October 31, 2013

Late Night Bedspins: Halloween Edition. [dri]
— Open Blogger

Good evening and Happy Halloween fellow morons and moronettes. Tonight, a very special episode of Punky Brewster edition of Late Night Bedspins: Halloween Edition. Late night Bedspins is an occasional post at AoSHQ that features quirky, forgotten, lost, and talented bands and musicians showcasing their musical stylings.

Tonight's band is called "Here Come the Mummies". This band's trademark is that all members dress up as mummies while they perform. Some say they do this for aesthetic reasons as their natural appearances are more shocking than mummified corpses brought back to life. Others say they disguise themselves to elude certain pesky exclusivity clauses to contracts signed between member's "real" bands and record companies.

Here Come the Mummies first graced the pages of AoSHQ a couples years back during one of the several Anthony Wiener sex scandals. So sit back, turn the speakers up to 11 and enjoy the videos linked below!

(Special thanks to the Bob & Tom Show) more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:16 PM | Comments (25)
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Overnight Open Thread (10-31-2013) - Halloween Edition
— Maetenloch

Happy Halloween

  decarlo_tumblr_mum9txI5kL1rhhnauo1_500 

(A free month of AoSHQ Prime goes to the first person who can identify the cat lady atop the jack-o'-lantern)

Pop Quiz: How Many Children Have Ever Been Killed by Poisoned Halloween Candy?

Answer: None. (At least by strangers - there was one boy poisoned in 1974 by his own father as part of an insurance scam).

For nearly 30 years, University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best has been investigating allegations of strangers poisoning kids' Halloween candy. As of this writing, he hasn't identified a single confirmed example of a stranger murdering a child in this fashion.

Worst. Halloween Treat. Ever. (well except for that mythical poisoned candy I guess)

more...

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November 01, 2013

October 31, 2013

Our Devious, Incompetent President Has Lied Us Into Class War Open Thread
— Ace

If you like your hospital and doctors, you can keep your hospital and doctor.

Except you can't.

Oh well! Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet!

Oh, and the Administration is, get this, still lying when it claims that only people in the individual market will be losing their insurance. In fact, more than half of all people in the employer markets will be losing their insurance, too. That's the mid-range estimate; it could be lower.

It could also be higher.

Mid-range estimate: 51% of employer-sponsored plans will get canceled

But Carney’s dismissal of the media’s concerns was wrong, on several fronts. [This refers to Carney's, get this, false characterization of a Federal Register estimate as only concerning individual market policies. -- ace.] Contrary to the reporting of NBC, the administration’s commentary in the Federal Register did not only refer to the individual market, but also the market for employer-sponsored health insurance.

Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act contains what’s called a “grandfather” provision that, in theory, allows people to keep their existing plans if they like them. But subsequent regulations from the Obama administration interpreted that provision so narrowly as to prevent most plans from gaining this protection.

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34,552 of the Register. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013.

Another 25 million people, according to the CBO, have “nongroup and other” forms of insurance; that is to say, they participate in the market for individually-purchased insurance. In this market, the administration projected that “40 to 67 percent” of individually-purchased plans would lose their Obamacare-sanctioned “grandfather status” and get canceled....

How many people are exposed to these problems? 60 percent of Americans have private-sector health insurance—precisely the number that Jay Carney dismissed. As to the number of people facing cancellations, 51 percent of the employer-based market plus 53.5 percent of the non-group market (the middle of the administration’s range) amounts to 93 million Americans.

The individual market insurance policyholders are the first victims of Obamacare.

But they will not be last.

more...

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Revealed: Number of Persons Enrolled In Obamacare on First Day? Six
— Ace

Frankly, I'm surprised it's not zero.

And I still expect it to have actually been zero -- because I'm sure that there were glitches on the back end, actually communicating with insurers.

But here is why our Secretive, Lying Nixonian President denied the American public information they have a right to -- because it exposed him as the incompetent he is, of course.

For 31 days now, the Obama administration has been telling us that Americans by the millions are visiting the new health insurance website, despite all its problems.

But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason: CBS News has learned the number is very small.

Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day "war room" meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the website failed on Oct. 1. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee.

The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say "six enrollments have occurred so far."

The next day was a huge day for them -- they got less than 250 enrollments.

In order to meet their goals, they have to enroll 39,000 people per day up to March 1st.


A lie? How dare you suggest such a thing.

Thanks to @johnekdahl.

