Category Archives: Government

Magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes off the Northern California coast

…from the LA Times….

A shallow magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck beneath the Pacific Ocean off the Northern California coast Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

No tsunami warnings were issued for the coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The temblor occurred at 12:50 p.m. at a depth of 2.5 miles, according to the USGS. Its epicenter was roughly 122 miles west of the historic village of Ferndale on California’s Lost Coast.

There were few indications on social media that the quake was strongly felt, if at all. Neither the Eureka nor Fortuna police departments reported that they felt anything or received reports of damage…..


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Following Trump’s UN diss…Iran rolls out a new missile….

Donald Trump went off on Iran at the UN Meeting a few days ago…

Said he didn’t like the Obama brokered deal the US has been  approving every 90 days since Trump became President….

What’s the Iranians to do?

And is Donald Trump’s chest thumping making the world a MORE unsafe place?

The state-run news agency IRNA quoted the chief of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, as saying that the new missile “can carry several warheads for various uses.” The agency did not provide further information on the missile.

Mr. Rouhani, a moderate, has staked his reputation on sealing the nuclear deal and relieving the Iranian economy of debilitating international sanctions. In a rejoinder to Mr. Trump’s call to renegotiate the nuclear deal, he said that “all countries” at the General Assembly meeting supported the nuclear deal, “except the United States and the Zionist regime,” a reference to Israel.

“Like North Korea, Iran is responding to Trump’s bellicosity by its own display of strength, to show it is not cowed,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Americas office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank.

He cautioned that Iran’s claim that the new missile could carry multiple warheads “needs to be taken with a grain of salt,” adding that the it “may mean nothing more than multiple cluster bombs,” not the kind of ballistic missile payload — multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle, or MIRV — associated with nuclear missiles.

Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, has said that the Iran nuclear agreement must be changed or the United States would not stick with it. Iran has said the accord is not up for renegotiation.

The possibility that Washington might renege on the deal has worried some countries, especially as the world grapples with North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development….


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Trump travel ban 3.0 due to go into effect shortly….

…from the NY Times….

President Trump’s ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said on Friday.

The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect on Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration’s original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa.

As part of the review, administration officials said that the Department of Homeland Security initially identified more than six nations that were failing to comply with security standards that could block terrorists from entering the United States. Officials notified the governments in those nations that travel to the United States could be severely restricted if they did not increase those standards. It was not clear which countries would be targeted under the new restrictions or exactly how many would be affected.

In the end, officials said that some of those countries added measures to improve security for passports and to better identify potential terrorist threats. Those countries will not be included in the new restrictions, said the officials, who would not be named describing the policy ahead of its announcement.

A spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security declined to discuss specifics of the agency’s recommendation to the White House, which was delivered in recent days and first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“The Trump administration will ensure that the people who travel to the United States are properly vetted and those that don’t belong here aren’t allowed to enter,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department.

Mr. Trump must still approve the new plan, but it appears to be similar to the kind the president tweeted about a week ago…..


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Republican Roy Moore is running for the US Senate in Alabama…He is The Angry Man….

The Republican US Senate primary race in Alabama is turning out to be a headache for the Grand Ole Party which has a ‘true believer’ rightwingnut leading…..

Ya reap what you sow , eh?

With the thunder and fire of an old-time revivalist, U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore rose before the assembled souls at the Redemption Baptist Church, a front-runner in the polls days out from an election that could rattle the rickety structures of the Republican Party.

“You think that God’s not angry that this land is a moral slum?” asked Moore, 70, reciting a rhyming poem he had written years earlier during a 50-minute address before several dozen believers. “How much longer will it be before his judgment comes?”

Republican primary voters across the country have been trying since 2010 to elect angry outsider candidates who promise to disrupt the ways of Washington. But no one in recent history has promised to be quite as disruptive as Moore, a former chief justice of Alabama who was twice removed from the bench for defying judicial orders.

And few have divided the GOP as Moore’s candidacy has, producing a momentous power struggle over an election that is likely to turn out less than 20 percent of Alabama’s Republican voters but could nonetheless set the tone for the coming 2018 election battles…..


image…Roy Moore, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, pauses for a closing prayer at a “Faith and Family” rally at Shoals Christian School in Florence, Ala. (Nathan Morgan for The Washington Post)

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Republicans….WTF try to pass something only 24% of Americans support?


It now up to Alaska Sen Lisa Murkowski….

Republican Senator’s Paul, Collins and now McCain will vote AGAINST the Graham/Cassidy Healthcare Repeal Bill….

