It's been an interesting couple of weeks for the President. I've not been able to keep up as thoroughly with the news as usual, as I've been busy at work, but a few things stood out-- --his speech at the Naval Academy, where he said we can't leave Iraq too soon for fear of turning it into a base for Al Qaeda, which is a backhand way of admitting that it wasn't one before. --his call for "staying the course" even as the media was abuzz with leaks from the Pentagon about reducing troop levels in 2006. A classic case of political double-speak. --his first admissions that things aren't actually going perfectly over there. --his first ever reference to the number of Iraqi civilian dead (he suggested 30,000). --the "Plan for Victory" which the administration said was a declassified version of a 2003 plan, but whose main author was apparently Peter Feaver, a newly-hired political consultant whose expert is public opinion polling (has Bush become poll-driven Clinton?). --the bizarre revelations of $100,000,000 worth of planted propoganda stories, outsourced to some seriously shadowy folk. --Bush finally showing some recognition of the reality of global warming. --Rice finally showing some official recognition that being known worldwide as a torturer, renderer, and keeper of secret prisons might not be our best advertisement for the joys of democracy. Overall, it seems like slightly more truth-telling and course-changing than we're used to from the administration. Too bad it's not working--a grand 25% of the populace is convinced Bush actually has a workable plan for getting us out of Iraq. If only the Democrats were offering something better, but they're not. Mariner.