In the area of security cooperation, the President and the Prime Minister agreed that improving conditions should allow for the agreements now under negotiation to include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals -- such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.
OK, so Bush has bent on not negotiating with North Korea and Iran, sending more troops to Afghanistan, and now he's saying timetables are OK in Iraq. Maybe next he'll stand up for universal health care...
I guess George W. Bush is feeling unloved these days, so he's taken to doing some very odd things, like vetoing a bipartisan Medicare bill that would restore cut to Medicare providers. These cuts would have forced many providers to stop taking Medicare patients, causing a lot of grief for American seniors.
Bush vetoed this bill, even though it passed Congress with more than enough votes to override. And Congress quickly did that today. So I have to ask, why did he do it? He could have quietly let the bill become law without his signature. But no, he had to pick yet another fight that he couldn't win, and now looks like an idiot.
George W. Bush is still president, and he's out there still making a fool of himself and his country. We won't miss his stupid sense of humor:
President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit.
As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
Nice joke, George. You keep saying that history will judge your presidency. Let's wait a few decades and see if Florida is underwater or not. And if it is, you're not going to like that judgment.
"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
"Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!"
"& someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions.
That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
"I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
"I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty & I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
"Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them — or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.
"And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.
"There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?
"On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. & That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq — a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith-based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.
"So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
"But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
"Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
"Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina & Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing & Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry ...
"Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises ... If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's ... go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough."
CNN has as story about how President Bush will ask Congress to clear way for offshore oil drilling. The story goes on to cite that the Cubans are drilling for oil, and that there are oil reserves just off the Florida Keys.
But when Bush's brother Jeb was governor, he didn't push for drilling since Jeb and the people of Florida were against anything that might spoil the environment that attracts millions of tourists. Guess you can say the Bush Brothers are post-NIMBYs.
"I urge the Congress to be very careful about running up enormous costs for future generations of Americans."
He may not have what it takes to run this country, but ya gotta love Joe Biden for having the guts to call BS when he sees it.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden, D-Delaware, called President Bush’s comments accusing Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats of wanting to appease terrorists "bulls**t” and said if the president disagrees so strongly with the idea of talking to Iran then he needs to fire his secretaries of State and Defense, both of whom Biden said have pushed to sit down with the Iranians.
“This is bullshit. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset…and make this kind of ridiculous statement,” Biden said angrily in a brief interview just off the Senate floor.
“He’s the guy who’s weakened us. He’s the guy that’s increased the number of terrorists in the world. His policies have produced this vulnerability the United States has. His intelligence community pointed that out not me. The NIE has pointed that out and what are you talking about, is he going to fire Condi Rice? Condi Rice has talked about the need to sit down. So his first two appeasers are Rice and Gates. I hope he comes home and does something.”
Keith Olbermann can go overboard on his "Special Comments," and this one is no exception. But at the end, Olbermann catches Bush lying about what he said about quitting golf so that mothers of dead soldiers wouldn't see him playing the game. Olbermann finds a photo taken two months after he claims to have quit. It was bad enough for him to say he was sacrificing golf for these soldiers, but to lie about it? In that light, he deserves Olbermann's full wrath:
I have to give credit where it's due. President George W. Bush is fighting for lower caps on farm subsidies while Democrats want to give more government money to rich farmers. Yes, that's right. This may be the only issue where the president is actually helping the little guy. Maybe. It could be a typo, or perhaps Bush misread his speech or something.
There are few people who understand the situation in Iran and Iraq better than Juan Cole. His knowledge of the region and fluency in the local languages gives him the ability to dig past all the PR spin.
Recently, Cole has been noting the absurdity of Bush & Co. claims that Iran and Muqtada al-Sadr are on the same side, and this it was Sadr who sought out the Iranians to broker the recent cease fire in Basra. Quoting local sources, Cole points out that it was the Maliki government that sought the cease fire, than it's the Maliki government who is directly tied to Iran, and that Sadr is not looked on too favorably by Tehran.
It all points to an effort to start a war with Iran, blaming them for the mess we created next door. Bush seems to ignore that our allies in Baghdad are tied directly to Iran, that the Iranians sheltered and trained them, and continue to support them.
What Sadr is doing is pointing out to Iraqis that their government is a puppet of both the U.S. and Iran, which is basically the truth. He could end up being the unifying figure that has been missing in Iraq. But he's a nightmare for Bush.