Friday, November 04, 2005

Morning copy 11.04.2005

UPDATE: 11.10.2005 1200 PM Eastern

This entry has been linked off the Washington Post. I have updated my thoughts here. My conclusion is:

The problem for this chief executive is a Catch-22. He faces doubts on integrity and competence. Some of his most competent and effective advisors are those that are the greatest liability to the public's view of his integrity.


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Poll numbers

George W. Bush has the worst set of poll numbers in his presidency. The Washington Post/ABC News poll has 58 percent doubting his integrity.

Moderate/Democrat weekend talking point: Doubts on personal integrity are in part a result of Karl Rove's continued presence in the White House. Scott McCLellan too.

The AP's numbers:

A new AP-Ipsos poll found the president's approval rating was at 37%, compared with 39% a month ago. About 59% of those surveyed said they disapproved.

The intensity of disapproval is the strongest to date, with 42% now saying they "strongly disapprove" of how Bush is handling his job — twice as many as the 20% who said they "strongly approve."


Libby pleaded not guilty, New York Times.

What we knew and when we knew it we still do not know.

This from the AP:

ROME - Italian secret services warned the United States months before it invaded Iraq that a dossier about a purported Saddam Hussein effort to buy uranium in Africa was fake, a lawmaker said Thursday after a briefing by the nation’s intelligence chief.

“At about the same time as the State of the Union address, they (Italy’s SISMI secret services) said that the dossier doesn’t correspond to the truth,” Sen. Massimo Brutti told journalists after the parliamentary commission was briefed.


The New York Times:

ROME, Nov. 3 - Italy's spymaster identified an Italian occasional spy named Rocco Martino on Thursday as the disseminator of forged documents that described efforts by Iraq to buy uranium ore from Niger for a nuclear weapons program, three lawmakers said Thursday.


Interestingly, Samuel Alito's poll numbers tilt toward approval and the Gang of 14 seems to accommodate that.

The New York Times on more closed doors:

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said that Thursday in a private meeting Judge Alito expressed empathy for "the impression that the court's decisions were incoherent in this area of the law in a way that really gives the impression of hostility to religious speech and religious expression."

Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, said after his own meeting with the judge that he, too, was "very satisfied" that Judge Alito had said he believed the court had erred by going too far in prohibiting government support for religion at the risk of hampering individual expression of religion.


Could things get worse for the president? Yes.

One thing you can count on, Hugo Chavez won't help. AP:

Chavez has strained relations with Washington and regularly claims the United States is trying to overthrow his government, an accusation U.S. officials dismiss. He has used Venezuela's oil wealth to push for regional solidarity, offering fuel with preferential financing to various Caribbean and Latin American countries.


The New York Times on the Chavez v. Bush fight.

Recall this from yesterday's The Note:

7. Opine about the ramifications of "the bubble" being in Latin America for the next dozen news cycles.


Paris Calling

I'm trying to figure out what this is all about, here's what the New York Times says:

The continuing unrest appears to be fueled less by perceived police brutality than by the frustration of young men who have no work and see little hope for the future.


Earthquake relief

President Musharraf says aid is needed still, The Guardian.

Health care

Are the Democrats going to touch the third rail of 1992-1993? The Washington Post:

Americans pay more when they get sick than people in other Western nations and get more confused, error-prone treatment, according to the largest survey to compare U.S. health care with other nations.

The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated.


Secret prisons

The Washington Post:

THE HAGUE, Nov. 3 The International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Union and human rights groups said Thursday they would press the U.S. and European governments for information about the reported existence of secret prisons in Eastern Europe, where the CIA has detained top al Qaeda captives.


Barack Obama

Tom Curry of MSNBC.com reports on Obama's emerging foreign policy credentials:

This week Obama and Lugar reported on their trip to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to inspect weapons dumps and sites where nerve gas, as well as smallpox, plague and other deadly pathogens are kept, under not very secure guard in some cases.


DeLay's judge(s)

The Houston Chronicle:

A wild day of judicial merry-go-round came two days after a Democratic visiting judge removed District Judge Bob Perkins of Austin from hearing the case because of political donations to Democratic groups that might make Perkins appear biased against DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

Before the day was done, another judge had removed himself from the case at the request of prosecutors; questions had been raised about Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's ties to DeLay; and Senior Judge Pat Priest, a Democrat, was appointed to preside over the case.

"I don't know how this case landed on me," said Priest, 64, of San Antonio. "I hope it's because someone told them I'd be fair."


Jack Abramoff

The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 - Representative Tom DeLay asked the lobbyist Jack Abramoff to raise money for him through a private charity controlled by Mr. Abramoff, an unusual request that led the lobbyist to try to gather at least $150,000 from his Indian tribe clients and their gambling operations, according to newly disclosed e-mail from the lobbyist's files.


Budget cuts

52 to 47 vote in the U.S. Senate. The Washington Post:

The Senate approved sweeping deficit-reduction legislation last night that would save about $35 billion over the next five years by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, while clamping down on fraud in the Medicaid program.

The measure would also open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a long-sought goal of the oil industry that took a major step forward after years of political struggle. A bipartisan effort to strip the drilling provision narrowly failed.

2 Comments:

Blogger zen said...

Did you see Cheney's poll numbers?

Approve 19%
Disapprove 44%

3:00 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Snarling Dick's never had great numbers, but yikes.

3:35 PM  

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