[[A G E N D A S]] * Although George W. Bush avers that he still has “plenty, plenty” of political capital to spend, left over from his narrow 2004 election, he finally acknowledged yesterday what Republicans on Capitol Hill understood long ago: that his controversial proposal to “privatize” Social Security--once his top second-term priority--is dead. Boldly introduced but never popular beyond the Republican base, it has been elbowed aside by more urgent public concerns, including rising gas prices, the exorbitant costs of post-hurricane clean-up, and the disastrous Iraq war. As a result, during his press conference yesterday (his first unaccompanied engagement with reporters since May 31), the prez hardly mentioned Social Security. He’s quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying, with some resignation, “There seems to be a diminished appetite in the short term” for dealing with a Social Security overhaul. Charles E. Cook Jr., editor of the nonpartisan newsletter The Cook Political Report, but it more bluntly: “The president’s Social Security plan hasn’t had a pulse in months; the NBA season was still underway when its pulse had ceased.”
READ MORE: “GOP: ‘We Misjudged Democrats on Social Security’” (Daily Kos).