Tuesday, 24 February 2009

GOVERNOR PATERSON'S PIGGY BANK

Ken Berwitz

New York's Governor-by-accident, David Paterson, has a piggy bank.  A large one. 

You may know it as the state treasury. 

Several days ago I blogged about the large raises Paterson was handing out to members of his administration, while telling the "little people" in state government that they weren't getting their 3% raise.  That story came from the New York Post's always-worth-reading Albany bureau chief, Fred Dicker.  

Today there is additional news on the same front.  It also comes to us from Mr. Dicker and the New York Post (did you expect it from the Times????  Sorry, they're too busy writing Barack Obama's daily hagiography):

AIDE TO GOV'S WIFE $OAKING UP RAISE

By FREDRIC U. DICKER, STATE EDITOR

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Last updated: 10:04 am
February 24, 2009
Posted: 2:22 am
February 24, 2009

ALBANY - At a time when state workers are being asked to forgo any pay hikes, the chief of staff to Gov. Paterson's wife was given a $25,000 raise in December - plus a $3,866 bonus - even though she began working for the state only last July, The Post has learned.

The whopping 28.4 percent raise - granted while Paterson was asking 130,000 public employees to give up 3 percent pay hikes because of the state's fiscal crisis - went to Michele Clarke-Ceres, who was hired on July 10 as an $88,000-a-year "special assistant," records show.

Five months later, her salary was raised to $113,000 a year, retroactively effective to Oct. 2, giving her the windfall $3,866 bonus.

Clarke-Ceres' name was not on the list of more than a dozen senior Paterson staffers who received pay hikes of as much as 46 percent made public by The Post last week because she's not on the payroll of the governor's central staff.

Despite Clarke-Ceres' assignment to work for Michelle Paige Paterson, she's listed as an employee of the Department of State - a catch-all agency used as sleight of hand to provide political jobs - and not as an employee of the governor's office.

A Paterson administration source said, "Many of the governor's employees have been placed on the payrolls of state agencies in order to make it look like the governor's staff has been reduced."

Paterson claimed last week that despite giving sky-high raises to many of his employees, the overall number of his immediate staff had been reduced in recent months.

Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield said Clarke-Ceres initially served the governor as chief of protocol and was given the raise after taking on the additional responsibility as Mrs. Paterson's chief of staff.

Cockfield said Clarke-Ceres replaced Denise Ellison, who had been paid $113,300 a year as Mrs. Paterson's chief of staff, and is "doing double duty," saving the state money in the process.

The Post reported last week that Paterson had handed out pay hikes worth about $250,000 annually after the governor declared an "emergency" budget situation in August.

After a storm of controversy and apparent criticism from Mayor Bloomberg, Paterson conceded he had second thoughts about granting the raises.

While Mrs. Paterson has no official responsibilities as New York's first lady and holds a lucrative private-sector job, she often accompanies the governor at public events and makes occasional appearances on behalf of such causes as reducing childhood obesity.

The chief of staff to former First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer was hired at $100,000 a year and saw her salary rise to $120,000 and then $128,000 before she left the state payroll last spring.

David Paterson is a dimwit who became Governor only because Eliot Spitzer didn't pay cash for his hookers.  Based on what we've found out about his use of campaign funds and women, Paterson is considerably more corrupt than Spitzer.  He would have no business at all holding this job even if he were competent.  Add to this that he isn't, and you've got quite a situation in The Empire State.

I wonder how the 130,000 employees who were stiffed by this dimwitted, corrupt loser feel about it.


SLIGHT BUT PERCEPTIBLE

Ken Berwitz

When I see "slight but perceptible", I take it to mean just about enough to be visible.  A little less and it wouldn't be noticable at all.

With that in mind, the latest Gallup tracking data are out for President Obama, and Gallup's analysis is:

To date, Obama has averaged 64% approval, but, as the graph shows, there has been a slight but perceptible decline in his approval rating since he took office.

So that would mean it went from 65% to 63%, or may be 66% to 62%.  That would qualify as slight, but perceptible.

Oh yeah?  Here's the chart:

vc7

Reality check:  In less than one month (January 25 to February 22) Gallup shows Mr. Obama going from 69% -13% to 59%-25%. 

That is a drop of 10% in the positive and a rise of 12% in the negative.  It means Mr. Obama went from a +56% positive profile (69-13) to +34% (59-25); a 40% dropoff in less than one month.

