Tuesday Open Thread [12.18.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 18, 2012

Why is this time different? Why are things going to change this time? Andrew Gelman at the Monkey Cage has a thought:

– The event itself is particularly horrifying: an elementary school instead of a high school, more kids getting killed, and the killer using three guns that were just lying around the house.

– Cumulation: each new shooting is added on to what came before, eventually enough people become motivated to act.

– Political timing: no national election for 23 months, now is the time for politicians to act without fear of the gun lobby.

– Political alignment: the Republicans have had so much success getting gun voters to their side that Democrats now have nothing to lose politically by supporting gun restrictions. And, if the Democrats move to restrict guns, savvy Republicans can move toward the center on the issue, confident that their Democratic opposition won’t outflank them on the right.

– The pendulum: to put that last point another way, gun policy has swung so far to the right in recent years that the force of public opinion will tend to pull it back to the center. This latest shooting has given politicians a chance to realize this and act on it.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that 78% of Americans now think temperatures are rising and 80% say global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it.

The biggest change in the polling is among people who trust scientists only a little or not at all. Within that highly skeptical group, 61% now say temperatures have been rising over the past 100 years. That’s a substantial increase from 2009, when the poll found that only 47% of those with little or no trust in scientists believed the world was getting warmer.

A new Pew Research poll finds that when it comes to the reaching an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, 55% say President Obama is making a serious effort to work with Republicans. But just 32% say Republican leaders are making a serious effort to work with Obama on a deficit deal.

Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. His job rating is markedly higher than President George W. Bush’s first job measure (48%) after he won reelection in 2004. In contrast, just 25% approve of the way Republican leaders in Congress are doing their jobs, while 40% approve of Democratic leaders’ job performance.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    The biggest change in the polling is among people who trust scientists only a little or not at all…61% now say temperatures have been rising over the past 100 years.

    Thanks idiots.

  2. Walt says:

    You might be right on the gun thing. This might be the event that brings in the big sales or ownership restrictions. Then you know what’s going to happen? Nuts with no self esteem who feel unwanted will continue to mass sacrifice human lives in public places in order to get the 15 minutes of fame in any way they can to make up for their ignored and worthless previous existance. They will get guns and imitate the selfish acts of their predecessors in order to gain attention for themselves. Nothing will change until the media quits sensationalizing it.

  3. puck says:

    I just got off a telephone town hall with John Carney (I wasn’t called upon). He was in usual form saying we urgently needed a compromise deal on the fiscal cliff, and once again went over the absolute necessity of health care cuts.

    To his credit he sensibly explained that Social Security wasn’t part of the deficit problem and was not part of the fiscal cliff, and could be dealt with later with minor changes.

    To his further credit, when a senior asked about Social Security cuts, Carney never uttered the phrase “current retirees won’t be affected.” (dude should have asked about Medicare cuts. Or chained CPI).

    Carney alluded to discussions about gun control but I didn’t recall any specific commitment (although I wasn’t taking notes so I could be wrong).

    For me, the highlight when Carney was talking in a general way about the prosperity of the 1990s, and he credited GHWB’s 1990 budget act but didn’t mention Clinton’s 1993 economic plan. Is that really how he sees the economy?

    There were two different very poised school-age callers on the line. Brooke, a sixth grader from Middletown, asked if schools would have lockdown drills. Ty from Delmar, a seventh grader, asked if there would be help getting into college (Carney congratulated Ty and explained the SEED and INSPIRE scholarships).

  4. Jason330 says:

    Cragg: “The most important thing is a smooth transition to build upon the party building stuff that we’ve done in this past election cycle.“

    Hilarious. If the DEGOP keeps “building” at this furious pace, they’ll be the state’s third biggest party in 2 years. Thanks for the link.