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Mostly Hot Air on Gas

"The president's conservative base is angry with his support for a guest worker program, which would increase the number of temporary visas for those with jobs here, while many Latino groups argue he hasn't stopped the effort in his party to criminalize illegal immigration."

Live Online

I'll be Live Online tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. Send me your questions and comments .

Poll Watch: How Low Can He Go?

CNN reports: "President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to a personal low, with only a third of Americans saying they approve of the way he is handling his job, a national poll released Monday said.

"In the telephone poll of 1,012 adult Americans carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, 32 percent of respondents said they approve of Bush's performance, 60 percent said they disapprove and 8 percent said they do not know."

Here are the complete results .

Asked whether "honest and trustworthy" describes the president, 40 percent said yes, down seven points in just two months. By contrast, 55 percent say those words do not apply to Bush.

And as gas prices go up and Bush's approval rating goes down, it's worth taking another look at Stuart Eugene Thiel 's chart showing how Bush's approval tracks pretty closely to gas prices (inversely of course). Thiel, who teaches economics at DePaul University, maintains the Professor Pollkatz's Pool of Polls Web site.

The Elephant in the Room

David D. Kirkpatrick writes in the New York Times about Republican Rep. Mike Sodrel's re-election campaign in Indiana as "a test case of the impact of public discontent with President Bush and the war in Iraq."

Tony Snow's Job

Suzanne Malveaux reports for CNN: "Sources close to the White House said Monday that Fox anchor Tony Snow is likely to accept the job as White House press secretary, succeeding Scott McClellan.

"The sources said they expect him to announce his decision within the next few days."

Suddenly Thin Skinned?

Snow himself writes in his latest opinion column about all the people out there who have already "told me where to go, what to use to fill various orifices, which pack animal I most closely resemble and my next-world destination. . . .

"We're already getting weary of the insult industry and the accompanying insinuation that one must view people with contrary views not only as political opponents, but as invading microbes, suitable for swift and complete destruction. Free people cannot live on rage alone. It makes them crazy and boring all at once."

But the American Street blog notes: "Tony evidently has forgotten that he once said : 'I mean, I love old fashioned eye-gouging, hair pulling, sucker-punching, full-contact politics.'

"And that he called Harry Reid 'inane' and a 'moonbat.' The same Tony Snow who doesn't like to be called a 'toady-stenographer' also liked to call Clinton the 'Big Creep.' "

McClellan's Art

CQ Weekly publishes a list of some of McClellan's favorite ways of not saying anything. Among them:

"Doesn't Know: Used at Briefings 574 Times. . . .

"Cannot Comment on an Ongoing Investigation: 210 Times. . . .

"Ask Someone Else: 50 Times. . . .

"Wants to Be Left Alone: 1 Time"

Gergen on the Five-Point Plan

Appearing on Anderson Cooper 's show on CNN, presidential pundit David Gergen took issue with the five-point plan attributed to new Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten by Mike Allen in this week's issue of Time.

"I have too much respect for Josh Bolten to believe that this is his plan. You know, somebody who really doesn't like him leaked this and attributed it to him, because this plan is cynical.

"It plays -- it plays only to the base, in a way that I think that most Americans will reject. And it's -- it just is not responsive to the -- to the real issues of the day. I mean, what's the -- what's the heart of this plan? Scaring people about Iran, putting a lot more troops on the borders with big badges, as they say, and a lot of guns, and tax breaks for investors, and then going out there and bragging a lot about their accomplishments and cozying up to the press.

"That's a plan for recovery? Now, come on. That's -- that's not a serious plan. It's cynical. It's not responsive to the problems of the country, and many people would regard it as irresponsible. I just don't believe that's their plan. I think they're going to something more serious than this. I don't believe Josh Bolten would sign on to a plan like this."

The Mysterious Claude Allen

The Washington Post's Lynne Duke tries to get a the mystery that is Claude Allen: "Even before his arrest on March 9, after a sterling career in which he rose to become a senior White House adviser, there was something enigmatic about him, a sense that more was happening beneath the surface than was readily apparent. And now, many of his friends are wondering just what that might have been.

"It is impossible, these friends say, to even imagine Allen strolling into Montgomery County Target stores in full view of security cameras and committing serial fraud."

Mostly she's left with questions. Among them:

"Were the rigors of the grueling White House schedule too great?

"Did Allen snap after decades of operating outside the African American mainstream and often in concert with figures, like [former Republican North Carolina senator Jesse] Helms, viewed as hostile to black interests?

Meet Joel Kaplan

Jim Rutenberg writes in the New York Times: "Joel D. Kaplan, the new White House deputy chief of staff for policy, has been a member of President Bush's team since the 2000 campaign, and if there was any lingering doubt about his commitment, it ended last week when he cut short his honeymoon in Hawaii to rush back to his new job."

Impeachment Watch

Tracy Swartz writes in the Chicago Sun-Times with news from the Democratic-controlled state legislature of Illinois: "State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) has sponsored a resolution calling on the General Assembly to submit charges to the U.S. House so its lawmakers could begin impeachment proceedings. . . .

"To support her legislation , Yarbrough is relying on a provision from Jefferson's Manual , a procedural handbook written by Thomas Jefferson as a supplement to U.S. House rules.

"Jefferson wrote that there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion, including 'charges transmitted from the legislature of a State.' "

Heckler Speaks Again

Agence France Presse reports: "A woman who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao on the White House lawn, said her protest was a spontaneous reaction to China's suppression of the Falungong spiritual movement. . . .

"Wang Wenyi, 47, interrupted the elaborate welcome ceremony laid on by President George W. Bush on Thursday by shouting abuse at the Chinese leader for several minutes before she was detained by Secret Service agents."

Wang herself writes in the Epoch Times: "On April 20, I went to the White House to report. However, when I saw President Bush shake hands with Hu Jintao, I couldn't help but cry out.

"I cried out for those Falun Gong practitioners, for those who have been or are going to be dissected alive for their organs. I cried out for those who have been tortured and suffered genocidal persecution.

"I don't want the U.S. President and the international media to be deceived by the CCP any more. I hope that Hu Jintao does not follow Jiang Zemin in the persecution and genocide of Falun Gong."

Prom Watch

Who's coming to the White House Correspondents Association dinner?

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts have all the details in The Washington Post.

Joke Watch

Via Kevin Drum and Needlenose , a joke apparently making the e-mail rounds:

"George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are flying on Air Force One. . . . "


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