Friday, March 03, 2006

News roundup 03.03.3006

George W. Bush

Summer of discontent followed by autumn of discontent followed by winter of discontent. Will any poll ever touch 40 percent again? (Probably not, everyone's made up their mind.) Will the latest National Journal story make the splash it deserves? (Probably not, everyone's made up their mind.) Can this port deal ever pass? (Probably not, everyone's made up their mind.) Can Bush get any points off Blanco (Probably not, everyone's made up their mind.)

Murray Waas of the National Journal has the following:
Two highly classified intelligence reports delivered directly to President Bush before the Iraq war cast doubt on key public assertions made by the president, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials as justifications for invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, according to records and knowledgeable sources.
Ronald Brownstein evaluates a L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll that has many bad numbers for the president:
And, in a trend that could affect turnout in the November midterm elections, Bush confronts what might be called an intensity gap: The percentage of Americans who said they strongly disapproved of his performance on a wide range of issues greatly exceeded the share who strongly approved.
The Boston Globe on the new U.S./India pact:
''India has wanted this deal for 30 years," said Jon Wolfsthal, a former policy adviser for the US Department of Energy under President Clinton who now works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ''For them, this is the Holy Grail of international acceptance, and we sold it for pennies on the dollar. In the end, the major players in the Bush administration feel it's OK for India to have a large nuclear arsenal as long as its not directed at the United States, and that there might even be benefits, for instance, to deter against China."
The Christian Science Monitor: "India's complex love affair with US"

The New York Times: "In India, Bush Urges Americans to Welcome Global Competition"

The Times of London:
Pakistani police clashed with demonstrators in the city of Rawalpindi only a few miles from where President Bush is expected to touch down in Air Force One today.

Large parts of the country were virtually closed down ahead of Mr Bush's visit, which begins the day after a suicide bomber in the southern city of Karachi killed a US diplomat and two other men.
The Baltimore Sun:
WASHINGTON // Calling the United Arab Emirates a "bazaar for terrorist nations" that want to move dangerous materials around the world, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said yesterday he intends to try to block the sale of a UAE-owned company's purchase of a firm that controls some operations at six major seaports, including Baltimore's.
The A.P.: "Iraqi security forces seal off Baghdad; new violence claims 19"

A.P.: "Video Shows Blanco's Assurances on Levees"

Other domestic politics news...

Bloomberg News:
March 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. lawmakers who've been linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff have at least one consolation: Their campaign coffers have never been as full.

Republican Representatives Tom DeLay of Texas, Bob Ney of Ohio, Richard Pombo and John Doolittle of California and Senator Conrad Burns of Montana saw their fund-raising totals surge in the past year compared with previous elections, according to the latest campaign filings. All five lawmakers have been tied to Abramoff by media reports, their political opponents and, in Ney's case, the Justice Department.
The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- A key Senate committee yesterday scuttled a proposal to establish an independent watchdog agency that would enforce ethics rules on members of Congress, dealing a severe blow to efforts to beef up oversight following a series of high-profile scandals.


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