Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable

Q U O T A B L E S

May 3, 2006

"We have right now a media that is willfully ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanours of the president of the United States," actor Tim Robbins said.

"Reason, logic, civility, dissent and debate -- five ancient words that should be taught again and better, at elementary level, so that people know the difference between news and shaped news," Richard Dreyfuss said.

The guiltier-than-bin Laden Rove, said Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, is "a big liability for the administration."

 

J U S T   P O L I T I C S

 

Albrightís story

Former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright offered a different story about whether she and President Clinton blew an offer by Sudan to pick up Osama bin Laden. Albright inferred that Sudan never offered bin Laden to the Americans.

Former President Clinton offered a different story, "We'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America."

Clinton said that he "pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have. But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan."

However, Albright said, "What's been very hard is kind of a misstatement of a lot of facts on [the Sudanese offer]. Look - we worked very hard to try to deal with the terrorist issue. It was very different before 9/11."

Brazil denies racism

Extreme Black liberal Democrat activist Donna Brazil is denying that she is a racist in an interview with the Union Leader:

"Iím not a racist," Brazile said. "Iím not trying to stick this in the eye of black people or white people."

Still, Brazile said that unless more diverse states hold caucuses or primaries early in the nominating process, Democratic voters in the South and other parts of the country will continue to be "written off."

Brazile said, "Iím not picking a fight with Iowa and New Hampshire. But it is time for us to move beyond two states winnowing the process."

In her Roll Call commentary, Brazile, who managed Al Goreís Presidential campaign in 2000, took aim at the New Hampshire Union Leaderís editorial page, potential 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates John Kerry and Evan Bayh and New Hampshire Democrats.

The Union Leader article referred to Brazileís commentary in Roll Call:

Veteran party strategist Brazile wrote in Roll Call that potential candidates who back the Granite Stateís effort to preserve its primaryís traditional role are insensitive to the concerns of minority voters in other regions of the country.

She referred to voters in mostly white New Hampshire and Iowa as "the privileged few."

Northeast battleground

The NY Times reports that Democrats' hope of winning control of the House of Representatives lies in the Northeast:

Independent analysts say there are at least a dozen competitive races in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Connecticut, many involving districts where voters have supported Democrats for president in recent elections while electing Republicans to Congress.

Now, with many polls showing President Bush's support at its lowest level yet, Democrats in those districts are running heavily against the president, hoping to tie Republican incumbents to his agenda. The Democrats need to pick up 15 seats to take control of the House, where Republicans have had a majority since 1994. Party strategists believe that the Northeast, with the largest number of potentially competitive battles, could provide Democrats with the bulk of those seats.

Extending tax cuts

The Washington Post reports on a GOP agreement to extend the tax cuts:

The package would extend the 2003 cuts to the tax rates on dividends and capital gains, continue tax breaks for small-business investment and the overseas operations of financial service companies, and slow the expansion of the alternative minimum tax, a parallel income tax system that was enacted to target the rich but is increasingly snaring the middle class.

But the agreement cannot come to a vote until House and Senate negotiators agree on a second piece of legislation containing many of the proposed tax breaks left out of the compromise, according to legislative aides. And the compromise is sure to spark a new round of recriminations from Democrats, who say the Republican Party continues to favor wealthy investors over lower- and middle-income workers, without regard to a budget deficit that is expected to reach $370 billion this year.

For the Republicans, the tax cuts may have to substitute for other measures proposed last week to help consumers cope with gasoline prices. Proposals including a federal gas tax holiday and a $100 rebate have run into a buzz saw of opposition from businesses and oil interests as well as consumers. House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) dismissed the Senate Republicans' proposed $100 rebate as "insulting," adding that his own constituents considered it "stupid."

Warner to Middle East

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is on a trip to Israel. Warner's is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, and leaders of the Kadima, Labor and Likud political parties.

Warner is also scheduled to visit the Golan Heights. He is going to Jordan where he meets with King Abdullah and Queen Rania in Amman.

Democratsí mixed message

Democrats came out with their message to save the nation from high gas prices yesterday. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) went first:

"Democrats have real plans that would end our dependence on foreign oil in the long term -- and we intend to do it within 10 years," said Pelosi at the beginning of the event.

Then it was the Senateís turn, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) was the Senate Democrats' point person. She made the prediction, that "in the days and months ahead, Democrats will continue our work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 40 percent over the next 15 years."

 

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