Saturday, May 22, 2004

Looking at the news

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

A new article in the WashPost details the "President Plans Drive to Rescue Iraq Policy";

President Bush will launch an ambitious campaign tomorrow night to shift attention from recent setbacks that have eroded domestic and international support for U.S. policy in Iraq, particularly the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the escalating violence, and focus instead on the future of post-occupation Iraq.

A close read of the article shows that the campaign is pretty much an ad campaign. The administration isn't planning to do anything differently, just attempt to change the perception of what they are doing.

More on Polling

James Galbraith has an article in Salon that discusses Bush's plummeting polls (which Galbraith says have not yet registered the effects of Abu Ghraib); the general thesis of the article is that perhaps Americans are waking up and smelling the proverbial coffee. (If you're not a Salon subscriber, you have to sit through a commercial to get to the content, but it's worth it, and then all Salon content is available to you for the rest of the day.)

Galbraith ponders how far below 50% the 'hardwood floor' is; that is, what percentage of the population would support Bush even if he sprouted horns and ate a baby on live TV.

In that same vein

Two recent events seem to bolster Galbraith's thesis: Republican Senator Richard Lugar lambasted the Bush Administration's go-it-alone policies (link), and Michael Moore's Bush anti-valentine Farenheit 9/11 took the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (link).

speaking of sprouting horns

Recently released transcripts of interviews with the Abu Ghraib prison guards, in which they admitted that frequently they weren't even torturing the prisoners to acquire information, but for sport, leads to an inevitable question. Have the investigators into the torture allegations looked into the freezers of the guards in question? (Think Hannibal Lecter.)

Man vs Machine?

Bush came off his trail bike today. " As he departed from the presidential helicopter with his wife, scrapes were visible on the president's right temple and on his chin. Close-up shots taken by photographers revealed other scrapes above his lip and on the end of his nose. When he waved to the crowd greeting him at the airport, a small bandage could be seen on his right palm." (link)

You notice how many 'accidents' this guy suffers that mark up his face? How many times is he going to 'run into a door' before the press starts asking the obvious question: Does Cheney beat him?


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