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American Attitudes Reflect A Complicated World

18 Dec

Global System FailureAmericans’ attitudes to various foreign policy issues, according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are, in a word, complicated (via Witness to Transformation). Marcus Noland takes the easy issue, North Korea.

Concern about North Korea is the number one issue in terms of America’s relations with both Japan and South Korea. On a question in which respondents were presented six possible strategic priorities in American relationships with Japan and South Korea, “preventing North Korea from building its nuclear capability” came out highest of the six possible priorities for both countries. Trying to bring about regime change in North Korea, however, is a much lower priority, with only 17 percent considering it a “very high” priority in America’s relationship with either Japan or South Korea.

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Media’s Credibility Plummets

21 Aug

Don't Trust the Mainstream Media The numbers themselves are alarming enough.

For the second time in a decade, the believability ratings for major news organizations have suffered broad-based declines. In the new survey, positive believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested. This follows a similar downturn in positive believability ratings that occurred between 2002 and 2004.

The falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as the New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR.

Across all 13 news organizations included in the survey, the average positive believability rating (3 or 4 on a 4-point scale) is 56%. In 2010, the average positive rating was 62%. A decade ago, the average rating for the news organizations tested was 71%. Since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double-digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news. The New York Times was not included in this survey until 2004, but its believability rating has fallen by 13 points since then.

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Rick Scott’s Voter Purge Draws Lawsuits

21 Jun

Florida Voter Purge At least someone is challenging Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, on his late-season voter purge.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) faces another lawsuit stemming from the purge of voter rolls leading up to the November presidential election.

Civil and voting rights organizations filed suit today alleging the purge violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bans discrimination in voting practices. “This lawsuit will protect eligible voters in every county in Florida from walking into a polling place only to find that the state has erroneously decreed they cannot participate in this election,” Catherine M. Flanagan, director of Project Vote’s Election Administration Program, said in a statement. “This purge is profoundly undemocratic and must be stopped.”

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