Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bush Approval Plunges to 40%

Poll Shows Bush Approval RatingsSink to Lowest Point in Presidency

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
August 24, 2005

President Bush's job approval ratings are at their lowest point of his presidency as only 40% of U.S. adults have a favorable opinion of his job performance and 58% have a negative opinion, according to a Harris Interactive poll.

This is a decline from two months ago, when the president's ratings were 45% positive and 55% negative. The war in Iraq and the economy climbed to the top of a list of issues Americans say are most important for the U.S. to address. Social Security declined sharply.

At the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney's approval ratings slipped to 35% from 38% in June, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's approval ratings dropped to 40% from 42%.

Link to the rest of the story




Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bad Iraq War News Worries Some in G.O.P. on '06 Vote

The New York Times
By ADAM NAGOURNEYand DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: August 18, 2005

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 - A stream of bad news out of Iraq, echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush's Iraq policies, is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday.

Some said that the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats and could pose problems for Republicans in the Congressional elections next year.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war.

The Republicans described that shift as particularly worrisome, occurring 14 months before the midterm elections. As further evidence, they pointed to a special election in Ohio two weeks ago, where a Democratic marine veteran from Iraq who criticized the invasion decision came close to winning in a district that should have easily produced a Republican victory.

"There is just no enthusiasm for this war," said Representative John J. Duncan Jr., a Tennessee Republican who opposes the war. "Nobody is happy about it. It certainly is not going to help Republican candidates, I can tell you that much."

Link to the rest of the article


Saturday, August 13, 2005

President Bush has earned his plunging poll numbers

New Hampshire Union Leader
Saturday, August 13, 2005

President Bush has earned his plunging poll numbers
By ROGER SIMON

GEORGE BUSH'S poll numbers are in decline because the Iraq war hangs around his neck like a two-ton albatross.

The latest AP-Ipsos poll puts approval for Bush's handling of the war at only 38 percent and his overall job approval at only 42 percent. (In addition, 50 percent of the country says he is a dishonest and only 48 percent says he is honest.)

The latest Newsweek poll puts Bush's war approval at only 34 percent and his overall approval at 42 percent, his lowest ranking ever.

Since Bush doesn't have to run for office again, you might wonder why this matters. There are at least two reasons:

Republicans in Congress have to run for re-election next year, and these figures terrify them. The numbers are getting so bad - as is the war in Iraq - that some are already wondering whether a campaign visit by the President would be a plus or a minus in their districts.

The rest of the story here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Wallis Opinion Piece

The Message Thing

"SINCE the 2004 election, there has been much soul-searching and hand-wringing, especially among Democrats, about how to "frame" political messages. The loss to George W. Bush was painful enough, but the Republicans' post-election claims of mandate, and their triumphal promises to relegate the Democrats to permanent minority status, left political liberals in a state of panic.

So the minority party has been searching, some would say desperately, for the right "narrative": the best story line, metaphors, even magic words to bring back electoral success. The operative term among Democratic politicians and strategists has become "framing." How to tell the story has become more important than the story itself. And that could be a bigger mistake for the Democrats than the ones they made during the election.

Language is clearly important in politics, but the message remains more important than the messaging. In the interests of full disclosure, let me note that I have been talking to the Democrats about both. But I believe that first, you must get your message straight. What are your best ideas, and what are you for-as opposed to what you're against in the other party's message? Only when you answer those questions can you figure out how to present your message to the American people.

Because the Republicans, with the help of the religious right, have captured the language of values and religion (narrowly conceived as only abortion and gay marriage), the Democrats have also been asking how to "take back the faith." But that means far more than throwing a few Bible verses into policy discussions, offering candidates some good lines from famous hymns, or teaching them how to clap at the right times in black churches. Democrats need to focus on the content of religious convictions and the values that underlie them."

...

"Abortion is one such case. Democrats need to think past catchphrases, like "a woman's right to choose," or the alternative, "safe, legal and rare." More than 1 million abortions are performed every year in this country. The Democrats should set forth proposals that aim to reduce that number by at least half."


Read on...

Jim Wallis is editor and founder of the liberal evangelical magazine Sojourners, the author of The Soul of Politics and God's Politics, and the head of "Call to Renewal," a faith-based anti-poverty organization.

It is a little bit too late for that now, but I dedicate the repost of Wallis' article to all of you Libs in "Candy Land". I ask you to seriously take a second look at politics and strategy. This will be useful for the future.

Senator Byrd will not have to worry about staying consistent with that message, nor will he have to worry about the Klu Klux Klan vomit spewing from the opposition. The only thing Byrd has to worry about is the downfall of Hechler. But then again, what does 6 years difference make? Byrd triumphs in everything he takes on due to his intellect and ability. I can tell everyone right now that if Byrd officially announces his run, he will CRUSH the opposition. Hands down, not even close. Byrd will win by 20+ percentage points. Oh wait, what's that I say, only twenty? Nah, notice the plus. I'll give his opposition a little credit.

