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Historically when a president initiates a military action the nation rallies behind the Commander-in-Chief and his approval levels rise. What the new Quinnipiac Poll teaches us that this does not apply to Kinetic Military actions, like the one in Libya as Obama’s approval is at an all time low.

Forty-eight percent of American voters disapprove of Obamas performance (vs 42% approve), on March 3 approval was split 46%-46%. Fifty percent believe that Obama does not deserve to be reelected (vs 41% who believe he does as opposed to a 45%-47% split in early March.

As you would expect, Democrats still approve of Obama’s job performance ( 80% – 13%) and Republicans disapprove (81% – 9%). The worrisome number for the President’s supporters is Independents are not happy with Obama’s performance (50% – 39%)

Most of the Libyan part of the Poll was concluded before Monday night’s speech, so things may have improved since then. Voters oppose 47 – 41 percent America’s involvement in Libya and by a percentage of 58% – 29% they feel hes not clearly stated U.S. goals for Libya. But then there are conflicting results:

  • 53% – 35% approve of using cruise missiles to destroy Libya’s air defense;
  • 48% – 41% say the U.S. should not use military force to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power
  • 65% – 27% agree that the U.S. should use military force to protect civilians from Gadhafi.

American voters split 46 – 45 percent on whether protecting Libyan civilians from Gadhafi is a goal worth having U.S. troops “fight and possibly die.” And voters say 61 – 30 percent that removing Gadhafi is not worth having American troops “fight and possibly die.” A total of 62 percent of voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” that the U.S. mission to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi will be successful. But 74 percent of voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that the U.S. will get embroiled in a long-term military conflict in Libya.

This oleo of results seem to indicate that Americans are OK with the US action just as long as it could be fought at arm’s length, without ground troops. They are not confident that it will be possible and  feel that we will be stuck in a quagmire.

Beyond Libya, American’s approval of the President is deteriorating on a host of issues:  
  • The Budget Deficit-30% approve, 64% disapprove (approval was at 36% on March 3)
  • The Economy -34% approve, 60% disapprove (approval was at 38% on March 3)
  • Foreign Policy-41% approve, 47% disapprove (43% approval on March 3)
  • Health Care– 38% approve, 55% disapprove (40% approval on March 3)
  • Energy Policy– 35% approve, 47% disapprove (no trend)
The bottom line is at least according to this particular poll, American voters believe that just about everything the President does is wrong….and that’s about right.


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Written by Sasa Milosevic

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Over 60,000 people in Serbia have joined a Facebook group to publicly support Gaddafi's regime. Credit: Support for Muammar al Gaddafi from the people of Serbia, a Facebook group

A Facebook group titled “Support for Muammar al-Gaddafi from the people of Serbia”, with its 62,500 members, became a serious threat for the Libyan opposition not only due to the support for Gaddafi, but also because of cyberattacks on the opposition's web site.

The cyber war initiated by pro-Gaddafi Serbian citizens, recruited mainly from the Serbian ultranationalists, rang out in the international media and panicked the Libyan Youth Movement (@shabablibya), “a group of Libyan Youth both in and out of Libya inspired by our brothers and sisters in Egypt and Tunis.”

Mohammed al-Sabah, a Libyan Youth Movement representative, said this to the Serbian media:

Thousands of Internet users from Serbia are attacking and infringing on our sites daily with anti-NATO and anti-EU slogans, so much that [the sites become] completely useless. We do not claim that all of them are hackers, but it is clear that it is an organized campaign. If something is not done soon, things will get worse for us.

According to Milan Kovacevic, a web administrator and author of the book “Cryptography in Electronic Banking,” Serbian hackers are not independent in their actions, but are a part of international groups:

These are two of hacker groups: “C1337ORG” and “Black Hand.” A big part of the attackers are actually foreigners who hide behind Internet address of ordinary users from Serbia.

He adds that it is possible that among the Libyan rebels there exist insiders who are informing Serbian hackers where and how to attack.

