Washington in a Flash: On Economy, Obama at 26%

Lachlan Markay /

Driving the conversation: Americans’ approval of President Obama’s handling of the economy hit a new low yesterday. According to polling company Gallup, 71 percent of adults disapprove of the president’s economic performance. Just over a quarter of respondents said they were happy with his economic record.

The last time Gallup asked the question was in May. At the time, 31 percent approved of Obama’s economic performance, while 60 percent disapproved. The decline is likely to feed an ongoing debate at the White House over whether the president should actually push for policies that are likely to aid the recovery, or should simply pursue easily passable but economically insignificant measures that will help position him politically.

Obama will likely reveal which path he’s chosen to follow when he makes a major address to the nation regarding the economy early next month.

Better late than never: For the first time, Obama explicitly called for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down today. He also announced an executive order creating what he called “unprecedented” sanctions against the regime.

A win for transparency: U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled yesterday that the White House visitor logs are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, rejecting the Secret Service’s argument that the logs were the property of the president, not any federal agency. The ruling will allow the political watchdog organization Judicial Watch to proceed with its FOIA request for the visitor logs.

Horror in Israel: Muslim militants have launched a devastating attack against Israel, killing six and wounding dozens, Israeli officials said. The attack took place near the Egyptian border, and targeted Israeli soldiers and civilians. “We are talking about a terror squad that infiltrated into Israel,” a military spokesperson said.

“Firebaggers”: The Obama campaign is none too happy with its detractors among the “professional left.” A campaign staffer sent out an email yesterday blasting the “firebagger lefty blogosphere” for its opposition to the debt limit deal. The email specifically singled out New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.