Patterico's Pontifications

9/24/2009

Lessons from the NBC/WSJ poll: The blame frame

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:40 am



[Posted by Karl]

Public opinion polls are a surefire way for the establishment media to manufacture news — if not consent. The media, pundits, bloggers, etc., love polls because they seem to introduce a level of scientific precision into political analysis. While the underlying scientific theory of polling is generally sound, the practice is as much art as science. It is useful to occasionally look at a poll from that perspective.

For example, consider the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. A post on the poll by Allahpundit focused my attention on question 35:

If health care reform legislation does not get passed this year, who do you feel would be most to blame –– President Obama, the Democrats in Congress, or the Republicans in Congress?

The first notable aspect of the question is the use of the word “blame.” This poll is put together by a Democrat and a Republican, but the use of the word “blame” speaks volumes about how pervasive the Beltway mindset is. Had someone suggested the word “credit,” the problem would have been obvious to them.

I suspect that the attempted justification for using “blame” in this context would be that other polls show that people want healthcare reform in the abstract. But that merely raises a secondary question, i.e., how relevant are the poll questions that ask about the desirability of healthcare reform in the abstract. There are any number of issues where polling shows widespread opinion that there is a problem and no consensus regarding a solution, e.g., the federal deficit. Abstract questions on healthcare reform serve as a talking point for Democrats, but reveal nothing about public opinion in particular. Nor do they address the other polling that consistently shows widespread satisfaction with the status quo. In 1993-94, the latter sentiment defeated ClintonCare. As attitudes were slightly more anti-reform from the outset this year, why should anyone have taken the abstract question seriously?

The second notable aspect of the “blame” frame is that (ironically) it is not useful to Democrats. The Left has been busy for weeks and weeks trying to convince moderate Democrats that the failure of ObamaCare would be disastrous for the party in the 2010 midetrm elections. The math does not support their argument. Putting that inconvenient truth aside, if only 16% of adults will “blame” Democrats for ObamaCare’s failure, there is little incentive for moderates to vote for a scheme that may well be unpopular in their district or state.

On a related point, the WaPo’s Ezra Klein cherry-picked question 15 from this poll — showing the approval ratings for Pres. Obama versus Congressional Republicans on handling healthcare — to argue that the GOP strategy is “something of a kamikaze mission” that will ultimately make it impossible for any party to govern. Klein overlooks that question 15 does not bother to ask for an approval of Congressional Democrats on the issue, despite the fact that the legislation at issue is being drafted by them.

Klein also overlooks question 7, which asked respondents whether they would prefer to see next year’s elections result in a Congress controlled by Democrats or a Congress controlled by Republicans. The 48%-45% Democrat lead (among adults, not registered or likely voters) is the smallest lead in five years of this poll.

Klein further overlooks question 8, which asks people whether their representative deserves to be reelected, or whether it is time to give a new person a chance. That response — 40% reelect, 49% new person — is almost identical to the numbers the NBC/WSJ poll recorded in September 1994, just before the GOP tsunami swept Democrats from control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Then, as now, the GOP opposed the Democrats, and then governed Congress for a dozen years. They passed a lot of legislation that Klein probably opposed (not to mention some I opposed). Neither history nor the NBC/WSJ poll’s “blame” frame suggest anything suicidal in opposing the Obama agenda now.

The purpose here is not so much to beat up on Klein. Rather, it is to show that the establishment media to which he now belongs is often incapable of extracting itself from the left-leaning frames the media creates. They never resolve the cognitive dissonance created from their belief that the GOP will be “blamed” and suffer for opposing the Democrats’ nanny state agenda with the topline result of poll after poll showing the GOP being the (generally undeserving) beneficiary of increasing public opposition to that agenda.

–Karl

62 Responses to “Lessons from the NBC/WSJ poll: The blame frame”

  1. Karl: As you noted, the poll was put together by a Democrat and a Republican.

    Any improvement in health care numbers this far into a contentious debate is a win for the president and counter to what happened in 1994, when the numbers decreased steadily until the plan died.

