Wednesday, May 30, 2007


This is President Bush’s approval rating in a new Harris poll. I just have to wonder who exactly makes up these 28%.

Can this number drop anymore?

Is this the lowest level of his presidency or can it go lower?


Bush Approval Rating Falls to 28%,Lowest Level So Far, in Harris Poll

President Bush's approval rating slipped to new lows in the most recent Harris Interactive survey, but he's not alone: For the first time since the series began, all of the political figures and institutions included in the survey have negative performance ratings.

Of the 1,001 American adults polled online April 20-23, only 28% had a positive view of Mr. Bush's job performance, down from 32% in February and from a high of 88% in the aftermath of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The current rating is his weakest showing since his inauguration.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice garnered the approval of 45% of those surveyed, down from 46% in February, and approval of Defense Secretary Robert Gates slid to 29% in the latest poll, from 32% in February.


On a side note, how does Condoleezza Rice have an approval of 45%?

This woman has been pathetic at her jobs in the Bush Administration. She was the worst National Security Advisor, and may be the worst Secretary of State.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Senate Intel Redux

Walter Pincus and Karen DeYoung write in The Washington Post on Saturday: "Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and 'probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups' in the Muslim world."

James Gerstenzang writes in the Los Angeles Times: "In early 2003, even as their deputies were receiving the intelligence community papers, top administration officials -- among them Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld -- publicly speculated that U.S. troops would be greeted warmly as liberators and gave no hint that some analysts were raising red flags about difficulties to come."
Here's the full report.

Bush Lies About Polls

President Bush Proves Delusional or he is Lying about the polls. President Bush some how is making the claim that the public actually supports his policy on Iraq and opposes withdrawal. The facts tell a different story, all polls agree that public wants a withdrawal.

From White House Watch By Dan Froomkin

Bush's Opinion

I often wonder why more news stories don't start: "President Bush yesterday again denied reality. . . . "

And then along comes this delightful surprise from Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press:

"Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

"Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

"The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out -- they want to give the military more support in its mission.

"'Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq,' he said April 24, ahead of a veto showdown with congressional Democrats over their desire to legislation a troop withdrawal timeline. 'I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course.'

"Increasingly isolated on a war that is going badly, Bush has presented his alternative reality in other ways, too. He expresses understanding for the public's dismay over the unrelenting sectarian violence and American losses that have passed 3,400, but then asserts that the public's solution matches his.

"'A lot of Americans want to know, you know, when?' he said at a Rose Garden news conference Thursday. 'When are you going to win?'

"Also in that session, Bush said: 'I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say,

"Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave." I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well.'

"In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving -- not winning -- is their main goal. . . .

"Bush aides say poll questions are asked so many ways, and often so imprecisely, that it is impossible to conclude that most Americans really want to get out. Failure, Bush says, is not what the public wants -- they just don't fully understand that that is just what they will get if troops are pulled out before the Iraqi government is capable of keeping the country stable on its own. . . .

"Independent pollster Andrew Kohut said of the White House view: 'I don't see what they're talking about.'"


What a surprise, George W. Bush lying to the American people again, and about the war in Iraq War no less.

The truly disturbing thing is that he is blatantly lying. There is no way Bush can think this will not get fact-checked. So he is either lying about public opinion on the war, he has decided that lying to the public is, again, the best strategy for a president to take with his people, or he is delusional. If he truly believes what he is saying, that the American public is with him, we should be very afraid, because he is not just an idiot, but he's crazy.

The Associated Press has more:

From AP:

The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out — they want to give the military more support in its mission....
Bush said: "I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, `Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well."

In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving — not winning — is their main goal....

Independent pollster Andrew Kohut said of the White House view: "I don't see what [the White House is] talking about."

"[People] want to know when American troops are going to leave," Kohut, director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, said of the public. "They certainly want to win. But their hopes have been dashed."Kohut has found it notable that there's such a consensus in poll findings.

"When the public hasn't made up its mind or hasn't thought about things, there's a lot of variation in the polls," he said. "But there's a fair amount of agreement now."

The president didn't used to try to co-opt polling for his benefit. He just said he ignored it.