Administrators of the most popular Serbian Facebook page deny any connections with ultranationalists, explaining the essence of support for Gaddafi:

Gaddafi was sending oil to us when we were under economic sanctions. Gaddafi did not recognize Kosovo's independence. After the bombing in 1999, he sent money for Serbia's recovery. Gaddafi was providing employment to our people while they had nothing to eat here. Gaddafi is fighting against the people who have destroyed our childhood. So we are with him! Colonel, win for all of us!”

Daniel Vidal wrote in a comment to this statement:

I heard that Gaddafi gives €2500 to each student who wants to study outside Libya. He also gives them a car…

Milan Veris added:

Gaddafi is a living legend. Twenty years ago, this man built the most modern plumbing in the world. He brought water to Libya directly from the Nile.

(Because of this desert irrigation project, Belgrade's private Megatrend University awarded Gaddafi an honorary doctorate in 2007. Some of Gaddafi's opponents in Serbia, however, consider that a marketing trick to attract Libyan students to this university in the Serbian capital.)

Gorica Pukmajster wrote:

I am one of those whose family was fed by Gaddafi's salary, which, back then, was ten times what I was making when I worked in Belgrade.

Below are some more Facebook comments.

Dusan Duda Stevanovic

An army of monkeys led by a lion worth more than an army of lions led by a monkey.

Pathos Ydoni:

To the east of Libya, in cities that are controlled by the rebels, mobs and gangs, according to several human rights organizations, are virtually committing a crime against humanity. […] Rape, murder and torture are normal for rebels…

Trese Babe Oraje got this information from friends in Libya:

The rebels intercepted four buses from Tripoli to Benghazi, with people who started the peaceful protests in support of the Libyan army and stopping the NATO aggression. They took them hostage, and they beat even the women.

The NATO action in Libya has caused some young Serbs, who still live with the memories of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, to react with hatred.

Burek Pekaric:

These are the disturbed minds, and I really think to go to the French and Italian embassies and kick them with empty beer bottles on their heads. Monsters.

Ljubomir Popovski suggested this:

First, it should start from the dead. All French soldiers should be dug out from the New Cemetery and sent to France in cattle wagons. Second, all French monuments from Kalemegdan should be removed. Third, the French embassy in Belgrade should be closed and turned it into a museum of the NATO aggression.

Will exchange Tadic for Gaddafi. Credit:

The most rigorous critics are those Serbs who are disappointed with the decision of the Serbian president Boris Tadić to publicly distance himself from Gaddafi's government, “washing his own hands” of the long-term arms trade with Libya.

Vladimir Speed Savic urges:

Gaddafi, take from Tadic the Persian carpet you gave him last year for the Day of the Libyan revolution. And the honorary medal… Let Sarkozy weave him a new one at his own expense…

The administrator of the group posted a video of Radio Television Vojvodina from the time when the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affair paid a visit to Gaddafi, thanking him for not recognizing Kosovo. Foreign minister Vuk Jeremić and his group performed a deep bow for Gaddafi.

Some of the group's members warn that the Serbian police and the Serbian Inteliigence Agency ((BIA)) are monitoring online activities in the well-known dictatorial style.

Marko Nikolic posts this alarm:

Twenty of them from BIA are here in this group and they are posting messages to the wall.

Jebes Chuck Norris, Gaddafi ujedinio Srbe reveals:

We welcome the night shift of MUP [Ministry of the Interior] that monitors our group with fake profiles.

Bloggers on also offer public support to the “defiant” Libyan leader, as the Western media describe him.

Cho-Seung Hui says:

The president who would welcome us to free ourselves forever from joining the European Union, democracy, the rule of human rights, privatization, globalization, capitalism and other disasters that have befallen us after the October 5, [2000].

As_basket_player_5 concludes:

Until a few days ago, a totally irrelevant figure in our lives, and now a hero in Serbia. Nobody knows why.

