Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:37:26 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Friday, November 04, 2005

Blue Movie - The "morality gap" is becoming the key variable in American politics: "It is an axiom of American politics that people vote their pocketbooks, and for seventy years the key political divisions in the United States were indeed economic. .. But over the past several elections a new political configuration has begun to emerge.. What is the force behind this transformation? In a word, sex. ..

Early in the 1996 election campaign Dick Morris and Mark Penn, two of Bill Clinton's advisers, discovered a polling technique that proved to be one of the best ways of determining whether a voter was more likely to choose Clinton or Bob Dole for President. Respondents were asked five questions, four of which tested attitudes toward sex: Do you believe homosexuality is morally wrong? Do you ever personally look at pornography? Would you look down on someone who had an affair while married? Do you believe sex before marriage is morally wrong? The fifth question was whether religion was very important in the voter's life.

Respondents who took the "liberal" stand on three of the five questions supported Clinton over Dole by a two-to-one ratio; those who took a liberal stand on four or five questions were, not surprisingly, even more likely to support Clinton. The same was true in reverse for those who took a "conservative" stand on three or more of the questions. ..

The demographic reality is that as currently constituted, liberal Blue America is growing and conservative Red America is in decline. Take church attendance. .. From 1972 to 2000 the proportion of voters who said they attended services every week dropped from 38 to 25 percent. .. The one group that has grown dramatically consists of those who never go to church or synagogue. This group, which has become a mainstay of liberal politics, made up just 11 percent of the population in 1972 but 33 percent in 2000.

Thus if the Republican Party hopes to build on its 2002 gains, it must continue to mute its social conservatism when speaking to the public. .. As long as al Qaeda, Iraq, and North Korea dominate the news, the Republicans will be able to maintain their slight advantage. But should war fade into the background, or as soon as emboldened congressional Republicans begin moving to restrict Americans' sexual autonomy, the currently weakened Democratic Party will be positioned to push back"

  11:21:06 PM  permalink  

CBS Poll Finds Public Takes Plamegate Seriously: "Some 51% said it is already of "great importance," with 35% choosing "some importance" and 12% "little or not importance." " For comparison:

  • Plamegate (11/05): Great importance - 51%, Some - 35%, Little/none - 12%
  • Clinton-Lewinsky (1/98) : Great importance - 41%, Some - 21%, Little/none - 37%
  • Whitewater (3/94): Great importance - 20%, Some - 29%, Little/none - 45%
  • Iran-Contra (2/87) : Great importance - 48%, Some - 33%, Little/none - 19%
  • Watergate (5/73) : Great importance - 53%, Some - 25%, Little/none - 22%
  11:14:13 PM  permalink  

For Americans, Getting Sick Has Its Price: Not exactly "best in the world".  "The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated.
Although patients in every nation sometimes run into obstacles to getting care and deficiencies when they do get treated, the United States stood out for having the highest error rates, most disorganized care and highest costs, the survey found."  11:05:50 PM  permalink  

Fabricated Links? Even the Saddam-Zarqawi link has fallen apart, with more faked documents.  "An updated CIA re-examination of the issue recently concluded that Saddam's regime may not have given Zarqawi "safe haven" after all. .. [Zarqawi] used an alias and was there under what one U.S. intelligence official calls a "false cover." No evidence has been found showing senior Iraqi officials were even aware of his presence, according to two counterterrorism analysts familiar with the classified CIA study.. An intelligence official told NEWSWEEK that the current draft says that "most evidence suggests Saddam Hussein did not provide Zarqawi safe haven before the war. It also recognizes that there are still unanswered questions and gaps in knowledge about the relationship." ..

the Pentagon and Cheney's office have been reluctant to abandon the case: in the months after U.S. and allied forces deposed Saddam, NEWSWEEK has learned, Iraqi informants approached U.S. intelligence personnel with what purported to be caches of documents proving that Saddam's dealings with Al Qaeda were extensive. .. However, the CIA ultimately established that most key documents about the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection turned over were fakedójust like the documents purporting to show Iraqi purchases of uranium."

  10:49:11 PM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:37:26 PM.