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**Due to time constraints we are going to a weekly cartoon format.   News Stories will also be updated as time allows, and will be limited to short excerpts.  


Bush Quote:

"We put in more troops to get to a position where we can be in some other place. The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy."
-- Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

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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.
By 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'.

In fact, 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.

A 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."



• CIA Leak (Plame)
• FBI Illegal Surveillance
• U.S. Attorney Firings
• Walter Reed and V.A.

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DATABASE:About Iraq on the Record
Presented by Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Prepared at the direction of Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Iraq on the Record is a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq.


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