New Orleans Charles Blow, the statistical columnist for the Times, did an excellent job today of “catching the cat,” as he called it by looking under the numbers of the polls around support or opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Looking at a Times/CBS poll that is widely cited by the Republicans as their evidence that the American people hate the ACA, Blow noted that the actual poll showed that 27% of those polled said that ACA did not go far enough and 25% said ACA was about right. In simple math that’s 52% support for ACA, which undermines the Republican’s claims about the 37% that said ACA “went too far.” Looking further at the cross references in the poll, he found that those believing it went too far only accounted for 27% of the poll! Furthermore some of the folks that wanted the bill struck down by the court were “single payers” who wanted Congress to go back and give us a better bill.
This problem with math skills deficiency in America today pervades politics and should lead to some kind of legislation, perhaps something like a No Politician Left Behind bill?
Speaking of enormous math errors, the Wall Street Journal noted that our friends at Bank of America have now ended up paying an extra $40 billion for their originally ill-advised purchase of Countrywide Mortgage for $2.5 billion as it headed for the tank. Fresh from negotiations with Countrywide, I can still remember the conversations that we had with the Bank of America folks we worked with on mortgage lending where we advised them it was a HUGE MISTAKE for them to buy Countrywide. But, what did we know, huh?
Math is a tool, and could be a friend, if you embraced it.
Springfield This late in the game with an election looming in the critical, battleground state of Florida a lot of the damage is already done since the clock has already moved to the 11th hour in terms of registering new voters. Nonetheless, a federal judge in Florida finally will bring some justice to the matter by demanding a halt to several of the more draconian efforts by the state and its Republican majorities to suppress votes.
Some of Judge Robert Hinkle’s order bordered on the sarcastic according to the Times:
Judge Hinkle, however, banned a significant rule that forced third-party voter registration groups to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, calling the measure too vague.
“If the goal is to discourage voter registration drives and thus also to make it harder for new voters to register, this may work,” the judge wrote.
“Otherwise there is little reason for such a requirement.”
The ruling also opposed a provision of the law that opens up volunteers to possible felony charges if they registered ineligible voters, even if unknowingly.
Both of those requirements are likely to be found unconstitutional, Judge Hinkle wrote.
Yes, your honor, the Republican law-fakers might have said, were they honest about, that is exactly our intention: we want the access to voting to be us and our buddies, not the poor working stiffs and low income families for goodness sakes!
The Judge was clear in another way as well:
“Allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter registration drives — thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote — promotes democracy,” wrote Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Federal District Court in the order granting a temporary injunction.