Monday, March 31, 2014


Support For The Death Penalty Is Shrinking In The U.S.

There is a bit of good news for those of us who oppose the death penalty. It seems that support for giving criminals the death penalty is shrinking in the Unites States. Back in 1996, support for the death penalty had reached a high of 78% (with only 18% opposing it), but by 2011 that support had dropped by 16 points to 62% supporting and 31% opposing it. And by 2013, support for the death penalty had dropped another 7 points (to 55% for and 37% against).

These figures come from the Pew Research Center, which periodically surveys Americans on the issue. The latest survey was done between March 21st and April 8th of 2013 of a nationwide sample of 4,006 adults.

Now some of you may be thinking that this shrinking of support may just be an illusion, since support for the death penalty has tended to rise and fall in this country. But that fluctuation of support in the past has been mainly among Whites in America, who made up the vast majority of the population. But the White portion of the population is also shrinking, and at some time not too far in the future, Whites are no longer going to be in the majority in this country. This demographic change cannot be stopped, or even slowed -- and it is this change that is probably driving the current shrinkage in support for the death penalty.

Not that while Whites still have a significant majority supporting the death penalty (63%), minority groups do not. Both Blacks and Hispanics show an opposition to the death penalty that is double-digits above their support for it. Non-Whites know that our criminal justice system is not fair to everyone -- and that Non-Whites have a much greater chance of not getting a fair trial, and a much greater chance of being given the death penalty than Whites.

And since they know this as fact, there is very little likelihood that they will start to support the death penalty in the future. That means that this current demographic change happening in this country could be the factor that finally eliminates the death penalty as an option in this nation (even in death penalty loving states like Texas, who will be among the first of the states to experience the demographic change).

I believe this is a good thing. Supporting the death penalty separates the U.S. from most other developed nations (who no longer allow the death penalty), and puts us in the company of nations like China, Iran, Uganda, North Korea, etc.). For me, killing people to show people that killing is wrong simply makes no sense.

And we have undoubtably put some innocent people to death in our zeal to support executions. Our criminal justice system is far from perfect, and hundreds have been released from prison recently after being proven to have been innocent. That's bad enough, but executing an innocent person is unforgivable and can never be rectified.

But perhaps the best reason to do away with the death penalty is because it just doesn't work. Supporters of the death penalty will tell you that it discourages others from committing murders. That is just not true. The fact is that the murder rate in states with the death penalty is significantly higher than in states without the death penalty (see chart below). Also note that ten of the eleven states with the highest murder rates in the United States are death penalty states. This would not be true if the death penalty was a real deterrent.

Innocent ?

Political Cartoon is by John Darkow in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

New Mexico Voters Support Hillary For President

New Mexico has a Republican governor, but that is an anomaly. It has become one of the most reliably "blue" states in the nation. New Mexico voted for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012 by a substantial margin -- and a new Public Policy Polling survey shows they are ready to vote Democratic again in 2016 (especially if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate). Note that Hillary currently holds a double-digit lead in New Mexico over all the leading Republican contenders.

The survey was done between March 20th and 23rd of 674 registered voters in New Mexico, and has a margin of error of 3.8 points.

Crabby Old Man

Political Cartoon is by Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune.

U.S. Green Party Says The World's Two Biggest Dangers (War & Environmental Destruction) Are Linked

Perhaps the two biggest evils that organized societies have invented are the "twin evils" of war and environmental destruction. These evils, either individually or in tandem, could actually destroy mankind.

The Green Party believes these two evil are inextricably linked, and feed into each other. I believe they are probably right about that. Here is how David Swanson (pictured) of the Green Party Shadow Cabinet explains it in an article he wrote on March 27th:

