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March 23, 2007


Thanks Hilzoy. Based on one quick reading, I’m not sure how this differs from Murtha’s original slow bleed plan. I have to digest it a little.

The question is how it differs from the President's slow bleed plan.

The short-term stuff is waivable by the President (if he finds certain conditions) and the long-term stuff, while not waivable, can be amended, if circumstances are such that a bare majority can be gotten to move the dates. A different President would see which way the parade is going, and get out in front of it. Someone to whom it might be important not to be perceived as sending soldiers to their deaths in support of personal vanity.

Hilzoy, your analysis avoids the point that, for some restrictions at least, Bush might not veto but instead use a signing statement to say he's going to ignore the "unconstitutional" restriction. That's his favored way of short-circuiting the constitutional path for making laws.

OCSteve, I'm disappointed to see you using the "slow bleed" propaganda term. Please tell ne you didn't fall for the Republican lie that the Democrats invented the phrase.

1902(c) - The limitation prescribed in subsection (b) shall not be construed to require force levels in Iraq to be decreased below the total United States force levels in Iraq prior to January 10, 2007.

If I understand it correctly, this in effect immediately undoes the surge. We already have units that have been extended. On passage of the bill those units immediately become eligible for redeployment. I came to oppose the surge but there have been positive signs lately so I’m conflicted. I would expect Bush to just exercise (d) and certify that they are needed there.

1903 I like. No one should have to do back to back tours.

1904(b) – Did we stand up a free and independent government or not? Implement the legislation we want you to or we are out of there…

Good – Having come to oppose the surge and believe its time to get out, I think this does it fairly responsibly. Six months seems like a reasonable time to do it and there are no restrictions on funding having to do with accomplishing a safe redeployment. I’m not happy about hamstringing the military in this way, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen any other way.

Bad - Now out comes the cynic in me. All troops out by September 2008. Interesting date. Why choose that I wonder. Hmmm. Seems like something else happens in the fall of 2008… Sorry – but that makes this a lot more about politics and elections than anything else. That could of course backfire in a big way.

Please tell ne you didn't fall for the Republican lie that the Democrats invented the phrase.

I know that Democrats didn’t invent it. But it is what it quickly came to be called. (Yes – because Republicans jumped on the phrase and used it to good effect.)

Yes, but "slow-bleed" is such a misleading and inappropriate term.

The cynic in you probably is correct about the date, but in a way I actually enjoy Democrats using the Republican techniques.

Just like the democrats will legitimately be able to say that any Republcian who votes against this is against supporting the troops. Anyway, it will be as legitimate as all those (including Bush and Cheney) who said Kerry voted against funding the troops.

BTW, heard on the news this morning that some of the weapons depots that we didn't guard after the invasion are still unguarded and still eb looted. The reason why? Not even feet on the ground.

And the reports said that many of the explosives being used against us are coming from those depots.

No cite as I usually have 3 tv's on in the morning on three different news stations, and I don't remember which one this was from.

I'm wondering if the resolution that the Republicans got the Senate to approve, stating that it is the responsibility of Congress to fund the troops, is about to bite them in the ***. The bill with funding and restrictions made it out of committee, so it's going to hit the Senate floor. Has the GOP put itself into a box where it can't filibuster the bill?

Nice to know the Dem's have such a laser focus on the issue...

The legislation pays more heed to a handful of peanut farmers than to the 24 million Iraqis who living through a maelstrom initiated by the United States, the outcome of which could shape the future of the Middle East for decades.

House Democrats are pressing a bill that has the endorsement of MoveOn.org but excludes the judgment of the U.S. commanders who would have to execute the retreat the bill mandates. . .[Democrats] should not seek to use pork to buy a majority for an unconditional retreat taht the majority does not support.

I think many here talked about how the coalition of the willing was bought and paid for. Seems that its easier to buy a Democrat than it is a coalition partner.


For some reason, I hear a Cyndi Lauper song playing in the back of my head... something about True Colors...

I guess it's good to know that Hilzoy likes her defeat laden with cash.

Yeah, it's too bad that was completely ignored at ObWi, bril. But it's good to know we can continue to count on you for threadjacks.

Just out of curiosity, why are they mandating different periods (365 days vs. 210 days) for the Army and Marine Corps deployment cycles?

Morinao, those are the standard deployments for the two services. That's why many Marines have had more tours that Army. They are shorter tours.

Thanks, I figured it must be something like that. At the risk of sounding like a three-year-old ("why? why?"), why do the Marines have a different standard deployment than the Army?

I mean, is it just "we do it our way, you do it your way" or is there actually a fundamental difference?

House passes supplemental 218-212.

With Gilchrist voting with the majority. OCS, you going to call him?

The non-defense domestic spending was attached in an effort to attract Republicans as well as hold onto some nervous centrist and conservative Democrats. It failed to attract any; Jones and Gilchrest would have voted for a withdrawal timeline in any case.

The Senate version has less additional spending, a quicker withdrawal timeline, and even fewer teeth.

Even if it were to pass the Senate in that form, the conference committee will be faced with quite the dilemma: What form can the reconciled bill take that would get passed in both houses?

So we're a long way from seeing any of this language become law.

The votes. Walter Jones (NC) was the other Republican voting for it. Fourteen Democrats voted no. Haven't seen a breakdown of how many were disagreeing from the "left" and how many from the "right", but there are definitely some of each.

With Gilchrist voting with the majority. OCS, you going to call him?

Call him what? :)

I saw that. I sent an email expressing support – along the lines of I’m sorry it’s come to this but I understand your vote.

The list of pork is sickening though.

Vaccine Compensation: Provides $50 million to compensate individuals for injuries caused by the H5N1 vaccine, which is a flu vaccine. Payment to Widow of Rep. Norwood: Provides $165,200 to Gloria W. Norwood, the widow of former Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), an RSC Member, who passed away last month. In the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2005 (H.R. 1268), Congress provided $162,100 to Doris Matsui, the widow of former Rep. Robert Matsui.

Anyone have a clue what that’s about? Neither Rep. died of anything remotely related to avian flue vaccine… Why would the Feds be compensating anyone for this?

Minimum wage increase? Isn’t there a separate bill for that? There's all kinds of crap shoe-horned in here...

OCSteve, that's just a formatting error. Should have been a new paragraph after "flu vaccine." There's a similar problem with the Liberia item run into the end of the Capitol Power Plant paragraph, and maybe others.

Aren't congressional widows already getting pensions? Why do we need to pass special payments for them every time some member dies?

OCSteve: as far as I know, no H5N1 vaccine has ever been made, so no one could possibly have died from it. I imagine that's for future use (since the vaccine is in the future.)

Ahh - thanks. Boy I can't wait to try that vaccine. Setting aside money for victims in advance...

I'd also take any list of Democratic sins prepared by the Republican Study Committee and filtered through the Club for Growth with a huge vat of salt, OCSteve. As you say, the minimum wage is a separate bill, so I don't know how they managed to work out a way to count it as part of this one. Reminds me of the lists of Clinton tax increases that counted all sorts of odd things as tax increases -- even counting an item whose description took up three lines as being three separate increases.

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