Wednesday, 16 December 2009


Ken Berwitz

Ben Bernanke was named Time Magazine's person of the year today.

Do you care?  Does anyone?

Zeke ... ... Time, the Weekly Fiction Magazine ... ... ... ... in the tradition of American Journalism --- like "The Daily Worker". (12/16/09)


Ken Berwitz

If this isn't a classic entry in the "you can't make this stuff up" file, nothing is.

From the Associated Press:

N.C. Woman Lay Dead in Bed for 8 Months Despite Daily Visits

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WILMINGTON, N.C.    The body of an elderly woman remained in her bed for up to eight months even though caretakers paid daily visits to the house and kept it tidy, authorities said Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies were investigating the suspicious death of Blanche Matilda Roth after the corpse was found in her suburban home in Wilmington, on the Atlantic coast, on Tuesday following a call to authorities.

New Hanover County Deputy Charles Smith said Roth likely died in May, before her 88th birthday in September. Her body was found after the caller, whose identity was being withheld by authorities, reported that an elderly woman in the home was unconscious and not breathing.

Smith said caretakers had been going in and out of the house on a quiet cul-de-sac on a daily basis. He would not specify if the caretakers were family members but said they were not nurses.

Failure to report a death is a felony in North Carolina.

Smith said the residence was very well kept. He said police hadn't received any calls requesting welfare checks on Roth.

Officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

"Unconscious and not breathing"?  What about  "decomposed and stinking"?  What about "wearing the same outfit every day since May"?  What about "she's not easy to talk to"?  Something?

I love that they found the residence very well kept. No mess, no dishes to wash, not a bite taken out of the refrigerator or the pantry (either of which probably smelled about as bad as the deceased by that time).

The caretakers have obviously missed their calling.  They should get into the forensic sciences.  With analytical capabilities like theirs, they'll turn Quincy green with envy...


NOTE:  Sometimes things are right in front of your eyes and you still don't see them.  I mentioned this story to my wife, and she immediately saw it as the caretakers knowing the woman was dead but, since no one else knew or cared , continuing to pretend they were performing services for her so they would get paid for doing nothing.  That, of course, is almost certainly what happened.  Thanks, hon, and sorry to everyone else for not realizing it.


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an Associated Press article:

Iran tests long-range missile, raises ire of West


By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 54 mins ago


TEHRAN, Iran Iran on Wednesday test-fired an upgraded version of its most advanced missile, which is capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe, in a new show of strength aimed at preventing any military strike against it amid the nuclear standoff with the West.


The test stoked tensions between Iran and the West, which is pressing Tehran to rein in its nuclear program. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it showed the need for tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran.


"This is a matter of serious concern to the international community and it does make the case for us moving further on sanctions. We will treat this with the seriousness it deserves," Brown said after talks with U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon in Copenhagen.


Wednesday's test was for the latest version of Iran's longest-range missile, the Sajjil-2, with a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers). That range places Israel, Iran's sworn enemy, well within reach, as well as U.S. bases in the Gulf region and parts of southeastern Europe.


The two-stage Sajjil-2 and is powered entirely by solid-fuel while the older, long-range Shahab-3 missile uses a combination of solid and liquid fuel in its most advanced form.


Iran has repeatedly warned it will retaliate if Israel or the United States carries out military strikes against its nuclear facilities, at a time when the U.S. and its allies accuse Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the claim, saying its program is intended solely to generate electricity.


Nuclear negotiations have been deadlocked for months, with Iran equivocating over a U.N.-drafted deal aimed at removing most of its low-enriched uranium from the country so it would not have enough stockpiles to produce a bomb. The U.N. nuclear watchdog last month sharply rebuked Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.

Iran, clearly confident that the rest of the world - other than Israel - will do nothing about it, continues its straight-line path towards creating the capability of wiping Israel off the face of the map, which its fraudulently elected head of state has specifically told us all that he wants to have happen.

Israel, therefore, is in that much more imminent danger, thus that much closer to launching an attack to prevent its own decimation.

I'm glad that Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, sees this as a matter of serious concern and will be sure to bring it up at the next UN meeting - so that the UN can sputter, fume and impose "sanctions" that Iran (and many of the UN members supposedly committed to enforcing them) will ignore, as they have ignored them in the past. 