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Global Voices in English

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USA Today
NFL Owners Tell Court They Oppose Player Bid to Halt Lockout
March 21 (Bloomberg) — National Football League owners told a US judge they oppose a bid by 10 NFL players who want an order blocking their lockout while the parties battle over a new collective bargaining agreement.
NFL, Roger Goodell the face of calm as owners meetings come to
Don't expect a speedy resolution to NFL's labor woesNFL News
Eye-opener: How do you feel about the NFL's new kickoff rules?USA Today
Yahoo! Sports –Boston Globe –New York Times
all 1,151 news articles »

Sports – Google News

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Uh oh.

We all understand that primarying him would be a kamikaze mission since at this point he may well be the only Republican in Massachusetts capable of getting elected to the Senate. That knowledge has bought him a wide, wide berth among the base. But I keep thinking — at some point, he’s going to cross […]

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Uh oh.

We all understand that primarying him would be a kamikaze mission since at this point he may well be the only Republican in Massachusetts capable of getting elected to the Senate. That knowledge has bought him a wide, wide berth among the base. But I keep thinking — at some point, he’s going to cross […]

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Krauthammer declared nuclear power dead a few days ago. I thought he was wrong. Is he? The survey indicates that 53 percent of the public opposes building more nuclear power plants in the U.S., up six points from last year. Forty-six percent support the construction of new plants. What about the existing nuclear power plans […]

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Only 40% re-elect with a 49% approval rating?

National Journal offers some interesting, if contradictory, results from their latest poll.  Barack Obama only gets 40% of registered voters supporting him for a second term, according to the NJ/Allstate Heartland Monitor poll, with 50% opposed.  However, Obama also gets a 49/44 approval rating: Fully half of registered voters say they would definitely or probably […]

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By Michael F. Cannon

It has been a while since I generated a chart showing support/opposition to ObamaCare among only likely voters, so here goes.

Note that a majority of likely voters oppose ObamaCare, and that opposition exceeds support by nearly 20 percentage points.  That’s compared to a 10-point spread among all adults.

Likely Voters Oppose ObamaCare by Nearly a 20-Point Margin is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog

Cato @ Liberty

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Washington (CNN) – Republican opposition is growing over the continuing resolution that would fund the government for three additional weeks.

Both parties agreed last week to move ahead with a three-week stopgap bill that would cut an additional $ 6 billion from current spending levels, avoiding a potential federal shutdown when the current continuing resolution expires Friday. The House will vote Tuesday on the new agreement, but some Republicans argue the cuts don’t go far enough.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who serves as chairman of a key bloc of House conservatives, said he will vote against the three-week spending plan when it comes before the chamber for a vote.

“Americans sent us here to deal with big problems in bold ways. We’re borrowing billions of dollars a day, yet Senate Democrats have done little more than wring their hands for the last month,” Jordan said in a statement. “Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, and it’s time they stopped dithering. We need swift action to deal with spending for the rest of this year.”

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, a freshman member of the House Appropriations Committee, said President Obama and leading Democrats in the Senate are “failing to fully engage in this debate,” compared to House Republicans who, he said, have “done their job.”

“Let’s close the book on 2011 funding with common sense debt reduction and then move on to the critical tasks of making government more efficient, enacting long-term spending reforms, and modernizing entitlements,” Graves said in a statement.

The legislation under consideration this week was drafted by the Appropriations Committee, making Graves’ announcement more unusual.

President Obama and Congressional leaders all say they want to avoid a government shutdown, but the parties remain at odds over how to address the immediate need to authorize government spending for the next six months and the long-term need for budget reforms that reduce the deficit and national debt.

Last week, the Senate rejected the House bill, as well as an alternate proposal from Senate Democrats that would cut $ 6.5 billion from the current spending levels for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

At a meeting with reporters Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “there is a lot of frustration” that Congress has been unable to pass a spending bill for the rest of the year.

“Obviously there are a lot of other issues that we would like to see dealt with in any kind of longer term solution,” Cantor said. “But right now we are trying to position ourselves so that we can ensure there is not a government shutdown, but to continue cutting spending and reach a result that I think that we can get a majority of members to go along with.”

Republican Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona was another member of Congress to come out against the deal.

“How are we ever supposed to tackle the grave fiscal challenges before us like the debt ceiling, the debt, and the FY2012 budget when we just keep punting on FY2011 spending?” Flake said in a statement.

