Poll: 72% say positive report from Petraeus won’t affect view of war

posted at 5:28 pm on August 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

Not quite the same as Harry Reid vowing not to believe Petraeus if he reports progress, but close enough. Well, actually, in light of the results of the second question, I guess it is the same. That’s not Petraeus’s fault — a plurality of the public approves of him personally, after all — it’s probably just the cumulative effect of one too many unrealistically optimistic assessments by the administration over the years. Which, if true, means the fact that the White House and not Petraeus is going to write the actual report will only drive the numbers down further (the poll was taken last week, before that news broke).

28% ain’t nothing, of course, although the report would likely have to be decidedly positive to flip the fencesitters in large numbers. And given the state of the Iraqi government, “decidedly positive” seems out of the question.

Radio Blogger argues that the sample is flawed, particularly the suspicious use of a half sample for these questions. I’m skeptical, but I hope he’s right. Note that the second question is conspicuously more leading than it needs to be.

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The effect of the commie-dhim-lib media and the constant drumbeat of defeat-cut-and-run-surrender.

jdawg on August 16, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Minds are made before facts are in.

Might as well read the end of the book rather than the whole story.

Kini on August 16, 2007 at 5:36 PM

If we disagree with it, or if it helps the other side, or if it’s beneficial to America – we unequivocally reject it.

- From The Dem Manifesto

OhEssYouCowboys on August 16, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Did they ask whether or not their opinion would change if the report was negative?

Nonfactor on August 16, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Did they also include the question,
If you were neck deep in a cesspool and someone threw a bucket of sh!t at your head would you duck?

Maybe they could have asked,
Have you ever had sex with a goat until you were satisfied?

Do they really think they’re fooling anyone but themselves?

jdkchem on August 16, 2007 at 5:41 PM

But if the report is negative, the Dhimmis will tout it as gospel.

Tony737 on August 16, 2007 at 5:41 PM

Did they ask whether or not their opinion would change if the report was negative?

I don’t think so. I forgot to add the link to the poll originally; it’s there now.

Allahpundit on August 16, 2007 at 5:43 PM

Did they ask whether or not their opinion would change if the report was negative?

Nonfactor on August 16, 2007 at 5:39 PM

If we agree with it, or if it helps our side, or if it’s detrimental to America, we unequivocally accept it.

- From The Dem Manifesto Addendum

OhEssYouCowboys on August 16, 2007 at 5:44 PM

Addendum

OhEssYouCowboys on August 16, 2007 at 5:45 PM

I’m in the majority.

I won’t change my view. I believe we should be there.
And I’m pulling for our troops out there.

I also do not trust that he will tell the whole truth to the public …and…..I hope he doesn’t.

to nonfactor; my opinions won’t change if the report is negative. I get negative every day.

Silly poll, anyway. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t help anything. It does nothing, really.

bridgetown on August 16, 2007 at 5:45 PM

The American people want to live in peace

They believe the dems can just give them that

Unfortunately we will have to pay a price for that

William Amos on August 16, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Trust him to report what’s really going on? 43%

Nearly as high as Congress and the President combined.

Matticus Finch on August 16, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Huh – they’re going to hold a referendum on war policy? How come I haven’t received my pamphlet? Or is the policy just going to be decided by poll?

BS questions. BS results. Getting too upset or excited about would be about on par with getting upset or excited about whatever latest nuance of the Democrat+MSM defeatist “stampede” of a few weeks ago (when Hot Air kept on putting up those depressively upset and exicted “End Game” posts).

Take a deep breath. The country (not the same as the poll respondents) will know how it’s reacting to Petraeus & Crocker around the time that it’s actually reacting to Petraeus & Crocker, rather than to its expectations about its future reactions.

CK MacLeod on August 16, 2007 at 5:50 PM

1. I am always suspicious of WHO they ask in these polls. How do I know if they aren’t cherrypicking their respondents?

2. There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

3. If people don’t care about the truth, it could come to them in the guise of an angel of light and they’ll yawn, change the channel and open the next bag of chips.

