war and peace, politics, books, rants, the passing parade ...
Friday, May 02, 2003
Did you say "Weapons of Mass Destruction"?
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
How About Some Good News?
Some recent polls show that Dubya's "war bounce" in the polls may be short-lived. Do go and read the results of the polling yourself--I merely present some highlights.
1. TomPaine.org reported last week that a Pew Center poll showed that Bush's approval rating went down from 74% immediately after the fall of Baghdad to 72%, meaning that he's hit his high and will be declining. His peak score during the rah-rah phase falls far short of his father's peak after the end of the Gulf War--89%.
The current Pew poll also shows that his re-election numbers have gone up very slightly, surprisingly so given the popularity of the war. In March, 45% in a Gallup poll said they'd like to see Bush re-elected. That's gone up to just 48%!
The economy is the key factor here, as the numbers show. Do yourself a favor and read the Tom Paine article for all the details, including a breakdown by gender and party affiliation.
2. Even Fox News--yes, that's right, FOX!--finds that Dubya's approval rating has dipped, with a majority of those polled feeling that the economy will matter most in the next election. The approval rating slipped six points, from 71% in early April to 65%. The Fox poll also found that Bush's re-elect numbers have suffered some slippage. Read it and rejoice! For a summary of the poll and comments on it, visit Kos.
3. A CBS News poll confirms the earlier polls, with Bush's approval rating falling by 8 percentage points and 54% of those polled saying that the economy is doing badly. And while 41% think that 9/11 was much to blame for the state of the economy, 36% blame Bush directly. They don't think much of his vaunted tax cuts, either, with a majority believing the proposed tax cuts will make no difference.
4. Another CBS News poll shows that Americans are beginning to understand the resentment many Iraqis feel toward the U.S. Whereas two weeks ago, only 8% thought there was resentment of U.S. troops, now 26% do. Significantly, 62% of those polled believe that it's the UN--not the U.S.--that should be setting up an interim government in Iraq.
Americans also say they'd rather the U.S. were liked for its policies around the world than respected for its military power. And 41% of those polled say that America is less respected around the world than it was a year ago, with just 26% believing the U.S. is more respected.
This is an interesting poll, particularly regarding Americans' views on the war, the post-war situation, and America's image in the world. Approval numbers are starting to slide here, too, and it will be interesting to see what happens next.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Back to blogging after a hiatus. Last week was an unusually social one for me, ending with a much-needed weekend away from home with my friends (Cindy mentions it here). I'll tell you, an afternoon of drinking wine and dancing madly--barefoot--at a party bar with two of your best friends can cure what ails you.
Today I went out and weeded the garlic we planted last fall, which is coming up nicely, lovely green spears that promise nice fat bulbs later this summer. Started on the herb garden, too, but I needed a shovel to dig up the tansy from last year and didn't quite have the energy for that. And I raked some gravel out of the grass, stones scattered by the tractor's snow blade last winter.
In short, I've had a lovely few days and am loath to break the spell by bringing more bad news to your attention. So instead, let's share a laugh.
Let's play cards
How about some "Most Wanted" cards featuring the Bush Administration? This you gotta see. Not for sale yet, and may yet undergo some tweaking, but here they are. Just last weekend Ann was saying we needed something like this, and I got back to find that someone had been hard at work.
What's the hottest music in Afghanistan today? Thaaaat's right! Anti-American songs! Okay, maybe that doesn't sound funny to you, but wait till you hear the snappy lyrics:
"O King Fahd, you allowed the infidels to enter, now they will pollute the Holy Land of the Muslims."
"Today Baghdad and Karbala are burning, tomorrow you will be deprived of Mecca. O Muslim, why have you let your sword rust?"
And my personal favorite, for the sheer, breathtaking poetry: "Brave Saddam Hussain is standing before the enemy. He has destroyed a large number of their aircraft." Well, it's not the Dixie Chicks, but they love it in Kabul.
Betty Bowers: saving homos
If you've never checked out Betty Bowers's site, head there now! After all, as she says with all humility (and a good dose of satire), she's "America's Best Christian." And she'll tell you how you, too, can save souls.
For example, one of her ministries, BASH (Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals), has set out to reclaim the souls of these poor lambs who've strayed. During your visit, be sure to compare Focus Group on the Family's "homosexuals can change" ad with Betty Bowers Ministry's "Negroes can change" ad.
Me, I want the bumper sticker that says "Repent and Reload ... GOP: Official Party of the Apocalypse."