Saturday, April 22, 2006

Autocrat-in-Chief: Bush Shuffles Titanic's Chairs, Maintains Course

Daytona Beach News-Journal/April 22, 2006

The economy, the White House tells us month after month, is performing admirably, growing for 17 straight quarters and adding 5.1 million jobs since August 2003. Consumer spending is still bingeing ahead despite jolt-a-gallon gas prices, and corporate profits in 2005 increased 16.4 percent, even better than the 12.6 percent increase recorded in 2004. Numbers like that should make a presidency glow.The Bush presidency does, but with that pale blue radioactive glow of the Cherenkov effect: Approach it at your own risk. As of today, just 36 percent of Americans approve of President Bush's performance, according to the conservative Gallup poll; 59 percent disapprove. The last time Bush saw better than 50 percent approval, the Red Sox were winning the World Series. Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon fared slightly in their worst days, but that's like using Mississippi's or Arkansas' poverty figures to make one's own state's pitiful figures look brighter. Asked about the state of the country in general, just 27 percent say they're satisfied; 71 percent are dissatisfied. The worst reading in that category was 84 percent dissatisfaction -- in July 1979, when inflation was in double-digits and the current Iranian president was cutting his fanatics' teeth on the cuffs of the 53 American hostages held in Tehran for 444 days. The Bush presidency, hostage only to its own incompetence, is in trouble. Read the full editorial ...