Monthly Archives: August 2007
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.
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.
Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, one of the most authoritative voices in Congress on the military and a key figure in the debate over Iraq, said Friday he will not seek a sixth term in 2008. Warner, 80, has held the seat since 1979, when the dashing former Navy secretary campaigned alongside his wife at the time, Elizabeth Taylor. Warner is leaving what would have been a safe seat for the Republicans if he had chosen to run again. His departure gives Democrats a better chance to protect or even expand their one-seat majority in the Senate.
Passengers on a plane leaving New York could see three words in 4-foot block letters painted on an East Village rooftop terrace as they ascended: GOOGLE RON PAUL. The entreaty to search the Internet for news of the Republican congressman from rural Texas is one of the more visible signs of enthusiasm from a do-it-yourself base of Web fans. Their support doesn't show up in public opinion polls, but it's unmatched among presidential candidates in its passion.
Congressional investigators have weighed in on the Iraqi government's progress in meeting 18 benchmarks Congress mandated this past spring when it passed a huge bill continuing the U.S. presence there. A leaked draft of the report by the Government Accountability Office to be delivered formally next Tuesday is considerably harsher and more pessimistic than the White House's own report card issued last month.
The poverty rate in America has declined, not a lot, but some, and for the first time in 10 years, which is very, very good news. The even better news -- hard to glean from headlines -- is that poverty in America is not what it used to be.
There are those who say that New Orleans is a lost cause and that whole districts that lie below sea level should never be rehabilitated, that the chances of it happening all over again are just too great and that trying to hold back the waters is an expense not worth the risk.
"Guilt, I mused, has an interesting way of twisting one's thoughts." -- Sherlock Holmes If you were a prominent "family values" politician caught making gestures indicative of a sexual proposition in a public restroom to an undercover police officer but you were innocent of any such intent, would you plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a $575 fine hoping to avoid publicity?
U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's arrest at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is putting a new focus on efforts by authorities to curtail cruising for sex in public places. On Wednesday, police said the Idaho Republican was one of 41 people arrested since May at the airport on allegations of illegal sexual activity in public restrooms. While it's not clear if the Internet played a role in Craig's case, Web discussions have become a common forum for directing people to hot spots for anonymous gay sex.
Sen. Tim Johnson endured some dark days after his life-threatening brain hemorrhage, but he says he never considered resigning. All political eyes were focused on the second-term Democrat from South Dakota after he fell ill Dec. 13, mainly because of his party's slim margin of Senate control. In chatter online and elsewhere, some have suggested that Johnson, up for re-election next year, should resign. But on Thursday, Johnson said he intends to run in 2008, while noting it would be premature to make an official re-election announcement just yet.