But, to tell you the truth, I don't think Israel, which stands to be attacked by Iran's missiles (presumably with nuclear warheads) will consider that enough of a deterrent against Iran.  For the sake of its own existence, and the lives of its millions of Jewish citizens, Israel will probably determine that it has to do something a lot more decisive.

What planet do Brown, Moon and other so-called "world leaders" live on?  Do they have any idea what will happen if Israel attacks Iran?  Do they have any understanding of what kind of war it could touch off? 

When do they act like there's something more at stake besides a meaningless slap on the wrist to Iran and the 34,528th UN condemnation of Israel?

Are they suicidal idiots?  Or just determined to act as if they are?

Zeke ... .... Iran will be Barry Obama's crowning foreign policy achievement ... .... just like it was for Jimmy the Peanut. ... .... ... .... Israel now has a triple tier ballistic missile defense. It was field tested in joint exercises with the US this year. ... .... While the unstated assumption is that Israel has had Atomic Bombs for several decades ... ... my bet is that they also have developed Hydrogen Bombs, which are 100 times more powerful. (12/16/09)


Ken Berwitz

I assume that the guy who said "east is east, and west is west and never the twain shall meet" never came across the international dateline.

He'd have been on much firmer ground if he was talking about Al Gore and truth.

From Andrew Stuttaford, of National Review:

Gore and the Truth   [Andrew Stuttaford]

Al Gore has been under fire for spinning some forecasts on the disappearance of the Arctic ice a little too aggressively. Some of the criticism is overly harsh (if the forecasts are correct, the news is still bad), but, as yet another example of Gore's tendency to exaggerate, they are interesting.


And so are Nairobi's mosquitoes. This article from the Spectator by Paul Reiter, a professor of medical entomology from the Pasteur Institute (and much, much more), is well worth a look. Here is a key extract:

I am a scientist, not a climatologist, so I dont dabble in climatology. My speciality is the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. As the film began, I knew Mr Gore would get to mosquitoes: theyre a favourite with climate-change activists. When he got to them, it was all I feared. In his serious voice, Mr Gore presented a nifty animation, a band of little mosquitoes fluttering their way up the slopes of a snow-capped mountain, and he repeated the old line: Nairobi used to be above the mosquito line, the limit at which mosquitoes can survive, but now Those little mosquitoes kept climbing.

The truth? Nairobi means the place of cool waters in the Masai language. The town grew up around a camp, set up in 1899 during the construction of a railway, the famous Lunatic Express. There certainly was water there and mosquitoes. From the start, the place was plagued with malaria, so much so that a few years later doctors tried to have the whole town moved to a healthier place. By 1927, the disease had become such a plague in the White Highlands that 40,000 (equivalent to about 350,000 today) was earmarked for malaria control. The authorities understood the root of the problem: forest clearance had created the perfect breeding places for mosquitoes. The disease was present as high as 2,500m above sea level; the mosquitoes were observed at 3,000m. And Nairobi? 1,680m.

These details are not science. They require no study. They are history. But for activists, they are an inconvenient truth, so they ignore them. Even if Mr Gore is innocent, his advisers are not. They have been spouting the same nonsense for more than a decade. As scientists, we have repeatedly challenged them in the scientific press, at meetings and in news articles, and we have been ignored.

In 2004, nine of us published an appeal in the Lancet: Malaria and climate change: a call for accuracy. Clearly, Mr Gore didnt read it.In 2000, I protested when Scientific American published a major article loaded with the usual misrepresentations. And when I watched his animated mosquitoes, his snow-capped mountain was oddly familiar. It took a few moments to click: the images were virtually identical to those in the magazine. The author of the article, Dr Paul Epstein, features high in Gores credits.

Dr Epstein is a member of a small band dedicated to a cause. And their work gains legitimacy, not by scholarship, but by repetition. While they publish their work in highly regarded journals, they dont write research papers but opinion pieces and reviews, with little or no reference to the mainstream of science. The same claims, the same names; only the order of authors change. I have counted 48 separate pieces by just eight activists. They are myth-makers. And all have been lead authors and/or contributory authors of the prestigious IPCC assessment reports.

