In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Congress lumbers towards a divisive finish

Lawmakers hoped to bring the painfully divisive 109th Congress to a close Friday, but first they had to act on massive tax and trade legislation with provisions that left some angry and unhappy.

Before that showdown, though, the House took up an agreement to allow U.S. shipments of civilian nuclear fuel to India, an administration priority that is opposed by some because India, which has nuclear weapons, has not submitted to full international inspections.

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Iraq: FUBAR* that never ends

At some point, someone somewhere will have to stop talking about what we should do in Iraq and, instead, just do it.

While the politicians, pundits and experts pondered the release Wednesday of the Iraq Study Group’s long-awaited report, 11 more American soldiers died in that stupid war launched by a mentally-ill President under false pretenses.

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Bush, Congress will discuss Iraq options

Searching for a new approach to the unpopular war in Iraq, President Bush is turning to leaders of Congress and awaiting ideas from his national security team before announcing his decisions in a speech expected before Christmas.

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Senators question Iraq panel’s report

Senators sharply questioned an Iraq commission’s call for a new U.S. war strategy Thursday, saying the Bush administration and Congress must work urgently together to find a more effective approach.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a 2008 presidential hopeful, took strong issue with the commission’s call for phasing out the U.S. combat role in Iraq by 2008 and focusing instead more on training and advising the Iraqi army. He rejected the idea that the Army and Marines cannot spare more combat forces for Iraq duty.

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Labor sees opportunity in new Congress

After 50 years of decline, the labor movement sees an opening to reverse that trend with the election of a Congress controlled by Democrats.

And they are starting an intense campaign Friday to win passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, a proposal that would make it easier to form a union.

"Ensuring workers rights to organize is a very important part of the reason we do the political work we do," said Karen Ackerman, political director of the AFL-CIO.

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The agony of defeat

It has not been a pretty sight on Capitol Hill in the waning hours of Republican control.

Once-powerful lawmakers have been shown the door at their own offices, forced to crowd in a basement or other nooks to finish their work, if not their careers. The usual backslapping has given way to back pats as colleagues try to comfort losers who will soon be going home.

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Staking out the middle ground in Iraq

Sandra Day O’Connor is no hothead. The former Supreme Court justice is dispassionate, thoughtful and cautious.

As one of the five Republicans on the 10-member, bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which has issued what may be the most important report in America this year, O’Connor’s words should be heard.

After interviews with 200 people, she said she was stunned to find the situation in Iraq far more dire than she had thought.

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A boots-on-the-ground look at the Iraq war

As the debate over what to do and when to do it in Iraq intensifies, some perspective might be gained from the viewpoint of those who face death daily in a conflict that already has gone longer than World War II. A friend asked his officer son serving with the Army in Iraq for an assessment of the war. I asked him to allow me to use the reply in a column. He agreed if I would withhold the son’s name and that of the rifleman about whom he writes so eloquently.

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Brownback spouts familiar GOP mantra

Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback on Thursday called for a return to an American culture that promotes family values — a theme meant to set the conservatives’ favorite son apart in a growing GOP field.

The Kansas senator, in an interview with The Associated Press, also urged the United States to push more aggressively for Iraq to achieve "political equilibrium" even if it means partitioning the country along ethnic and religious lines.

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New polls signal trouble for Hillary, Rudy

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is popular within her party but could have trouble winning the presidency, according to a poll that also identified potential hurdles within the GOP for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The former first lady held a double-digit lead over possible rivals in the survey released Thursday by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion. Clinton, who has taken steps suggesting a 2008 bid, had the support of 33 percent of Democrats to 14 percent for former Sen. John Edwards.

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