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Goapics1
08-31-2005, 11:06 AM
Bush’s approval rating falls to new low

53 percent say they disapprove of president in new Post-ABC survey


By Richard Morin and Dan Balz

Updated: 12:02 a.m. ET Aug. 31, 2005

Rising gas prices and ongoing bloodshed in Iraq continue to take their toll on President Bush, whose standing with the public has sunk to an all-time low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found Bush's job approval rating at 45 percent, down seven points since January and the lowest ever recorded for the president in Post-ABC surveys. Fifty-three percent disapproved of the job Bush is doing.

The war has been a drag on Bush's presidency for many months, but his Iraq approval ratings in the new poll were little changed from two months ago, despite widespread violence, a rash of U.S. casualties, antiwar protests outside the president's Texas ranch and a growing debate about reducing U.S. troop levels.

What may have pushed Bush's overall ratings down in the latest poll is pervasive dissatisfaction over soaring gasoline prices. Two-thirds of those surveyed said gas prices are causing financial hardship to them or their families. Gas prices stand to go even higher after Hurricane Katrina's rampage through the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

More ominously for the president, six in 10 Americans said there are steps the administration could take to reduce gas prices. Slightly more than a third say the recent run-up has been due to factors beyond the administration's control.

"I supported him last year," said Gina Coleman, 29, a homemaker living in Camden County, N.J. "I wouldn't vote for him again. It's gas prices, the war -- just the way he has been handling things. The rise in gas is something that has been happening for a long time, and the prices are getting worse. This makes me feel more negative about him, definitely."

Bush also received negative marks for his handling of immigration, the economy and Social Security, although his ratings on the latter two were not as low as they were two months ago. A majority of Americans supported his handling of the campaign against terrorism.

Bad news for Congress, Democrats, too
The poll numbers paint a portrait of national frustration with the direction and leadership of the country, which, if not reversed in coming months, is likely to color the environment for next year's midterm elections, putting incumbents in both parties on the defensive.

Dissatisfaction is not limited to the president. Fewer than four in 10 Americans -- 37 percent -- approve of the way the Republican-controlled Congress is doing its job, the lowest rating for lawmakers in nearly eight years.

The survey also provided bad news for Democratic leaders, who are judged as offering Bush only tepid opposition. Slightly more than half of those surveyed expressed dissatisfaction with congressional Democrats for not opposing Bush more aggressively.

Self-identified Democrats were particularly impatient. More than three in four said congressional Democrats have not gone far enough to oppose Bush on Iraq or on administration policies in general.

"Somebody needs to speak up," said Michelle Burgess, 41, a home health aide in St. Louis. "Enough is enough. I don't understand why we're over there in Iraq or what he's doing on other issues. There are too many lives being lost."

Independents were similarly dissatisfied with Democratic leaders for not challenging the president over the war and other issues, with six in 10 saying Democrats have been too meek.

Public attitudes toward the war have not changed significantly since the first of the year, the poll found. Slightly more than four in 10 -- 42 percent -- approved of the job Bush is doing in Iraq; 57 percent disapproved, unchanged in recent months. Slightly more than half -- 53 percent -- said the war was not worth it, while 46 percent said it was, identical to the results of a Post-ABC poll two months ago. By a 51 percent to 38 percent ratio, the public said the United States is winning the war, despite mounting casualties and insurgent attacks.

A majority (54 percent) continued to say the United States should keep military forces in Iraq until civil order is restored there; 44 percent said U.S. forces should be withdrawn. Six in 10 opposed announcing a timetable for withdrawal. Only about one in eight -- 13 percent -- said U.S. forces should be withdrawn immediately.

Michael Strickland, 31, a factory worker who lives in Pine Bluff, Ark., said he opposed the war before the United States invaded in March 2003: " It's just another Vietnam. . . . No matter what we do over there, they are going to kill us."

His solution: withdraw -- but not immediately. "Don't tell them when we're going to leave. . . . But do it in a reasonable time frame -- six months to a year. Even if we leave, it can't get any worse over there."

These ambivalent feelings about the war and Bush's policies in Iraq are felt even by many of his supporters who continue to back the U.S. invasion.

‘Really mixed feelings’
"I have really mixed feelings, like probably the whole country has," said Wayne Almlie, 51, a warehouse worker and part-time pastor in Des Moines, who said he approves of Bush's overall performance. "We need to stay the course. I really think we do. The whole region would disintegrate if we would pull out. . . . I'd hate to have to be making those decision."

Despite escalating bloodshed, the struggles to approve a draft constitution and the well-covered antiwar protests led by Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, the survey found little evidence that antiwar sentiment has increased the past two months.

