Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hillary then and now...

What Hillary is saying here in 2003 does not jive with what she said over the weekend. She wouldn't be saying whatever it takes to get elected, would she? I'll just wait for the MSM to challenge her on this...Yeah right!

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Love is in the air...

Is Barry The Messiah?

From Slate.com;
The Obama Messiah Watch
Introducing a periodic feature considering evidence that Obama is the son of God.

By Timothy Noah
Posted Monday, Jan. 29, 2007, at 6:23 PM ET

Is Barak Obama—junior U.S. senator from Illinois, best-selling author, Harvard Law Review editor, Men's Vogue cover model, and "exploratory" presidential candidate—the second coming of our Savior and our Redeemer, Prince of Peace and King of Kings, Jesus Christ? His press coverage suggests we can't dismiss this possibility out of hand. I therefore inaugurate the Obama Messiah Watch, which will periodically highlight gratuitously adoring biographical details that appear in newspaper, television, and magazine profiles of this otherworldly presence in our midst.

Today's item, from a Los Angeles Times profile by Larry Gordon about Obama's two years at Occidental College (before he transferred to Columbia):

In [political science professor Roger] Boesche's European politics class, [classmate Ken] Sulzer said he was impressed at how few notes [italics mine] Obama took. "Where I had five pages, Barry had probably a paragraph of the pithiest, tightest prose you'd ever see. … It was very short, very sweet. Obviously somebody almost Clintonesque in being able to sum a whole lot of concepts and place them into a succinct written style."

Readers are invited to submit similar details—Obama walking on water, Obama sating the hunger of 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes—from other Obama profiles. And also, of course, to repent, just in case the hour approacheth nigh.

Aside from being the next coming, I notice the first attempt by the adoring media to get away from calling him Barrack, he is known as Barry to his friends. Barry Obama is much easier to accept then Barrack Hussein Obama

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Are you a "Patriotic Terrorist?"

I think Greg Gutfeld is on to something!

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Edwards Says There Are Two Americas, he should know...

This is the modest and understated home of presidential candidate John "Two Americas" Edwards;

Dems can't risk Bush's plan might be working...

So the Senate is preparing to pass a non-binding resolution against the President's new strategy.

I think these non-binding resolutions are pretty much a waste of time and are gutless. If the Dems and some Republicans want to end the war immediately then I say they should cut-off funding now and pull all the troops out right now.

If they are not willing to allow the President's new plan a chance for success then why bother with a non-binding resolution. My feeling is those in favor of pulling out now cannot afford to see this new plan succeed because that would put them on the losing side of the issue and probably would not be good for those that are up for reelection in 2008. That is probably why they are talking about redeploying troops starting in 4 months, a date that coincides with when General Petraeus says we will see whether or not the plan is working.

There are signs that the plan is beginning to work, see here and here.

How many times did we see in the news that Dems were saying that Bush was not listening to the generals that were saying they needed more troops. Now when he decides to get rid of the generals that were presiding over the strategy that they had been saying was a failure and installs generals that want more troops they say they are against more troops. You can't say that you are against the increase in troops now when there are numerous statements from the same Congressmen saying exactly the opposite. Perfect example is the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Reyes;

From Newsweek;
“In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq,” the story began, Mr. Reyes “said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a ’stepped up effort to dismantle the militias.’ ”

“We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq,” the Texas Democrat said to the surprise of many, “I would say 20,000 to 30,000.”

And then immediately after the presidents announcement of an increase of 21,500 troops;
Then came President Bush’s expected announcement last week, virtually matching Mr. Reyes’ recommendation and argument word-for-word – albeit the president proposed only 21,500 troops.

Wouldn’t you know, hours after Mr. Bush announced his proposal, Mr. Reyes told the El Paso Times that such a troop buildup was unthinkable.

“We don’t have the capability to escalate even to this minimum level,” he said.

The chairman’s “double-talk” did not go unnoticed. Among others, Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says such blatant “hypocrisy” undermines both national security and the war on terrorism.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Kerry announces his is NOT running


A lot of the fun in the 2008 race just went up in smoke!

Kerry won't run for president in '08

By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | January 24, 2007

WASHINGTON --Senator John F. Kerry announced today that he will not run in the 2008 presidential race, and will instead remain in Congress and seek reelection to his Senate seat next year.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush wants to tax the rich and the dems say....

No? I thought that Bush is always giving a tax cut to the rich? So now when he wants to actually tax the rich the Dems say hold on a minute.

