ThinkFast: September 14, 2009

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, President Obama pledged that he will “own” any health care legislation that gets passed. “You know, I intend to be president for a while and once this bill passes, I own it,” he said. Obama added that the legislative debate had become “a big circus instead of focusing on health care.”

In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, opposition to President Obama’s health care reform efforts “eased somewhat, and there appears to be potential for further softening among critics.” The poll found 46 percent in favor of the proposed changes and 48 percent opposed. Fifty-five percent said they like the idea of a public option.

On the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, President Obama will discuss “the need to take the next series of steps in financial regulatory reform” in a speech at Federal Hall today. Obama “will use Lehman Brothers as a starting point to again decry a hands-off approach from Washington that enabled irresponsible lending that sent the nation’s largest financial institutions to the brink of collapse.”

A new AP poll finds that most Americans are still deeply concerned about the economy. Seventy percent of respondents “lack confidence” that the federal government has taken the appropriate safeguards to prevent another financial meltdown, and 80 percent rate the condition of the economy as poor.

Nonprofit organizations are upset that current drafts of health care legislation won’t address their rising health care costs. The main bill in the House, for example, “would award a tax credit to small businesses that provide their employees with health insurance — but nonprofits do not pay income taxes and thus would not benefit.”

A 20-nation BBC World Service opinion poll released today finds that stimulus spending has global support. The polling found that an average of 60 percent of respondents in any given country favor “significantly increasing government spending to stimulate the economy.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration’s decision to side with the United Steelworkers and impose tariffs on Chinese tires is expected to please blue-collar workers and labor leaders. The tariffs on Chinese tires, which were put in place as “a sort of time-out to allow U.S. companies to adjust,” will remain in place for three years before expiration.

“Iran and world powers attempting to resolve a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program will start talks in early October,” state-run Press TV reported today. On Saturday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that international talks with Iran should focus on the country’s nuclear program. “We’re not talking for talking’s sake,” said Gibbs.

63 percent: Americans who “believe that news stories are often inaccurate,” according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. When Pew first asked the question in 1985, only “34 percent of respondents believed stories were frequently inaccurate.”

And finally: With Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) getting all the attention these days, Politico caught up with Amb. Joseph Wilson — who was the talk of the town during the Bush administration’s CIA leak scandal — to ask him what he thinks of the current controversy. “As intemperate as it may have been, the only thing that he and I share is a common first and last name,” he replied, adding, “Accordingly, I really have no comment other than I now use my ambassadorial title more frequently so as not to be confused with him.”

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