Anyone who cares about our natural environment should be marking with great sadness the centenary of World War I. Beyond the incredible destruction in European battlefields, the intense harvesting of forests, and the new focus on the fossil fuels of the Middle East, the Great War was the Chemists' War. Poison gas became a weapon -- one that would be used against many forms of life.
Insecticides were developed alongside nerve gases and from byproducts of explosives. World War II -- the sequel made almost inevitable by the manner of ending the first one -- produced, among other things, nuclear bombs, DDT, and a common language for discussing both -- not to mention airplanes for delivering both.
War propagandists made killing easier by depicting foreign people as bugs. Insecticide marketers made buying their poisons patriotic by using war language to describe the "annihilation" of "invading" insects (never mind who was actually here first). DDT was made available for public purchase five days before the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. On the first anniversary of the bomb, a full-page photograph of a mushroom cloud appeared in an advertisement for DDT.
War and environmental destruction don't just overlap in how they're thought and talked about. They don't just promote each other through mutually reinforcing notions of machismo and domination. The connection is much deeper and more direct. War and preparations for war, including weapons testing, are themselves among the greatest destroyers of our environment. The U.S. military is a leading consumer of fossil fuels. From March 2003 to December 2007 the war on Iraq alone released more CO2 than 60% of all nations.
Rarely do we appreciate the extent to which wars are fought for control over resources the consumption of which will destroy us. Even more rarely do we appreciate the extent to which that consumption is driven by wars. The Confederate Army marched up toward Gettysburg in search of food to fuel itself. (Sherman burned the South, as he killed the Buffalo, to cause starvation -- while the North exploited its land to fuel the war.) The British Navy sought control of oil first as a fuel for the ships of the British Navy, not for some other purpose. The Nazis went east, among several other reasons, for forests with which to fuel their war. The deforestation of the tropics that took off during World War II only accelerated during the permanent state of war that followed.
Wars in recent years have rendered large areas uninhabitable and generated tens of millions of refugees. Perhaps the most deadly weapons left behind by wars are landmines and cluster bombs. Tens of millions of them are estimated to be lying around on the earth. The Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan have destroyed or damaged thousands of villages and sources of water. The Taliban has illegally traded timber to Pakistan, resulting in significant deforestation. U.S. bombs and refugees in need of firewood have added to the damage. Afghanistan's forests are almost gone. Most of the migratory birds that used to pass through Afghanistan no longer do so. Its air and water have been poisoned with explosives and rocket propellants.
The United States fights its wars and even tests its weapons far from its shores, but remains pockmarked by environmental disaster areas and superfund sites created by its military. The environmental crisis has taken on enormous proportions, dramatically overshadowing the manufactured dangers that lie in Hillary Clinton's contention that Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler or the common pretense in Washington, D.C., that Iran is building nukes or that killing people with drones is making us safer rather than more hated. And yet, each year, the EPA spends $622 million trying to figure out how to produce power without oil, while the military spends hundreds of billions of dollars burning oil in wars fought to control the oil supplies. The million dollars spent to keep each soldier in a foreign occupation for a year could create 20 green energy jobs at $50,000 each. The $1 trillion spent by the United States on militarism each year, and the $1 trillion spent by the rest of the world combined, could fund a conversion to sustainable living beyond most of our wildest dreams. Even 10% of it could.
When World War I ended, not only did a huge peace movement develop, but it was allied with a wildlife conservation movement. These days, those two movements appear divided and conquered. Once in a blue moon their paths cross, as environmental groups are persuaded to oppose a particular seizure of land or military base construction, as has happened in recent months with the movements to prevent the U.S. and South Korea from building a huge naval base on Jeju Island, and to prevent the U.S. Marine Corps from turning Pagan Island in the Northern Marianas into a bombing range. But try asking a well-funded environmental group to push for a transfer of public resources from militarism to clean energy or conservation and you might as well be trying to tackle a cloud of poison gas.
I'm pleased to be part of a movement just begun at, already with people taking part in 57 nations, that seeks to replace our massive investment in war with a massive investment in actual defense of the earth. I have a suspicion that big environmental organizations would find great support for this plan were they to survey their members.

Payday Loan Industry

Political Cartoon is by Daryl Cagle at

Koch Threat

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Errant Bible

Repeal The Patriot Act And Stop Spying On U.S. Citizens

(The cartoon image above is by Nate Beeler in The Columbus Dispatch.)

"Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. . .
Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.
The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them."
Those words could be describing the massive government spying on its own citizens that the U.S. government is doing today, but they're actually from a report by the Church Committee in 1976 (U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities). The idea of the U.S. government illegally and unconstitutionally spying on American citizens is not new. The government has been doing that for decades now. The COINTELPRO program by the FBI back in the 60's and early 70's gathered information on over a million citizens -- and it was just one of many spying programs the government was engaging in.

But as egregious and unconstitutional as these programs were, they look like a drop in the bucket when compared to the massive spying on U.S. citizens that is currently happening. The federal intelligence and policing agencies saw a golden opportunity after the 9/11 tragedy in 2001, and they used that tragedy to con Congress and the American people into thinking more spying was needed to protect this country from "terrorism". Congress responded by passing the Patriot Act and the public accepted it -- both out of fear, and without realizing the awesome and unconstitutional power they were granting the government.

The government promised that they would not use these new powers to spy on American citizens, but just to gather information on foreign nationals who posed a danger to the United States. They lied. No government power ever goes unused, and they had been given the power to spy on (gather data on) hundreds of millions of people -- both citizens and non-citizens. And that's just what they did. They collected and stored data on untold millions of American citizens -- and they did it in secret and without getting a search warrant (as required by the Constitution). And most people were blissfully ignorant of this until it was exposed by Edward Snowden.

Now that the massive spying on citizens has been exposed, the government is trying to do a little public relations to repair their image. The president (and some members of Congress) recently revealed a plan to introduce legislation that would stop the government storage of this "meta-data", and would leave that storage to the various telecommunications companies (who supposedly could destroy it after some undetermined period of time). The idea is to convince American citizens that the massive spying is going to stop, but the truth is that the government will still have access (secretly) to all of the same information.

This proposed bill is akin to putting a band-aid on a bullet wound -- it might do a tiny bit of good, but it falls far short of fixing the problem and the patient (democracy) will probably still die. Much more needs to be done, and nothing less than a full repeal of the Patriot Act . Some will say that the law is needed to protect this country -- but you don't protect a democracy by turning it into a police state (where the government can spy on its citizens at will).

Safer ?

Political Cartoon is by Jim Morin in The Miami Herald.

Young Voters Provide A Portrait Of The GOP's Future

The chart above shows the political preference of young voters (ages 18 to 29) over the last 20 years. Note that as the Republican Party has become more extreme in both political and social views, these younger voters have trended toward the Democratic Party -- and currently the Democrats enjoy an 18 point advantage over the Republicans with young voters.

This gives us a glimpse of the GOP's future -- as these young voters grow older and replace today's senior voters (who show a small preference for the Republican Party). Some of you may think this will change as these young voters grow older -- that they will grow more conservative. But the chart below shows that probably is a false hope. Note that among Whites the gap between the parties is much closer (only a 2 point gap), and that is unlikely to change.

The reason the young voters are trending toward the Democrats is because that generation has a much larger percentage of Non-Whites (more than any preceding generation). And the percentage of Non-Whites will continue to grow in future generations, as this country steadily marches toward the day when Whites will be the voting minority. This current portrait of young voter party preference will be the portrait of the entire electorate in a few years.

The Republican Party could change this by moderating their views, rhetoric, and policies -- but that won't happen as long as the teabaggers and religious fundamentalists control the party (as they currently do in most states). Some believe the Republicans will eventually return to being a more moderate party. I'm not so sure. If they can't kick the teabaggers and fun dies out of power, they will eventually go the way of the Whigs -- and a new and more moderate party will have to be formed.

We'll know in a few years if the GOP can be saved, or will be replaced -- and it will be an interesting party battle to watch.

These charts were made from yearly surveys of about 18,000 nationwide adults by the Gallup Poll. The margin of error for 18 to 29 year-olds is between 1 and 2 points.

Out Of The Club

Political Cartoon is by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer.

Religion Most Important For A Happy Life? - Most Say No

Religious fundamentalists would have us believe that the most important thing necessary to have a happy life is religion (specifically the christian religion). They think religion is so important that it should be forced on all citizens in schools and at public events (including government-sponsered events). And they don't care that it's unconstitutional, because they would like to replace the Constitution with the Bible anyway.

