Friday, December 23, 2005

Bush bashed by his many missteps

Bush bashed by his many missteps
Dec 23, 2005, 04:46
Capitol Hill Blue

It must have been with great relief that President Bush left Washington to spend Christmas at Camp David and then on to his ranch in Texas.

The past week might have marked a turning point in the Bush presidency and not in a good way. The once-docile Republican-run Congress suddenly has a mind of its own, and the courts, which once gave him the benefit of the doubt on the war on terror, issued a severe rebuff to his expansive view of presidential powers.

The Senate finally passed a Bush-backed budget measure, more than three months late and then only with the aid Vice President Cheney, brought hastily back from overseas to cast a tie-breaking vote. Several small changes the Senate inserted in the bill mean the House will have to vote on it again. The bill achieves only token deficit reduction _ $40 billion a year _ largely at the expense of student loans and Medicaid. Even that modest progress will be wiped out if Congress goes through with $100 billion in tax cuts.

For the fifth year, the president failed to get Congress to open up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a cornerstone of administration energy policy.....