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Old 07-30-2009, 12:36 PM   #766
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Statistics speak for themselves. I guess if I was racist I'd want them to keep on killing though.

The KKK have been saying the same exact thing for decades.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #767
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The more optimistic side of me would like to believe Obama, backed by US public sentiment, is supportive of a true two-state solution and won't engage Netanyahu until there is some willingness to consider the settlement freeze.
Hmm, well, Benn was proposing a speech aimed at the Israeli public; he wasn't talking about diplomacy with the Israeli government, which actually there continues to be plenty of--Mitchell, Gates and Jones were all there (again) just last week. As for Iran, I think that's more one of a long list of issues on the table (particularly in terms of connections to Hezbollah and Hamas), not the driver.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:42 PM   #768
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The KKK have been saying the same exact thing for decades.
Happily I'm unaware of what the KKK has to say.
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:22 PM   #769
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By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Americans are more likely to disapprove than approve of how President Barack Obama has dealt with the racially tinged dispute between a white Cambridge, Mass., police officer and a well-known black Harvard scholar — with white voters especially likely to take a negative view, according to a poll released Thursday.

The July 16 arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. for disorderly conduct in his own home sparked a national debate over racial profiling and police conduct. The controversy intensified days later after Obama said police "acted stupidly" when they arrested Gates, who is a friend of his.

The poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 41 percent disapproved of Obama's handling of the Gates arrest, compared with 29 percent who approved. The poll also found the incident and Obama's reaction saturated the public consciousness. As many as 80 percent of Americans said they are now aware of Obama's comments on the matter.

The president's approval ratings fell, especially among working class whites, as the focus of the Gates story shifted from details about the incident to Obama's remarks, the poll said. Among whites in general, more disapprove than approve of his comments by a two-to-one margin.

At the White House, officials brushed off the numbers. Press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he doesn't believe the premise of the poll findings and that no one there is worried about the falling numbers.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday, July 22-26. Among those interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, 53 percent of whites approved of Obama's job performance. This slipped to 46 percent among whites interviewed Friday through Sunday as the Gates story played out. Obama made his comments the night of July 22.

Obama's overall job approval in the poll was 54 percent, down from 61 percent in a mid-June Pew poll.
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:24 PM   #770
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The poll also found the incident and Obama's reaction saturated the public consciousness. As many as 80 percent of Americans said they are now aware of Obama's comments on the matter.
Now if only we could get those kinds of numbers on healthcare...
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:35 PM   #771
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Now if only we could get those kinds of numbers on healthcare...
They just need to sex it up a little and I'm sure we'd get there. Or we could have the new healthcare proposal cop arrest a belligerent status quo and see where that gets us.
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #772
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Now if only we could get those kinds of numbers on healthcare...
I am starting to think health care is going to end up with very little improvement


I do think the fact that this Gates arrest has gotten so much attention has hurt the President's ability to move his agenda.


In hind sight I just wish he would have said he was happy the charges were dropped.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:02 PM   #773
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I don't think the Gates thing has much to do with moving forward on healthcare reform. He just tried to push it through too quickly, and it's just too much money and too complicated for that. Hillary Clinton tried for years, not just a summer (hasn't even been a whole summer). With the recession and fears about the huge debts we are getting into you have to expect resistance.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:31 PM   #774
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I wasn't saying the response to 'Gatesgate' is the reason why healthcare reform is such a SNAFU (though it certainly doesn't help Obama's ability to rally the public on the issue). Just that the public-awareness discrepancy is a sad commentary on what people apparently feel enough stake in to actually keep themselves informed about.
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In hindsight I just wish he would have said he was happy the charges were dropped.
Sure, in hindsight the President ought to steer clear of applying the label "stupid" to the behavior of police, even if they beat the bejesus out of someone. But that's not why the "saturation" is 80%. It's hardly as if that's the only public comment he's made lately.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:36 PM   #775
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I was responding to what deep said, that's how I interpreted it

I am starting to think health care is going to end up with very little improvement
I do think the fact that this Gates arrest has gotten so much attention has hurt the President's ability to move his agenda.


I don't think most people are choosing not to be informed about healthcare reform- maybe they're just confused and overwhelmed by all the information (often conflicting and biased) that is coming at them. That has nothing to do with what the media focuses on such as beer summits-it could still be confusing in spite of that.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:00 PM   #776
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I don't think the Gates thing has much to do with moving forward on healthcare reform. He just tried to push it through too quickly, and it's just too much money and too complicated for that. Hillary Clinton tried for years, not just a summer (hasn't even been a whole summer). With the recession and fears about the huge debts we are getting into you have to expect resistance.
The president needs to get specific, and slow down a little (I guess he's been forced to slow down). I've followed the news, and his health care presser...I'm still not crystal clear on what he wants, and what sacrifices our families might need to make to pay for it.

He handed the reigns to Congress on the $800 billion dollar stimulus and ended up signing a reckless bill. Hopefully we don't see a repeat on health care.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:42 PM   #777
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This seems to confirm what MrsS said:


Slow Down, Mr. President: behind Obama's declining poll numbers.

By John Dickerson
Slate, July 30



We're behind you, Barack, but slow down. That was the message from a dozen independent voters who chatted with veteran pollster Peter Hart Wednesday night.

Hart, who regularly conducts these focus groups for the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, had expected a harsher assessment. He'd just finished working on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in which President Obama's approval rating is at 53%. The Pew poll and New York Times/CBS poll have shown similar drops. When people are asked about the president's performance on the issue of the day—health care—their assessments are even grimmer. In the NBC/WSJ poll, 42% now say that the president's plan is a bad idea, which is a 10-point increase since last month.

