Thursday :: Jan 11, 2007

Morning Update

by Steve

From NYC

After some initial boasting earlier this week that their Somalia air strikes killed some Al Qaeda bad guys, the administration admits today that none of their Al Qaeda insider targets were killed.

Despite an indication in today’s NYT that the administration already has a “Plan B” if the escalation fails, Condi just told John Kerry during Biden’s Senate Foreign Relations hearing this morning that there is no Plan B, and as Fred Kaplan notes, that is tragic.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted today that Bush’s plan has no exit strategy or time limit. In other words, after taking over two months to blow off the ISG report and come up with his own reason to stay the course, Bush has no idea what he is doing except to do the opposite of what his dad recommended.

House Democrats will aim to block funding for the escalation, not to block funding for forces already there. And there will be nonbinding votes in both houses next week on Bush’s plan, which will go hand-in-hand with hearings already underway this morning in the Senate.

In what may be the most important news from yesterday, Pelosi and Hoyer engineered the passage of a minimum wage increase in the House by almost a 200-vote margin. The Bush Administration will try and use rich white Democrats in the Senate to tack on tax breaks to the wage boost, but Democrats should insist that the wage boost get an up-or-down vote and hit the president’s desk intact, forcing him to sign or veto the issue at hand.

Radar Online reports that Harold Ford, Jr. will head the Democratic Leadership Council, a good move for both parties. I am not as cynical towards the DLC as most in the blog community, and I respect Ford and hope he uses this perch to run against Lamar Alexander in 2008.

And Howard Dean made the right call when the DNC chose Denver over NYC for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Steve :: 8:45 AM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!