Monday, April 10, 2006

Goood Morning to the Mainland!

Slate reports: Everybody leads the pro-immigrant marches coast-to-coast. There appear to have been a few hundred thousand protesters on Washington's National Mall. Organizers claimed 500,000 peoplebut it's impossible to really know since the national park service retired from counting about a decade ago. Aside from the big protests—including an estimated 100,000 people in Phoenix—there were was also plenty of (peaceful) action in small towns such as Lake Worth, Fla and Garden City, Kan.

As the Los Angeles Times notes up high, the marches were heavy with American flags—this after criticism (including from Slate's own Mickey Kaus) about the apparent popularity of Mexican flags at last month's march in L.A.

The Washington Post off-leads a poll that has President Bush's approval rating clocking in at 38 percent—three points down from a month ago and the lowest the poll has recorded. But what's more interesting: 47 percent of all respondents said they "strongly disapprove." Overall, the president's disapproval rating was 60 percent.

The New York Times off-leads France's government backing down and promising to repeal a law that had loosened labor protections for young workers. The Post stuffs a great piece that looks at how the cushy labor laws have affected two young French workers and seem to have frankly encouraged a kind of learned helplessness.

Taking advantage of his special place as the Post's non-columnist columnist, Dana Milbank wraps up a presidential chat with some grad students yesterday. When one student asked about the leak investigation, Bush answered, "Yes, no, I, this is, there's an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case." The answer, writes Milbank, "neatly encapsulated the White House's response to the CIA leak imbroglio: No comment and non sequitur."

Milbank is on to something. Of course, the White House has been talking about the leak; they're just only offering their side of the story and not allowing their names to be used when they do. Take the "senior administration official," apparently speaking with their boss's permission, who tried to explain to yesterday's NYT how the president was not really involved. So perhaps the Times and others' leak stories should quit simply repeating the wink-and-a-nod, rote explanations for anonymity, such as, "The official declined to be named, because of an administration policy of not commenting on issues now in court. Read it all


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