Mommynator on August 16, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Amen, CK MacLeod @ 5:50PM

bridgetown on August 16, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Professor Wagstaff: [singing] I don’t know what they have to say / It makes no difference anyway / Whatever it is, I’m against it. / No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it! / Your proposition may be good / But let’s have one thing understood: / Whatever it is, I’m against it. / And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it, I’m against it! / For months before my son was born / I used to yell from night till morn: / Whatever it is, I’m against it! / And I’ve kept yelling since I’ve first commenced it, I’m against it.

- The Cat

P.S. That was Groucho Marx

MirCat on August 16, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Other than in the short run, I doubt that it is going to make that much difference if “the surge” is “working” or not.

It is more than a little like a doctor treating someone for extremely high blood pressure. Say after 4 years of it’s going up and up and up he finally tries a larger drug dose and maybe a bit of a different drug and gets it down from say 200/140 to 170/120. What difference does it make getting the patient’s blood pressure down if the patient has Islamocarcinoma? Islamocarcinoma that is left largely untreated and may be largely untreatable. What difference does it make?

Those who place so much weight on and hope in “The Surge” seem to not want to see the Islamocarcinoma forest for the surgetrees.

Of course WHEN we finally get out of Iraq does make a difference in how many more American troops lose their lives and limbs.

As to the Iraqis lives and limbs and their “nation”, which is much less important to me than our troops, if we get out or stay even longer, who really knows for sure one way or the other if it would get better or worse.

With 500 Iraqis just killed in one attack can it get much worse for even them? Iraq has about 25 million people. America has about 300 million. So proportionately 500 to them would be 6,000 to America. The equivalent of two 9/11′s.

MB4 on August 16, 2007 at 5:58 PM

If he reports that the U.S. is making progress, would that make you more likely to support the war,…

Allah, based on the formulation of the question I would guess that the half who were excluded are the half who already rate negative/mind made up (47%). (And if you believe 47% of Americans hate Bush so much they’re done supporting the war no matter what, you’re deluded.)

But it doesn’t matter. CNN didn’t release any metrics on the demographic breakdown of this poll so it’s complete trash. How worthless do you have to be to release a poll and not release data about who was polled? What use is this supposed to be to consumers of information? How are we supposed to make any judgements about it’s reliability and accuracy? Pure crap. Next!

(My guess is it’s weighted something like 40% Democrat/ 35% Independent/ 25% Republican. CNN staff live in a fantasy world where this seems plausible.)

The Apologist on August 16, 2007 at 6:01 PM

MB4, you are one sick person.

bridgetown on August 16, 2007 at 6:03 PM

MB4′s Right. We should pack up and go home now. Then once back, let’s get rid of the fire departments. I mean fires will happen and keep happening and there is nothing we can do about it. And close down the police stations; murders, robberies, rapes, there’s all just a fact of life. Don’t get me started on the hospitals. . .

- The Cat

MirCat on August 16, 2007 at 6:04 PM

MB4, you are one sick person.

bridgetown on August 16, 2007 at 6:03 PM

You need to make a doctors appointment for yourself, not me.

MB4 on August 16, 2007 at 6:12 PM

MirCat on August 16, 2007 at 6:04 PM

Text bookcase of reductio ad absurdum.

MB4 on August 16, 2007 at 6:14 PM

Ignoring the results, the question itself is formulated in a flawed way. The assumption of the questioner is implictiy that everyone who heard it started out not supporting it. There is no possiblity to awnser that the report moved you to support it less, in other words everyone already does not support it by default. Polls reveal absoloutly nothing except the bias of those who formulated them if the questios are not nuetral.

Resolute on August 16, 2007 at 6:14 PM

The MSM publishes a poll showing that the vast majority of Americans agree with them, and we wonder if it could be legitimate.
Every few weeks.

NellE on August 16, 2007 at 6:14 PM

Poll: 72% say positive report from Petraeus won’t affect view of war

Allah they are lying. It is a reaction to not wanting to be a sheeple and led astray by a Bushco dog. But…

Another poll had the most trusted source for information on the war as… Petraeus. “Goodnews” about Iraq will without a doubt raise support. It is already happening.

