Friday :: Apr 28, 2006

Mid-Morning Update


by Steve

As much attention is focused on the Rove indictment watch, which MSNBC will allegedly report today will have no resolution for at least a couple of weeks, there were other developments of equal or greater significance these last two days.

Rasmussen now also says that Bush is at his lowest level ever (38%) in their poll. Note that the Democrats have a 12-point advantage over the GOP in the generic ballot question for 2008, but that if a third party candidate ran on the issue of tougher immigration and border control, it would split the GOP and make it a competitive three-way race. Which is why the GOP will make the House bill its immigration platform for 2008, and thereby lose not only the Catholic Church but also Latino voters that year, and the Democrats will win, possibly easily.

Read this and you’ll get the impression that Condi and Rummy can barely stand each other.

Arlen Specter wonders why more Senators don’t share his concerns about Bush’s illegal NSA spying program, and goes so far as to say he would consider pushing an amendment to strip the NSA money from the budget. Perhaps the reason no one is paying attention Senator is because you yourself aren’t serious enough about it to work with Democrats to shut it down.

A major step forward in Iraq took place yesterday when Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani called for all militias to lay down their arms and give the new government a chance. Sistani’s message helps the new government make the case that the sooner the militias stand down and work with the government, the sooner the Americans will be kicked out. And that is a good thing.

The IAEA issued its anticipated report today on Iran’s level of compliance with the Safeguard Agreements and Additional Protocol and found, not surprisingly, that although all materials have been accounted for, the IAEA cannot ascertain Iran’s compliance at this time, due to Iran’s suspension of compliance activities in January. Iran says "so what?"

Aside from the White House, guess who else was involved in the 2002 New Hampshire Senate race phone-jamming scandal that has already resulted in one conviction of a Bush operative? Haley Barbour.

Eleven House Democrats sued the Bush Administration yesterday for signing into law an illegal deficit reduction measure earlier this year, a bill that cut domestic spending and continued tax breaks for the wealthy, but which was not a bill that both houses actually approved. Even after the White House had plenty of time to analyze the legal implications of signing a one-house bill, Bush signed it anyway because he knew if it came up to a vote after more sunshine, the bill would not pass, thereby endangering the tax and budget cuts.

Ryan Lizza has penned a piece in the New Republic which will sink the 2008 presidential candidacy of GOP Senator George Allen. Since the article is behind TNR’s registration wall, here is an extended version of the piece courtesy of the Huffington Post. In short, Allen worships the confederacy and its flag, and if that is what the GOP wants to run on in 2008, I would be more than happy to watch the GOP implode into the third party abyss.

If Pat Roberts will continue to stonewall any Phase Two inquiry on Bush Administration use of pre-war Iraq WMD intelligence until after the November elections, they why aren't Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi making a bigger issue of this?

That’s right. Both Hillary and Dick Cheney attended the Fox News party last night. And if you think that Rupert Murdoch isn’t going to help Hillary in 2008, you haven’t been paying attention.

After House Majority Leader John Boehner failed to line up enough votes to get his own caucus to pass an already-too-weak ethics reform package, which was opposed by the entire Democratic caucus and House GOP committee chairmen for not eliminating pork barrel earmarks enough, the GOP negotiated their way into a bill that got the bare majority needed for passage yesterday. It is still a sham bill.

The Senate pandered and debated higher gas prices yesterday, with the GOP offering some meaningless steps like $100 rebates and possibly a windfall profits tax in exchange for ANWR and drilling on the outer continental shelf. For its part of mendacity, the Bush Administration said it wanted more authority to raise the CAFÉ standards, but then backed away and said it didn’t know if Bush would ever use that authority. I know I am speaking heresy here, but I think Democrats should roll the dice here and up the ante on this debate. In exchange for giving the GOP ANWR and the outer shelf drilling, which to me should be an issue of state preference anyway, Democrats should demand the removal of all of Big Oil’s and the nuclear industry’s corporate welfare (tax breaks and subsidies), a windfall profits tax, a required increase in CAFÉ, larger incentives for alternate fuel vehicles, the Barack Obama grand compromise with Detroit on their pension obligations in exchange for a fast-track development of alternate fuel domestically-built vehicles, congressional intent on a new relationship with Venezuela, and a full commitment to the New Apollo Initiative. Let’s see how committed the GOP is to energy independence. And Steve Clemons is correct that Democrats need to talk about our current gas price misery in the context of Dick Cheney’s energy task force.

Steve :: 10:06 AM :: Comments (6) :: TrackBack (0) :: Spotlight :: Digg It!