Daily Revolt

December 20, 2007

Bush Press Conference: I'm Still King of the World

An arrogant Bush gave a press conference this morning while a docile press played along:
Bush stuck to the White House line that he personally did not know about either the existence of the tapes or their destruction until he was briefed earlier this month by CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"Sounds pretty clear to me when I say I have _ the first recollection is when Mike Hayden briefed me. That's pretty clear," Bush said.

[...]Turning to domestic issues in a year-end news conference, Bush complained Congress had stuffed a spending bill with hundreds of projects he called wasteful and instructed his budget director to explore options for dealing with them.

Bush said that a $555 billion measure passed by Congress Wednesday night before breaking for the holidays contains some 9,800 so-called "earmarks," or projects usually benefiting only one state or congressional district.

[...]"Like many Americans, I am concerned," Bush said. "I am concerned about the fact that Americans see their costs going up. I know Americans are concerned about whether or not their neighbor may stay in their house. So we're dealing with these issues."

[...]Bush spoke cautiously about the state of democracy in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, who has tightened control of the courts and the media and maneuvered to retain power as his term ends. Putin has agreed to serve as prime minister if his protege, Dmitry Medvedev, is elected as president as expected.

Putin was just named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for imposing stability that restored Russia as a world power.

"I presume they put him on there because he was a consequential leader," Bush said. "And the fundamental question is, consequential to what end? What will the country look like 10 years from now? My hope, of course, is that Russia is a country that understands there needs to be checks and balances."

Bush said he hasn't talked to Putin about his serving as prime minister. "I think we better just watch and see," Bush said.

[...]"Are we satisfied with progress in Baghdad? No, but to say nothing is happening is not the case," Bush said. And while the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has come under considerable criticism from various quarters, "There is a functioning government."

Bush suggested that people were feeling better about their lives both in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though thousands of combat troops remain in both countries to provide security.

[...]_ Said his administration will join international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, but that he will continue to oppose initiatives that will hamper U.S. economic growth. "I take the issue seriously," Bush said about global warming. "But I want to make sure that we're effective in what we do, and do not wreck our economy in whatever we do."

He also trashed-talked Syria which suggests the neocons still have plans for that country:
"So if he's listening, he doesn't need a phone call, he knows exactly what my position is," Bush said at a year-end press conference after being asked whether he would talk to Assad to work on ending Lebanon's political crisis.

"My patience ran out on President Assad a long time ago, and the reason why is because he houses Hamas, he facilitates Hezbollah, suiciders go from his country into Iraq, and he destabilizes Lebanon," said Bush.

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