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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

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The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Eeeenteresting....

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bush dope
Well, it seems as though Bush's approval rating has dropped again.


WASHINGTON - More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency.

Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq _ the bloody hot spot upon which Bush has staked his presidency. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since February.

"I'm not happy with how things are going," said Margaret Campanelli, a retiree in Norwich, Conn., who said she tends to vote Republican. "I'm particularly not happy with Iraq, not happy with how things worked with Hurricane Katrina."

Republican Party leaders said the survey explains why GOP lawmakers are rushing to distance themselves from Bush on a range of issues -- port security, immigration, spending, warrantless eavesdropping and trade, for example.

The positioning is most intense among Republicans facing election in November and those considering 2008 presidential campaigns.

"You're in the position of this cycle now that is difficult anyway. In second term off-year elections, there gets to be a familiarity factor," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a potential presidential candidate.

"People have seen and heard (Bush's) ideas long enough and that enters into their thinking. People are kind of, `Well, I wonder what other people can do,'" he said.

The poll suggests that most Americans wonder whether Bush is up to the job. The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.

Bush's job approval among Republicans plummeted from 82 percent in February to 74 percent, a dangerous sign in a midterm election year when parties rely on enthusiasm from their most loyal voters. The biggest losses were among white males.

On issues, Bush's approval rating declined from 39 percent to 36 percent for his handling of domestic affairs and from 47 percent to 43 percent on foreign policy and terrorism. His approval ratings for dealing with the economy and Iraq held steady, but still hovered around 40 percent.

Personally, far fewer Americans consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable than they did just after his re-election campaign.

By comparison, Presidents Clinton and Reagan had public approval in the mid 60s at this stage of their second terms in office, while Eisenhower was close to 60 percent, according to Gallup polls. Nixon, who was increasingly tangled up in the Watergate scandal, was in the high 20s in early 1974.

The AP-Ipsos poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, gives Republicans reason to worry that they may inherit Bush's political woes. Two-thirds of the public disapproves of how the GOP-led Congress is handling its job and a surprising 53 percent of Republicans give Congress poor marks.

"Obviously, it's the winter of our discontent," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

By a 47-36 margin, people favor Democrats over Republicans when they are asked who should control Congress.

While the gap worries Republicans, Cole and others said it does not automatically translate into GOP defeats in November, when voters will face a choice between local candidates rather than considering Congress as a whole.

In addition, strategists in both parties agree that a divided and undisciplined Democratic Party has failed to seize full advantage of Republican troubles.

"While I don't dispute the fact that we have challenges in the current environment politically, I also believe 2006 as a choice election offers Republicans an opportunity if we make sure the election is framed in a way that will keep our majorities in the House and the Senate," said Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Stung by criticism, senior officials at the White House and the RNC are reminding GOP members of Congress that Bush's approval ratings may be low, but theirs is lower and have declined at the same pace as Bush's. The message to GOP lawmakers is that criticizing the president weakens him -- and them -- politically.

"When issue like the internal Republican debate over the ports dominates the news it puts us another day away from all of us figuring out what policies we need to win," said Terry Nelson, a Republican consultant and political director for Bush's re-election campaign in 2004.

Bowing to ferocious opposition in Congress, a Dubai-owned company on Thursday abandoned its quest to take over operations at several U.S. ports. Bush had pledged to veto any attempt to block the transaction, pitting him against Republicans in Congress and most voters.

All this has Republican voters like Walter Wright of Fairfax Station, Va., worried for their party.

"We've gotten so carried away I wouldn't be surprised to see the Democrats take it because of discontent," he said. "People vote for change and hope for the best."

___

Associated Press writer Will Lester and AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson contributed to this report.
~oOo~




Of course, my first thought: "Yay!"

Which was followed by the slightly more mature: "It's about time!"

A couple of lines really jumped out at me from this article.

Personally, far fewer Americans consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable than they did just after his re-election campaign. (Emphasis mine)

Was there ever any question about his honesty? Of course, the cynic in me wants to ask anyone what politician is honest, but of course, in a career like politics where "spin" is a key component, there are degrees to dishonesty as well. President Clinton, who I admired as a president, was dishonest during the whole Monica scandal, but yet, I would call him, essentially, an honest president because--I'm sorry--I can't hold lying about a blowjob in the same league as lying about a war.

But Bush? Okay, folks, we're talking about someone who lied to start a war, here. The only State of the Union I've watched since Bush has been president was the one following 9/11 when he stood up and spoke about the horrors of Iraq and--most importantly--the imminent danger that Saddam Hussein posed to the American people. I recall references to weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, nuclear weapons...and what have we seen of that. Nada.

