- PPP finds that Americans oppose defunding Obamacare as part of funding the government, 50-38; disapprove of Obama's handling of Obamacare 55-34; trust Obama to handle Obamacare more than Republicans 41-38. Asked about a shutdown directly, Americans oppose it 52-38. (Source)
- Gallup reveals how critical it can be to ask the right question in polling. Asked if they've ever "tried marajuana", respondents said no, 61-38. Asked if they've ever "smoked" it, they said no 93-7. (Source)
- Speaking of shining light on things, CNN shows what an utter farce the Obamacare/Budget fight in Washington is. Asked on Sep 6-8th about what the government's priorities should be, the economy took the top spot at 41%. Health care came in second at 16%, Syria 15%, and the budget deficit at 13%. Gun policy and immigration surprisingly came in at 5% and 3% respectively. (Source)
- The President's job approval rating is crawling back to breakeven, at 47-47, 44-47, and 46-46 in the most recent three major polls. Before that it was -7, -14, -5, -5, -14, -4, and -10. (Source)
- Job approval for Congressional Democrats is 33-59 (-26); approval for Republicans is 24-68 (-44). Overall it's 24-68 for Congress (-44). (Source)
- Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell's (R) job approval rating is 35-47. House Speaker John Boehner's (R) rating is 37-54.
- Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D): 33-53. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D): 39-51.
- Pew finds that the longer the health care war goes on, the more people are willing to blame Democrats for a shutdown over it. (PDF) This poll contradicts other findings. It doesn't really make sense that the public would oppose the ACA, not want it repealed, and blame Democrats for keeping it from being repealed equally with the GOP for trying to get rid of it. This may be where poll wording is clouding the issue. PPP asked who is to blame, not who they will blame or who they will punish. Make of it what you will. Government funding runs out in seven days.
* Tea Party Republicans are pushing a shutdown to get what they want the hardest (71%), Republicans second (49%), Independents third (36%), and Democrats the least but still not zero: 18%. Things worth noting: 1. Shutting down the government will only get Democrats what they want, as Obamacare is mandatory spending and won't be affected by a shutdown. 2. The Independents number is probably still skewed by too many party-line Republicans self identifying as Independents when they aren't, just like we saw in 2012.
* Respondents think the government will be funded one way or another, 46-45; 61% believe a shutdown will have a major effect on the economy, 30% a minor effect; 75% say it will be mostly negative.
* Only 25% are closely following news on the possible shutdown one week out; In 2011 it was 30% one week out and 47% on the deadline. The GOP has pushed the government to the brink of shutdown twice now in two years.
* Pew looked at public interest in recent mass shooting events in the United States, and just sitting here looking at the graph is a stark reminder of how common mass shootings have become here. Between Fort Hood in Nov of 2009 and the Navy Yard shooting this month, there have been nine mass shootings in the United States: Ft. Hood, the attempted Giffords assassination in Arizona, a school in Ohio in 2012, a college in California in 2012, the Dark Knight killings in Aurora, Colorado, a Skih temple in Wisconsin in 2012, A mall in Oregon in 2012, Newtown in 2012, and the Navy Yard this year.
* The shoots with the most interest were Ft. Hood, Giffords, Aurora Colorado, and Newton were above 44% (Newtown was tops at 57%). The Mall shooting in Oregon, Sikh temple, and California college were virtually ignored at or below 21%.
- New Jersey appears set to overwhelming raise its minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $8.25. Even a majority of Republicans support the increase.
- Polls show sliding but still strong support for stricture regulation of guns in America. 48% want more regulation, 29% want no change, and 16% want deregulation.
- Politico on how the GOP jihad against affordable health insurance will play out in the Senate. Harry Reid will bring the unclean House continuing resolution (continues funding the government at current levels for a short period of time) up for a vote with a 60 vote threshold, and it'll pass. Reid will ask for a motion to strike the non-germane Obamacare provision which only takes 51 votes, and it'll be struck. Then he'll send it right back to the House one or two days before the government is set to shut down, giving the House no choice but to pass a clean CR literally at the last minute.
- Lindsey Graham wants to remind you that he's a bigot.
- The IRS is avoiding sequestration pain by pushing it off on public service employees by taking away their performance bonuses. As predicted, it's people suffering from sequestration, not government, because like people always say with businesses, government is made up of people.
- If memory serves me, James Comey was the Bush admin. DoJ official that refused to force Attorney General John Ashcroft to OK an illegal NSA spy program while Ashcroft was recovering from emergency surgery, and even called FBI agents to guard Ashcroft from Bush officials while he recovered. Comey was recently confirmed as director of the FBI, and of course is now defending Obama's controversial NSA spying programs.
- Is Garry Kasparov a Republican or something? Anyway, this is funny in an unintentional way: List of people Obama will negotiate with: Assad, Rouhani, Putin. List of people Obama won't negotiate with: Paul, Cantor, Boehner, Cruz. (Takeaway: When Putin and Assad are more reasonable people to negotiate with than GOP Congressional leadership...)
- Sports stadiums, the fleecing of America: "The Georgia Dome, a perfectly suitable facility built entirely with public money in 1992 and renovated partly with state funds in 2007, will be replaced by a new stadium in 2017 that could cost taxpayers $500 million. This was approved by Atlanta's city council earlier this year in a city that's running in the red. There's no money for roads, schools, libraries or new transit, but there's always tax dollars lying around to build a gleaming new sports palace to replace the other gleaming almost-new sports palace we haven't finished paying for."
- This should be of concern to supposed pro-business Republicans: 40% of global investors will pull back from the US if there's a government shutdown.
- Republicans have demanded the ACA individual mandate be delayed along with the employer mandate. One study has found that doing so would increase insurance premiums and decrease coverage by 11 million people (I assume over what it would be with the mandate in place, versus what we have right now.)
- Democrats are about ready to push comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives.
- The nutter running for Virginia Lt. Gov. is attacking The Pope from the "moral majority" right.
- Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair: Its interesting when GOPers call Ocare socialism and u tell them it was a GOP idea , how they never respond other than 2 say, who cares?
-Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "Obamacare is the law of the land and it will remain so as long as Barack Obama is President and as long as I am the Senate Majority Leader." and "We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law."
- Washington Post national correspondent Karen Tumulty: "In 95 govt shutdown, military paychecks were not delayed b/c DOD appropriations bill had passed. http://1.usa.gov/14AlSFj Not the case in 2013"
I'm sure there's lots more going on but it's getting late. Time to publish.