Wednesday morning’s 9 interesting things

1) Poll: Nearly Half Of Americans Say Deficit Primarily Caused By Wealthy Not Paying Enough In Taxes – A plurality of Americans — 46 percent — say the primary cause for the nation’s deficits is that “wealthy Americans don’t pay enough in taxes,” according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll. Just three percent blamed too much federal spending on the elderly, and just 14 percent blamed too much federal spending on poor people. Meanwhile, 80 percent oppose cuts to Medicare, 75 percent oppose cuts to Social Security, and nearly two-thirds oppose cuts to Medicaid. Perhaps for those reasons, Americans prefer President Obama’s budget, which raises taxes on the rich and preserves Medicare and Social Security, by a 10-point margin over the one proposed by congressional Republicans.

via: odinsblog

2) TheTruth Behind The GOP’s ‘1000 Days Without A Budget’ Canard - But the much more important fact Republicans have left out is that the Senate passed a budget on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis last summer — one that unlike an annual “budget resolution” has the force of law behind it. The Budget Control Act — the law that resolved the debt limit fight — set binding appropriations caps for this fiscal year and the next and instituted a mechanism to contain spending on domestic discretionary programs — education, research, community health programs and the like — through the next decade. [...] When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says it would be redundant for the Senate to pass a budget, this is what he means. Republicans know this.

3) Poll: Catholics approval of Obama mostly unchanged amid birth control battle – Catholics approval of President Barack Obama has remained relatively unchanged despite facing harsh opposition from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over new contraception rules. A survey released Tuesday by Gallup found that 46 percent of Catholics approved of Obama last week. A week prior to that his approval was at 49 percent, a change within the margin of error. [...] Facing a backlash from Catholic bishops and their Republican supporters, the White House said last week that it would change the proposed rules by exempting religious hospitals and universities, and instead mandating that insurance companies provide those services.

4) The Internal Contradictions of Mitt Romney – And by “internal”, I mean in the same paragraph: “This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors”. Yep, Obama has failed to resolve the problem of excessive entitlement spending; furthermore, he’s cutting entitlement spending!

5) Rick Santorum doesn’t want to be typecast as a social conservative – Um, Ricky? Too late. Rick Santorum is hoping to turn the political conversation away from the social and cultural issues that have dominated his quest for the Republican presidential nomination so far and focus instead on the economy as he prepares to compete in the big, recession-plagued battleground state of Michigan. [...] So now, after endless moralizing and sanctimonious preaching against sex for fun, Santorum wants to pretend he’s got something else in his pocket? Ha ha ha! He’s a Republican. His job plan is to cut taxes for Mitt Romney. There. Done. Now that that’s out of the way, he can get back to talking about what he really wants to talk about: Your bedroom.

6) BREAKING: Tentative deal reached on payroll tax cut extension - Congressional negotiators have reached a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while avoiding a fee cut for Medicare doctors, according to Republican legislators and aides.

7) Meh: Poll finds low enthusiasm for Republican candidates - Most Republicans believe Mitt Romney will be their party’s presidential nominee and that he has the best chance to beat President Barack Obama in November, a national poll released Tuesday found. But the CNN/ORC International poll found little enthusiasm for the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential bid, instead favoring Christian conservative Rick Santorum over Romney, 34 to 32 percent. The poll findings underscored Romney’s failure to ignite his base weeks into a primary season that has seen one candidate after another surge to challenge his de facto frontrunner status, and then lose steam.

Mitt or get off the pot - Nevertheless, he’s probably right that the GOP is running out of fools, that’s it’s quarter-to-three, there’s no one in the place except Rick and Romney, that it’s time for some hot man-on-man action: “We think this is a two-person race right now,” Santorum said on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday,“and we’re just focused on — on making sure that folks know we’re the best alternative to Barack Obama and we have the best chance of beating him.” I’ve always said that in this primary, Republican voters love the bad boys. Now it’s come down to a guy who wears sweater vests versus a guy who wears magic underwear. Who’s bad?

8) Wingnuts Furious About … Fox News Going Liberal - What are America’s old white racist exurban cretins on Medicare and Social Security upset about today? Oh, the usual: Obama, liberals, gays, sex, black people, youth, hippies, the poor, the rich, Mexicans, “the hip hop,” Iran, exercise, unemployment, unemployment benefits, vegetables, a talented black woman with addiction problems such as Whitney Houston, [or, now, her young daughter], organic farms, birth control, people having sexual intercourse in general, solar energy, Mormons, national parks, public transportation, Europe, NPR, Media Matters, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. WAIT WHAT IN THE ??? Yes, Fox News. The wingnuts have spastically lurched from one invented outrage to the next with such shallow furor that they finally wound up enraged about the very teevee channel that tells them what to freak out about.

9) 52% Say GOP Agenda In Congress Is Extreme - While positive ratings for Congress remain at an all-time low, more voters than ever see the Republican agenda in Congress as extreme. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely Voters say it would be more accurate to describe the agenda of Republicans in Congress as mainstream, while 52% feel extreme is a more accurate description. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

Jon Stewart to the GOP: “It’s gotta be tough to love America so much but hate 3/4 of the people living in it.”

