16 March, 2006

Things Pretty Much Status Quo as This Blogger Comes Back to the USA; Bush Approval Still Sinking

I'm back in the good old U.S.A. after about a week in Paris. Haven't had a real chance yet to see what's been going on here, but some things don't seem to change. President Bush's approval rating is still heading downward and I see Jeanine Pirro shot herself in the foot again.

For the past week while watching European TV I was basically able to determine three things: Slobodan Milosevic died and was buried, the Dubai Ports deal is dead and college students in France have been involved in minor riots to protest a new law which makes it extremely easy for companies to fire young workers without any real reason.

Seems the European cable networks are pretty much like the ones here -- latch on tightly to one story for three or four days, beat it to death and then move on to some fresher, sexier story.

In the few hours since I've been back I did notice that Jeanine Pirro made another gaffe on the campaign trail, revealing her upstate astuteness by telling an Albany radio station about New York's border with Ohio (hint to other New Yorkers who probably learned in geography class that the U.S. has two regions, New York and everything west of the Hudson - there is no NY/Ohio border). Having grown up in Ohio, where they teach real geography, I can tell you for certain you have to cut through a little corner of Pa. near Erie, if you want to get from Ohio to New York. If you missed the story, it's in today's New York Post. It's a shame these things keep cropping up for Pirro who, in this blogger's humble opinion, would have been the GOP's best candidate to run for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat before she was drummed out of the race by party higher-ups.

Upon my return I stumbled on a poll which showed President Bush's approval rating at an all-time-low 33%. I thought I was back in Pare -eee reading a poll in Le Monde, but I was actually looking at a Pew Research Center poll published yesterday. The poll also showed that only 40% of those polled found Bush to be trustworthy, while 38% said the president was well informed and 35% said he was a good manager -- all well down from the most-recent figures in October when Bush was smarting from the Katrina aftermath. The poll also shows Bush's approval rating is off eight points among Republicans and nine points among conservatives since October.

I see also that the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, published yesterday, has Bush's approval rating at 37%, down from 39% two months ago. This poll asks an interesting follow up question, with 58% of those polled saying they think recent events have been such a setback to the president that he is not likely to recover politcally, while 26% say Bush is facing a short-term setback that can be reversed

And then there is the poll by the American Research Group, which dares mention the "I" word. Forty-three percent of voters questioned in this poll said they would favor impeachment proceedings against Bush for his wiretapping program, while 50% aren't ready to go quite that far. However, 48% of voters say they would approve of a Senate measure to censure the president, while 43% are opposed to censure.

The ARG poll also shows Hillary Clinton well ahead of all Democratic candidates for the presidency in seven states with early primaries. The only one beating her is a candidate named "undecided." John McCain is ahead of all comers, including "undecided," on the Republican side of the ledger. But the poll does not include Rudy Giuliani, which makes is somewhat more irrelevant than most polls at this stage of the game. New York Gov. George Pataki gets 12% of the vote among Connecticut Republicans, but barely shows up in any of the other states.

That's about all I've got for now. I'll try to bone up and get back into the swing of things by tomorrow.

I'm sure a lot has happened in the time I've been away so I'm asking for your help. Please post a comment or send me an e-mail on something that has happened in the past week that you found interesting or worth knowing. I look forward to hearing from you!!!

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