Via Kevin Drum
: I see this item in Newsweek
that shows that the Democrats' plan for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is not only supported by the vast majority of Americans, but also by the new Iraqi government.
And now it seems to be confirmed in this NYTimes story
that we will be drawing down troops during the next year, almost as rapidly as Sen. John Kerry had proposed.
So if the American public, the Democratic Party, the Iraqi government and the U.S. military are all in favor of a timetable for withdrawing troops, who does that leave on the other side? Why the Republicans, of course, and a bunch of conservative bloggers, who favor keeping our troops mired in Iraq untile Hell freezes over. Apparently, they think that is somehow supposed to be a winning formula for the Nov. general elections.
The House of Representatives, under Republican control, instituted an “informal rule” sometime back that essentially makes bipartisan compromises in the House nearly impossible. The rule requires that before any bill can come up for a vote it must first have the support of a majority of Republicans. This effectively takes Democrats out of the equation altogether. It does not matter if a bill has the support of a clear majority of representatives in the House, it can still be derailed by a minority faction of Repubican lawmakers due to this GOP-instituted rule.
A perfect example of this came up just yesterday when House Republican leaders stalled a vote on reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act
because of the objections of some southern state Republicans - mostly from Texas.
The House abruptly dropped plans Wednesday to vote on a renewal of the Voting Rights Act, a seminal law from the civil rights era, after criticism from Republican lawmakers from Texas.
Nevermind that the bill has the support of the White House and top legislative leaders from both parties, in fact this just once again demonstrates how weak this President is in getting any legislation through Congress even when his party controls all branches of the government.
President Bush defended the detention facility at Gitmo today by noting that “some” of the inmates there are “cold-blooded killers.”
"There are some who need to be tried in U.S. courts," Bush said. "They're cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they're let out on the street."
Some? What about the rest? What are they still there for? Jaywalking? Three years later and we still haven’t even charged anyone there with anything. Haven’t we had enough time to sort these things out yet?
This makes it sound like we just rounded up a big group of people knowing that some of them are murderers, but we’re not sure which ones so we are just holding on to all of them indefinitely.
The Wall Street Journal has a hilarious story on the front page today (not available online):
Baggy Pants Often Trip Up Thieves
Perpetrators wearing low-slung, baggy pants fairly regularly get tripped up in their getaways, a development that has given amused police officers and law-abiding citizens a welcome edge in the fight against crime.
The story gives several examples of thieves trying to run away after a robbery only to have their pants fall down around their ankles leaving them flopping around like a fish out of water.
One unlucky chap trying to elude police tried to leap over a fence only to have his baggy trousers get snagged. He was found dangling upside down on the other side.
Just about every week, Jim Matheny, a 41-year-old police lieutenant in Stamford, Conn., says he gets into a foot chase with youths. He says it’s getting easier to capture them because they can’t run fast or far in those loose jeans.
“When I catch them, I tell them they’d do much better if they had pants that fit,” he says. “It’s like: ‘Hey dude, buy a belt and save yourself some trouble.’”