White House

Bush may consider troop cuts

After months of stubbornly refusing even to consider cutting U.S. troop levels in Iraq, President George W. Bush has suddenly decided the idea is no longer taboo.

He raised the possibility during a surprise visit to a desert air base in Iraq’s Anbar province on Monday, saying there were signs of improved security and that some U.S. troops could be withdrawn from the country if the trend continued.

White House claims surge in Iraq support

President George W. Bush is gaining support among both wavering Republicans and anti-war Democrats for his embattled Iraq strategy, a top White House aide said Sunday.

Speaking as Congress awaits a pivotal report on the progress of Bush’s “surge” of nearly 30,000 more troops, new White House counselor Ed Gillespie said the deployment was curbing Iraq’s rampant bloodshed.

Bush faces mounting woes on Iraq

President Bush huddled with top military leaders about the Iraq war Friday, and Pentagon officials defended efforts to rid the Iraqi national police of sectarian bias and corruption, even as an independent review found the force too tainted to continue.

In an hour and a half meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a secure Pentagon room dubbed “the Tank,” Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney heard from leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, who are worried about strains that are building on the forces — and on troops’ families — as a result of lengthy and repeated tours in Iraq.

Tony Snow steps down

President Bush announced Friday that press secretary Tony Snow, who has waged a battle with cancer while manning the White House lectern, will resign and be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, on Sept. 14.

“It’s been a joy to watch him spar with you,” Bush told the White House press corps in the briefing room.

Dems blast Bush over Iraq funding

Democratic leaders warned Wednesday that Congress must stop writing “blank checks” for the Iraq war, after a report said the White House would request an extra 50 billion dollars in funding.

The Pentagon however said the report by the Washington Post that President George W. Bush could seek to take spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars to three billion dollars a week, was “premature.”

Democratic leaders have tried and failed to use past emergency funding bills for the war to force Bush to accept troop withdrawal timetables.

What will George do after 2008?

I have always wondered what President Bush will do after he finishes his second term, assuming that he consents to go. He could be a professional brush clearer, a producer of exercise-bike videos or a private elocution teacher for would-be politicians who need to mangle their sentences in order to achieve the common touch.

Bush plays the nuclear card

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday raised the specter of a “nuclear holocaust” in the Middle East if Israel’s arch-foe Iran gets atomic weapons, and demanded that Tehran end support for extremists in Iraq.

“Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere, and the United States is rallying friends and allies to isolate Iran’s regime, to impose economic sanctions,” he told the American Legion veterans group.

Impeachment may be the solution

President Bush is, quite reasonably, appealing to history to salvage his legacy since his prospects don’t look good in the short term. Despite current efforts to put the best possible face on conditions in Iraq, the news continues to be bad.

For example, last week, one day’s news reported the assassinations of two Iraqi governors, as well as the admission by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker that southern Iraq was plagued by “a lot of violence.” In northern Iraq, a truck bomber killed 45 people, and others died elsewhere.

The Gonzales feeding frenzy

Alberto Gonzales is resigning as U.S. attorney general, and here is what critics of all stripes are saying: He was blindly, brainlessly loyal to President Bush, gave atrocious advice, was an incompetent managerial mangler and klutzy in his own self-defense.

His legacy includes a Department of Justice that’s demoralized and in disarray, argue some detractors who also aver his mistakes have been grievous to the point of costing him any hope that history will someday trot to his reputation’s rescue.

Alberto gets the hint

It seemed as if Alberto Gonzales was the last person in Washington to realize that his resignation as U.S. attorney general was both inevitable and overdue.

His credibility with Congress was shot and even fellow Republicans made no secret of their relief at his departure. Going back to his days as White House legal counsel, he was associated with a lengthening list of Bush administration legal missteps — the ill-fated military commissions, opting out of the Geneva Conventions, the terror memos, the rationalization of extra-constitutional powers for the president.