Bush Heads To Border, Iraqi Official Slams U.S. In The MTV NewsFeed

Also: Newt Gingrich calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' ouster; Iraqis protest U.S. occupation.

President Bush might be standing by his man, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has to go. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, possible Republican presidential candidate Gingrich said on Sunday that he thinks embattled AG Gonzales should consider resigning because of the "self-created mess" over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year. "I cannot imagine how he is going to be effective for the rest of this administration," Gingrich said on "Fox News Sunday," joining a chorus of Democrats who have called for Gonzales' ouster. ...

If you really want to know how reconstruction is going in Iraq, ask Ali Allawi, whose 500-page book on the subject, "The Occupation of Iraq," has just been released. In it, according to a story on the Time magazine Web site, the man who has variously served as Iraq's trade, defense and finance minister since 2003 slams the U.S.'s "shocking" mismanagement of his country, saying it's so bad that by this year Iraqis had "turned their backs on their would-be liberators." Among the mistakes he says Americans made was disbanding the old Iraqi army — which could have helped keep down the deadly insurgency — as well as booting tens of thousands of former President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party members from schools, the government and elsewhere. ...

As if on cue, just as Allawi's book was hitting shelves, tens of thousands of Iraqis marched in the streets of Najaf on Monday (April 9) in a peaceful protest marking the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. But instead of praising the U.S. for liberating them, Iraqis were shouting against the American occupation of their country. A story in the International Herald Tribune explained that the protest was called by militant Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who urged Iraqi security forces on Sunday to get together with his militia members and resist American forces in the Diwaniya province. ...

President Bush tried to give his immigration-reform push a shot in the arm Monday, visiting the U.S.-Mexico border to hype his plan for a guest-worker program for immigrants. According to USA Today, the president praised the tighter security along the border with Mexico and urged Congress to pass a law that would help illegal immigrants get temporary work visas. A day earlier, an estimated 7,000 protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles after hearing rumors about the White House plan, including a proposal that illegals would have to return to their countries and apply for green cards at a cost of $10,000 each, the Los Angeles Times reports. ...

Once again ignoring United Nations Security Council sanctions, Iran announced Monday that it has begun industrial-scale nuclear fuel production. Reuters reports that the announcement means Iran has moved from experimental atomic fuel work using a few hundred centrifuges to enrich uranium to a process that will use thousands of machines, possibly bringing Iran closer to what the West says is the country's goal of building an atomic bomb. ...

Despite threats from members of his own party, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Carl Levin, said on Sunday that the Senate would not cut off funding for the Iraq war. But, according to the Los Angeles Times, he said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulous" that Democrats would keep pressuring Bush to lean on Iraqi leaders to end the violence and reach a political settlement. "That is what he is not doing," Levin said. "He said that he would insist that they meet their own benchmarks. He said that in January. He has not done that." ...

A code of conduct might be coming to the Wild West world of blogs. After a series of death threats against popular tech blogger Kathy Sierra, fellow blogger Tim O'Reilly posted a draft of his "Blogger's Code of Conduct" on his Web site on Sunday. While celebrating the frank and open nature of the blogosphere, O'Reilly's code calls for bloggers to avoid posting comments or links that "abuse, harass, stalk or threaten others"; are libelous; violate confidentiality; or infringe on a copyright. He also calls for banning anonymous comments, taking action against someone you feel is being unfairly attacked and following the golden rule, i.e., not saying something in blogs you wouldn't say in person.