Thursday, March 09, 2006

As Their Leader Sinks.. a stone the infighting begins.

Cato conservatives are jumping off the Bush bandwagon, At Conservative Forum on Bush, Everybody's a Critic:
If the ancient political wisdom is correct that a charge unanswered is a charge agreed to, the Bush White House pleaded guilty yesterday at the Cato Institute to some extraordinary allegations.

"We did ask a few members of the Bush economic team to come," explained David Boaz, the think tank's executive vice president, as he moderated a discussion between two prominent conservatives about President Bush. "We didn't get that."

Now why would the administration pass up such an invitation?

Well, it could have been because of the first speaker, former Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett. Author of the new book "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy," Bartlett called the administration "unconscionable," "irresponsible," "vindictive" and "inept."
And the ports deal is forcing more off, Suddenly, a Rebellion in the G.O.P. on a Signature Issue:
After more than five years of allowing President Bush relatively free rein to set their course, Republicans in Congress are suddenly, if selectively, in rebellion, a mutiny all the more surprising since it centers on the party's signature issue of national security.
[UPDATE]: There may or may not be a deal on the ports.

The president hits back blaming Congress for the slow Katrina reconstruction, Bush: Congress 'Shortchanged' New Orleans:
President Bush, on a Gulf Coast inspection tour that included his first visit to this city's storm-shattered Lower Ninth Ward, bluntly accused Congress on Wednesday of underfunding the repairs and called for speedy action to make good on federal commitments.
As the House set aside the president's Medicare cuts, the Senate sets aside HSA's, House Republicans oppose Bush's Medicare cuts:
President George W. Bush's plan to cut $36 billion from Medicare ran into stiff opposition on Wednesday from dozens of his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The move creates doubts about getting Bush's 2007 budget through Congress — and is another sign of growing tensions between the president and his fellow Republicans in Congress.

In another headache for Bush, a top Senate Republican said he was putting on the back burner the president's proposal to expand tax-free Health Savings Accounts, a major component of the administration's effort to reduce health care costs.
And the "right-wing" RSC - of whice Rep. Carter is a member - wants to cut almost 10 times what the president did, House Conservatives Prepare Austere Alternative Budget:
But House conservative leaders would go far beyond the president's own budget proposal, illustrating the difficulty the White House and the Republican leadership have had in persuading the caucus to speak with one voice on the matter.

Senior aides say the conservatives' plan would wring about $350 billion from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs and save $300 billion partly through a major reorganization of the Education, Commerce and Energy Departments.
Who's on first?


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