Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


June 16, 2006  

"It's also, I think, in part responsible for the fact that we haven't been hit again in nearly five years. That's no accident," Cheney said regarding the War in Iraq.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Black Caucus miffed

The LA Times reports on the fact that the Black Caucus is displeased by the removal of the Black Louisiana Congressman:

In a clash highlighting tensions between Democratic leaders and one of their party's most important constituencies, House Democrats on Thursday backed a move to oust scandal-scarred Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) from a powerful committee post, despite opposition from the Congressional Black Caucus.

On a 99-58 vote, the House Democratic Caucus endorsed a proposal by their leader, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, that would remove Jefferson temporarily from the Ways and Means Committee because of an FBI investigation of bribery allegations against him.

Jefferson, who is African American, has resisted pressure from colleagues to step aside voluntarily. But after making his case to the closed-door meeting of House Democrats, he left open the possibility that he may give up his committee seat rather than fight the matter on the House floor, where it would have to be ratified to take effect. The timing of that floor debate is uncertain.

War is protecting America

The White House released a transcript of Vice President Dick Cheney’s radio interview. Here is part:

"Iraq was a safe haven for terrorists, it had a guy running it who had started two wars, who had produced and used weapons of mass destruction. Taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do," he said.

"It's also, I think, in part responsible for the fact that we haven't been hit again in nearly five years. That's no accident," Cheney said.

"The fact is, we've taken the battle to the enemy. That's been the key to the safety and security of the American people these last few years, and we need to continue to do it," he said.

"There have been attacks all over the world, in London and Madrid and Bali and Istanbul, as well as New York and Washington; that the key to our success to date has been to actively and aggressively go on offense," he said.

Asked whether he thought Republicans would win November congressional elections, the vice president replied: "I think we will."

Cheney also defended US Marines under investigation over an allegedly improper killing of civilians in the town of Haditha, Iraq, saying: "We have not yet seen the final results of that investigation."

"The people involved are entitled, I believe, to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise," he said.

The US Marines "have good, solid procedures for dealing with these kinds of issues, and I'm sure that's exactly what they'll do," he said.

Senate & House War Resolutions

Preceded by the Senate's vote on Thursday, 93-6, to reject a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the House today also voted resounding no. Voting 256-153, the House also rejected a timetable for troop withdrawal. [LINK]

The following are quotes made during the Iraq War resolution debate:

"Members, this is not the time to go wobbly. Let's give victory a chance," said Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN).

"I look forward to having a debate, but I look forward to having a debate on the amendment that I bring as a senator," Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said.

"The battle is not over," said House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL). "The alternative would be to cut and run and wait for them to group and regroup and bring the terror back to our shores."

"Frankly, I believe their real challenge is that they have no common unified position on Iraq as a party," said Rep Tom Cole (R-OK). "Whether we are right or wrong on our side of the aisle, we do have a common position, and it's expressed in this resolution."

"It's really unfortunate, as the president contends that we are fighting for democracy in Iraq, that we can't have democracy on the House floor," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

In Iraq, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, there are "two things that don't exist: weapons of mass destruction and 'cutting and running.' "

Where the votes are

The NY Times looks at Democrats hope to make gains in the suburbs:

In searching for any advantage in this year's Congressional elections, the two parties are focusing with increased intensity on those cul de sac jungles of tenuous political loyalties, the suburbs and exurbs.

After years in which Republicans capitalized on rapid growth in outlying areas, Democrats now see an opportunity to make gains in close-in suburbs where changes in the composition of the population are working in their favor. In a dozen or so Congressional districts that are leading battlegrounds in the midterm elections, older, more densely packed suburbs are trending Democratic, helping to offset Republican dominance on the sprawling exurban frontier.

Democratic hopes of retaking the House, party strategists say, could hinge on places like Bellevue, a city of 107,000 just across Lake Washington from Seattle. Here, a fast-growing Asian population and an influx of empty-nesters and singles living in new residential complexes have helped to make this the kind of district that, while continuing to send a Republican to Congress, has turned increasingly Democratic.

Iowa's Harkin votes to cut & run

Sen. Tom Harkin, who lied about his service in Vietnam, joined five other senators (four other radical socialists and the doting Sen. Robert Byrd) in voting to pull our troops out of Iraq immediately. The others were: Barbara Boxer of California, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts.


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