“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Obama slide in polls continues down 7% in one month to 50%

Obama sold himself as a candidate of change. Many bought it including the most important group, middle class white voters. Whites, despite the hype otherwise, make up 80% of the US population.

IMO, Obama immediatley siding with the black professor over the white middle class cop brought into question Obama's racial neutrality. That suspicion has carried over to the health plan that looks more and more like a transfer payment from the private middle class sector to the minority community that is more dependent on the government.

Most people, with private plans consider health care an integral part of their wage compensation. It is something that they have worked for and depend on. They have no stomach to see it redistributed by the government.

It is unspoken but there and now showing up in the polls.


Obama’s Approval Rating Drops on Health Care, Economy Concerns

By Kristin Jensen

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s approval rating is falling amid concerns about the U.S. economy and his push to revamp the U.S. health-care system, a Quinnipiac University poll shows.

Exactly half of the registered voters surveyed from July 27 to Aug. 3 by Quinnipiac said they approve of the job Obama is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove. That’s down from 57 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval in a poll taken in late June, according to results released today.

Americans are upset about rising unemployment and worried that health-care plans making their way through Congress will add to the U.S. budget deficit, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based polling institute. The combination has helped drive down the president’s ratings.

A “willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt is, among some voters, evaporating,” Brown told reporters in Washington yesterday.

The poll found that voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy by 49 percent to 45 percent. On his effort to overhaul of the health-care system, 52 percent disapprove of his handling of the issue while 39 percent approve.

Only foreign policy offered a bright spot: 52 percent of poll respondents approved of his job on this front, compared with 38 percent who disapproved.

Quinnipiac took the poll in the middle of a controversy over Obama’s remarks about the arrest of Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. Gates, who is black, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after a confrontation at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a white police officer.

Obama, asked about the incident during a July 22 news conference, said police “acted stupidly” in making the arrest. In the poll, voters by 49 percent to 33 percent said Obama acted “stupidly” when he waded into the matter. Even so, 55 percent said they approved of the way Obama is handling race relations.

The poll surveyed 2,409 registered voters nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points


  1. what's the narrative today for obfuscation

  2. That the Messiah will bring us the Healthcare we NEED.

  3. Health Reform and the Tax Pledge

    "Every administration has to take into account public opinion. Without doing so, Abraham Lincoln said, little can be achieved. But too much polling doesn’t raise presidential vision. It narrows and pulls it down. Substituting a weekly dose of opinion surveys for thoughtful consideration is causing White House aides to find new scapegoats whenever administration policy initiatives get into trouble.

    We see this on health-care reform, which the president’s pollsters told him—six months into the debate—he must instead call “health insurance reform,” a phrase he repeated five times in his prime-time news conference and at least 20 times in five days of appearances since.

    The problem is many Americans remember Mr. Obama started his health-care push by focusing on covering the uninsured and reducing costs, not knocking insurance companies upside the head.
    (Obama also now says he promises to bring us the Healtcare Reform we NEED,
    instead of the previous "What the American People WANT" ) that it is apparent we don't want it, the fallback is the standard liberal view that
    The Elite know what our needs are better than we do.
    "There are no polling data or focus groups on earth that can help Mr. Obama out of this jam. He has set in motion events he appears unable to control and commitments he cannot keep. Great communicators succeed when the ideas they are communicating are sound. Tax-and-spend liberalism doesn’t work, no matter how pretty its package.

    Every Wednesday night senior Obama aides gather for two hours to review the latest polling and focus-group data to develop that packaging. These White House sessions haven’t elevated the quality of Team Obama’s discourse. They have made it incoherent.

  4. The continued narrative is that the Final Senate Bill will be heavily influenced by Mr Grassley, Ms Snowe and another GOPer whose name escapes me.

    Non-profit co-operatives will stand in the stead of the US Government but, just like Fannie and Fraudie, will just ba an extension of the Federal writ.

    If there are battlelines drawn, there will be more GOPers on board with "Health Insurance Reform" than are going to vote for Ms Sotomyer.

    Figure she'll garner at least 66 votes for confirmation.

