Week of May 6, 2007
President crams for first white-tie dinner
First lady insisted that formal attire was required at dinner for Queen Elizabeth
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Jim Rutenberg,
New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle | Saturday, May 5, 2007
How does George W. Bush, a towel-snapping Texan
who puts his feet on the coffee table, drinks water straight from the bottle and was once caught on tape talking with food
in his mouth, prepare for a state dinner with the British queen?
With tips from an etiquette guide, of course -- and
a little gentle prodding from his wife.
The White House is all atwitter over Monday's visit by Queen Elizabeth II
and her husband, Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh. It is the first visit by the queen since 1991, when Bush's father was president,
and White House aides say the state dinner in her honor is not only the social event of the year, but of the entire Bush presidency.
It will also be closely watched by Washington's social elite for its collision of cultures: Texas swagger meets British
prim. Dinner attire is white tie and tails, the first and perhaps only white-tie affair of the Bush administration. The president
was said to be none too keen on that, but bowed to a higher power, his wife.
"I think Mrs. Bush is thrilled to have
a white-tie dinner, and we'll leave it at that," Amy Zantzinger, the new White House social secretary, said Friday as she
arranged seating for 134 on a huge computerized screen behind her desk in the East Wing.
Bush's moniker for his father,
"41," is well-known, and he will surely need no etiquette guide to warn him away from referring to the queen as "II." Even
so, as it does for every official state visit, the White House has been consulting with the State Department's chief of protocol.
The resulting booklet of tips is not exactly classified, but it's definitely not public. Still, aides to the first
lady shared a few do's and don'ts: The queen will be addressed as "Your majesty." The prince is "Your royal highness." For
ladies, curtseying is acceptable, but not required. One does not shake the queen's hand unless the queen offers her hand first.
And once her majesty finishes her meal, everyone's meal is finished. (Not to worry, said one senior official of Bush:
"He's a really fast eater.")
GASOLINE- Kucinich calls hearing on prices
PLAIN DEALER (Cleveland) | Saturday, May 05, 2007
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chairman of the domestic
policy subcommittee, said he will conduct a hearing June 7 in Washington into why gasoline prices are more than $3 per gallon.
On April 10, Kucinich sent a letter to the chief executives of seven major oil companies asking for the cause of high prices.
He is reviewing the responses. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy.
Ross: No White House Officials On D.C. Madam's List
Advance Indiana Blog | May 4, 2007
Contradicting his own earlier claim, ABC News' Brian Ross said during
the airing of 20/20's segment on the D.C. Madam tonight that no White House officials were included on Deborah Palfrey's customer
list. “There are thousands of names, tens of thousands of phone numbers,” Ross said a week ago. “And there
are people there at the Pentagon, lobbyists, others at the White House, prominent lawyers — a long, long list.”
Ross added that the women who worked for the service, potentially as prostitutes, “include university professors, legal
secretaries, scientists, military officers.”
On Iraq, Gates may not be following Bush's playbook
As the president pushes for more time and money for the war, the Pentagon chief's message has seemed to run counter.
Peter Spiegel and Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writers
LA TIMES | May 6, 2007
WASHINGTON — President
Bush has mobilized his administration, including his top general in Iraq, in a major push to win more time and money for his
war strategy. But one crucial voice has been missing from the chorus: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates'.
Gates' recent comments seem to run counter to the message from the White House. During a recent trip to the Middle East, Gates
told the Iraqi government that time was running out and praised Democratic efforts in the U.S. Congress to set a timetable
for withdrawal, saying it would help prod the Iraqis. He reiterated that point during a meeting with reporters last week.
spokesman for Gates insisted there was no distance between the Defense secretary's thinking on the timetable for Iraq and
views held by the White House or Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq.
But his warnings to
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki are just the latest indications from Gates that he believes the window of opportunity for
the administration to get Iraq right is closing sooner rather than later.
Any determination by Gates that time is running
out on the current plan could severely complicate the administration's strategy this summer, a prospect that has begun to
worry some backers of the troop "surge."
|A DARK CLOUD
|HANGS OVER THE WHITE HOUSE
• CIA Leak (Plame)
• FBI Illegal Surveillance
• U.S. Attorney Firings
• Walter Reed
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