Take their contention, for example, that as a result of climate change, tropical diseases will move to temperate regions and malaria will come to Britain. If they bothered to learn about the subject, they would know that in a period climatologists call the Little Ice Age, when Charles II held ice parties on the Thames, malaria the ague was rampant in the Essex marshes, on a par even with regions in Africa today. In the 18th century, the great systematist Linnaeus wrote his doctorate on malaria in central Sweden. In 1922-23 a massive epidemic swept the Soviet Union as far north as Archangel, on the Arctic circle, killing an estimated 600,000 people. And malaria was only eliminated from the Soviet Union and large areas of Europe in the 1950s, after the advent of DDT. So its hardly a tropical disease. And yet when we put this information under the noses of the activists it is ignored: ours is the inconvenient truth.

Read the whole thing.

I keep asking myself how long our wonderful "neutral" media will continue to prop up this fraud, and help him make untold millions by selling carbon credits.  And I keep hearing a faint voice asking "how long is forever?"

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


Ken Berwitz

It is very late in the year to get a new Darwin Award finalist.  But, in the spirit of this holiday season, we have one.

At the Lowell M. Maxham elementary school in Taunton, Massachusetts, a second grader was suspended from school and ordered to have a psychiatric evaluation.  He must be some little terror, wouldn't you think?

Well, here is the Boston Herald article, which describes what this "little terror" actually did:

Mayor:  School boss should apologize to boy who drew cross

By Laura Crimaldi and Laurel J. Sweet
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - Updated 16h ago


Taunton Mayor Charles Crowley called School Superintendent Julie Hackett from his vacation today and asked her to apologize both privately and publicly to the family of an 8-year-old special needs student sent home from school and ordered to undergo psychological testing after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross.


Mayor Crowleys sentiments were that he would hope Dr. Hackett would meet with the family today, apologize, make a public apology on behalf of the school department, pay for the psychiatrist and come up with a policy to make sure this never happens in our school system again, said Crowleys assistant Todd Castro.


Castro said this evening he is unaware of any response from Hackett. Hackett has not responded to repeated requests for comment from the Herald.


The Lowell M. Maxham Elementary School second-grader was booted from the school on Dec. 2 when school officials feared his artwork - drawn to depict what he did on his Thanksgiving break - might be exposing violent tendencies. The child was allowed to return on Dec. 7 after a two-day risk assessment by psychiatrist Helene Titelbaum determined there was nothing wrong with him.


(The boy) does not appear to be a threat to himself or others at this time. Therefore, I recommend that he return to school as soon as possible, Titelbaum concluded in her report, a copy of which was obtained by the Herald.


The boys father, Chester Johnson, 40, a part-time maintenance worker for the Taunton School Department, told the Herald his son drew Jesus after visiting the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attelboro to see its Christmas display. He then put his own name on the cross instead of Jesus.


Toni Saunders, an educational consultant with the non-profit Associated Advocacy Center in Sandwich, who was asked to help the family by their pastor, said, I heard the story and I was appalled, to put it mildly.


My intention is to shed light on what is happening to children in schools because of zero tolerance, she said. Im sure they expected Santa Claus or a reindeer, but thats not where this childs mind was.


Johnson, she said, just wants to get his son out of the school. His son is really traumatized from this event.


This is one of those How is this possible? scenarios, she said. We live in a society where were supposed to honor children and their imagination.


In June 2008, a Taunton fifth-grade student was suspended for a day for a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.


In case you're wondering (and how could you not be), here is the picture that caused this child to be suspended and psychiatrically evaluated:

 Could this be more idiotic?  If so, how?

I congratulate Mayor Crowley for injecting a much-needed dose of sanity into the situation. 

I also congratulate the school's principal, Rebecca Couet, and the teacher (who, so far, has not been named) for acting like absolute idiots, thus giving Mayor Crowley the opportunity to do so.

And I strongly suggest that the superintendent of schools, principal and teacher all think about the last sentence of the Boston Herald article. 

Last year, a child three years older (thus far more able to understand the implications of what he was doing) drew a picture of him shooting his teacher and a classmate.  For that he got a one day suspension.  But this second grader who saw a Christmas display and drew a picture of Christ on the Cross?  Three days and a psychiatric evaluation.