    True, a generic question on whether people want reform will almost guarantee a majority. But it’s also a guarantee that no actual, living bill with all its complexities will get a strong majority of support. You simply cannot please every constituency, not with a sprawling bill so large it could change much of American life.

    I compare it to immigration reform. A strong majority support some kind of reform. Most agree that “status quo” is not OK. But when actual bills start getting discussed and people start to see how ugly the process will be, probably no bill will draw strong majority support.

    Overall, these are very mixed numbers for both parties, with equal amounts of encouragement and warnings. I think the challenge for Republicans will be to actually substitute a positive message for the word “no.”

    Leveraging anger is a short-term strategy — for both parties.

    Myron (e63c20)

  2. I blame Myron.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  3. Who, me?

    I’m innocent.

    Myron (e63c20)

  4. I think what is becoming even more polarizing is the lack of a polling group that a vast majority will hold in any esteem. What polling organization do you trust? And if the answer is never echoed by ‘the other side’, what value is there in any poll? How can you use that data to support your view when ‘the other side’ simply doesn’t trust the data?

    It’s not difficult to find flaws and imbalance in nearly any poll. And that will continue until some group steps up and provides a better process that the vast majority can support.

    Of course it also becomes necessary to discount the polling organizations that are blatantly biased. And the onus falls on all of us to discredit them and the people who base their opinions on them. Especially opinion polls that favor ‘our’ view.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  5. Myron has fallen into the same semantic trap the post discussed. “Reform” is a loaded word — it implies change that is good. It’s also vague, because different people have differing ideas of what reform constitutes.

    Immigration reform is a good example. Obama’s idea of immigration reform is going to be quite different that than of Tom Tancredo’s. And both would prefer the status quo to the “reform” of the other.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  6. Karl always does a great job of highlighting the douchebaggery the media engages in when they pick and choose the answers they like in order to create a story. The bigger story is usually the stuff that they do not tell you, as Karl routinely shows us.

    Corwin – That is an excellent point.

    I blame Myron.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  7. Actually, Brother Bradley, not only does his comment demonstrate what Karl was noting, but the rest about how the details decrease suppport is also telling, as they most certainly do not want to talk about those. Heaven forbid that people not want what they are trying to jam down our throats.

    I am still waiting for one of them to explain how this will decrease costs, increase access, efficiency, and quality, and remain deficit neutral. They wish to talk about anything other than those topics, as people understand those topics, and know that sucking at the teat of the nannystate ain’t going to fix those, and will most assuredly make them worse.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  8. Kind of tangentially related, but to me, the 2 most telling aspects of this are that :

    1) Congress will not have to suffer in the same system they are trying to impose on us, and

    2) This is such a “crisis” that they are pushing bills that have not been written or read, and demanding immediate action, but the freaking legislation will not go into effect until 2013, conveniently after 2 Congressional election cycles and the Presidential election. If this is a crisis, which it most certainly is not, it should be implemented immediately.

    /end rant

    JD (9d8cb8)

  9. I’m just waiting for them to actually write actual legislation at all, given the recent declaration by Baucus that refuses to do so.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Karl, the same poll shows 63% of the respondents disapprove of what the Republicans have been doing with regard to healthcare. You might argue over the use of “blame” but other parts of the poll strongly suggest the respondents want the Republicans to be negotiating with the Democrats over this, not stonewalling.

    Jim (743658)

  11. Karl noted that in the freakin post, and also noted how they did not ask the same question of Congressional Dems.

    JD (7e3655)

  12. I see it now.

    Course you can guess at the results if they had asked about Congressional Dems: 45% of respondents would rather change the current healthcare system vs. 39% who would prefer to keep the current system; Dems as a party get roughly a 40%+ very favorable or favorable vote vs. 28% for the GOP; and Nancy Pelosi has higher favorability ratings than Beck (although neither one is good in absolute numbers).

