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End of a Rubber Stamp Era?

"It has gouges six inches deep and a hundred yards long, which the city says were put there by two Air Force cargo planes accompanying the president. Las Cruces put the damage at $2.1 million."

The Air Force, which had been warned that their planes were too heavy, is now offering $600,000 for repairs.

Bush at the time was on an intensive three-day fundraising trip that netted him $4.6 million.

I noted in my August 27, 2004 column that the press charter suffered an unusually bumpy landing at Las Cruces. I guess now we know why.

Don't Come Back

Carla Marinucci writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he wants President Bush to delay a planned October fundraising visit to California because the governor fears it will siphon off donations he needs to help his Nov. 8 special election measures. . . .

"Schwarzenegger spoke glowingly of the president at last year's GOP national convention and campaigned for Bush in Ohio just days before the 2004 election, but more recently, the relationship seems to have been strained.

"The governor turned down an invitation to ride with Bush on Air Force One during the president's August visit to California -- and now, some national Republicans suggest he appears to be distancing himself from the president at a time Bush needs the former Hollywood actor's star power."

White House Mood Watch

David Gregory writes in an NBC blog: "Had a quick chat today with a young White House aide who normally loves to kid around a bit before getting down to business, but today she was more sober than usual.

"To state the obvious, these have been rough days at the White House -- at all levels of the West Wing."

Humor From Behind the Firewall

Maureen Dowd , in the newly pricey New York Times opinion section: "The president won't be happy until he dons a yellow slicker and actually takes the place of Anderson Cooper, violently blown about by Rita as he talks into a camera lens lashed with water, hanging onto a mailbox as he's hit by a flying pig in a squall, sucked up by a waterspout in the eye of the storm over the Dry Tortugas.

"Then maybe he'll go back to the White House and do his job instead of running down to the Gulf Coast for silly disaster-ops every other day."

Still Free

Harold Meyerson writes in a Washington Post op-ed: "Why has President Bush placed Karl Rove atop the government's endeavors to rebuild the Gulf Coast? Rove knows as much about massive relief and reconstruction efforts as your pet schnauzer, but he's not devoid of germane expertise.

"In the fall of 2002, as the legislation establishing the DHS was wending its way through Congress, Rove had a Rovean idea: Embed some extraneous, ideological criteria in the bill -- criteria that the Democrats would obviously oppose -- and then campaign against those Democrats for being soft on homeland security."

When it comes to relief legislation, Meyerson writes: "Rove is certainly up to the task of crafting some poison-pill provisions that would make it difficult for Democrats to vote yes."

Impeachment (Non) Watch

A handful of bloggers have been pressing other polling outfits to do what Zogby did early this summer, and ask the public if it would consider impeaching the president.

As I wrote in my July 6 column : "More than four in 10 Americans, according to a recent Zogby poll, say that if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.

"But you wouldn't know it from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out."

There was scant little coverage after my column, either. And no other polling companies asked anything remotely similar.

Now one blogger has gotten word that even Zogby won't be asking about impeachment anymore, either.

Lukery Land reprints an e-mail received from a Zogby staffer informing him: "We have decided to not to ask the impeachment question again unless it is raised in Congress. We aim to remain as impartial as possible with our questions."

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