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Bush's Plan

In his appearance on "60 Minutes" last night, his second prime-time opportunity in the past week, the AP notes that Bush conceded that he's not popular -- nor is the Iraq war. "Yet none of that changes his view that more U.S. troops are needed to win in Iraq. 'I'm not going to try to be popular and change principles to do so,' Bush said."

The Los Angeles Times: "The president's comments were part of an administration effort to quell the growing roar of criticism about its Iraq strategy, as Democrats plan nonbinding resolutions opposing the troop increase and as some Republicans echo their resistance to the plan." 

Bush also said that, as commander-in-chief, he has the authority to move along with his plan, no matter what the Democratic-controlled Congress tries to do in opposition, the Washington Post writes. "'I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it. But I've made my decision. And we're going forward.'"

But Democrats, the New York Times says, are split on whether to cut off funding for the additional troops. "While Congressional Democrats have been fairly unified in their opposition to the president's plan, the splits that have emerged center on how to proceed against it… But with opinion polls showing overwhelming opposition to the president's plan - and support for some kind of intervention by Congress - the trajectory over the past two weeks has moved toward more aggressive Congressional action."

Per the Washington Times, Rep. John Murtha (D) said yesterday that he will introduce a bill that would cut off funding to send additional troops to Iraq. Murtha "said that he doesn't think Democrats can stop Mr. Bush from instituting the first wave of a troop surge, but that his panel will be able to pass legislation to stop further waves within a month. 'I don't know how many troops they can get in the field before we get our bill up and passed in the Congress,' he said." 

The New York Times front-pages that US officials are encountering a series of conflicts with Iraqi officials over the implementation of US's plan -- including a Shiite-dominated government that might not crack down equally on Sunnis and Shiites and the potential appointment of a Shiite officer to fill the post as operational commander who holds "hard-edged demands for Iraqi primacy" in the war effort.

A McClatchy analysis notes that the Administration's plan for Iraq is based on inaccurate information about what is causing the sectarian conflict there. "President Bush and his aides, explaining their reasons for sending more American troops to Iraq, are offering an incomplete, oversimplified and possibly untrue version of events there that raises new questions about the accuracy of the administration's statements about Iraq."

MSNBC's Hardball has a report on the human cost of the Iraq war, and it will also feature an interview with Al Sharpton.