Thursday, April 06, 2006

News roundup (not really) 04.06.2006

There's news on India. Iran. More India. Healthcare. DeLay's pension. 527s. Emergency communications. Bush taxing small business. But, we need to focus on the two major maelstroms for the 2006 election. (These aforementioned maelstroms will develop in 2008.)


Set the tone...

The Chicago Tribune: "Latino activists aim for rallies in 60 cities next week"

Earlier in the week the Washington Times reported:
Immigration rights organizers today will call for a nationwide boycott of work, school and shopping on May 1 to protest congressional efforts to clamp down on illegal aliens as part of pending immigration-reform legislation.
The Christian Science Monitor: "A nation divided on immigration"

Enter the Senate...

The New York Times: "Senate Vote on Immigration Close, Frist Says"

But this is not the same bill as earlier in the week. That bill is, well, wrap your mind around this Washington Times' lede:
Senate Republicans will filibuster their own immigration bill today in the face of steadfast refusal by Democrats to allow amendments to the bill that many conservatives view as granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
Some in the GOP wanted to add ammendments to the previous bill to block citizenship based on criminal records. It is worth noting that in this era of scripted votes lasting late into the night (I'm talking about deficit spending and GOP fiscal conservatives trying to bargain their way onto the Nay column) these immigration bills are far too volatile to anticipate whether they will pass. The Los Angeles Times:
Democrats have refused to consider changes in the bill currently under debate, which was approved by the GOP-controlled Judiciary Committee. That proposal would boost border enforcement, create a guest worker program with a path to legal status and offer the possibility of citizenship to immigrants who met certain requirements — including learning English and paying back taxes.

The Democrats had been hoping to force Republicans to adopt that plan or fail in their effort to pass an immigration bill.
The Houston Chronicle:
WASHINGTON - With a bipartisan immigration bill doomed to fail today, Senate Republican leaders late Wednesday offered an alternative that would place additional hurdles to acquiring citizenship for many of the nearly 12 million illegal immigrants now in the country.
The San Francisco Chronicle:
Washington -- The compromises emerging from closed-door efforts to forge a Senate consensus on immigration have even ardent supporters of changing the law wondering whether the current dysfunctional system might not be so bad after all.
The Washington Post:
If the compromise fails, the Senate will leave Washington this weekend for a two-week spring recess and nothing to show for a fortnight of heated debate. That would allow organizers of a national protest Monday against a crackdown on illegal immigration to build pressure on lawmakers to support the McCain-Kennedy measure, which would permit virtually all illegal immigrants, no matter how long they have been in the United States, to stay and work toward citizenship.
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
WASHINGTON - Proposed immigration-law changes have filled the streets of some cities with demonstrators, but Sen. Arlen Specter said yesterday that they also had roiled his own Republican Party in "unparalleled" unrest.
While all of this is playing out, Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times writes:
WASHINGTON — As the struggle over an immigration overhaul reaches a make-or-break stage in the Senate, President Bush has adopted a strategy of calculated ambiguity that some worry may increase the risk of a legislative stalemate.
This is a broken White House.

The long war in Iraq

The New York Times: "Bomb Explodes Near Shiite Shrine in Najaf"

The New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 5 — A top adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Wednesday that the visit this week by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain had backfired, prolonging a deadlock over a new government and strengthening Mr. Jaafari's resolve to keep his post.
The Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD — Iraq's ruling political coalition, under stress for weeks, is now in danger of an open rupture that could split the nation's Shiite-majority bloc, Iraqi officials said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Kerry (NYT Op Ed) calls for Iraqi pullout; 3 in House GOP urge a debate"

The Washington Post:
NORWALK, Conn. -- How nervous are Republicans that the Iraq war could hurt them in November? Nervous enough that Rep. Christopher Shays visited the same senior center twice in one week to defend his stand.

The nine-term House veteran is in full campaign mode, explaining his unbending support for the war to confounded voters such as Anne Donnelly, a resident of the Marvin. She has supported Shays in previous elections but complained that his bullish stance on Iraq seemed at odds with news reports that portray a country in a tailspin.
(You Shays watchers out there will be saddened to see that he is not wearing a pink dress shirt in the accompanying photo.)

The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- Two House Republicans have agreed to cosponsor a landmark proposal to create a special House committee to investigate Iraq war spending, joining Democrats in demanding more accountability for billions of dollars that allegedly have been misspent, according to lawmakers and congressional aides.

The stalled proposal to create a modern-day ''Truman Committee" -- modeled after the oversight board run by then-Senator Harry Truman to root out contracting abuses during World War II -- has been blocked from consideration by GOP leaders for more than a year.


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