Amount authorized for U.S. military construction in Iraq during the 2006 fiscal year.
“Sen. Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, defending the GOP proposal [on warrantless domestic wiretapping] against critics who say it’s pathetically weak, said he resented being called a ‘lap dog of the administration.’ That label certainly is unfair. Even lap dogs will bite if they’re kicked often enough…” — Chicago Truibune Columnist Steve Chapman, 3/20/06
After getting frustrated at the length of the Q&A session of his speech in Cleveland today, Bush blurted out, “Anybody work here in this town?” Watch it:
Bush inadvertantly hit upon a subject he otherwise ignored – unemployment in Cleveland. Economic conditions in the city have worsened considerably during Bush’s presidency. Some facts:
So the answer, Mr. President, is that a lot of people in Cleveland don’t work because they can’t find jobs.
Bush, this afternoon:
First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said – at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein.
In fact, Bush justified the war against Iraq by directly linking it to 9/11:
The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. [Bush's Letter to Congress, 3/21/03]
say hearings should be held on Sen. Russ Feingold’s proposal to censure President Bush for violating the Constitution and the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Transcript: Read more
In April 2004, President Bush rejected analogies between Iraq and Vietnam, saying such a comparison “sends the wrong message to our troops“:
QUESTION: What does that say to you and how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
THE PRESIDENT: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.
But the Wall Street Journal reports today that America’s military commanders are looking to Vietnam for lessons on how to deal with violence in Iraq:
The last time Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Baghdad, back in December, the top U.S. military commander there gave him an unusual gift.
Gen. George Casey passed him a copy of “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam,” written by Lt. Col. John Nagl. Initially published in 2002, the book is brutal in its criticism of the Vietnam-era Army as an organization that failed to learn from its mistakes and tried vainly to fight guerrilla insurgents the same way it fought World War II. ["¦]
Col. Nagl’s book is one of a half dozen Vietnam histories — most of them highly critical of the U.S. military in Vietnam — that are changing the military’s views on how to fight guerrilla wars. ["¦]
The embrace of these Vietnam histories reflects an emerging consensus in the Army that in order to move forward in Iraq, it must better understand the mistakes of Vietnam.
Rumsfeld should read Col. Nagl’s book carefully. Maybe then he’d stop making false comparisons between Iraq and post-WWII Germany.
Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes writes that Bush needs a staff shakeup. His suggestions: Condi as VP, Lieberman as Secretary of State, Cheney as Sec Def, Dan Senor as White House Press Secretary, Zalmay Khalilzad as National Security Adviser, and switching Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove’s jobs.
97. Number of days the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session this year. USA Today notes that’s “fewer days than the Congress Harry Truman labeled as ‘do-nothing’ during his 1948 re-election campaign.”
The San Diego Tribune digs into the fundraising activities of Rep. John Doolittle’s (R-CA) wife. Julie Doolittle’s Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, launched in March 2001, right after her husband got his seat on the Appropriations Committee. Doolittle had only three clients: Jack Abramoff’s law firm, Abramoff’s restaurant, and the Korean-U.S. Exchange Council, founded by Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) former chief of staff.
How many contractors does it take to cleanup after Katrina? Four, sometimes five or six, according to Reuters. The burgeoning bureaucracy of contractors explains why cleanup costs continue to swell.
Outsourcing our intelligence services. The Washington Post writes that the U.S. government is increasingly relying on contractors to carry out intelligence duties. As a result, government agencies lose control over those doing this sensitive work and instill profit-making motives into the work being done. Read more