    Jim (743658)

  13. Corwin: I think there are several reputable polling organizations. Real Clear Politics does a good roundup of polls.

    I think the key with polls is to look at a bunch of them for each issue or congressional race and ultimately, take them for what they’re worth. I agree with one of Karl’s central premises, that the media and pundits make too much of them.

    But they are useful in showing trends. They are also useful when they show the public is completely one way on an issue.

    I think a popular opinion that is not necessarily true is that polls have no predictive power in congressional and presidential races. The polls — again, I’m speaking of a bunch of polls taken together — tend to be good predictors in all except the closest races.

    In the ‘O8 campaign, the only set of polls I remember as being a collective “outlier” were the Clinton/Obama New Hampshire primary numbers. The rest of the campaign, the pollsters pretty much got it right, even though pundits kept repeatedly returning to the New Hampshire race to illustrate that Obama could lose, no matter what all the polls said.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  14. Bradley: I have fallen into no trap.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  15. I compare it to immigration reform. A strong majority support some kind of reform. Most agree that “status quo” is not OK. But when actual bills start getting discussed and people start to see how ugly the process will be, probably no bill will draw strong majority support.

    Last I heard, some 70% supported reform that starts with “enforce the *@&& laws we’ve got!”.

    But that is not what the elites want, and what they want isn’t what the majority wants, hence the impasse.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  16. You might argue over the use of “blame” but other parts of the poll strongly suggest the respondents want the Republicans to be negotiating with the Democrats over this, not stonewalling.

    These are my thoughts, too, Jim.

    I also question why Karl highlights the word “blame” to suggest it might be spinning the results. There is no reason to assume using that word will spin it in favor of the Democrats.

    In fact, one could argue that the party in power is more vulnerable to the word “blame” since they run the show. It’s a point Karl seems to concede in graf 5.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  17. LarryD: I’m not sure about the “elites,” but I doubt you will find many people who do not want to secure the border. But simply stopping the flow of illegal immigrants would hardly be total “reform,” since there are 12 to 20 million here already.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  18. Myron:
    But simply stopping the flow of illegal immigrants would hardly be total “reform,” since there are 12 to 20 million here already.

    That’s the point of Patterico, who want to deport the illegal immigrant criminals first, then debate what to do with the others.

    In fact, one could argue that the party in power is more vulnerable to the word “blame” since they run the show.

    From a left-wing perspective, yes. That’s the bias baked into the word “blame.” I personally would be glad if Congress did nothing on health care, because what it’s proposing would make things worse, in my opinion.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  19. Again, look at what Myron and Jim don’t want to talk about.

    JD (870a39)

  20. Jim made a similar comment at HotAir, which I’ll reprint here, along with my response:

    So why does the same poll show 63% of the respondents disapproved of what the Republicans have been doing with regard to healthcare? Looks to me like the respondents want the Republicans to be negotiating with the Democrats over this, not stonewalling.

    Jimbo3 on September 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    My response:

    Why does it look that way to you? Of course the Democrats in the sample are going to feel that way, which is almost certainly the bulk of that 63%. On what basis should we assume that the remainder are people who want the GOP to cave, as opposed to fight harder?

    Of course, the point of the post is that Jimbo3’s concern is actually not all that relevant. What matters to politicians most is how they are doing. And if the GOP can pull into a statistical tie with the Dems on the generic ballot with adults, and get reelect numbers like we saw in 1994 by doing what they have been doing, that’s what they are going to do, because for all of the “blame” frame, the bottom line favors the GOP opposition to ObamaCare.

    As to Jim’s additional points, I was not aware that Beck was running for public office. For that matter, Pelosi’s approval numbers aren’t all that relevant either, because she answers to her district in SF and the Dem caucus. Which again underscores my point about people — but esp. people on the left — treating all sorts of polling data as relevant that really isn’t.

    Karl (f07e38)

  21. Karl – Thanks for confirming that about Jim for me. Now I know it is not raining.

    JD (870a39)

  22. “I personally would be glad if Congress did nothing on health care, because what it’s proposing would make things worse, in my opinion.”

    Absolutely. But the Reps have had it beaten into them (by Frank Luntz et al) that they must be affirmatively *for* something and not always *against* everything, ie not be the dreaded Party of No.

