Senate keeps death tax
Senate Democrats failed to join Republicans in enough numbers to provide the
60 votes needed to bring the elimination of the death tax to a vote. The
NY Times offers this coverage:
Voting 57 to 41, with only a few lawmakers crossing party lines, the Senate
was three votes short of the number needed to end debate on the bill,
dooming it on procedural grounds. The vote all but killed hopes at the White
House and among Republicans on Capitol Hill of eliminating the tax on large
estates, which under current law would be phased out by 2010 but would
return in 2011.
Republicans are now debating whether to give up on their goal and attack
Democrats in the coming midterm elections as obstructionists on a measure
that they say has considerable support, or settle for a bipartisan measure
that would stop short of eliminating the tax entirely.
Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, said he would continue to meet with
Senate leaders and crucial Democrats to discuss options for compromise. But
there were few signs on Thursday of any new deal.
Below are the results of
roll call, showing which senators voted to keep and not to keep the
to KEEP Death Tax:
NOT TO KEEP Death Tax:
Pelosi and the Black Caucus, redux
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to backing out of her agreement
with the Congressional Black Caucus to not remove Rep. William Jefferson
(D-LA) from the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
''It's about to blow up in their face,'' predicted Rep. Melvin Watt,
chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Black Caucus wants to keep Jefferson who recently took $100,000 in
bribes from an F.B.I. sting operation. Also, Vernon Jackson, 53, chief
executive of iGate Inc., a Louisville-based telecommunications company,
pleaded guilty May 3 to paying more than $400,000 in bribes to Jefferson.
Pelosi is moving forward with a Democrat Caucus vote to remove Jefferson
from the committee.
U.N. attacks America's right
U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has raised objections to the Deputy Secretary to
the U.N. President Koffi Annan. The Deputy Secretary criticized talk show
host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News specifically as failing to demonstrate how
important the U.N. is to America and the world, according to the
Mark Malloch Brown, the U.N. deputy secretary-general, said Tuesday that
Middle America did not understand how closely the United States works with
the United Nations because the Bush administration had failed to publicly
support the organization.
"Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been
largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox
News," Mr. Malloch Brown said in a speech to two think tanks, the Center for
American Progress and the Century Foundation.
"The U.N.'s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is
highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world," he added. "To
acknowledge an America reliant on international institutions is not
perceived to be good politics at home."
Annan spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the U.N. President stood by the
comments of Brown.
Brown did offer the following statement concerning his speech, "I am going
to give what might be regarded as a rather un-U.N. speech," he said at the
outset. "My underlying message, which is a warning about the serious
consequences of a decades-long tendency by U.S. administrations of both
parties to engage only fitfully with the U.N., is not one a sitting United
Nations official would normally make to an audience like this."
Daschle in New Hampshire
Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) had lunch with New Hampshire Democrats and
campaigned with congressional candidate Jim Craig in Hooksett. It seems that
he thinks he could be president.
While in New Hampshire, Daschle told the New Hampshire Union Leader he
opposes a rule change being considered by the Democratic National
Committee’s Rules and ByLaws Committee to place one or two caucuses between
Iowa’s leadoff caucus and New Hampshire’s first primary.
This Friday, he has moved on to Iowa. Daschel begins the day in Eastern Iowa
and ends the day in Ames campaigning for Rep. Tom Latham’s Democrat