Here’s what kids think of the Fake President

Political views begin to form in childhood. Children learn who political leaders are and develop attitudes about both leaders and political institutions.

One consequence of rising levels of negative partisanship (as compared to joining a party because you feel positively toward them, their politics or their leaders) and negative campaigning is that today’s children are exposed to more negative messages about politics and political figures than children in the past.

What do kids today think about the presidency and the president? How does this compare to what children thought in the 1950s?…

Children in our study evaluated the president much more negatively than did children in the 1950s.

Nearly three-quarters of the 1950s children viewed the president as more honest than other people. Today, only 18% view the president as more honest than others…

In contrast, 1% of 1950s children considered the president “less honest than other people”; 49% of today’s children hold this view.

I wonder how many mommies and daddies of these kids voted for the Fake President. That often comes down to a discussion of “ignorant or gullible”? My cynical tendency would be to say “both”.

Nouri al-Maliki tells Britain, “Time to go home”

British combat forces are no longer needed to maintain security in southern Iraq and should leave the country, Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, has told The Times.

In an exclusive interview in Baghdad, Mr al-Maliki also criticised a secret deal made last year by Britain with the al-Mahdi Army, Iraq’s largest Shia militia. He said that Basra had been left at the mercy of militiamen who “cut the throats of women and children” after the British withdrawal from the city.

The Iraqi leader emphasised, however, that the “page had been turned” and he looked forward to a friendly, productive relationship with London. Of Britain’s presence in southern Iraq, Mr al-Maliki said: “We thank them for the role they have played, but I think that their stay is not necessary for maintaining security and control. There might be a need for their experience in training and some technological issues, but as a fighting force, I don’t think that is necessary.”

Britain wants to base its agreement on a similar deal being hammered out between Baghdad and Washington. But divisions on certain issues, in particular the immunity of US troops from Iraqi prosecution, have delayed the signing of that accord.

You have to consider whether Gordon Brown wants to weasel permission to leave from George W. – or wait till next January for the next president in case there’s a change in permission slips from the new headmaster?