“President Bush’s record of getting his State of the Union proposals enacted, after successes in his early years in office, has dropped off substantially.” Of the 12 initiatives that he proposed or called on Congress to pass in 2006, the White House can claim complete success on just three.
25: Number of U.S. service members killed on Saturday, marking “the third-deadliest day for American troops since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.”
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said he’s concerned that President Bush has proposed cutting funding to the National Cancer Institute for the second year in a row. “The people who want to be president in 2008 should talk about something that kills 600,000 Americans a year,” he said.
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who have strongly backed sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, indicated they may not support a promotion for Gen. George Casey, the current military commander there, because of past U.S. mistakes.
33 percent: President Bush’s approval rating according to a Washington Post-ABC poll. “Only two presidents” — Richard Nixon and Harry Truman — “have had lower approval ratings on the eve of a State of the Union speech.” 71 percent of Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Today marks the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. President Bush will call in his support to the annual anti-abortion March for Life rally. Pro-choice activists will hold a vigil at the Supreme Court and present political leaders with a pro-choice petition signed by thousands of women.
In an interview with the USA Today, Bush said he “can’t guarantee that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of his presidency because ‘we don’t set timetables.'”
“Stretched thin from fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has sharply reduced its role in the war on drugs, leaving significant gaps in the nation’s narcotics interdiction efforts.”
The Taliban plans to open its own schools in areas of southern Afghanistan under its control, following “a violent campaign by the fundamentalist Islamic group against state schools in the five years since its ouster by U.S.-led forces.” Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghanistan’s education minister, said the Taliban’s announcement “is like putting salt into the wound.”
And finally: Rich Little previews a “joke” he hopefully will not tell at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. In the President’s voice: “George W. Bush here. I tell you, I’m between I-raq and a hard place.” “That’s funny,” Little claimed. “But, believe me, you won’t hear the word ‘Iraq’ out of my mouth the whole evening. They know I’m a safe bet over there at the White House.”
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