Bush thought he could outsmart the Speaker on the Colombia Free Trade Deal. But, Bush isn't that smart and Pelosi isn't having it. Pelosi shut Bush down -- hard:
President Bush fired the initial salvo in a trade fight over Colombia by announcing his intent on Monday to send the agreement to Capitol Hill without the blessing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). On Wednesday, Pelosi fired back.Now this is why we love having Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It's so great when she plays hardball with Bush -- and whips his butt.
The speaker announced that House Democrats will take the unprecedented step Thursday of voting to strip a critical time requirement from chamber rules governing the "fast track" consideration of trade agreements, suspending the Colombia fight indefinitely and imperiling future trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries.
Pelosi said the House would vote Thursday to suspend the "fast track" requirements that force Congress to address signed trade agreements within 90 days. "We're taking the timeline out of the equation," the speaker told reporters Wednesday after her caucus signed off on the move during a closed-door meeting in the Capitol.
This move marks a bitter turn in the trade fight over Colombia and signals an inauspicious moment for free trade policy in the U.S. by gutting the essential spirit of these longstanding rules.
Both sides have been at loggerheads over the deal for months, prompting Bush to take the rare step of sending the deal to Capitol Hill on Tuesday without the speaker's blessing, becoming the first president in three decades to do so. That move started a clock which requires Democrats to address the legislation under a specific time table. Passage of the rules change on Thursday would essentially stop that clock.
"The president took his action," Pelosi said. "I will take mine tomorrow."
On Friday, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) posted a video from his March 22 trip to Iraq, in which he is “gesturing to a building behind him” and naming two other places hit by rocket attacks. VoteVets.org sharply criticized McHenry, noting that the information revealed in his video could be used by terrorists to “kill Americans in the Green Zone” in the future. The Pentagon has now agreed with VoteVets, and has told McHenry that he cannot re-air the video.
“You can’t tell the enemy in Iraq anymore without a scorecard,” writes the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank of Gen. David Petraeus’ and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s discussion yesterday of Iranian-backed “special groups” in Iraq. “Of course, the new focus on the ’special groups’ also served to highlight the fact that the American presence in Iraq is creating new and special enemies.”
Yesterday, on ABC’s Nightline, Gen. Petraeus said of Iraq, “We will need to be there for a while.” Ambassador Crocker described American involvement as a “multi-year project.” “We’re not looking for Jeffersonian Democracy. … Iraq is not there yet right now, and there is certainly more work to be done,” Petraeus added.
A congressional investigation has found that Julie Myers, the nation’s top immigration enforcement official, “ordered the destruction of photographs of an office Halloween party” that showed her with “a white agency employee dressed as a black detainee.” Myers had reportedly ordered the photos removed from a digital camera in a “‘coordinated effort to conceal‘ her role in awarding one of the top costume prizes to the employee.”
A federal investigation has concluded that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s 2006 re-election campaign was to blame for the crash of its Web site “the day before Connecticut’s heated Aug. 8 Democratic primary.? In Dec. 2006, Lieberman campaign spokesman Dan Gerstein claimed, ?Our Web site consultant assured us in the strongest terms possible that we had been attacked,” blaming supporters of challenger Ned Lamont.
John McCain's supporters are working hard to make sure the media explain what McCain meant about his willingness to leave US troops in Iraq for 100 years, but the more McCain and his supporters interpret his words, the more muddle headed McCain sounds. [...]
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Obama’s Illusions on Foreign Policy Expert guest post by Joseph C. Wilson IV Sen. Barack Obama declared in Pennsylvania on March 27 that his foreign policy would "return" to[...]
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Former lone Kucinich superdelegate Jon Ausman gives us some info on what's going on behind the scenes.
Thanks Mr. Super
The staff of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) have completed and submitted their review of the two appeals seeking to have 23 superdelegates and 92 pledged delegates award to Florida .
The first appeal notes the DNC Charter states Democratic US Senators, Democratic US House Members, former DNC Chairs and DNC Members ?shall? be delegates to the Democratic National Convention. This ?bill of rights? given to 23 Floridians cannot be taken away by a subordinate body created by the DNC since that subordinate body does not have the authority to do so.
The second appeal states the penalty for violating the ?timing rule? ?shall be? a fifty percent (50%) reduction in the pledged delegates and the loss of the three (3) unpledged add-on delegates. This means Florida should have at least 92 pledged delegates.
The remaining 93 pledged delegates and three (3) unpledged add-on delegates I hope to win at a later time if not on this appeal itself.
