White House

The missing emails

When the Bush administration took office, it was promised that the White House would operate like a lean, efficient corporation, unlike the messy ways of the Clintons. After all, the president was a Harvard MBA and the vice president the former CEO of a huge multinational corporation.

It didn’t work out that way. At times, like with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, White House officials seemed to be clomping around in clown shoes. Now comes the curious case of the missing e-mails.

Bush: $145 billion in tax relief

President Bush, acknowledging the risk of recession, embraced about $145 billion worth of tax relief and other incentives Friday to give the economy a “shot in the arm. ”

Bush said such a growth package must also include tax incentives for business investment and quick tax relief for individuals. And he said that to be effective, an economic stimulus package would need to roughly represent 1 percent of the gross domestic product — the value of all U.S. goods and services and the best measure of the country’s economic standing.

Bush to OPEC: Give us more oil!

President Bush urged OPEC nations on Tuesday to put more oil on the world market and warned that soaring prices could cause an economic slowdown in the United States.

"High energy prices can damage consuming economies," the president told a small group of reporters traveling with him in the Mideast.

Bush’s flawed peace mission

To many Americans, President Bush's endgame pilgrimage last week to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories was a ho-hum event. For Bush, however, his first trip as president to the region was a last-ditch push to burnish his Middle East legacy.

If we measure the substance and sincerity of Bush's efforts, we can conclude that the president is engaging in futility in one of the most politically and religiously fractious places on the globe.

Bush claims Iraq ‘back on track’

President George W. Bush said on Saturday his goal of reducing troop numbers in Iraq by July was on track but called on Syria and Iran to stop fueling violence in the war-torn country.

He made his comments after meeting his top political and military commanders in Iraq at a US base in Kuwait, where he also addressed hundreds of the American troops stationed in the oil-rich emirate.

Secrecy is not a right

One of the least attractive aspects of President Bush’s administration has been its obsessive and unnecessary secrecy, and it’s hardly likely to do his legacy any good.

Bush could go a long way toward rectifying that by adopting and implementing the recommendations of the joint presidential-congressional Public Interest Declassification Board issued this week.

Judge wants White House email backups

A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes.

The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola comes amid an effort by the White House to scuttle two lawsuits that could force the Executive Office of the President to recover any e-mail that has disappeared from computer servers where electronic documents are automatically archived.

Two federal laws require the White House to preserve all records including e-mail.

Many diplomats disagree with Bush

Some 48 percent of US diplomats who would refuse to volunteer to work in Iraq cited disagreement with President George W. Bush’s policy as a factor, according to a survey released Tuesday.

That reason ranked behind separation from family and security concerns, according to a survey by their union, the American Foreign Service Association.

In the survey in which 4,300 of the 11,500 US Foreign Service members responded, some 68 percent opposed forced assignments as unnecessary and undesirable.

Rewriting history in real time

The White House’s recent policy reversals amount to a stunning repudiation of the first seven years of George W. Bush’s presidency. Where allies were previously disrespected, now they’re viewed as essential. Where diplomacy was eschewed, now it’s pursued with vigor. No longer running the government from his “base,” Bush finally tries to lead the entire nation.