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The Bush Agenda

The Fed gave Bush a boost yesterday in his effort to convince Americans that the economy is strong. 

The Washington Post notes that Bush's comments about growing income inequality in the United States marked the first time he has addressed "a subject that has long concerned Democrats and liberal economists...  They appeared to be another presidential nod to the evolving political landscape on Capitol Hill, now controlled by Democrats after a campaign that focused in part on their complaints of corporate greed and growing middle-class insecurity." 

The Washington Times: "The markedly populist message, a divergence from the past, in which Mr. Bush has accused critics of practicing class warfare, was all the more noteworthy given his venue -- a speech at Federal Hall in New York, in the middle of Wall Street, the capital of capitalism." 

The New York Times adds that Bush took specific aim at CEO pay, saying that it should be tied to performance.  "Mr. Bush's comments … were met with silence from an otherwise friendly crowd." 

The Wall Street Journal publishes excerpts of the paper's interview with Bush yesterday, and the editorial page shares its impressions of the interview.

"Democratic senators are fighting to halt what they say is a Bush administration campaign to remove forcibly top federal prosecutors, including the US attorneys responsible for key investigations of Congressional corruption and stock options back-dating," reports the Financial Times.  Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy "will hold a hearing next week on whether the justice department is politicising the hiring and firing of top federal prosecutors." 

Conservative columnist Bob Novak has GOP pollster Frank Luntz arguing that GOP leaders are misguided in dismissing the 2006 midterms as a temporary setback.  "'The Republican Party that lost those historic elections was a tired, cranky shell of the articulate reformist, forward-thinking movement that was swept into office in 1994 on a wave of positive change," Luntz wrote.  The Republicans of 2006 'were an ethical morass, more interested in protecting their jobs than protecting the people they served.  The 1994 Republicans came to "revolutionize" Washington. Washington won.'"   

The New York Times notes that Mary Cheney is back in the news -- this time at a panel discussion at Barnard College, where she said that her decision to have a baby "'is not a political statement'" and that CNN's Wolf Blitzer crossed a line when he recently tried to ask the vice president a question about the baby.  "'He was trying to get a rise out of my father,' she said."