Not that I really believe Bush actually want to do this. I think that its just a ploy to show that the Dems are against any thing Bush proposes. Anything! I mean I get the feeling that if Bush says tonight that he want to start withdrawing troops immediately that the Dems would start screaming that we can't leave Iraq until the Iraqis can fight and protect their country themselves. Heh...
Bush's risky State of the Union ploy
The president's emphasis on health care addresses a vital need, but the Democrats denounce it as an unfair tax. Fortune's Nina Easton previews the upcoming battle.
FORTUNE Magazine

By Nina Easton, Fortune Washington bureau chief
January 23 2007: 10:23 AM EST

WASHINGTON (Fortune) -- Just when you thought Washington politics couldn't get any weirder: now George W. Bush wants to tax the rich.

That's right. The Republican president the Democrats accuse of playing proxy-in-chief for America's privileged elite wants to raise taxes on executives and other beneficiaries of generous, employer-provided medical insurance plans.

It's all part of a plan to reduce health care costs that he will detail in his State of the Union speech tonight. But of course the Democrats (who these days like to think they're thinking two political steps ahead of the White House - and probably are) have already devised their own name for Bush's health care proposal. "I'm going to call it 'a tax hike on the middle class'," Democratic Senate strategist James Manley tells Fortune. Ouch.

Prod all you want, but Bush administration officials studiously refuse to use the words "tax hike" at all, let alone a tax hike on the middle or upper-middle or even upper class. Bush officials prefer to call the plan a "revenue neutral" tax reform that "levels the playing field" between those who enjoy generous insurance policies from their employers and those who can't afford health insurance at all.

"There will be some winners and some losers," concedes Katherine Baicker, Harvard-trained economist and member of Bush's Council on Economic Advisers.

Under the plan, people who now buy their own insurance or sign up for basic coverage from their employers would get a tax break. But those 20 percent of employees with "more generous, deluxe, gold-plated plans," as Baicker puts it, will have to pay a tax if they "didn't change their behavior at all." That is, if they don't opt for a lower-cost insurance plan.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So Reyes really was for the surge before he was against it!

From PoliPundit;
On Dec. 5, Newsweek magazine touted an interview with then-incoming House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes as an “exclusive.” And for good reason.

“In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq,” the story began, Mr. Reyes “said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a ’stepped up effort to dismantle the militias.’ ”

“We have to consider the need for additional troops to be in Iraq, to take out the militias and stabilize Iraq,” the Texas Democrat said to the surprise of many, “I would say 20,000 to 30,000.”

Then came President Bush’s expected announcement last week, virtually matching Mr. Reyes’ recommendation and argument word-for-word – albeit the president proposed only 21,500 troops.

Wouldn’t you know, hours after Mr. Bush announced his proposal, Mr. Reyes told the El Paso Times that such a troop buildup was unthinkable.

“We don’t have the capability to escalate even to this minimum level,” he said.

The chairman’s “double-talk” did not go unnoticed. Among others, Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says such blatant “hypocrisy” undermines both national security and the war on terrorism.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Big Man in a Little Suit?

Sorry but I am not buying this, my BS meter just went crazy!
Kagen introduces a little levity to the White House

While meeting last month with a group of area peace activists, then Congressman-elect Steve Kagen told a story of his first visit to the White House that shows a feisty and humorous side to our new man in Congress.

He told the group one of the first lessons he learned in Washington is to never pass up a rest room because you don’t know when you’ll see one again.

He’d already had a long day of freshman orientation when he and his wife, Gail, were expected at the White House. Upon arrival, he asks a Marine where he can find a rest room, and is sent down a long flight of stairs, to another Marine, who directs him to a rest room.

“It’s a small room ­– two spots on the wall, one stall one sink. I see in the mirror the door opens, and who walks in, Karl Rove (Bush’s deputy chief of staff who was charged with orchestrating strategies for the 2006 general election).”

After Rove washed his hands (“At least he’s a hand washer,” Kagen said), he attempted to leave, but Kagen prevented his departure by holding the door closed and said, “You’re in the White House and you think your safe, huh? You recognize me? My name’s Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass.”

Kagen expected to make Rove squirm, but said acted like it was a tennis match and simply said, ‘Oh, congratulations.’

“We’re walking up these long steps, I stopped him and said, ‘Look, the race is over. We’re here to do the people’s business. I want you to join me on something, but you can’t steal it, I’ve got the trademark, ‘No patient left behind.’ He goes, ‘I like the sound of that.’ We get to the top of the steps and there’s Vice President Cheney with a glass of white wine and a hand in his pocket. So I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. Gail wasn’t there to hold me back. ‘Mr. Vice President, thank you for your service to the nation, and thank you so much for coming to Green Bay and campaigning against me. I couldn’t have won without your help.’

He then asked Cheney to enunciate his vision for Iraq.

“ ‘Well, Id like to see a stable government that could take care of itself and its people.’ I said, ‘at what price?’ He said, ‘I don’t understand your point.’ I walked away. Then we had an opportunity to take a picture with the president and his wife. I was feeling real good at this point.