And on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, Marco Rubio said he, too, would oppose any additional short-term solutions.

“While attempts at new spending reductions are commendable, we simply can no longer afford to nickel-and-dime our way out of the dangerous debt America has amassed,” Rubio said in a statement. “It is time our leaders in Washington wake up and realize that we are headed for a debt disaster.”

The freshman senator said the country can avoid a government shutdown if the president “steps up to lead and if politicians from both parties finally get their act together.”

– CNN’s Deirdre Walsh and Tom Cohen contributed to this report

CNN Political Ticker

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By Jim Harper

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) is the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. That’s the subcommittee that makes spending decisions for the Department of Homeland Security and the programs within it, including the REAL ID Act.

Earlier this month, a constituent of his from Fyffe, Alabama posted a question on Mr. Aderholt’s Facebook page:

Rep. Aderholt, I’ve seen reports that the “REAL ID ACT” will be implemented in May of this year, giving the govt the ability to track every person who has a drivers license via encoded GPS. Is this actually the case and if so, what is the House going to do to stop this Orwellian infringement of our Liberty. Also, HOW could this have happened in the first place!

Mr. Aderholt has not replied.

But Right Side News recently reported on a hearing in which DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano presented her agency’s budget request. The DHS has not requested funds for implementing REAL ID. But according to the report, Chairman Aderholt “pointedly reminded” the committee of the need for funding of REAL ID.

It is good of Representative Aderholt to give his constituents a means to contact him and to invite public discussion of the issues. It’s an open question whether he will listen more closely to the voice of his constituents or to influences in Washington, D.C. who would like to see law-abiding American citizens herded into a national ID system.

Does Rep. Aderholt Support or Oppose Having a National ID? is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog

Cato @ Liberty

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I think I’m pretty cynical about the way American politicians approach policy questions, and so there’s little I love more than an opportunity to argue against excessive cynicism. So thank you, Jonathan Bernstein:

I think opposition to any sort of government-initiated universal health care is the most natural movement conservative position. Yes, conservative politicians (not just Mitt!) have in the past supported things that looked like Obama’s health care plan, but I think in almost all cases that was just about playing defense in a situation in which the true movement conservative position (that is, it’s not the government’s concern) is wildly unpopular.

I disagree. I think health-care policy is not a priority for most Republicans, so when they’re in office, it’s not the thing they naturally choose to spend political capital on. But that doesn’t mean that, all else being equal, they wouldn’t be glad to pass one of their policies on the subject and say they were the folks who solved the country’s health-care problem. You saw that impulse in Mitt Romney, in George W. Bush’s campaign to pass the Medicare prescription drug benefit (though that had a lot to do with winning Florida in 2004), in Bob Bennett’s decision to co-sponsor a comprehensive reform bill alongside Ron Wyden.

The problem is, the thing that really is a priority for most Republicans is defeating Democratic presidents. And Democratic presidents often attempt health-care reform, because they care about it a lot, and they often appropriate Republican ideas, because they overestimate how much Republicans are interested in health-care policy and underestimate how much Republicans really want to make them fail. And then the policy they’re pushing becomes their policy, not a policy the Republicans originally offered up, and the process of polarization begins.

I believe as strongly now as I did a year ago that President Mitt Romney or President John McCain could’ve offered a bill quite similar to the Affordable Care Act and gotten a lot more than zero Senate Republicans to vote for it, though I think it’s an open question whether they would’ve bothered to do anything about health-care reform at all. But I don’t think Republicans have strong and consistent views against health-care reform. I think they have strong and consistent views against Democratic presidents.

Ezra Klein

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The results of the latest Quinnipiac University poll on Wednesday provided relatively similar results on some questions to a poll commissioned last month by the conservative-leaning Yankee Institute.

In the Yankee poll, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to eliminate the $ 500 state tax credit was the least popular part of the package of tax increases that he has recommended in the new state budget. The poll showed that 73 percent of likely voters oppose the the governor’s plan to end the popular credit of up to $ 500 on homeowners’ state income taxes for the property taxes that they have paid to their cities and towns. Only 15 percent favor the proposal, the survey shows.

