Below is an enormous amount of information covered in the Washington Post sent this morning by my friend Ken in Calif. Finally, a piece in the mainstream press that takes an indepth and critical look at what we Dems have known all along, i.e. the Bush administration is a nightmare on all levels. Also, I took at peek at some of my news sources this morning. There is a lot of information blasting through the no news barrier on the Downing Street Memo. More memos are being revealed about Iraq. The issue is not being shuffled under the carpet. I am convinced this is only happening because of the intense pressure from bloggers and lawmakers like John Conyers....More on that tonight... LS
This piece takes an in depth look at just what a lousy job Bush is doing altogether, the refusal to answer very important questions (and - tacitly - the press' ongoing refusal to demand answers when non-answers are given over and over). Good stuff.
I am delighted with the White House response to the new smoking gun: "We DID plan for the post-war period." Okay, I guess they did. Good job, then. Tops.
Even the Houston Chronicle, pro-Bush as it can be, is demanding answers on Smoking Gun 1. The London Times continues to get hundreds of thousands of hits on the SG1 page.
All the Bushies can do is cup their hands on their ears and go 'lalalalalala I can't hear you!!' -K
The Increasingly Unpopular President
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, June 10, 2005; 12:57 PM
When President Bush says "polls go up, and polls go down," he's about half right.
Two new public-opinion surveys show Bush's poll numbers are dropping into solidly negative territory.
In the just-out
A whopping 55 percent of those polled actually disapprove of the job he's doing, compared to 43 percent who approve.
Bush's "favorability" ratings have consistently been higher than his "approval" ratings, but even there, for the first time, there is trouble. This week's
Pollingreport.com lets you track and compare all the various
And the more you dig into the results, the worse it gets.
In fact, as with The Post's poll, the AP poll shows there is no longer a single area in which the public approves of the job Bush is doing.
On the economy, the approve/disapprove split in the AP poll is 43/54; on health care, education and the environment, 40/57; on foreign policy issues and the war on terrorism, 45/52; on the situation in Iraq, 41/56; and on Social Security, 37/59.
When is it time to start referring to Bush as an unpopular president? When his approval ratings are solidly below 50 percent for at least three months? Check. When his approval ratings on his signature issues are in the red? Check. When a clear majority of Americans say he is ignoring the public's concerns and instead has become distracted by issues that most people say they care little about? Check.
And a Reality Check
Here's how Bush described his plan for Iraq, at his
They put it bluntly: "The reconstruction of Iraq's security forces is the prerequisite for an American withdrawal from Iraq. But as the Bush administration extols the continuing progress of the new Iraqi army, the project in Baiji, a desolate oil town at a strategic crossroads in northern Iraq, demonstrates the immense challenges of building an army from scratch in the middle of a bloody insurgency."
Here's what one of the training officers -- Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- tells Shadid and Fainaru:
"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period. . . . But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."
Time to Level with the Public?
"Faced with declining public support, Mr. Bush needs to tell Americans 'it's going to take a lot more time . . . at least through the end of 2006,' and explain what still has to be done there, Sen. Joe Biden told reporters after returning from his fifth visit to Iraq.
"The Delaware senator, senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he gave his suggestion Tuesday to Stephen Hadley, Mr. Bush's national security adviser, after finding 'a total disconnect' between the situation in Iraq and optimistic statements by Mr. Bush and his top aides. . . .
"A White House aide acknowledged the Biden-Hadley meeting but had no comment on the senator's proposal, noting that Mr. Bush often speaks about the situation in Iraq."
Every Question Is an Opportunity
White House Communications Director Nicolle Davenish, in an interview on CNN with
"BASH: I want to ask you about Guantanamo Bay, the prison camp there. The president said in an interview yesterday that the government was looking at all alternatives regarding Guantanamo and terror prisoners. The press secretary, Scott McClellan, essentially said the same thing today.
"The defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that no one in the U.S. government is looking into the possibility of closing Guantanamo. So, who's right?
"DEVENISH: Well, look, I think that the president of the United States is always looking at the best way to accomplish our objectives here. Now, we remain a country at war. It's important to keep in mind who the prisoners are that are at Guantanamo. These are enemy combatants who were picked up on the battlefields of Afghanistan primarily, and when the president talks about looking at alternatives and the best ways to get -- to meet our objective, that objective is keeping America safe, so of course, the president of the United States is always looking for the best way to keep America safe.
