Percentage of Americans who support the job President Bush is doing in Iraq, a record low, according to a Gallup/USA Today poll. “Bush will outline his ‘new way forward’ in Iraq on Wednesday to a nation that overwhelmingly opposes sending more U.S. troops and is increasingly skeptical that the war can be won.”
So says legal experts Marty Lederman (Georgetown University professor) and Neil Kinkopf (President Clinton’s former constitutional advisor), as well as House Defense Appropriations Chairman Jack Murtha (D-PA). Watch it:
Flashback: Abramoff: “[Bush] has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met. … The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything. Who knows.”
During a radio appearance, Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera called MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann “a coward — specifically a ‘[female part of the anatomy] who wouldn’t walk across the street against the red light.’ He then said he was ready to fight him, saying: ‘I would make a pizza out of him.‘” Geraldo has previously attacked Olbermann as a “lowlife” and a “schmuck,” and said Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert “exist in a small little place where they count for nothing.”
If Saturday’s 75 degree heat in Washington, DC caused you to pick up Sunday’s Washington Post, you saw schizophrenic reporting of global warming, just in the pages of that one edition.
Unfortunately, the cover story, run next to a photograph of rooftop sunbathers, unjustifiably disregarded the impact of global warming. They quoted one meteorologist to the effect that “despite views to the contrary, global warming is not responsible for the region’s unusually mild winter.” But that statement is scientifically indefensible.
It would be more accurate to say that record winter temperatures are likely due to the combination of global warming and El Ni±o – and global warming may be making El Ni±os more likely. The meteorologist sarcastically added, “The world is not coming to an end.” Everything is fine, no need to take any action….
But then if you flip a few pages further in the paper and you find “March in January! Or is it Mayday?” The story opens with:
Never has good weather felt so bad. Never have flowers inspired so much fear. Never has the warm caress of a sunbeam seemed so ominous. The weather is sublime, it’s glorious, it’s the end of the world.
In today’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow tried to argue that the Nov. 7 midterm elections could be read as a mandate for President Bush to increase U.S. troops in Iraq:
QUESTION: Tony, the president obviously, though, did not read what happened November 7th as a mandate to start bringing troops home.
SNOW: The president believes that — if you take a look at the elections, you can read any number of messages. I mean, when people were asked in exit interviews what was their top concern, Iraq was number four; corruption was number one.
No results from the midterm elections pointed to the American public calling for an escalation of U.S. troops in Iraq. A CNN poll taken days after the election found that just 16 percent of the American public believed the President should increase U.S. troops in Iraq. In contrast, 60 percent wanted some or all troops withdrawn.
As ABC News noted, the midterm elections showed that the “war in Iraq is a serious concern.” Fifty-seven percent of voters said that they disapproved of Bush’s handling of the war.
John Podhoretz offers the observation that “If Democrats offer a genuinely serious AMT reform that manages to cut taxes for tens of millions of middle-class people, the constituency for vetoing such a reform on the grounds that it would involve a tax-rate increase on those making more than $150,000 a year could fit comfortably into a Tokyo hotel room.” Larry Kudlow responds that “Using $150K as a threshold means a school teacher and a cop. Not exactly rich people.” J-Pod with a help from some readers notes in response that “Only 5 percent of American households report earnings higher than $157,000 a year” and follows up arguing that precise salaries for cops and teachers is irrelevant, the point is that “Five percent is a lot of households, true — 5 million or so. But to write as though a $150,000 salary in America puts you smack dab in the middle of the middle class, which was Larry’s rhetorical purpose, just doesn’t jibe with the way lives are lived in America.”
Kudlow doesn’t seem to have an answer to that, but Ramesh Ponnuru manages to weigh-in on Kudlow’s side with a further observation:
The Clintonites thought that they were raising taxes only on the top 2 percent of Americans and cutting taxes for a lot of people (by expanding the earned income credit). They got branded as tax hikers anyway. (And it would have been a tough vote for them even if they hadn’t raised the gas tax as part of the deal.)
Advice to always eschew the passive voice can be abused, but Ponnuru should consider the lack of agency in that story. Who branded the Clinton administration as “tax hikers” for their plan to raise taxes on a tiny minority of wealthy Americans while cutting taxes for a larger class of working poor people? Could that have been conservative politicians? And how well would that campaign have worked had the conservative politicians not been assisted by conservative pundits? These things don’t just happen.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked by Al Hunt whether he would support raising taxes on the very wealthy to help pay for a new $1 billion jobs creation program for Iraq that President Bush is set to unveil this week.
“I’m not sure what the point would be,” McCain said in response to whether wealthier Americans should be asked to pay more to offset the costs in Iraq. He added, “I’m not sure I would want to raise their taxes just because we’re in a war.” Watch it:
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote recently, “So here we are: Policymakers and politicians will demand more and more from the volunteers who serve our country, but they can’t find the gumption to ask shareholders to pay a bit more tax on their dividends or high earners to pay slightly larger levies on their incomes. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, since 2001 we’ve offered $2 in tax cuts for every $1 we have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And conservatives wonder why we have deficits.”
Full transcript: Read more
President Bush “still wants to hear what members of Congress have to say.”
Newsweek, 1/15/07 edition:
President Bush has no evident interest in consulting with, let alone drawing in, the new Democratic Congress as a war partner. An example: the new chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee — Carl Levin, an important character now — sent Bush a private letter three weeks ago offering his counsel. Levin never got a reply. Bush can be just as deaf to Republicans. At a recent White House ceremony, Sen. Susan Collins offered to brief him on her Iraq visit. He responded by escorting her to the office of his deputy national-security adviser — and then left before she told her story.