The president of MSNBC is whining over the unfairness of his network being soundly beaten by FOX News. "Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, says there's something fishy about Tuesday's ratings for the Fox News Channel, which were up significantly when Fox News debuted its new schedule. And he wants an investigation." If Mr. Griffin thinks he has problems, perhaps he should put himself in Speaker John Boehner's shoes. Shoes I don't particularly admire, by the way.

Boehner got blamed for supporting the sequester, which was actually President Obama's idea. He got blamed in the polls for standing tough on the un-funding of Obamacare, and then got blamed when he caved on it. He is getting blamed for "shutting down the government," which is sorta' ridiculous when you consider that 86% of all federal employees are still working, which is probably a higher attendance level than on any given work day.

polls-header-image5And are the other "non-essential" 14% just getting an extra paid vacation? If by recently enacted law we are paying them while they are not working, why don't we let them work? Costs the same, doesn't it? It is interesting to note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which controls so much of our lives, identified 94.4% of its employees as being "non-essential," and not required to stay on the job. That should tell us something!

Meanwhile, polls are saying that Republicans are being slaughtered in public opinion. NBC reports:

"The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party's popularity declining to its lowest level. By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the last shutdown in 1995-96."

Of coursec the poll cited was taken of 800 persons in Washington DC, with 11% more Democrats being called than Republicans. My guess is that they were mostly the vacationing Federal employees, since Republicans were probably at work during the calling period.

Politicians always cite polls that are favorable to them, and dismiss those that aren't. It's important that we keep in mind that most of the polls we hear about are conducted by the same news organizations that report them. Of course, polls are supposed to reflect fair and balanced public opinion. The truth is, they are seldom fair, and never balanced, as noted in the above example.

Why? Well, polls are generally created to serve either one of two purposes: To either create public opinion or to influence it. It's a vicious circle. The media reports a story, calls to ask you what you think of it, and then publishes a poll to tell you what you told them you thought of it. (Do you need to read that last sentence over again?)

If the current polls reflect negatively on the Republican Party, is the unfavorability caused by the emergence on the scene of outspoken Conservatives such as Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, as the media would like you to believe; or the result of the spineless leadership of establishment Republicans, the likes of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham and John McCain?

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The growth of Conservative "tea party" groups all over the country, the civil disobedience of aged WW II veterans seeking to visit the Washington memorial erected in their honor, and the hundreds of 18-wheelers rumbling through the streets of the nation's capital, might suggest the latter.

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