If you're asking me, the psychiatrist had a principal and a teacher far more in need of her professional capabilities than the second grader.


Ken Berwitz

Here, from Paul Mirengoff of www.powerlineblog, is information which further fleshes out Senator Joe Lieberman's position on the medicare buy-in.  Don't expect to see or hear about it on keith olbermann's venom-a-thon:

What about Joe?


December 16, 2009 Posted by Paul at 8:49 AM


The view of Ezra Klein, Paul Krugman, and other leftists that Joe Lieberman opposed the public option and the expansion of Medicare in order to "settle an old electoral score" appears to be based on the claim that in September of this year, Lieberman supported the Medicare expansion. In other words, so Lieberman's critics say, he was for the expansion before he was against it.


This is an odd argument on its face. Lieberman's "electoral score" is, indeed, old; it dates back to 2006. So if he were basing his positions on health care reform on a desire to settle that score, he would be unlikely to speak in favor of Medicare expansion in September 2009. Indeed, if Lieberman were out for vengeance, he would be unlikely to support the Democrats' landmark plan even absent the public option and the expansion of Medicare. Yet, it appears that Lieberman will provide a key vote in favor of reform, just as he consistently has provided it on other major issues this session.


In any event, the claim that there's an inconsistency between Lieberman's September position on Medicare expansion and his current position appears to be specious. As explained here, in September Lieberman talked about why, in the past, he has considered Medicare expansion a good idea. In the context of the current legislation, though, Lieberman sees the expansion as duplicative. In his view, the insurance exchanges called for in the current bill already address the problems that the Medicare buy-in is trying to solve. In other words, Lieberman believes coverage is already being given to the groups in question through the subsidies in the bill, and thus sees insufficient justification for the Medicare expansion.

I pointed out yesterday that when olbermann, in an effort to prove Lieberman was a turncoat, ran clips of him supporting the buy-in months ago and being against it this week, the clips did the exact opposite -- i.e. they made mincemeat of olbermann's claim..  The "in favor of" clip talked about Lieberman's personal proposals for the buy-in, and the "against" clip talked about how they are handled in the currently proposed legislation.  Two entirely different things.

It won't stop olbermann from lying (nothing does) but at least you and I know better.


Ken Berwitz

Last week I blogged about three navy seals who are being court-martialed.  The reason?  One of them is alleged to have punched an al-qaeda detainee in the stomach and the other two are alleged to have covered up for him. 

FYI, the suspect, ahmed hashim abed, apparently was responsible for the killing of four US civilians and the horribly mutilation their bodies -- either before or after they were dead.  The one and only complainant is abed himself.  There are no other witnesses and there appears to be no physical evidence of any kind other than that abed said his poor wiwoo tummy hurt.

Waiting for more?  Can't believe that's the sum and substance of this entire incident?  Well stop waiting, because there isn't any more.

Here is the latest information about this travesty, which I have taken from (try and find it in the major media):

It's 'Absolutely Ridiculous' to Prosecute Navy SEALs Over Alleged Punching of Terrorist, Says Former JAG Lawyer Now Serving in Congress
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer


( A former military lawyer now serving in Congress called the court martial of three Navy SEALs who captured a terrorist suspected of killing four Americans absolutely ridiculous.
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) served four years in the U.S. Armys Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and served as the special assistant U.S. attorney at Fort Hood, Texas, prosecuting all civilian crimes at the post. He later taught constitutional and criminal law at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He believes the SEALs case represents a larger systemic problem. The SEALs are accused of allegedly abusing terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed by supposedly punching him and then lying about the incident. Abed is the reported architect of the murder of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, the bodies of whom were burned and hanged from a bridge.
Never before in the history of this country, as much as now, does somebody [in the military] have to wonder is this going to get me thrown into Leavenworth for the rest of my life? Rooney told
Certainly, we want to take the high road, and we want to have the highest standards, he said. But we also need to have clear rules of engagement. Thats incumbent on us to maintain the leadership role, and the Department of Defense. And court martialing three SEALs for maybe or maybe not punching some guy in the stomach without any kind of corroborating evidence I dont think is sending the right message.
The three SEALs are Matthew McCabe, 24, of Perrysburg, Ohio; Julio Huertas, 28, of Blue Island, Ill.; and Jonathon Keefe, 25, of Yorktown, Va. Each is charged with dereliction of duty for failing to protect the terror suspect, Abed, and with making false statements.
McCabe is charged with assault for allegedly punching the terror suspect in the mid-section, while Huertas is charged with impeding an investigation. They face up to a year in military confinement and a bad conduct discharge if convicted.
The government has not produced evidence for the defense, the defense attorneys said. However, McCabes attorney, Neal Puckett, told on Tuesday that he has an unconfirmed report that the evidence is in the mail. Puckett said he has not yet received it.
Rooney was one of 40 members of Congress who signed a letter to Major General Charles Cleveland, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command Central, asking him to drop the charges.  
I think its absolutely ridiculous, said Rooney. The line between being given a medal and being court martialed nowadays is not discernable. Its just so frustrating for me as a former judge advocate, as somebody who taught the laws of war at West Point. Our job is to advise commanders on what lawful targets are and what the rules of engagement are, and what you do toward prisoners who are detainees.
Im not saying that Abu Ghraib was not an absolute disaster, because it was, Rooney said. But that doesnt mean that we have to kowtow to every little complaint that somebody might make that may or may not be valid and threaten non-judicial punishment or judicial punishment to these SEALs when the only evidence we have of any mistreatment is from the detainee himself, he added.
So I just think its unfortunate that we seem, we want to justify to hold our own people accountable when there is a lot that should be celebrated about the people in uniform, Rooney said.

Suppose these were, say, 7th graders, and one kid had good reason to believe another kid hurt four of his friends.  So he punched him in the stomach, and two of his pals tried to cover up for him. 

What would happen?  Would he be lectured?  Maybe get detention for a few days or even expelled for those few?  That's about all.  And if the principal had reason to suspect the kid he punched hurt those four friends, there might not be any punishment at all.

But this nothing-with-nothing allegation is being magnified into an incident that will irreparably destroy these young men's lives, and severely damage morale in our military at a time we are fighting two wars. 

This is insane.  Stop it now.


Ken  Berwitz

The best thing you can say about these two is that they are woefully ignorant.  The worst is that they are intentionally lying to us.  I prefer to stick with the first (I'm trying to be a gentleman).


Sen. Lincoln: Congress Can Force Americans to Buy Health Insurance Because Constitution Charges Congress With the Health of the People
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter

( - Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) told that Congress has the authority to force individual Americans to buy health insurance because the U.S. Constitution charges Congress with the health and well-being of the people.
The words health and well-being do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.
The Congressional Budget Office has determined that in the entire history of the United States the federal government has never mandated that Americans buy any good or service. Both the House and Senate health care bills, however, include provisions that require all legal residents of the U.S. to purchase health insurance, a provision whose constitutionality has been qiuestioned by, among others, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.   

At a press conference on Capitol Hill, asked Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Blanche Lincoln the following question: What part of the Constitution do you think gives Congress the authority to mandate that individuals have to purchase health insurance?
Lincoln did not answer the question during the press conference but spoke to in the Dirksen Senate Office Building immediately afterward. asked her there: You didnt respond to my constitutionality question during the press conference, and what was your reaction to, your answer to the question?
Well, I just think the Constitution charges Congress with the health and well-being of the people, Lincoln said. then asked the Senator: So, what area though? Youre saying the health and well-being. What area, though, does that fall under?
The health and well-being of the people of the country, she replied.

During the press conference, Landrieu told she would let constitutional lawyers on our staff answer the question of where the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. Well, were very lucky as members of the Senate to have constitutional lawyers on our staff, so Ill let them answer that, said Landrieu.
But what I will say is that most certainly it is within Congress jurisdiction to come up with a way to have a health insurance funded with shared responsibility, is the way I like to, you know--government has a responsibility, individuals have a responsibility and business has a responsibility, said Landrieu.

This is what we have gotten since Democrats took over the entire government.  We got a President who tells us about all the jobs he is "saving or creating" while we lose over 3,000,000 jobs.  And we got senators who pretend there is a constitutional mandate that forces us to buy their idea of what our insurance should be (not their idea of what THEIR insurance should be, of course -- they have congressional insurance that is dramatically better and they aren't about to give it up for what they're foisting on us).