In the Quinnipiac poll, 74 percent were against eliminating the credit – virtually exactly the same number as in the Yankee poll.

Malloy, though, told reporters after the Yankee poll that he was ”pretty willing” to push hard to eliminate the credit, which would cost taxpayers a combined total of $ 365 million in the first year of his two-year budget.

“Many people who oppose us on this actually don’t qualify for it, which is an interesting set of circumstances,” Malloy said at the time. “I’ve actually talked to people, and I’ve asked them what their incomes were, and their incomes were in excess of incomes that would have allowed them to have that credit. I’ve asked other people about it, and when I ask them if they own a home, they say no. … If you’re asking me if we’re going to go to the mat over $ 365 million, the answer is : of course.”

The wording of the two polls was not exactly the same, and the margins of error were different in each poll. In addition, the timing was slightly different as the polls were taken within several weeks of each other. As such, the results would also be expected to differ.

Capitol Watch

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As in the case of Gov. Scott Walker’s polls-number-killing confrontation with unions over the right for public unions to have collective bargaining, you have to wonder if this poll is yet more evident that Republicans riskover-reaching:

Americans are sending a message to congressional Republicans: Don’t shut down the federal government or slash spending on popular programs.

Almost 8 in 10 people say Republicans and Democrats should reach a compromise on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit to keep the government running, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. At the same time, lopsided margins oppose cuts to Medicare, education, environmental protection, medical research and community-renewal programs.

If this isn’t a big, fat political warning flag what is? And Democrats should not be smiling since there are most assuredly political pitfalls displayed in this poll for them as well:

While Americans say it’s important to improve the government’s fiscal situation, among the few deficit-reducing moves they back are cutting foreign aid, pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and repealing the Bush-era tax cuts for households earning more than $ 250,000 a year.

The results of the March 4-7 poll underscore the hazards confronting Republicans, as well as President Barack Obama and Democrats, as they face a showdown over funding the government and seek a broader deficit-reduction plan.

“Americans do not have a realistic picture of the budget,” says J. Ann Selzer, the Des Moines, Iowa-based pollster who conducted the survey. “We all know people who are in debt yet cannot for the life of them figure out where the money goes.”

Overall, public concern about the deficit — which is projected to reach $ 1.6 trillion this year — is growing, although it’s still eclipsed by employment, with poll respondents ranking job creation as a higher priority.

The Politico sees the poll this way:

Most Americans want to see Democrats and Republicans come to a compromise on the federal budget to avoid a government shutdown, but they also see the congressional GOP benefiting more from a halt to all non-essential spending.

Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed for a Bloomberg National Poll released Wednesday morning acknowledged that cuts need to be made to reduce the deficit but said it’s more important that Congress come to an agreement that keeps the government operating. Two in 10 people, meanwhile, said that cuts should be made even if that means shutting down the government for a while.

If there were to be a shutdown, Americans see Republicans more likely to win political points, with 45 percent of those surveyed saying the GOP would benefit, while 34 percent said Democrats would gain.

As some deficit hawks ramp up their efforts to inform the public of the dangers of ever-larger annual deficits and mounting national debt, the issue is becoming more important to Americans.

The Moderate Voice

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A new Bloomberg National poll finds Americans strongly reject Republican efforts to curb bargaining rights of unions whose power they say is dwarfed by corporations.

Key finding: 64% of respondents, including a plurality of Republicans (49%), say employees should have the right to collectively bargain for their wages. 63%, including 55% of Republicans, say states without enough money to pay for all the pension benefits they have promised shouldn’t be able to break those obligations.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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A new Bloomberg National poll finds Americans strongly reject Republican efforts to curb bargaining rights of unions whose power they say is dwarfed by corporations.

Key finding: 64% of respondents, including a plurality of Republicans (49%), say employees should have the right to collectively bargain for their wages. 63%, including 55% of Republicans, say states without enough money to pay for all the pension benefits they have promised shouldn’t be able to break those obligations.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

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