  5. A Chi-town commentator writes about "beefing" and Mr Issa. But the paragraph that caught my eye:

    The national media -- and the Republicans -- weren't all that interested in Chicago politics when Obama was campaigning. The pundits were too busy smoking their Hopium.
    National Republicans made one little commercial about the Chicago machine,
    but Mayor Daley said there wasn't any machine, and that was that

    California lawmaker picking Rahmsian beef
    John Kass

    Americans elected a man from Chicago who would transcend the old politics. But a bunch of guys from City Hall are now in the White House, running things.

    So what's the beef?

  6. Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who led American International Group Inc. for 38 years until his ouster amid state and federal accounting probes in 2005, will pay $15 million to settle US ...

  7. Government Motors
    No longer running on empty

    GM to launch Buick plug-in SUV in 2011.

    TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (Reuters) - General Motors Co unveiled plans to launch a plug-in SUV for its Buick brand in 2011, its latest move away from gas-guzzling vehicles in response to higher fuel-economy standards.

    The new five-passenger Buick crossover is expected to be the first commercially available plug-in hybrid sport-utility vehicle by a major automaker, and would follow GM's heavily touted Chevrolet Volt plug-in car into the market.

    The Chevy Volt, slated for showrooms in late 2010, and other electric vehicles including the Buick plug-in are key to GM's effort to reinvent itself and win back consumer trust after the automaker emerged from bankruptcy in July

    Green greenshoots.
    Sprouting everywhere?

    Just takes an extrodinary amout of fertilizer.

    More than a Bull Shitzu could ever produce, reliably.

  8. Americans are ignoring things like:

    Russian sub's of the east cost...

    Russian threats to America NOT to re-arm Georgia as Russian combat troops get massed on the south Odessia border...

    Mary Robinson gets the Medal of Freedom medal

    Show trials in Iran have started and over 100 protesters have died in prison already

    Obama lifts technology and airplane part sanctions against syria

    russia helped hezbollah break an israeli spy ring in southern lebanon

    and on and on....

  9. The Russians returning to the high seas, that's a "good thing" in DCese.

    Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said their presence is not causing alarms to go off.

    "So long as they are operating in international waters, as, frankly, we do around the world, and are behaving in a responsible way, they are certainly free to do so, and it doesn't cause any alarm within this building," he said.

    It has been years since Russia operated near the U.S. seaboard, thousands of miles from home ports.

    "What's interesting is, they haven't been able to do this in some time, and now they are. It indicates a return to their ability to do this," the senior defense official said.

    He viewed the patrol as an example of Russia showing the United States and the world its expeditionary forces, part of a continuing trend. He said the Russians have recently been a partner in anti-piracy operations around the world. And last year the Russian Navy conducted a "tour around the world," pulling into ports throughout Latin America

    From Chris Lawrence
    CNN Pentagon Correspondent

    No worries.

  10. India Launches Nuclear Submarine.
    Published: July 26, 2009

    There are lots of things that are ignored.

  11. TUSCON, Ariz (Reuters) --

    The U.S. government said on Thursday it would create a new detention system for immigrants facing deportation, taking control of facilities criticized for their treatment of detainees.

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, said it was creating an Office of Detention Policy and Planning to design a new civil detention system for the growing number of immigrant detainees.

    About 32,000 immigrants are held at any given time in around 350 local jails and private prisons, which have been criticized for providing poor medical care and oversight.

    "My goal within the next three to five years, we will detain people within our custody in facilities ... located and operated specifically for immigration purposes," ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton said.

  12. Indian military officials said the submarine would be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, however Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended the ceremony, said that the it was not built to threaten India’s neighbors.

    “We do not have any aggressive designs,” he said. “We seek an external environment in our region and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and the protection of our value systems.”

    India first tested a nuclear bomb in 1974, but it has been shut out of the group of recognized nuclear powers for decades. India has not signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, arguing that the current list of accepted nuclear powers does not reflect reality

  13. Come on, murray!

    Get in the Game!

  14. White House: 'War on terrorism' is over!

    'Jihadists' and 'global war' no longer acceptable terms

    By Jon Ward and Eli Lake WASHINGTON TIMES.

    Mr. Brennan said that to say the U.S. is fighting "jihadists" is wrongheaded because it is using "a legitimate term, 'jihad,' meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal" which "risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve."

    "Worse, it risks reinforcing the idea that the United States is somehow at war with Islam itself," Mr. Brennan said.

