Archive for the ‘President Bush’ Category

Omama May Retain Three Top Bush Appointees

November 10, 2008

As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to fill top positions for his incoming government, he faces a stubborn reality: Some of the key individuals he will rely upon to tackle the country’s most serious challenges are holdovers from the current administration — a trio of Bush appointees who will likely stay in place for at least the first year or two of Obama‘s presidency.

In confronting the financial crisis and weakening economy, Obama must turn to Ben S. Bernanke, a Republican and former chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, who will lead the Federal Reserve for at least the first year of the new administration.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen during the ... 
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen during the opening of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sao Paulo, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said during his speech the world’s big emerging nations must have a big role in upcoming negotiations to fix the planet’s financial system and prevent another global economic meltdown.(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

In assuming control of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama must work with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was appointed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for a two-year term that will end in late 2009 and, by tradition, can expect to be appointed for a second term as the president’s top military adviser. Mullen shares Obama’s belief in focusing more on Afghanistan but is wary of a timeline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen ... 
Admiral Mullen .(AFP/File/Nicholas Kamm)

And in guarding against terrorist attacks — while correcting what he considers the Bush administration’s excesses — Obama will rely upon FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, whose term expires in 2011. 

By Alec MacGillis and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 10, 2008; Page A01

Read Why:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
9/AR2008110902555.html?hpid=topnews

Advertisements

Bush, Bernanke say time is right for new stimulus

October 20, 2008

Momentum increased Monday for a new economic stimulus package to help cash-strapped Americans as President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threw their weight behind an idea they earlier opposed.

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

Above: Left to right, Federal Reserve Charman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Paulson, President Bush.  AP Photo 

Press secretary Dana Perino told reporters on Air Force One as the president flew to Louisiana on Monday for an economic event that the White House will have to see what kind of package Congress crafts. Perino says the administration has concerns that what has been put forward so far by Democratic leaders in Congress would not actually stimulate the economy.

Earlier Monday, Bernanke told the House Budget Committee the country’s economic weakness could last for a while and it was the right time for Congress to consider a new package. Earlier this year, most individuals and couples received tax rebate checks of $600-$1,200 through the $168 billion stimulus package enacted in February.

“With the economy likely to be weak for several quarters, and with some risk of a protracted slowdown, consideration of a fiscal package by the Congress at this juncture seems appropriate,” Bernanke said in prepared testimony to the panel.

Bernanke’s remarks before the House Budget Committee marked his first endorsement of another round of government stimulus. Democrats on Capitol Hill have been pushing for another stimulus plan, but the Bush administration has been cool to the idea as the federal budget deficit explodes.

Bernake also appeared to open the door for further interest rate cuts. Wall Street stocks rose on the news and on signals that the important credit markets were loosening further.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in on the stimulus idea. “I call on President Bush and congressional Republicans to once again heed Chairman Bernanke’s advice and as they did in January, work with Democrats in Congress to enact a targeted, timely and fiscally responsible economic recovery and job creation package,” Pelosi said in a statement Monday.

Pelosi has said an economic recovery bill could be as large as $150 billion. Economists have told leading Democrats the plan should be twice the size.

Bernanke suggested that Congress design the stimulus package so that it will be timely, well targeted and would limit the longer-term affects on the government’s budget deficit, which hit a record high in the recently ended budget year.

The economy has been beaten down by housing, credit and financial crises. Its woes are likely to drag into next year, leaving more people out of work and more businesses wary of making big investments.

U.S. stocks rose in afternoon trading Monday. The Dow Jones industrials rose about 1.6 percent and the….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/financial_meltdown

Bush says anxiety feeding market instability

October 10, 2008

By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent
October 10, 2008

WASHINGTON – President Bush said Friday that the government’s financial rescue plan was aggressive enough and big enough to work, but would take time to fully kick in.

“We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal … We can solve this crisis and we will,” Bush said in brief remarks from the White House Rose Garden.
President George W. Bush speaks about the global financial and ... 

Bush spoke as leaders of the world‘s leading economies gathered in Washington amid frozen credit markets, panic selling in stock markets and a looming global recession.

The president noted that major Western economies were working together in an attempt to stabilize markets and end the spreading panic.

“Through these efforts, the world is sending an unmistakable signal. We’re in this together and we’ll come through this together,” Bush said.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven — the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France Italy and Canada — were here for a weekend meeting. Bush plans to meet with the leaders on Saturday.

Bush said he understood how Americans could be concerned about their economic future, “that anxiety can feed anxiety and that can make it hard to see all that’s being done to solve the problem.”

Georgia, Ukraine denied membership in NATO

April 3, 2008

By Jon Ward
The Washington Times
April 3, 2008

BUCHAREST, Romania — The Bush administration yesterday backed off its insistence that two former Soviet bloc countries be invited to enter NATO’s membership process at today’s summit, after European countries refused to bow to U.S. pressure.

Romanian President Traian Basescu (left) and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania.

Following a three-hour dinner with the other 25 leaders of NATO-member countries, a NATO spokesman said that Georgia and Ukraine will not be invited at this summit into the Membership Action Plan (MAP).
.
“We are convinced that it is too early to grant both states the status,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after arriving here for the summit.
.
The White House, which had maintained that an invitation was still possible this week, denied that pressure from Russia, which has leaned heavily on traditional U.S. allies Germany and France, has had a veto effect on Georgia and Ukraine’s aspirations.
.
And a senior Bush administration official insisted that today’s meetings will bring “a successful day.”
.
But one day after Mr. Bush stopped in Ukraine and promised to “work as hard as I can to see to it that Ukraine and Georgia are accepted into MAP,” his top advisers had to define success broadly to remain upbeat.
.
“I think it’s not a question of defeat,” said the senior official, who spoke to reporters on the condition that he not be identified. “The question will be if the alliance can come together and show that the door remains open and can show that the process of new members coming into NATO continues, that will be a success.”

