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Skewed statistics?

August 25, 2009 - John Stack
Funny thing on The Rachel Maddow show recently. Well, I find it funny that Rush and Glenn Beck and Hannity must be pulling their hair out that a gay liberal female has a well received show on MSNBC, but I digress. The nite before, on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart ran a piece on how polls on political leaning talk shows are completely unreliable. He showed a bunch of polls (of each side of the aisle) where one side of an issue received over 93 percent of the yes votes. Coincidentally, on a show politically diametrically opposed, the same question would get the same response, but in the totally opposite direction! So, Jon Stewart surmised that the polls of course were not valid, but really represented only the political persuasion drawn to that show and were expected to vote as such (ie – not many liberals watch O’Reilly or Cal Thomas, and not many conservatives watch Rachel Maddow or Keith Olberman). But back to the polls. There are certain parts of debate that are true, and other parts that are opinion. We hope that we are all dealing with the same set of facts, and we disagree with what that means. Unfortunately, this isn’t true in the Health Care debate. One big point that many people (or at least so it seemed) think is about ‘death panels’. Of course, there are no death panels, there has never been any legislation even dreamed up about death panels. The one item that has been mislabeled a death panel is a provision that was removed that would have had Medicare pay for Doctor counseling for end of life decisions. Maybe I’m missing something, but maybe speaking with a doctor on your deathbed about end of life decisions is a BAD idea? Maybe its just best to leave it to the Jackson family, who seem to be the poster family for ‘after death decisions’. But I digress. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, among independent respondents, 8 percent believed there were ‘Death Panels’ in the Health Care package (76 % said No, and 16% didn’t know). Seems like a high percent of believers, eh? But with Democrats, only 5% believe there are and 88% say no (7% don’t know). I guess I could buy that 5 % of people are that uninformed. What about Republicans? Hmmm. 26% believe there are death panels, and only 43% say no. Uh. Umm. Hmmm. Where would such a group of people get that information to lead them to such erroneous beliefs? I’m not sure this is linked, but in another poll, it was revealed that 59% of self proclaimed GOPers watch FoxNews as their primary source of TV News. I mean there is only Sean ‘Death Panel’ Hannity, Rush ‘End of life counseling means Death Panels’ Limbaugh and Bill ‘They’re Nazis!’ O’Reilly on Fox. A truly funny confrontation between a constituent and Barney Frank happened recently. A female questioner compared the Obama policies to Nazi Germany. At this point, Frank ‘gave up’. He responded to her as such ‘"When you ask me that question, I'm going to revert to my ethnic heritage and ask you a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?" "You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis," he said, adding such behavior demonstrated the strength of First Amendment guarantees of what he called "contemptible" free speech."Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table," Frank said to the woman. "I have no interest in doing it.". Remember here that Barney Frank is a Gay Jewish man, 2 of the specific groups identified by the Nazis for death. I wonder where this woman gets her new from?


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