Earlier today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) criticized the Bush adminstration for telling American evacuees from Lebanon they would have to repay their transportation costs. “A nation that can provide more than $300 billion for a war in Iraq can provide the money to get its people out of Lebanon.” CNN reports that the White House has reversed its position and will be waiving the costs.
An article published on the Web site of The New York Times on Sunday reported on a speech by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Rogers, Ark. The headline and article said that Mrs. Clinton had criticized Democrats on Saturday for “wasting time” by dealing with issues that helped Republicans turn out voters rather than finding consensus on mainstream subjects. The opening sentence of the article and the headline were based on a misinterpretation of a passage in her speech in which she first referred to the Democrats’ agenda in the Senate and then went on to criticize the actions of the Republican majority in Congress.
She was referring to the Republican-led Congress “” not Democrats…
– Why did it take the New York Times more than 48 hours to correct the record?
– Will right-wing news sites that picked up the story, including Drudge Report and Newsmax, inform their readers?
63-37. Not enough to override a veto, which President Bush has promised.
Today, the Washington Times reports Israel is in a good position right now to take out Iran’s nuclear sites:
Israel is in the best position militarily in its history to mount air strikes against Iran, after a decade of buying U.S.-produced long-range aircraft, penetrating bombs and aerial refueling tankers. ["¦] “They have the capability to strike Iran,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, a former fighter pilot who has trained with Israelis. [...] “I’m not worried about them hitting the targets. They will suffer losses, but they are capable of doing it.”
It doesn’t matter how much advanced weaponry they have. As Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and others have pointed out, conducting air strikes against Iran is “not a viable, feasible, responsible option.” Newsweek pointed out the dangers of such a strike earlier this year:
The Israelis admit they can only disable the Iranian program, not destroy it. “The real question is what you achieve if the best you can do is to delay the project for a few years,” says a senior U.S. administration official, speaking anonymously because it’s a sensitive topic. The cost to the region’s stability could be devastating.
American Progress nonproliferation expert Joe Cirincione has even warned that such a strike “would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program. It would almost certainly speed it up. That is what happened when the Israelis struck at the Iraq program in 1981.”
(Read more from other experts who think there are no good military options in Iran HERE.)
The Senate is expected to vote overwhelming this afternoon to expand embryonic stem cell research. The bill would allow federal funding for research that “could lead to treatments that save millions of lives and improve the quality-of-life for millions more.” President Bush has vowed to veto the bill.
Today, a reporter asked Press Secretary Tony Snow why Bush opposed the bill. Snow responded, “The simple answer is he thinks murder is wrong.” Watch it:
An embryo is not a baby or even a fetus; it’s a cluster of about 150 cells, also known as a blastocyst, which forms a few days after the joining of a sperm and egg, and is no larger than the period at the end of this sentence.
In any event, the embryos at issue are currently being discarded.
Transcript: Read more
“The House on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. … The 236-187 vote for the proposal to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman was 47 short of the two-thirds majority needed.”
In a contentious exchange at this afternoon’s White House press briefing, Tony Snow attempted to discredit reporter Helen Thomas by characterizing her comments as “the Hezbollah view.” Watch it.
Thomas asked Snow why the U.S. recently vetoed an Arab-backed U.N. resolution calling for Israel to halt its military offensive
in Lebanon. Snow claimed, “We didn’t even veto — please get your facts right.” Thomas followed up by specifically asking, “There was no veto at the U.N.?” Snow maintained: “No. There hasn’t been a resolution at the V.N. — the U.N., whatever it is.”
Snow’s the one who may need to check his facts. The AP reports:
The United States blocked an Arab-backed resolution Thursday that would have demanded Israel halt its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the first U.N. Security Council veto in nearly two years.
The draft, sponsored by Qatar on behalf of other Arab nations, accused Israel of a “disproportionate use of force” that endangered Palestinian civilians, and demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza. The United States was alone in voting against the resolution. Ten of the 15 Security Council nations voted in favor, while Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia abstained.
Full transcript: Read more
Today, the House of Representative is spending the day debating a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (It has no chance of becoming law, since the Senate rejected it last month.)
On the House floor,
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN) said he was opposed the amendment but only because it didn’t go far enough. (UPDATE: Davis voted in favor of the amendment.) Davis said Congress should “outlaw divorce in this country” and “outlaw adultery and make it a felony.” In addition, Davis said, “we should also prevent those who commit adultery, or get a divorce, from running for office.”
Davis said it was important to “go after the other threats to the institution” not just the threat from homosexuals. Watch it:
There are currently at least 29 divorced members of Congress. There is no official data on how many members have committed adultery.
UPDATE: Davis now says his “intent was to point out the purely partisan nature and timing of the amendment.” If so, why did he vote for it?
Transcript: Read more
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is leading the opposition to the H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. Yesterday, during debate on the bill, he held up a picture of an embryo drawn by a 7-year-old girl. Relaying a conversation with the girl’s mother, Brownback said the embryo was asking the Senate, “Are you going to kill me?” Watch it:
Brownback is misleading. The embryos funded by H.R. 810 were “created for the purposes of in vitro fertilization”¦which are spare or in excess of clinical need and in every single case are slated for medical waste.” Only about 10 percent of embryos are adopted — the rest are disposed of. If H.R. 810 passes, they will instead be used to develop potentially live-saving cures for millions of people.
Full transcript: Read more