July 5, 2011

Zogby: Bachmann-34, Cain-15, Romney …. (Are You Kidding Me?) … 14 (Also, Cain Gallups Away With Intensity Rating)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:14 pm

Wow (I would give a HT to WorldNetDaily but they didn’t link to Zogby, so I had to fish for it; the heck with them):

Zogby063011

Also: Check this out from Gallup back on June 14

GallupIntensity061411

Seven prospective GOP presidential nominees participated in the nationally televised debate at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, including Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain, in addition to Bachmann and Romney. Any impact of the debate on Republicans’ views of the candidates would not be reflected in Gallup’s May 30-June 12 daily tracking update.

Bachmann’s 62% recognition score is up from 52% earlier this year, but has not changed in recent weeks. Her current Positive Intensity Score is essentially tied as the second highest for the 10 candidates Gallup tracks, although down from her high of 23 in mid-May.

… (Romney’s) Positive Intensity Score among Republicans who recognize him has risen to 19, his highest since late March/early April. Romney’s and Bachmann’s Positive Intensity Scores remain well behind Herman Cain’s 28, although Cain’s 41% recognition is significantly lower than Bachmann’s and Romney’s. Romney is known by 84% of Republicans.

To get to his intensity score of 28, Herman Cain was viewed favorably (net of strong favorables minus strong unfavorables) by 69% of those who are aware of him (69% x 41% equals 28.3%), blowing away the other candidates by miles. “Phenomenal” doesn’t even begin to describe that performance. No other currently contending candidate tops a net 30% favorable:

  • Bachmann — 62% awareness times 29% net favorable = 18 Intensity
  • Romney — 84% awareness times 23% net favorable = 19 Intensity
  • Palin — 95% awareness times 16% net favorable = 15 Intensity
  • Pawlenty — 54% awareness times 20% net favorable = 11 Intensity

Thus, Cain has a (relatively) nice but still significant problem: All he has to do is get known. Once most GOP voters know him, they love him — to paraphrase the misquote of Sally Field, they really, really love him. Most of the rest are already known, and many voters have already made up their minds about them.

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UPDATE, July 6: The roster of those who would more than likely never vote for Romney constitutes a clear majority (60%) of those polled. That would include Bachmann’s 34%, Cain’s 15%, and Paul’s 11%.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Revisionomics’) Went Up Yesterday

obama_unexpectedly_thumbnailIt’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog tomorrow (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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Left on the cutting room floor: For the first 15 weeks listed, initially released unemployment claims were revised upward the following week, until the most recently reported week broke the string, as seen below:

UnempClaimsHistory2011

The large majority (almost all, per Zero Hedge) of the reports issued during the past year or so contained upward revisions of the prior week’s original initial claims numbers:

Since the first week is an estimate and not a count of documents on hand, and is supposed to be an educated stab at what the right number really is, it is hard to handle the idea that revisions can occur in the same direction for so many weeks in a row without at least a tiny bit of manipulation being involved. To be clear, I’m not engaging in similar speculation about GDP growth or job additions/losses covered in the column, which is why I left unemployment claims out of it.

A flashback: I haven’t looked at an extended time period during the Reagan Era (hopefully, I will get to that in the next few days), but in the one month I did review in a previous post, I found that the government’s initial estimate of jobs added in April 1984 was 269,000 (readers who go to the link will note that the New York Times “cleverly” rounded the number down to 250,000). The final number listed at the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site is 363,000. That’s a 94,ooo-job, +35% difference from initial to final in just one month, and is consistent with what occurred during 2003-2006 as reported in the column. 2007-2010 went the other way, as final numbers badly trailed initially reported figures — and they’re not done revising those figures yet.

Go to the column to see why I believe that the upward revisions to jobs added from 2003-2006 occurred, and why 2007-2010 saw the opposite.

Another Reason Why He’s Objectively Unfit Mitt: Last Week’s Ruling ‘Upholding’ Obamacare Used RomneyCare As Partial Justification

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:49 am

RomneyNo0808No to ObamacareMitt Romney’s unfitness has never been more clear.

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In an editorial this morning, the Wall Street Journal examines the “reasoning” behind last week’s lower court ruling on Obamacare. The ruling’s reasoning is so flawed that it shouldn’t be and hopefully won’t be taken seriously when the appeal gets to the Supreme Court. But if it is, Mitt Romney and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will get the lion’s share of the blame for ending the freedom Americans currently have to spend and not spend their disposable income as they see fit.

