Give that Prez a Gold Star.

If the AP can publish this and any of us read it without consternation, we really have jumped the shark on setting impossibly low standards of the leader of the free world.

The big issue on Tuesday’s agenda was climate change; it was certain to be a major topic when Bush meets one-on-one with Merkel, one of the G-8’s strongest advocates for tough reductions in the emissions that contribute to global warming.

She succeeded in winning his backing last year, when the summit was held in Germany, to a statement pledging that the group would seriously consider a goal of halving greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 — while failing to persuade him to commit to more specific targets.

Now, as then, Bush is insisting that major emerging economies like China and India be included in any plan to cut emissions. But they have so far resisted. Adding to Bush’s isolation on the issue, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said G-8 nations must reach agreement among themselves and avoid taking the approach that “I will do nothing unless you do it first,” which he called a “vicious circle.”

Still, Bush has come a long way since his first G-8 summit when he held that evidence was not conclusive that man’s activity contributed to the warming of the Earth’s climate.

Have we all really lowered our standards so far that it’s considered progress when Bush finally acknowledges that climate change is real, all while his administration continues to stall and block any attempts to actually address it?

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