Archive for public opinion

Justice Alito said what again? "New, unwise turn" in law relies on "private professional associations"


justice alito shakes head at SOTU smallerJustice Alito Shakes Head When Obama Criticizes Campaign Finance Decision

Wait, what? Isn't this the Supreme Court that has a corporation fetish? Isn't Justice Alito one of the conservative members who believes in privatization, corporate personhood, and equating money with free speech? As in Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission?

Think Progress: And he’s a strong supporter of “forced arbitration,” a practice which allows employers to shunt discrimination lawsuits into a secretive and privatized arbitration system rather than allowing those cases to be heard by a real court. For Alito, and the rest of the Court’s right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett’s injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma’s bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S. Justice Samuel Alito was forced to recuse himself from nearly six dozen cases brought to the Supreme Court in the last 10 months because the Alito family owns stock in many of the corporations involved in litigation.

In light of the above examples, I found the following passages ironically amusing. Via the Los Angeles Times article, Supreme Court says IQ cannot determine mental fitness in capital cases:

In dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. faulted the majority for a "new and unwise turn" in the law by relying on "private professional associations" to establish constitutional values.

In the past, he said, the court had looked to states and to public opinion to judge American values. "Now the court strikes down a state law based on the evolving standards of professional societies, most notably the American Psychiatric Assn.," he said. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

Whatsa matter, Judge A. and company, don't you love "private professional associations" as much as you used to? Should they feel jilted? Doesn't the NRA "unwisely" influence (read: pressure) the "constitutional values" of Congress members so heavily that they shun common sense gun laws that public opinion supports by a landslide? What do you have to say now?


Oh, but I kid Justice Alito.


What Rock Has The GOP Been Living Under?


can't have it both ways

Try as you might, you can't have it both ways. I've learned that over the years, and maybe the Republicans need a remedial course in Arguing 101.

Pick a side. Argue that angle and if you believe you're right, your going to have a better chance at winning the discussion. Try taking both sides, and you're sure to lose at least one.

From The Hill:

Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) accused President Obama of "betrayal" with the healthcare law in the weekly Republican address, outlining issues his constituents have had with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and urging the president to "take steps to right this wrong."

In his address, Young outlines four Indianans (hardly a huge number) that have either lost their coverage due to the implementation of ObamaCare or have had trouble signing up for health care on the enrollment website

Let's just take a look at this. Breakdown -- Rep. Young is unhappy with the law so he should be thrilled with this news. People, despite the President's assurances, aren't able to keep their plan and they're not able to sign up for the new one. That's a perfect scenario for the dissolution of the law. You stop there. You win.

But, here's where the GOP and Rep Young go astray. They want the plan fixed. Well, if it gets fixed, and the promises the President made are delivered, then you lose. If the ACA fails, the GOP wins. If ACA succeeds, the GOP fails.

Let it flounder, blame the Democrats and have the people turn against it. If it gets fixed, there's no chance of removing it from the books. Just look at Social Security and Medicare.

home improvement before and after

Let's say you're the GOP and your partner is the Democrats. Together you purchase a house (ACA) and you start suffering from buyer's remorse. You feel your partner pushed you into it. Unless you can find some valid issues, you're contractually stuck. What do you do? You start picking apart some of the issues you have with it. The seller (Obama) and your partner (the Dems) actually agree there're some problems which the seller sets out to correct.

The owner calls in his contractors (Sebelius and the IT group) to fix the loose boards on the porch, slaps on a new coat of paint, replaces the leaky faucet in the kitchen and he's even willing to put in a new, low-volume flush toilet in the master bath. You still want out but contractually you can't because it's the law and all of your issues have been fixed. Besides that, your partner is happy and loves the new place.

You still don't want to give up. There's one last chance. You go to court of public opinion who you hope will rule in your favor. The jury visits the newly renovated house and they love it. They think it's great. So there's only one verdict they can render. They vote against you and find for the seller. To add insult to injury, a few of them that are interested in buying a house inquire if the seller has any other properties for sale.

So perhaps the GOP and the Tea Party might learn from that. If they want Obamacare repealed, they first have to convince the jury. So stop pointing out the flaws and hope that on it's own, the house will tumble. Because the more items you point out need fixing, the more the seller (Obama) and your partner (the Democrats) will repair them and it'll succeed. You'll lose for sure.

GOP, maybe it's time accept for you to stake out a claim in what is sure to be a success story and add a few flowers to the front yard. Put out the for sale sign and maybe even make a profit by selling it and moving on. People then might even start to give you credit for the improvement you made to the neighborhood and say "lets see where those Republicans are going next. They know how to fix things up and make a profit. They might be good for the economy."

Right now, you GOP are looking like potential losers.


Cartoons of the Day- The Syria Hard Sell



David Fitzsimmons

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Clay Bennett


John Darkow


I Love Polls


Polls & Surveys

Polls are a collection of numbers that are only as meaningful as you want them to be. Ask Mitt Romney. His pollsters told him he was going to win. He was crushed.

Polls told us that Americans overwhelmingly favored background checks on weapons. Congress didn't believe them.


So now we're getting some new numbers on Edward Snowden. But before you jump to any conclusions, in a poll conducted on the Fourth of July of this year, three names were given 2000 people at a fireworks gathering at Chicago's Navy Pier. Given these three names, they were asked who recently released classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs. William McKinley, Gustav Mahler or Edward Snowden. McKinley, the president, came in first with (37%); Mahler, the Austrian composer, second (21%); and Snowden, the document leaker, third (18%). The remaining 24% weren't aware of any classified documents being released. This isn't a slam on Chicago. It's a comment on how uninformed we are as a society.

So, with that as a reference, I'd like to share some numbers from a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

Democrats said that Snowden did the wrong thing by a 46 percent to 26 percent margin, while independents said that he did the right thing by a 40 percent to 28 percent margin.

According to the new survey, 51 percent of Americans now say they've heard a lot about Snowden, while 38 percent say they've heard a little and only 11 percent said they've heard nothing at all.

Now that doesn't seem to jive with the unscientific poll in Chicago on Independence Day. Perhaps when you deal with real people, out with their families to enjoy the nations birthday, they become forgetful. Or maybe the YouGov poll is too tightly wrapped up in bed with the political activists of this country and not with the people as a whole. That's just a bit of an observation.

Forty-eight percent of respondents to the poll said that they support prosecuting Snowden for his actions, while 33 percent were opposed.

Maybe Snowden did wrong.  Maybe he did right.  We may never know until he tries to flee Russia (if he's even there) to another country and the US extorts or exerts pressure on other countries to act on unsubstantiated rumors of his flying over their airspace and forcing down his plane.

Hey, United States, stop the unregulated spying on us . Stop reading our mail. Stop snooping in on our internet communications. Stop tagging our phone calls. You need something for national security reasons? You should have it.  But do it legally. Get a warrant. That's what the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) is for.

And US Congress.  It's your job to make sure it's followed.