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.


Ken Berwitz

Media bias?  In the Washington Post?  Whodda thunk it???

From Tim Graham, at

WaPo Buries Its Own Poll Showing 'Public Cooling to Health-Care Reform'

By Tim Graham (Bio | Archive)
December 16, 2009 - 08:26 ET

Eight weeks ago, The Washington Post topped its own front-page with its own ABC-Washington Post poll announcing that the public strongly favored a "public option" in health care, by 57 to 40 percent. Their latest poll is much worse: "Negatives abound in poll," read the subhead. So it was buried on page 6 Wednesday. On the front page instead, a happy-talk headline: "Health bills prospects improve as Lieberman signals support."

Tuesday's conservative "Code Red" rally in Washington wasn't buried in the Post. It was nowhere in the Post.

The actual poll story by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen reports that 44 percent support current health-care legislation, and 51 percent disapprove. Approval of Obamas handling of health-care has gone sour: 44 percent approve, while 53 percent disapprove. But the Posts front page is still touting "Health care bills prospects improve" as their own poll shows a collapse of public support.

The headline in the paper on Wednesday is "As talks draw out, public frets about health-care costs." Frets? When Bush was sinking in the Post poll, was "frets" the word for the public? The online headline is more politically realistic, but causes more liberal indigestion: "Public cooling to health-care reform as debate drags on, poll finds." The numbers are not pretty:

More than half of those polled, 53 percent, see higher costs for themselves if the proposed changes go into effect than if the current system remains intact. About as many (55 percent) say the overall cost of the national health-care system would go up more sharply. Moreover, just 37 percent say the quality of their care would be better under a new system; 50 percent see it as better under the current set-up.

Even among those who presumably stand to benefit most from a major restructuring of the insurance market -- the nearly one in 5 adults without coverage -- there are doubts about the changes under consideration. Those without insurance are evenly divided on the question of whether their care would be better if the system were overhauled.

The most positive spin on the poll story is used on the front page text box: "Poll finds electorate fearful of costs: A slim majority of Americans believe that government action is needed to control health-care costs and expand coverage." On, readers found a big headline on "Health bill's prospects improve" and a tiny headline on "Poll: public cooling to reform."

Balz and Cohen tried to play up how Obama's drawing strong numbers of support on more troops to Afghanistan -- which is cold comfort to liberals. But Obama's overall approval is falling to new lows, which was avoided in headlines: 

Obama's domestic battles have taken their toll, as his approval ratings on key issues have sunk to the lowest points of his presidency. On health care, 53 percent disapprove of his performance, a new high. On the economy, 52 percent disapprove, also a new high mark in Post-ABC polling. Same on the deficit, on which 56 percent now disapprove of his stewardship. On the politically volatile issue of unemployment, 47 percent approve of the way Obama is dealing with the issue; 48 percent disapprove.

Under the weight of these more negative reviews, the president's overall approval rating has dipped to 50 percent, down from 56 percent a month ago. Other national surveys have recorded his ratings at or below 50 percent in recent weeks, but this is his lowest level yet in a Post-ABC News survey.

The erosion in the president's standing has been driven by continued slippage among political independents, particularly among independent men. For the first time, a majority of independents disapprove of his overall job performance, and independents' disapproval of his handling of health care and the economy tops six in 10.

Balz and Cohen noted that the ABC-Post sample contained more Republicans this time:

Some of the changes away from the president and the Democrats in this poll stem from a more GOP-leaning sample than in previous surveys. In this poll, the Democratic advantage in partisan identification has been shaved to six points, the first time in more than a year that the gap has been lower than double digits. There is also near-parity between the parties, when nonpartisans who "lean" toward one party or the other are counted, also a first for 2009.

Nice work, guys.  Nobody noticed.  Honest. 

I'm sure they also didn't notice that President Obama's plummeting approval rating (from 56%-42% to 50%-46% in less than a month) is buried in the 8th paragraph.  Of course the idea was that they shouldn't notice.......shouldn't notice that it plummeted, that is.

By the way, the changes in your poll don't stem from a more GOP-leaning sample.  They stem from the fact that this has become a more GOP-leaning country.  The sampling didn't change;  the country did.

On that one you don't even get the "nice try" comment.

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