White House

Bush’s legacy: An America in decline

President Bush’s unilateral decision to invade Iraq five years ago has not only cost America power, influence and prestige but has also plunged the nation into economic chaos and left America with lagging morale and hope for the future.

That’s the conclusion of an increasing number of bipartisan observers, backed by surveys, studies and examinations of a nation in trouble.

Bush watered down smog rules

The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to weaken a key section of its new smog requirements announced this week after being told at the last minute that President Bush preferred a less stringent approach, according to government documents.

Bush will veto anti-waterboarding bill

President Bush is poised to veto legislation that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding — a technique that simulates drowning — and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

The president planned to talk about the veto in his Saturday radio address.

Bush has said the bill would harm the government’s ability to prevent future attacks. Supporters of the legislation argue that it preserves the United States’ right to collect critical intelligence while boosting the country’s moral standing abroad.

“The bill would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror, the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives,” deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday.

Bush endorses McCain

President Bush has endorsed John McCain. The announcement comes a day after the Arizona senator clinched the Repubican presidential nomination by getting the required number of delegates. Bush’s nod is recognition that McCain is the party’s choice.

“I’ve campaigned against him and I’ve campaigned with him,” Bush said. Later, Bush said, “He’s going to be the president.”

Bush had formally welcomed McCain and his wife, Cindy, at the North Portico of the White House. He hosted a lunch in his private dining room.

Supremes reject challenge to Bush’s spying

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a legal challenge to the warrantless domestic spying program President George W. Bush created after the September 11 attacks.

The American Civil Liberties Union had asked the justices to hear the case after a lower court ruled the ACLU, other groups and individuals that sued the government had no legal right to do so because they could not prove they had been affected by the program.

The lame duck mess

The next 11 months are likely to be the best argument for doing away with the constitutional two-term limit on the presidency and not because anyone would expect the current occupant of the Oval Office to seek a third go round but because he is prohibited from doing so makes him about as important in the scheme of things as the person who sweeps up the place at night.

Bush finds rare praise in Africa

Unpopular at home and in much of the world during the last year of his presidency, George W. Bush is basking in rare adulation on his African tour.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete poured praise on Bush in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, the second day of his five-nation African tour, each compliment applauded warmly by members of the east African country’s cabinet.

Although around 2,000 Muslim demonstrators protested against Bush on the eve of his visit, many thousands more cheering, waving people lined his road from the airport on Saturday.

Bush’s war on American liberty and freedom

President George W. Bush lashed out at Democratic lawmakers Friday in a political tug-of-war over a wiretap program that pits US attempts to prevent terror attacks against its duty to protect civil liberties.

Bush accused Democrats in the House of Representatives of putting Americans at risk by blocking the Senate-passed legislation and allowing the post-September 11, 2001 measure to expire as they go on vacation.

“By blocking this piece of legislation our country is more in danger of an attack,” Bush said.

Americans fed up with Bush and Congress

Americans are fed up with President George W. Bush, fed up with Congress and fed up with the government that controls so much of their lives.

Used-car salesmen rank higher in approval ratings than the President or the House and Senate. Osama bin Laden might top any of our elected leaders in a popularity poll.

With the death toll mounting daily in Iraq, entire neighborhoods emptied by foreclosures and the economy headed into the toilet, the national mood is bleak and the public holds the powers that be in Washington responsible.

The national mood is sour, the outlook grim and public confidence in our leaders at its lowest point in history.

Open and then shut government

In part because of the Bush administration’s excessive secrecy, Congress was moved to pass the Open Government Act of 2007, which the president reluctantly signed on the last day of the year.

It didn’t take him long to try to gut the act — just this past Monday, in fact.

The law’s mechanism for promoting open government is an Office of Government Information Services in the National Archives, the final repository of all government records.