's "The Last Word."

Jones is talking about the Take Back the American Dream conference, organized by the Campaign for America's Future with support from Rebuild the Dream, will be happening on October 3 - 5 in Washington, DC. Find out more and register online.

Jones was President Obama's "green jobs czar" until he resigned in fall of 2009.

Transcript below:

CNN Poll: Tea Party Unfavorability Up 27 Points Since January 2010

The Tea Party movement has had some PR problems since the almost-default of the summertime debt fight.

TPM has reported on the increasingly negative view of the conservative movement Americans have taken, and on Tuesday there was more bad news: CNN polling, which has tracked the Tea Party’s popularity since January 2010, shows that a majority of Americans now views it unfavorably.

The poll shows that only 28 percent of Americans do view the Tea Party favorably, versus a full 53 percent who don’t. The poll shows that less than twenty percent don’t have an opinion of Tea Partiers, which is the lowest yet — an issue on polling the movement has been that many Americans simply didn’t know enough about it. That has clearly changed since the beginning of last year.

In January 2010, the Tea Party was actually viewed favorabilty by a plurality in the CNN poll, with 33 having a positive view against 26 percent. That unfavorable number continued to grow through out the midterm elections of 2010 (in which a number Tea Party endorsed candidates won) and started to really climb during the period which the Tea Party contingent in Congress has had an effect on policy. Throughout 2011 their unfavorability has been in the high forties and now the fifties.

CNN is not the only organization to find that the Tea Party brand is suffering. A recent AP poll found a similar trend, although the CNN survey showed unfavorability within the same time period to be higher.

The news comes as GOP presidential candidates are trying to vie for the conservative base of the Republican Party, which contains the Tea Party advocates, while still maintaing their viability within a general election. But the more unpopular the Tea Party becomes, the larger the gulf between the primary audience and the general election electorate becomes.

The Tea Party, Right-Wing Media and the Dog That Didn't Bark