Sunday, November 22, 2009

Too Much about Too Little?

My, my but I have neglected this blog! No new post since the 9th of November. My excuse is that it has been difficult to find a subject to sink my teeth into as it were.

Yes, there is health care reform. And the latest flap about cancer screens being done too soon and too often. I have to smile on that last one because I blogged about that already. And I have blogged about the health care debate until it has made me a bit sick.

My subject for the morning is polls. Remember where there used to be just one - the Gallup Poll? Now it seems every talking head has a poll to quote from their desk. Great! Especially since they don't all agree. Polls can have different results for a number of reasons (I actually took a class in this at college). The big variance can be in who you ask. Needless to say Fox News Network is not calling liberals about their feelings on our Democrat president.

Another variant can be how you phrase the question. "When did you stop beating your wife?" is not fairly stated because it assumes you beat her. So "What is the most upsetting part of the President's agenda?" is equally unfair for much the same reasons.

Then there is how you crunch the numbers you obtain. And that silly disclaimer nobody reads - plus or minus a statistical error of 3 percent.

All that aside what I find so absolutely stunning about this endless chatter that President Obama has fallen below 50% approval rating on the Gallup poll (see previous sentence about statistical error) is that the previous president hovered for months and months (maybe years) between 20 and 23% and nothing much was said.

When I worked in radio there was this phrase, "Must be a slow news day." Anything could be the lead off of the news at the top of the hour on a slow news day. Even the fire department rescuing a kitten in a tree though that is more a visual for the television media. So I think so much is being made about the poll numbers because all those talking heads with 24/7 to fill are making a lot about some silly polls. Just like I am here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This Would Be Funny if it Wasn't So Pathetic

The House of Representatives of the United States has at last passed a universal health care bill. It is only one step on a very long road to passage of a measure to be sent to President Obama for signature. But it is one step further than any president in the history of our country has gotten.

We have been trying to pass something for decades. We are the only developed nation in the world without universal health care. And we are the one with the highest medical costs in the world. I won't go into all the reasons why we should be writing our representatives and urging them to move forward with this. I have written lots of blogs on the subject. But just yesterday I was talking to a long time and very dear friend of mine. We have remained friends inspite of the fact she listens to and believes Rush Limbaugh. We just avoid the subject of politics. But every once in a while some subject we are discussing sidles into forbidden ground and it did so yesterday.

I have been busy (too busy to even keep up on this blog - mea culpa) and have not made myself check in on the extreme right. So rather than stop the conversation yesterday I just let her ramble on about what is being said in the dungeons about health care reform. Frankly, I was rather stunned. The AARP and the American Medical Medical Association have deserted the conservatives and endorsed this "socialistic plot." The end of the world as we know it is close. Oh, so close. Well, according to my extreme liberal friends (studiers of the Mayan Calendar) it is suppose to end in 2012 anyway. I think it would be nice to have good and cheap health care for the last couple of years.

I always rather wonder if my friend has it right - what she says they say. It always sounds so obsurd so I tripped off to various Internet sites after the conversation (why I did not get as much painting done as I wanted) and found out it is even worse then she reported. Being intelligent she naturally threw out a few extreme claims of the right.

I have an ex-husband who loves to reuse key phrases to skip over large sections of background information he knows I am aware of. It is one way to move the conversation forward rapidly. One of his favorite is: What are they thinking? To which I generally reply: Isn't it clear they are not thinking?

In fact, having exhausted all meaningful argments regardless of how innane, they have moved on to pure scare tactics. The dreaded monster in the closet approach of GW Bush. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

But the really, really, really scary part is there are people out there that believe in that monster.