“I said to my wife, ‘Honey, just follow my lead.’ She said, ‘Steven, it’s the president.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but he’s not any taller than I am.’ So the cameraman’s here. We’re introduced by a Marine. I said, ‘Mr. President , thank you for coming to Green Bay. My name is Dr. Multimillionaire.That was before the race. Now they call me Doctor Thousandaire. I couldn’t have won without you coming.’”

He said Bush gave one of his smiles and said, ‘I’ve lost a lot of money in my life, too.’ Then I go to his wife, ‘Hi Barbara, how are ya?’ I did that because I learned on the campaign that the meanest thing you can say to another gentlemen is, ‘he’s a fine fellow,’ and you then refer to his spouse by a different name.”

Expect this side of Kagen to show up when he appears on the “Colbert Report” in February.

Embarrasing! and damn funny!

Now wait a minute, I thought the Republicans were the ones that didn't want to enforce tougher ethics rules?
Democrats fumble earmarks legislation
Senators jump ship, vote with GOP on tougher rules for pet projects in bills

By Jim Abrams

WASHINGTON - The Senate's new Democratic leaders, the fragility of their thin majority on display for the first time, were set back Thursday when nine Democrats joined with Republicans in support of stricter House-passed rules on lawmakers' pet projects

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was forced to delay a final vote on a measure he opposes after losing 51-46 a parliamentary attempt to kill it.

The measure, an amendment to an ethics and lobbying bill, would have adopted a wider definition of "earmarks," specific projects inserted in bills, to include Corps of Engineer water projects, Pentagon weapon systems and items from other federal entities.

The language favored by Reid would require disclosure of only targeted funds directed to nonfederal entities such as city parks, state universities and private contractors. Reid crafted the ethics bill with Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., but McConnell supported Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., the sponsor of the legislation, on the earmarks issue.

"If we're going to go through all this process, if we're going to change the laws and try to tell the American people that now you can see what we're doing, let's don't try to pull the wool over their eyes," DeMint said.

Among the Democrats siding with DeMint were possible presidential candidates Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John Kerry, D-Mass., freshmen Jim Webb of Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who faces a tough re-election bid in 2008.

DeMint insisted that the Senate definition would catch about 5 percent of earmarks, saying that in most instances lawmakers insert their pet projects not into the bill itself but into the explanatory report language that accompanies the bill and is not subject to a vote.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said that of 12,852 earmarks found in bills last year, 534 would be subject to Senate disclosure rules.

The conservative DeMint praised new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, for backing the more comprehensive earmark rules that the House approved last week. "I'm here to defend her language on behalf of the Democrat colleagues on the House side."

After the move to kill the DeMint language failed, Democrats refused to allow the amendment to be approved by voice, a normal procedure, and an hour later Reid called the entire Senate to the floor to beseech them to reconsider. He did not set a time for a final vote.

"It's important that the Senate rules be amended slowly and with careful, bipartisan deliberation," Reid said, stressing that the House didn't spend much time on its version and the Senate approach was "so much better."

Reid argued that his version was stronger than DeMint's in disclosing lawmakers seeking special tax benefits for a small group of people or an industry, and included language requiring lawmakers to certify that they had no personal stake in earmarks they support.

Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also said the DeMint provision was "unworkable" because it was so broad it could be applied to thousands of projects included in federal spending bills.

Nine Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted against killing the DeMint amendment. Seven Republicans voted against DeMint. The Democrats hold a majority with 49 Democrats and two independents who support the party. Republicans hold 49 seats.

The ethics and lobbying bill, which toughens laws barring lobbyists from providing gifts, meals and free travel to lawmakers, is expected to be on the Senate floor through next week.

How They Voted

Here is how California's senators voted to support stricter House-passed rules on lawmakers' pet projects: The vote was 51-46.

Yes No

Feinstein (D) 4

Boxer (D) 4

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yeah, he doesn't care one damn bit!

Tears run from the eyes of U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony in honor of Medal of Honor winner Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham in the East room of the White House in Washington, January 11, 2007. Cpl. Dunham was killed when he jumped on a grenade to save fellow members of his Marine patrol while serving in Iraq. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES)

Congressman Abercrombie (who?) personally attacks SoS Rice

Interesting comment that I am sure will be totally ignored by the MSM...
New Chairman of Armed Services Subcommittee Blasts Condi Rice, Aims to Block Bush Surge Plan

January 11, 2007 5:19 PM

Rhonda Schwartz Reports:

Ld_abercrombie_070111_nr The gloves are off in the new Congress. Hawaii Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie, the outspoken new Chairman of the powerful House Air-Land Subcommittee, has gone on the record with a highly personal attack on Bush's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Abercrombie referred to Rice as "the most overrated underperforming individual in executive authority that I have ever seen" in an interview published this week in the "Honolulu Star Bulletin."