This leads to the interesting question of why Gallup is downplaying how much and how quickly Mr. Obama has fallen.  I don't have the answer.  Do you?

FYI:  President Bush was barely elected in 2001.  There was a major controversy over whether he was elected at all.  He had nothing near the positive vibes that Obama had from the voters, and virtually none at all from the media.  So what were Gallup's numbers for February 21-25 2001, essentially the same time period we're looking at for Mr. Obama? 

President Bush was at 55% positive and 23% negative; a +32% positive profile.  Statistically, that is no different than where Barack Obama is now.  In other words, without any of the glitz and bling or any of the media love, Bush's standing with the voters was the same as Obama's.

Think about that the next time you see a media type swooning over Saint Barack.

free` Excellent analysis as usual, you give us better and more accurate information than any media service. Thank you. (02/25/09)


OBAMA'S HAMAS BAILOUT

Ken Berwitz

This is another post that should enrage and educate.

If you care at all about Israel and/or democracy, freedom and the future of western civilization, you should be enraged.

If you are a supporter of Israel who voted for Barack Obama, you should be educated.  Why?  Because no supporter of Israel would want the US government to do this, so you must have thought that Barack Obama wouldn't have when you voted for him.

With this in mind, please read today's article from Sue Pleming of Reuters:

U.S. plans "substantial" pledge at Gaza meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.

"This money is for Gaza and to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It is not going to go to Hamas," said the official, who asked not to be named as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to announce the funding at a donors' conference in Egypt next week.

Neither the United States nor Israel have direct contact with the Islamist Hamas movement which runs Gaza and remains formally committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The official said the pledge was a mix of money already earmarked for the Palestinians and some new funding.

"The package is still shaping up," he said, when asked for specifics over how the money would be spent and a breakdown of old and new funding.

In December, the former Bush administration said it would give $85 million to the U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The March 2 donors' conference in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort aims to raise humanitarian and rebuilding funds for Gaza after Israel's invasion last December to suppress rocket fire against its cities.

Preliminary estimates put damage from the offensive, in which 1,300 Palestinians died, at nearly $2 billion.

Clinton's bid to get "substantial" funds could face an uphill battle in Congress because Hamas continues to rule Gaza and the U.S. focus is on its own souring economy.

BOOST FOR ABBAS

Part of the goal of the new funding is to boost the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, which controls the occupied West Bank.

The United States wants Abbas's PA to play a central role in the reconstruction effort in Gaza, hoping this will increase its influence in the Hamas stronghold. Washington is also putting pressure on other donors to bolster Abbas.

"We call on donor countries to focus their pledges to meet the Palestinian Authority's priorities, including budget support, and on projects that can be funded through the Palestinian Authority and other existing, trusted mechanisms," said a State Department official.

The quartet of Middle East mediators -- the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Egyptian conference where they will work on strategy on Gaza, U.S. officials said.

After attending the conference in Egypt, Clinton is expected to go to Israel and the West Bank -- a public demonstration of Obama's promise to make Arab-Israeli peacemaking a foreign policy priority.

Clinton's special envoy to the region, George Mitchell, will be there this week trying to revive stalled Palestinian statehood talks complicated both by Hamas and political uncertainty in Israel after last week's election.

Let's get a few things straight:

-Both hamas AND abou abbas' fatah party are committed to the destruction of Israel and the death of its Jews.  hamas is more extreme in its efforts - as of now, anyway.  But we are not talking about a difference in objective, we are talking about a difference in degree.

-The $85 million that was committed by the Bush Administration and was to have been spent through the UN, was offered when the UN, at least apparently, still had some control over supplies in Gaza.  But during Israel's action in December/January, the UN had to stop sending supply trucks into Gaza because hamas was hijacking them and stealing the supplies.  Thus the general Gazan population was not benefitting from the UN supply trucks;  only hamas. 

So now we're going to commit over ten times as much and funnel it through the UN, when we know that hamas is likely to take it anyway?  Does that make sense to you?

-Then we have the incredible fantasy that recontructing Gaza somehow supports fatah.  The last time Gaza voted, hamas won a majority over fatah.  Then hamas violently removed the rest of fatah and now is in 100% control.  The idea that reconstructing Gaza boosts fatah instead of hamas is idiotic bordering on insane.

