S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Brick walls are barriers to moving forward.

OBDURATE is a fancy word for stubborn. The American Heritage definition that most closely fits what I have in mind states, "Not giving in to persuasion; intractable. See Synonyms at inflexible." It is a description - the image of a brick wall - of what often comes to my mind when I read the latest news about what our current president (OCP) is doing - - or not doing. Today's post is my regular "Bush admin-Fri" look at the actions of OCP or his people during the past week. It highlights news stories that illustrate the "immovable object meets the irresistable force" nature of the current struggle between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the Bush White House.
Repeated veto threats will slow down troop support - Because neither house of congress was able to marshall enough final votes to overturn a possible veto, the emergency supplemental funding for the war in Iraq remains in jeopardy. The outcome depends on who will blink first, Democratic leaders or OCP. The story is on the budget resolutions and the most recent Senate vote: "Senate approves '08 goal to bring troops home" by Richard Cowan at Reuters (3/29/07) The Senate and House have also completed budget spending plans. Quoting from the Senate/Bush story,
The U.S. Senate on Thursday defied a veto threat by President George W. Bush and joined with the House of Representatives in backing a timetable for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq.
. . . Speaking to reporters after meeting with House Republican leaders, Bush said, "We stand united in saying loud and clear that when we've got a troop in harm's way, we expect that troop to be fully funded."
Stubborn loyalty. . . or not - Interestingly the scandals at the Justice Department have been marked more by ineptitude than loyalty, except for the loyalty of OCP to Alberto Gonzales. Former chief of staff for Gonzales, Kyle Sampson did not display blind loyalty as he testified all day yesterday. His appearance had a refreshingly honest tone. It remains to be seen how long OCP will hang on to his beleaguered Attorney General, scheduled to testify after Congress returns from its spring recess. An excellent story on the subject follows this headline: "Aide contradicts Gonzales in probe" by Kevin Johnson at USA Today (3/29/07). (See excellent additional story at
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales falsely asserted in public statements that he was not involved in discussions about the abrupt removal of eight federal prosecutors, his former chief of staff told a congressional panel Thursday.
Walter Reed metaphor for willing ignorance of OCP - When Mr. Bush was first elected he let us know that he was not one to read the papers. He has been slow to accept the scientific evidence about global warming, and still refuses to accept the idea that human action has been responsible for the change. The man who was forced to retire in this scandal, General Kevin Kiley, remained willfully ignorant to the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Hospital complex. And like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, OCP is running late with this visit, according to this story:"Bush to make first Walter Reed trip since scandal" at USA Today (3/30/07). To quote,
Bush on Friday was to tour the campus for the first time since reports surfaced of shabby conditions for veterans in outpatient housing.

Repeated refusals to listen to alternate opinions - Many people are critical of the so-called "war on terror" waged by OCP. This story is the latest detailing what some of the wiser heads are saying, with whom I heartily agree: "Bush war on terror draws fire as misguided venture" by David Morgan at Reuters (3/29/07).
Five-and-a-half years after the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush's war on terrorism has emerged as a wasteful, misguided exercise that poses its own threat to U.S. national security, experts say.
A growing number of analysts and former U.S. officials say the global war on terrorism has undermined U.S. influence abroad, forced onerous costs in American lives and money in Iraq, and unleashed a huge government spending spree that has often funded projects unrelated to national security.
It has also produced a climate of fear in the United States that helped justify the war in Iraq and the curtailment of civil liberties at home, they said.

Obdurate president threat to 2008 presidential election - The consequences of two terms with George W. Bush in the White House are sure to influence 2008 voters. That awareness is probably what is fueling the angst of Republicans who are vulnerable to citizens who say, "Enough!" This is the story: "Republicans Fear 2008 Meltdown" by Jonathan Martin, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei at (3/30/07). To quote,
Republicans across the country are warning that increasing public discontent toward President Bush, the Iraq war and the GOP brand in general threatens to send the party's 2008 campaign planning into a tailspin.

Democrats are not fearful of acting in opposition to OCP. That is the good news. The bad news is that brick wall, that obdurate leader unaware of how destructive his personality trait is to the nation and the world.

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