RUSH: Here from the Washington Post: "Most Americans Back NSA Tracking Phone Records, Prioritize Probes Over Privacy -- A large majority of Americans say the federal government should focus on investigating possible terrorist threats even if personal privacy is compromised, and most support the blanket tracking of telephone records in an effort to uncover terrorist activity, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll."
The numbers are 56-41. Fifty-six percent support the government doing whatever, whenever, however. Forty-one percent oppose it. "Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks. A slender majority, 52 percent, say no such broad-based monitoring should occur."
Now, did we see polls like this from the media even after 9/11, 2001, or after other terror attacks? I don't know; maybe we did, but I don't remember them. But all of a sudden now, in the midst of all of these scandals, PRISM, Verizon, all this stuff, now we're getting polling data that shows a vast majority support it, and not only support it, but want more of it. More Americans back government tracking than they did in 2006 when word of this first came out. Even though we've been told, the president has told us the War on Terror is over. But the Washington Post claims that it's because of Obama being president. "With a Democratic president at the helm instead of a Republican, partisan views have turned around significantly."
This is hilarious, for instance, from the article. "Compared with a 2002 Pew poll, Democrats are now 12 percentage points more apt to support the government’s monitoring of all e-mails and other online activity if officials say that it might help prevent terrorist attacks."
So if the government says they've gotta do it, it's fine with us. If our government tells us that they've gotta sweep every bit of online data, it's fine with us. Apparently the only right to privacy Democrats now believe in is the right to privacy that allows for universal abortions and over-the-counter morning after abortion pills for everybody. But the important difference to bear in mind here is that we now know that Obama is targeting Americans, and we're getting these polling results. These polls would make sense if the American people were being told that all of this data mining were focusing on foreigners and Al-Qaeda and external threats, but we're not being told that.
We're being told bluntly, with no attempt to hide it, that it is Americans' data which is being mined. It is Americans who are being targeted, which Bush never did. But it looks like the Democrats are fine with that, according to this poll in the Washington Post. As long as Obama is targeting the right Americans, like those dangerous Tea Party people, then everything's fine with these Democrats. Just amazing. That's the Washington Post version of the poll. I've got the Pew Research Center version of the poll in this next story.
"Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic." But it breaks down along party lines. The Democrats, a vast majority, are all for it, doesn't matter, doesn't matter what the details are. If it's the Obama administration doing it, then they're all in.
Now, there's another story here from Politico. and it's something that we touched on last week. Here's the headline of the story: President Obama Welcomes the Plot Twist." Obama welcomes all of this news on Edward Snowden. "President Barack Obama needed a plot twist -- badly. Enter Edward Snowden. The 29-year-old contractor who says he leaked the documents on the National Security Agency’s snooping activities has become a gripping story on his own -- stealing the show from the spying program itself."
Exactly. Which is why I said yesterday, the guy is insignificant. Who he is, where he is, how old he is, everything about him, aside from it being interesting, he is irrelevant. We are being spied on and monitored at an unprecedented level. It has never happened. Sweeping levels, multiple programs, that should be the focus, and Obama knows it. But since there's a guy to focus on now, like in a spy novel, Edward Snowden, Obama is ecstatic that this guy's story has surfaced, because it's got everybody's attention diverted. And now the media is fixated on new questions about Snowden and why he did it. His background. The decisions, like the one to go to Hong Kong, where he is. It is a reprieve for Obama.
If you think back, Obama was taking some hits in the press, even from Democrats, for running a program, building on a program that everybody hated, supposedly when Bush was administering it. But now Snowden surfaces and takes Obama off the hook or at least the focus away from Obama. The PRISM story. It's a little bit of a distraction.
You know how I know that, or you know why I think that? Because of how eager the media is to cover it, how happy the media is to cover it. 'Cause one thing I know, the media is never -- and this is gonna depress you, I know. This is gonna make you throw up your hands and say, "Well, what are we doing this for, Rush?"