Posted by: Ace at 02:02 PM | Comments (257)
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Revealed: Origin of Harry Reid's Charge that Mitt Romney Hadn't Paid Taxes in 10 Years Was Impeccable, Disinterested Source With No Possible Personal Axe to Grind: John Huntsman's Dad
— Ace

Oh, right, the guy running against Romney and also trying to burn down the Republican Party.

Note: At the time, Harry Reid claimed he had an "impeccable source" for this smear. He also called him "extremely credible:"

“There is a controversy because the Republican presidential nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, refuses to release his tax returns. As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years.

"Impeccable source" meaning "Romney's opponent's dad."

Thanks to @benk84.

Posted by: Ace at 01:25 PM | Comments (202)
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Making Them Vote On It: Ron Johnson's "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan" Will Put Democrats in a Tough Spot
— Ace

And then will Barack Obama veto his own promise?

Johnson's bill, which will be introduced on Wednesday, could put Democrats in a tough spot. Asked Tuesday to explain the news that millions of Americans were losing their insurance policies, contrary to the president's promise, Senate Democrats responded with a mixture of denials, evasions, and historical revisionism. Nearly all refused to say if they opposed Johnson's bill.

Jon Tester just flat-out denied people were losing their insurance:

One senator was not willing to cede the point that many Americans would be losing their current health insurance plans. When asked if those folks who like their plans should be able to keep it, Jon Tester, Democrat from Montana, responded, “I think your premise is wrong.”

What was wrong with the premise? “You said millions of people lost their health care,” Tester responded.

What about news reports saying as much?

“They’re wrong,” Tester said.

So here's the thing: Obama can't permit this, because his plan always relied on f***ing over millions of people. That is central to his plan.

Just like we've been saying for five years.


Apologies if this has already been posted.

Posted by: Ace at 12:45 PM | Comments (163)
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Guest Blogger in the LA Times: We Young Urban Voters Supported Obamacare, But No One Told Us We'd Be The Ones Paying For It
— Ace

Lot of that goin' 'round, huh?


I’m a healthy 34-year-old with a taxable income hovering right around the Obamacare subsidy level who, for the last several years, has purchased a relatively inexpensive catastrophic health insurance plan from Blue Shield....

Last month, however, I received a letter from my insurance company informing me that my plan was “no longer available” due to “new requirements for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.” [M]y monthly premium is going to rise by nearly 43% to $214 a month.

My old plan was as bare-bones as they came, so I assumed that even though the new plan would cost more, my coverage would improve under Obamacare, at least marginally.

It did not.

Under my old plan, my maximum out-of-pocket expense was $4,900. Under the new plan, I’m on the hook for up to $6,350. Copays for my doctor visits will double. For urgent-care visits, they will quadruple. Though slightly cheaper plans exist if I decide to shop around on the exchange, I will lose my dental coverage should I switch.

Needless to say, I am not pleased.

Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

Obamacare: Catastrophic policy coverage at comprehensive policy prices. Because that's Better Insurance, somehow.

Oh you get free birth control pills or something.

Wow, these are the most expensive free birth control pills I've ever seen.

This is hitting a lot of Republicans right now-- small business owners, independent contractors. People who understand they have to make their costs each month or they don't eat.

But it is interesting to note it's going to hit a lot of liberal freelance magazine writers and such -- people who write articles for a living.

Obama would love to ignore the Republican victims of his policies, but can he ignore the progressive chattering classes, too?

Below, a Fun Halloween Prank, and/or a Visual Metaphor for Obamacare:
more...

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Obamacare Is The Apotheosis of the Progressive Mindset
— Ace

First, some quotes. Josh Barro, a minor writer for a minor webzine, was recently declared one of Obama's favorite thinkers because he always praises Obama. So here's Josh Barrow on the wonders of elitism, rule by a self-declared elite:

"Vast swathes of policy are based on the correct presumption that people don't know what's best for them. Nothing new."

When this was challenged as elitist, Barrow was actually flattered. Why, of course he's an elitist. He is elite. After all, he's a minor writer for a minor webzine.

"I'm baffled when people call me an "elitist" and think I will take that as an insult."

He then prattled on a bit longer about the wonders of the New Elite:

"Elitist technocrats are also the ones making you buy pasteurized milk and buy cars with seat belts."

"I can't figure out if the people acting outraged at me about this are stupid or disingenuous. Or both. Probably both."

