By Elisabeth Bumiller
WASHINGTON, May 1—President Bush’s made-for-television address
tonight on the carrier Abraham Lincoln was a powerful, Reaganesque finale to a
six-week war. But beneath the golden images of a president steaming home with
his troops toward the California coast lay the cold political and military
realities that drove Mr. Bush’s advisors to create the moment.
By Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt
BAGHDAD, May 2—The Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United
States combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to shrink
the American military presence to less than two divisions by the fall, senior
allied officials said today.
By David E. Sanger
WASHINGTON, May 2—In his speech, Mr. Bush argued that the invasion and
liberation of Iraq were part of the American response to the attacks of Sept.
11. He called the tumultuous period since those attacks ‘‘19 months that changed
the world,’’ and said Mr. Hussein’s defeat was a defeat for al-Qaeda and other
terrorists as well.
Bush, reaching back to the earliest days of his administration, resurrected GOP demands for new drilling in the Alaska wilderness, fewer
restrictions on oil refineries and other measures aimed at lowering fuel prices
through higher production.
"If there was a magic wand to wave," Bush said, "I'd be waving it, of
course. . . . But there is no magic wand to wave right now. It took us a while
to get to this fix."
But the president had something else up his sleeve. He used his appearance
before the White House press corps to perform one of the oldest tricks in the
book: blaming Congress. He faulted lawmakers 16 times in his opening statement
THE PRESIDENT: No, you can’t. This is the second follow-up. You usually get
one follow-up, and I was nice enough to give you one. I didn’t give anybody on
this side a follow-up, and now you are trying to take a second follow-up.
Q Can I just say —
THE PRESIDENT: They just cut off your mic. You can’t, no.
Today Arizona Sen. John McCain will deliver what his handlers are hyping as
a major address on health care. McCain’s plan is a dangerous fraud.
He wants voters to think he is going after health care cost inflation.
In reality, he wants to dismantle the employer-provided system that now covers
over 60 percent (or about 158 million) of non-elderly Americans, forcing
millions of us who now get fairly decent health insurance on the job to instead
buy whatever they can find on the individual market controlled by unregulated
and predatory insurance companies. And he would drive health care costs upward,
Yet, racism for electoral gain obviously did not go away with Helms' retirement
from politics. And neither has Republican timidity in doing anything to control
the extreme elements in the party--or their base if you will. So once again,
just as other conservatives sat idly by and claimed Jesse was just being Jesse,
now John McCain throws his hands
up in the air as if there is nothing he can do when a racist ad is run by
the North Carolina GOP against Barack Obama:
America is also collectively cursed for specific reasons, such as legalized
abortion and a Supreme Court decision against sectarian Bible classes in public
schools but also, more generally, for rebelling against God. As a consequence of
America's disobedience and rebellion, according to McCain-endorser John Hagee,
God's has cursed America and that curse has caused American military defeats, in
Korea and Vietnam, plagues such as AIDS and social blights like violent crime.
God's curse on America has also led "hundreds of thousands" to secretly
sacrifice children to the devil.
"I think that's the case," Cureton replied. "The pastors need to speak
clearly about it. I'll tell you we are working with the Alliance Defense Fund on
a series of sermons this fall for pastors to preach, so that they educate their
people on the issues.
"We're gonna be talking about the value of life, the value of family
and the value of freedom, basically talking about abortion and stem-cell
research," he continued, "and then also about the gay agenda and then finally
about our Christian heritage and how it's being stripped from every corner of
society. And then finally we're gonna be doing a candidate comparison message
that is going to ask pastors to cross the line."
More from the Howey-Gauge
poll in Indiana: "The Democratic primary is going to be decided by
non-Democrats. To be determined is which group -- Republicans or independents --
are going to decide this race.
"The poll shows that self-identified Republicans favor Sen. Hillary
Clinton, 50% to 44%, while independents favor Sen. Barack Obama, 54% to
Among Republicans, there "appears to be two kinds of Republicans: the
'Obamacans' as the Illinois senator likes to call them -- earnest Republicans
deeply disappointed in their own party's performance on the budget, economy,
social issues and the Iraq War -- and the Rush Limbaugh Republicans who are
planning to crossover to vote for Sen. Clinton because they perceive her to be
the weakest rival to U.S. Sen. John McCain in the November election."
Brig. Gen. Dennis Rogers, who is responsible for maintaining barracks throughout
the Army, told reporters at the Pentagon that most inspections were done last
weekend but he had not seen final results.
- Due to the problems raised in the tests, the Pentagon
gave contractor General Dynamics another $143 million for
a redesign and estimated that another $700 million to $800 million was
needed to do another “system development and demonstration” test.
- Due to the budget increase, the Pentagon now says it will buy only
593 vehicles for $13.2 billion compared to the original estimate that it would
buy 1,025 EFVs for $8.4 billion.