The survey also found that Sheehan, who has been protesting the war outside Bush's ranch near Crawford, Tex., has become the most visible symbol of the antiwar movement. Fully three in four Americans have heard or read about her.

Sheehan met last year with Bush at an event for military families and has been seeking another meeting with him. Slightly more than half of the country -- 52 percent -- said Bush should meet her again; 46 percent said he should not. Fifty-three percent supported what she is doing and 42 percent opposed.

The poll found that opposition to the war has deepened among Democrats. Two months ago, two in three Democrats said they strongly disapproved of Bush's handling of Iraq; that has risen to three in four. Over that same period, the proportion of Democrats who described themselves as "angry" over Bush's Iraq policies has risen from 36 percent to 46 percent.

The poll found that Sheehan's activities may have helped increase support for the war among Bush supporters. Although eight in 10 Americans said Sheehan's protests have not changed their attitudes toward the war, one in 10 said she has made them more likely to support the conflict -- the same proportion that said she has made them less likely to support the war.

A total of 1,006 randomly selected adults were interviewed by telephone Aug. 25-28. The margin of sampling error for the results is plus or minus three percentage points.

Bowser
08-31-2005, 11:12 AM
You think it's low now? Wait until gas reaches 4 bucks a gallon.



:Poke:

vailpass
08-31-2005, 11:19 AM
Is that full bush, landing strip, dorito, or Hitler bush?
Exactly what are we voting on here?

BIG_DADDY
08-31-2005, 11:29 AM
I am not happy with him either but I expect ABC to be about as objective as Joseph Stalin would have been on the benefits of Capitalism.

Area 51
08-31-2005, 11:34 AM
He's doing what he wants, he isn't running for re-election. What does that mean to him?

I know that's cold, but what the heck?

Pitt Gorilla
08-31-2005, 12:09 PM
He's doing what he wants, he isn't running for re-election. What does that mean to him?

I know that's cold, but what the heck?
I'm guessing it means more to his buddies in congress.

KCTitus
08-31-2005, 12:20 PM
This is terrible news...sure not going to help when he runs for re-election come 2008.

Area 51
08-31-2005, 12:20 PM
I'm guessing it means more to his buddies in congress.

That could be, but I doubt that their elections would be impacted. The next Republican running for President will have to have some pretty impressive credentials to get around where we are now.

Heck, Gore or Kerry could win against the next guy and they are total losers!!!

Mr. Laz
08-31-2005, 12:40 PM
Is that full bush, landing strip, dorito, or Hitler bush?
Exactly what are we voting on here?
very nice


ROFL ROFL

Pitt Gorilla
08-31-2005, 02:09 PM
That could be, but I doubt that their elections would be impacted. The next Republican running for President will have to have some pretty impressive credentials to get around where we are now.

Heck, Gore or Kerry could win against the next guy and they are total losers!!!
Honestly, I'm guessing some sort of fiscal conservative/social, environmental moderate would do the best. Gore and Kerry still stink.

mlyonsd
08-31-2005, 02:53 PM
Honestly, I'm guessing some sort of fiscal conservative...

I'm not sure that animal still exists.

Radar Chief
08-31-2005, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure that animal still exists.

At least not in the form of a politician.

Chief Henry
08-31-2005, 03:07 PM
[QUOTE=apics1]and insurgent attacks.


‘The poll found that Sheehan's activities may have helped increase support for the war among Bush supporters. Although eight in 10 Americans said Sheehan's protests have not changed their attitudes toward the war, one in 10 said she has made them more likely to support the conflict -- the same proportion that said she has made them less likely to support the war.

QUOTE]



:hmmm:

Brock
08-31-2005, 03:08 PM
Honestly, I'm guessing some sort of fiscal conservative/social, environmental moderate would do the best. Gore and Kerry still stink.

The first thing a fiscal conservative would do is slash government benefits, ergo unelectable.

Chief Henry
08-31-2005, 03:10 PM
[QUOTE=apics1]and insurgent attacks.


‘The poll found that Sheehan's activities may have helped increase support for the war among Bush supporters. Although eight in 10 Americans said Sheehan's protests have not changed their attitudes toward the war, one in 10 said she has made them more likely to support the conflict -- the same proportion that said she has made them less likely to support the war.

QUOTE]



:hmmm: This was clear at the END of the Story.
Big Daddy is right. How credible is ABC News?