Banning Photos of the wounded

From the NYT
“They are basically asking me to stand in front of a unit before I go out with them and say that in the event that they are wounded, I would like their consent,” he said. “We are already viewed by some as bloodsucking vultures, and making that kind of announcement would make you an immediate bad luck charm.”“They are not letting us cover the reality of war,” he added. “I think this has got little to do with the families or the soldiers and everything to do with politics.”....Until last year, no permission was required to publish photographs of the wounded, but families had to be notified of the soldier’s injury first. Now, not only is permission required, but any image of casualties that shows a recognizable name or unit is off-limits. And memorials for the fallen in Iraq can no longer be shown, even when the unit in question invites coverage.We quite literally have a government that no longer believes in the very freedoms it claims our troops are dying for.

Did the CIA Order Analysts to Cherry-Pick Intel for Iraq War?

Author's Peter Eiser and Knut Royce reveal in their new book "The Italian Letter" that Alan Foley, the head of the CIA’s Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center, cherry-picked evidence to make the case for war in Iraq:
One day in December 2002, Foley called his senior production managers to his office. He had a clear message for the men and women who controlled the output of the center’s analysts: “If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.” The directive was not quite an order to cook the books, but it was a strong suggestion that cherry-picking and slanting not only would be tolerated, but might even be rewarded.

Blocking Progress on Climate Change

As the threat of global climate crisis grows, the global mechanisms for averting disaster are being gutted. A new report published by the National Academy of Sciences found that from 2000 to 2004, global industry emitted roughly 7.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide, millions more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had projected "under its most extreme scenario." Meanwhile, the world's only international pact mandating cuts in carbon emissions, the Kyoto Protocol, is set to expire in 2012.

With this backdrop, Bush administration negotiators met this week in Germany in advance of next month's G8 summit of the world's richest nations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has "been pushing hard to get the Group of 8 to take significant action on climate change," setting bold new standards to take the place of Kyoto. Virtually alone in resisting her is President Bush. "In unusually harsh language," Bush administration negotiators rejected Germany's proposal, complaining that it "crosses multiple red lines in terms of what we simply cannot agree to."

The Bush administration is blocking real action on climate change. Bush's drive to hobble the G8 climate change declaration was first uncovered two weeks ago, when reports showed that the United States was seeking to eliminate a section in the G8 draft that included "a pledge to limit the global temperature rise this century to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as an agreement to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."

Bush administration officials also tried to eliminate draft language that said, "We acknowledge that the U.N. climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change." The administration is also blocking local progress on climate change, refusing to approve efforts by 12 states "to institute tougher standards for tailpipe emissions than U.S. regulations require." In an op-ed last week, Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Jodi Rell (R-CT) charged that Bush's resistance borders on malfeasance." Also, recently more than 20 major U.S. corporations joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, agreeing to a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction by 2050, far beyond what even the G8 is calling for.

Climate change will drastically affect some of those least able to afford adaptations to its effects. Noting the focus on anti-poverty measures at recent G8 summits, the international development group Oxfam has issued a new report highlighting the "deep injustice in the impacts of climate change": the poor nations least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming will bear the brunt of its devastating impacts.

For Africa that means dramatic reductions in agricultural productivity, hundreds of millions newly exposed to water shortages, a 5 percent to 10 percent loss in GDP in coastal countries, and an expanded range of malaria to exhaust already-deficient heath services. The World Bank estimates that 40 percent of development assistance and concessional financing -- approximately $40 billion annually -- is directed at activities that will be affected by climate change. Oxfam estimates that it will cost developing countries $50 billion a year to adapt to climate change.Coal is not the key to the reducing global warming emissions.

Meanwhile, even as congressional leaders draft legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, "a powerful roster of Democrats and Republicans is pushing to subsidize coal as the king of alternative fuels." Prodded by "intense lobbying from the coal industry," lawmakers from coal states are proposing that taxpayers spend billions of dollars to subsidize the coal industry's production of liquid diesel fuel. This is a dangerously backwards idea. Coal-to-liquid fuels "produce almost twice the volume of greenhouse gases as ordinary diesel," and the production process of such fuels "creates almost a ton of carbon dioxide for every barrel of liquid fuel." Congressional supporters of coal-to-liquids argue that "coal-based fuels are more American than gasoline." But the only responsible way to achieve American energy independence is to create policies that also reduce global warming. That can be done with low-carbon, alternative transportation fuels, including American-grown biofuels.