- Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
- Alan Arkin, Argo
- Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
- Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
- Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
More coverage: http://usat.ly/ZL8rRo
Christoph Waltz + Tarantino = Instant Oscar. Who do you think is gonna get snubbed?
Recently, Public Policy Polling sought to discover just how low the public’s opinion of Congress had fallen, testing the popularity of the U.S. Congress against twenty-six different, typically unpopular things. We all know that the American people have a less-than-favorable opinion of Congress (9% favorable and 85% unfavorable), but damn. The results weren’t pretty.
Here’s the outcome of PPP’s survey, in a handy illustrated form, from most to least popular thing:
When presented with a choice between Congress or Brussels sprouts, respondents gave a higher favorable rating to Brussels sprouts (69%) versus Congress (23%). [more]
Be sure to check out Meg’s full list, which is freaking awesome.
While Twitter’s Turks will help bring much-needed context to the platform, they’re not journalists who verify whether something is true. As we’ve seen with the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Superstorm Sandy, Twitter rumors ran rampant. Some rumors turned out to be true, but many were inaccurate or even malicious. Some were important, others were trivial. At Breaking News, we rely on experienced journalists (that’s one of them, Stephanie Clary, above) to verify real-time reports and prioritize their importance. We also add context, associating reports with ongoing stories, topics and locations. But accuracy and importance — along with speed — are the essence of breaking news for any news organization.The Breaking News team to Twitter: Your Mechanical Turk team can’t compete with our actual journalists.
A lot of people have been complaining about President Obama’s recent executive order, which will raise salaries of members of Congress by a pretty small amount next year. Technically, it’s probably better not to think of it as a pay raise but rather an end to a pay freeze for federal employees that has been in effect since 2010. (Members of Congress actually haven’t seen a raise since 2009.) And so it isn’t simply a pay raise for Congress; it also impacts all federal employees and that was seemingly the main motivation for the executive order.
Was it a not-so-subtle gambit in the fiscal cliff negotiations? Perhaps. Did it fail to make any difference? Perhaps.
This is, of course, the least productive Congress since the 1940s so I’d be happier if they actually had to start paying us instead of the other way around. But one way to deal with such historically bad legislating is to vote them out of office next time you have an opportunity rather than to keep voting for people who claim obstructionism as their primary legislative goal.
HT: Anonymous Question Asker
FWIW, $900 a year is $17 a week, before taxes. With the federal pay freeze lifted, Obama gave members of Congress enough money for a weekly meal at Chipotle. (Biden’s salary increase was a bit more dramatic, obviously.) For most people, that’s a cost of living increase. Members of Congress probably don’t care too much. Federal workers might, though. — Ernie @ SFB