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
FLASH: Secretary Clinton suffered blood clot between brain and skull, behind right ear, doctors say. Clinton did not suffer stroke or neurological damage according to doctors.
From a million idiots all over the country:
So, then, when is she going to testify about Benghazi? #tcot #faker #conspiracy #foxnews
First we had truthers. Then we had birthers. Now we have clotters.
I just had a good and constructive discussion here at the White House with Senate and House leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. And I’m optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that could pass both houses (of Congress) on time; Senators Reid and Connell are working on such an agreement as we speak. But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring, to the floor, a basic package for an up-or-down vote — one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike; extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job; and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction.PRESIDENT OBAMA, updating the nation on the fiscal cliff talks. (via inothernews)
It’s no secret that I don’t like guns. But neither am I someone who thinks gun owners are all wingnuts who are stockpiling guns to protect themselves against the government (which is why I frequently lampoon those who are doing this) or to murder their neighbors. If you want to think seriously about ways to put a brake on gun deaths in our country — apart from arming everyone, which is the NRA position — simply publishing a list of (some) (potential) gun owners isn’t going to help.Ari Kohen • Offering an effective bit of commentary regarding the gun registry map put online by a New York-based newspaper. What benefit does posting public information about people who have guns offer? Not a lot, honestly. It doesn’t add much to the gun control debate, it shames and endangers people who don’t necessarily deserve either shaming or endangerment, and it gets away from the actual issue at hand. Yes, it’s public data. No, it doesn’t really shine a light on anything, other than that this is a really effective way of pissing people off.