Review by Co-Chairs, Rules and Presidential Politics
The two Co-Chairs of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) have been reviewing the staff comments and recommendations since 31 March 2008. While the 2008 Delegate Selection Rules provide a strict timeline in many areas when an appeal is made it is silent on how long the Co-Chairs can review the appeals and the staff review.
For those who suggest the Co-Chairs are stalling, or planning to delay hearings until June, I say lets give them a reasonable amount of time to review the documents. If the staff has two weeks to review and write a report then lets give the Co-Chairs the same two week period of time.
This means the Co-Chairs should make a statement on Monday, 14 April 2008, at the latest.
The Co-Chairs can say one or both appeals are meritorious and grant the sought for remedies, they can deny one or both appeals (which will allow me to appeal such a denial within five days to the DNC RBC, or they can call for a DNC RBC Committee to here argument on the appeals.
I believe we are going before the full DNC RBC and I would like to be there no later than Saturday, 10 May 2008.
Unfortunately, these two appeals involve more than the consideration of what the written rules governing the DNC say. Rather than interpret the rules as written consideration is now being given to what the two Presidential campaigns want (what they want, of course, is what benefits them the most).
I believe one campaign is very interested in allowing the DNC RBC decide the matter while the other is stalling in order to preserve their position.
One would think both parties would see the tremendous advantage of resolving this matter early as it would help improve fundraising for both campaigns in Florida (not to mention DNC and FDP fundraising) as well as allow our attention to focus on getting ready to be Senator McCain, but short-term views are prevailing over the long-term benefits of ending this running sore.
With respect, I am,
Jon M. Ausman, Member
Democratic National Committee
Yes, there were two more Pennsylvania polls released today -- both show a fairly close race in the Democratic primary. Seems we're increasingly seeing Clinton's number drop below 50%. Remember, PA is supposed to be a blowout win for Clinton. It's the ultimate of all ultimate firewalls. Strategic Vision shows Clinton leading 47% - 42%. PPP has Clinton leading 46% - 43%. Last week, the PPP poll has Obama leading by two points. Analysis from PPP's very informative blog:
Hillary Clinton has moved back into the lead in Pennsylvania after trailing by two points in our poll last week. Still, this result is further confirmation that it's likely to be a close race in the Keystone state.Here's how it looks on Pollster.com:
Clinton's rebound in the last week has come almost entirely from improving her standing with her core demographics of women, whites, and senior citizens. Her lead with woman went from 10 points to 16, with white voters it went from 11 to 17, and with voters over 65 from 16 to 21.
It's hard to tell exactly why Clinton has rebounded during a relatively slow news week, but it may be that negative effects of the Bosnia story have started to wear off as the issue gets less attention.
I've been doing the regular Wednesday QotD gig for over a year now. I know it must seem like much longer to many of you, because regardless of content or quality, I just keep cranking out questions, week after endless week. I'm beginning to feel like the Energizer bunny of inanity.
Well, this week feels endless and it's only Wednesday. I have, for good or ill, missed most of the blog drama here, because I've had real life issues recently. My mom is still quite ill and it's less than a week to tax time. So I'm pretty much devoid of any creativity, or even the ability to string together two consecutive sentences.
This leads me to a sad conclusion.
I find myself completely unable at this time to come up with a Question of the Day which would break the old record (as reported by DA, but I don't trust him--he's one of those crazy Libertarians) of twenty-three questions in one QotD.
I still hope to work on breaking that record, when I get enough time to annoy you all properly.
Although it can be difficult to come up with a novel question every week, I find inspiration in a variety of places. Sometimes the questions come to me from a conversation I've had IRL, sometimes they flow out of an essay or news article I have read, and sometimes I pull them out of my ass at the last minute. I leave you to judge into which category this one falls, but I recommend you wash your hands thoroughly before answering.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Cup or cone? Sugar cone, flat-bottomed cone or waffle cone? Sprinkles--delicious addition, or spoilers?
MATERIALISM AND EMPIRIO-CRITICISM STUDENTS!
DUE TO A MEDICAL EMERGENCY THE CLASS ON LENIN'S
BOOK WILL BE DELAYED FOR THREE WEEKS UNTIL
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Recently a friend of mine from college found me on myspace. She sent me a message with all the "Hey, how are you? Long time no speak" chit chat. She then stated that she saw that I was married to an Army soldier. She told me that she had recently become involved with an Army soldier and wanted to know what the life was like. "Is it really like that show Army Wives? Truth be told, when I read that sentence I laughed. Not a mocking sort of laugh but an "Oh what a silly girl" kind of laugh. More of a knowing chuckle of sorts. The reason I laughed wasn't simply because of her naivete, but because because I remembered when I was starting out in the relationship with my husband...and with the Army.
