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For the first time, President Bush has accepted personal responsibility for a now-discredited portion of his January state of the union address, dealing with claims that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear material from Africa.

At a news conference Wednesday at the White House, the president also defended his National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, who has been criticized for her role in the controversy. He said the United States is lucky to have such an “honest, fabulous” person working in its government.

CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility for the nuclear materials claim, as did deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley. In recent weeks, the administration has distanced itself from the claims, saying they were based partly on forged documents.

Must be nice to be able to take responsibility without consequences. In the world I live in, consequences always accompany my actions, whether I take responsibility for them or not. In Bush’s world, he can take responsibility because he has the power to insure there are no consequences.

Mr. Bush again rejected criticism of his administration’s use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq, saying he would never assume that dangerous enemies will exercise restraint and show goodwill.

How can he both say that his use of faulty intelligence is his responsibility and also state that his administration did not err in its use? He seems to be saying that the intelligence didn’t matter, our decision to invade would have been correct regardless of what the intelligence said. This is madness! Only hallucinating schizophrenics insist that reality has no bearing on their experience or decisions and justify it all the same.

The president said in the months ahead he will focus on the economy and security for the American people.

I would have thought that the economy and security for the American people would have been his focus all along. Guess I was wrong.

The President rejected assertions that his tax cuts are partly to blame for the country’s increasing deficits.

This is absurd. Could anyone of us who is spending more than we are taking in say that a cut in our income would not result in increased indebtedness? This man doesn’t even have basic arithmetic skills. We are all in peril while he represents us.

It was Mr. Bush’s first extensive news conference since March 6 – 13 days before the beginning of the Iraq war. The president is leaving Saturday for a month-long stay at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

I hope he gets a lot of sleep. Because “the more he sleeps, the safer we are.” (Thanks Arlo Guthrie).

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