Wednesday, March 31, 2010

President Obama Popular but Policy Suffers in Polls. Why?


What is this dichotomy in the most recent polls? The popularity of Congress sinks to the lowest levels ever recorded while Obama remains in fairly safe territory. The top politician in America has separated himself from the Washington politicians, he's not one of them. A Democrat as president and Congress under the control of Democrats, yet Obama is not considered one of the politicians in the eyes of the public.

Politics being what it is, there is a never ending fascination with the polls and the meaning of polls which I have been just as guilty of as the next person. There may be a difference however. For several decades I have worked with polls, refining polls, adapting them between politics and use by the business community, and figuring out ways the public tricks the pollsters.

All the way back to the days I was involved with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and developed new ways to scientifically measure pockets of poverty in metropolitan areas. Then there was time with the Census Bureau and the development of the computerized census and address coding guide. Even to the initial testing of the technique of measured perception analysis for polling of focus groups or onsite campaign groups. I never tired of trying to reduce the range of probability in polls to the lowest common denominator.

If a poll is done right it can tell an incredible story. Most aren't. If the questions in a poll are truly unbiased and nothing is done to influence answers, meaningful results can be generated. But most don't do that either. Most polls serve a master, the one paying for the poll, and can easily be slanted to get the results desired. This is not to say there are no valid polls. Some pollsters have real, scientific methods they use to accurately collect data. Most don't.

Be that as it may, when many different polls serving many different interests give similar results, like the favorable rating of Congress hitting rock bottom while the favorable rating of the president from the same party (Democrat) as most members of Congress tracks at 43-50% favorable consistently, then there is likely some truth in the obvious conclusion. Simply stated, people like Obama as a person and think Congress stinks.

Now I didn't say just the Democrats in Congress stink, although I suspect Majority Speaker Pelosi may lead the pack in negative ratings, because most people don't distinguish between political parties when they think of the Congress, they just think all the politicians in Washington stink. So bad news for Republicans, if you don't do something to help fix this country now and prove you are not just more of the same old politicians in Washington, then you are going to sink right down to the bottom of the cesspool with your Democrat colleagues in Congress.

I think the recent poll on MSNBC by Gallup, I believe, most recently demonstrated that the Democrat liberals were looking for a way to prove their outrageous claim that the Republicans were to blame for the hatred and threats against members of Congress. They believed a quick poll showing the public did blame those nasty Republicans for the violence and threats would help the Democrats in the fall elections.

But the set up backfired when the public, in the liberal's own poll, showed the public indeed blamed the Democrats (49%) more than the Republicans (43%). In the eyes of the public clearly the Democrats suffered more because the public did not buy the liberal line.

Obama, on the other hand, has enjoyed a rather good favorable rating in spite of the turmoil and the bitter controversy around him. More important, it is in spite of the fact the majority of people don't like his policies. America, all of America and that includes the places outside the Washington beltway, is not liberal. If anything this country is moderate to conservative as a whole.

Right now the public links Obama policy with the left leaning liberal causes. But I'm not quite so sure. We know he is a Harvard guy, and we know that Harvard from the Ivy League has produced 8 US presidents. In all 13 presidents have come from the Ivy League with Yale in second place with 5 presidents. It was time for a change. Yale presidents have been in charge the last 20 years straight, it is time to give someone else a chance.

Harvard will not count against Obama (meaning the arrogant or silver spoon perception of the Ivy League in the public eye), though people are more than a little suspicious of the motives and means of Ivy Leaguers. This just means the Ivy League schools do not like their alumni to look bad and they have quite the extended support system to protect their reputation. We can usually count on a Harvard, Yale or Princeton to straighten out one of their own if the president doesn't get it.

Now Obama may be their best work to date. Not because he broke the historic racial barrier. Not because he came out of nowhere with some mighty powerful help. Not even because it seems the longer he governs the less he seems to espouse a distinct philosophical leaning and the more he seems to be willing to compromise in order to do what he thinks the country needs to do.