As we wait for the US Senate to possibly vote AGAIN on trying to back up their pledge to get rid of a Obama healthcare program that they themselves have made more popular….

We see a crescendo of reasons why the Graham/Cassidy Bill is witout any merit EXCEPT to do something that the Grand Ole Party is choking on that needs fixing NOT a misguided hard sell campaign push that could send tens of millions of Americans out of their healthcare insurance….

Some Republicans appear to deaf, dumb and blind on this….

A new poll finds that just 24 percent of voters support the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare repeal bill.

The poll from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling finds that 24 percent approve of the new ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill, while 50 percent disapprove.

The low approval number comes as the Senate is heading towards a possible vote on the legislation next week, and as backers are still trying to rally support.

The poll was highlighted by several Democratic groups seeking to defend the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, 46 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a member of Congress if he or she voted for Graham-Cassidy, while 23 percent would be more likely.

Seventy-seven percent said they agreed with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that no one should be denied coverage because they cannot afford it…..



…’One official said the concerns from governors have alarmed some in the White House — and that “we really aren’t sure what the impact will be” of passing the bill. They also fear that the bill could bring political blowback from the left and right.

Trump has publicly expressed enthusiasm about the bill, tweeting about it repeatedly. But in conversations with aides, he has turned back to one topic: What can the White House do that is seen as “repeal and replace?” a phrase he likes to repeat’…


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Republican House members move relax gun control rules…

They are looking to make easlier for people to purchase gun suppressors….(WTF would you need these for?)

The second effort is aimed at allowing person with concealed permits to transport their weapons across state lines….

(Some states would still not allow possesion of those weapons without their states license)….

The efforts could very well make it thru the House, but fail in the Senate….Maybe?

The last few years tragities haven’t stop some American’s efforts to keep their guns  and have more freedom to do whatever they want with them….

Some ‘American’s LOVE their Guns’……

They Do….

House GOP leaders are moving forward with plans to vote on two gun-related measures in the coming weeks, the first time Congress has taken up the controversial issue since Donald Trump became president.

A bill easing regulations on the purchases of gun silencers — also known as suppressors — could reach the House floor as early as next week.

Another measure allowing concealed carry permit holders to take their weapons to other states is also expected to move through the House Judiciary Committee and onto the floor this fall, possibly in October, according to GOP lawmakers and aides.

Both proposals are almost certain to pass the House, despite intense opposition from gun-control groups. In the Senate, Democrats will likely block the measures. Trump would almost certainly sign such bills if they ever got to his desk.

Nearly five years after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, left 20 children dead and spurred an impassioned debate over expanding background checks for gun sales, the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration are clearly moving in the opposite direction. Republican congressional leaders and Trump administration officials — at the urging of the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups — are looking to roll back restrictions on guns imposed during the Obama era….


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Republicans are pushing for a $1.5 Trilllon Tax cut over 10 years….

They are try to despertly seel the plan by trying to ignore outside and Congressional Budget estomates that forecast  trouble with such massive give aways to corporations, most of which pay little to NO taxes now…..

The effort would probabaly result in middle class tax payers in states that provide services to it’s citizens paying MORE taxes while states that less services and lower income taxes paying less….

Again, like the Healthcare legislation?

This being sold as a necessity for the PARTY and NOT for individual’s….

Republicans , of course, ALWAYS have tax cuts for the rich in their minds….

House Ways and Means Committee Republicans plan to meet late into the evening on Sunday and all day Monday to try to narrow their differences on the tax plan.

On Wednesday, all House Republicans are set to meet away from the Capitol for a tax briefing — the same day that White House and GOP leaders say they intend to release a “unified” tax framework.

This all comes after months of methodical negotiations meant to avoid a repeat of the GOP’s disjointed and thus-far unsuccessful efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Republican leaders hope they can pass the tax cut plan along party lines, using a Senate procedure called “reconciliation” that requires only 51 votes. To do this, the House and Senate must pass matching budget resolutions that specify the size and impact of any tax cut measure.

The House Budget Committee has called for passing a tax plan that doesn’t add to the deficit, allowing the federal budget to balance by 2026. But Senate Republican negotiators reached a deal on Tuesday to allow for about $1.5 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years as part of any agreement. The budget deal was negotiated by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a deficit hawk.

