Poll Warning: Bush is climbing steadily

I (wearing my Pollkatz hat) just want to point out that Bush has been
climbing in the polls, steadily, since he bottomed out in May.  Before you say "gasoline prices," wait a minute.

Yes, Bush's approval tanked as gas prices rose (pun sort of intended) in the winter and spring, but gas prices topped out in April, and only in August did they start to fall appreciably.  But Bush has been trending up since May.

What's really ominous is that this is only the second time in Bush's reign where he's enjoyed a steady rise in approval in the absence of a crisis (9/11, going to war, capture of Saddam).  The other time began in the summer of 2004, and peaked just in time for the election.  Bush is about 12-15 points lower now than then, but the trend line looks eerily the same.

What this bodes for the fall elections, I don't know.

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Economic Space and Big Picture National Security

In the 1930's, there was an idea in common currency of "Economic Space".  What collection of resources and markets were needed by the Big Powers to remain Big Powers -- and how secure were they in their Economic Space.

And in the 1930's, it became clearer and clearer that there were about three Economic Spaces that four Big Powers were trying to fit into -- The UK (as the previous number one economic power), the US (as the recently emerged number one economic power), Germany (as the resurgant Continental European power), and Japan (widely underestimated in its own right, but taken serious in terms of shorter supply lines to the eastern Pacific Basin).

Fitting four into three implied war, and war there was.

And that's what makes the Bush National Security agenda scary.  It seems like the Bush agenda is for the US to have the whole world, and everyone else can have the rest.  If there ever was a path to war, this is it.

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What Do Our Choices Mean?

May 13 2006

I have been through anxiety attacks before.  Mostly concerning a final exam worth half my mark the next day, or perhaps a solo violin performance, or maybe meeting a child-hood idol.  But I have never experienced anxiety when booking travel - until yesterday.

Here I am booking travel with a group to a conference on sustainable solutions and all 15 other members from my region decided to hop on a plane.  I am shocked, but then I start thinking about our ability to carbon offset and think of all the times I have flown before, and start to think that it's really not a big deal if I fly again this time.  

Then the voice in the back of my head starts yelling at me and telling me I am a hypocrite for working to slow climate change while flying to a conference on sustainable solutions when I could be part of a sustainable solution by taking the train instead.  Long story short, I decide to take the total of 44 hours on a train and miss two days of classes in order to attend what I hope to be a very educational experience. Why did I feel this way? Millions of people fly every single day. Do I think I am actually going to make a difference by not filling that one seat on the sale-flight on Air Canada that is going to take-off with or without me?

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Vlog: Patriotism for something more than War

cross-posted at daily kos: Vlog: Patriotism for something more than War

On Friday I flew from Boston to Des Moines to vlog an Edwards speech in Waukee, Iowa. I'm quickly getting addicted to the thrill of citizen journalism. Edwards is known for his domestic policy orientation, but on this Friday night Edwards chose to focus his remarks on America's role in the world.

Edwards is clearly talking about how his anti-poverty crusade, based on a new sense of American patriotism and moral values, are an essential ingredient to our foreign policy. His thinking on American leadership in the world is inextricably linked to his strong belief in community, patriotism and morality that we need to demonstrate through our actions here at home and abroad.

Follow me below the fold for the video of Edwards and the interviews I did on a warm and breezy Friday night in a small Iowa town when all of us in the school gym were thinking about the world outside, far outside.

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$300 Billion of Your Tax Dollars

In a briefing on December 13, 2002, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said that "the cost of the occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a provisional administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil." Nearly four years later, the war has cost this country $300 billion and counting, and Bush has appointed Wolfowitz as President of the World Bank.

Instead of spending $300 billion (not to mention the other costs of this war) to secure a dwindling supply of oil in a hostile country, we could have instead followed the Apollo Alliance's 10-point-plan and cut oil consumption by 1.25 - 2.5 million barrels a day (equivalent to cutting Persian Gulf Imports by 53-110%) in 10 years.

The Apollo plan would also have created 3.3 million new jobs, saved citizens on their energy costs, reduced carbon emissions by 25%, and started us down the path to a clean energy economy.   With Congressional Reps home now for summer recess, this is the perfect time to let them know how YOU want them to be spending your tax dollars.

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