Bush’s approval rating, according to a new poll by CBS News.
Former Sen. Tom Daschle and Sen. Barack Obama hold a townhall conversation tonight to discuss energy and climate change. If you have a question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will be webcast beginning at 6:30 pm EST. Watch it here.
In March, Boston University professor and former Army colonel Andrew Bacevich told the San Francisco Chronicle why he thought the public had soured on Bush’s Iraq policies. “My view of his problem,” he said, “is that the administration has repeatedly announced that the war had reached a turning point”¦and each time, that turning point didn’t count.”
Today, Bush again tried to characterize a political development in Iraq as the true “turning point”:
President Bush today called the formation of a new Iraqi government “a turning point,” after hearing from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld about their weekend meeting with that country’s prime minister designate.
But the administration has tried this rhetoric in the past, with limited success. Below are a few examples of Bush and others touting previous “turning points” in Iraq:
The 2004 transfer of sovereignty:
BUSH: A turning point will come in less than two weeks. On June the 30th, full sovereignty will be transferred to the interim government. The Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, an American embassy will open in the capital of a free Iraq. [6/18/04]
Number of applications approved by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for the federal government to conduct electronic surveillance and physical searches in 2005, a new record high. (This number doesn’t include President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping.)
“The Secret Service has agreed to turn over White House visitor logs that will show how often convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff met with Bush administration officials “” and with whom he met.” Mark your calendar: the visitor logs are to be delivered to Judicial Watch (which sued to gain access to the records) by May 10.
Our guest blogger, Tom Lantos (D-CA), is the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
More than ever, attention is focused on Darfur. Thousands came to rallies across the country this weekend, George Clooney has added his tremendous star power to the chorus of voices, and the White House has made pronouncements on the matter three times within two weeks. But actions speak louder than words, chants, and songs. We need to harness this surge of interest in the issue and bring the suffering in Darfur to an end.
I was asked to take a prominent part in the events of the last few days because I have been pushing for NATO involvement in civilian protection in Darfur for two years, because I have been engaged in human rights causes for several decades, and because I am a survivor of genocide.
After the Holocaust, the world declared that never again would we stand by and let genocide take place. Yet, during the past three years in Darfur, the government of Sudan and its criminal militia, the Janjaweed, have slaughtered an estimated 400,000 people because of their African identity, displaced more than two million, and driven 200,000 into refugee camps in neighboring Chad.
As the Holocaust taught us, a villainous government that persecutes its own people cannot be counted on to protect them; it must be compelled to do so. Read more
On the third anniversary of President Bush’s declaration of the end of major combat operations underneath a “mission accomplished” banner, a new poll of Iraqis conducted in late March 2006 for the International Republican Institute offers grim reminders of the troubles regular Iraqis continue to face.
– Less secure. The vast majority of Iraqis – 76 percent – rate their security situation as “poor.” More than half of all Iraqis (55 percent) say the security situation has gotten worse in the last three months, a 26-point increase since last fall.
– More divided. Six in 10 (62 percent) of Iraqis say that the country is more divided than in the past.
– Facing economic freefall. Fully three quarters of Iraqis (76 percent) say that wages have gotten worse in the last three months, a stunning 58-point increase since last fall.
– More corrupt. Nearly seven in 10 Iraqis (68 percent) say that corruption has gotten worse in the last three months, a 19-point increase since last fall.
When asked whom they trusted the most to protect their personal safety, a plurality said the Iraqi police (43 percent), followed by the Iraqi army (35 percent). Hardly anyone — one percent — picked the multinational forces.
The time has come for the United States to take control of its interests and change the course in Iraq, as proposed in the Strategic Redeployment plan offered by the Center for American Progress.
– Brian Katulis
Three years ago today, President Bush stood under a banner that proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” and announced that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”
Today, at the end of a testy exchange with a reporter, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan offered a revised slogan: “We are on the way to accomplishing the mission.” He also accused those who brought up the original banner of “misrepresenting and distorting the past.”
Today, at the end of a testy exchange with a reporter, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan offered a revised slogan: “We are on the way to accomplishing the mission.” He also accused those who brought up the original banner of “misrepresenting and distorting the past.” Watch it:
Full transcript below: Read more
to “tone down criticism of security failures” before 2004 election, ABC News reports. Clark Kent Ervin says he was confronted personally by then Secretary Tom Ridge “to intimidate me, to stare me down, to force me to back off, to not look into these areas that would be controversial, not to issue critical reports.”
Stephen Colbert’s routine at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner “left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.” (Watch the video or read the transcript.) Not suprisingly, the hosts of Fox News’ morning show “Fox & Friends” felt the same way. They shared their reviews of Colbert this morning.
BRIAN KILMEADE: We’re also going to talk about what happened at the White House Correspondents Dinner. The inside story about the Steven Colbert speech: was it really over the line or is that just typical when the President goes to these Washington correspondents dinners?
STEVE DOOCY: [Referring to on-screen image] There you’ve got the dueling Dubyas. Stephen Colbert — I have been to twenty of them and he was over the line.
KIRAN CHETRY: What I was wondering though, because we did show some clips and at times it looked like the President was not laughing. Do you think he was annoyed by that or he thought it was not funny?
DOOCY: He was playing a good sport as his body double was there. But shortly after that, the paid performer, Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report, took the stage and did about 15 minutes and it was very uncomfortable. Personally I felt like he went over the line. Today in Lloyd Grove’s column, he says that Colbert “bombed badly.” It was not very funny.