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I can’t find much info on polling re: 9/11 conspiracy theories but I guess it was more prevalent than I realized:

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.

Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. White Americans are less likely than others to believe that either the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. Young Americans are more likely than their elders to believe the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.

via Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere.

Rasmussen tends to slant right but those are pretty considerable numbers. It’s not clear whether the positive/unsure respondents were ‘lihops’ or ‘mihops’ – let it happen on purpose vs. made it happen on purpose – as obviously not everyone who thinks Bush knew about 9/11 in advance necessarily thinks he also planned it. And mistrust of the official explanation is/was not exactly a fringe position:

– Many adults in the United States believe the current federal government has not been completely forthcoming on the issue of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 53 per cent of respondents think the Bush administration is hiding something, and 28 per cent believe it is lying.

Only 16 per cent of respondents say the government headed by U.S. president George W. Bush is telling the truth on what it knew prior to the terrorist attacks, down five points since May 2002.

via Americans Question Bush on 9/11 Intelligence: Angus Reid Global Monitor.

etc. etc.

Anyway:

-There are probably more Truthers than I realized

-There are definitely more Birthers than I realized

-The Birthers are farther from mainstream opinion than the Truthers were, though obviously the issue of 9/11 is a lot more complicated than the birth certificate stuff. The Bush-9/11 poll was taken in 2007, so it’ll be interesting to see where belief in the birther conspiracy goes as BO’s popularity changes over the course of his presidency as well.

-The birthers skew heavily toward Republicans concentrated in the South and the remaining elected members of the Republican party are concentrated in the South.  I think it’s fair to say the Birthers have more political influence at the moment than the Truthers have at any point.

WASHINGTON — The House Energy and Commerce Committee resumed work Thursday on major health care legislation, voting to establish a government-run health insurance plan, as top Republicans stepped up their criticism of the ambitious legislation.

By a vote of 35 to 24, Democrats defeated a Republican effort to eliminate a section of the bill that would create the public health insurance option.

“Our constituents should have the choice of a public plan,” said Representative Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut. “There is nothing to be scared of here. No one will be forced into the public plan.”

via Health Plan Faces Critics on Right and Left – NYTimes.com.

The House preserved some kind of public option but how bad it’ll suck (especially once the Senate gets ahold of it) remains to be seen. The Dems quoted in the article don’t sound too enthused. As for the Republicans, I’m amazed that anybody listens to a group of people that’ve been making the same bullshit sky-is-falling predictions since the introduction of Medicare.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 7/27-30. All adults. MoE 2% (No trend lines)

Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?

Yes      77

No       11

Not sure 12

So 11 percent of Americans are Obama-hating conspiracy theorists. How do they break down?

Yes   No   Not sure

Dem       93    4    3

Rep       42   28   30

Ind       83    8    9

Northeast 93    4    3

South     47   23   30

Midwest   90    6    4

West      87    7    6

via Daily Kos: State of the Nation.

Research2k is a respected pollster and this has been backed up by one other outlet. Other pollsters are going to take note of this so there’ll certainly be more of these polls to come. Not that I can recall seeing a poll on the issue but I don’t *think* we ever reached a point where 58% of Dems were unsure or outright believed Bush did 9/11. Maybe 58% of Democratic Underground readers..

(For bonus birther fun, check out the comment section of any rightwing blog-post that dares to suggest this is lunacy.)

Freshman Democratic congressman Tom Perriello — whose Virginia district leans Republican — faced a tough decision last month over whether to support the climate change bill. As he was weighing the issue, he got a letter from a non-profit group in his district that focuses on issues of importance to Hispanics. The letter urged Perriello to oppose the bill because it could raise low-income members’ utility bills. “Many of our members are on tight budgets and the sizes of their monthly utility bills are important expense items,” it read in part.

But, reports the Charlottesville Daily Progress, the letter was a fake:

“They stole our name. They stole our logo. They created a position title and made up the name of someone to fill it. They forged a letter and sent it to our congressman without our authorization,” said Tim Freilich, who sits on the executive committee of Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that tackles issues related to Charlottesville’s Hispanic community. “It’s this type of activity that undermines Americans’ faith in democracy.”

The faked letter from Creciendo Juntos was signed by “Marisse K. Acevado, Asst Member Coordinator,” an identity and position at Creciendo Juntos that do not exist.

I’ve heard of stuff like jamming phone lines in inner-city neighborhoods where parties are trying to arrange rides to the polls, putting up fliers telling people to vote on the wrong day, etc. but goddamn. TPM got the email, apparently sent by a DC lobbying firm that might as well start billing itself as “having the biggest balls on the Capitol,” ‘cuz it turns out they sent maybe a half-dozen fake letters in total, including appropriating the NAACP’s name. How brazen can you get?

via Lobby Firm Sent Forged Climate Change Letter To Congressman | TPMMuckraker.

Even in the most desperate circumstances, when you might expect the two sides to make common cause, their attempts at working together are comical, or sad. In the middle of June, Schwarzenegger sent a melon-size sculpture of bull testicles to the leader of the Democratic-controlled senate, Darrell Steinberg, to encourage lawmakers to find the requisite fortitude to close the budget deficit. Not amused, Steinberg returned the “gift” to the governor.

via Who Can Possibly Govern California? – NYTimes.com.

Arnold no longer ‘nearing’ Davis’ worst numbers. He’s there.

A new PPIC Poll in California shows Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) job approval rating dropped to a new low of 28%.

The last time a California governor’s approval rating was that low was in 2003 when then-Gov. Gray Davis faced a recall election and was in a budget standoff with the Legislature.

A record-low 14% of Californians believe the state is headed in the right direction.

via Schwarzenegger Approval Sinks to New Low — Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire.

Experts agree that California faces significant deficit problems for years to come, even if the state survives through this year. Department of Finance Director Mike Genest said the state faces a $7 billion to $8 billion structural deficit in the next fiscal year, with even worse shortfalls after that because temporary sales, vehicle taxes and income taxes end starting in 2011.

This is before anything comes up short of projections or any of around 2-3 billion in unresolved questions from this latest budget revision are dealt with. We are so fucked.

via .