The Senate deal was necessary because many Republicans expect Congress’s budget referees won’t endorse the GOP view that tax cuts will lead to massive economic growth, creating more than $1 trillion in new tax revenue. The Senate budget gives them more flexibility when writing their tax plan, as they won’t have to offset every dollar in revenue lost by lower tax rates with another dollar in new revenue gained by eliminating a tax break.

“With $1.5 trillion, you can get the rates down pretty low,” said Steve Moore, who was a top economic adviser during Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Still, Senate Republicans haven’t voted on this deal, and defections by just three lawmakers could doom it, potentially imperiling the entire tax effort.

The vote will likely hinge on whether proponents of the package can convince skeptics the plan not add to the national debt. Traditionally, the White House and Congress have relied on economic impact estimates by CBO and JCT to determine the benefits or drawbacks of legislation, but in the past the nonpartisan scorekeepers have found tax cuts can help the economy by only modest amounts…..


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GOP Senator’s Graham and Cassidy to debate Ind. Sanders and Dem Klobuchar on health care…

This should be interesting…..

Image result for Graham and Cassidy to debate Sanders on health care next week

CNN will host a town hall with Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, who will be debating health care with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar on Monday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute live event from Washington.
Graham and Cassidy are the namesake sponsors of a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline, while Sanders introduced a new “Medicare for all” health care bill with a third of the Senate Democratic caucus by his side.
According to the chamber’s parliamentarian, senators only have until the end of the month to pass a bill with just 51 votes under the procedure known as reconciliation, and the Senate’s latest push isn’t all that different than the one that ultimately resulted in a health care bill being passed in the House.
As of Thursday, it’s not clear whether there are enough Republican votes to advance the Graham-Cassidy proposal, a health care bill that was released a week ago and would repeal the individual and employer mandates and turn the federal funding for Medicaid expansion and the subsidies into a block grant program.
Meanwhile, Sanders is pushing for his bill…..
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Republican Fiscal Conservatives ?

The Washington Post points out that the cry for trying to shrink government that Republicans used to dog President Obama really wasn’t serious at all…But just a ‘do as want…But not what they’ll do ‘ now that they hold the spending power…..

Oh, and add to this their effort to pass tax cuts that will make the budget balancing  charade worst….

Supply-siders are winning their struggle with deficit hawks over the fiscal soul of the GOP. 

And it’s not even much of a struggle, as it turns out. In recent days, it has more closely resembled a pantomime, the policymaking equivalent of what the Harlem Globetrotters used to do to the Washington Generals. In this case, the Tax-Cutters are steamrolling the Budget Balancers — and making it look easy.

In the Senate, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was primed to force a reckoning over deficit spending in the Budget Committee. Republicans on the panel need to agree on a spending blueprint to lock in special instructions allowing them to pass a tax package without Democratic support. And with a one-vote edge in the committee, the GOP can’t afford to lose Corker. The Tennessean signaled that he’d drive a hard bargain over adding to the now $20 trillion federal debt, which he called “the greatest threat to our country” in an op-ed earlier this month.

But Corker on Tuesday struck a deal with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the committee’s leading supply-sider, that skews in favor of slashing taxes, deficits be damned. The agreement is expected to give the go-ahead to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years. Corker says that will give Republicans running room to craft a tax package, and he reserves the right to oppose the final product if it unleashes too much red ink. Yet he’s already given away his moment of maximum leverage.

Over in the House, the self-appointed fiscal scolds in the Freedom Caucus have talked tough on deficits all year. That included threats to blow up their chamber’s budget if it failed to carry some $400 billion in mandatory savings. But the proposed House GOP spending plan trims only half that sum.

And the hard right has since witnessed the collapse of an Obamacare repeal bill that would have slashed the deficit by $119 billion — and a debt ceiling hike that rode along with an unpaid-for, $15 billion down payment on hurricane relief. Ringing up those charges has darkened a deficit picture that Republicans vowed to address: Federal spending this year is set to exceed collections by the widest gap since 2009, and the national debt topped $20 trillion this month for the first time in its history. ….


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Sec of State Tillerson admits Iran in ‘technical compliance’ with nuclear deal

The American Sec of State comments follow the same confirmation made by Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top foreign affairs official…..

Donald Trump has led people to believe he doesn’t like the President Obama Iran Nuclear Deal…..That even though his admin has confirmed that Iran is following the deal’s conditions….

The emdia has gone batshit crazy speculating that Trump might NOT go along with the deal when the next 90 day review comes up….

This of course would be stupid…..Trump ALREADY has enough problems….

While NOT signing off would result in a 90 day window to try to change the terms of the deal?