    Personally, the Party of No works just fine for me.

    cassandra in MT (5a5d33)

  23. The whole matter of polls is interesting in that few understand the dynamics of polling. In my graduate program in health economics, we had one course on surveys, which are a form of poll. The questions usually determine the answers so that, in designing a survey, almost the only way to get honest answers is to ask the same question several different ways. One example in such a poll might be to ask about “blame” then farther down the list, ask a question about “credit” for keeping our system as is. The results might be interesting.

    Over at Wash Monthly, they have a thread about how Kent Conrad is “confused” about other countries systems, like France. Then they show that they don’t understand the French system they are advocating.

    As Ezra Klein explained, “In France, for instance, the government provides all basic insurance coverage directly.

    I have made a lengthy study of the French system and it is nothing like the plan that is in Congress. Among other things, it is fee-for-service, it allows doctors to charge what they wish but the plan only pays part of the bill, and there is completely free choice. They have private hospitals and the basic funding of the system is through payroll deductions like our insurance.

    I am an advocate for reform based on the French model. They don’t understand it.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  24. I posted it here because no one else was posting on the Green Room, Karl.

    As to your point about the composition of the 63%, only 18% of the sample were strong GOP/not so strong GOP with another 11% leaning GOP. The GOP can play to its base all it wants, but why would the GOP want to tick off many of the independents and Dem-leaners by not negotiating. Isn’t that foolish?

    Don’t get so enamored with the generic Congressional ballot showing the GOP is only behind 4% (and in fact leads in Rasmussen). When it comes to specific candidates, the numbers tend to get better for the Dems. Obama has only a 51/41% favorability rating in this poll, but wins over the four likely GOP contenders by double digits in a recent poll of voters (and wins the independents by double digits): Obama 50% Bush 37%; Obama 48% Huckabee 41%; Obama 53% Palin 38%; Obama 48% Romney: 39%. See http://frontloading.blogspot.com/2009/09/ppp-2012-presidential-poll-huckabee.html. The point is that you’ve got to compare actual candidates to get a good read.

    And what don’t I want to talk about, JD and Karl?

    Jim (743658)

  25. who want to deport the illegal immigrant criminals first, then debate what to do with the others.

    Bradley: That’s not going to happen. There is no political will for that on either side of the aisle.

    As for your “do-nothing” attitude on health care, you’re in the minority.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  26. Myron and Jim would do well to go over to the progressive blogs and argue with them. I think the chances of a bill with any significant change is less than 50 %. I’m not the only one.

    You have one faction within the Democratic Party whipping in one direction, another whipping in the opposite direction. And we’re supposed to be just six weeks out from a final bill? Importantly, I’ve not yet seen evidence that one side or the other is prepared to buckle. Until I do, I have to conclude that serious hurdles remain.

    Jim may comfort himself with the idea that Obama is ahead for the 2012 election. he has had only 8 months to f**k up the USA and, by the looks of his UN speech, we are in for a lot more. Talk to me in two years when Afghanistan is lost, Pakistan is teetering with its nukes, Iran and Israel are about to exchange nuclear attacks and the oil shortage is a crisis with gas at $10/ gallon.

    Myron thinks a “do-nothing” policy will be harmful but medicine has an old rule Primum non nocere.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. Myron,
    As for your “do-nothing” attitude on health care, you’re in the minority.

    I don’t want to do nothing, I think nothing is better than what Congress is proposing. Your bias made you misread what I said.

    And polls show that ObamaCare is increasingly unpopular.

    Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters nationwide now oppose the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the highest level of opposition yet measured and includes 44% who are Strongly Opposed.

    Just 43% now favor the proposal, including 24% who Strongly Favor it.

    Your bias prevents you from accepting facts you don’t like.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (3a428d)

  28. Jimbo3 lurvs him some polls.

    You guys don’t want to talk about how all of this will be paid for, or rather, won’t be paid for. Nothing about how any of this will reduce costs, or increase access, quality, or efficiency. You don’t want to talk about the inevitable rationing. You don’t want to talk about the cuts to Medicare, and the imaginary savings contained therein. You want to talk about polls, blame, and apparently, illegal immigration. ACORN can help you out with that.

