It's Fat Tuesday, and New Orleans is celebrating the last day of Mardi Gras. If ever a region earned a party...especially given that 2/3 of Katrina donations have already been disbursed, but there is still substantial remaining need.
Here's hoping for some dry, sunny days ahead for everyone in the Gulf Coast.
Looks like President Bush has a grey cloud following him around today: poll numbers are at 34%, according to the latest CBS News poll. According to Froomkin, you have to go back pretty far to see numbers that low:
To find other numbers that low in the CBS poll, you have to go back 14 years to Bush's father. Bill Clinton never had it so bad.And speaking of the President, Peter Galbraith has some choice words regarding his decided lack of true Presidential temperament:
To find numbers even lower, you have to go back to Jimmy Carter's disastrous 1979 -- or to Richard Nixon in 1974, who Gallup-polled as low as 23 just before he resigned.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush told his Iraq critics, "Hindsight is not wisdom and second-guessing is not a strategy." His comments are understandable. Much of the Iraq fiasco can be directly attributed to Bush's shortcomings as a leader. Having decided to invade Iraq, he failed to make sure there was adequate planning for the postwar period. He never settled bitter policy disputes among his principal aides over how postwar Iraq would be governed; and he allowed competing elements of his administration to pursue diametrically opposed policies at nearly the same time. He used jobs in the Coalition Provisional Authority to reward political loyalists who lacked professional competence, regional expertise, language skills, and, in some cases, common sense. Most serious of all, he conducted his Iraq policy with an arrogance not matched by political will or military power.Found this Galbraith article via Josh Marshall, and it is a great read.
The NYTimes is suing the Pentagon for more documents on the NSA domestic spying progra, according to the Jurist.
The Times asserts that the Defense Department has not contended that there are "unusual circumstances" prompting the delay, which the act requires to give the government more time to respond. In a separate FOIA lawsuit [JURIST report] filed by the Electronic Information Privacy Center, a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to produce documents [JURIST report] relating to the NSA spying program, including the guidelines used when deciding whether to monitor an individual's communications.With Senate committees reviewing whether to provide oversight, or to amend FISA, information the Times or other news organizations could obtain could prove very interesting, indeed.
And on the intelligence front, there are a lot of unanswered questions about how things are going in the "revamped" intelligence service.
Froomkin also has a review of the latest Libby news, with a hat tip to Jeralyn, Next Hurrah and FDL for reporting on the Libby case, along with links to some more articles on current maneuvers and rulings. Always nice to get a pat on the back, especially from Froomkin.
The WaPo reports that the death toll in Iraq from sectarian violence has topped 1,300 since the mosque in Somarra was bombed. There were 57 deaths today alone in Baghdad, after a string of bombings, according to the NYTimes.
Things are getting worse in Sudan, as the violence has now crossed the border into Chad.
Plus, as always, Arthur is a thoughtful read.