President Bush, hoping to inoculate his party and his presidential legacy from election-year anger over the economy, heaped criticism on the Democratic-led Congress on Tuesday for "letting the American people down." He said he'd consider a summer suspension of federal gasoline taxes. But he offered no new ideas for a range of economic worries now facing the country, from record gas prices and soaring food costs to rising inflation, layoffs and home foreclosures, and a credit crunch that even has sparked fears of a college student loan squeeze.
He rejected a new economic stimulus package, saying the tax rebate checks that began going out this week from a $168 billion economic aid plan adopted in February must first be given time to work. He also rejected bipartisan suggestions that the government stop filling the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve while oil costs so much, saying it involves such a tiny amount of supply that doing so wouldn't push prices down. Instead, the president tried to shift the focus to Congress, saying he long ago sent lawmakers proposals to deal with many of the nation's economic problems, only to see them sit or be replaced with approaches that he deems unacceptable.
* "Many Americans are understandably anxious about issues affecting their pocketbook," Bush said in a White House news conference, held outdoors in an unseasonably cold and windy Rose Garden. "They're looking to their elected leaders in Congress for action. Unfortunately, on many of these issues, all they're getting is delay." Capitol Hill's Democratic leaders said Bush was to blame for proposing policies that would worsen the problem, not help, and that it was their duty to reject them. "His call this morning for Congress to act is disingenuous at best," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said of Bush. "Whether on energy policy, the housing crisis or our many other economic woes, this administration and its Republican allies in Congress offer nothing but the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place." Bush faults Congress for inaction on energy, housing bills
The Democrats are right and it really bothers me that as usual Bush has all these haphazard proposals designed to help the affluent while he gets away with lying and saying it is for average Americans and America. Not only is he never held accountable but nothing is ever done about the problem. Absolutely every single problem he has created here and around the world is still here and will get a lot worse. Whoever gets elected next will have to deal with Bush's entire mess!
Anyway his growing Iraq success: Dozens of fighters ambushed a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's main Shiite militia stronghold Tuesday, firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun bursts as the American push into Sadr City increasingly faces pockets of close urban combat. U.S. forces struck back with 200-pound guided rockets that devastated at least three buildings in the densely packed district that serves as the Baghdad base for the powerful Mahdi Army militia. The U.S. military said 28 militiamen were killed as the U.S. patrol pulled back. Local hospital officials said dozens of civilians were killed or wounded. Such street battles — in tight confines and amid frightened civilians — are increasingly becoming a hallmark of the drive into Sadr City and recall the type of head-on clashes last seen in large numbers during last year's U.S. troop buildup in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
* U.S. troops often have fought intense gun battles as they cleared neighborhoods in Baghdad and former Sunni insurgent havens such as Anbar and Diyala provinces. But roadside bombings and rocket or mortar volleys against bases have been the more frequent mode of attack in recent years. Clashes have intensified in Sadr City since the Mahdi Army leader — the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — reiterated his threat of an all-out war against U.S.-led forces last week. U.S. troops, meanwhile, find themselves increasingly drawn into the fight opened by the Iraqi government to cripple the power of Shiite militias. "We are seeing larger groups of militants actually aggressively attacking Iraqi and U.S. security forces," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a military spokesman for American troops in Baghdad. "We've seen more of the brazen attacks in the daytime recently." This Sadr mess will spread throughout Iraq
Oil is priced in dollars on the world market, and the currency's depreciation has concerned producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and eroded the value of their dollar reserves. "The dollar has totally been removed from Iran's oil transactions," Oil Ministry official Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told state-run television Wednesday. "We have agreed with all of our crude oil customers to do our transactions in non-dollar currencies."
* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the depreciating dollar a "worthless piece of paper" at a rare summit last year in Saudi Arabia attended by state leaders from OPEC countries. In Europe, Iran's oil is sold in Euros, but both Euros and yen are paid for Iranian crude in Asia," said Ghanimifard. Iran's central bank has also been reducing its foreign reserves denominated in dollars, motivated by the falling value of the greenback and U.S. attempts to make it difficult for Iran to conduct dollar transactions. U.S. banks are prohibited from conducting business directly with Iran, and many European banks have curbed their dealings with the country over the past year under pressure from Washington. However, the U.S. has been wary of targeting Iran's oil industry directly, apparently worried that such a move could drive up crude prices that are already at record levels. Iran dumps US Dollar
Iran dumping the US dollar ought to really make it a worthless piece of paper as Bush blames it on Democrats along with the price of fuel. this is just sickening but it gets worse as Russia too has had enough.
Russia has warned Georgia it could take "retaliatory measures" and Nato has warned Russia that its recent troop build-up in Georgia's two breakaway regions undermines its neighbor's territorial integrity. Russia's moves in Abkhazia and South Ossetia were raising tensions in the area, a Nato spokesman said. Moscow has accused Georgia of preparing to invade Abkhazia, and says it is also boosting Russian peacekeeping forces there and in South Ossetia. Tbilisi has described the Russian move as "irresponsible".
Over recent weeks Russia appears to have been significantly turning up the pressure in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says. He says that many Western diplomats see these moves as part of a more assertive Russian policy in the wake of Western recognition of the independence of Kosovo in February. The row over Moscow's support for separatist enclaves in Georgia now threatens to provoke a more serious strain between Russia and the West, our correspondent adds.
* Tensions between Russia and Georgia have flared up recently, despite Russia lifting economic sanctions against Georgia earlier this month. Last week, Georgia accused a Russian plane of shooting down an unmanned Georgian spy plane - which Russian authorities insisted was shot down by Abkhaz rebels. And on Tuesday, Georgia said it was blocking Russia's entry to the World Trade Organization. Many in Abkhazia believe that Kosovo's announcement of independence from Serbia in February provides a precedent for it to be recognized as an individual state. Because of Bush's instigation this too gets worse every day
** Thanks to Bush's insistence of putting the Missile Defense System at Russia's door step and his provocation for ex Soviet Satellites to join NATO this too is going to continue to erupt because of Bush as he blames those reacting to his instigation for causing the trouble. how the hell does he get away with this? You know how this is all going to end at home, in the middle east, and around the world, as Rodney Dangerfield Bush cries poor me and blames everyone else for what he has purposefully done and he will happily appear forced to fight his Forever war. If we are lucky enough to get rid of him whoever follows him will be forced to deal with the nightmare future Bush has set in place!