The media is never going to do anything that will result in real harm to Obama. It isn't going to happen, no matter what, there isn't anything. I can't think of a thing within the realm of reality that could happen that would make the media turn on Obama. So therefore when they focus on PRISM, it's because they think focusing on PRISM helps him. And the reason focusing on PRISM helps him is because it ignores the other NSA scandals. It ignores the IRS scandal. It ignores the DOJ scandal. It once again puts Benghazi off the other side, and also distracts attention away from immigration and amnesty, all of which are far more damning.
RUSH: Speaking of polling data, this is an NBC poll, and some might look at this as good news. To me it's all meaningless. We just finished with a series of polls, reviewing a poll from the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, which basically said that most Democrats are all for all of this government surveillance, every bit of it and more, all for it. They trust Obama. They like Obama. They like the Democrats. If it were Bush doing it, they would all oppose it. So it's ideological. Depends on your party affiliation. Now, this poll from NBC says that many Americans blame government welfare for persistent poverty. Big whoop. They still elect Democrats.
So what does this poll mean? What does it really mean? "Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to 'end welfare as we know it --'" Now, that just ignites me. Bill Clinton fought welfare reform tooth and nail. How many times did he veto it? Twice, three times? Bill Clinton only signed welfare reform into law in order to get reelected in 1996, or to help his reelection. Welfare reform was and always will be a conservative idea. And yet, NBC has a poll, and it says that most Americans blame welfare for persistent poverty, so how does this stupid story start?
"Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to 'end welfare as we know it --'" Bill Clinton didn't do any such thing. Well, he was forced into it. He never would have done it if left to his own devices. Nevertheless, this is what I mean, media crediting Bill Clinton for this. So two decades after the great and wondrous Bill Clinton gave us welfare reform, "Americans blame government handouts for persistent poverty in the United States more than any other single factor.
"Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose 'too much government welfare that prevents initiative.'" Now, you might say, well, where were these people in November? Where are these people at any time voting for Democrats? Do they not know what the Democrat Party stands for? Folks, this is where I share every ounce of your frustration. This is where I am totally in compliance with you, in agreement. This is as frustrating a bit of news, poll, and it's probably designed to be just that. And who, of course, has exacerbated this? Barack Obama.
Barack Obama has blown the welfare system up to smithereens. More and more people in this country are on welfare. More and more people in this country are on disability. More and more people in this country are on Medicaid. More and more people in this country are not taking care of themselves. More and more people in this country are not providing for themselves.
And in the midst of all that we've got a poll saying the vast majority of Americans disapprove of it. Well, who did they reelect? So, yeah, this is one of those things you throw your hands up in total frustration. "Whether Americans are too dependent on government was a flashpoint of the presidential campaign last year, and shrinking government has been a focus of the Tea Party movement, which has risen since the election of President Barack Obama." Yet Obama still won.
"'Lack of job opportunities' was the second most popular answer, at 18 percent, followed by 'lack of good educational opportunities' and 'breakdown of families,' with 13 percent apiece. The other four options in the poll, in descending order, were 'lack of work ethic,' 'lack of government funding,' 'drugs' and 'racial discrimination.' ... The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked a similar question about poverty in September 1994, during a congressional campaign that focused in part on personal responsibility and the role of welfare.
"That poll asked about poverty 'in our nation’s inner cities,' and did not include welfare as a possible response. The leading answer was 'lack of job opportunities,' at 31 percent. ... Between the two polls, the shape of country’s approach to fighting poverty has changed markedly -- particularly after welfare itself was overhauled in 1996 under Clinton."
Folks, that is just BS. If welfare's been an option as a response, it would have polled at the top back then, too, but it wasn't. If welfare had been an option in the poll in 1994 to explain persistent poverty, it would have been at the top back then, too. So here you have a poll, that most of the American people voted totally against what they know and what they believe, and as far as anybody in the low-information crowd's concerned, Bill Clinton was the last politician that ever cared about reforming welfare.