2010 vs. 2006

Raleigh’s own Public Policy Polling has a nice post up explaining how, despite the outward similarities, 2010 is quite different from 2006:

The Democrats’ big win in 2006 was not driven by the enthusiasm gap, but because a lot of people who had voted for George W. Bush in 2004 switched over to supporting Democratic candidates. According to the 2006 exit poll the electorate that year was actually more heavy on Bush voters than the 2004 electorate that reelected Bush. 49% were Bush voters to only 43% who were Kerry voters, compared to Bush’s 51-48 popular vote victory in 2004.

The reason Democrats won even though the electorate disproportionately consisted of Bush voters was that 15% of those Bush voters cast their ballots for a Democrat, a pretty large amount of crossover.

There aren’t nearly that many Obama voters leaning toward the Republicans this year. Our last national generic ballot survey found only 8% of people who voted for the President in 2008 were planning to support the GOP this year…

The big 2006 Democratic win was about voters abandoning the GOP. If Republicans have a big win in 2010 it’s mostly going to be about Democrats staying home.

Of course, they both lead to bad results from Democrats, but I think is is arguably better to not actually be driving your supporters over to the other party as happened with Republicans in 2006.  Obama’s prospects in 2012 are still very much tied to the economy, but I think the current situation for Democrats is probably better what Republicans faced after 2006 heading into 2008.  Plus, all Obama really needs is to face Sarah Palin.

Missouri Voters endorse insurance companies denying pre-existing conditions

You may have heard the news that Missouri voters rejected the mandatory insurance aspect of health care reform in a state referendum yesterday.  A couple things…

1) Due to the primaries being contested, the electorate was quite Republican.

2) This is not even close to being Constitutional.  It’s so annoying for NPR to try and get all even-handed, “As NPR’s Ken Rudin noted Tuesday, the “constitutionality is all but certain to be challenged.”  Umm, yes, challenged.  But why not just be honest in reporting and tell readers/listeners that no serious Constitutional scholar would expect this to stand.  There’s this tiny little thing called The Supremacy Clause and just a couple hundred years of Supreme Court decisions on the matter.

3) Clearly loaded question wording:

Deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services?

One thing I can tell you, is that people really don’t like “penalties” or “government infringement.”  Describing opposition to legal abortion as “government infringement” is a great way to get 2/3’s  of American to take a pro-choice position.

4) I’ll say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of supporters have absolutely no clue that mandatory insurance is part and parcel of preventing insurance companies from denying pre-existing conditions.  You quite simply cannot have one without the other.  I suspect of the language had said something like, “rescind the policy preventing insurance companies from discriminating against you for having a pre-existing health condition” the results would have been quite different.

CPR

I’ve never actually learned CPR, much to my dismay.  Every time I’ve thought about it, I’ve basically decided that I don’t want to sign up for a 3-4 hour class (which they always seem to be) for something that I could surely learn in less than 30 minutes.  Yes, the responsible thing to do would have been to learn, but I’m feeling vindicated by the latest news that “hand-only” CPR is just as effective and can be pretty much learned on the spot from a 911 dispatcher (or a handy news graphic).

2_HANDS_ONLY_CPR.sff.jpg

There was some interesting research a couple years ago that while people may not be all that good at remembering the tune to a song, they are remarkably good at getting the beats per minute.  Two great songs right around 100 bpm to do your CPR to?  Staying Alive and Another one Bites the Dust.  Anyway, if I’m ever in a situation where I need to do CPR (home I’m not), I certainly will and now I don’t have to feel bad about never making one of those 4 hour classes to learn what’s in the graphic above.

The news hole

First, please watch this terrific Jon Stewart clip on Chelsea Clinton’s wedding (obligatory complaint here about 1) my readers almost never clicking through links, and; 2) WordPress’s refusal to enable DailyShow/Colbert videos).

What this demonstrates so wonderfully is how inane cable news is largely just because it has so much time to fill, i.e., the news hole.  My favorite here is a scene of a reporter saying something like, “oh, it looks like there’s some sort of delivery truck or something now.”  It’s just hilarious how pathetic all their ramblings are.  Thing is, that’s the problem when you are actually trying to fill 24 hours a day with news– especially on Saturday.   Every now and then when Discovery, TLC, NatGeo, and the Science channel have nothing for me on Saturday I’ll catch a little cable news.  What a wasteland– worse than local news.

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