Theworldisnotenough on August 16, 2007 at 6:17 PM

The fact that the United States was winning every battle in Vietnam didn’t effect the attitudes in this quitter nation, so why should this war be any different.

It’s a sad day for the Republic.

rplat on August 16, 2007 at 6:19 PM

If this is a CNN poll, then it would need more demographics of the respondents before it should get any consideration. The half sample need explantion. When the owner, Ted Turner, does not know which side he wants to win, then basing any opinion on this poll is not

volsense on August 16, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Poll: 72% say positive report from Petraeus won’t affect view of war

But if even 30% of the populous still supports the war, that could be substantial. And wars should not be ran by the polls anyway.

Maxx on August 16, 2007 at 6:28 PM

That’s because out of the 72%,
20% are libs.
22% are going to blockbusters.
30% don’t care.

This was a liberal poll done by liberals,for liberals!

canopfor on August 16, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Text bookcase of reductio ad absurdum.

MB4 on August 16, 2007 at 6:14 PM

Backatcha

- The Cat

MirCat on August 16, 2007 at 6:54 PM

I’ll see what the polls say after his report, instead of dealing in the hypothetical.

Actions are going to speak louder than words here though, we need to build on the momentum out there.

John from OPFOR on August 16, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Minds are made before facts are in.

Might as well read the end of the book rather than the whole story.

Kini on August 16, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Why bother reading the end of the book either. Just have someone tell you about the book and how it ends, or how they think it should end.

Tuari on August 16, 2007 at 7:22 PM

I suppose a significant portion of the 72% are–like me–rock-ribbed supporters of staying the course in Iraq whether or not Petraeus comes back with a rosy outlook.

Patraeus’ report will have “no effect of your view of the war” to those of us who realize we must press on to victory no matter the cost, realizing the cost of defeat will surely outweigh whatever cost it takes to secure victory.

clark smith on August 16, 2007 at 7:24 PM

That’s because out of the 72%,
20% are libs.
22% are going to blockbusters.
30% don’t care.

canopfor on August 16, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Actually, it occurred to me that a good percentage of these respondents might very well be conservatives who support the war and will continue to support the war if Petraeus gives a positive report.

I would have to answer that question by saying that it would have no effect on my view of the war. I think we’re doing the right thing over there, I trust Petraeus, I don’t think we should leave yet–and a positive report from Petraeus won’t change any of that.

Same is true for the libs who answered it. Doesn’t matter what Petraeus says–they’ve made up their minds about the war.

The question is fundamentally flawed, as is the other one. As are most poll questions, unfortunately.

aero on August 16, 2007 at 7:25 PM

AP notes:

Radio Blogger argues that the sample is flawed, particularly the suspicious use of a half sample for these questions. I’m skeptical, but I hope he’s right. Note that the second question is conspicuously more leading than it needs to be.

Not only is the second question leading, the use of a half-sample increases the margin of error. It’s 3% for the total sample, so the results from the half-sample could be a lot closer than the reported 10-point spread.

Karl on August 16, 2007 at 7:52 PM

I would strongly suspect that this poll is mathematical garbage and about what one would expect from the source.

rplat on August 16, 2007 at 7:57 PM

Huh – they’re going to hold a referendum on war policy? How come I haven’t received my pamphlet? Or is the policy just going to be decided by poll?

If you thought that way on every political issue you’d be eligible for the European Commission.

aengus on August 16, 2007 at 8:03 PM

Not only is the second question leading, the use of a half-sample increases the margin of error. It’s 3% for the total sample, so the results from the half-sample could be a lot closer than the reported 10-point spread.

Good point. Plus the liberal pollsters convey through their tone of voice what answer they’d like to hear and Americans are (generally) very polite and tend to give the answer expected of them. That’s partly why every time the Republicans win an election the polls tend Democratic.

aengus on August 16, 2007 at 8:06 PM

Or could it the infamous Diebold conspiracy? I comment, you decide.

aengus on August 16, 2007 at 8:07 PM

If you thought that way on every political issue you’d be eligible for the European Commission.

Doesn’t everyone? Or at least 50% +1 of everyone?

