Thursday, August 04, 2005

Morning copy 8/4/2005


Let's lead with a 2008 Gallup poll, because I'm sleepy and making mistakes.

Straight from the horse's mouth: Gallup LINK.

Now an excerpt, so you really don't even need (!) to click on that link:

A majority of Americans have favorable views of three possible presidential candidates for the 2008 election: Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John McCain, with Giuliani rated the most positively of the three. Meanwhile, a fourth possible contender, John Kerry, is viewed more unfavorably than favorably by the American public, a shift since last fall. Trial heat matchups between the four contenders show both Republicans with an edge over both Democratic candidates, with Clinton being the more formidable Democratic foe.

Classic poll lede (kinda'), huh, gang?

You need to be a member to read all about this poll, however the Washington Times is a member, and you can see the numbers here: World Peace (???) Herald/W.Times LINK.

The headline at SF Gate: Hillary Clinton would fare better vs. GOP than Kerry, poll finds. LINK.


With the deadline for a constitution now less than two weeks away, a conference is scheduled to hammer out some stumbling blocks (those metaphors really don't work well). AFP LINK. Excerpt:

"All the top leaders will take part" Mahmud Othman, a Kurdish member of the committee drafting the constitution told AFP. "They will try to find solutions to the problems still outstanding."

But he added: "It's going to be a really difficult task."

Issues still in play include "federalism, official languages, the relation between religion and state, the name of the republic, the rights of women and the question of Kirkuk", the oil-rich northern province which Kurds want included in their own autonomous region, Othman said

Stunning analysis/information of the explosives now deployed by insurgents from David S. Cloud of the NY Times. LINK. Excerpt:

The new problems facing the military were displayed more than a week earlier, on July 23, when a huge bomb buried on a road southwest of Baghdad Airport detonated an hour before dark underneath a Humvee carrying four American soldiers.

The explosive device was constructed from a bomb weighing 500 pounds or more that was meant to be dropped from an aircraft, according to military explosives experts, and was probably Russian in origin.

Psychological trauma pervasive in Iraq. Reuters/ LINK. LEDE:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - More than two years of war, occupation and insurgency have turned Iraq into possibly the most psychologically damaged nation in the world, one of the country's top psychiatrists said on Thursday.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution decided to cover the 48th Combat Brigade, based in Georgia, when it deployed to Iraq. This brigade has had a tough go of it. The latest bad news AJC LINK. Excerpt:

It was the third time in 10 days that the Georgia Army National Guard outfit has suffered multiple fatalities from Iraqi attacks. The brigade has lost 12 soldiers since arriving in Iraq in early June for a year-long tour.

The lexicographer in chief publically informs other administration official that it remains a "war on terror". NY Times LINK.

Bush's quote:

In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against violent extremism," the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.


Gen. Richard B. Myers of the Air Force, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on July 18 in an address to the National Press Club that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."


Interesting information on Judge John. Richard A. Serrano of the LA Times has this to mull over: "WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation." LINK to LA Times story.


The lawyer who asked for Roberts' help on the case, Walter A. Smith Jr., then head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, said Roberts didn't hesitate. "He said, 'Let's do it.' And it's illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job."

Spend, Spend, Spend

GOP Congress most certainly not following Bush's request for limited spending. Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post LINK Excerpt:

Having skirted budget restraints and approved nearly $300 billion in new spending and tax breaks before leaving town, Republican lawmakers are now determined to claim full credit for the congressional spending. Far from shying away from their accomplishments, lawmakers are embracing the pork, including graffiti eradication in the Bronx, $277 million in road projects for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and a $200,000 deer-avoidance system in New York.


Despite those blogs that say Ohio was nothing special (those would be GOP blogs), Newt says it is a cautionary tale. Washington Post LINK.

Assorted stories

Very interesting trend in letters to the editor, reported in the Christian Science Monitor. (LINK.) A "letter to the editor wizard"? Excerpt:

"It is a serious and deeply bothering threat to the integrity of newspaper letters columns," says Frank Partsch, editorial page editor of the Omaha World Herald and a former editor with the National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW). "The integrity of our letters columns depends on the spontaneous discussion of readers. We don't operate these columns as bulletin boards for political movements or business promotion or special-interest crusades of any kind."

An important vote in Japan, so says the PM. "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has claimed that the passage of the bill is a vote of confidence in his leadership, and that if it fails the Lower House will be dissolved and a general election called." LINK.

Rick Santorum

Santorum's PAC gave frequently across the party, now it looks for pay back. LINK. As of now, his poll numbers are simply awful, at about 40 percent to his likely opponent's 51 percent. He is the worst polling Senate incumbant that faces an election in 2006.


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