PRIEST
08-31-2005, 04:33 PM
Meanwhile ,He was so rudely interrupted on his month long vaction,finally decides to adress the people of Louisiana,Mississippi,Alabama & the nation.Three day's after to most devastating natural event in the south.Can't even listen to this guy any more. :cuss:

gblowfish
08-31-2005, 05:07 PM
I'm leaning towards a John McCain/Christopher Walken ticket.
More Cowbell for America!!

memyselfI
08-31-2005, 06:31 PM
Meanwhile ,He was so rudely interrupted on his month long vaction,finally decides to adress the people of Louisiana,Mississippi,Alabama & the nation.Three day's after to most devastating natural event in the south.Can't even listen to this guy any more. :cuss:


I see Katrina as a disaster not even Karl Rove can control. DUHbya already had a shrinking approval rating. With gas prices headed sky high and nothing being done BEFORE the hurricane to address the problem (the past year or so) and much pain and suffering left behind by Katrina (of which he is not responsible for doing but will be for fixing) this is a no win scenario for DUHbya.

No matter what he does it will not be enough as long as we are throwing billions of dollars a day at Iraq. People questioned the wisdom of the war before will now start questioning the cost in dollar terms vs. what is spent here and how infrastructure and lives here will need to be fixed.

Katrina provides DUHbya a decent cover for leaving Iraq. But he is in a bad spot politically speaking and I don't think his expert spin machine can do a damn thing to fix it.

CHIEF4EVER
08-31-2005, 06:34 PM
I see Katrina as a disaster not even Karl Rove can control. DUHbya already had a shrinking approval rating. With gas prices headed sky high and nothing being done BEFORE the hurricane to address the problem (the past year or so) and much pain and suffering left behind by Katrina (of which he is not responsible for doing but will be for fixing) this is a no win scenario for DUHbya.

No matter what he does it will not be enough as long as we are throwing billions of dollars a day at Iraq. People questioned the wisdom of the war before will now start questioning the cost in dollar terms vs. what is spent here and how infrastructure and lives here will need to be fixed.

Katrina provides DUHbya a decent cover for leaving Iraq. But he is in a bad spot politically speaking and I don't think his expert spin machine can do a damn thing to fix it.

Wow. You have this seriously angry hate fixation for Dubya. I hear poking smot helps to take the edge off of that.

memyselfI
08-31-2005, 06:36 PM
Wow. You have this seriously angry hate fixation for Dubya. I hear poking smot helps to take the edge off of that.

Nope. I just realize that this situation is one that DUHbya will not be able to fix and people will expect, and unrealistically so, him to do it.

And when they are reminded he can't, they will ask (rightly so) why we are nation building someone else's nation and can't do our own.

To which, the WH will have no answer. Political natural disaster...so to speak.

memyselfI
08-31-2005, 06:39 PM
Wow. You have this seriously angry hate fixation for Dubya. I hear poking smot helps to take the edge off of that.

Nope. I just realize that this situation is one that DUHbya will not be able to fix and people will expect, and unrealistically so, to do it.

And when they are reminded he can't, they will ask (rightly so) why we are nation building someone else's nation and can't do our own.

To which, they will have no answer. Political natural disaster...so to speak.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/12526096.htm

Newsview: Bush has own challenge in Katrina

RON FOURNIER

Associated Press


WASHINGTON - President Bush, who crafted a take-charge image from the Sept. 11 attacks, faces a stiff challenge in responding to Hurricane Katrina.

Cutting short his vacation and marshaling the power of the federal government could help reverse his sliding job approval rating. But the president's hands-on approach seems a bit too political for some, and makes him an easy target should Katrina's victims start looking for somebody to blame during the long, costly road to recovery.

In purely political terms, the question is whether Bush can live up to the tough, can-do reputation he cultivated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Or whether he falls short of expectations and pays a political price, as his father did after Hurricane Andrew slammed Florida in 1992.

"There is a sense here that he's still the 9/11 president, and could bring the same magic here," said Elliott Stonecipher, an independent political consultant from Shreveport, La.

At the same time, Stonecipher and other political analysts said people are aware that Bush benefited politically from the Sept. 11 attacks, and they may be skeptical of his response to the natural disaster that has rocked the Gulf Coast.

"I can hear it already, `He's just doing it because his poll numbers are at bottom,'" Stonecipher said.

Rising gas prices and the bloodshed in Iraq have dropped Bush's job approval ratings to the lowest levels of his presidency, according to polls. Katrina is already causing higher gas prices and shortages, adding to his political woes.

While few compare Hurricane Katrina to the Sept. 11 attacks - one a natural disaster, the other a manmade one - several Gulf Coast residents reflected on Bush's performances four years ago as they discussed how he should respond to this crisis.

"I would like to see him get in here and support these people like he did in New York," said Trichia Key, 60, a Democratic voter from Batesville, Miss., who has taken in family from hard-hit Biloxi, Miss. - about 275 miles southeast from her home. "He can do it. We've seen him do it."