Now, here's another quote, from a very high-ranking member of the elite that is now controlling one fifth of the US economy. From John Ekdahl's earlier post:

"Neither he or I are technology geeks and we assumed it was up and ready to run," he told HLN.

...

When asked why it will still take a month for the the glitches to be fixed, [the card-carrying member of the Media/Governmental New Elite] didn't have an answer.

"I don't know the technical reasons," he said. "I don't know, I wish I could tell you. that's why I became a lawyer."

That, of course, is certified member of the New Elite, Vice President Joe Biden, expressing bafflement at how one of these web-cites could fail. Heck, they're so easy to use when you're shopping on Amazon for Matlock DVD sets.

Which brings us to Matt Lewis' take on what I'll call Self Esteem Progressivism.

For those looking to draw grander conclusions, this is a teachable moment. The hubris necessary for this kind of vast undertaking — impacting nearly 20 percent of the economy! — is patently unconservative. And I don’t need to trot out some fire-breathing or controversial conservative to demonstrate why this sort of chutzpah is a fundamental affront to basic conservative philosophy.

As I’ve noted before, my favorite definition of conservatism comes from David Brooks, who defined it thusly: “The essence of conservatism — from Burke to Hayek — is epistemological modesty — an awareness of how little we can know about ourselves, and how little we can plan. Because life is so complicated."

Liberalism operates under a fatal conceit that is fundamentally immodest. The ObamaCare rollout is a prime example of why such hubris is dangerous and costly.

It isn't just that life is complicated-- though it is. What is going on here is that a cadre of people who have a very narrow skill-set -- primarily law or some public policy degree which featured very little math, and that math was Math for Liberal Arts -- have decided that they can comprehend the workings of everyone else's job in America, simply because they went to a Good School.

Well, actually, most of them didn't go to a Good School (by which I mean a truly elite school like Harvard or Princeton); most of them went to lesser schools. But they have Harvard grads in their social circle, so they now count themselves as part of the club.

They do not know what they don't know.

They believe they are masters of the universe, but in fact are masters of almost nothing at all, not even the narrow range of material they studied before immediately going into a career of government work or government agitation.

They believe themselves to be transcendentally hypercompetent, a delusion that they are permitted to cling to only because they've never been in positions of actual responsibility where their decisions will result in well-defined failure or well-defined success.

Obama is of course the apotheosis of this type. He not just their high priest, but their demi-god, a half-god born upon the earth.

But they are all just like him-- sky-high on personal estimation of their capabilities, and yet scandalously short on actual accomplishments.

And these are the people who presume that they can run the world for us, and do our jobs better than us.

They can't. And I didn't even need to see Healthcare.gov crash and burn in Icarus-colored flames to know it.

How did I know that their self-esteem greatly outpaced their level of competency?

Simple: Because I've met them.

Update: Mama Winger passes along more wisdom from C.S. Lewis:

If upon consideration, one can find no faults on one’s own side, then cry for mercy; for this must be a most dangerous delusion.

Posted by: Ace at 10:39 AM | Comments (364)
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Frank Pallone, Obamacare Spokesman Extraordinaire, Lies So Badly That He Offends... Piers Morgan
— Ace

Frank Pallone, Parselmouth Propagandist: "I'm from the government, and I'm here alienate you."

"...as the excuses get more ludicrous," Piers Morgan, of all people, sums up. more...

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Robert Sarvis, the Fake Libertarian Candidate for Virginia Governor
— Ace

Oh, he's libertarian enough as regards the standard policy preferences of the Democratic Mandarin Class.

But as Charles C. W. Cooke notes, that doesn't make one a libertarian. You'd expect a libertarian to also speak up in favor of some limits of government power over the individual in areas apart from sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

But not this Robert Sarvis character:

In a recent Reason interview, Sarvis explained that he was “not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics,” preferring “more mainstream economics” instead. The candidate expanded on this during an oddly defensive interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, in which he seemed put off not so much by “strongly libertarian economics” as by libertarian economics per se. As governor, Sarvis told Todd, he would be hesitant to cut taxes, unsure as to how he might “reduce spending,” and open to indulging the largest piece of federal social policy since 1965 by expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program. I am generally a critic of the tendency of small-government types to try to purge their ranks of those deemed sufficiently impure, but I must confess that this interview left even me wondering whether Sarvis is in need of a dictionary.