It’s critical that freedom-loving Americans, especially those who are at this point supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy to become President of the United States, understand that the Sixth Circuit panel’s ruling uses their candidate’s state-imposed individual mandate as a partial justification for Obamacare’s (bolds are mine; italics are the Journal’s):

Judge Sutton’s Imaginary Mandate
A flawed ObamaCare legal opinion that shouldn’t guide the Supreme Court.

… This is an idiosyncratic and flawed opinion, and we trust the Supreme Court, however it rules, will hold itself to a higher standard of jurisprudential reasoning.

… The controlling legal opinion, because it was more narrow than the conventionally liberal option of Judge Boyce Martin, was the concurrence of Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia and was nominated to the bench by George W. Bush.

… No one denies that Congress can regulate the sale of interstate insurance, whatever the wisdom of those regulations. Normally, it would regulate what kind of products insurers can sell. It could also say that insurers could sell any kind of product, but that you are only allowed to buy a certain type of insurance or else pay a penalty.

So why—Judge Sutton asks—can’t Congress pass a regulation that says insurance, once voluntarily bought, must be maintained for life? This might be called the “Hotel California” school of regulation: You can check in, but you can never leave.

The problem is that this isn’t the mandate that is now law and was drafted by Congress. This mandate doesn’t include the qualifiers of Judge Sutton’s thought example. It doesn’t control the stream of commerce so much as it compels everyone to enter the stream of commerce and creates commerce. Even if Judge Sutton’s imaginary mandate is constitutional, which is questionable, it isn’t the one that Congress wrote, and facial challenges succeed or fail on the basis of statutory language. And what about people who never buy insurance in the first place?

Judge Sutton also suggests that the individual mandate “is constitutional as applied to individuals living in states with mandates”—currently, only Massachusetts, and justified for states under general police powers—which he says undermines “the notion the mandate is unconstitutional in all of its applications.” But under the federalist system, certain powers are reserved to the federal government and others to the states. One state imposing a mandate doesn’t give Congress the license to impose one on all states.

Read that last paragraph again, Mitt Romney defenders. In its disagreement, the Journal is arguing against the court ruling’s assertion that “one state imposing a mandate” does “give Congress the license to impose one on all states,” because RomneyCare’s very existence undermines “the notion the mandate is unconstitutional in all of its applications.”

Anyone who goes to Page 46 of the lower court’s ruling will find that the Journal’s reading of that ruling is correct.

The final paragraph of the editorial boils it all down to liberty vs. tyranny:

Given the strangeness and circularity of the Sixth Circuit’s logic, and these new constitutional frontiers, we doubt the Supreme Court will adopt its view. But Judge Sutton does at least put his finger on the legal moment: The Supreme Court “either should stop saying that a meaningful limit on Congress’s commerce powers exists or prove that it is so.”

If the government can compel its citizens to purchase health insurance against their will, it can compel them to buy any number of things — really anything, as long as the justification is “clever” enough. If the government can dictate how you spend your money, the best-case scenario is that elections will become referenda on which group’s compelled spending mandates are superior — in other words, it will be about whose version of tyranny will rule. In the worst case scenario, elections will become meaningless exercises in a world where untouchable, unaccountable regulators will micromanage how citizens, now transformed into serfs, will spend their money.

This would not be the America our Founders gave us. What Massachusetts did under Mitt Romney has moved us closer — much closer — to an unprecedentedly perilous point. Yet Romney, who has not backed off one inch from RomneyCare, especially its individual mandate (at one point calling it “the ultimate conservative plan“), is supposedly leading the pack of 2012 GOP presidential contenders. This is madness.

It cannot be emphasized enough: The passage and implementation of the individual mandate to buy health insurance in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, passed under the “leadership” of Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney, has placed the fundamental liberties of all Americans in grave jeopardy.

Positivity: Man’s sight restored after 55 years

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From New York City:

Published: June 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM

New York surgeons say a procedure restored sight in the right eye of a 63-year-old man who, for 55 years, had a detached retina that left him blind in the eye.

Thought to be the first time sight has been restored after such a long period of post-retinal detachment blindness, doctors say they hope the procedure can help restore sight in other patients, Medical News Today reported Friday.

“To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of visual recovery in a patient with longstanding traumatic retinal detachment,” said Olusola Olawoye, a doctor at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where the surgery was performed, and lead author on a paper describing the procedure. ..

Go here for the rest of the story.