Wednesday, April 05, 2006

News roundup 04.05.06

Without DeLay

Enforcer (hockey)

The Washington Post:
Under siege from state and federal probes into his actions and those of his closest aides and advisers, Rep. Tom DeLay had considered resigning on several occasions over the past four months. But he waited until after he had vanquished his challengers in the Republican primary to deny them the chance to become his successor, associates said.
Bloomberg News: "DeLay's Departure Leaves Political Void for Both Friends, Foes"

USA Today: "DeLay's hardball tactics coming back on him"

The Los Angeles Times:
But even with the Texan removed as the poster boy for such attacks, a hostile campaign environment — including a federal inquiry likely to keep the ethics issue alive — confronts Republicans heading into the midterm congressional elections.

"Clearly, we are in an environment right now that could lead to significant Republican problems in the fall," said former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), now a lobbyist. "If the election is held under the circumstances that prevail today, we'd lose control of the House."
The Baltimore Sun:
But DeLay's decision to resign underscored broader concerns among some Republican strategists that the still-unfolding corruption charges could cost other vulnerable lawmakers their seats this year. And Democrats promised a push to make Republican scandals a signature theme of the elections.
The Christian Science Monitor: "Tom DeLay's exit is big loss for House GOP"

The Houston Chronicle:
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay was a master of political maneuvering in Congress, but the timing of his surprising and sudden decision to resign left Houston-area Republicans in political disarray Tuesday.
The Houston Chronicle:
SUGAR LAND - U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's decision to resign left voters and political activists across his 22nd Congressional District concerned that the region is losing a powerful friend who will be hard to replace.
The New York Times:
But his decision to resign under fire clearly ends an era that began in 1995, with Newt Gingrich as House speaker, Dick Armey as majority leader and Tom DeLay as majority whip. Regardless of whether Republicans retain or lose their majority in November, politics in the post-DeLay era will be different, lawmakers in both parties say.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: "A clean slate for the GOP?"

The Boston Globe: "GOP vows to tackle ethics reform"

The Washington Times:
Departing Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas said yesterday that House Republicans have no vision or agenda and have let the Democrats choose the GOP leadership.

"We don't have an agreed agenda -- breaking up our leadership has taken its toll," Mr. DeLay told a small group of reporters invited to his offices in the Cannon House Office Building.
The long war in Iraq

CNN: "Hussein grins, reads poetry during cross-examination"

The Guardian: "Saddam links court to 'torturing' ministry"

The Philadelphia Inquirer: "An Iraqi VP asks premier to exit"

The Guardian:
Iraq's embattled prime minister has defiantly refused to give up his claim to head the country's next government in spite of strong American and British pleas for an end to a deadlock which has paralysed the country for almost four months.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Baghdad - his first since Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw pleaded with him and his rivals for an immediate agreement to prevent a slide to civil war - Ibrahim Jaafari insisted he would continue to carry out his duties.
Cairo - Top intelligence officers from several Arab countries and Turkey have been meeting secretly to co-ordinate their governments' strategies in case civil war erupts in Iraq and in an attempt to block Iran's interference in the war-torn nation, Arab diplomats said on Tuesday.
The Washington Post: "Democracy In Iraq Not A Priority in U.S. Budget"

The Los Angeles Times (permanent!):
WASHINGTON — Senate appropriators Tuesday joined their House counterparts in warning the Bush administration against using taxpayer money to build permanent military bases in Iraq, stripping $177 million from the president's request for emergency defense construction projects in the country to underscore their point.
Reuters: "Many Wisconsin voters demand Iraq troop pullout"


This is the next preventable catastrophe that the Bush administration will miss.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Hurricane season could be costly, experts warn"

Yesterday's Seattle Post Intelligencer Editorial:
The White House and the House of Representatives have produced reports on how to improve emergency response. The Senate will follow. The White House report, issued in February, suggested involving more federal agencies in emergency management. Frances Fragos Townsend, Bush's domestic security adviser, said at the time, "There's a lot of expertise resident in the federal government." But critics worry that bringing more departments into the picture would only diffuse responsibility, creating more problems.

That concern will take on new meaning if the administration fails to appoint a strong leader at FEMA. Paulison, like departed FEMA boss Michael Brown, appears to be someone Bush can be comfortable with. That will be scant consolation for the rest of the country.

The New York Times: "Massachusetts Sets Health Plan for Nearly All"

Bloomberg News:
``I don't think we've seen any other state where virtually every Democrat and Republican voted for a measure of this sort,'' said Richard Cauchi, health analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, in a telephone interview.
McCain in 2008

The Manchester Union Leader: "McCain's 2000 supporters remain loyal"

Politics of abortion

The Hill:
The Senate Democratic leadership says it has found a wedge issue to strengthen the party’s position on abortion rights, which top strategists think has become a liability in recent years.

The wedge is legislation expanding access to contraceptives and sex education, which polls show a majority of Americans support but which Democrats are betting will be difficult for social conservatives in the Republican base to accept.
Iran, or from Russia with technology

The A.P. via the Seattle Times:
CAIRO, Egypt — Iran has unveiled with great fanfare a series of what it portrays as sophisticated, homegrown weapons — flying boats and missiles invisible to radar, torpedoes too fast to elude.

But experts said Tuesday it appears much of the technology came from Russia and questioned Iran's claims about the weapons' capabilities.

Still, the armaments, tested during war games by some 17,000 Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, send what may be Iran's real message: its increased ability to hit oil tankers if tension with America turns to outright confrontation.


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