February 9th, 2009

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Birchat HaChama -- Interesting

A thjanks to kmellion for reminding me that Birchat Hachama is this year. Reading the Wikipedia entry, I felt a vague memory stir in me that the time the Talmud was computing this was a time when other cultures in the region were dealing with some new astronomical/astrological calculations and observations with regard to the motion of the Heavenly bodies. Not remembering in enough detail, however.

This is soooooo not funny . . . .

My FIOS install is running into problems. Apparently, Cavtel will not release the number, despite the fact that the port request is over two weeks old (ten days is the maximum permitted by law to delay a number port request).

I'm glad I did not cancel my other services before install (I have so learned).

Ah, the happy memories from the last time I dealt with this nonsense. I still remember how the economists at the FTC panel 2 years ago told me there were "no switching costs" associated with switching providers. Hah!
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    aggravated aggravated
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Intriguing on coverage

I find the way in which the stimulus is being covered by the MSM rather interesting. Consider CNN piece.

Pulling the polling numbers out:
1) 76% of those surveyed approve of how Obama is handling things v. 23% who disapprove.

2) 51% of the electorate favor the stimulus bill, which breaks down into 3/4 of Ds surveyed approve, 51% of independents, and 32% of Rs, with 70% of Rs disapproving.

3) 60% of all those surveyed believe Ds in Congress are doing the right thing, but only 44% feel the Rs are doing the right thing. This gets worse when comparing Obama v. Rs. 75% think Obama is doing enough to work with Rs, whereas only 38% think Rs are doing enough to work with Obama.

4) 64% pf those polled think the stimulus package will help the economy (16% "a lot", 48% "somewhat") although many think the price for the package is too high (55% of those surveyed).

These are extremely favorable numbers for Obama and the Ds. It confirms that the R strategy of being seen as strongly opposed to any stimulus other than tax cuts and reduced spending is playing to their base, not to the broader electorate. And, whatever happens with the stimulus, Obama appears poised to come out of it with popularity intact.

Yet the news coverage increasingly tilts toward this as an Obama loss. And, unsurprisingly, it ignores the uptick in direct engagement by progressives over the last few days as they realize that the Republican base is exerting significant influence in the absence of any contrary voice.

This is why so many people are surprised by things that are actually rather obvious.