A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll is out, and the results are interesting if not terribly surprising. A few highlights:
*Barack Obama has the highest net positive ratings, 49%-37% (+12 points).
*The Democratic Party is about even in terms of positive/negative ratings, at 38%-39% (-1 point).
*Republicans and the Tea Party get major thumbs down, with the Tea Party at 28%-41% (-13 points), the Republican Party at 30%-44% (-14 points), and Sarah Palin at 24%-54% (-30 points). Oh, and forget about Newt Gingrich; almost nobody likes the poor guy.
*Americans are not happy with the direction of the country (29% "right direction" vs. 62% "wrong track"), but they don't particularly blame President Obama. In fact, only 10% of Americans say that Obama is "solely responsible" for the recession, while 24% say he's "mainly responsible" and 48% "only somewhat responsible." In comparison, 14% of Americans say that George W. Bush is "solely responsible" and 33% say Bush is "mainly responsible." That's right, 47% of Americans believe - correctly, I'd point out - that George W. Bush is "solely" or "mainly" responsible for the current economic mess we find ourselves in. Only 34% of Americans say the same about Barack Obama.
*Reinforcing the previous bullet point, 62% of Americans feel that the recession is a "situation Obama inherited," while just 25% think his policies are "mostly responsible for" the recession.
*With regard to the Republican candidates for President in 2012, Mitt Romney's way ahead at 30%, with Sarah Palin far behind at 14%, Herman Cain next at 12%, Rick Perry at 8%, Ron Paul at 7%, Newt Gingrich at 6%, Tim Pawlenty at 4%, Rick Santorum at 4%, Michele Bachmann at 3%, and Jon Huntsman at 1%. We'll see how it goes, but right now it looks like Mitt Romney is the definite Republican front runner for 2012. As for Jon Huntsman? Perhaps he should try his luck in the Democratic Party in 2016? :)
Beginning Sunday, Sept. 26, NBC will be broadcasting a national "Summit" on education, which it has titled Education Nation. There will be panel discussions, an exhibit hall, and it will begin with an electronic town hall with Brian Williams, broadcast live at 12 Noon EDT (so much for people on the West Coast who might be attending religious services). NBC hopes to have several hundred thousand teachers signed up for that town hall.
In theory, one might think what NBC is doing is good - it is a focus on education as a national priority. In practice there are some serious concerns which have already been expressed publicly as well as in numerous communications to people responsible for organizing the event.
Perhaps the most significant concern is this - there are many voices being included, but the voices of parents and teachers are surprisingly not considered a significant part of setting the agenda.
Please keep reading for more details.