Mudcat Café message #1403675 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1403675
Posted By: GUEST
09-Feb-05 - 02:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Bush Request to Fund Nuclear Study Revives Debate



Administration Wants to Research 'Bunker Buster,' but Critics Seek to Reassess U.S. Readiness



By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page A09


The Bush administration is seeking $8.5 million to resume a study by the Energy and Defense departments on the feasibility of a nuclear "bunker buster" warhead, but the proposal is generating opposition in Congress and some leaders are pushing for a broader review of the nation's multibillion-dollar nuclear weapons programs.

Rep. David L. Hobson (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that handles the $6 billion-plus annual budget of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, says he wants to raise fundamental questions this year about the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and why so many weapons remain on high levels of alert.




Blueprint Calls for Bigger, More Powerful Government



Some Conservatives Express Concern at Agenda



By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 9, 2005; Page A01



President Bush's second-term agenda would expand not only the size of the federal government but also its influence over the lives of millions of Americans by imposing new national restrictions on high schools, court cases and marriages.


In a clear break from Republican campaigns of the 1990s to downsize government and devolve power to the states, Bush is fostering what amounts to an era of new federalism in which the national government shapes, not shrinks, programs and institutions to comport with various conservative ideals, according to Republicans inside and outside the White House.


Bush is calling for new federal accountability and testing requirements for all public high schools, after imposing similar mandates on grades three through eight during his first term. To limit lawsuits against businesses and professionals, he is proposing to put a federal cap on damage awards for medical malpractice, to force class-action cases into federal courts and to help create a national settlement of outstanding asbestos-related cases.


On social policy, the president is pushing a constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage in the states and continuing to define and expand the federal government's role in encouraging religious groups to help administer social programs such as community drug-rehabilitation efforts.


"We have moved from devolution, which was just pushing back as much power as possible to the states, back to where government is limited but active," said John Bridgeland, director of Bush's domestic policy council in the first term. Bridgeland and current White House officials see Bush's governing philosophy as a smart way to modernize the government, empower individuals and broaden the appeal of the GOP.


Bush maintains a stated desire to streamline the government. On Monday, he sent Congress a budget that would eliminate or consolidate 150 programs. But a growing number of conservatives are uneasy with what they deride as "big-government conservatism."


"He keeps expanding the federal involvement into state and local affairs," said Chris Edwards, a tax and budget expert at the Cato Institute, a think tank that often supports the president's agenda. "My hope would be that there would be an electoral rebuke of big [-government] Republicans like there was when the tectonic plates shifted in 1994."


Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), said: "The Republican majority, left to its own devices from 1995 to 2000, was a party committed to limited government and restoring the balances of federalism with the states. Clearly, President Bush has had a different vision, and that vision has resulted in education and welfare policies that have increased the size and scope of government."