Worse yet was Sarvis’s rambling interview with the Virginia Prosperity Project, in which the candidate expressed his enthusiasm for increasing gas levies, and for establishing a “vehicle-miles-driven tax.” It strikes me that it is almost impossible to square such a measure with any remotely coherent “libertarian” position on that most sacred of rights: privacy. Virginia’s mooted VMT plan requires the installation of government GPS systems in private cars — an astonishingly invasive proposal. Even if this isn’t what Sarvis has in mind, the fact remains that there is simply no way of determining how far an individual has driven without the government’s checking. On Twitter, an amusing fellow with a username not fit for print in this column responded to this idea by contending: “I’m no extremist, but if you put a black box in my vehicle and tax me per mile I will burn down everything you’ve ever loved.” What sort of “libertarian” doesn’t feel this way?

So this is quite something, isn't it? He's not even a real Libertarian drawing votes away from a more libertarian conservative (as Charles C.W. Cooke finds Cuccinelli to be); he's simply a flat-out big-spending, big-government, abortion-absolutist progressive, and yet still he's drawing votes away.

I guess this is why Ron Paul is intervening -- to let actual Libertarians know that the nominal Libertarian in the race is not libertarian at all, and that the conservative candidate actually is libertarian.

Via @rdbrewer4.

Update: Sarvis disputed Charles Cooke's portrait of him and explained himself in an interview. He claims he actually is libertarian on economic issues, but for some reason couldn't express them during TV interviews, or didn't have the time to do so.

Posted by: Ace at 09:00 AM | Comments (176)
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Joe Biden: "Don't Blame Us, Obama And I Aren't Technogogy Geeks"
— JohnE.

No, he really said that.

Biden said he and Obama were under the impression the site was ready.

"Neither he or I are technology geeks and we assumed it was up and ready to run," he told HLN.

...

When asked why it will still take a month for the the glitches to be fixed, Biden didn't have an answer.

"I don't know the technical reasons," he said. "I don't know, I wish I could tell you. that's why I became a lawyer."

We aren't tech geeks.

We assumed it would work.

Don't ask me, I'm just a lawyer.

Welcome to government-run healthcare, America. On the plus side, it's not just mind-numbingly frustrating and inoperable, it's also wildly expensive. So, there's that.

Posted by: JohnE. at 08:12 AM | Comments (332)
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ObamaCare Still Sucks
— DrewM

Another day, another deluge of stories....

An LA Times reporter tries to debunk his own paper's story about an individual having to pay more for insurance and...fails.

One estimate says 129 million people aren't going to be able to keep the health care plan they have.

Heritage estimates 1.5 million people have already lost their policy.

This last group is something we talked about on the podcast last night (it should be up tomorrow morning with special guest Mary Katherine Ham). The question was will the failure of ObamaCare finally discredit big-government liberalism. Not surprisingly, I am less than optimistic about that notion and the people losing their policies by the end of the year are why.

This is a large and growing group of people who did nothing wrong. They are the responsible ones who paid exorbitant prices to get their policies without employer or government help. As Ace pointed out they are also the people who helped keep the cost of care (as opposed to coverage) down because they often had high deductible policies so they used medical services sparingly and shopped around. And now they are essentially the innocent victims of ObamaCare.

Yesterday Sebelius said the exchange site would be up and working by December 1. That means if you have coverage now that is being cancelled on January 1, you have to have new coverage in place by December 15th of this year (there's usually a 2-4 week delay between buying coverage and when it kicks in). That means millions of people are going to flood the system just to keep something near what they have. Imagine the panic if you have an ongoing medical condition and your policy is about to be cancelled and you simply can't buy a new one anywhere at the moment. And if you can buy a policy at some point, there's no guarantee that come January 1, your doctor will be able to keep you as a patient. So in the middle of dealing with an illness you have to not only find a new policy but also a doctor and hope you can get in to see them ASAP to get continuing care. That must be terrifying.

So how does this relate to the discrediting of progressivism and Democrats?

To date the GOP has kept ObamaCare at a distance and the blame should fall to the Democrats but faced with these innocent bystanders being hurt, the GOP is going to be under great pressure To Do Something! And quite frankly, it's not going to be an unreasonable demand.

Now I'm not sure there's anything that can be done at this point. You can't just wave a magic wand and undo all the cancellations or make everything work smoothly come January 1.

In that case we may see the GOP get blamed for not doing something to help or people just get fed up and say a pox on both their houses. Of course the GOP might find something they can do but then they "own" ObamaCare too and the rest of the failings that go along with it.