Iran might balk and the other signing countries  of the deal ain’t gonna be happy….

In addition?

No Deal means Iran can go back to doing what the North Korean’s are doing…..

But the best part?

Iran is spending over $3 Billiuon to buy Boeing Commerical jetliners….

I wonder what Trump would say to the people who get laid off if the Iranians walk away from the deal ?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Iran is in “technical compliance” with the 2015 nuclear deal, but said the plan has not stopped the threat posed by Tehran.

Tillerson’s comments came after the Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top foreign affairs official, said that all parties to the Iran nuclear deal agree that Tehran is in compliance with the plan.

Mogherini told reporters after a high-level meeting of the countries involved in the deal that it “is working and is delivering for its purpose,” according to The Associated Press.

President Trump, however, has railed against the deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – saying during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that it is “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

Trump is nearing an October deadline for certifying Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, which aims to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, and has signalled recently that he could decline to do so. …


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Boston Democratic Mayor Walsh declines debate before primary….

Image result for boston mayor walsh

…from the Boston Globe…

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has repeatedly said he would debate his challengers before next Tuesday’s preliminary vote, contending that it was the democratic thing to do to have all four candidates on the same stage.

But with seven days to go before voters cast their first ballots in the mayor’s race, Walsh apparently won’t be in a debate involving all four candidates after all.

Walsh campaign spokeswoman Gabrielle Farrell said in a statement the mayor will spend the next week focused on directly engaging residents and working as mayor on behalf of the city.

“At this point, we don’t see how it’s possible to plan a debate before the preliminary that would work with all four candidates’ schedules,’’ Farrell said.

The mayor has been adamant in public interviews that he would debate his main contender, Councilor Tito Jackson, and the two other lesser-known candidates, Robert Cappucci, a former police officer, and Joseph Wiley, a customer service representative at MassHealth.

“When we have a debate in the primary, we are going to bring in all four candidates, because that is how it works,’’ Walsh said after a Sept. 7 visit to Brighton High School.

But throughout the debate negotiations, Walsh’s team has declined invitations for a preliminary debate, including two proposals to have all four candidates on stage…..



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Mueller Trump probe update for 9/20/17…Requests for internal White House Trump communication info…

The Mueller investigator’s are peeling back the nuts and bolts of the early Donald Trump efforts to set up contacts with the Russian’s and information about Trump’s efforts to stop prying into his actions including the Comey firing

Over the last month it has become clear that the investigation seeks to get  a clear and factual picture of Donald Trump and others actions during the campaign and afterwards….(Manafort has been told he will be charged)

Trump’s lawyers seem too be going out of their way to be seen as providing ANYTHING they can find…..But the White House Counselor is concerned about the boundaries of a President’s private executive privilege ….

While the newly revealed requests by the Special Counsel’s office are focused on Trump’s actions related to Russia and those actions by his staff and campaign staff…

It is unknown if Mueller is looking at Trump’s financial dealings , which had been what some through would be occurring….

It should be mentioned that New York State Attorney General Scheideriman also interested in the Manafort case and has previously gone after Donald Trump on financial irregulars….

Based on the document request to the White House, there is no indication that Mr. Mueller is pressing to examine Mr. Trump’s personal finances or business dealings — areas the president has said should be off limits. It is not clear whether Mr. Mueller has made separate document requests elsewhere to examine those subjects.

Mr. Mueller has asked for all internal White House communications about numerous former campaign officials, including Paul J. Manafort, the former campaign chairman who is now under federal investigation. The document request also seeks communications about Mr. Trump’s campaign foreign policy team: Carter Page, J. D. Gordon, Keith Kellogg, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and Joseph E. Schmitz.

Of the 13 subjects in Mr. Mueller’s document request, four are related to Mr. Flynn. The retired lieutenant general was fired in February after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about December phone calls he had with Mr. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador at the time.

American officials said Mr. Flynn had told the vice president that he had only exchanged holiday greetings with Mr. Kislyak, when in fact the two men had discussed economic sanctions against Russia. The phone calls took place in late December, around the same time the Obama administration was announcing sanctions to punish Russia for what American officials said was a Russian campaign to disrupt the November presidential election.

F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Flynn about the phone calls, and the special counsel has requested all internal White House communications about the F.B.I. interview. Mr. Mueller has also asked for documents about how the White House responded to concerns raised by the Justice Department that Mr. Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail for misleading Mr. Pence about the calls.

