George W Bush

GOP Senators Push Bush Toward Bipartisan War Effort

Several months after its release and casual dismissal by the president, several GOP senators are urging the president to reconsider the recommendations of the report authored by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

Bush To Snub Putin

U.S. president George W Bush, seemingly immune to diplomatic subtlety, will be meeting with Vladimir Putin as part of the G8 summit this week and then will proceed to Poland and the Czech Republic for meetings about his planned missile shield. This after a political firestorm has erupted over Russian missile testing and the targeting of European cities/bases by Russian missiles.

Bush Attempts G8 Distraction

After refusing to consider climate change proposals planned of the G8 summit next week, president George W Bush is now calling in the 15 largest polluter nations to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bush Wants Troops In Iraq Indefinitely

Likening a future role for the U.S. military in Iraq to the ongoing mission in South Korea, that has lasted over 50 years, the Bush Administration envisions keeping troops in Iraq indefinitely.

Zoellick Another PNAC Neoconservative Hack

Today president Bush nominated Robert Zoellick to replace Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. Both men, along with Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, and Richard Armitage were signatories to an open letter to president Clinton in 1998 seeking an American invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Holds Empty Talks With Iran

Amidst all the sabre rattling coming out of Washington, U.S. and Iranian ambassadors are meeting to seek solutions to the question of Iraq. Unfortunately, the Iranians have seen this game played too many times and therefore do not trust American motives.

Democrats Dragging Out Fight To End War

After approving the latest spending bill, Democrats vowed to continue fighting the president over funding for the war in Iraq.

Too Little, Too Late For al-Sadr?

Muqtada al-Sadr has resurfaced in Iraq after months of speculation that he had left and has ordered his forces to cease fighting other Iraqis.

Bush Backs Big Oil In Fight With House

As the House of Representatives considers a bill to penalize price gouging at the pump, the White House has come out with a statement that it will veto any such measure.

Bush Steps Up Darfur Pressure

Amidst the wall-to-wall coverage of the Virginia Tech "massacre", president Bush put the Sudanese government on notice that if the United Nation's efforts to bring peace to the Darfur region didn't bring results soon, the United States would impose further sanctions on the Sudan government.

Bush is seeking the cooperation of the Sudanese government to allow U.N. Troops, including 3,000 attach helicopters, into the Darfur region to fight the militias responsible for the ethnic cleansing of non-arabs. He warned that failure to cooperate could lead to action by the U.N. Security Council.

Bush Makes Swift Boat Donor An Ambassador

Through the use of a recess appointment, president Bush has appointed Sam Fox, a donor partially responsible for the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth attack ads, the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.

Bush had submitted Fox to the Senate for approval, but Democrats attacked his association with the Swift Boat ads and made it more or less clear that he would not be confirmed. When the Senate went into the two-week long Easter recess, Bush withdrew the nomination and appointed him as a recess appointment. Fox will serve as ambassador until the next congress is seated in 2009.

I, for one, think that the president should be able to appoint who he wants to serve in the executive branch. The confirmation process, I believe, tends to politicize even the most mundane of appointments. Add to that the power of recess appointments and the confirmation process is easily circumvented anyway. But, that's not how our system of government works.

It is disingenuous of the president to use a two-week recess to ram through an appointment he knows the Senate will not approve. The purpose of the recess appointment is to fill vacancies in an emergency during a Senate recess. This was a two-week recess and there was no emergency. We're talking about the Ambassador to Belgium here.

Minimum Wage Increase Blocked In Senate

In an effort to demonstrate lack of support for the House bill in its current state, Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, called for a vote to end debate on the bill. The vote failed 54-43; 60 votes was required to end debate. Such "cloture" votes are required in the Senate.

The issue is one of tax break incentives desired by president Bush to offset the harm Republicans feel a minimum wage increase will cause to small businesses. Senate Republicans used their ability to block cloture to stop the bill's consideration.

The stickiest issue here, as I understand it, is that any tax related measure must, constitutionally, begin in the house. It is not sufficient for the Senate to pass an altered version and bring the two bills together in conference. Note that the story linked below says otherwise.

What Is Bush Planning For Iran?

If we look at the Bush Administration's Middle East activity as part of one big puzzle, rather than discreet incidents, we start to see a plan that almost makes sense. Consider these tidbits gathered over the past couple of months:

  • The United Nations Security Council, in December, passes a resolution requiring Iran cease its nuclear activities within 60 days. The deadline is due to pass in February
  • President Bush replaces his top commanders in the region, placing an Admiral in change of the U.S. Central Command.
  • The Pentagon orders a second carrier group into the Gulf region, a commitment of a massive number of additional forces.
  • President Bush orders a "surge" of troops in Iraq, particularly around Baghdad, against what seems to be all political common sense.
  • Israel begins to make more noises about strikes on Iranian nuclear targets, perhaps using tactical nukes themselves.

If all of these details are part of one comprehensive scenario, I have some thoughts as to what it is.

House Votes In The Face Of Guaranteed Vetoes

This past week, the house passed two pieces of legislation in the face of vetoes promised by president George W Bush.

The first bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, is geared toward expanding federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. The bill fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto with 253-174 tally that included 37 Republicans voting for it and 16 Democrats voting against it.

It is unclear at this time when the bill will be considered in the Senate. The bill is favored by the majority of Americans so Senate Republicans may attempt to prevent the bill from being voted on at all to save the president from having to veto the bill.

The second bill, designated to allow the Federal Government to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies, passed on a 255-170 vote with 24 Republicans joining a united Democratic caucus. This bill as well is facing a certain presidential veto.

A previously reported, the Republican argument basically boils down to the law not having any effect so why pass it. However, the bill is really a repeal of a specific clause in Medicare Part D that prohibits the government from negotiating. This raises an interesting question. If such negotiations will have no effect, why work so hard to resist them?

Is Bush Planning War With Iran?

Recent news tells of plans of a naval build up in the gulf region as a show of force. Combine that with talk of Bush's White House considering a "surge" of troops to Iraq possibly over the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and you've got to wonder what's going on in Bush's head.

CBS News broke the story of pentagon plans to make a serious build up of naval forces as a deterrent to Iranian aggression. Plans include the addition of another aircraft carrier in the gulf.

Consistent with what has been previously reported here, other sources digging into Bush's plans for Iraq, to be announced in January, have identified Bush's potential desire to "surge" the number of troops in Iraq ostensibly to secure Baghdad. When questioned about a potential surge, all four of the Joint Chiefs testifying before Congress said they were opposed to such a move.

Still, one has to wonder what is going on in Bush's head. Bush has made comments recently about the need for a long-term increase in the size of the military, but is still opposed to a draft. It all makes you wonder what could be going on in his head that makes all these actions and statements internally consistent.

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