Kiss-up and kick-down Bolton needs to cut the walrus mustache

By Noble Johns

Stupid Bush is good at finding the worse person for the any job in his administration. He did it with his Rice Pudding! He did it with the selection of a crook like Cheney for vice. Now, he’s going to the mat to get John R. Bolton the job as U.N. ambassador when he has been labeled a kiss-up and kick-down kind of guy.

I thought kissing-up and kicking-down was an act reserved for these Black so-called conservative Toms in the Republican Party. I guess whites can do it too!

Reversing field after a meeting with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he will continue pushing for a floor vote on Bolton’s nomination but admits that the walrus mustache was a problem.

Frist switched his position after initially saying Tuesday that negotiations with Democrats to get a vote on Bolton had been exhausted.

Talking to reporters in the White House driveway after he joined other GOP lawmakers for a luncheon with Bush, Frist said: "The president made it very clear that he expects an up or down vote."

Just over an hour earlier, Frist said he wouldn't schedule another vote on Bolton's nomination and said that Bush must decide the next move.

Frist, R-Tennessee, had said there was nothing further he could do to break a Democratic stalemate with the Bush White House over Bolton, an outspoken conservative who, opponents argue, would undermine U.S. interests at the world body.

But he changed his tune after talking to Bush.

Frist's abrupt public turnabout underscored the political pressures that the long-running battle over Bolton has heaped upon himself and Bush.

Six months into his final term in office, Bush is struggling to avoid the perception of a weakened lame duck at a time when his proposal for revamping Social Security has made little progress and some lawmakers are calling for troop withdrawals from Iraq.

Frist has lost control of the Republican-run Senate in recent weeks in fights over Bush's judicial appointments and earlier attempts to confirm Bolton.

Describing his talk with Bush, Frist said: "The decision in talking to the president is that he strongly supports John Bolton, as we know, and he asked that we to continue to work. And we'll continue to work."

"It's not dead," he said. "It is going to require some continued talking and discussion."

Dems 'locked down'

However, he also said that some Democrats, led by Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Joseph Biden of Delaware, had "locked down."

Democrats have demanded that the administration check a list of 36 U.S. officials against names in secret national security intercepts that Bolton requested and received.

They also want documents related to the preparation of testimony that Bolton planned to deliver -- but ultimately never gave -- in the House in July 2003 about Syria's weapons capability.

Democrats say they want to determine whether Bolton improperly used intelligence to intimidate officials who disagreed with his views. They also suspect the Syria documents could bolster their case that Bolton sought to exaggerate intelligence data.

And, they want to see whether he misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings when he said he was not involved in the preparation of that Syria testimony.

Biden, the lead Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a chief critic of Bolton, said White House Chief Staff Andrew Card had offered to provide some of the Syria information but that "was not sufficient." Rather, Biden said Democrats want the administration to turn over all information they seek.

Frist accuses Democrats of being unwilling to compromise. Nonetheless, he said, "We will continue to work to get an up or down vote for John Bolton over the coming days, possibly weeks."

Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli had greeted Frist's initial announcement with a declaration that Democrats had left Bolton "hanging in the wind."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Tuesday the United States urgently needed a U.N. ambassador and that the prospects of Bolton's being confirmed weren't good.

"We are without a U.N. ambassador at a critical time in history," McCain said on NBC's "Today" show. "We need to move forward. I hope that we can get this worked out still, but it's looking pretty dim."

Bush facing stark choices

A continued stalemate in the Senate leaves Bush with stark choices: He could make a recess appointment, withdraw the nomination, or authorize further concessions to Democrats over access to information they seek.

Frist said the president did not discuss the possibility of going around the Senate and making a recess appointment while Congress is on break. That would allow Bolton to take the job without a confirmation vote and serve until early 2007.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan had said there has been no talk of withdrawing Bolton's nomination. McClellan continued to refuse to rule out a recess appointment, but said only that the White House was pushing for an up or down vote in the Senate.

Democrats made clear they weren't budging and most stood together Monday to defeat the GOP effort to force a final vote on Bolton. The Senate voted 54-38, six shy of the total needed to advance his nomination. The vote represented an erosion in support from last month's failed Republican effort.

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