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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - June 4, 2009

The Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1256, a bill to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco. Roll call votes are possible throughout the day.

It appears today that President Obama is doubling down on his pledge to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by next January, yet little has changed since the Senate voted 90-6 to deny funds for bringing detainees to the U.S. In fact, the only thing that appears to have changed is that opposition from the public to closing the facility has deepened.

In his speech at Cairo University today, Obama used Guantanamo as an applause line, saying, “We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Meanwhile, The Hill reports, “The White House sent a deputy national security adviser to Capitol Hill Wednesday evening to urge Senate Democrats to drop their resistance to relocating Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. prisons. The adviser met with the Democratic Conference for about an hour, pressing them to modify an amendment adopted in May to the war-spending measure that would deny the administration funding to close the prison in Cuba and transfer the prisoners into the United States.”

But, The Hill notes, “Democrats attending the meeting said the White House presentation was met with skepticism.” Little wonder that Democrats were skeptical given the overwhelming vote last month and a new Gallup poll showing that Americans oppose closing Guantanamo by 65%-32%. Further, 74% oppose closing the facility and moving some detainees into their states. 54% percent feel so strongly that they not only oppose closing Guantanamo, but would be “upset” if it is closed. In particular, self-described political independents are strongly opposed to closing the facility by 68%-29%.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told The Hill, “This is an emotional issue, but at the end of the day I think most people realize we don’t have much choice. To leave Guantanamo open is a problem — not just for the president politically, but for us as a nation.” However, Gallup writes, “Thus far, Americans don’t seem to be persuaded by the Obama argument -- only 18% believe the Guantanamo Bay prison has weakened U.S. national security. More than twice as many take the opposing view that it has strengthened U.S. security.”

So, as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell asked in a floor speech this morning, what has changed that would make the administration think it would be wise to push for money to close Guantanamo? “The views of the American people have not changed. They firmly oppose it. Nor have the dangers and difficulties of moving the detainees into the U.S. The FBI Director has testified about the dangers of holding these terrorists in the United States. . . . The administration’s supporters point to Supermax as a place to house these terrorists. But our colleagues from Colorado don’t support moving them there, nor is there even any place in that facility to put them. . . . [W]e should not rush to give the administration a blank check to do something, sight unseen, that Americans oppose. As Senate Democrats have often said, the Senate is not a rubber stamp. And we should not flip-flop on our vote of just a few weeks ago.”

Tags: FDA, Gitmo, tobacco products, 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 12:42 PM - Post Link

5 Comments:

Anonymous Catherine Marie Oary said...

why don't they pick on drinkers or dopers

6/05/2009  
Anonymous Chris Tuthill said...

Why do we need regulation....if we smoke and we die...we can sue...and win. Its a proven fact.

6/05/2009  
Anonymous Debbie Wylie said...

If they picked on the drinkers, what would they drink at their get togethers that are for the purpose of destroying our America, what would they drink?

6/05/2009  
Anonymous Chris Tuthill said...

If they tax our health benefits to pay for nationalized healthcare can we voluntarily give up our health benefits and go for the free program?

6/05/2009  
Anonymous Chris Tuthill said...

I opted out about 4 months ago. I think that those folks who don't have insurance will have to take the federal health insurance. But the administration is thinking of taxing the benefits of those who already HAVE health insurance in order to pay for those who don't. So I want to opt out of my regular health benefits to avoid the taxes.....and get the free ones....Probably not.....

6/05/2009  

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