Three of Mr. Mueller’s requests focus on Mr. Comey’s firing. The special counsel wants any White House documents about the decision-making that led to Mr. Comey’s firing, and about all meetings Mr. Comey had with Mr. Trump…..



Mueller asked WH for phone records on Air Force One statement

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to turn over all its documents related to Donald Trump Jr.’s initial statement on a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

The statement, which was reportedly drafted on Air Force One and approved by President Trump, was later shown to be false after Trump Jr. released his email correspondence about setting up the meeting…..


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LA Fire Dept units sent to Mexico City for Earthquake help….


The U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) deployed the elite task force known as USA-2 to aid in the the recovery efforts from the powerful earthquake that has killed more than 200 people.

Mexico City’s mayor said that 50 to 60 people had been rescued from the rubble left by the earthquake in the capital, and efforts are continuing to recover victims.

USA-2 is composed of disaster response experts, who have led the government’s efforts to aid in overseas disasters, including the 2015 earthquake in Nepal…..


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Republican Healthcare Repeal efforts could come back to haunt them next November…

Americans ain’t gonna be happy if they are receiving letters in the mail telling them they have lost their healthcare issurance RIGHT BEFORE  next years Midterm elections….

It’s like the Republicans REALLY don’t want to keep their majorities in Congress, eh?

The Republicans’ latest drive to repeal Obamacare is reminiscent of a poetry fragment from Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”: “Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why.”

Whatever happens with the bill likely slated to reach the Senate floor next week, it is hard to escape the feeling that this wild charge will end badly for the Republicans.

In belatedly pushing the legislation(sponsored by Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Ron Johnson and Dean Heller), Mitch McConnell and the GOP leadership have absorbed none of the lessons from the dramatic failure of the last Senate repeal effort with an ailing John McCaincasting the decisive “no” vote.

What has been baffling the Republicans since the days of Social Security and then Medicare is that social welfare programs with middle-class beneficiaries grow more popular over time. American voters, for understandable reasons, do not support legislative efforts to take away benefits that they have been receiving.

As a result, the only voters still passionate about repealing Obamacare are hardcore conservatives.

A Quinnipiac University poll, conducted in early August, found that 60 percent of registered voters (including 28 percent of Republicans) believe that it is time for Congress to move on. And recent surveys have also found that a majority of voters now approve of the once-reviled 2010 legislation known as Obamacare….


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Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico….

Added to US Island’s fianacial woe’s will the devestation from two major storms within a few weeks period…..

Hurricane Maria roared ashore Wednesday as the strongest storm to strike Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, knocking out power to nearly the entire island and leaving frightened people huddled in buildings hoping to ride out withstand powerhouse winds that have already left death and devastation across the Caribbean.

“On the forecast track, [Maria] would be the most destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico history,” tweeted Eric Blake, a forecaster at the Hurricane Center.

The storm first slammed the coast near Yabucoa at 6:15 a.m. as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds — the first Category 4 storm to directly strike the island since 1932. By midmorning, Maria had fully engulfed the 100-mile-long island as winds snapped palm trees, peeled off rooftops, sent debris skidding across beaches and roads, and cut power to nearly the entire island.

In Guayama, on Puerto Rico’s southern coast, video clips posted on social media showed a street turned into a river of muddy floodwaters. San Juan buildings shook and glass windows shattered from the force of the storm. Residents of some high-rise apartments sought refuge in bathrooms and first-floor lobbies….


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49% of Americans support a Single Payer Healthcare…Poll….

That number is strongly influenced by Democratic support the Universal Healthcare Insurance concept ….

There have been other polls with the same basic results….

But there is also a caution to this …..

When those same voters are asked if they would support the increase in taxes to impliment the new government run system?…. The support for it drops  …..

“The surge of support for single-payer health care among Democrats is striking,” Dropp said. “In April, 54 percent of Democrats supported the notion. Just five months later and that support has risen to 67 percent.”

Single-payer was part of a battery of questions on four progressive proposals, but those questions did not include any mentions of funding mechanisms for these programs.

A single-payer system is even more popular than the “public option,” described to poll respondents as “a government-run health insurance agency that would compete with other private health insurance companies within the U.S.” Forty-four percent of voters back a public option, compared with 33 percent who oppose it. More voters, 22 percent, have no opinion.

GOP voters generally oppose both single-payer and public-option proposals — though the poll doesn’t show overwhelming opposition. A 52 percent majority of Republicans oppose single-payer, while 33 percent support it. On a public option, it’s 43 percent of Republicans opposed and 36 percent in support….


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