The Note: The Note for America

On the Washington Post's op-ed page, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Rep. Vin Weber, the chairman of NDI, argue that President Bush's goal of democracy in the Middle East is the right thing to do, and that the right way to make that happen is to honestly and forcefully encourage Arab leaders to substantively move toward democratic action, and support both the infrastructure and the independent media in the region. LINK

Bush agenda: domestic:

The Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Weiss details the Bush Administration's plan to help the fish farming industry expand into offshore federal waters as a way to lessen the dependence on imported seafood. LINK

The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin has more details on environmentalists' concerns. LINK

ABC News/Washington Post poll:

Yesterday we brought you some of the headlines from the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll -- including the President's career-high 52 percent job disapproval rating, fueled in large part by the "corrosive effects of the war in Iraq" and the gap between what Americans say are their political priorities and what they see occupying President Bush and lawmakers in Washington. LINK

"Iraq is a major thorn," reports ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer. "With discontent over U.S. casualties at a new peak, a record 58 percent say the war there was not worth fighting. Nearly two-thirds think the United States has gotten bogged down in Iraq, up 11 points since March. Forty-five percent go so far as to foresee the equivalent of another Vietnam." In addition, 52 percent said they think the war on terror has not improved the long-term security of the United States, and 50 percent say they approve of the way the President has handled the war on terror.

And discontent has grown -- all around. Thirty percent of Americans say President Bush is doing a better job in his second term than in his first, and 54 percent -- a six-year high -- say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Neither party is faring well among voters either; 60 percent say President Bush and his party aren't making progress on the country's problems, and 53 percent say Democrats aren't focusing on the right issues either.

Speaking of those issues, 62 percent said they disapprove of how President Bush is handling Social Security, and Americans are split at about 50-50 on whether they support a stock market option in the retirement plan. Sixty-three percent said they don't think the President's plan helps the program's long-term stability.

In terms of 2008, Note particularly the favorable/unfavorable ratings of Sens. Hillary Clinton (51/46), and John McCain (57/32).

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Claudia Deane lead by focusing on Iraq, and Americans' perception that the U.S. is not safer because of it, and Note that they're getting impatient with the country's efforts there. LINK

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