CK MacLeod on August 16, 2007 at 8:08 PM

On the other hand what could General Petraeus possibly say to change my opinion of Harry Reid? For people who are natural skeptics and trying hard to be logical it is very hard to change underlying beliefs.

For political hacks like dingy Harry admitting that Bush just might have been right is way, way too much to ask.

Skeptically yours,

TunaTalon on August 16, 2007 at 8:13 PM

Doesn’t everyone? Or at least 50% +1 of everyone?

Doesn’t everyone what? Yeah I know America is a 50/50 nation but we’re talking about a specific issue.

For people who are natural skeptics and trying hard to be logical it is very hard to change underlying beliefs.

Well I’ve changed my beliefs several times over the last three years based on new information. Maybe that makes me a moron, I don’t know.

aengus on August 16, 2007 at 8:30 PM

Backatcha

- The Cat

MirCat on August 16, 2007 at 6:54 PM

Ahctakcab

MB4 on August 16, 2007 at 8:38 PM

people are stupid

tomas on August 16, 2007 at 8:50 PM

people are stupid

tomas on August 16, 2007 at 8:50 PM

Well I’ve changed my beliefs several times over the last three years based on new information. Maybe that makes me a moron, I don’t know.
aengus on August 16, 2007 at 8:30 PM

Not all skeptics are morons, but some are. On the plus side many morons are gullible.

The author of those poll questions assumed a gullible public.

TunaTalon on August 16, 2007 at 9:20 PM

people are stupid

tomas on August 16, 2007 at 8:50 PM

You can say that again.

The Apologist on August 16, 2007 at 9:23 PM

The fact that the United States was winning every battle in Vietnam didn’t effect the attitudes in this quitter nation, so why should this war be any different.
rplat on August 16, 2007 at 6:19 PM

rplat, You and Rachel Sweet may believe that “EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT BUT NOTHING HAS CHANGED” but this old hillbilly still has hope for the best of the country to shine through the fog of politics.

TunaTalon on August 16, 2007 at 9:30 PM

Doesn’t everyone what?

I was being sarcastic, suggesting that “everyone,” not just EU Commissioners is ruled by opinion polls rather than, say, by using their brains.

CK MacLeod on August 16, 2007 at 10:00 PM

“More likely to support the war” strikes me as a poorly formulated choice in an of itself, but it’s particularly unhelpful when posed as an alternative to “No effect on your view of the war.”

Indeed, the pivotal opinion change would be among those who may never say they “support the war” in any case, but who hesitate or balk at the consequences of withdrawal — especially at the very moment it begins to look like we may finally be making measurable progress.

JM Hanes on August 16, 2007 at 11:28 PM

Unfortunately we will have to pay a price for that

William Amos on August 16, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Sad, but true. I also dislike that the Democrats have no problem leaving southern Iraq a “de facto” province governed influenced by Iran.

ColtsFan on August 16, 2007 at 11:48 PM

RE;72%
Aero on August 16 2007 at 7:25PM.

Aero your right about the poll.It wouldn’t affect my opinion
either.There’s no way the United States should pull out.

I’ll tell you about this war that people don’t get.
Saddam went into a country Kuwait,murdered,raped and
pillaged.President Bush SR. got the ball rolling and
thank G!D kicked his !SS out.
Then after Saddam pussy-footed around with the useless UN
for what almost 10 to 12 years of UN resolutions.
The United States and the Brits flew air cover so he couldn’t murder the kurds north and south.

The media covers this war as if Irag was having tea
and minding there own business and the United States
had nothing else to do on a Sunday.

This is a just and right war.

canopfor on August 16, 2007 at 11:59 PM

Why the hell should we stay in Iraq? Does anyone actually believe that the current Iraqi government has a prayer of actually working? Those people have no intention of working together, just killing each other and grabbing resources from each other as they have for centuries. To think that is going to change anytime soon is completely ludicrous. Time to get out of Iraq!

The Sinner on August 17, 2007 at 1:29 AM

The Sinner-

Time to get out of Iraq.

But you can kill more jihadis in Iraq, at the moment, than anywhere else.

