Saturday, September 03, 2016

Voters Are Starting To Catch On That GOP Obstructionism Could Be Dangerous The Their Families' Health


Paul Ryan and his utterly dysfunctional House Republican conference is riven with so much in-fighting and back-stabbing and with so many ideological purity tests that they can't get anything done-- not even the most basic functions of government. The Florida delegation-- both Democrats and Republicans-- have been begging and are now demanding that Ryan call Congress back into session to deal with the Zika crisis. Ryan hasn't and won't. He knows nothing will get done if he does, except confirming in the minds of the American people-- right before an election-- that the Republican Party is unfit for a serious role in government. You have the lunatic fringe anti-science head of the House Science Committee, Texas' Lamar Smith, acting as if everyone just needs to buy a can of RAID and keep their windows closed (as Zika spreads into the Rio Grande Valley) and you have the GOP peanut gallery who sees the emergency as an opportunity to force the Democrats to let them gut women's choice as a "compromise" in order to release funds to fight Zika.

Next week congressmembers are coming back to DC from their long, long vacations. One told me he expects Ryan to allow have Congress working on the barest on schedules and allow them to be back in their districts campaigning for almost all of September and October. "I'm making plans for a trip overseas... that's who certain I am that Ryan isn't going to schedule votes," he told me yesterday. A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation released at the end of the week found that 92% of Americans are aware of the Zika crisis and that 36% say that passing new funding to deal with the outbreak should be a top priority for Congress, with an additional 40% saying it should be an important priority-- that's 76% and across party lines. 54% of voters say they trust Hillary to deal with the Zika outbreak more and 34% say they trust Señor Trumpanzee more. Among independent voters 45% trust Hillary to deal with Zika more effectively and 39% say they trust Trumpanzee to. But even 18% of Republican voters say they trust Hillary more on Zika than trust Trumpanzee.
The Zika virus outbreak continues to be the health policy story most followed by Americans. In July, health officials confirmed the first cases of individuals being infected by mosquitoes in the U.S. in a Miami, Florida neighborhood, and a subsequent travel advisory recommended that pregnant women stay away from the area.

...Three-fourths of the public (76 percent) are aware that there are cases of local transmission in the country-- that is, cases where people are being infected with the Zika virus by mosquitoes. A smaller share, but still a majority, report being aware of travel warnings issued for areas in the United States affected by the outbreak (58 percent).

About half of the public (48 percent) say that they would be “not too” or “not at all” comfortable traveling to places in the U.S., like parts of Florida, where people have been infected with Zika by mosquitoes. In contrast, six in ten say they would be not be comfortable traveling to U.S. territories like Puerto Rice where people have become infected (59 percent) or to places outside the U.S. where people have become infected (61 percent).

Individuals who report being aware of travel warnings for areas in the U.S. affected by Zika are more likely to say they are not comfortable traveling to places affected by the virus. For example, when asked about traveling to places in the U.S. like Florida where people have been infected by mosquitoes, 59 percent of individuals aware of travel warnings say that they would not be comfortable, compared to 39 percent of those who thought travel warnings had not been issued. In addition, women are not as comfortable traveling to places affected by Zika than men. Fifty-three percent of women, compared to 43 percent of men, report being not comfortable traveling to places in the U.S. where people have been infected by mosquitoes.

...Despite President Obama’s February request for almost $1.9 billion to deal with the Zika virus outbreak, U.S. Congress has not passed any additional funding. Thirty-six percent of the public say that passing new funding to deal with the outbreak in the U.S. should be a top priority, with an additional 40 percent saying it should be an important but not a top priority. Nine percent think passing new funding is not too important, and 5 percent say that new funding should not be passed at all.

There are partisan differences in these findings, with a larger share of Democrats than independents or Republicans saying Congressional funding to deal with the Zika virus outbreak should be a top priority (46 percent v. 34 percent and 27 percent). However, a large majority of all partisans say that new Congressional funding should be at least an important priority of Congress.
Lamar Smith, mosquito
The Texas progressive running for the Austin-San Antonio district congressional seat Lamar Smith holds, Tom Wakely, is worried that Smith's ideological obstructionism is getting in the way of safety for people in his state. "While departmental waste is undoubtedly a bipartisan issue that warrants investigation," he told us, "it boggles the mind that we're having a pay-for discussion in the midst of a public health crisis. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been 147 reported cases of Zika virus in the state of Texas. Twelve of these cases have occurred in counties that are represented by my district. This is no longer a threat we can view with binoculars. It is no longer an issue that can be evaluated in dollars and cents. One of the Texan cases is already confirmed as being a pregnant woman. How many children have to be born with microcephaly before our Republican-led Congress addresses this as what it is, a public health emergency? Where's the media outrage over the fact that we're treating an emergency of this nature with the fiscal scrutiny typically reserved for corporate tax rates or oil subsidies? Quite frankly, the fact that Congress is willing to treat a public health crisis with the same blasé attitude that they employ in their unconditional rejection of a Supreme Court nominee should be a grave warning to the American people. If they're willing to make a point out of a plague, where does it stop?"

And when does all the knee-jerk GOP obstructionism stop? They need a lesson they won't forget-- like defeating crackpot anti-science Republicans like Lamar Smith. In fact, defeating enough Republicans to make Paul Ryan think twice about ever pulling this kind of stunt again.

Goal Thermometer

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At 9:57 AM, Blogger orangelion03 said...

Remember, last presidential election...Ebola? Same rat-fuckers that were saying "we is all gonna die!!!" are now apparently opposed to doing anything about Zika.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Blueheron said...

Yes there's Republican obstructionism but don't forget that the Obamacare clusterf**k was passed without a single Republican vote. The two wings of the corporate party have the good cop bad cop routine down to an art form.


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