-Finally, there is the use of this money.  Someone has to reconstruct Gaza.  Without massive US aid, hamas is to a great extent stuck with the expense.  So every dollar that the US and/or the UN spends to do it is a dollar freed up for hamas to buy weaponry that will be used to kill Israelis.  Is that what we want to do?  Bail out hamas so it can use the freed-up resources to kill Israelis?

In the last election, exit polls indicated that 78% of all Jews voted for Barack Obama.  Presumably most of them support Israel. 

I hope they're happy with what they got.  As one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.

free` Ken, I may have asked this before but can you do a blog about why you presume most Jews in America support Israel, because I don't think they do. (02/24/09)

Ken Berwitz free --- I certainly understand, and respect, your point. From my perspective (and, undoubtedly, yours) voting for Obama was voting for a less positive relationship between the USA and Israel - which I consider damaging to both countries. Drawing from the (unsettlingly large number of) Jews I know, in and out of my family, who voted for Mr. Obama, I think it is a combination of voting liberal/Democrat being an old habit that dies hard, and a rationalization that he's a good guy and talks a great game about Israel, so he couldn't be as bad as the number of Israel-bashers on his campaign staff suggested. Obviously I don't consider either a good reason for that vote, but, for better or worse, that's what I think it is. (02/24/09)


THE IRAQ SUCCESS STORY

Ken Berwitz

Here is a fascinating slide show from www.msnbc.com,  that depicts the major progress realized for Iraq's infrastructure, economy and - most importantly - freedom:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29351064/displaymode/1107/s/2/

Did you enjoy those images?  Me too.

Now keep in mind that none of this occurred as the result of Barack Obama's administration.  In fact, Mr. Obama was against the troop surge that is largely responsible for this progress.  Iraq should thank its lucky stars that President Bush ignored Senator Obama on January 10, 2007, when he said:

"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there.  In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

The slideshow you just saw was provided by MSNBC today.  But you didn't see any such slide show during the 2008 election.  And you certainly didn't hear its on-air "talent" trumpeting the great successes of our effort in Iraq at that time.

But now the President is Obama instead of Bush.  So there it is.  Feel free to cheer.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


THANK YOU BEN BERNANKE

Ken Berwitz

How did we finally stanch the Dow Jones free-fall?

It sure as eff wasn't because of Barack Obama. 

Here's your answer, from the Wall Street Journal:

Stocks recouped the market's heavy losses from the previous session Tuesday after the Federal Reserve chairman talked down the idea of nationalizing top lenders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which slid nearly 251 points on Monday, was recently up about 230 points, trading around 7340. The S&P 5000 climbed 4.1% to about 773, boosted by an 11% surge in its financial sector. The Dow and the S&P are coming off their lowest closes in more than 11 years.

"Yesterday, it was 10 to 1 sell to buy and I bet today it is the reverse," said Dick Del Bello, senior partner at Conifer Securities. "But a recovery is going to take a long time and it's going to be a series of small steps to regain confidence."

The banking sector rally picked up steam after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that nationalization of major U.S. banks isn't needed to ensure their viability. "I don't see any reason to destroy the franchise value or to create the huge legal uncertainties of trying to formally nationalize a bank when that just isn't necessary," Mr. Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee.

A special thanks to senate banking committee chairman Chris Dudd, for just shutting up.  It was this genius's offhanded comment about nationalizing the banks which apparently caused the latest Dow Jones mega-drop.

And an honorable mention to Barney Fudd for doing the same. 

If Dudd and Fudd were one tenth as competent at getting us out of this mess as they were at getting us into it, the market would be in five-figure territory right now.

--------------------------------------------------------

P.S.:   The Dow closed up 236.16.


JEFF JACOBY IN 1994 (AND 2009 TOO)

Ken Berwitz

I just received the e-mail of Jeff Jacoby's latest column. 

I love it.

Jeff is a political conservative who has been writing for the eminently liberal Boston Globe since 1994.  In fact, today is the 15th anniversary of his first column - which dealt with how he saw the difference between conservatives and liberals.  He decided to republish that column today.  It's a classic.

He decided to republish it today

Here it is.

Conservative columnist, liberal paper

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
February 24, 1994

SO WHAT'S a nice conservative like me doing in a newspaper like this?

Wondering, for a start, why so many liberals think of conservatives not so much as people they disagree with, but as people they despise.

Most mainstream conservatives acknowledge that liberals are essentially well-meaning. Misguided, to be sure. And naive? Certainly. And elitist, self-righteous, collectivist know-it-alls, chronically unwilling to learn from their mistakes, clueless when it comes to the workings of the marketplace, always persuaded that the next government program will fix whatever went wrong with the last government program? Yeah. But well-meaning.