“Here’s your problem: if you start adding up unions and progressives and liberals and people too poor to pay income tax and people who wanna tax millionaires — wow, it’s gotta be tough to love America so much, but hate almost three-quarters of the people living in it.” — JON STEWART, on Eric Cantor and conservatives in general, on The Daily Show (via inothernews)

Americans more concerned about the economy and jobs than the deficit 58% to 16%

Americans (58%) think the economy and jobs are more important, but Teapartyers (16%) want to use the debt / deficit politically. Think Progress reports:

[N]ew polling from Gallup shows that far more Americans care about the economy and jobs than addressing U.S. debt. The poll finds that 31 percent of Americans find the economy to be the most important problem in America today, 27 percent find unemployment to be the highest problem, and only 16 percent say that the debt is:

The divide between Americans and the Teaparty has never been more clear than it is right now. A loud minority shouldn’t be allowed to set our country on fire.

LOL maps: Europe as seen by Americans, America as seen by Europeans

Americans who are not teabaggers (most Americans) dislike the Tea Party

Nate Silver: “if the Tea Party ain’t over yet, the point in time at which it was an electoral asset for Republicans soon may be.”

Patriotic Americans do not care for the Tea Party or Sarah Palin

Apparently the Tea Party isn’t speaking for many people in America today, except for a few sad, self-described “Christian racists patriots” who are still devoted to Beck and Palin:

Two months after they voted in droves to topple Democrats from the House and expand Republican voices in the Senate, the tea party movement’s disapproval ratings have reached a new high, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll.

Fifty-two percent of the US public had an unfavorable view of “the political movement known as the Tea Party,” the survey found, as opposed to only 35 percent who approved.

And Sarah Palin’s Full Metal Self-Exposure is finally getting to people — she’s earned herself some record high unfavoribility ratings:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reached a new milestone Wednesday, and it wasn’t a good one. Her unfavorability ratings have reached record highs, according to a recently-released CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

According to the survey, Palin’s unfavorability rating stands at 56 percent, its highest ever, and up seven percentage points from a similar poll taken before the midterm election. Her favorability rating, on the other hand, currently stands at 36 percent, the survey finds, down two points since October.

So it’s no surprise that the tea partiers and Palin are ranked highly on the following list:

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2010

9) Tea Partiers

Charges: Openly racist and lying about it, uber-religious, hyper-hypocritical, usually-tetched old codgers who wheel around in their Medicare-provided Hoverounds® and rage against fiscally irresponsible social programs, like Medicare, because they’re too dumb to realize that they’re co-opted, Machiavellian mouthpieces of greedy billionaires.

Aggravating factor: They elected some 40 candidates to Congress.
Sentence: The consequences of their actions.

6) Sarah Palin

Charges: An ideologically abhorrent dunce whose answer to everything—caribou, wolves, Julian Assange, feminism, science, decency, accountability, the English language, Democratic incumbents—is to shoot it dead. From conspiring to advance her ham-legged, clopping daughter on “Dancing with the Stars” to successfully endorsing a slew of faux-revolutionary Tea Party imbeciles, she’s a persistent, violent rash on the entire body politic.

Aggravating factor: “But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.”
Sentence: Shot in the head by a bear.

We don’t differentiate between them and us. It’s just us.

“I’ve got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan in the uniform of the United States armed services. They’re out there putting their lives on the line for us, and we’ve got to make sure that we are crystal clear, for our sakes and their sakes, they are Americans, and we honor their service.

And part of honoring their service is making sure that they understand that we don’t differentiate between them and us. It’s just us. And that is a principle that I think is — is — is going to be very important for us to — to sustain. And I think tomorrow is an excellent time for us to — to reflect on that.” – President Obama


Democracy: buy some today!

Fox News asks its viewers if Americans who paid no income taxes should lose their ‘right’ to vote. Meanwhile — thanks to the Citizen United decision — corporations are about to begin a shopping spree for the politicians they’re looking to buy in the next election.

The coal industry is very excited about what they see as the clearance sale on Republican candidates and the potential for less regulation in DC — or as they put it, “allowing our voices to be heard.

Bob Cesca:

Here we see Fox News implying that perhaps Americans who didn’t earn enough to pay federal income taxes last year should — yes — lose their voting rights.

… And then, of course, there’s the racial component in this.

And finally, there’s the lie. 47 percent didn’t have to pay federal income taxes because they didn’t earn enough, or they received a tax cut. But they paid other taxes — state, local, sales, property, fees, etc.

Think Progress:

The Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky reports that several coal executives, including Blankenship, are pooling their money to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision loosening corporate campaign finance laws by forming a 527 group to help elect coal-friendly Republicans. Why a 527? Because according to the IRS, they can hide their activities until “next year, long after the Nov. 2 election.” From the report:

“With the recent Supreme Court ruling, we are in a position to be able to take corporate positions that were not previously available in allowing our voices to be heard,” wrote Roger Nicholson, senior vice president and general counsel at International Coal Group of Scott Depot, W.Va., in an undated letter he sent to other coal companies. [...]

“A number of coal industry representatives recently have been considering developing a 527 entity with the purpose of attempting to defeat anti-coal incumbents in select races, as well as elect pro-coal candidates running for certain open seats,” Nicholson wrote. “We’re requesting your consideration as to whether your company would be willing to meet to discuss a significant commitment to such an effort.”