"BASH: So, it sounds like there's a formal review underway.
"DEVENISH: I'm not aware of that, but, you know, I think the president spoke clearly and plainly and you heard from the White House, as well.
"BASH: You're the communications director. Has this been a bit of a PR nightmare for you?
"DEVENISH: Oh, there are no PR nightmares in Washington. It's always an opportunity to get to talk about the president's vision for getting things done."
Reporters also fruitlessly tried to get Scott McClellan to clear up the administration's position on the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at yesterday's
A short excerpt:
"Q So the bottom line is --
"MR. McCLELLAN: And that's all the President was saying, is that we're always looking at all alternatives.
"Q Bottom line is he's completely ruled out closing down Guantanamo?
"MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
"Q The bottom line is that he's completely ruled out --
"MR. McCLELLAN: I would leave it -- I would say what the President said, that we're always looking at all alternatives for dealing with detainees. That's what he said yesterday and that's where we are."
Downing Street Memo Watch
A potpourri of Downing Street Memo items:
"But that is what happened to the now infamous secret Downing Street memo, posted on the site on May 1 alongside a story by Michael Smith of The Sunday Times. And if the document has taken on a life of its own it is largely because of the bloggers and their web-savvy allies on the US Left."
A red-state paper that endorsed Bush comes out for disclosure. Here's today's
"In the interest of the nation and the administration, the source and content of the Downing Street Memo need to be fully explained."
Former New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent tells
"TERENCE SMITH: Do you have any evidence that it is?
"DANIEL OKRENT: No."
Writes Walcott: "Knight Ridder was, in fact, the first American news organization (more than a week before our local paper here in Washington) to write about the Downing Street memo and the light it shed on the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.
"And almost six months before the memo was written, in early February 2002,
Also on the Daily Kos blog,
"This hearing is just one step in an investigation that I am commencing that will literally span the Atlantic. I am in touch with British officials and former U.S. intelligence officials and I am determined to get to the truth."
Social Security Watch
"This follows lengthy meetings with White House advisers, including top political adviser Karl Rove, said Grassley. . . .
"Grassley said he will not discuss the substance of his meetings with White House officials and was delicate in his general descriptions.
" 'I see these meetings as fully supportive of my efforts to get a bill out of committee,' said Grassley."
"President George W. Bush met more than a dozen Democrats who had raised concerns that weak labour standards in the region could undercut US workers. It was his fourth meeting with members of Congress to try to build support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement."
"Bush's speech lasted 23 minutes, and he spoke to 150 law enforcement officers. It was a much smaller audience than is usually assembled for a presidential visit, and his speech was about half as long as most speeches he gives on overhauling Social Security.
"But Bush's target audience wasn't the cops in the room; it was members of Congress who are deciding whether to extend and expand the law that was passed hurriedly by big margins weeks after 9/11 to give law enforcement more power to pursue terrorists."
"The president Thursday did not mention expansion of the act, but White House spokeswoman Dana Perrino said Bush supported such efforts."
"Over the past three-and-a-half years, America's law enforcement and intelligence personnel have proved that the Patriot Act works, that it was an important piece of legislation. Since September the 11th, federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted."
Can someone get me a run-down on those 400 suspects, and what they were accused of doing?
Bush visited the National Counterterrorism Center in Tysons Corner this morning and tapped retired Vice Admiral John S. Redd to be its director.
Redd most recently served as executive director of the White House's WMD Commission. Here's the White House
Bush also spoke again about the Patriot Act. Here's the
"If the Senate gives its approval, Los Angeles venture capitalist Ronald Spogli will become U.S. ambassador to Italy, and Orange County automobile dealership executive Robert H. Tuttle will become ambassador to Britain."
"Kasuri met privately with President Bush yesterday, but the subject of Bin Laden didn't come up, he said."
Obnoxious Pop-Up Ad
No one likes pop-up ads. But the Secret Service might take issue with this one:
Reports Graff: " 'Is it any wonder that the President will sit down for an interview with Fox News?' one reporter asked at the Atlantic event last night. '[The White House] couldn't come up with easier questions themselves.' "
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