    As for the "war on terrorism," Mr. Brennan said the administration is not going to say that "because 'terrorism' is but a tactic — a means to an end, which in al Qaedas case is global domination by an Islamic caliphate."

    "You can never fully defeat a tactic like terrorism any more than you can defeat the tactic of war itself," Mr. Brennan said.

    He also said that to call the fight against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups — which he said remains "a dynamic and evolving threat" — should not be called "a global war."

    While Mr. Brennan acknowledged that al Qaeda and its affiliates are active in countries throughout the Middle East and Africa, he also said that "portraying this as a 'global' war risks reinforcing the very image that al Qaeda seeks to project of itself — that it is a highly organized, global entity capable of replacing sovereign nations with a global caliphate."

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Sotomayor Confirmed by Senate: 68-31

  17. 68 ayes, far more than a "Super Majority"

  18. Rat, that article missed a Big Part of the Buick SUV story.

    Buick Plug-In Hybrid "FLEX FUEL" SUV in 2011

    Plug-in Hybrid, and runs on E85.

    This is NOT Exxon's "dreams come true.

  19. Neither is this

    Sweet Sorghum for a Piedmont Ethanol Industry.

    The southeastern Piedmont, a physiographic region extending from the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania to the middle of Alabama, has relatively small, irregularly-shaped fields on rolling terrain. The Piedmont was chosen for sweet sorghum production because much effort has been expended to develop drought-tolerant crops for this region, and sweet sorghum has emerged as a leading candidate for carbohydrate production with minimum inputs.

  20. If we were serious about weaning US from Saudi oil.

    Truth is, we're not serious about it, at all. Still we could gear up non-foodstuff ethanol production, in a year.

    If there was any desire to mimic the glory days of US exceptionalism.

  21. FOX News reports:

    Not bad for the Senate's most junior member.

    Al Franken, D-Minn., who was sworn into office less than a month ago, got to preside over the history-making confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

    It was just the latest moment in the Washington sun for the freshman senator and former comedian. Franken entered Congress last month just as senators were set to take up Sotomayor's nomination. With a seat on the Judiciary Committee, Franken was thrust into one of the most closely watched rituals in Washington.

    On Thursday, he closed that ritual out as he presided over the 68-31 vote, which made Sotomayor the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

  22. Viktor,

    She got uglier.

  23. Could they know something we don't know?

    Here’s the big picture:

    --An insider gauge tracked by Market Profile Theorems, a Seattle research shop, moved into bearish territory on July 31 – for the first time since November 2007.

    --An insider sell-buy ratio tracked by Thomson Reuters has been hovering around bearish levels not seen for years. It recently registered a 53, meaning insiders pulled $53 out of the market for every $1 in stock they purchased.

    --Another insider sell-buy ratio, tracked by Vickers Stock Research, is now “well within the bearish range,” says David Coleman, who analyzes insider activity for Vickers. It hasn’t been so high since November 2007.


    Although the level of insider selling is alarming, it’s important to note that the very low levels of buying are particularly alarming. Insiders sell stock for many reasons, but they generally only buy stock for one reason: they believe the stock is going up. Despite the fact that the media is reporting an end to the recession, a bottom in housing, and a trough in earnings, we are witnessing a vote of zero confidence from the people who know these companies better than anyone else


  24. Al Franken sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee and presiding over the swearing in of a US Supreme Court Justice.


  25. LT, you betcha they do.

    It's a Stock Market "Truism" that the "Insiders" are hardly, ever, wrong.

    If you're in the market, now might be a good time to consider doing a little ass-covering.

  26. My gut is feeling about like it did when oil got to $147.00. We're going to have to get a pretty substantial "pullback" sometime (probably, fairly soon.)

  27. Linear

    This makes interesting reading too.

    I'm one of those two million. I had my reasons, picked my country and moved.

    I have no money in the stock market. None, nada, zilch, zero.

  28. Yup.

    Time to get off the tiger...just looking for a place to land.

    My funds are booming right now, esp precious metals. It seems a good "hold", often going contrary to market, and always counter to the dollar.

  29. Migrants/1,000 Population:

    1. UAE - 23
    2. Afghanistan - 21
    3. Cayman Islands - 16.5
    25. US - 4.3


  30. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen remarked while visiting a Canadian development project in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, that he would like to see Canada stay beyond 2011.


