White House

Right-wing Court: Bush’s only legacy?

Facing stirrings of Republican revolt over Iraq and domestic policy disappointment, US President George W. Bush can at least point to the Supreme Court for an enduring legacy.

America’s ultimate constitutional arbiter has tilted rightwards under Bush — a shift that could endure for decades even if a Democrat returns to the White House in next year’s election.

Analysts pointed to a slew of rulings in the court’s just-ended 2006-07 term that hit many of the right buttons for Bush’s Republican base including on abortion, free speech and affirmative action.

Battered Bush runs home to daddy

President George W. Bush did not tarry before going fishing on arrival at the family vacation spot in Kennebunkport, where the Atlantic held more promise than angling in the dangerous shoals of Washington.

For Bush, Friday’s fishing trip with his father probably did not prove to be more disappointing than wrangling with Congress, run by Democrats, or the sight of fellow Republicans ready to bolt.

Late this week, the Senate buried what was to be his last great legislative initiative of his presidency: immigration reform. And some of his fellow Republicans in Congress have joined the growing chorus against the Iraq war.

Bush, uncharacteristically embittered, promised to meet with Congress after the July 4 Independence Day holiday to work on the budget.

Bad times in Bush land

The month of June 2007 may well go down as one of the worst of the Bush presidency.

It was the month the wheels fell off, when the curtain was drawn aside to reveal that the great and mighty wizard was none other than Dick Cheney, when party loyalists began publicly to give up on the administration. It was a month when nothing seemed to go right for the president.

Bush hides behind executive privilege

President Bush, in a constitutional showdown with Congress, claimed executive privilege Thursday and rejected demands for White House documents and testimony about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

His decision was denounced as “Nixonian stonewalling” by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Bush rejected subpoenas for documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor. The White House made clear neither one would testify next month, as directed by the subpoenas.

Bush fighting a losing battle on Iraq

President Bush is sending his top aide on national security affairs to Capitol Hill on Thursday to confront what has become a tough crowd on the Iraq war.

A majority of senators believe troops should start coming home within the next few months. A new House investigation concluded this week that the Iraqis have little control over an ailing security force. And House Republicans are calling to revive the independent Iraq Study Group to give the nation options.

Bush’s public support hits new low

As public support faded for his failed war in Iraq, President George W. Bush could still depend on support from rabid Republicans.

No longer. With overall support for his botched war effort at a new low, Bush is also failing to hold on to approval ratings from GOP loyalists. Like the rest of America, the right-wing is walking away from the President.

And like the rest of Americans, an increasing number of Republicans want the troops brought home now before any more die for Bush’s folly. Bush and Congress may be willing to send more American troops to death but the voters they work for are not.

Americans are tired of rhetoric. They want action and they want it now.

Dick Cheney’s own branch of government

The White House has had to defend Vice President Cheney’s decision to opt out of a presidential order regulating the handling of secret information by the executive branch. Cheney’s reasoning: His office is not really part of the executive branch.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino insists that this is a “non-issue,” but the vice president’s effort to create a separate branch of government for himself has become one, and given congressional Democrats an opening to launch another investigation.

Cheney insisted on torture of prisoners

Dick Cheney is, without question, the most powerful American Vice President in history. His power within the Bush Administration is, for the most part, unchecked and his rule is absolute.

More than anyone else in the White House, Cheney has promoted the notion that the Administration is above the law and does not have to answer to the Constitution, Congress or the Supreme Court.

Nowhere is that abuse of power and law more evident than in Cheney’s belief that torture is an accepted form of interrogation of prisoners and the terms of the Geneva Convention can, and should, be ignored in Bush’s so-called “war on terror.”

A failure in beliefs

Bit by bit, without publicly admitting any mistakes, the Bush administration is changing policies on key issues that have defined the president’s tenure in office.

President Bush, known for his adamant beliefs but beleaguered by dismal polls, an unpopular war and positions on many fronts that have failed to work, is reluctantly nodding assent to change. In many of the policy changes, the neoconservative or aggressive nationalistic point of view that prevailed from the day Bush took office is being modified, massaged or outright reversed.

Is Dick Cheney above the law?

House Democrats on Thursday denounced Vice President Dick Cheney’s idea of abolishing a government office charged with safeguarding national security information — and criticized him for refusing to cooperate with the agency.

Cheney’s office — over the objections of the National Archives — has exempted itself from a presidential executive order that seeks to protect national security information generated by the government, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Under the order, executive branch offices are required to give the Information Security Oversight Office at the archives data on how much material it has classified and declassified.