Fortunately, most Americans don't agree with them. In fact, every single age group in the United States has only 19% or less that rates religion as most important to have a happy life -- while every single age group has a larger percentage saying religion is the least important thing necessary for a happy life. And each generation has a bigger percentage saying it is least important -- from 22% among those 65 & older to 46% among those 18 to 29.

This shouldn't really surprise anyone, since this mirrors the results of polls that say each generation is less religious than the one before it. The fact is, whether the fundamentalists want to admit it or not, that this is a secular country -- and it is becoming more so with each generation. While about 80% of the population claims to be at least somewhat religious, less than a quarter of that percentage consider religion important enough to rule how they live their lives or would want religion to determine the laws they must live under.

Here are how demographic groups other than age view the question of whether religion is most or least important to live a happy life:

These charts were made from information in a recent YouGov Poll -- taken between March 14th and 16th of 1,000 nationwide adults (with a margin of error between 3.5 and 4.0 points).

Dignity ?

Political Cartoon is by Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star.

Science And Religion

Saturday, March 29, 2014

If The Free Market Works . . .

Obamacare Insurance Purchases Race Past 6 Million

Everyone was wondering if the sign-ups for private insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would get to 6 million before the March 31st deadline. Now it has passed that goal, with at least 6.141 million sign-ups through March 26th -- five days before the deadline. That means there have been 1.9 million sign-ups so far in March, and it looks like that will easily top 2 million by the end of the month.

Although the administration said they would not extend the deadline, they are now saying there will be a "grace period" of a couple of weeks for those who experienced computer problems or extremely long waiting lines. The question now is just how close will we get to the original estimate of 7 million sign-ups. I think it's going to be pretty damn close!

Meanwhile, the Gallup Poll tried to find out what those without insurance were planning to do. Between March 1st and 26th, they questioned 1,322 nationwide adults without health insurance (and their survey had a 3 point margin of error). What they found out was that most of these people were governed by political ideology rather than any perceived need to health insurance -- with Republicans having a majority saying they would pay a fine (58%), while the vast majority of Democrats (75%) saying they would buy insurance (and Independents falling in the middle, with 52% saying they would buy insurance and 39% saying they would pay a fine).

I find that rather sad, because while it may make someone feel good right now to make a political statement by paying a fine, that fine won't pay for any medical care (and everyone sooner or later will need medical care -- and if it's serious it could wreck a families finances).


And while we're on the subject of insurance and health care, the Gallup Poll just released their year-long study of health care in 2013 (by questioning 178,067 nationwide adults between January 2nd and December 29th of 2013). Because of the large number of respondents, most states had a margin of error between 1 & 2 points.

The chart below shows the eleven states with the highest percentage of people who say they didn't have enough money to get needed health care or medications at some point during 2013. I have also included the percentage of that state that doesn't have any kind of health insurance.

Some of these states may improve their position this year, since they have decided to expand their Medicaid program (West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona, Arkansas). The other seven states are still refusing to expand Medicaid, and will most assuredly appear on this negative list again next year. The (Y) or (N) appearing by the state name shows whether they are expanding Medicaid or not.

Red State Health Plan

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

Domestic Violence And Guns Don't Mix - And A Better Background Check Law Could Save Women's Lives

There are a few facts that are beyond debate. That women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries. That the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. And that the majority of women murdered with a gun are killed by their spouse or intimate partners (either current or ex) -- which means a woman is more likely to be killed by her domestic partner than by a criminal.

These facts are why a federal law was passed preventing someone with a domestic violence conviction (even a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence) from owning or possessing a gun. Recently, gun rights groups tried to use a Tennessee case to weaken that federal law. A man, who had been buying guns and selling them on the black market, was arrested and charged with possession of a gun by a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. He tried to get his conviction overturned by claiming the Tennessee law on domestic violence (which he had pled guilty to) didn't specify domestic violence had to include physical force.

