In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Monday, November 30, 2020

Like it or not, Bush still controls Iraq policy

Call President Bush a lame duck, a weakened leader, a disappointed president whose party lost control of Congress — and the decider when it comes to a new approach in Iraq. After all the studies and recommendations and talk, the president will call the shots.

Members of Congress can complain and investigate, yet there is little they can do to change Iraq policy short of cutting off funds. Regardless of Bush’s diminished state, the ball is in his court. While Congress can declare war, the president, after all, is the one who moves troops.

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GOP’s last act: Big business tax breaks

In its last hours of GOP control, Congress passed a raft of bills big and small, most significantly a sweeping bill reviving expired tax breaks, extending trade benefits for developing countries and protecting doctors from a big cut in Medicare payments.

The Senate cleared the bill for President Bush’s signature early Saturday by a 79-9 vote. Final adjournment followed after the House and Senate cleared away a bevy of other legislation, including bills reauthorizing health research programs at the National Institutes of Health and an overhaul of fisheries management.

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War-weary military

Beyond its prescriptions for fixing Iraq, the special commission that studied a new approach to the war also spotlighted less obvious military ills that have deepened as fighting has dragging on.

The military is war-weary, the defense budget is in danger of disarray, and relations between the military brass and their civilian overseers are frayed, the Iraq Study Group said. The bipartisan panel’s report poses tough challenges for Robert Gates, who has no previous Pentagon management experience but will become defense secretary on Dec. 18.

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GOP Congress limps to a lackluster finish

Rejected by voters and limping off stage, the Republican-led Congress muscled through a sweeping bill reviving expired tax breaks, extending trade benefits for developing countries and protecting doctors from a big cut in Medicare payments.

The Senate cleared the bill for President Bush’s signature early Saturday by a 79-9 vote. Final adjournment loomed.

But Republicans dumped an unfinished budget on the Democrats about to take power, with the Senate barely meeting a midnight deadline to pass a stopgap spending bill putting the government on autopilot until Feb. 15.

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Ethics panel faults GOP in Foley debacle

Former Rep. Mark Foley was described as a "ticking time bomb" for his sexual come-ons to male pages, but Republican lawmakers and aides for a decade failed to protect the teenagers vulnerable to his advances, the House ethics committee concluded Friday. Despite that finding, the panel said no rules had been broken and no one should be punished.

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Where there’s smoke, there’s ire

Washington, D.C., is going smoke-free in all public places, and the federal buildings are already smoke-free — except one, the Speaker’s Lobby of the U.S. Capitol.

This is a long corridor and series of rooms behind the House chamber with armchairs, leather couches, chandeliers, fireplaces, tall windows overlooking the Mall — and ashtrays.

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McKinney’s last futile act: impeachment bill

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.

The legislation has no chance of passing and serves as a symbolic parting shot not only at Bush but also at Democratic leaders. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has made clear that she will not entertain proposals to sanction Bush and has warned the liberal wing of her party against making political hay of impeachment.

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Do rich Dems really care about the poor?

Now that Democrats are back in power the politics of fear and envy is back in vogue.

It’s hard to open a newspaper or watch the news without hearing about the "income gap" or the "wealth gap."

CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, well dressed and well fed (Lou certainly is up in that one percent of the population earning 20 percent of the income), goes on and on, night after night, about the "War on the Middle Class."

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The era of nation building is not over

Incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declares one of his goals will be improving our military’s performance in postwar environments. It’s tempting to assume any pullback from Iraq signals the end of messy nation-building efforts, but recent history says otherwise, making Gates’ commitment vitally important.

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