To discredit the progressive project you need a clear distinction between it and the alternative. I'm not sure the GOP (through no fault of its own) will be able to provide that if it has to get involved in "fixing" ObamaCare.

I've occasionally been tough on the GOP (no, it's true) but I don't know how they stand by and watch millions of hard working Americans get screwed like this and do nothing. And let's be honest, some of these people are going to die because of Obama's lies and quest for power. Can you really give the GOP grief if they try and protect these people? Even if it means a lousy political outcome for them and the country. It's a brutal situation to be in.

In someways having the GOP have just enough power (control of the House) to take some of the blame but not enough to actually do anything will prove to be the best thing that happened to Obama. In the long run, it will likely be terrible for the country.


Keep something in mind: This isn't an accident, it was their plan all along. more...

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Frank Pallone's Incredible Defense of Obamacare Policy Terminations: "It's Just Capitalism"
— Ace

I can't even explain this. Wiserbud tried to explain it to me, and I didn't get it.

You just have to watch it.

Posted by: Ace at 06:38 AM | Comments (278)
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For Years, Mainstream Media Ignored Republicans' Claims That Obamacare Would Force Policy Terminations and Took Obama's Promise At Face Value, Says MRC Politico
— Ace

Huh?

Since the Affordable Healthcare Act was introduced in 2009, Republicans have dismissed President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise that anyone who liked their insurance plan would be able to keep it.

But was anyone paying attention?

For years, the media turned a blind eye to conservatives’ insistent warnings, often taking the president’s promise for granted. But this week, as health insurance cancellation letters started showing up in Americans’ mailboxes and the website roll-out flopped, the GOP message finally broke into the mainstream.

On Monday, NBC News reported that at least half of the approximately 14 million Americans with individual insurance are set to have their health plans shutdown by insurers under Obamacare. On Wednesday, the story was featured on the front page of some of the nation’s leading newspapers and was the main talking point for Republican lawmakers during the congressional hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

For Republicans, it’s been a long time in coming.

...

For the last few years, the RNC, top conservative think tanks, and several influential right-leaning bloggers have been trying to convince Americans that Obama’s claim about being able to keep your plan was wrong. A few news outlets also cautioned against the president’s promise. As early as June 2009, the Associated Press wrote that “no president could guarantee such a pledge.”

But for the most part, the mainstream media failed to aggressively pursue the story, taking Obama’s claim at face value without testing it against the facts.



Posted by: Ace at 04:12 AM | Comments (315)
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Top Headline Comments 10-Halloween-13
— Gabriel Malor

Sorry guys.

Some Halloween songs for ya. more...

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 02:26 AM | Comments (308)
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October 30, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (10-30-2013)
— Maetenloch

How Bad Were the Developers of the ObamaCare Website?

Well CGI's last 'success' was the infamous Canadian gun registry:

Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That's a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada's PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion - or a thousand times more expensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know, we've all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun - or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60.

You know when each database entry costs more than the actual item being databased, you just might be fucking incompetent.

On Shredding Guns

There is a common assumption in Chicago that guns are the equivalent of free-roaming cobras, being lethal and unmanageable by any means except elimination. The more guns, in this view, the more murders and mayhem.

And No You Can't Keep Your Plan

Because unless your health insurance plan was embedded in amber on March 23, 2010, it will go away. And this was by design.

more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:03 PM | Comments (838)
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For First Time, Obama's Personal Favorability Rating is Negative
— Ace

Job approval has been low for a while. But there is an old bit of poll wisdom that your personal approval rating sets your maximum possible job approval -- and sets the floor for it, too

Well, the floor is now lower.

And for the first time in the survey, even Obama’s personal ratings are upside-down, with 41 percent viewing him a favorable light and 45 percent viewing him negatively.

“Personally and politically, the public’s assessment is two thumbs down,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

Are people finally seeing the light? Is the Titanic finally going down?

And open thread.

Oh, and I see Purp got into this poll, but he didn't highlight this finding. He highlighted another important one, but not this one.

Posted by: Ace at 03:50 PM | Comments (329)
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NBC Poll: shutdown was a loser for Obama
— Purple Avenger

When speculative bullshit crashes on the hard rocks of data...

...n all, 41 percent of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of the president since the 16 day government shutdown, compared to 21 percent who say they have a more favorable view since the shutdown...
Dood. (O)(O) 21%?!?!. Seriously, that doesn't even get you the whole of the generic moonbat and O-bot populations...combined. EPIC FAIL. more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 03:20 PM | Comments (158)
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