White House

The lame duck becomes a lonely duck

They say in Washington that no one’s indispensable, but for the Bush White House Karl Rove comes close. Now, in another blow the White House didn’t really need, Rove has announced that he is resigning at the end of the month and returning to Texas.

The White House didn’t even try to put a good face on it. “Obviously, it’s a big loss for us,” said deputy press secretary Dana Perino.

Karl Rove leaving White House

Karl Rove, President Bush’s close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration.

A longtime member of Bush’s inner circle, Rove was nicknamed “the architect” by the president for designing the strategy that twice won him the White House.

A criminal investigation put Rove under scrutiny for months during the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s name but he was never charged with any crime.

Bush burns his last remaining bridges

As President Bush and Congress packed up to take the rest of the month off, he suggested that he’s interested in proposing another corporate tax cut.

Bush also said he would veto the highly popular bipartisan bill reauthorizing the children’s health program. He said he opposes a 5-cent-per-gallon increase in gasoline taxes to set up a trust fund to repair thousands of crumbling bridges in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. He shrugged off the nation’s mortgage woes, indicating the market will take care of the credit crunch and the escalating rate of foreclosures.

Bush is clearly not intending to run for any elective office, ever again.

White House hid Bush’s Lyme Disease

President Bush was treated for Lyme disease last August, the White House announced Wednesday after failing to disclose the problem for nearly a year.

The treatment was revealed only when the White House made public all the results of Bush’s annual physical exam on Wednesday. It showed up in the “past medical history” section and in the summary along with other skin conditions.

Bush was treated for what his doctors described as “early, localized Lyme disease” after developing the characteristic bullseye rash.

Bush bullies Congress…again

Even though the Democrats are now in charge, President Bush has not lost his ability to bully Congress into passing national-security legislation against its better judgment.

By threatening to keep Congress in emergency session during its August vacation — a power that’s supposed to be used only for matters of grave national importance — he stamped the lawmakers into an 11th-hour rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law governing national-security eavesdropping.

Bush signs 9/11 bill

President George W. Bush on Friday signed legislation implementing key counter-terrorism recommendations that emerged from the independent probe into the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The measure requires the introduction of a system to screen all cargo loaded onto passenger jets within three years, improves airport and port security, and hands out grants to protect against terror strikes to US cities based on risk.

Secret court outlawed Bush’s spy program

A U.S. intelligence court earlier this year secretly struck down a key element of President George W. Bush’s warrantless spying program, The Washington Post reported in its Friday edition.

The decision is one reason Congress is trying to give legal authorization to the spying program in fevered negotiations with the Bush administration this week, the Post reported.

Deja-vu all over again?

President George W. Bush Wednesday barred his political guru Karl Rove from testifying to Congress in a furious political row sparked by a mass firing of federal prosecutors.

Bush invoked “executive privilege” to prevent Karl Rove and Scott Jennings, deputy White House political director, from providing documents and testimony under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Forget the war Mr. Bush…Talk soccer

Mr. President, here’s a draft of your next major speech. Even though you didn’t actually request it — you will see that it is your best and maybe last chance to see if there is perhaps a sliver of high ground beneath the quicksand that has become your legacy:

Bush lied about extent of domestic spying

President George W. Bush, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approved a vast domestic spying operation that went far beyond just using the National Security Agency to snoop into the private lives of Americans.

In an executive order signed by Bush in 2001, the efforts of all of America’s extensive intelligence communities were turned inwards, monitoring the day-to-day activities on U.S. citizens on a level that rival’s Russias famed KGB.

And, as with most activities of the Bush administration, most of the details of the domestic spying operation remain secret, hidden behind the cloak of “national security.” When Bush previously admitted the NSA’s role in domestic spying he was, as usual, telling only part of the real story.