New York Times Poll: Views on Obama, Congress, and Current Events

With another fiscal deadline looming in Washington, The New York Times and CBS News asked Americans for their opinion on the federal budget, government spending and the President’s job performance–as well as Congress’s job performance, iews on the vaffordable health care, who to blame for a government shutdown, and possible budget cuts.
While the President is not seen as doing a good job, Congress is perceived even more poorly, with an 80 percent disapproval rating. Most people are not pleased with the idea of a government shutdown, and while there is plenty of shared blame, Republicans are somewhat more likely to be held accountable. There are indeed negative views about ObamaCare, although finer analysis might show variations based on how well people understand the law. Interesting, when it comes to budget cuts, about half of the people surveyed identified the military.
The survey results can be found here: Click Here

The poll provides an excellent description of how the poll was conducted, margins of error, and other nonsampling errors. Check it out: Click Here

So Far, Majority of Americans Oppose Missile Strike in Syria

Q: The United States says it has determined that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in the civil war there. Given this, do you support or oppose the United States launching missile strikes against the Syrian government?
59% oppose, 36% support launching missile strikes.

Even more oppose arming the rebels: 70% oppose, 27% support.

The Washington Post – ABC News poll: Click Here
The Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2013, among a random national sample of 1,012 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Tracking Congress:
Where Things Stand, as of September 4th,
Aaron Blake, published his whip count on the Washington Post Blog:

22 Senators are for, 50 are undecided. 22 are against or leaning that way.
19 Representatives are for, 103 are undecided, and the rest are against or leaning that way.
Click Here for charts

Views on Occupational Groups: Military high, Lawyers Low

pew perception of occupations 2013This out from PEW: Public Esteem for Military Still High, Clergy in the Middle, Lawyers at the Bottom, POLL July 11, 2013
PEW asked about 10 occupations in terms of their perceived contribution to society.

They wrote:
“Americans continue to hold the military in high regard, with more than three-quarters of U.S. adults (78%) saying that members of the armed services contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. That’s a modest decline from 84% four years ago, the last time the Pew Research Center asked the public to rate various professions. But the military still tops the list of 10 occupational groups, followed closely by teachers, medical doctors, scientists and engineers. A solid majority of the public says each of those occupations contributes a lot to society.

“By contrast, just 37% of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009. Regular churchgoers tend to be more positive about ministers, priests and other clergy members. But even among adults who say they attend religious services at least once a week, only about half (52%) rate clergy in general as contributing “a lot” to society, while 29% say the clergy make “some” contribution, and 11% say the clergy contribute “not very much” or “nothing at all.”

“While there have been modest declines in public appreciation for several occupations, the order of the ratings is roughly the same as it was in 2009. Among the 10 occupations the survey asked respondents to rate, lawyers are at the bottom of the list. About one-in-five Americans (18%) say lawyers contribute a lot to society, while 43% say they make some contribution; fully a third (34%) say lawyers contribute not very much or nothing at all.”
View Article Here

PEW: Favorability of the Federal Government is Lowest Ever

A new poll by PEW found that “Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public buy generic viagra online continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light. Overall, 63% say they have a favorable opinion of their local government, virtually unchanged over recent years. And 57% express a favorable view of their state government – a five-point uptick from last year. By contrast, just 28% rate the federal government in Washington favorably. That is down five points from a year ago and the cialis for prostate lowest percentage ever in a Pew Research Center survey.”           See Report:Click Here Continue reading »

What Are the Impacts of Soda? Results of Meta-Analysis

Meta-Analysis is a useful analytical technique to make sense of many small studies. Experimental designs are often small. Science is built on a series of hypothesis testing, and conducting small, but controlled experiments, can provide useful insights. Large studies, however, are expensive and few researchers have the resources to conduct them using an experimental design. Even quasi-experimental designs are costly.

Over time, however, researchers can pull together the data from many small studies that are trying to answer the same research question. Meta-Analysis has the potential to see the larger patterns and determine whether there are statistically significant results. That said, it is not an easy analytic technique

In the soft drink/obesity research, one frequently cited study is “Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” by Lenny R. Vartanian, Marlene B. Schwartz, and Kelly D. Brownell (2007), American Journal of Public Health, April 2007, vol 97, No. 4: 667-675. Continue reading »

Does Soda Make People Fat?

Mother Jones: Click Here


Americans appear to be losing the fight against excess weight. The trends have been generally upward since the 1970s–with spikes in the 1980s and 1990s– although they appear to have leveled off.  The complexity of nutrition and weight gain is astounding and there are many theories, along with many diets, all too often presented as absolute fact. But science does not have this nailed down. So it is possible to sympathize with the American Beverage Association who have had to defend its sugar-sweetened beverages from attacks.

In a press release on ABA’s website posted September 21, 2012, Click Here, they claim that:

  •   while it is true that Americans consume more calories then they did in 1970, almost all are from sources other than beverages.
  • sugar-sweetened beverages contribute  about 7 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet.
  • caloric intake from sugar-sweetened beverages declined by more than 20 percent between 2001 and 2010, yet obesity rates continued to rise
  • The average number of calories per beverage serving is down 23 percent since 1998
  • forty-eight percent of overweight and obese individuals  drink no sugar-sweetened beverages.

Of course, a press release does not have to show where the numbers came from or verify their accuracy. To do that, we would need to go to other sources or to make some judgments. Continue reading »

PEW: Roles of Moms and Dads

Pew released a new report by Kim Parker and Wendy Wang: Modern Parenthood: Roles of Moms and Dads Converge as They Balance Work and Family.

They note in their overview: “The way mothers and fathers spend their time has changed dramatically in the past half century. Dads are doing more housework and child care; moms more paid work outside the home. Neither has overtaken the other in their “traditional” realms, but their roles are converging, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of long-term data on time use.”

How do you stack up? Take the Quiz: Click here

Read Report: Click Here

Social Security Disablity Insurance

The Congressional Budget Office cialis price walgreens has released information about the Social Security Disability Insurance. It provides an info-graphic to present the basic information. generic cialis online “he Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program provided cialis and liver $119 billion in benefits to 8.3 million disabled workers in fiscal year 2011, accounting for nearly 18 percent of total Social Security spending. In does generic cialis work addition, 2.0 million dependents of those workers received buy cialis online pharmacy benefits in 2011. CBO projects that in 2022, the DI program will provide benefits totaling $204 billion to over 12.3 million disabled workers and their dependents.” Click Here