But the United States Supreme Court wasn't buying his ridiculous argument. They reinstated his conviction (which had been tossed out by a lower court judge). Writing for the majority, Justice Sotomayor said it was sufficient that he had pled guilty to having "intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to" his child's mother. This decision removes any doubt as to whether a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is sufficient to deny the right to possess a firearm, and if the federal law is enforced it should save a lot of women's lives.

One of the best ways to enforce this constitutional law is to make sure a background check is done before a gun is sold. These background checks will expose any convictions for domestic violence -- and between 1998 and 2012 some 143,852 gun sales were denied because of domestic violence convictions or restraining orders.

The problem though is that far too many gun sales in this country are done without a background check (over 6.6 million in 2012) -- and that makes it easy for a domestic violence abuser to get his hands on a gun. This happens because many gunshot sales, sales between private individuals, and internet sales are not subject to a background check (thanks to the refusal of Congress to plug these glaring loopholes in the background check law).

Domestic abusers have already shown they are prone to violence -- and if they are violent to those they claim to love, then how much more violent could they be to someone else if angered? The law restricting their purchase or possession of a firearm should be strictly enforced -- both by the swift action of law enforcement and by a good background check law.

The Supreme Court has done its part. Now it is time for Congress to do its part -- and plug up the holes in the background check law. The people want this because they know it will save countless lives. And the inaction by Congress to fix the background check law is inexcusable.

Putin Envy

Political Cartoon is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Hillary Looks Good Against The GOP Field In Colorado

This information is from a Public Policy Polling survey of 568 registered voters in Colorado (including 255 GOP primary voters) done between March 13th and 16th. It had a margin of error of 4.1 points (6.1 points for Republicans only).

The Altar

Political Cartoon is by Tom Toles in the Washington Post.

Corporate Evil

Friday, March 28, 2014

Minimum Wage

Senate Democrats Ready To Play Hardball Politics

(This caricature of the major political party symbols is by DonkeyHotey.)

It looks like I may have underestimated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada). While he (and the Senate Democrats) gave in to the Republicans far too many times during the early years of the Obama administration, it seems like he may have learned his lesson. He stood firm at the end of the last Congress, and was able to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich (and raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 20%). Then he refused to back down when the Republicans tried to shut down the government to repeal or defund Obamacare, and we watched as the GOP gave in and retreated in ignominious defeat.

Now Reid (and his Democratic cohorts in the Senate) are ready to play that same kind of political hardball with the 2014 election drawing closer. They want to make the Republicans go on record with their votes to support the untenable positions they have (positions opposed by a majority of American voters). The Democrats are going to force a vote on a series of issues like raising the minimum wage, closing the pay gap between the genders, lowering the interest rates on college loans, and closing the tax loopholes for corporations.

The beauty of this new strategy is that there's no way the Republicans can stop it. It really doesn't even matter if the Democrats can get those matters to the Senate floor for a real vote on them -- because a Republican vote to continue a filibuster and prevent the measure from getting to the Senate floor will be perceived by the public as a vote against the measure. All the Democrats have to do is hold a series of cloture votes (votes to end a filibuster and bring a measure up for a vote), and any vote by Republicans to continue to block the measure with a filibuster will be seen as a vote against the measure.

And hopefully, the Democrats won't stop with just one effort to invoke cloture on all these measures -- but will continue to do it over and over throughout the Spring and Summer. And the make sure the voters know just how the Republicans voted each and every time. If they do, they will effectively expose the Republicans for what they really are -- the party of the rich who have no interest in helping ordinary Americans.

This is exactly what the Democrats should have been doing all along. They have let the Republicans get away with blocking measures that would help hurting Americans while giving breaks to the rich and the corporations. It is time to make sure the American public knows how little the Republicans care about them -- and the best way to do that is to make the Republicans vote repeatedly against the measures most Americans support.

Christian Values ?

Political Cartoon is by Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle.

Majority In Colorado Still back Legal Marijuana

The charts in this post were made from a Public Policy Polling survey that was done between March 13th and 16th of 568 registered voters in Colorado, with a margin of error of 4.1 points.