But in the meantime we should have some fun with the Republicans. I agree with what Wayne has stated: "...I think it would be a lot more fun to go on the offense with an ad that's critical of Smelly Moore Crapito, and let her see if she can defend herself." If the Democrats have half a brain here in WV they will take this opportunity to play with the Republicans. Swat them around like a cat would a mouse. Kick them up and down and show them who is boss. Republicans are starting to buck their chests out and stare 2 seconds too long in our eyes. We have to set them in their place. Do they seriously think they have a chance here in WV? Yes they do think so.

Capito, get ready to spend your money early because your name is about to be smeared worse than your blotchy face makeup.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Robert Novak Storms Off CNN Inside Politics Set

Potty mouth and everything! Bob sure likes to dish it out, but he can't take it. James Carville really got his goat. Maybe he's cracking under the pressure of the Traitorgate investigation. You can enjoy a video clip at this site:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/

Scroll down a little at the same site for an accounting of an interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R - of course) on the Brian Lehrer radio show. There's an audio clip there, for your listening enjoyment. Santorum loses it too!

Update: CNN Suspends Novak

More here

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fact Check Responds

Check out the newest Fact Check article weighing in on the Republican/Byrd ads.

"Summary

With 15 months to go before election day 2006, the National Republican Senatorial Committee unleashed an attack ad in West Virginia in an attempt to soften up Democratic Senator Robert Byrd for an eventual GOP challenger. Byrd responded immediately with a TV ad of his own.

Both ads contained shopworn distortions.

The NRSC ad accused Byrd of voting "against body armor" and "for higher taxes for the middle class" – as misleading now as when Bush used the same attacks against Kerry last year.

And Byrd responded by claiming he was being attacked by "out-of-state special interests" with an "agenda" that includes "tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas." In fact, the ad was run by a political party and not by a "special interest," and the tax breaks Byrd mentions have been in place for decades, even when Democrats had a majority in the Senate and Byrd was their leader. Few economists see those tax breaks as a serious drain on US jobs."

Open A Cold One...

I just wanted to take the time out of my 'busy schedule' and congratulate Brandon on tackling a beast of an obstacle. I guess once everything gets lined out I will have to complete my end of the bargain.

Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Great News Internet Explorer Users!

After many hours of hide and seek, I think I have fixed the errors that crammed the side bar to the bottom of the page. We at MA mostly use Mozilla Firefox or some other alternative to IE and rarely catch the errors that IE users experience.

I strongly suggest everyone use Mozilla Firefox. There are multiple things about its features that make it great, one being the built in popup blocker. Once I tested Modern America on IE, I noticed you guys experience some popup adds from bravenet, Mozilla stops that and without third party software. Another great thing about Mozilla is that it interprets code more proficiently, unlike IE that handles code sometimes like it is from another planet. Mozilla can comprehend flawed code and interpret it to what you intended...almost like a skilled living creature.

Anyway, if anyone notices anything looking a little funny, i'd appreciate an email. I'll try and stay up-to-date on how to keep MA lookin' good for your viewing pleasure. But hey, you come here for our awesome commentary and news, not the graphics and looks right?

Get Firefox


P.S. Don Surber stays up too late.

Sports Analogy

Great article by Jim Mckay.

"What West Virginia Can Learn From the Boston Red Sox

or What Manny Ramirez, Shaquille O'Neal, and Bob Byrd Have in Common...
MannyIt looks like the Red Sox have learned their lesson.

Despite rumors flying about an impending trade of Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox have decided not to trade the future Hall of Famer. It appears the Red Sox have finally learned that the best trade is often the trade you don't make.

It would not have been wise to trade their best player one year after winning the World Series. The last time they did that, the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth and ushered in almost a century of frustration before winning the World Series last October.

Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers didn't heed this advice, trading their most valuable player, Shaquille O'Neal, to the Miami Heat in exchange for 3 players hardly anybody has heard of. The results, the Lakers ended up losing more games than the LA Clippers and missed the playoffs, while Miami almost won the Championship for the first-time in franchise history.

What is the lesson?

You don't trade your most valuable players, especially not for an unproven rookie. It may seem like you made a good deal at first, but a bad trade can have lasting results.

Next year, West Virginia voters will have a chance to choose between a proven star, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who has demonstrated his value to the state time and time again, and an unproven prospect, Rep. Shelley Moore-Capito. The writers will talk about the potential of Rep. Capito, but voters should know that "trading" Senator Byrd would be no better than trading Manny for Aubrey Huff, or Shaq for those other guys.

Capito has been working in the minor leagues and has even had some success, but the US Senate is the Major Leagues. West Virginia can't afford to risk trading a perennial MVP candidate for a prospect who recently admitted,

"I'm not sure I completely understand (the federal budget process) yet myself."

That's like saying, "I can't hit a curve ball, but I'm working on it."

We can't afford to wait for someone to learn at the Major League level.

You don't have to take my word for it. Ask the fans in Los Angeles, which player do they wish they still had on their team?"