Day: August 17, 2009

Cable News: Who Watches What Channel?

A new poll gives very interesting information about who watches what cable news channel.

Conservatives and Southerners only watch Fox News (no surprise) LOL

Independents tend not to watch any of the three cable news channels.

Democrats split their watching between CNN and MSNBC.

Young people between 18-29 tend to avoid watching much cable news, but shun Fox News the most! LOL

Also, more people watch CNN than either other channel, with Fox second and MSNBC third.

The greatest disappointment is that 61 percent never watch CNN; 66 percent never watch Fox; and 77 percent never watch MSNBC. With the fact that reading of newspapers and periodicals is way down in recent years, it is obvious that the American people as a whole are not well versed in public affairs, and I would say it shows in what has been going on at these Town Hall events all over the nation–ill informed people who are very emotional and irrational and do not understand basic facts and concepts of public issues and affairs. This is indeed a very sad state of affairs. 🙁

Somehow, the results of this poll are very predictable! There are no surprises in my mind! 🙁

The Senate Finance Committee “Gang Of Six” And Health Care Legislation

I am a big lover of the US Senate and am the author of a book on senators during the New Deal, many of whom came from small Midwestern and Western states, so I understand fully how much senators from small states can have an impact.

Therefore, I am particularly interested in the reality that six senators from small states –three Democrats (Max Baucus of Montana, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Kent Conrad of North Dakota) and three Republicans (Charles Grassley of Iowa, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Olympia Snowe of Maine) are the major figures involved in blocking major health care reform, including a public option. As members of the Senate Finance Committee, they have made it clear that they do not wish to go as far on health care as the various committees in the House of Representatives.

The problem is these six senators together represent a population about the size of New York City (8.4 million people) and 2.75 percent of the total population of the nation. But they will have a major impact on health care reform and have a good chance to prevent major changes.

The three Democrats in particular represent states which only have ONE Congressman per state, and it seems to many that this whole situation is outrageous, and that the Senate is undemocratic in nature and should be changed.

But of course, there is no way that the Senate can be changed. The only major reform has been the 17th Amendment, which led to direct popular election of the Senate beginning in 1913. But the Founding Fathers did not set up the Senate to be a democratic body. Rather, it was set up as a barrier to “popular” rule and has long acted as a brake on the House of Representatives.

The Senate is a slow moving, slow adapting body, and often that is good, as it has prevented many unwise ideas passed by the House, including many crazy ideas for constitutional amendments.

In this case, the fight for health care reform, however, the Senate is becoming the bottleneck, and is giving too much power to a handful of Senators, who, were they in the House of Representatives, would have no attention given to them and would would wield no power at all.

Such is the makeup of our government, as established by the Founding Fathers, and there is nothing we can do about it!

State Gun Laws And The President And Other Public Figures

It has been absolutely insane that wherever the President has traveled for Town Halls, we see the presence of ordinary citizens displaying guns in the area of his presence.

It may be that states in many cases allow the public display of weapons, including assault rifles, but it should be made clear that they are NOT acceptable at a public event or gathering of large numbers of citizens, such as a Town Hall, whether it is the President or even any other public official in attendance.

The presence of firearms promotes an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, and no state law should put a public official, and particularly the President, in a position where his security agents have to be on the defensive. This is states rights gone amuck.

We have a short memory. Considering all of the political assassinations of the 20th century of national political figures–including Huey Long, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy among others–and the shooting of such political figures as Theodore Roosevelt, George Wallace, Ronald Reagan–and the missed attempts against such leaders as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford–we should ban guns in public gatherings that include major government leaders.

No other democracy allows such freedom, and we need to learn that guns have their place, and that is NOT in a public gathering with major political leaders appearing.

The Public Option For Health Insurance Is Essential!

There are hints coming from the Obama Administration that they might settle for non profit coops to create competition for the health insurance industry, in lieu of a “public option”, where the government competes with private enterprise for those who are least able to afford health insurance costs.

The argument is that the Senate will NOT go along with a public option, while the House will not go along with any legislation that does not have a public option.

This is a defining moment for the Obama plans for health care, and it is indeed a tough issue, but I think the President has to use the prestige of his office and start to act like Lyndon Johnson–be aggressive and take the view that this is the best time to get health care reform through, and that he should not concern himself with whether or not the Republicans will go along or support a plan.

The “blue dog” Democrats in the House must be read the “riot act” and the more conservative Democrats in the Senate informed that this is a question of a once in a generation opportunity for fundamental change, and that therefore the fight must go on for real change.

Yes, abortion, illegal immigrants and clearcut declaration that so called “death panels” will NOT be part of the legislation is essential. Also, cost controls to avoid adding to the national debt long term is also necessary.

This is a time to FIGHT, not give in to the corporations and the conservatives who are propagandizing to destroy the need for health care reform. America deserves better!