It should go without saying that you can mean well and do ill. Those liberal good intentions have helped pave more than a few of the 20th century's roads to hell, from the Evil Empire to the welfare state to the meltdown of the American criminal justice system. Conservatives condemn the demonic results that liberal good intentions have led to, and with gusto. What they don't do, as a rule, is demonize their opponents.

Liberals do.

Liberals look at conservatives and see moral cripples: Conservatives hate the poor. Conservatives are greedy. Conservatives have no compassion. Conservatives are Neanderthals . . . racists . . . homophobes . . . warmongers.

To be conservative, in the eyes of many fervent liberals, is to be by definition a vile human being -- someone to recoil from, not reason with; someone to damn, not to debate.

Personal vignette: It was a roundtable discussion about poverty and social welfare policies in Massachusetts, and I had made some point or other about welfare and illegitimacy. The representative from the prominent, Boston-based foundation spoke up in disagreement.

"People like Mr. Jacoby can say that because they don't care about the poor," she began. "But the rest of us . . ."

They don't care about the poor. Period, end of story. No room for differences of philosophy here. You're a conservative? Then you're morally defective, your views are warped, and would you please get out of the marketplace of ideas before you stink up the joint.

Think of Ted Kennedy's slander of Judge Robert Bork in 1987 ("Bork's America is a land in which . . . blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids . . ."). Or of Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey's foul comparison of his colleague, conservative James Kelly, to a Nazi ("It would be like electing David Duke . . . he has the same politics and rhetoric as David Duke.")

"Liberals go for the jugular," says David Horowitz, the one-time antiwar activist and editor of the radical magazine Ramparts. "With them, it's always about character assassination. If you're conservative, you're either sick or in some way deeply malevolent."

The most flagrant recent example oozed across The New York Times op-ed page last month, when columnist Frank Rich launched a vitriolic personal assault on conservative journalist David Brock, author of a controversial article on Bill Clinton's extramarital adventures.

Brock's "motives are at least as twisted as his facts," wrote Rich. "It's women, not liberals, who really get him going. The slightest sighting of female sexuality whips him into a frenzy of misogynist zeal. All women are the same to Mr. Brock: terrifying, gutter-tongued, sexual omnivores."

Imagine a conservative trying to discredit a liberal by sledgehammering him as an unhinged woman-hater, or none-too-subtly "outing" him as a homosexual. Actually, that's hard to do: The last well-known conservative with a taste for baseless personal invective was named Joe McCarthy.

At the 1984 Democratic National Convention, Tip O'Neill -- the great-hearted, much-mourned late Speaker himself -- voiced his opposition to President Reagan's policies thus: "The evil is in the White House."

The evil. Never would Reagan have used such language to describe O'Neill.

But then, Reagan wasn't a man of the left. He wasn't on a utopian crusade. Like most conservatives, he didn't think the blights of the world could be ended by transforming human nature. And he certainly didn't imagine the only thing blocking that transformation was wrong-thinking people who must be gotten out of the way -- or excommunicated as "evil."

So what's a nice conservative like me doing in a newspaper like this? Why, conserving. Looking to the past to figure out what has succeeded, and trying to apply its wisdom to the conundrums of the present. Acknowledging that there are no guarantees and that life is unfair, but knowing that the best road for the pursuit of happiness is the one marked with the old signposts: Freedom. Responsibility. Virtue. Work.

Like they say, the more things change the more they stay the same.  Jacoby didn't have a thing to add here, and neither do I. 

Well done, Jeff. 


A SOLDIER CHALLENGES OBAMA'S LEGITIMACY AS PRESIDENT

Ken Berwitz

The mainstream media have put an iron-clad lid on the numerous legal proceedings in progress that demand proof of Barack Obama's citizenship, thus eligibility to be President.

But that doesn't mean they aren't still in progress.

Here's an interesting part of the effort, which comes in the form of excerpts from a story by Bob Unruh at www.worldnetdaily.com:

OBAMA WATCH CENTRAL
Soldier doubts eligibility, defies president's orders
'As an officer, my sworn oath to support and defend our Constitution requires this'

A U.S. soldier on active duty in Iraq has called President Obama an "impostor" in a statement in which he affirmed plans to join as plaintiff in a challenge to Obama's eligibility to be commander in chief.

