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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The GOP: The "Do-Over" Party

Joe Lieberman's gut reaction to losing the primary was to declare a "do-over," by pretending it was halftime instead of the end of the game.  In this his instinct is firmly connected to that of a typical Neo-Confederate Republican.  They've been the "Do-Over" Party (DOP) for a long time.

1996:  Clinton beat Dole:  DO-OVER!  We'll devise some bogus charges so we can impeach you!

2000:  The Florida Supreme Court, ruling on what was exclusively a matter of state election law, held that the ballots would be counted in the manner advocated by Gore.  DO-OVER!  Bush and Scalia, working together, threw law and principle out the window so the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the Florida Supremes.

2002:  The Texas redistricting plan for the 2000 census does not sufficiently favor Republicans.  DO-OVER!  Tom DeLay and his state-level henchmen perform an unprecedented mid-decade redistricting, yielding Rorschach blot districts putting a lot more Republicans in safe districts.  Upheld by the Supreme Court.

2001-present:  The House GOP announces a deadline for a vote, but when the time comes, they are losing.  DO-OVER!  They hold the vote open until they can twist a few arms and crack a few heads.  Meanwhile, the Senate GOP tries to pass failed legislation by sneaking it on to other bills.

August 2006.  Joe Lieberman loses the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary, fair and square, to Ned Lamont.  DO-OVER!  Joe says it's only halftime.

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Dangerous Places: Violent Death Rates in Iraq and the U.S.

The Loony Right is excited this evening by the claim by Congressman Steven King, R-IA (no, not that Stephen King) that several U.S. cities are more dangerous than Iraq.

I cannot fathom how King calculated an Iraqi violent death rate of 25.7. I don't have his data, but the median for U.S. states is double that, and we don't even have a war.  More important, one should not compare nations or states to cities, or vice versa.  Nations to states, probably valid.  Nations to cities, not.  All those unmolested people out in the country dilute the bad stuff happening in, say, Baghdad.

Fun fact:  you are immensely more likely to die a violent death in a Red state than you are in a Blue state -- whether by accident, suicide, or homicide.  Go to www.pollkatz.com and click the link in the garish orange box.

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how many children or spouses of drunks (dry or not) do we have?

Over at Digby, tristero recounts a conversation with a liberal hawk that ends with the punch line, "Tristero, you're not a trained wonk.  Why were you so right in '02 and everybody else was so wrong?" (read the whole thing)
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2006_05_0 1_digbysblog_archive.html#11474333828408 1431

I've wondered about this myself, resulting in this query.  It's well known that Bush is not a reformed alcoholic, he's a dry drunk, meaning that even if his claim to have stopped drinking is true, he retains the sociopathic behaviors of the active alcoholic.  The old joke about alcoholics totally applies to Bush:  "How do you tell if an alcoholic is lying?  His lips move."

I grew up surrounded by alcoholics and spent many years married to a dry drunk. (I'm not whining, it's just a fact.)  It's a truism that the children of alcoholics (including me) develop a preternatural ability to read people and sum them up intuitively, instantly, correctly.  It's an essential skill if you must depend on someone inherently erratic and unreliable.  I took one look at Bush in spring of 2000 and started giving money to McCain, then to Gore.  

And I've been dead right about Bush ever since.  It can't be things I know -- I'm better informed than your average CNN watcher, but not in a league with the majority visiting this and similar blogs.  But still, I just knew, in real time, that he was lying about Iraq, he is up to his elbows in the Plame affair, he's been organizing U.S. security forces into a personal Gestapo since the beginning (remember how the Homeland Security Department is set up to make it easier for the president to install his allies, and fire his enemies?).  I'm convinced that he won't voluntarily yield the White House except possibly to his brother.

Whence, query:  Are family members of alcoholics or dry drunks overrepresented among progressives who knew, just knew, that Bush was lying in 2000, or 2001, or 2002. . . ?

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Hooray for USA Today

20 years ago, I'd have bet I'd never say this, but I think we should take a moment and thank our stars for USA Today.  They haven't exactly been crusading journalists, but from the beginning they have been consistently the most likely of the majors to publish, on the front page, important stories that reflect badly on Busholini, Count Dickula, or one of their GOP minions. And, USA Today's national circulation sends this information to percolate through the heartland, where the local newspapers are even worse than the WaPos and NYTs.

Compared to the WaPos, NYTs, and CNNs hiding under their desks, USA Today's simple willingness to do its job counts as a kind of heroism.  Bravo.

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Jim Brady, Steno Sue, and the WaPo's Flakadermia

"Flakadermia" is a word I just coined meaning "suffering from extremely thin skin."

This was in response to a random flashback on an incident involving Susan "Steno Sue" Schmidt back in 2001 or '02.  After receiving a critical e-mail from what was obviously a workplace address, she forwarded same to the writer's supervisor (Whose name and e-mail she found immediately, demonstrating that the Post's staff can do its research quickly and thoroughly when it's of vital importance!), sweetly inquiring whether this was the sort of thing her critic had been hired to do.

My recollection is that the employer was cool and the critic was not punished.  But even so, perhaps we can call it S-Sue's and the Post's "Valerie Plame" moment -- as in "F--- with us and we'll really f--- you up."

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The "Lost" Bush-Katrina video

I keep hearing about how the AP somehow just "found" the videotape of Bush being briefed on the danger to New Orleans's levees before Katrina actually hit.

Isn't this just another example of a news organization sitting on the story until -- somehow -- they decide that they dare come forward?  Kinda like the NYT and the eavesdropping story.

I've got nothing against the AP -- I really admire they way they forced out the Korea massacre stories -- but that just makes it worse.  Et tu, AP?

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Ronald Reagan: Cheney is a Terrorist

President Ronald Reagan, June 18, 1985, during the TWA 847 hijacking crisis:

Q. Mr. President, you've said repeatedly during your administration, as you've said tonight, that you can't give in to terrorism. But each time that we've had one of these incidents, such as the case of the marines who died in Beirut, there had been a lot of talk from the administration but no action. Is there any danger that terrorists in the Middle East might get the feeling that the U.S. bark is worse than its bite and that they can do these things with impunity knowing we won't retaliate?

The President. Well, I hope not. But again, let me just point out to you in that incident, a man who committed the crime--or men--I don't know how many were in the truck--they're gone. . . . Now, how do you establish a connection between them and someone else? Was there someone else that set them on their way--you have no way of knowing. So, again, as I say, you're left with only one form of retaliation and that is if you just aim in the general direction and kill some people, well, then, you're a terrorist, too.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al., in a nutshell.


Chuck Rangel on Bush

I got this in a chain e-mail.  If it isn't true, it should be.

Member of the House of Representatives, Charles Rangel, (D-N.Y.), who is black, when asked on public TV about President Bush, replied:

"Well, I really think that he shatters the myth of white supremacy once and for all."....

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Am. Res. Group -- approve 36%, disapprove 58%.

Here's the whole text of their e-mail:

George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has returned to its record low. A total of 36% of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 58% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 34% approve and 60% disapprove.

Higher gasoline and energy prices (subscribers only) are again leading to increased pessimism about the future of the national economy and this pessimism is reflected in Bush's approval rating.

Results from the nationwide survey conducted January 19-22 are at:



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