His attitude of avoiding controversy and refusing to champion liberal causes may have cost him the support of his active and extensive liberal base but could open the door to achieving success as president. It was a lesson that Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Sr. and Clinton all mastered with great success. The old adage that a great compromiser is the one who, when he can't get what he wants, will take what he can get, is starting to fit Obama and a pleasant change that may be.

Today Obama announced he agreed with Sarah Palin's campaign battle cry, "drill baby drill," and said he would free up much of the waters on the East Coast, and tracts in Alaska and the Gulf for offshore oil drilling. It was a dagger to the heart of liberal environmentalists but music to the ears of moderate Americans who know we can achieve energy independence with our own oil and natural gas among other things.

Of course the policy reversal by Obama left both the liberal Democrats and Republicans sort of dumbfounded. Then the GOP fed us the standard, knee jerk reaction saying it was not good enough. On the other side of the aisle the liberal Democrats must have fumed at the news of their Chosen One agreeing with Sarah Palin but, at least they fumed quietly.

What Obama proposed did not address natural gas and should, but he never said it could not be changed to address what was missing, like natural gas. I mean he does have to keep a few bargaining chips on the table to demonstrate leadership and have a better negotiating position for getting the new energy policy into law. Still, what he proposed was a heck of a lot better than what we have today.

I figure Obama has offered two olive branches to the Republicans, with nuclear expansion and offshore oil drilling, to make up for kicking their butts on health care. Now if the Republicans just realized that Obama is willing to play the game of compromise and worked with the president instead of opposing the president, then Congress might actually accomplish more than health care the first two years and with a lot less whining by Congress.

Unfortunately, that might be asking for a lot. How entrenched is the GOP in the mantra "No" to anything the president may propose? It could be a golden opportunity for the GOP or a huge, lost chance to reverse their fortunes in the fall elections.

Is Obama sincere in wanting to work with the GOP and really willing to compromise, as it looks on the surface? If he reverts to being a partisan mouthpiece again like he has acted on occasion as president, there is little chance of success.

The need for action and reform is here and now. The scope of problems in need of action and reform is mind bending. Darn near everything our government does needs reform, often extensive. Some of our programs, including social programs, are beyond reform and need to be closed down. Long ago they outlived their usefulness.

Only a Democrat president like Obama will ever have the chance to take the needed actions and make the many reforms in the social and liberal areas. The strength of the special interests on the left far surpasses their low level of public support or success as a social experiment. Yet somehow they have stopped the Republicans, even when the GOP controlled Congress, from changing many liberal laws.

I suspect they will go along with Obama's radical move to the middle because they would rather have a friend in the White House than an enemy. If they were to have a flight of conscious and keep supporting their president even if he did not agree with them on everything, Obama could have good success.

Many momentous decisions are just ahead for the politicians in Washington. The public is watching with more than a little curiosity. Quite a few political careers could be on the line. It all depends on who makes the effort to listen to the public, living safely outside the beltway, and knowing that in the end, it is their vote that will determine our future, not the votes of Congress.

And that is the lesson in the polls. People are willing to give Obama a chance. For Pete's sake it is not in the nature of the American public to want their president to fail. It is only in the nature of the politicians and news media, yes those special interests, who need controversy to sell news. [I use that term loosely, "news", for it is about the strangest institution there is to define.]

Helping Obama get new laws and reforms passed that the Republicans agree with is not going to help the Democrats in the fall elections. The public does not see the president in the same dull light as Democrats in Congress. What such new laws do mean, on the other hand, is that this president does not think as a liberal, left-leaning ideologue but will put the good of the country above his own personal views.

It is an interesting new paradigm in politics. When a president can risk or even sacrifice the support of their own base to do what is best for America, it is a rare occasion in politics.


The Month in Review - March - Will it Ever End?


What a month in America. The lion roared from start to finish of March. More weather setting all kinds of historic records. Congress setting a record of it's own by passing the health care bill. The economy still rumbling along like a sleeping giant. The NCAA March madness lived up to its billing. Toyota still groping for answers. And politics, well politics might well fit the same March Madness description given to NCAA basketball.

