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Politics and Media Headlines 1/27/09

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Alternate Universe: Tom Tomorrow

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1 in 4 Americans believe the Bush administration committed war crimes. (Think Progress)
In a new telephone survey, Rasmussen Reports has found that 25 percent of voters “believe President Bush and senior members of his administration are guilty of war crimes.” Forty-four percent of Democrats and 21 percent of unaffiliated voters believe that war crimes were committed while just 4 percent of Republicans believe the same.
The reason the number is so low is that the media, and even the Democrats, have protected Bush et al.—Caro

27 Jan 2009 // Washington, D.C. - After eight long years of secrecy, on his first full day in office, President Obama issued several executive orders signaling a new era in government openness and accountability. CREW calls on the Obama administration to fulfill its commitment to transparency by releasing records withheld from public view by the Bush administration.

Gonzales: I don’t think anyone is going to prosecute me. (Think Progress)
In his confirmation hearings, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder declared “waterboarding is torture,” worrying conservatives that he might pursue criminal prosecutions of officials involved in detainee interrogations. In an interview with NPR [Monday], former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he doesn’t believe he’ll be prosecuted… “‘Nonetheless, the very discussion about it is extremely discouraging,’ the former attorney general said.”
The more discouraging for you, the better for the rule of law, Al.—Caro

Conyers subpoenas Rove, again (On Politics, USA Today)
Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, [on Monday] subpoenaed former White House aide Karl Rove to testify a week from today before the committee. It's the second time Conyers has tried to get Rove to appear in connection with what he calls the politicization of the Justice Department during the Bush administration, including the firing of U.S. attorneys and the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman… “Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it’s time for him to talk,” Conyers said.

Former Bush Speechwriter: CIA Torturers Are ‘American Heroes’ (Think Progress)
Last week, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen penned a vitriolic op-ed in the Washington Post, arguing that if there is another terror attack, “Americans will hold Obama responsible.” Greg Sargent noted that on the same day, Thiessen called President Obama “the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office.” [Monday], in an interview on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show, Thiessen again lashed out at Obama, this time for Obama’s executive order closing Guantanamo. “I think this is the most dangerous decision that any president has made within 48 hours of his inauguration,” he said, saying that torture is “singularly responsible” for stopping attacks on the U.S. Thiessen listed a long chain of events that were all allegedly sourced to the torture of Abu Zubaydah.

Fox Shows Photos Of Muslim Men: ‘Would You Want A Guy Like This Living In Your Backyard?’ (Think Progress)
Since President Obama’s announcement last week that he would shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center within one year, Fox News has done its best to frighten its viewers about the rule… Despite Fox’s suggestion that detainees could be pitching a tent in your backyard, Guantanamo detainees transferred to the U.S. for trials would be housed in federal prisons — where dozens of dangerous terrorists are already held. In fact, the United States has already successfully prosecuted 145 terrorism cases in federal court, a sharp contrast to the series of debacles in Guantanamo prosecutions.

Later in the segment, the Fox hosts repeated some of the right wing’s favorite myths about Guantanamo. They endorsed the “great idea” conservatives have been pushing of sending detainees to Alcatraz or a “haunted” prison in West Virginia.
Is Mohammed al-Qahtani the new Willie Horton? If you think this kind of stuff has no impact, see below.—Caro

After less than a week in office, Barack Obama's approval rating plunges 15 points (The Daily Mail, U.K.)
Barack Obama might have been in office for less than a week, but the euphoria is beginning to wane. The new President's approval ratings have fallen from a stratospheric 83 per cent to a more modest - although still impressive - 68 per cent. Washington analysts said the scale of the drop in the Gallup poll underlines the immense challenges Mr Obama faces in trying to turn round the U.S.'s battered fortunes. He still remains vastly more popular than his predecessor George Bush - who left office with around 25 per cent approval.

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Carolyn Kay

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gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I'd say that there are probably 1 in 4 Americans who believe that Bill and Hillary had Vince Foster killed and were trafficking drugs through Arkansas. That 1 in 4 number doesn't impress me much.

Also, as far as Obama's approval goes, that's expected. Obama has never had to stake a clear position. Now that he is president and has to, my 1/3 rule applies: no matter what political position you take a third of the country will disagree with you. Obama's had to do a few things in his short time so that 1/3 adds up and will start to accrue disapproval. The thing about Hillary which was vital was that despite everything and being more clear on positions than any other national pol, she was still around 50% approval and rarely went below 40-45%.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

That's still a good number considering how much cheerleading the media has been doing for opinions to the contrary. Ma and Pa Kettle don't want to believe America has been naughty.

Looks like folks need a little more educating with some nice, juicy facts and a boost from foreign countries.

The truth hurts, but it can set you free. :) Hurray for cliches!!

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I did expect it to be higher, to be honest, and it should be.