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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - April 24, 2009

On Monday, the Senate will return to a bill to crack down on financial fraud, S. 386. Last night, Reid filed for cloture on the bill.

Yesterday, senators voted on seven motions to instruct conferees on the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 13). Though the motions are non-binding, two that were approved are worth noting. The Senate agreed to a motion from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) to instruct conferees include language prohibiting the use of reconciliation for climate change legislation (this is now the second time a majority of the Senate has voted this way). The Senate also agreed to a motion from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to require that future energy legislation not increase the cost of domestic energy production or increase energy costs for families.

H.R. 1913, the so-called hate crimes bill, was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee by a partisan vote of 15-12. A vote of the entire House is expected next week --- on Wednesday, April 29. Democrats refused to exclude pedophiles (people who stalk and sexually abuse children) in the ‘hate crimes’ bill. According to Louis P. Sheldon, Chaiman of Traditional Values Coalition, "this bill is the crown-jewel of pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) agenda. The LGBT crowd has been trying to get this legislation passed and signed into law for more than a decade."

National Security: After a week of muddled announcements from the Obama administration about investigations over enhanced interrogation methods used on terrorist, it appears that the White House is now back to the position Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, laid out on Sunday. According to The Washington Post, “President Obama rebuffed calls for a commission to investigate alleged abuses under the Bush administration in fighting terrorism, telling congressional leaders at a White House meeting yesterday that he wants to look forward instead of litigating the past.” On Sunday, Emanuel said that “[t]his is not a time for retribution.”

The Post writes, “On Tuesday, Obama explicitly raised the prospect of legal consequences for Bush administration officials who authorized the techniques applied to ‘high value" terrorism suspects, and said if Congress is intent on investigating the tactics, an independent commission might provide a less partisan forum than a congressional panel.” But now, as Politico reports, Obama “thinks it would be a mistake to set up a commission to investigate [alleged] excesses of the Bush administration’s war on terror.”

Why has the administration been all over the place on investigating interrogation methods? It could have something to do with the intense pressure the White House has been getting from the Left. The AP writes in an analysis piece today that Obama “is trying to appease his liberal base without losing control of a potentially volatile inquiry into George W. Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation tactics against terrorism suspects.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has “always been for a truth commission” and expressed her support for it at a meeting with the president yesterday, according to Politico. It’s not just Pelosi, though. The AP notes, “[L]iberal groups, blogs and Web sites are afire with calls for full-bore inquiries and possible prosecutions of the lawyers and officials who justified the tactics. . . . Liberal talk show host Ed Schultz said this week on MSNBC that many liberal Democrats ‘want to see prosecution. Does the president just ignore them?’”

Indeed, released an ad calling for a special prosecutor to investigate former Bush administration official. And Byron York reported that liberal billionaire George Soros is also calling for such an investigation. George Soros who appears to believe that he bought the presidency for Obama and now Obama should do what ever he demands.

There may be other political considerations at work, too. According to another story in The Washington Post today, “A source familiar with White House views said Obama's advisers are further convinced that letting the public know exactly what the past administration sanctioned will undermine what they see as former vice president Richard B. Cheney's effort to ‘box Obama in’ by claiming that the executive order heightened the risk of a terrorist attack.”

There has been no shortage of political games to play with intelligence gathering and the Bush administration’s war on terror policies. If the administration is deciding that it’s better after all to look forward and ignore the calls from the left for political revenge, it would be a positive development. Especially since the path would return us to a Clintonian era where we let down our human intelligence which according to the 9-11 Commission contributed to our vulnerability leading to the attack on 9-11.

Tags: national security, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:33 PM - Post Link


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