Today Obama announced he has adopted the often belittled "Drill baby drill" policy of Sarah Palin as the only way to get us to energy independence. Anyone who says Obama has a hidden left agenda may have to reconsider. Perhaps he is the only one who can bring America together in this time of political strife as both the left and right, the liberals and conservatives, don't like what he is doing.

Yesterday NASA announced a task force of the country's top space and aeronautical experts had been assembled to analyze if Toyota's recall problems are really caused by problems in electronics, electromagnetic interference or software integrity. Faithful readers of The Coltons Point Times may remember we raised the issue of electromagnetic interference as a problem of Toyota and other auto companies last February 11, 2010. At the time Toyota and federal officials discounted our call for an investigation and we are pleased to see they have taken notice.

The historic health care bill, well it passed with a lot of reservations but as we said, the reservations can be fixed if the president and our political parties act responsibly. It remains to be seen if that can happen.

March Madness lived up to its nomenclature with only one household team, Duke, remaining in the Final Four of the men while Butler stands in the way of another national championship. All other teams normally in the hunt are gone from North Carolina to Arizona, Kansas to Kentucky.

In the women's NCAA the only question is can anyone stop the Connecticut avalanche in which the women have averaged beating NCAA opponents by 50 points while rolling to their 76th straight victory.

The saber rattling between Israel and Iran continues to grow. European nations continue to struggle to get through their own economic woes. Banks get richer while Congress considers legislation to stop them and the economy continues to sputter.

On Easter Sunday America's favorite pastime begins anew when the World Champion Yankees take on bitter rival the Boston Red Sox in the opening game of the major league season. At least we will have a season of distraction to help us forget politics. Anything that helps us turn down the volume on politics will be good.

It is only appropriate that the month ends during Holy Week so we can begin anew in trying to build our country.


The Search for the God Particle

Man's quest for finding the point where God and science converge has led us to deep space and the far reaches of the universe. The following is a video of the Hubble Telescope and a unique deep space search of the blackness of space.

Following the progress of the Hubble has been a passion of mine ever since my brother's company supplied some of the CCD chips to NASA to help power the mission and expand the search capability.

Thanks to for keeping us aware of the wonders of space.


Holy Week in America - What Happened to Spiritual Values?


It is Holy Week and Passover, a time of reverence in the world when people of all faiths should be focused on the values that helped shape America when the Founding Fathers were debating on the type of Republic America must be to help it overcome the factors that ultimately destroyed all major civilizations in the world, immorality and corruption.

From the first days of the American Revolution it became clear that this was to be the first Republic in world history to fully embrace individual freedom, with guarantees written into the Constitution, and the first Republic to embrace the following concept articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Certain unalienable Rights endowed by their Creator. Historic and powerful, yet steeped in spirituality like no other previous form of government. Article 3 of the US Constitution Bill of Rights further clarified the role of spirituality in America with the following statement of religious freedom.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Beginning with the Founding Fathers the phrase "In God We Trust" was used as an unofficial motto of the USA until it was finally made a law in the 1950's, about the same time the Pledge of Allegiance was modified to include the words "under God" which reads "one nation under God". The linkage between God or the Creator and America is clear.

So while Holy Week is a time of revered religious observances it is also a time to rededicate ourselves to our principles and foundation. It matters not whether you are Christian, Islam or Jewish there is significance to this time. More than that, all three traces their roots to the Holy Land and Jerusalem.

Followers of Judaism hold Passover sacred as the time to honor the escape of the Jews from Egypt, when Moses led them to the Promised Land.

The Christian and Islam followers honor Jesus as the Messiah during this time as it represents the end of his earthly mission. To the Christians he performed the sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper then died and was resurrected as a symbol of everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.