Well, marijuana has been legal for possession and recreational use in Colorado for three months now. No one has died or gone crazy and anarchy has not spread throughout the state. In fact, life has gone on pretty much as it did before marijuana was legalized, with three exceptions -- millions in new taxes are being reaped by the state and city governments, honest & hard-working pot users are no longer being jailed, and police in that state can now turn their attention to serious crimes (crimes that actually have victims).

Public Policy Polling decided to find out just what the citizens of Colorado think of their new law, now that it is in effect. And they found the law has actually increased in popularity. It was passed with 55% of voters approving it and 44% voting against it. But now the law has the support of 57% of the population, and is opposed by only 38% (with 8% being unsure what to think). Add to that the fact that only 33% say legal marijuana has made the state a worse place, while 61% say it has not (and 31% saying it made Colorado a better place).

Here is a demographic breakdown of support for keeping pot legal in Colorado. Note that the majority of every group (except for conservatives, Republicans, and those over 65) supports the new law.


Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Public Still Prefers Broadcast News To Cable News

The Pew Research Center has released its yearly look at the State of the News Media. It's a fairly comprehensive look at all different types of news media -- TV, radio, digital, and print media. It's an interesting read, and I recommend you go to their site and read the whole thing if this kind of thing interests you.

One of the things I found most interesting is contained in the above chart -- the primetime numbers for the major national TV news outlets. The cable news outlets would like for people to believe they are making significant inroads into the three broadcast networks, but that is just wishful thinking. The truth is that when it comes to getting news in the nightly primetime, the American public still trusts the broadcast channels over the cable channels (including Fox) -- and the numbers are not even close.

No Evidence ?

Political Cartoon is by Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

GOP Fundamentalist Hate

More Verification That Americans Want To Keep Obamacare

All of the charts in this post were made from information provided in the new Kaiser Foundation Health Tracking Poll. The survey was done between March 11th and 17th of a nationwide sample of 1,504 adults, and has a margin of error of 3 points.

Last Monday I posted about a recent Pew Research Center Poll that showed while more Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) than approve of it, a substantial majority don't want Obamacare to be repealed. They want it to be kept and improved. Now a Kaiser Foundation survey (usually pretty reliable on health care issues) has reached the same conclusion. Their survey shows that a plurality of the public (46%) still disapproves of Obamacare (see top chart).

But while many still disapprove, a clear majority (59%) of Americans want the program to be kept (and improved), while only 29% still want it to be repealed. That's a 30 point gap favoring keeping Obamacare in effect. And that is agreed to by both Democrats (89%) and Independents (52%). It is only the Republicans where a majority (58%) want it repealed (and 31% of Republicans want Obamacare to be kept -- nearly one out of every three).

Why do most people want Obamacare to be kept instead of repealed? The third chart above gives us a big clue to that. When you question people about whether they like certain aspects of Obamacare, you find that a majority approves of nearly every provision in Obamacare. The only provision not approved of by a majority of Americans is the individual mandate.

And I think most people don't really understand the individual mandate. They have heard the Republicans tell them lies about it -- like it will force Americans to buy insurance they can't afford, and will affect most Americans. That's not true. The people who really can't afford to buy private insurance will get help from the government in the form of a subsidy to help pay for it. In truth, the only people who must buy insurance without government help amount to less than 6% of the population -- everyone else will either get a subsidy, are covered through their employer, or are on Medicare or Medicaid.

But the falsehoods about the individual mandate are not the only lies the Republicans have been spreading about the Affordable Care Act. They have claimed the program will not work, will provide subsidies to undocumented immigrants, and creates "death panels" to make end-of-life decisions for those on Medicare. The first is being exposed by the millions who are now covered with health insurance under Obamacare (more than 12 million at last count, and still growing). But too many people still believe the other two lies. Only 32% know that undocumented immigrants will not get any government subsidy, and only 44% know that Obamacare did not create any kind of "death panels" (see bottom two charts).

The sad fact is that the Republicans have been more effective in spreading their lies than the government has been in explaining the truth about Obamacare to the nation. That's why the disapproval numbers still outweigh the approval numbers. But as the program takes effect, and millions of new people are covered with insurance (and most others are not adversely affected), that is changing. And that's why most Americans now want to keep Obamacare in effect.