The statement was publicized by California attorney Orly Taitz who, along with her Defend Our Freedom Foundation, is working on a series of legal cases seeking to uncover Obama's birth records and other documents that would reveal whether he meets the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

"As an active-duty officer in the United States Army, I have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the office of president of the United States," wrote Scott Easterling in a "to-whom-it-may-concern" letter.

Obama "has absolutely refused to provide to the American public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility," Easterling wrote. "In fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so."

Taitz told WND she had advised Easterling to obtain legal counsel before making any statements regarding the commander-in-chief, but he insisted on moving forward. His contention is that as an active member of the U.S. military, he is required to follow orders from a sitting president, and he needs on pain of court-martial to know that Obama is eligible.

Let me say that I don't speak for World Net Daily, or for Scott Easterling or for Orly Taitz or anyone else pursuing these lawsuits.  I don't know these people or their motives. 

Speaking for myself, I have repeatedly pointed out that Mr. Obama's eligibility has never been proven and, if we did not decisively resolve this issue before the election, we were asking for unspeakable chaos afterwards.  

It is dispiriting to note that several bloggers who I have great regard for on other issues have ridiculed the effort to see proof of Mr. Obama's eligibility under the constitution.  I don't know why, but they have.

Here is what I wrote about Barack Obama's eligibility to be President on December 9.  It is as sensible to me now as it was then:

OF BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND TIN FOIL HATS

Ken Berwitz

I am now resigned to the fact that Barack Obama will be made President-elect by the electoral college (he isn't yet, despite what media are telling you) and will be sworn in as President of the United States, without having to prove he is legally eligible to hold the office.

No, I do not wear a tin foil hat.  No, I am not a wild-eyed right winger or a racist looking to end-around an Obama presidency.

I am a citizen who expects that the man who will become the leader of my country and whose finger, figuratively speaking, will be on the nuclear trigger, should be required to show that he is legally allowed to do so.

Despite countless media articles to the contrary - due either to ignorance or willful dishonesty - Barack Obama has not produced his actual birth certificate.  Why not?

Two Hawaiian officials claim to have personally looked at the actual certificate and assure us it is valid.  About this, two points should be made:

1) In 1961, a non-naturalized citizen in Hawaii could have been given a valid birth certificate.  Therefore the claim that it is valid proves nothing;

2) In any event, why are we being asked to accept the word of these two?  Why would we accept their word?  Why can't we see this birth certificate?

And why won't Barack Obama tell us which hospital he was born in so that, in the absence of a valid birth certificate, we can check that hospital's records?

Think about this:  Mr. Obama is only 47 years old.  That means at least some people involved in his birth, such as the patient admissions office, doctors, nurses, etc., are likely to be alive.  Doesn't it strike you as odd that not one of them has come forward to brag about being with Barack Obama "from the beginning"? 

Bottom line:  Instead of allowing us to see his original birth certificate and/or letting us in on what hospital he was born in, Barack Obama has done everything in his power to hide both. 

These are the actions of someone who does not want us to know the truth. 

Am I claiming I know Barack Obama is legally unable to hold the office of President?  No I am not.  Nor have I ever said otherwise (I started writing about this in early August.  Scroll through my blogs since then and see for yourself). 

What I am saying is that we are owed proof.  And the fact that, with a disgraceful complement of media complicity, Mr. Obama has deliberately withheld it from us, raises major suspicions about his eligibility in my mind.

It is particularly disturbing that writers I respect, including David Horowitz, Michelle Malkin and Charles Johnson of www.littlegreenfootballs.com , are so adamantly dismissive of people who feel as I do (and there are plenty of us). 

What happened to them?  When did they decide that a simple, easy-to-provide proof of eligibility is unnecessary for the most important job in the world?

Regardless, barring some unforeseen turn of events we will have our President Obama on January 20.  If, after he performs duties of this office (e.g. signs legislation, agrees to treaties with foreign nations, etc.) it comes out that he is not legal to be President, thus the legislation and those treaties are null and void?  I guess we'll just have to deal with it then. 

Maybe, just maybe, the time for dealing with it is before rather than after he assumes office.  But, hey, that's just me. 

I wonder how many FM stations you can get through your fillings if you wear a tin foil hat.

 


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

It is 9:57PM.  President Obama has been speaking for about 40 minutes now.  And I have yet to year anything worthwhile.