Even so, Key bitterly noted that the federal response may be hurt by the Iraq war.

"If we didn't have all our National Guard troops in Iraq, we could probably do a lot more," she said.

That may not be the only line of criticism.

Bernie Pinsonat, a bipartisan pollster with Southern Media and Opinion Research in Baton Rouge, La., said the president - along with local political figures - may eventually be blamed for circumstances that led to the flooding of New Orleans.

"When the people of Louisiana quit being awed by the destruction, they're going to start asking questions. What happened to the water pumps? Why didn't the levees hold? I think there will be a lot of finger-pointing," Pinsonat said.

Some Democrats circulated an article on the Editor & Publisher Web site suggesting that spending pressures from the war in Iraq, homeland security and Bush's tax cuts drained money from New Orleans flood-control projects.

"As these facts get out, and the American people learn that decisions were made not to fund improvements of the levees because of Iraq, they will not be happy," said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic consultant in Washington.

It wasn't just Democrats taking jabs at Bush. The Manchester Union-Leader, a consistently conservative voice in New Hampshire, took the president to task for not reacting quickly enough to Katrina.

"The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, has vanished," said Wednesday's editorial. "In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster and economic uncertainty."

Bush hoped to strike a decidedly different pose Wednesday.

After sticking to his vacation plans amid rising bloodshed in Iraq, the president bolted Texas two days early to oversee recovery efforts from Washington. From the Rose Garden, Bush addressed the victims directly, speaking as he did four years ago about a national cause and unity of purpose.

"I'm confident with time you'll get your life back in order. New communities will flourish. The great city of New Orleans will be back on its feet and America will be a stronger place for it," Bush said. "The country stands with you."

Responding to Bush's statement, Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said the president should have had troops and supplies on the ground Monday. "President Bush's wake-up call came awfully late," he said.

Bush doesn't want to make the same mistake his father did in 1992, when the White House was criticized for reacting too slowly after Hurricane Andrew and then was accused of pandering.

"Initially, this helps Bush because it has him taking charge, showing leadership, marshaling the power of his office," said John Green, director of the University of Akron's Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics.

"The downside is that if the recovery doesn't go quickly, despite what the president does to mobilize resources, people will view his involvement cynically," Green said. "In other words, `He's just doing this for show.'"

---

memyselfI
08-31-2005, 06:42 PM
As this article points out, the $$$ questions are already being asked and have been for years.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? 'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

By Will Bunch

Published: August 30, 2005 9:00 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters may still keep rising in New Orleans late on Tuesday. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until it's level with the massive lake.

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Also that June, with the 2004 hurricane season starting, the Corps' project manager Al Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."

The panel authorized that money, and on July 1, 2004, it had to pony up another $250,000 when it learned that stretches of the levee in Metairie had sunk by four feet. The agency had to pay for the work with higher property taxes. The levee board noted in October 2004 that the feds were also now not paying for a hoped-for $15 million project to better shore up the banks of Lake Pontchartrain.

The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs.

There was, at the same time, a growing recognition that more research was needed to see what New Orleans must do to protect itself from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But once again, the money was not there. As the Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22:

"That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount. But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money, he said."

The Senate was seeking to restore some of the SELA funding cuts for 2006. But now it's too late.

One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer: a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday.

The Newhouse News Service article published Tuesday night observed, "The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. ... In its budget, the Bush administration proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need."

Local officials are now saying, the article reported, that had Washington heeded their warnings about the dire need for hurricane protection, including building up levees and repairing barrier islands, "the damage might not have been nearly as bad as it turned out to be."

Ugly Duck
09-01-2005, 12:07 AM
This is terrible news...sure not going to help when he runs for re-election come 2008.Maybe Bush cannot be re-elected, but for this admin, that don't mean much. He never was a real president - just an emptysuit figurehead for the neocon cabal thats really running the country. The cabal could run one of the stars of Dumb & Dumberer in 2008 and keep the same admin. 'Cept that they are losing support bigtime & may not be able to pull it off.

Boyceofsummer
09-01-2005, 12:45 AM
Wow. You have this seriously angry hate fixation for Dubya. I hear poking smot helps to take the edge off of that.

This natural disaster will not rally America behind Bush. If this administration handles this disaster anything like Iraq many Americans will be affected and will take revenge the only way they know how. At the polls. Sorry, but this is the political reality.

jettio
09-01-2005, 07:48 AM
Things are looking up, B*sh has appointed some fella named Paul Bremer to head the Katrina Provisional Authority.

This guy is nails and is gonna right nature's wrongs in a minute and a half.