Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Final Friedman?

Are you sick of “six more months” and “corners” where the turning is always imminent but never quite happens? Or worse still - when a corner is turned, it puts us in the middle of the Sharafiya Bridge?

Emboldened by public support, Democrats are taking a firm stand against the Resident and are holding tight to the purse strings. He ain’t getting what he wants.

As Democrats gain strength, the Republicans are cracking.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who has taken a hard line in Bush's favor, said Sunday, "By the time we get to September, October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn't, what's Plan B."

Ah, September…End of the federal fiscal year…The Bureaucrats New Years Eve. Any ventures wanting continued funding are peddling their wares in September. The war will be no different.

But this year is different. We, the People, are kind of a pain in the ass when we get riled, like we are now. Every single one of 435 Congressmen and 1/3 of 100 Senators are running for re-election on what happens by September.

But the new proposal's momentum in the House underscores just how quickly time may be running out on a war that is hemorrhaging political support.

"There were always two debates in the debate over timelines to end the war," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). "George W. Bush is hellbent on January 20, 2009, when he walks out of the door, leaving a box stamped 'Iraq' for the next president. The Republicans are hellbent on not going through the next election with Iraq tied to their ankles. All Boehner said publicly was what Republicans have been saying privately for months."

Democrats are ready to rush that process. The new House proposal would immediately provide about $43 billion of the $95.5 billion the administration says it needs to keep the war going through Sept. 30. That infusion would come with language establishing benchmarks of success for the Iraqi government, and it is likely to include tougher standards for resting, training and equipping troops. Binding timelines for troop withdrawals would be dropped to try to win Republican support and avoid a second veto.

The remaining $52.5 billion in the bill would be contingent on a second vote in late July, after the administration's progress report.

That bill Bush vetoed is likely to start looking real good to him in hindsight once this gets ginned up proper.

Long, hot summer anyone?

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