I sat on the other side of one-way glass with a group of other reporters while Hart started his work, a mixture of cajoling and entertaining the participants for their real views. It started out darkly for Obama. Asked to rate the current state of things between 0 (miserable) and 10 (great), two picked 5, and everyone else went lower. Asked to give a word or phrase describing how they felt about the country, they said: struggling, stagnant, disgruntled, nothing's changed, dismal, worried, hell in a handbasket, drained. Hart pointed to an easel with a series of arrows on it. Some pointed straight up. Some pointed slightly up. Another zigzagged. He asked the group to pick which one represented where the country would be in two years. Almost everyone picked the zigzag.

Lou Moriconi, a 63-year-old graphic designer, picked an arrow pointing straight down, the harshest assessment. But when asked what he would tell the president if he met him, he said: "Keep up the good work—we're still behind you." Lou was one of the seven in the group who voted for Obama (or "Barack," as six of his supporters referred to him), but even the four McCain voters and one Nader supporter had not given up on the president. "Stay strong," said Ray, a movie theater manager, when asked what he would tell Obama.

Each could remember what they felt the night Obama was elected. Their recollections were vivid. One woman who voted for McCain, Jennifer Pennington, nevertheless remembers crying at the sense of possibility. "I pledged all my hopes for him." This kind of intense emotion could lead to a sense of dashed expectations, but instead it appears to have created, at least in this small sample, a personal connection that makes them patient and ready to follow. When Scott Wood, an unemployed network administrator was asked what he would tell Obama he said, "Don't give up. We haven't."

"We've found out he's not Superman," said Obama voter Nora Seeley, 54, a dental hygienist, when asked what she had learned about him in the last six months. "He's on a fast train," said Seeley. "Things aren't being considered." Nearly everyone echoed this sentiment. "Slow down," said Alex Chambers, a 27-year-old teacher, when asked to give the president advice. "The speed that he's doing things—it's a little bit of a gamble," said Tim Polen, a 24-year-old student. Many worried that by moving too quickly—particularly on health care—Obama was going to make the situation worse.

There were lots of concerns expressed on everything from the growth of spending to the Wall Street bailouts. But speed was the big issue. "People just need to breathe," said Hart. "It's like trying to shove a meal down in a minute. These people are saying, 'Slow down, Mr. President.' " This echoed something I'd heard earlier in the day from House Minority Leader John Boehner. Talking about the Blue Dog Democrats, who were slowing the pace of health care legislation in the House, Boehner said: "It's not surprising these members would have to stand up and say 'stop.' That's what most Americans are saying."

If the members of the focus group wanted Obama to slow down, that doesn't mean they want to see less of him. Repeatedly, they said they liked hearing from the president and approved of the way he explained things. When asked to say what helped shape their views about Obama—they were given a list of 15 factors, such as giving the military the go-ahead to shoot the Somali pirates, his family life, and his proposed overhaul of health care—7 of the 12 picked "press conferences and town-hall sessions around the country." It was the most popular factor.

But just because they like to hear from Obama doesn't mean they like everything he says. They were irritated when the president inserted himself in the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. It wasn't because Obama seemed to pick a side but because he shot his mouth off and meddled (though everyone seemed to like that Obama tried to improve his remarks later). If there was a more general warning sign in this, it was that later in the session a few in the group—all of them Obama voters—talked about the president's lack of humility.

Hart tries in these focus groups to get at political attitudes indirectly. At one point, he asked the group to describe what Obama's spine is made of. The answers ranged from steel to sand. Marsha Welder, 59, an account manager at a security firm, said "wet cement," because "it's going to dry." It was fitting description for an evening when everyone seemed to be practicing, and preaching, patience.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Then again, there may still be a case to be made for the uninformed-public theory...

Quote:
Washington Post, July 28

In other pockets of the state, the reaction to Democratic proposals has been strong, too. At a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-SC) to "keep your government hands off my Medicare."

"I had to politely explain that, 'Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,' " Inglis recalled. "But he wasn't having any of it."
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:04 PM   #778
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I'm amazed by his pace. Yeah, I wonder what the final outcome with be with the healthcare reform, but I'm already pleased that enough people in congress have the common sense not to actually put the government in charge of healthcare. That would be a travesty.

I'm rooting him on. Go Obama!
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #779
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Obama is really not "radical" at all. He is actually one of the more moderate presidents we have had. He is pretty cautious, careful, and centrist. I dont understand why the right insists on labeling him as some sort of socialistic president. Not only that, but he is really doing, or at least trying, everything he said he would do.

....Health care is now stuck in dumbass congress, but the president has the right idea on health reform. He has already put through some great environmental bills, the stimulus is creating jobs, and there are many positive things for education in the stimulus. We have basically "ended" the war in Iraq and our standing in the world has increased tremendously. I think his best success so far has been on foreign policy. I think he is doing a great job- its congress Im worried about
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:41 PM   #780
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Obama is really not "radical" at all. He is actually one of the more moderate presidents we have had. He is pretty cautious, careful, and centrist. I dont understand why the right insists on labeling him as some sort of socialistic president. Not only that, but he is really doing, or at least trying, everything he said he would do.

....Health care is now stuck in dumbass congress, but the president has the right idea on health reform. He has already put through some great environmental bills, the stimulus is creating jobs, and there are many positive things for education in the stimulus. We have basically "ended" the war in Iraq and our standing in the world has increased tremendously. I think his best success so far has been on foreign policy. I think he is doing a great job- its congress Im worried about
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