Meanwhile, 2,307 Americans have died in Iraq and more than 17,000 have been wounded. And whether you like to believe it was the oil or the defense of his daddy or some other strange, incoherent rationale that led Dubya to war, it doesn't matter. WMDs had no part in it.

I could certainly cite other instances of dishonesty, but a lie that causes the death of more than 2,000 American troops is enough for me.

Two-thirds of the public disapproves of how the GOP-led Congress is handling its job and a surprising 53 percent of Republicans give Congress poor marks.

Really? They're doing a bad job?? You mean this isn't about giving tax breaks to major corporations? You mean the average person should be making--not losing--money? You mean it's not enough that they tried to save Terri Schiavo but they were supposed to make an effort for all those people in Louisiana too?

But why, when we all know those black-folk don't have nearly the deep pockets of the Christian "right?"

Frankly, I'm shocked at the American people. Really, where is your patriotism? Here is a President and a Congress who wants to protect the most vulnerable Americans, namely unformed cellular blobs and the big corporations that keep us supplied with cheap crap made by a thirteen-year-old in Asia or Mexico for five cents an hour. You're just selfish, really.

"Obviously, it's the winter of our discontent," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

Translation: "Oh shit. We're fucking up. And everyone knows it."

In addition, strategists in both parties agree that a divided and undisciplined Democratic Party has failed to seize full advantage of Republican troubles.

I got really excited to read this because I didn't even know that the Democratic party was still around, and I was starting to get worried. I thought they'd all been assassinated by the Republicans and replaced by a row of those bobblehead dolls that you get at Citgo if you spend more than five dollars on a fill-up. (In other words, if you put more than two gallons of gas in your tank.)

But really, where have the Democrats been? As much as I despise Bush and the Republican good ol' boys in Congress, the Democrats have been nothing but a bunch of apathetic, whining, incompetent morons. "Oh, but we don't want to disagree." Well, if I didn't want you to disagree with the Republicans, then I would have elected a fucking Republican!

"While I don't dispute the fact that we have challenges in the current environment politically, I also believe 2006 as a choice election offers Republicans an opportunity if we make sure the election is framed in a way that will keep our majorities in the House and the Senate," said Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Translation: "Hey, guys. Don't mention Iraq. Don't mention the economy. Let's do like we did last time and make it all about those damned fags wanting to get married and turning our children gay!"

Stung by criticism, senior officials at the White House and the RNC are reminding GOP members of Congress that Bush's approval ratings may be low, but theirs is lower and have declined at the same pace as Bush's. The message to GOP lawmakers is that criticizing the president weakens him -- and them -- politically.

Wow. Really? This is so profound that I have to take it in two parts.

First of all, what kind of immature schoolyard reply is that? "Yeah, we suck, but you suck more! And the more we suck, the more you suck too! So there!"

Secondly, can we be a little more blatant in asking elected lawmakers to turn their backs on the interests of their constituents in order to benefit the Republican party or the president personally? Am I reading this wrong? And am I really living in a world where it is acceptable to say out loud, "Yes, we know that those ignorant hicks who elected you had a little concern over that whole ports deal. Frankly, they're too stupid to understand what all was going on. C'mon, you should know that! And besides, that's not the point. The point is that the president wanted it to happen, and that should have been enough for you. C'mon, guys, you always had his back before! Do you know how this hurts us when you put American concerns over security and privacy and the economy over your president's career?"

"We've gotten so carried away I wouldn't be surprised to see the Democrats take it because of discontent," he said. "People vote for change and hope for the best."

D-did I? Did I hear that?? *doubletake* I couldn't have! A Republican admit that they've gone to far? And then say something semi-intelligent??

Nah....
  • I've perused your post and I just want to say that I will refrain from making any comments, other than saying: I HATE THE BASTARD and the sooner he is out of that position from where he can do so much damage, the better.
    • *shoos Meryth off of computer*

      Wholly agreed. :)

      The thing that astounds me is how people can still back the bastard, after his war, hurricane Katrina, and his lackadailsical attitude towards terrorism have killed thousands of Americans. And for those of us left living, what do we have? A government increasingly bent on telling us how to behave and what to believe, literally stealing the money from our pockets and giving it to large corporations as "tax breaks."

      A lot of his victory in '04 came because of his opposition to gay marriage, which literally sickens me. (Kerry, his opponent, also opposed gay marriage but supported civil unions.)

      I realized the other day that, in 2006, we are halfway through his second term. Almost. I am counting the days.
  • Does it need to be said I was nodding along with your commentary here?

    Mom and I were watching Larry King Live when Jon Stewart was the guest, and he touched the issue of Bush's and Cheney's approval ratings.

    Of Bush's: "Bush seems to be a great President for a certain kind of person. That he's losing that base, I think, says a lot."

