“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor have been the targets of death threats from the ‘irrational fringe’ of society, people apparently spurred by Republican criticism of the high court.” The latest right-wing campaign: “J.A.I.L. 4 Judges“
President Bush’s approval rating according to Pew Research. “Just 42% now approve of Bush’s job in handling terrorist threats, an 11-point drop since February.” Also: “Honesty had been the single trait most closely associated with Bush, but in the current survey ‘incompetent’ is the descriptor used most frequently.”
AOL News has a chart — in a section called “Where Are We Headed” — that makes it appear that casualties in Iraq are dramatically declining:
Of course, we’re less than three months into 2006. Here is what an intellectually honest chart looks like (click for full size version):
Jason McElwain aka “J-Mac” — the autistic high-school basketball player — gained national attention when he scored 20 points for his varsity team with a flurry of 3-pointers. While President Bush has publicly acknowledged his admiration for the young star, his FY07 budget shows an indifference towards autistic children:
- In his proposed budget for next year, Bush has cut all funding for the National Children’s Study, a project that planned to investigate the causes of autism, asthma, and other serious illnesses.
- The President’s budget will eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for schoolchildren with disabilities, denying them “access to medical services they need to fully participate in school and learn to their greatest abilities.”
- The number of children diagnosed with autism and served by schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) increased by more than 500 percent in the last decade, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The President’s FY07 budget, however, will fund IDEA at $6.3 billion below the amount Congress recommended.
Bush’s visit with J-Mac was a great photo-op. But the best way for Bush to show his support is by providing adequate funding for programs to help autistic children.
– Sam Davis
“President George W. Bush’s spokesman on Wednesday dismissed calls for a White House shake-up as ‘inside-Washington pontificating’ after a series of controversies that have pushed his approval ratings to new lows.”
friends asking them to write letters on his behalf to his sentencing judge so that “compassion and balance can be achieved.”
ThinkProgress has learned that NBC anchor Chris Matthews has received tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for delivering speeches to corporate interest groups. Matthews’s speaking engagements appear to be in direct violation of NBC’s policy prohibiting its employees from accepting such fees.
In 2002, Howard Kurtz reported in the Washington Post:
I’ve been critical of journalistic buckraking since the mid-1990s, when I wrote about a $30,000 speech that Sam Donaldson had given to an insurance group…The issue began to fade as a number of news organizations, including ABC and NBC, banned the practice.
Three trade associations independently confirmed to ThinkProgress that Matthews spoke for hefty fees on several occasions, as recently as last year:
- The National Venture Capital Assocation (NVCA) confirmed that Matthews spoke at its 2005 Annual Meeting. NVCA told Think Progress that it booked Matthews through the Washington Speakers Bureau and that he received a fee of approximately $35,000. He received speaking fees from NCVA on at least two other occasions.
- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) confirmed that Matthews spoke at its 2001 Annual Meeting. NACDS said it booked Matthews through the Washington Speakers Bureau and that he received a fee for speaking.
- The American Hospital Association (AHA) confirmed that Matthews spoke at its 2005 Annual Meeting. AHA said it booked Matthews through the Washington Speakers Bureau and that he received a fee for speaking.
In an email to ThinkProgress, MSNBC President Rick Kaplan said information that Matthews was paid to speak to outside groups was, “Totally untrue…totally.” He provided no evidence to support his claim.
UPDATE: On Thursday, we were contacted by MSNBC President Rick Kaplan who elaborated the blanket denial (“Totally untrue”¦totally”) he provided to ThinkProgress pre-publication. According to Kaplan, while these groups may have paid fees for Matthews to speak, the fees did not go to Matthews directly, but to a charity of Matthews’s choosing. Kaplan added that NBC policy prohibited anchors from personally accepting speaking fees and anyone who did so “would risk being fired.”
First, Sen. Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI). From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, offered some praise for Feingold, saying the resolution would be “positive” if it fueled debate over the legality of some policies in the war on terrorism.
Also, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who said he would vote for censure. From the Washington Post:
“The president broke the law and he needs to be held accountable,” [Harkin] said. “Talk about high crimes and misdemeanors!” Harkin said he’ll vote for the Feingold resolution — if it comes up.
Nevertheless, the AP reports “not a single Democrat has embraced” Feingold’s censure resolution.
UPDATE: Sen. Harkin is now the first official co-sponsor of Feingold’s resolution:
In a brief interview, Harkin said, “I think it makes sense. … Quite frankly, I think we ought to have a full-fledged debate on this.” …
Feingold said that even though support for his resolution is low so far, he believes he is already meeting his goal of reopening the debate on the matter.
“I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve,” Feingold said, adding that he still hopes his resolution will pass. “I’m very pleased with what has happened.”
“The Bush administration last year quietly rewrote the rules for allowing gays and lesbians to receive national-security clearances…it removed language saying sexual orientation ‘may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person’s eligibility for a security clearance.’”
Yesterday, Army Gen. John Abizaid, who runs U.S. operations in Iraq, said the United States may maintain permanent bases in Iraq. Reuters reports:
The United States may want to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq to bolster moderates against extremists in the region and protect the flow of oil, the Army general overseeing U.S. military operations in Iraq said on Tuesday.
While the Bush administration has downplayed prospects for permanent U.S. bases in Iraq, Gen. John Abizaid told a House of Representatives subcommittee he could not rule that out.
Previously, the Bush administration has said that the United States will not maintain permanent bases in Iraq. Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes, 12/8/05:
CHARLIE ROSE: They think we are still there for the oil, or they think the United States wants permanent bases. Does the United States want permanent bases in Iraq?
KAREN HUGHES: We want nothing more than to bring our men and women in uniform home. As soon as possible, but not before they finish the job.
CHARLIE ROSE: And do we not want to keep bases there?
KAREN HUGHES: No, we want to bring our people home as soon as possible.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the Central Command deputy commander for planning and strategy in Iraq, 1/28/06:
We already have handed over significant chunks of territory to the Iraqis…[I]t is not only our plan but our policy that we do not intend to have any permanent bases in Iraq.
Times, apparently, have changed.