Related:
NATO to endorse US missile-defense plan

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080403/NATION/211752533/1002

Esquire Magazine on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon

March 11, 2008

By Thomas P. M. Barnett
Esquire Magazine
March 11, 2008

As the White House talked up conflict with Iran, the head of U.S. Central Command, William “Fox” Fallon, talked it down. Now he has resigned.
****
If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it’ll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it’ll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him “Fox,” which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago. Forty years into a military career that has seen this admiral rule over America’s two most important combatant commands, Pacific Command and now United States Central Command, it’s impossible to make this guy–as he likes to say–“nervous in the service.” Past American governments have used saber rattling as a useful tactic to get some bad actor on the world stage to fall in line. This government hasn’t mastered that kind of subtlety. When Dick Cheney has rattled his saber, it has generally meant that he intends to use it. And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America’s forces in Iraq, may say, “You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq,” but Fox Fallon is Petraeus’s boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn’t extend Petraeus’s logic to mean war against Iran.
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon ... 
Commander of the U.S. Central Command Navy Adm. William Fallon testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 4, 2008.
REUTERS/Larry Downing 

So while Admiral Fallon’s boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century’s Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it’s left to Fallon–and apparently Fallon alone–to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: “This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions.”

What America needs, Fallon says, is a “combination of strength and willingness to engage.”

Read the rest:
http://www.esquire.com/features/fox-fallon

Related:
Admiral William Fallon Resigns as U.S. Mideast Military Chief

A Centcom Chief Who Spoke His Mind

Fallon’s Exit Provokes Concern on Path of Bush’s Iran Policy

Several Warriors Welcome Fallon’s Resignation

Condoleezza Rice Hits Back At Critics Of Her North Korea Nuclear Strategy

January 26, 2008

(US News) North Korea’s continuing unwillingness to provide what the Bush administration considers a “complete and correct” declaration of its nuclear facilities–as required by an agreement last year–is reviving tensions within the administration over its dealings with the secretive regime in Pyongyang.

On her way to Berlin for meetings on Iran’s nuclear program this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a rare, public rebuke of a fellow administration official who had, in effect, challenged Rice’s pragmatic patience toward the North Korean regime. In comments that may have been first vetted at the White House, Rice said that Jay Lefkowitz, President Bush’s special envoy on North Korean human rights, “doesn’t know what’s going on in the six-party [nuclear] talks” and that “he certainly has no say on what American policy will be” in them.

Read the rest:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/25/usnews/
whispers/main3753478.shtml

Bush orders cuts in nuclear stockpile

December 19, 2007

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush has approved “a significant reduction” in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, cutting it to less than one-quarter its size at the end of the Cold War, the White House said Tuesday.

At the same time, the Energy Department announced plans to consolidate the nuclear weapons complex that maintains warheads and dismantle those no longer needed, saying the current facilities need to be made more efficient and more easily secured and that the larger complex is no longer needed.

“We are reducing our nuclear weapons stockpile to the lowest level consistent with America’s national security and….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071218/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_nuclear_
weapons;_ylt=AlsjzdbnjC4DUyHI1VnGG5qs0NUE

US tries to stop Turk incursion in Iraq

October 23, 2007

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press 

WASHINGTON – The United States has opened a “diplomatic full court press” to keep Turkey from invading northern Iraq, an incursion that could further destabilize Iraq and the region.

President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other U.S. officials implored Turkish and Iraqi leaders to work together to counter the threat from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), U.S. officials said Monday as Turkish troops headed toward the border and tensions soared.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071022/ap_on_go_ca_
st_pe/us_turkey;_ylt=AgyMgtkKZDbzRKSZeeCr
GDOs0NUE

Turkey: U.S. Congress Could “Ruin Strategic Relationship”

October 14, 2007

By C. Onur Ant, Associated Press Writer 

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Turkey’s top general warned that ties with the U.S., already strained by attacks from rebels hiding in Iraq, will be irreversibly damaged if Congress passes a resolution that labels the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.

Turkey, which is a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warned that there might be a cut in the logistical support to the U.S. over the issue.

Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told daily Milliyet newspaper that a congressional committee’s approval of the measure had already harmed ties between the two countries.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071014/ap_on_re_mi_
ea/turkey_us;_ylt=Aqd2Vi_WRaJd20vfvO1WxE2s0NUE

Why Fight For Anyone’s Freedom?

October 10, 2007

By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post
Wednesday, October 10, 2007; Page A17

In the backlash against President Bush’s democracy agenda, conservatives are increasingly taking the lead. It is inherently difficult for liberals to argue against the expansion of social and political liberalism in oppressive parts of the world — though, in a fever of Bush hatred, they try their best. It is easier for traditional conservatives to be skeptical of this grand project, given their history of opposing all grand projects of radical change.

Traditional conservatism has taught the priority of culture — that societies are organic rather than mechanical and that attempts to change them through politics are like grafting machinery onto a flower. In this view, pushing for hasty reform is likely to upset some hidden balance and undermine the best of intentions. Wisdom is found in deference to tradition, not in bending the world to fit some religious or philosophic abstraction, even one as noble as the Declaration of Independence.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/09/
AR2007100901735.html?hpid=opinionsbox1