When we met he was finishing up his senior year of college. I was living at home. We met through a mutual friend (that's a whole 'nother blog) and from that first night we saw each other every weekend. At first I didn't put too much stock into it; he would be graduating shortly and then heading down to Rucker for flight school. We both were in it for the, uh, "company". Yeah. That's it. But as time passed (quickly, as it does when you don't want it to) we grew very close and we both realized that we had more than a short-term thing. But he was going to be a helicopter pilot, and stay in the Army "until it's not fun anymore." I didn't know anyone in the Army, and my knowledge of people in the military period was pretty non-existent. My best friend in high school went to Annapolis, my brother did a short stint in the Navy as a nuke guy, my grandpa (who passed away in 1997) was in the Navy during WWII, and my uncle (who passed away in 1999) was in Vietnam at 18, and suffered with PTSD until he finally drank himself to death. So calling me a military neophyte would be a gross understatement.
I didn't know anyone who knew much more about the military--specifically the Army--than I did. So being the internet junkie that I was (am...was..no, am) I went online. I have a blog at LiveJournal.com, and so that was my first place of research. I found several military spouse communities and joined them, to see if I could figure out what I could possibly be getting myself into. I introduced myself and had several members take me under their wing for my brief introduction to military life. I read nearly everything I could get my hands on, and chatted away with complete strangers asking any and everything I could think of.
During this time my husband (I'll call him JimBob because, well, unfortunately that's his name. Or is it?) read my LJ and naturally shared it with his roomates. One of them checked out my profile and saw that I was a member of a community titled "MilitarySpouses". JimBob mentioned that his roommate saw that and started lecturing JimBob about me and my potential psychosis. I shook my head at their stupidity and told JimBob that yes the group is called MilitarySpouses, but I have NO intention of becoming one. I'm just trying to learn more about the military and the lifestyle. "Calm down. I have no plans to marry you so relax." And I didn't. It was the furthest thing from my mind.
Two days after his graduation his roommate got married. He and I sat at the (open!) bar and that was the night I told him that I love him. Actually, my exact words were "I know I shouldn't, but I f*&king love you." Yes, I know I'm classy. That was also the night I discovered Cosmos. Dee-lish. But I digress.
Fast forward to later that summer. During the time he was on leave we kept in touch and he flew me to his home to meet his family. From there I drove to Rucker with him. Being there was the first time that I had ever been in an Army community. And it was a little daunting, and a lot frightening but I had my big-girl panties on and slowly learned my way around. JimBob was learning me the different types of helicopters (I didn't know that the Army flew helicopters. I thought that only the Air Force flew.) The first time he asked me I said, "Uh, 67s, Blackhawks, and, uh, whirley-birds?" Realizing how little I knew about Army Aviation, we decided to watch Blackhawk Down one night. I would NEVER recommend anyone (on the significant other side)new to Army Aviation to watch that movie. I sat curled up next to him on our futon and cried the entire time. Y'know, the silent, lip-quivering, chin-shaking, tears streaming down the face type of cry. And I thought. Oh man did I think. The main point for discussion in my mind was "Good lord! Can I do this?" Because if I couldn't then that would be the time to get the hell out of Dodge, er, Enterprise.
The movie ended and JimBob went into the bathroom. I had come to peace with my thoughts and made my decision. As he got out of the bathroom I walked over to him and hugged him. "If you're strong enough to go out there and put your life on the line for us, then I'm strong enough to stand behind and support you." And I meant it. Still do (most days).
But back to my college friend. After I stopped the chuckling I replied to her. I told her that Army Wives is a fictional TV show. Now, I'm sure there are people like those characters but it's not a real strong representation of all the Army wives in the world. If they had a "real" Army Wives type of show, it would involve a lot of FRG meetings,child care issues, battling commissary lines when you go on a payday, and a LOT more acronyms. In other words, no one would watch.
I told her that being an Army girlfriend/fiancee/wife is something that really can't be understood until you live it, and even then it's not understandable 9 times out of 10. But I gave her some great online resources and told her that she can come to me with any question she has and that if I didn't know the answer (most likely), I would know how to find it out.
Because, and here's the crux of the matter, no matter how much "research" you do to figure out if this lifestyle is right for you, you never fully know what you're getting into. In a way, it's kind of like childbirth. You can prepare, and read the books, and watch the videos, and talk to a million and one moms, but until you're there trying to get a human being out of your body, you won't really know what it's like.
Take that analogy for what it's worth. I could've used something completely different. =)
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Dick Cheney, naked ladies, and a very cool pair of mirrored shades. At least on this trip to the great outdoors Dick Cheney didn't shoot a friend, eh?
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