Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What’s in a Poll? McClatchy-Marist finds Obama Job Approval Plummeting – Congress at bottom, Two-Thirds Disapprove of Democrats.- When Will Voters Wise Up?

A new McClatchy-Marist poll released yesterday, pretty much sums up the salient fact that a majority of American’s don’t particularly like their elected officials. The poll suggests that Obama’s numbers are “still higher than Congress”, but notes that the 41% approval is the lowest since “September of 2011”, yet remind readers that he still managed to get the popular vote by (a somewhat anemic) 51%.

Apparently, the nation is paying attention to the “controversies” surrounding the White House (without mentioning the IRS, the NSA, Benghazi, ad naseum), and McClatchy further suggests that the President does best when he talks about the economy – so he’s going to give some speeches. Of course, McClatchy also found that only 37% of those polled actually trusts the President with the economy, therefore, it’s somewhat difficult to see the silver-lining – yet they do.

The fact that Congress fares worse does not mitigate the fact that all of D.C. is viewed with a bit of wariness by those who sent their Congressional Representatives and Senators to the Golden City to do their bidding. Although McClatchy underscores that the Republican’s are in trouble, due to the fact that Congressional members polled at a low point and that those Republicans are in control of Congress. One can’t help but wonder where those Republican’s polled against the dismal numbers that the Democrats received (1 out of 3 approve of the job Democrats are doing.) One has to guess it is close, unless of course they weren’t polling many Libertarians.

Suffice it to say, that despite the IRS attempting to blot out the Tea Party, (with a little help from MSNBC), the regular folk apparently are becoming “Fed Up”. Obamacare also is weighing heavily as more details come out about the bill Pelosi famously spoke, “ “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it....” (Washington Post). From skyrocketing premiums, to layoffs and part-time positions only as employers try to evade the heavy fees, to the IRS in charge of enforcement, and the fact that the Data Hub program designed to oversee all data, and sign-up those for Obamacare, will be staffed by individuals who are less than qualified:

In June, the Government Accountability Office reported that HHS is considering allowing navigators to assist with outreach and enrollment tasks even before completing their formal training. The reason? Like so much of Obamacare, the navigators program is behind schedule and drowning in its own complexity.

This spring, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawyers were also told by HHS that, despite the fact that navigators will have access to sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and tax returns, there will be no criminal background checks required for them. Indeed, they won’t even have to have high-school diplomas.

But HHS is unconcerned. It points out that navigators will have to take a 20–30 hour online course about how the 1,200-page law works, which, given its demonstrated complexity, is like giving someone a first-aid course and then making him a med-school professor. “I want to assure you and all Americans that, when they fill out their [health-insurance] marketplace applications, they can trust the information they’re providing is protected,” said Marilyn Tavenner, head of HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at a congressional hearing last week”
(Weekly Standard)

Now that’s comforting. The hope is that those in Washington will realize what a mess this system is and repeal it entirely, of course, that might not be the case as lobbyist come in all shapes, sizes, and well, family members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats alike.

Watch for more poll numbers dropping in coming months. The question now remains: “Will the general public, including those “low information voters”, get a grip and vote incumbents out of office, especially those who’ve made a career out of a job meant to be a public service? That remains to be seen – but odds aren’t good.

A side note: From the LA times, Sarah Palin is remembered for being right about those darn Death Panels – a shocking op-ed.

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