Though the Islam Holy Quran we discover the following:

Many do not know that the true spirit of charity which the Muslim displays, always, towards Jesus and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of his faith - the Holy Quran. He does not know that the Muslim does not take the holy name of Jesus, in his own language, without saying Eesa, alaihi assalam ("Jesus, peace be upon him")

We do not know that in the Holy Quran Jesus is mentioned twenty five times. For example:

"We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit" (The Holy Quran 2:87)

"O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary..." (3:45)

"...Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of god..." (4:171)

"...And in their foot steps we sent Jesus the son of Mary..." (5:46)

"And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous." (6:85)

Though Jesus is mentioned by name in twenty-five places in the Holy Quran, he is also addressed with respect as: Ibn Maryam, meaning "The son of Mary"; and as the Maseeh (in Hebrew it is the Messiah), which is translated as "Christ". He is also known as Abdullah, "The servant of Allah"; and as Rasul u Allah, the messenger of Allah.

He is spoken of as "The Word of God", as "The Spirit of God", as a "Sign of God", and numerous other epithets of honor spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Quran honors this mighty messenger of God, and the Muslims have not fallen short over the past fourteen hundred years in doing the same.

In eight verses from Holy Quran, verses 42 to 49 we are told:
(a) That Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virtuous woman, and honored above the women of all nations.
(b) That all that was being said was God's own Revelation to mankind.
(c) That Jesus was the "Word" of God.
(d) That he was the Christ that the Jews were waiting for.
(e) That God will empower this Jesus to perform miracles even in infancy.
(f) That Jesus was born miraculously, without any male intervention.
(g) That God will vouchsafe him Revelation.
(h) That he will give life to the dead by God's permission, and that he will heal those born blind and the lepers by God's permission, etc.

About the only difference between Christians and followers of Islam when it comes to Jesus and His mother Mary is He is considered the Son of God to Christians and the Mighty Messenger of God in the Holy Quran. Christians believe He died and was resurrected while in the Holy Quran He was taken by Allah. Is that really so different?

All three faiths agree that we must have faith in God (Allah). All three agree that we must follow the Ten Commandments. All three faiths have Holy Sripture that tell much of the same story.

If we honor all faiths in America then we must show respect for all faiths as a Constitutional responsibility. There can be no hatred, no condemnation of other faiths, no disrespect of the Holy Scriptures of all faiths and there must be a rededication by all people to the truths of these Holy teachings.

America is the great experiment. It was the first nation on Earth to guarantee religious freedom. In proclaiming these certain unalienable rights from the Creator we set ourselves apart from all other nations and civilizations and we must never forget it. If we are true to our Constitution and individual scripture there is no room for immorality and corruption in America.

Holy Week would seem to be the right time to remember our roots and to honor our responsibilities.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama and Abortion - What Does He Really Think? Fifty Million USA Abortions and Counting


After watching the President try and explain his abortion position during the entire campaign and do it in a way that neither infuriates his far left, liberal, pro abortion constituency nor his moderate, Christian and anti-abortion constituency, it is still difficult to understand what he really believes on the abortion issue.

His latest venture, signing an Executive Order to assure no federal funds in health care are used for abortions, a move required to get pro life votes necessary to save his health care extravaganza, was done in such a secret and unusual manner it shows how far from the issue he tries to remain. There was no press, no cameras, no public statement, no press release and just a handful of unidentified pro life members of Congress invited to the White House to witness the signing. It was a far cry from the hoopla over the nationally televised health care signing a couple of days earlier.

Yesterday his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs continued to downplay the event with the White House press corps who were insulted by being locked out of the event, in spite of the administration pledge of full transparency. Gibbs ignored the questions from the press and told them the White House photographer has a picture that could be used by the media, refusing to answer why Obama banned the press.

At least House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in the euphoria of getting health care approved, said that President Obama signing the anti-abortion Executive Order was a victory for life. Remember this was done for the group of Democrat pro life congressmen who opposed the health care bill because it did not make it clear no federal funding could be used for abortions. Once Obama took Congressman Bart Stupak for a ride on Air Force One the door was open to win over the group.