    Canada currently has some 2,800 troops based in Kandahar as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

    So far, 127 Canadian soldiers, as well as a diplomat and two humanitarian aid workers from Canada, have been killed in Afghanistan.

    NATO Call

  31. The imaginaires are in charge, whit. There is nothing unimaginable about that, now.

    Open your mind to the realities.

  32. NYTimes:

    The Senate voted Thursday night to extend the “cash for clunkers” program, adding another $2 billion to the program. Senators voted 60 to 37 to continue the auto-purchase program, ...

  33. John Hughes is dead at the age of 59.

    An entire generation (mine) mourns.

  34. whit said...

    Al Franken sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee and presiding over the swearing in of a US Supreme Court Justice.



  35. Sam said...
    Migrants/1,000 Population:

    Thanks for that link, Sam. Very interesting. In many respects counterintuitive.

  36. Still no more murray?

    What a shame.

  37. Everybody's headed for the desert, Vik.


  39. From the desert, to the desert, sam.

    174 Saudi Arabia -7.60 2009 est.

  40. Kass always had just one answer to all the queries about Obama, no matter what fantasy the questioner held about The One:

    "You're getting the Chicago Machine"

  41. Shadow Housing Inventory: The Deception of the Foreclosure Numbers and the real REO Picture.
    How 40,000 Homes are Hidden From Public View by Banks
    A Case Study of Southern California Real Estate.
    Comment by Tallia:

    Well it seems like people are finally getting it. Yes it is true there is a huge backlog - it is also true that they will NEVER release it en masse.

    I serve as outside counsel for one such bank. When MTM was in place, I told them to cut their losses, sell as quickly as possible, get back to solvency ASAP.

    As soon as we realized the defaults arent stopping anytime soon, we went to Capitol Hill and FASB, asked them to suspend MTM but still be in covenant with GAAP.

    That changed everything for us. By our reckoning if we get 80% default @ 60% loss rate, our total loss will be 14B. Thats doomsday scenario & would wipe them out at once. Thus their plan now is to spread that loss out over 24 years if necessary. Moreover, thanks to relaxing MTM, they can do it, all the while ekeing out the smallest of gains.


    John Hughes' gift to adolescents everywhere, laboring in the salt mines of secondary education, inspiring them to cut class, borrow their friend's father's Ferrari, visit the Merc, go to a Cubs game, pose as Abe Froeman, Sausage King of Chicago, and to commandeer a downtown German-American Friendship Day parade.

    Or at least to cut class.

  43. Disturbing Developments

    The issue that I was approached on is a recent ruling by Judge Bates, a DC Federal Circuit Judge.

    Succinctly this ruling extends Habeas protections to all detainees world-wide and the ramifications on US current ops, especially SOF, are significant. FDD in conjunction with a DC based legal team is filing an appeal to this judge’s ruling known as an Amicus brief. For the Amicus brief to be successful they will need “plaintiffs” that can demonstrate that they will be harmed by the judge’s ruling.
    This “harm” could come in the form if increased exposure on a target due to increased dwell time to gather evidence, etc… Please contact me soonest at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I can provide additional information to include an information paper.

    What I am asking is that the SFA reach out to its members, disseminate this information and ask, if interested, that SFA members contact the head of the legal team, Mr. David Rivkin. David is preeminent DC lawyer and is pursuing this appeal pro-bono. Essentially David needs statements from service members with recent ground experience that would be willing to say that Judge Bate’s ruling will have a negative impact on their operations.

  44. Can we interest you in an upgrade of your facilities in Kandahar?

    Maybe a helicopter or five?

    We may set aside our stingy ways and open up the slush fund for the latter.

  45. Seems Mr Kass was right, about that, again and again.

    Never was made an issue, Chi-town politics. It should have been.

    Looks like that at least for the short term, CBS has taken it in the shorts. Bent over and lubricated. 2nd qtr profitability down, way down.
    CBS profit drops 96% on items, ad softness - MarketWatch

    CBS said it earned $15.4 million, or 2 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2009, compared to a profit of $408.4 million, or 61 cents a share, in a year-ago period that included a gain on the sale of its investment in Sundance Channel.

    Excluding items related to the early extinguishment of debt and stock-based compensation, CBS said it would have earned $57.4 million, or 8 cents a share in the latest three months.

