Thursday, March 30, 2006

New roundup 03.30.2006

The war in Iraq

Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor has been released.

The Christian Science Monitor:
For US soldiers who don't grasp the language or the culture here, a central part of their mission - generating goodwill and support - remains far more difficult than capturing insurgent leaders. While their officers remain largely on message and outwardly optimistic, many of the front-line men like Clevenger, who patrol "outside the wire" twice daily, say that their patience is wearing thin.

"I don't want to stay here too much longer. The Iraqi Army is getting to where they can get a hold of things now," says Clevenger. "The longer we're here and the more times they attack us, the more they're going to figure out how to better their attacks."
You can read these two paragraphs in a number of ways. The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Although polls show that Americans disapprove of the administration's handling of the war by a 2-1 ratio, most Americans are not letting that interfere with their daily lives. Antiwar organizers blame the disconnect on a lack of personal stake in the war and on a sense of futility about change.

Without a draft, few citizens seem to feel personally involved in a distant war that requires no sacrifice or commitment from them, organizers say.
A.P. via the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Its origins are murky. But the savagery has turned March into a pivotal month in the three-year war - a month of gruesome news, mixed with some good. A sharp decline in American deaths appears to be the payoff for handing more duties to the Iraqi army, leaving U.S. forces less exposed to attack.
Iran and the U.N.

The Los Angeles Times: "U.N. Warns Iran to End Nuclear Work"

The New York Times: "U.N. Council Urges Iran to Halt Atom Activity"

("Atom activity"? What is this, 1958?)

Bloomberg News:
March 30 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United Nations Security Council stands united in demanding that Iran curbs its nuclear program and assist inspectors.

``This is a strong signal to Iran that negotiation not confrontation should be their course,'' Rice said at a press conference in Berlin today after talks with counterparts from the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
The Guardian:
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, told Reuters his country would not suspend uranium enrichment work. "We will not, definitely, suspend again the enrichment," he said, adding that the decision was not reversible.

In a unanimous "presidential statement" yesterday, the security council ordered the IAEA to report back in 30 days on Iran's progress in halting its enrichment programme.
Immigration

The Los Angeles Times:
CANCUN, Mexico — With the emotions of the immigration debate roiling politics to the north, President Bush arrived here Wednesday evening for meetings with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The three-party conference, aimed at bolstering a year-old economic and security partnership, comes at a sensitive moment in U.S.-Mexican relations. The Senate is debating a proposal that would overhaul the United States' immigration laws. It would tighten border restrictions and create a program that would allow some of the nation's estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants to become citizens without having to leave the country.
The New York Times:
WASHINGTON, March 29 — The battle among Republicans over immigration policy and border security is threatening to undercut a decade-long effort by President Bush and his party to court Hispanic voters, just as both parties are gearing up for the 2006 elections.
The Washington Times:
But Mr. Frist -- who is widely expected to run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination -- later distanced himself from the bill finished this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee. That proposal would fine illegals but let them remain in the U.S. while they apply for full citizenship.

That bill "goes too far in granting illegal immigrants with what most Americans will see as amnesty," he said on the Senate floor. "I disagree with this approach not just as a matter of principle but because granting amnesty now will only encourage future and further disrespect for the law. It will undermine our efforts to secure our homeland."
The Chicago Tribune (via the Baltimore Sun):
WASHINGTON // House Speaker Dennis Hastert indicated yesterday he was willing to consider a guest worker program as part of the immigration-reform package now moving through Congress.
Tough Democrats (???)

The Washington Post: "Democrats Detail Security Policy"

Ron Brownstein in the Los Angeles Times:
The plan, dubbed Real Security, is part of a Democratic effort to clarify the party's message for voters before the November midterm elections by releasing a series of policy statements. Democrats previously issued a lobbying reform plan.

By focusing on national security policies before detailing their ideas on traditional party priorities such as healthcare or education, the Democrats signaled their desire to neutralize an issue that had been President Bush's core political strength since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But the Democratic plan provoked a coordinated flurry of counterattacks from leading Republicans.
The Washington Times:
"For years, Karl Rove's playbook of distortion and distraction have been well-known, but I thought it was interesting today that the president decided to change the time of his [Iraq policy] speech to coincide with our event, and I think that shows their real fear of our agenda," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid.
Chief of Staff

The New York Times:
WASHINGTON, March 29 — Joshua B. Bolten, the incoming White House chief of staff, is expected to press President Bush to assemble new economic and Congressional relations teams and overhaul the management of the West Wing, Republicans close to the White House said Wednesday.
Bob Novak in the Chicago Sun Times:
Yet, this selection becomes understandable as a confirmation of Karl Rove's supremacy in the White House.

Rove holds the mundane titles of senior adviser to the president and deputy chief of staff, but scarcely anything happens in the Bush administration without his approval. Now he is more influential than ever. Andrew Card, the departing chief of staff, served (as a Cabinet member) under the senior President Bush (as Rove did not). In contrast, Bolten can thank his rise in the second Bush regime to Rove, his nominal subordinate.
Budget

The Hill:
Boehner told members during their weekly closed-door conference meeting that they must “put their minds around the fact that they have to vote for the budget” measure, said one member in attendance.

That message included a mild admonishment of those conservative Republicans who raised objections to the emergency supplemental spending bill that passed the House before the March recess, other members said afterward.
Lobbying

The Washington Post:
"This legislation contains very serious reform," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), one of the architects of the Senate bill. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also wrote large portions of the measure, said the bill goes a long way toward restoring "the bonds of trust with our constituents [that have been] frayed."

However, spokesmen for government watchdog groups and several lawmakers who were active in pushing ethics rule changes expressed disappointment in the Senate's effort. "It's extremely weak," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose lobbying and ethics plan had been hailed by Senate Republican leaders in January as the model for future legislation. He voted against the bill yesterday.
The Boston Globe: "Senate OK's new rules on lobbyists"

The Philadelphia Inquirer (quote of the day):
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), who voted no on the bill, said the legislation should eliminate earmarks, which he said were at the root of the scandals. Critics said the bill still would have allowed Cunningham to funnel money to Pentagon contractors unnoticed.

"The good news is, there'll be more indictments and we'll be revisiting this issue, if not this year, then next year," McCain said.
More party shifts

With the Dems talking tough, Mitt talks sweet.

Bloomberg News:
March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is eying a presidential bid in 2008, said the Republicans' national priorities should be health care and education, issues Democrats have traditionally dominated.

``Issues which have long been the province of the Democratic Party to claim as their own will increasingly move to the Republican side of the aisle,'' Romney said in an interview yesterday.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Jill Carroll converted to Islam? She was wearing the Islamic traditional garb even before she was held captive.

What would really interest me, and many others, is if she writes a story or even a book on her ordeal as being a captive and maybe even writing about her captors, their mission and goals, etc.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

What I thought bothered me about your roundup was that I can see Americans linking fewer military deaths with be able to pay for the war.

Would it matter if Jill Carroll had converted? Once again blame the victim, much easier than thinking about the deeper questions.

Such as why are we there? For starters.

10:42 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Debra, my thoughts exactly.

11:23 AM  

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