Visual source: Newseum

Robert J. Blendon, et al:

A majority of Americans express pro–stem-cell-research views in response to all four of the questions we considered. About 6 in 10 Americans (62%) believe that medical research involving stem cells obtained from human embryos is morally acceptable, whereas 30% believe it is morally wrong (Gallup 2011). Similarly, 62% favor the conducting of medical research that uses stem cells from human embryos, whereas 31% are opposed (VCU 2010). When asked in the context of stem-cell research whether they agreed or disagreed that “research involving human embryos should be forbidden, even if it means that possible treatments are not made available to ill people,” 60% of Americans said that such research should not be forbidden; 31% thought it should be forbidden (HSPH 2011). A majority (55%) believe the federal government should fund research that would use newly created stem cells obtained from human embryos; 41% believe the federal government should not fund such research (CNN-ORC 2010). (Additional data can be found in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.)

However, on every poll measure for which data are available, Republicans are less supportive than Democrats. About half of Republicans favor medical research involving embryonic stem cells (52%) and believe that such research should not be forbidden (51%), as compared with two thirds (67%) of Democrats on each of these measures (VCU 2010; HSPH 2011). On the question of federal funding, a majority (58%) of Republicans expressed opposition, whereas a majority (70%) of Democrats said they were in favor (CNN-ORC 2010).

On this issue, as on many other issues, Republicans are at odds with Democrats and independents. 30% of the country can't drive policy for the rest. Unless, of course, you are the Republican House. That's where the term 'overreach' comes from.

Oh, wait... from WaPo, a sign from above:

Growing GOP support for raising taxes to help reduce the deficit has sparked a clash within the party over whether to abandon its bedrock anti-tax doctrine.

Tensions have mounted in recent days as two of the GOP’s most fervent anti-tax stalwarts on Capitol Hill — Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) — have lobbied party colleagues behind the scenes to forgo their old allegiances and even break campaign promises by embracing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes...

Although it’s not clear how many Republicans are willing to raise taxes, the numbers have been growing in the House and Senate. Activists say they fear that the presence of rock-ribbed conservatives in that camp and support in the business community for a deal of some sort could be spurring widespread defections.

Cracks in the conservative coalition?

EJ Dionne:

Here is a surefire way to cut $7.1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Do nothing.

That’s right. If Congress simply fails to act between now and Jan. 1, 2013, the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush expire, $1.2 trillion in additional budget cuts go through under the terms of last summer’s debt-ceiling deal, and a variety of other tax cuts also go away.

Knowing this, are you still sure that a “failure” by the congressional supercommittee to reach a deal would be such a disaster?

David Ignatius:
The language the GOP candidates used was astonishing, at least for people who assume that covert activities are ones that aren’t talked about openly — much less, touted in campaign debates.

With the easy talk about waterboarding and “taking out” Iranian scientists, it seemed, too, that the party was back to 2006 — recaptured by the hard-line policies of Dick Cheney and the neoconservative ideology that undergirded them. The hawkish GOP line echoed that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in recent weeks, according to Israeli press leaks, has been arguing the case for war.

Lawrence Lessig:

So long as elections cost money, we won’t end Congress’s dependence on its funders. But we can change it. We can make “the funders” “the people.” Following Arizona, Maine and Connecticut, we could adopt a system of small-dollar public funding for Congress.


NY Times:

Like most of her friends, Hollis Romanelli graduated from college last May and promptly moved back in with her parents.

As a result, she didn’t pay rent — or a broker’s fee or renters’ insurance, for that matter. She also didn’t buy a bed, desk, couch, doormat, mop or new crockery set. Nor did she pay the cable company to send a worker to set up her TV and Internet, or a handyman to hang a newly framed diploma. She didn’t even buy drinks and snacks for a housewarming party.

In other words, Ms. Romanelli, 22, saved a lot of money. But she deprived the economy of a lot of potential activity, too.

Want to know what Occupy Wall Street has accomplished? Look no further than Chris Christie's New Jersey (Quinnipiac):
To balance the state budget, New Jersey voters support 64 – 28 percent the so-called Millionaire’s Tax, up from a high of 55 – 34 percent February 10.  Support today is 82 – 13 percent among Democrats and 67 – 25 percent among independent voters, while Republicans are opposed 54 – 38 percent.

“Maybe it’s Occupy Wall Street or maybe Garden State voters just want to see the rich folks pay more, but support for the Millionaire’s Tax is 2-1, an all-time high,” Carroll said.

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