Morning Update - Hillary's In
Image courtesy of the New York Times and Getty Images
Here are several items for your weekend consideration.
Hillary is announcing her exploratory committee this weekend, using her website and an online live video webcast Q&A with the public rather than a big press conference. Props to Peter Daou, Jesse Berney, Judd Legum, and Crystal Patterson for steering the campaign towards this type of net-friendly launch. And yes, it was clever timing to do this in advance of Bush’s 2007 SOTU next week, so that the weekend news cycles and the ramp-up period next week will not be monopolized by the White House.
As for Bush’s SOTU next week, his answer for dealing with the millions of uninsured Americans is to hand them another tax break, which is the usual meaningless GOP recipe for all problems. Of course, tax breaks are irrelevant if you can’t afford the health coverage in the first place, but it allows Bush to throw more goodies to the wealthy. And Bush’s proposal could actually raise taxes for those who already have health coverage. But at least it’s a place to start the discussion and move away from his HSA-only approach.
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer kept their promise to deliver on all six of their “100 Hour Agenda” priorities, when the last bill was passed by the House late Thursday night, a measure to eliminate the tax goodies from the last energy bill and redirect those new revenues to alternate energy development. Of course the GOP complained that they were minimized in the process and that the bills were meaningless because the Senate would kill them, or failing that, Bush would veto them. Good, and welcome to your new world John Boehner. Please make sure Mr. Bush vetoes these bills, so we can ram this down your throats the next two years and then drum another 15-20 GOP incumbents out of office, you weasel.
In advance of the entry of thousands of new soldiers into Baghdad in the coming months, three more soldiers died over the last two days, and now a helicopter with 13 on board went down today north of Baghdad.
I tip my hat to Harry Reid for steering a major lobbying and ethics reform bill through the Senate, which will now have to be reconciled with the one from the House. Note the slap-down that the New York Times editorial board gave to Straight Talk for being AWOL in this process.
Both Reid and Jay Rockefeller sent a warning over to the White House Friday about not trying to make Iran the next Iraq.