    JD (bc26c4)

  29. “In other words, the conditions of uncertainty are severe, to say the least. That’s why I still have nothing but questions. And as for my prediction for a comprehensive bill passing…how about this: I’ll put it at 50% with a standard deviation of 25%, for a practical range of 25% to 75%.”

    –That’s the bottom line from your linked article. That doesn’t support your statement that Kaus thinks passage of something significant is less than 50%.

    And I understand that ObamaCare is not popular in the last Rasmussen poll among registered/likely voters. But the WSJ poll shows a plurality of the people sampled (45%/39%, if I remember correctly) wanted a bill to be passed.

    Jim (743658)

  30. And I understand that ObamaCare is not popular in the last Rasmussen poll among registered/likely voters. But the WSJ poll shows a plurality of the people sampled (45%/39%, if I remember correctly) wanted a bill to be passed.

    Jim seems confused by the differences between “Obamacare” and “a bill.”

    “One of these things is not like the other…”

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  31. Wanting A bill to be passed and wanting THIS bill to be passed are not even close to the same thing, jimbo3.

    JD (bc26c4)

  32. Awesome refutation there, Jim – but pray tell us, what kind of plan does the “plurality of the people” want passed? Please be specific – no more stonewalling or creative usage of poll results.

    What specific kind of plan do they want, Jim?

    Dmac (a93b13)

  33. Jim,

    If the sample is 18% strong GOP, why shouldn’t I assume that this group, along with Democrats, makes up the vast bulk of the disapproval number, and that very few Independents care about the GOP’s approach to health care? Without the crosstabs for question 15b, it’s just you indulging your bias — the very point of the post.

    What you don’t want to talk about is that the reelect numbers for people’s own member of Congress are almost exactly where they were in 1994. Why would the GOP want to jump on a sinking ship?

    Karl (f07e38)

  34. Read the poll. It’s this bill.

    Do you think it would be better to pass Barack Obama’s health care plan and make its changes to the health
    care system or to not pass this plan and keep the current health care system?
    Better to pass this plan, make these changes ……………………. 45
    Better to not pass this plan, keep current system……………….. 39
    Neither (VOL)…….. 9
    Not sure……. 7

    Jim (743658)

  35. Why does Jim sound exactly like Myron? Why do they refuse to offer details on their lauded polling that proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that the majority of the public wants a bill to be passed? How much will it cost, guys?

    I have fallen into no trap.

    I believe this was Custer’s last words before he was annihilated at Little Big Horn.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  36. Better to pass this plan, make these changes

    Let’s try this again: WHAT CHANGES DO THEY WANT, EXACTLY, JIM?

    Dmac (a93b13)

  37. Go look at question 8 in the poll. Except for a few years in the past 17, the respondents have almost always said that they want to give “someone else the chance” to represent them, rather than re-electing the incumbent. And not much generally happens when it comes time to vote.

    Jim (743658)

  38. Dmac, the question reads “Do you think it would be better to pass Barack Obama’s health care plan and make its changes to the health
    care system or to not pass this plan and keep the current health care system? Not “these” changes.

    Jim (743658)

  39. jimbo3 lurvs him some polls. I knew it wasn’t raining.

    JD (bc26c4)

  40. For my part, I would like to take this moment to denounce Jim as a racist.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  41. I don’t want to do nothing, I think nothing is better than what Congress is proposing.

    Bradley: What’s your proposal?

    Myron (6a93dd)

  42. His answer was self – evident, Myron – and your comment is particularly hilarious, considering you have yet to answer the question yourself. As we’ve seen with your complete refusal to understand Mike K’s comments that come from someone who’s been involved in this issue for decades, we could say the exact same thing for Bradley. Not only has he written about this subject previously, you could do something amazing and unexpected and actually spend a few minutes and look up a few columns to read his thoughts on the subject.