I think we were betrayed by our own government flunkies who allowed an Islamic instead of a U.S. secular model Constitution to be imposed on Iraq, but, meanwhile, the terrorists-in-training need to be killed wherever they appear. They’re appearing in Iraq.

And they aren’t going away unless we send them away.

Leaving before a lot more of them are at room temperature will only heat up things in our future.

It’s a schismic messs, with neither Sunnis nor Shi’ites going anywhere but toward a neo-Saddam strongman, but it is an opportunity for our troops to eliminate troublemakers.

Once the malignant jihadi herd is thinned, we can regroup around the oil fields and square the coalition for their war expenditures.

The Iraqis appear to have grafted away billions of infidel bucks.

Time to repay the compliment.

profitsbeard on August 17, 2007 at 2:19 AM

The Sinner asks: “Why the hell should we stay in Iraq?”

In brief:

1. To destroy Al Qaeda. This is the most important reason to remain in Iraq. Iraq is where we are directly confronting the organization that struck us on 9/11/01. According to the latest NIE, Al Qaeda in Iraq is Al Qaeda’s “most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the [U.S.] homeland.” We are destroying our enemy in Iraq. We need to continue destroying them, their cadres and their recruits. Each dead Al Qaeda soldier is one who WILL NOT be attacking us here in the USA or elsewhere around the world. To cut and run now before Al Qaeda is destroyed will not end their war upon us. Besides, the only GOOD Al Qaeda fighter is a DEAD ONE! Only liberals, apparently, object to this course of action, killing Al Qaeda.

2. To prevent a genocide that would make Pol Pot’s 2.25 million murdered people look like a Teletubbies episode. According to Iraqi polls, the US military is trusted by all Iraqi constituents to be a fair enforcer. As a result, cooperation with us among the common people of Iraq, regardless of religion or ethnic background is very high. If we pull out now, there will be no moderating force, and genocide will be the result. Remember, the genocide in Cambodia plus the 800,000 murdered people in South Vietnam ONLY HAPPENED because Democrats caused their defeat and then abandoned them. Only liberals approve of genocide.

3. It is in our national interest to keep the oil resources of Iraq OUT OF HOSTILE HANDS. Premature withdrawal from Iraq will mean that either Iran or Al Qaeda (or both) will control the second or third LARGEST OIL RESERVES on the planet. It will be used as a weapon to destroy our economy, given the liberals absolutely refuse to allow us to expand our domestic oil production. You can take that to the bank — if you can afford the price of gas, that is. You’d almost think that liberals WANT our economy to crash and burn with their environmental policies and their willingness for us to surrender to Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do you need more help in understanding why we must remain in Iraq to finish the job?

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 3:09 AM

There’s the top half and the bottom half. The top half at least strives – however imperfectly – toward understanding, moral clarity and truth. The bottom half is compulsively drawn to darkness, moral cowardice and denial of reality. The bottom half, in our age, is called the Left.

To imagine this force has any intention of ever doing, feeling, or perceiving anything positive about national defense – no matter what the facts and the nature of the enemy are – is to not understand what it is.

Halley on August 17, 2007 at 3:13 AM

Do you need more help in understanding why we must remain in Iraq to finish the job?

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 3:09 AM

You make some valid points and dignified argument, but I’m not biting. Even with the surge, the savages over there continue to push each other into all-out tribal warfare. Our boys are just getting picked off delaying the inevitable, and our heavily invested time and money are going up in flames. It’s far too late and completely unrealistic to believe these centuries-old tribal frictions will dissipate soon in the present Iraqi Parliament. The Parliament members don’t even bother showing up for work anymore!

Let’s cut our losses, bring half of our poor war-torn boys home, disperse the other half to Iraqi borders to restrict outside fighters from coming in and expanding the conflict. Genocide and other horrendous crimes against humanity will be committed during the Civil War, sad to say. But perhaps the Shiite militias will do a better job of killing Al-Qaeda than we are. With the satisfaction of revenge and their newly-acquired plethora of resources and land, the Shiites could join the Kurds in appreciating our efforts in their outcome and be allies. Iran and Al Qaeda will still be a problem, ofcourse, but energy independence and better foreign intelligence relations can help keep those 2 at bay, and hell, if we could stare down the mighty USSR and Hitler’s war machine, these cave-dwellers should be no problem w/ a badass like Rudy in the Oval Office. Too sum up, the genocide may have some upside…. again, sad to say.

