“A Republican election-year effort to fuse a cut in inheritance taxes on multimilllion-dollar estates with the first minimum wage increase in nearly a decade was rejected by the Senate late Thursday,” the AP reports. The bill failed 56-42, four votes shy of passage.
Yesterday on the 700 Club, evangelical Pat Robertson declared himself “a convert” on global warming. Robertson said that he has “not been one who believed in global warming in the past.” But now, Robertson said, he believes “it is getting hotter and the ice caps are melting and there is a build up of carbon dioxide in the air.” Robertson implored, “we really need to do something on fossil fuels.” Watch it:
Robertson talked briefly about global warming again on today’s edition of the 700 club. Alternet has the video.
Today’s transcript: Read more
to be anti-American, anti-Israel.” — Rudy Giuliani, America’s mayor.
During today’s hearing, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) said that Congress may have to pass a new resolution authorizing the continuing use of U.S. military force in Iraq if a civil war breaks out in that country:
I think we have to examine very carefully what Congress authorized the president to do in the context of a situation if we’re faced with an all-out civil war, and whether we have to come back to the Congress to get further indication of support.
Congressional Quarterly (sub. req’d) adds, “If a civil war erupts between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq, he said, U.S. forces may be ill-trained to handle it and Congress might have to reconsider and potentially approve a new mission for the U.S. military.”
Full transcript: Read more
Responding to a Bill O’Reilly rant, Geraldo Rivera said, “You know, Comedy Central is now a big hit, Stewart and the Colbert guy. … They make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing. That’s their life. That’s their life. They exist in a small little place where they count for nothing.”
Four Democratic senators who were being heavily pressured by lobbyists and conservatives to back the fraud minimum wage/estate tax bill being pushed through by Majority Leader Bill Frist have announced they will oppose the bill. Without the four lawmakers — Maria Cantwell (WA), Patty Murray (WA), Mark Pryor (AR), and Ken Salazar (CO) — Frist is currently at least two votes short. Have you called your senators?
Last month, Lt. Gen. David Richards, head of NATO’s Afghan security force, said the country was “close to anarchy.”
Asked about the situation today, Rumsfeld admitted there was a resurgence of the Taliban, admitted Taliban fighters were “occupying safe havens” in Pakistan and other places, and admitted that violence has increased recently. Then he blamed it all on the weather:
Does the violence tend to be up during the summer, in the spring, summer and fall months? Yes it does. And it tends to decline during the winter period. Does that represent failed policy? I don’t know. I would say not.
Transcript: Read more
The Lone Star Project reports, “The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Texas Democrats a short time ago. As a result, Tom DeLay remains eligible for the 2006 general election as the Republican nominee for the 22nd Congressional District of Texas.”
UPDATE: AP has more.
“I cannot imagine any objective finding that CO2 is a pollutant,” says Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). “If that’s true, God is a polluter.”
Today, Gen. John Abizaid, the Commander of the U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iraq may be on the brink of a civil war, noting that the violence in Baghdad was worse than at any point since he assumed command in July 2003. Watch it.
LEVIN: The British ambassador made the following assessment. According to USA Today, the British ambassador to Iraq — it’s Mr. Patey I believe — P-A-T-E-Y — has warned that Iraq is descending towards civil war and he said it is likely to split along ethnic lines and he has reported as predicting that Iraq’s security situation could remain volatile for the next 10 years. Do you agree, General, with the ambassador from Britain to Iraq, that Iraq is sliding toward civil war?
ABIZAID: I believe that the sectarian violence is probably is as bad as I’ve seen it in Baghdad in particular, and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war.
Just four months ago, Abizaid was asked a similar question by Sen. Levin, and he responded that that Iraq remained “a long way from civil war.”
LEVIN: [Ambassador Khalilzad] said that “Iraq is in a crisis, the country is bleeding and moving toward civil war. “I’m wondering if you agree with those sentiments.
ABIZAID: Senator Levin, I’m not going to comment on anything that Ambassador Khalilzad said. I’ll give you my impression about where we stand with regard to moving toward civil war. I think that Iraq remains a long way from civil war. [Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, 3/16/06]
Accepting Abizaid’s evolving statements, Iraq has descended “a long way” into more and more chaotic violence in just the last four months. “Stay the course” has gotten us into this problem, it’s not going to get us out.