Daily Archives: March 20, 2007

Bush still standing behind Gonzales

President Bush is still standing behind embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, calling him today to reaffirm his "strong backing and support." The White House also denied rumors that it had already begun looking for Gonzales’ replacement. There was doubt about the extent of Bush’s support after White House spokesman Tony Snow’s lukewarm endorsement Monday, when he said of Gonzales, "We hope he stays."
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported: "U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday."
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Did Sebelius really need a half-a-million-dollar inaugural?

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ four-city, three-day inaugural in January cost a record $539,967 — compared with $476,000 for her 2003 celebration and $350,000 and $336,000 for former Gov. Bill Graves’ fetes in 1995 and 1999, respectively, according to Harris News Service. Donations by unions, corporations and interest groups covered 72 percent of the cost of Sebelius’ latest party. Whatever one thinks about whether governors should be holding lavish parties upon their oath-taking, it’s good that Kansans can know what these events cost, thanks to 1994 action by the Legislature in response to Gov. Joan Finney’s 1991 bash.
Posted by Rhonda Holman

Open thread

Reagan wouldn’t have cried

Time magazine is catching some deserved heat over its current cover photo of former President Ronald Reagan with a fake tear added. The small credit to illustrator Tim O’Brien for the tear on an inside page isn’t enough notice to readers that the photograph was altered. Besides, the accompanying article on "How the Right Went Wrong" doesn’t support the photo. Yes, some conservative politicians have lost their bearings. And, sure, some Republican voters aren’t happy with their choices of presidential candidates in 2008. But that’s not something Reagan would have cried about.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Iraqis (at least the Shiites) prefer new government

Despite the violence and chaos in their country, Iraqis may be more positive than most Americans about the worth of the war in Iraq, now beginning its fifth year. Even though 26 percent of Iraqis have suffered the murder of a family member, according to a new survey by Britain’s Opinion Research Business, nearly twice as many Iraqis prefer the current government to Saddam Hussein. Of those surveyed, 49 percent "preferred life under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to living under Saddam, while 26 percent said things were better in Saddam’s era," the Australian newspaper reported. But as with most things in Iraq, opinions depended on religious sects, with 66 percent of Shiites surveyed preferring the new government while 51 percent of Sunnis preferred Saddam’s regime.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee

Another way Gates is no Rumsfeld

Asked Sunday on CBS’ "Face the Nation" about the substandard care of wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he’s not waiting for the various inquiries to make changes. He learned about the situation from the Washington Post series, he said, and "I think I did something unheard of in this town. I actually thanked the reporters for bringing it to our attention." Try to imagine Gates’ predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, having done that.
Posted by Rhonda Holman