When Obama agreed to issue the Executive Order at the last moment before the health care vote because he did not have the votes to win without the pro lifers, it sealed the deal. But Gibbs said the Order was no big deal because it did nothing but say the president was abiding by the current federal abortion laws. He should also have said the president could change his mind any moment and cancel it, the next president could throw it out, or congress could even override it.

Yet the Washington Times reported that pro life groups are getting an unexpected boom from the fallout of the controversial Health Care law. They’ve been receiving contributions at the highest rate since the partial-birth abortion debates of the 1990s.

This following the deal struck by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) regarding abortion funding in the new Health Care law. Stupak agreed on Sunday to vote for President Obama’s Health Care bill in return for an Executive Order maintaining the current levels of abortion funding.

According to the Washington Times, ‘The Susan B. Anthony List immediately stripped Rep. Stupak of a Defender of Life award it was planning to bestow on him Wednesday.’

Brian Burch, president of, called the deal 'unconscionable.' In an interview with, Burch said 'The Executive Order is a band-aid solution that fails to solve the fundamental problems in this bill, and can be repealed at any time, for any reason, by the president or future presidents. The order is likely to be challenged by pro-abortion groups, and could be struck down by the courts.'

What is really discouraging is the failure of all politicians to really frame the abortion issue in terms anyone can understand. Try this. Since the 1973 Roe versus Wade decision, there have been FIFTY (50) MILLION abortions performed in the United States. That means over 1.3 million abortions are performed every year. Worldwide there have now been ONE BILLION legal abortions performed.

Advocates claimed abortion was needed in three cases, rape or incest, a threat to the health of the baby, or a threat to the health of the mother. History has proven them wrong. Multiple studies performed with the advantage of actual statistics show only 1% of all abortions resulted from rape or incest, just 2% resulted because of the health of the baby, and 2% resulted from the threat to the health of the mother. In other words the three major causes for passing Roe versus Wade actually represented no more than 5% of the total abortions performed.

Based on the claims in the debate over Roe versus Wade we should not even have a law since so few abortions performed meet the primary needs used to justify the law. However, there is another reason to reconsider the language of the law besides 50 million deaths and no justification for the law, that is what the law did do in the first place.

Roe versus Wade was a ruling by the Supreme Court that centrally held that a mother may abort her pregnancy for any reason, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable'". The Court defined viable as being potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. In 1973 viability usually occurred at about seven months (28 weeks) but might occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. Medical breakthroughs since the ruling and prenatal advances have demonstrated that the ability of the fetus to live outside the mother's womb can come at a much earlier time.

In fact just recently the youngest baby in history was delivered at 21 weeks and 6 days, survived and has now gone home to live a normal life. Amillia Sonja Taylor was born October 24, 2009 in Florida. She is living proof that Roe versus Wade is scientifically wrong, a baby can survive at 21 weeks, not 28 weeks.

Clearly the language of the law is flawed, so what should it be? Here is the test for all pro abortion groups who claim they really aren't advocating taking lives. There is one medical test widely accepted and upheld by the courts to establish that a human is legally alive or dead.

The Uniform Determination of Death Act, promulgated in 1980 and supported by the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, has served as a model statute for the adoption of state legislation that defines death. The act asserts: “An individual, who has sustained either irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.”

Since brain activity is the legal measure for the cessation of life, then it must also be the legally accepted measure of the beginning of life. A fetus becomes a living baby when brain activity can be first measured. According to established science with the use of an electroencephalogram, or EEG, activity in the brain can be detected as early as six weeks gestational age (6). Whether brain activity begins at this time or started earlier but becomes detectable at this time is uncertain; it is known that neural connections begin forming as soon as neurons begin forming, as early as 14 days gestation.

A Constitutional lawyer like President Obama should embrace scientific advances that have proven when brain activity is detected, at six weeks, and since the courts accept brain activity as a reliable measure of life or death, then life can be scientifically proven at six weeks.