    Revenue fell 11% to $3.01 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of 13 cents a share on revenue of $3.03 billion

    Without the one time write offs, CBS is still only a 2% net business. With those write offs, CBS is in the toilet.
    Howard Stern may have been right, about Les Moonves.

  46. NOT John Hughes, but it's Chicago. And there is much merriment in the street:

  47. Abusive mortgage servicers profit from government help

    WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars the government is spending to help financially pressed homeowners avert foreclosure are passing through — and enriching — companies accused of preying on the people they're supposed to help, an Associated Press investigation has found.

    The companies, known as mortgage servicers, are middlemen who collect monthly payments from homeowners and funnel the money to the banks or investors who hold the loans.

    The biggest players in the servicing industry —Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup— all face litigation, some of which has led to settlements with homeowners. All will receive federal money to modify loans.

  48. Hughes had a genius for capturing the character of mid-America, e.g. Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and Ferris.

    Hughes was born in Lansing, Michigan to a mother who volunteered in charity work and John Hughes, Sr., who worked in sales.[1] A 1968 graduate of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, Hughes used Northbrook and the adjacent North Shore area for shooting locations and settings in many of his films, though he usually left the name of the town unsaid, or referred to it as "Shermer, Illinois", 'Shermerville' being the original name of Northbrook.

    John Candy as Uncle Buck, or the polka bandleader in Home Alone. Miss him.

  49. We loved the first two Home Alones. Signature Hughes scene in the second is the taxi drive into Manhattan, set to this:

    I think my introduction to John Candy was as Oxburger:

  50. Same old shit:

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Five American Marines died Thursday, four of them in a single strike by a roadside bomb, making it one of the bloodiest single attacks against American service members in recent weeks.

  51. Deuce,

    Yon says the IED makings are easily available within walking distance of the base.

    ...ferilizer for the Corn, now that the poppies have all been harvested.

  52. One of my favorite contemporary movies is Working Girl, another Hughes film.

    It was amazing enough at the time, the closing scene and anthem, but years later after 9/11 even moreso:

  53. Viktor:




    and here

    Reminds me of the what the woman doctor said to me after I reminded her she'd left her purse in the lab after the stress-ekg...

    "You must be married."


  54. "You must be married."

    She had a twinkle in her eye, too.

  55. Linear

    Caught red-handed.

    There's a guilty smirk on my face. :-)

  56. We're just gentlemen of the old school, Viktor.


  57. Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

    Stay the Course!

    Funny, I was looking at some Arlo Guthrie vids from the 70s. The motorsy-cle song.

    Now back with Pete Seeger

    This land was made for you and me!

    Woody, at his best

  58. A B Saliger filed a patent for an Automatic Mind Control Suggestion Machine back in 1927. It was marketed as the Psycho Phone, a wonder-working talisman that would bring you the things you wanted.

    The question now is: Will it be approved for ObamaCare?

  59. If not PBS, who?

    We would like to thank PBS History Detectives for their research on the Psycho-phone device. We are also happy to announce their results match ours.

  60. Trish

    I hope you'll forgive my presumptuousness.

    Linear's right: we are old school. When we find women we like there is an instinct to take care of them.

    here's hoping you like Carly Simon

  61. Two voews of the same fellow

    Billy Wright- King Rat.

    And Billy Wright - Lead the Way.

    Figure those with AKs in their logo are on the fringe of civilization.

    But Mr Mitchell worked his wonders, regardless.

  62. I
    Among twenty snowy mountains,
    The only moving thing
    Was the eye of the blackbird.

    I was of three minds,
    Like a tree
    In which there are three blackbirds.

    The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
    It was a small part of the pantomime.

    A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a blackbird
    Are one.

    IV of XIII

  63. Funny, I was looking at some Arlo Guthrie vids from the 70s...

    Remember the "Group W Bench" in Alice's Restaurant? There's a real "Group W Bench" at a kink in the street in old-town Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I'd made it that far hitch-hiking back from Guatemala in '75, and decided to call my folks to pick me up. The bench was where I arranged to meet them. Fast forward 30 years. I was telling a new lady friend in Arkansas that tale, and she said,
    "You mean the 'Group W Bench''s still there!"

  64. A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a blackbird
    Are one.

    one summer