    But we know full well that you won’t, because you’d rather play games and keep asking “questions” and using feints of language in order to evade any direct questions yourself. So either put up or…like your Dear Leader says. So either put up, or…well, as your Dear Leader says.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  43. That’s the bottom line from your linked article. That doesn’t support your statement that Kaus thinks passage of something significant is less than 50%.

    Jim, do you know what a standard deviation is ? I have to deal with excitable ignoramuses over at Wash Monthly (I don’t have to but it is interesting sometimes, like a flea circus). I expect better of our trolls over here. A number of people, including Karl Rove for example, think something will pass and be called health reform. Not to do so would be a catastrophe.

    Mickey Kaus thinks they are trying to pass something before the VA and NJ elections let the last air out of the Obama balloon.

    By the way, Jim, that article wasn’t by Mickey Kaus. Reading comprehension is good.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  44. Myron
    Bradley: What’s your proposal?
    One, increased funding of local community clinics, for those who can’t afford or don’t get health insurance.

    Two, let health insurance companies operate nationally.

    Three, tort reform.

    These should be a good start.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  45. I would add to Bradley there are a few other reforms that would make a huge difference. For example, stop the Medicare rule that bans any “balance billing.” Medicare now pays about 20% of charges for physicians and not much more to hospitals. Doctors are dropping Medicare by the thousands or are limiting new patients in their practice. Practice management consultants advise new primary care docs to limit their practice to 11% Medicare. A lot of physicians have dropped out of Medicare and are treating Medicare patents for cash. Why should this be ? Let Medicare set payments at what it can afford and let patients negotiate with doctors. Require the docs to post their fees in the waiting room or on the internet. That would keep medical care available to Medicare beneficiaries and help “bend the curve” of Medicare cost.

    There are a bunch of reforms that would help fix the problems we see. There is a way to deal with catastrophic illness. The French have a system where they exempt cancer and other catastrophic diagnosis from any co-pay. We could set up a subsidized pool that would pay the costs for those diagnoses. It could include what used to be called “crippled children” services. That is doable with subsidy that would cost far less than the proposed Baucus or HR 3200 bills. Significantly, the French pay the cost for the diagnosis but the rest of that patient’s care is from the same health plan and at the same cost. At a single stroke (pardon the pun) the pre-existing condition is gone.

    There are lots of other innovative ways to reform care but they all have a significant flaw that prevents Democrats from supporting them. They all involve free choice and local ingenuity. They do not involve centralized federal control.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  46. Myron and Jim’s comments are like an Obama speech – full of platitudes but devoid of substance. As usual Myron is unwilling to delve into any details, but happy to blame Republicans for whatever he perceives is going wrong. His knowledge of the subject matter is two inches wide and one inch deep and he just keeps repeating the same talking points day after day, refusing to address legitimate criticism or alternatives, but hey, he WON.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  47. Standard deviations and statistical probability only apply when there’s an actual sample taken, Mike. A prediction of 50% +/- 25% isn’t a real sample.

    You’re right, though–it wasn’t Kaus who wrote the first article you linked. It was someone at Real Clear Politics. My bad.

    Jim (0dffa9)

  48. I don’t really blame either of them regarding their refusal to confront the issue directly – they’re just following their elected leaders. Don’t like the problems of having to explain the bill to your actual constituents? No problem, just hold phony “Townhall” phone call – ins where not a contrary note is heard. Or better yet, decline to hold them at all. All hat, no cattle.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  49. Dmac – They want to talk about polls. They do not want to talk about things that should be fundamental to this debate, like how it will be paid for, will it increase quality or access, decrease costs, etc … as those things are irrelevant. They seek power.

    JD (dda3fa)

  50. Standard deviations and statistical probability only apply when there’s an actual sample taken, Mike. A prediction of 50% +/- 25% isn’t a real sample.

    My point was that the It means that a 25% chance of passing is equally likely as a 75% chance. The author of that article used the term and the meaning of it is significant. It means there is an equal chance of a 25% chance of passage as a 75% chance.