    Of Cheney's 18%: "Look, you always hear that '1 in 5 dentists recommend sugarless gum!' That means there's always that one idiot dentist who says, 'Sure, sugary gum is fine for your teeth!' Cheney isn't even getting the support of that One in Five Dentists."

    Which was followed by the slightly more mature: "It's about time!"

    It boggles my mind when Bush these days does something stupid (but unsurprising as far as he goes), and people are like, "I normally support him, but not this!" ...and all I can think is, "He's been in office for what, six years? And from the early days, it wasn't exactly unclear that he was letting his own religion and economic class influence his ideas for how the country should be run. Why is 'this' news for you now?"

    (Btw, ever read Get Your War On? It's a rather cynical comic strip with some vulgar language that comments rather harshly on our current administration, the wars it's gotten us into, and various other current events. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at the one where they did an impression of the BBC and Donald Rumsfeld.)
    • Does it need to be said I was nodding along with your commentary here?

      Really? I didn't expect! ;)

      Of Bush's: "Bush seems to be a great President for a certain kind of person. That he's losing that base, I think, says a lot."

      That's a really good point. And one of the interesting quotes from the article on which I didn't comment was that the majority of Bush's loss has come from white males.

      Through this whole six years, it astounds me how blindly accepting people have been of Bush. I was agog to hear people defending him after Katrina...and people calling his critics (the infamous) "un-American." I wondered: What have we come to when we hold a man above human life? People died because of the inaction of his administration...but it's un-American to criticize the Presidency. Right.

      Btw, ever read Get Your War On?

      No, I haven't, but I definitely will! It sounds like good 'gund humor. ;)
      • I was agog to hear people defending him after Katrina...

        That nearly made my head explode. I didn't pin the blame *solely* on him, but... well, it's a blasted good thing I'm not trying to use him as an example for what makes a decent human being. Otherwise I'd think it was okay to hide my screw-up by saying, "I don't think anybody could have anticipated it would go wrong," and then appear to be more worried about getting good photo ops in the disaster area and blaming critics for "playing the blame game" than taking responsibility. (Seriously, people were all like, "RAWR, Clinton lied under oath!" --and, uh, did they not notice that Bush swore an oath when he took office? Both times? And how many times has he lied under THAT? Of course, people just plug their ears and say, "Lalala, I can't hear you tell me that those are lies!")

        And un-American to criticize the Presidency? Sheesh, here I was, thinking it was American to criticize anything that went wrong. (Except oneself, of course, and maybe that's part of the thing--people don't want to admit they did wrong by voting for this moron.)
        • Sheesh, here I was, thinking it was American to criticize anything that went wrong.

          Yeah, I had the same mistaken impression. I was confused into thinking that because this country was built off of dissent and that our rights to dissent are one of our most fundamental protections that it made it "American" to celebrate the right of free speech. And also "American" to begin to question any situation when American lives are lost in a wholly predictable disaster.

          Silly me.
  • In an interesting aside to this article, I had a sense of deja vu when I read your title. A few weeks ago when the port deal began, Bush's approval ratings THEN were at an all-time low, and there was the requisite talk about fluxes and "digging out of this." But it looks like he dug deeper instead. *Waves little pom-poms*

    "Hey, guys. Don't mention Iraq. Don't mention the economy. Let's do like we did last time and make it all about those damned fags wanting to get married and turning our children gay!"

    Since it worked so well last time, I have legitimate fears that this will work again.

    The thing is (and I just read an article about this at BigGayPicture.com), in recent years Republicans have not been afraid to out-and-out lie to get across their point about "family-detroying queers" *Big eye roll*.

    Don't have anti-gay adoption studies handy? Just start bad-mouthing the homos anyway, then throw in a Bible reference and you're good to go. And these--for reasons I can't fathom in our "liberal media" *another eye roll*--are the quotes that are propagated on the front pages every day! It's downright scary the power they have (and yeh, I also enjoyed that quote from the Elephant that realises it).

    That being said, I have no hope for this to get any better as we creep closer to November '06.
    • Sadly, I must agree with you...and the advisor who is confident in the Republican party's ability to "frame" the election to ensure a Republican win.

      Which means that 2006--and 2008--will not be about Iraq or the economy or national security...it will be about gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, teaching abstinence, and "intelligent design." It will be all about waving a red flag away from the real* issues and getting people to vote based on their fears that suddenly you pervs will be turning us all into homos and tossing out condoms in elementary schools and showing videos on how to properly sodomize your boyfriend and establishing drive-thru abortion clinics....

      * I say "real" issues not because I don't think those are important issues--you know how I feel about gay marriage--but that "fears" about gay marriage being made legal is used to distract from the real fears of being mired in a war we can't escape, living in a country that seeks to control our lives and take more and more and more....
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