This is a CAMPAIGN SPEECH.  It is a "we are going to __________" and "I refuse to _________" and "we must become more ___________" speech, full of sound and fuzzies, signifying nothing.

About 5 minutes in, Mr. Obama told us that there are 57 more police on the streets of Minneapolis today because of the legislation he signed into law last Tuesday.  How did a piece of legislation do this in one week, when none of it is even in the earliest stages of implementation yet?  Ask the cheering Democrats.  Ask Nancy Pelosi who - this is my wife's line - is up and down like she's at a Yom Kippur service***.

Joe Biden, by contrast, looks like he'd rather be at a basketball game (that's also my wife's line).

This was supposed to be a substantive speech.  It isn't.  It is a campaign speech to a sycophantic group of Democrats and a speaker of the house with a perpetual smirk who is acting like she's trying out for the cheerleading squad at her local high school.

What a bust. (the speech, that is.  I assure you it isn't a reference to Ms. Pelosi).

----------------------------------------------

***Yom Kippur is the Jewish high holiday.  And, as anyone who has attended a Yom Kippur service knows, you stand and sit and stand and sit until you feel like you're doing a gym routine.

---------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE:  It is now about 10:35PM and I've about had it with Jindal too.  His comments are more substantive than Obama's.  But the delivery is godawful.  Overdone and contrived.  My wife (who is absolutely on fire tonight) says he sounds like Mr. Rogers. She says that this can't be the best Republicans have to offer.  She's got a point.

---------------------------------------------------------

FURTHER UPDATE:  It is now Wednesday Morning and my wife is even funnier than she was last night.  The Today Show was running video of the speech, complete with Nancy Pelosi jumping up to applaud.  This time my wife said it looked like there was a crab on Pelosi's seat that kept biting her in the ass.  I'm still laughing as I type this.

BOBW YES SIR- VERY FUNNY LINE FROM YOUR WIFE. WAS IT BECAUSE OF A CRAB BITE OR A CASE OF THE CRABS- NANCY PILL-LOUSY HAD A FACE ON LIKE SHE ATE BAD HERRING- IT IS ALSO VERY COMFORTING THAT BEFORE THIS CONFIDENCE BOOSTER OF A SPEECH THE MARKET JUMPED WAY UP- TODAY AFTER THE MARKET SAW THIS PLAN THE MARKET IS TANKING SO MUCH FOR CONFIDENCE (02/25/09)


REACTION TO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HOUSING PLAN

Ken Berwitz

Here's a poll that the poll-happy folks on the Today Show somehow missed this morning (I wonder if it did any better on GMA or CBS Early Morning).  It comes to us from James Pethokoukis of US News:

Santelli's Not Alone, New Poll Shows Little Support for Obama Housing Plan

February 23, 2009 12:50 PM ET | James Pethokoukis |
 
It's not just RIck Santelli, gang. Right now it's "No!" rather than "Hell No!", but American don't seem to care for President Obama's housing plan. Here are some key numbers from Rasmussen:

  ... 55% of American adults say the federal government would be rewarding bad behavior by providing mortgage subsidies to financially troubled homeowners. Among investors, 65% hold that view. ... 77% of Republicans and 60% of those not affiliated with either major political party believe the mortgage help subsidizes bad behavior. Most Democrats (51%) disagree.  ... 76% of Americans are not willing to pay higher taxes to help people who cannot afford to make their mortgage payments. ... 14% say higher taxes for this purpose are okay with them. ... 10% are undecided.  ... Most Americans--53%--also oppose a plan for the federal government to pay off a portion of the mortgages only for people who cant afford their current payments. ... 32% think its a good idea. Support for that plan is even lower among homeowners.  ... Just 33% of all adults support having the federal government to pay up to $100,000 of the mortgage balance owned by every single homeowner in America.  ... 51% reject such a plan. Even though they would directly benefit, a majority of homeowners (52%) dont like that plan.

Thanks, Matt and Meredith, for not mentioning this to your millions of viewers. 

I do understand.  After all, you had to use the time for Robert Gibbs, President Obama's Press Secretary and three time winner of the Grady Sutton award for amiable bumbling, to not answer your questions. 

I would love to see these data - and Rasmussen's approval data which is significantly lower now than it was on inauguration day - broken by people who own homes with no mortgage/a mortgage that is not in arrears, versus people who are in arrears and look at this as a way to get money from the ones who are paid up.  I'd bet anything that there would be a huge difference in the data.


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