may have violated the campaign finance laws he helped write during a fundraising appearance last year with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. All aboard!
Capital gains earned by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from selling shares of Gilead Sciences, “the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic [of bird flu].”
“found serious lapses by private companies at foreign and American ports, aboard ships, and on trucks and trains ‘that would enable unmanifested materials or weapons of mass destruction to be introduced into the supply chain.’”
Yesterday, President Bush described Dubai Ports World’s announcement to sell its U.S. operations as a decision made by the company under pressure from Congress:
I’m sure that the decision by DP World was a difficult decision, to hand over port operations that they had purchased from another company. My administration was satisfied that port security would not have been undermined by the agreement. Nevertheless, Congress was still very much opposed to it.
The media has largely bought into that narrative. But according to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, the White House instructed DP World to concede. Appearing yesterday on Fox News, Kristol said Karl Rove canceled the deal with a phone call on the night of March 8:
He made that veto threat then he went on the trip to India and went silent basically. Karl Rove calls the people in Dubai two nights ago and tells them pull the plug on the deal, and I think as a result, the president looks weak, frankly.
This morning, the Washington Post recycles a headline that we have seen frequently over the past three years: “Bush Goes on Offensive To Explain War Strategy; Speeches to Combat Public Pessimism.”
In reality, “pessimism” has mounted due to the growing casualties and cost of a war that has no clear exit strategy (the article did not specifically mention any of these factors). The speeches are a public relations stunt to blunt the growing dissatisfaction of a war that approaches its three-year anniversary.
The article, like previous ones with similar headlines, posits that public dissatisfaction with the war has intensified because Bush has not “explained” it well. The story notes, “The president hopes to give ‘better depth, understanding and context for how the strategy in Iraq is unfolding,’ a senior White House official said of the planned speeches.”
A quick review of old headlines, however, shows that Bush has been given ample opportunity to explain his Iraq strategy, but the public is no longer buying his bill of goods:
“Bush supporters cite Iraq speeches as start of rebound” [AP, 12/13/05]
“Bush vows victory, not retreat; Speech gives strategy for winning Iraq war, rejects exit timetable” [Toledo Blade, 12/1/05]
“Bush Goes on the Offensive Against Critics of War in Iraq” [Los Angeles Times, 11/12/05]
“In Speech, Bush To Get Specific On Iraq Strategy” [Boston Globe, 6/28/05]
“President spotlights Iraq war successes; Bush plans summer offensive to tout progress against insurgency” [Fresno Bee, 6/19/05]
“Bush to define Iraq strategy in major speeches” [Washington Times, 5/22/04]
“Cheney Goes on the Offensive Over Bush’s Policy on Iraq;
Vice President’s Unyielding Speech Is Designed to Regain Support” [Washington Post, 10/12/03]