    I don’t think anything will pass.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  51. That was garbled but it is clear that the chance of passage is uncertain and could be 25%.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  52. Um. My guess, Dr. K., is that the commenter hasn’t had any statistics. Hence the snark.

    Notice, JD, that these people only want to talk about some polls. The ones they don’t like are fraught with error, strangely enough.

    Besides, did you hear the “code”:

    “Standard deviations and statistical probability only apply when there’s an actual sample taken, Mike. A prediction of 50% +/- 25% isn’t a real sample.”

    I caught the “white honkey” that was intended to be tacked to the end of that sentence. Code, I tell you!

    It’s the MSM journalism approach.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  53. More fun with ACORN, via WaPo
    Documents released by a Senate Republican on Thursday show that leaders of the ACORN community organizing network transferred several million dollars in charitable and government money meant for the poor to arms of the group that have political and sometimes profit-making missions.

    ACORN’s tax-exempt groups and allied organizations, long a target of conservative ire, used more than half their charitable and public money in 2006 to pay other ACORN affiliates, according to an analysis by the tax staff of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

    And get Bertha Lewis’ non-denial denial.

    “Senator Grassley made up his mind, and he didn’t bother about the facts,” Lewis said in an interview. “He’s dealing with a lot of outdated information and decided to frame it with a predetermined conclusion. Yes, we had problems under Wade Rathke. . . . And we have been overhauling how we do things ever since.”

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9e6be3)

  54. Heck, maybe they are having trouble under Bertha Lewis!

    Maybe we should give ACORN to Mitt Romney to run. After all, he has a record of genuinely caring for the poor, by good works and actions.

    Sure, he is a Mormon and all, but I don’t think he would be glossing over the importations of underaged sex slaves. Unlike some ACORN supporters and officers I could mention.

    But apparently the latter is less awful to the Left than the former?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  55. Hiltzik had a heckuva a dishonest column today using polls. The left wing magic Obama spin machine is in full swing. From the White House to the media in one easy step.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  56. Hey, daley:

    “…Hiltzik had a heckuva a dishonest column today using polls…”

    I think you are saying the same thing three times, aren’t you?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  57. Yup. A statement of the obvious from the department of redundancy department.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  58. […] to passage; his co-blogger Andrew Gelman also warns that the Dems could lose the House). Yet we are supposed to believe that it is the GOP committing suicide on the issue. Mickey Kaus is far less confident, as is Tom […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » More ObamaCare delusions (e2f069)

  59. If the democrats have not been able to pass it by now they probably never will. Doing something just to do something is not reform, it is just bad governance. Everything the democrats have been jamming in to this monstrosity and their attempts to disguise and obfuscate what is in the proposals signal their intentions are are not strictly to make paying for health care easier and more affordable but rather that of an ulterior motive.

    The French seem to have a somewhat better system. A fee for service with posted prices by the hospitals and doctors and a posted price of what the government and the health insurance company equivalents will reimburse with the patient deciding what is in their best interest. Added to it is what appears to be a catastrophic care plan (cancer) with no deductibles. At first glance it looks like a system that could be a good base to work from.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  60. […] to passage; his co-blogger Andrew Gelman also warns that the Dems could lose the House). Yet we are supposed to believe that it is the GOP committing suicide on the issue. Mickey Kaus is far less confident, as is Tom […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » More ObamaCare delusions (e4ab32)

  61. […] showing the GOP gaining near-parity with the Dems on the generic ballot (not to mention the recent WSJ/NBC poll showing re-elect numbers for Congress as bad as in 1994) should be discounted due to the […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » 2010: Will Dems be saved by those awful, awful, AWFUL Republicans? (e2f069)

  62. […] showing the GOP gaining near-parity with the Dems on the generic ballot (not to mention the recent WSJ/NBC poll showing re-elect numbers for Congress as bad as in 1994) should be discounted due to the GOP’s […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » 2010: Will Dems be saved by those awful, awful, AWFUL Republicans? (e4ab32)


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