The Sinner on August 17, 2007 at 5:03 AM

The Sinner: “You make some valid points and dignified argument, but I’m not biting.”

I am not surprised, given the tone of your posts.

Nevertheless besides the three reasons I mentioned above, there is another: We are winning!

And that one, by itself, is enough to convince any rational person that snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is not just wrong, but stupid, given the stakes involved.

You wrongly characterize what is happening as by your dismissive comment, “our boys are just getting picked off delaying the inevitable,” clearly ignoring the reality on the ground.

We’re not getting “picked off”, WE’RE DOING THE “PICKING.” All you are listening to is the “Litany for Surrender” that the media publishes to give the impression of inevitable defeat. But that’s not the reality. The reality is that we are doing more than decimating Al Qaeda. We are dismantling their leadership cadre, smashing their fighting forces, destroying their arms caches, and removing their pawns from the battle space in overwhelming numbers. For a graphic about how successful we have been in just July in killing their leadership, see: http://billroggio.com/dailyiraqreport/images/AQI-senior-leaders-july.php

The text narrative that goes with this is:

During Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner’s briefing from Baghdad today, he noted that Iraqi and Coalition forces “continue to achieve tactical momentum against al Qaeda in Iraq.” The month of July resulted in the 17 senior al Qaeda captured or killed, including six regional emirs, seven foreign terrorist or weapons facilitators, three cell leaders, and two leaders of media and propaganda networks, including Khalid Mashadani, the Media Emir for al Qaeda in Iraq. Mashadani helped found the Islamic State of Iraq and admitted its leader, Abu Omar al Baghdadi, is a creation of Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda in Iraq’s leader. Brig. Gen. Bergner also stated several hundred lower-level al Qaeda operatives were captured in July, and noted that al Qaeda’s leadership in Mosul has been decimated.

Iraqi and Coalition forces are maintaining the pressure on al Qaeda’s network nationwide. Coalition forces killed 11 al Qaeda operatives and captured four more in raids in Tikrit, Baghdad, and Miqdadiyah. Iraqi Army Scouts captured three al Qaeda cell leaders in the Mansour district in Baghdad. [http://billroggio.com/dailyiraqreport/2007/08/iraq_report_lightning_hammer_u.php]

Bill Roggio also reports:

US and Iraqi security forces are pushing forward on two fronts against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia terror groups. In the regions north and east of Baqubah in Diyala province, Operation Lightning Hammer is in its third day. Nationwide, US and Iraqi security forces continue the intelligence-driven operations against the rogue Mahdi Army, Iranian-backed Special Groups cells, and al Qaeda….
…“Right now we already have the objectives isolated,” Col. David Sutherland, U.S. commander of security forces in Diyala, told Stars and Stripes late Monday night before helicopters lifted soldiers to the cities of Abu Karmah and al Mukhaysah. “The goal is to expand the clearance of Baqubah to get the provincial and local-level governments up and going.”

Sutherland said efforts since Operation Arrowhead Ripper, carried out in June and July, were meant to force elements of al Qaida in Iraq who weren’t captured or killed during the mission to flee east of the city, trapping them in anticipation of Lightning Hammer.
[Ibid.]

What part of WE ARE WINNING do you not understand?

Why do you want to surrender Iraq to Al Qaeda, especially as we are winning?

No. Let’s “not cut our losses” — as we aren’t losing. Let’s complete our victory.

I suspect that the reason you’re “not biting” is that you are invested in our defeat in Iraq. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I suspect that the taste of “cut and run” overpowers the sweet taste of victory.

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 7:14 AM

(sounds of crickets chirping)

georgej on August 17, 2007 at 1:02 PM

(sounds of crickets chirping)
georgej on August 17, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Dang crickets in the woods are getting on my nerves. But fighting them out there is just too hard. As soon as they get in the house I can kill all of them with five gallons of gasoline and a match.

TunaTalon on August 17, 2007 at 4:07 PM