Roe versus Wade, adopted nearly four decades ago, is medically and scientifically obsolete in the determination that life begins at 28 weeks. Responsible members of Congress and the White House should advocate, in the interest of scientific accuracy, a change in the law to reflect the latest scientific advances. With 50 million abortions already performed, do we really want to keep terminating the lives of babies we know are living beings?

Abortion is not a matter of pro choice when the baby being aborted is a living, human being in the eyes of science. Pro Life and Pro Choice advocates should join in seeking this correction of a flawed law and the Obama Administration and Congress should make it the law of the land.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sarah Palin Again Sends MSNBC into a Tailspin with New TV Series


When MSNBC has everything to talk about what with Obama and the health care approval they still cannot resist interrupting the news to take a shot at Sarah Palin. There is nothing more entertaining than watching a media enterprise like left leaning MSNBC working up a dither over the moose hunter from Alaska.

NBC refuses to believe Palin has a strong and loyal backing no matter what she does and every time she has a little success the reporters at MSNBC line up to trash her achievement. Why don't they just shut up and leave Palin alone?

Since MSNBC seems to promote books over everything else, especially those written by MSNBC staff, they must still be fuming since Palin ignored them on her book tour and took the rest of the country by storm. In the end Palin sold over 2.4 million copies, having one of the highest selling political biographies in history.

The elitists at MSNBC just cannot accept that a backwoods, rifle toting soccer mom could do that. The fact she snubbed the cable network and still was a nationwide best seller is too much for them to take.

The same was true when Palin landed the job with Fox News. And now, when Palin has landed a TV series with the Discovery Network to show the world the wonders of the State of Alaska at a reported price of over $1 million per episode they are flabbergasted.

How could the hick from the wilderness have become a multi-millionaire TV star just months after giving up the governorship of Alaska? It would never occur to the media elitists that Sarah Palin paid her dues under a barrage of false charges and innuendo and incessant efforts by the media to smear her reputation and ruin her career.

Palin, smiling through the deluge of negativity and brushing off the media as if they were gnats on a moose in Alaska, just did her thing and kept getting stronger in popularity. Now if it was jealously on the part of the liberals I could understand. Every time Sarah appears on television her ratings bury the meager ratings of the MSNBC elite. Millions of Americans watch Palin while a much smaller number watch MSNBC.

Maybe they are in shock because Sarah managed to negotiate her own TV studio in Alaska so she would not be just another voice in Washington or New York. Maybe it is because her new series will bring attention to the state she clearly loves. Or maybe it is because she earns a salary that dwarfs the normal TV reporter's salary.

It would never occur to the media pundits that Palin commands such a high salary because she brings millions of viewers to the show when she appears. Ad revenue is everything and Palin is a gold mine on television. Just ask Oprah, who went out of her way to get Sarah on her show after Palin lost the election and resigned as governor, and still she significantly boosted Oprah's ratings. The same happened with Jay Leno and helped propel him back into first place in the Late Night ratings race.

Wake up MSNBC! Jealously is not good for your image. Bashing Sarah Palin does not help your ratings. If you really want to do something to help your network and give you some degree of credibility, then get Palin on the show like Oprah and Leno. Or do you prefer the Letterman approach of trashing Palin and watch your ratings sink into last place?

Just get over it MSNBC. The election is over. Obama is president. Palin is not in public office and there is nothing you can do about it. You should be happy she is making so much money in private business that she can't afford to take time off to run for president. You had your chance to destroy her and you blew it.

HOLD THE PRESSES: Very quietly today and very early this morning before it was even light out MSNBC admitted they had misrepresented the facts about the Palin story. Today they acknowledged their assault on Palin yesterday had two things wrong. First, it wasn't Discovery Channel but the TLC Network that is owned by Discovery.

Second they admitted she was not receiving over a million dollars for each show but the total production budget of each show was over a million dollars. Discovery said the show is called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and is a documentary series on the wonders of Alaska.

Do you think all the MSNBC shows will air the retraction during daylight hours? Don't count on it. Maybe they should fact check themselves before shooting off at the mouth.