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Our national politics reminds me of the NFL playoffs of the last two weeks; if you would have bet on the underdog; you would've lost. The pundits have been sitting around contemplating as to who would walk into next week's State of the Union speech with the most confidence, the republicans or president Obama. After the results of the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll; all the money is on president Obama.

The house GOP repealed ObamaCare 245-189. The entire GOP voted for repeal and three democrats joined them. As expected, Harry Reid said he would refuse to bring up the bill for discussion because the votes are not there to override a presidential veto. What struck me funny was the words of majority leader Erik Cantor""I think the American people deserve to see a vote in the Senate, and the Senate ought not be a place where legislation goes into a dead end," Mr. Cantor said Wednesday. I know the house and senate chambers sit on opposite sides, the north and south ends of the Capitol building, but he should know that the republicans set the all time record for filibusters. Evidently, Representative Steve Cohen, (D-Tenn.) didn't get the word about civility (or doesn't care) because he went way over the line in describing the GOP by saying “They don't like the truth so they summarily dismiss it," said Cohen, who is Jewish. "They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That's the same kind of thing." It's time for Nancy Pelosi to take him to the woodshed and make him apologize. I'm sure the press will want to get the White House reactions to the stupid remarks. You can bet they did not approve.

It's funny but not surprising that a couple of republicans are taking credit for the uptick in our economy. David Dreier (R-Calif.) told Fox News ""[Congressional Republicans] are determined to ensure that with a market-oriented approach [to health care policy] we can have the kind of chance for people to have access to insurance and we can get our economy growing. "And we've gotten some positive numbers. I think it's in large part because we won our majority and we're pursuing pro-growth policies."... I can't think of a single piece of legislation (where they had major input) that contributed to the uptick. The GOP was voted in about 45 days ago; the uptick came long before that...Not to be outdone on the senate side, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), said "private-sector job growth, big corporate profits, major gains in the major Wall Street indexes -- that occurred throughout 2010 were the result of Republican tax policies. As Kyl sees it, business leaders in early 2010 predicted the tax policy agreement crafted in late 2010, and started growing the economy based on their future-predicting abilities.... Let's see the Bush tax cut bill was signed in late December, and it didn't go into effect until this year. It's like I stated in a previous blog; it's all a setup for 2012. It's a preliminary fight for making the Bush tax cuts permanent. If the economy keeps growing it will be because of the Bush tax cuts, and if it starts to stagger; it's a call for more tax cuts. That playbook is 30 years old; pages are beginning to yellow and the philosophy is beginning to wane.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027585.php

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20028960-503544.html

The recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released some interesting information yesterday. The most interesting is president Obama's approval rating of 53%. This is despite having 9.4% unemployment (19% across the board) and a stubborn economy. Some say it's because of his Tucson speech and his lame duck session victories, but I've seen polls showing his approval rating on the rise for about three months. It's not surprising to me, but it is to some that health care is at a dead even split 39% thought it was a good idea and 39% think it's a bad idea. Other polls have shown that 49% do not want repeal and only 18% want total repeal. The GOP got some bad marks such as 55% think that they will be too inflexible in dealing with president Obama. The poll ranked the issues that worry Americans in this order.

  1. Manufacturing jobs going overseas........................ 33%
  2. Poor quality public schools.....................................25%
  3. Decline of the middle class.....................................23%
  4. Decline of moral and religious values........................21%
  5. Increase in Federal deficit.......................................20%
  6. Increase the role of government..............................14%
  7. Lack of safety-terrorist threats......................................6%
  8. Decline of America’s position is the sole superpower...6%

As I said the other day the attention span of the average American is 23 minutes. The numbers could go completely the other way in two or three months. The 31 page poll is very detailed and gives a lot of incite on the people they polled (200 by cell phone) according to race, income, education, party affiliation, and age.