Monday, February 27, 2006

PRES. BUSH'S APPROVAL RATING has plunged to a new low of 34 percent. Almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's overall job performance.

Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement.

If Pres. Bush were capable of being embarrassed, he certainly would be over the new report by a Senate panel that the Coast Guard, pointing to "broad gaps in intelligence, [had] cautioned the Bush administration [before the deal went through] ... that it was unable to determine whether a United Arab Emirates-owned company might support terrorist operations. ..."

The surprise disclosure came during a hearing on Dubai-owned DP World's plans to take over significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. The port operations are now handled by London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says.

"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the document says.

Of course, no surprise, after this damaging report came out, the Coast Guard somehow decided to check again.

Coast Guard spokesman Commander Jeff Carter said in a statement that the Cost Guard's analysis of the port deal was taken out of context. ...

"Upon subsequent and further review, the Coast Guard and the entire CFIUS panel believed that this transaction, when taking into account strong security assurances by DP World, does not compromise U.S. security."...


A separate poll was conducted just on Katrina, and it seems Americans are also thoroughly disgusted with Bush's handling of post-Katrina relief and rebuilding efforts.

... [T]wo out of three Americans said they do not think President Bush has responded adequately to the needs of Katrina victims. Only 32 percent approve of the way President Bush is responding to those needs, a drop of 12 points from last September's poll, taken just two weeks after the storm made landfall.

But at least Bush can take cheer from the fact that he got a higher approval rating than his vice-president's. An anemic 18 percent of those polled said they had a "favorable view" of Dick Cheney -- and that's down from only 23 percent last month.

The poll on Bush, the ports, and Iraq, is here. The poll on Katrina six months later is here.

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