Thursday, February 09, 2006

National News Review

The New York Times (NYT) : The U.S. military's humanitarian efforts to make sure no detainee goes hungry at Guantanamo. Republican's yank the teeth out of the push for reform. White House finally decides to brief the full House Intelligence Committee AFTER the administration broke the law.
The Washington Post (WaPo) : FISA judges are not too happy with the illegal wiretapping.
Russell Senate building evacuated. Everyone is OK. Many years of deep cuts in the budget to ease deficit. Middle and lower income need to suck it up again because in Bush's world only the rich are entitled. The elderly and the poor might as well suck it up too, because Bush plans to slow growth of Medicare and Medicaid right when the ranks of those in need will swell.
Time: House Republicans decide they don't want lobbying reform afterall. Senators on both sides of the aisle afraid Bush has claimed unlimited powers claiming time of war warrants them. (No wonder he doesn't want to end the war!)
Newsweek: Hirsh says that feds are pretty much incompetent and still don't know how to track terrorists.

I will be updating the Abramoff timeline later today and am currently working on several other articles for tonight. Other deadlines have taken me away from posting the past few days.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

News Review

Here's a roundup of what some of the more popular for-profit news sources are saying in their headlines:
The New York Times (NYT):
Lawmaker Heather Wilson (R - New Mexico) calls for an immediate inquiry into the illegal wiretap operations conducted by the NSA and the Bush administration.
Gonzales still defends the President's illegal actions. Finally, some Democrats need to figure out what they stand for. The rest of us already know.
Obama and McCain kiss and make up...sort of. Baucus says Bush tax overhaul is dead.
The Washington Post (WaPo):
New budget proposal from President regurgitated from what didn't pass last year. Bush/Gonzales defense on legal wiretapping just doesn't make sense. Boehner follows Duke Cunningham's lead and rents his apartment from a lobbyist.
USA Today:
Bush figuring out new ways to deny habeas. Foes of reproductive choice stoop to new lows.
Federal government wastes space and tax dollars. Bush lies about entitlement cuts...Time calls it a "trick."
Newsweek: Bush tries to privatize Social Security again.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Good Old Fashioned Common Sense

Sadly, it seems to be lacking in Washington these days. It doesn't appear to be missing in Virginia, though. Virginia's Governor, Tim Kaine, set the tone for what many hope will be an election year that brings control of at least one house of Congress back to the Democrats.

He might not have appealed to the liberal base of the Democratic Party, but in many southern and midwestern states it is the voice of reason from a centrist that will bring swing voters from the Republican Party. It is this voice of reason that will help voters overcome the years of panic induced by the "Live in Fear" Republicans. It is this voice of reason that will win back those people who want to be governed by thoughtful legislators who vote with their constituents and are guided by common sense and a strong moral character.

That is what many of us see in Tim Kaine. That is why, as much as I love Jack Murtha, Tim Kaine was the right man to give the Democrat's response to the President's State of the Union Address.
Eleanor Clift agrees.
Though Kaine is little-known outside of political-junkie circles, his theme that “management matters” is at the heart of the Democrats’ message going into the November ’06 election. As his speech illustrated, Kaine symbolizes the common-sense pragmatism that elects Democrats on the state level. He doesn’t fire up the base, but if Democrats want the voters to put them in charge again, they have to establish governing credibility again.
This hasn't just been a bad year for President Bush and the Republicans in Congress. This has been a bad five years. It has been catastrophic for the American people. From Kaine's speech and CNN:

"The federal government should serve the American people. But that mission is frustrated by this administration's poor choices and bad judgment," he said.

"Families in the Gulf Coast see that as they wait to rebuild their lives. Americans who lose their jobs see that as they look to rebuild their careers and our soldiers in Iraq see that as they try to rebuild a nation."

Kaine questioned the administration's handling of the Iraq war, accusing it of using inaccurate intelligence before the war and failing to provide the necessary equipment for U.S. troops after the war began.

"Our commitment to winning the war on terrorism compels us to ask this question: Are the president's policies the best way to win this war?" he said.

"We must give our troops the tools they need to win the war on terror. We can do it without sacrificing the liberty we have sent our troops to defend."

Kaine criticized Bush's health care policy, which analysts have said will be an important domestic issue this year, arguing that soaring costs were adding to the rolls of the uninsured and seniors were finding the new Medicare drug plan too complex and expensive.

"Seniors were promised that the new Medicare drug plan would make it easier and cheaper to obtain their medication. Instead, many are falling victim to the program's poor planning," he said.

Kaine also sounded broader themes of reform, service and bipartisanship. "As Americans, we do great things when we work together. Some of our leaders in Washington seem to have forgotten that," he said.

"Our greatest need is for America to heal its partisan wounds and become one people."
The Bush administration, mired in scandals, has promoted an atmosphere of divisiveness in Washington, Kaine charged -- but he didn't name names.

"Democrats are leading that reform effort, working to restore honesty and openness to our government, working to replace a culture of partisanship and cronyism with an ethic of service and results," he said.

The 2006 elections are some of the most important of my life. Like many people I have become more frightened of my own government than I ever have been of terrorists. It is vitally important that the Democrats take back at least one house of Congress. In 2006 I won't be voting for the man or woman. I will be voting for the party. I will be voting to protect our constitution and preserve our civil liberties. I will be voting for Democrats.

For more on Tim Kaine's speech see
The Washington Post, or Raising Kaine.