In response to a follow-up question by Star Bulletin columnist Richard Borreca whether race or gender had anything to do with it, Abercrombie continued, "She constantly gets a pass. Who knows if the whole question of race and gender come into it? But I can't account for it except to say she isn't up to the mark."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dems 5 day work week...

..looks a lot like a 4 day work week so far!
Click here

Iran threatens to cut oil supply...

So my question would be, where are they going to get their revenues from if the actually do this...
Iran threatens to stop oil flow via Hormuz strait
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A senior Iranian officer warned that if the West continues to threaten Iran's economy over its nuclear program, Teheran will discontinue the flow of oil via the Strait of Hormuz, Israel Radio reported Monday.

According to the officer, 40% of the world's oil is transferred through the strait, and the world is dependent on Iran for a source of energy and a stable economy.

Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, added that Iran cannot allow itself to give up the right to develop its nuclear technology program.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Day 2: Dems positioning for tax increases and reneging on student loan promise

It has begun...
House Approves Changes to Budget Rules

The Associated Press
Friday, January 5, 2007; 1:51 PM

WASHINGTON -- The House, in its second day of Democratic reign, changed budget rules that have allowed deficits to swell with lawmakers' pet projects and President Bush's tax cuts.

The rule changes voted Friday could bedevil efforts later to appease middle-class voters.

One rule requires that tax cuts have corresponding cuts in government spending or tax increases elsewhere to pay for them. Likewise, any increase in entitlement programs like Medicare would have to have corresponding tax increases, or equal cuts in other government programs, under the pay-as-you-go rule reinstated Friday. It was adopted 280-154.

If strictly enforced, the PAYGO rule would make it difficult for Democrats to pass increases in federal benefit programs such as Medicare or the Medicaid health care program for the poor or disabled. In the near term, it would mean Democrats' bill to cut student loan rates will be less generous than they'd like. The rule would also threaten efforts to extend Bush's tax cuts, most of which expire at the end of 2010.

"This is putting the American taxpayer on a collision course with higher taxes," said Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, top Republican on the Budget Committee.

But don't worry, Heath Shuler cut his credit card in half!
"Today, we are cutting our national credit card," countered Heath Shuler, D-N.C., during floor debate Friday. To underscore the point, Shuler cut a credit card in half at a news conference populated by moderate-to-conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats who are most responsible for implementing the rule.

Oh brother!

Standing O for William "Cold Cash" Jefferson

Obviously impressed by Rep. William Jefferson, "Cold Cash" to his friends, the Congressional Black Caucuss decided to give him a standing ovation for his witless attempt at concealing a $90,000 bribe in his freezer at his home. Just brilliant!
Congressional Black Caucus gives Jefferson standing ovation
WASHINGTON (CNN) — On the same day that the 110th Democratic-led Congress convenes with a plan to immediately pass lobbyist and ethics reforms, the Congressional Black Caucus Thursday gave a standing ovation to Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who faces an FBI probe into bribery allegations.

“The haters… and negative nabobs…the people who spoke against him couldn’t prevail against the people who spoke for him,” Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, master of ceremonies for the CBC’s celebratory event, said Thursday morning.

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, led the charge to remove Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee last spring and has said she will not consider reinstating him to the powerful post until he is cleared of all allegations.

The FBI is currently conducting an investigation that alleges Jefferson accepted $100,000 from a telecommunications businessman — $90,000 of which was later recovered in the congressman’s freezer.

Experts surprised, again!

They are always surprised. Wish I could have a job where I am always surprised, code for wrong, and still get paid.
A surprise leap in jobs, wages
December numbers top forecasts, unemployment steady, but job growth dipped for all of 2006.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
January 5 2007: 11:09 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Recent concerns about a weakening U.S. economy took a step back Friday morning as the closely watched December employment report showed much stronger job and wage growth than had been expected.

Employers added 167,000 jobs to U.S. payrolls in December, up from 154,000 in November, which was revised higher, the Labor Department reported. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast only a 100,000 rise in payrolls in December.

The unemployment rate stayed at 4.5 percent, in line with economists' forecasts.

The average hourly wage jumped 8 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $17.04, versus forecasts for a 0.3 percent increase. The November wage gain was also revised higher.

The wage gain left average hourly wages up 4.2 percent from a year earlier - well above the pace of inflation, which rose only 2 percent in the 12 months ended in November, according to a separate government reading.

The report follows other job readings, including a survey by payroll service ADP, which had suggested private sector employment would take a step back. The Federal Reserve also released minutes this week that showed concern by policy-makers at the central bank about an economic slowdown ahead.

Social Security for illegals

Just wonderful!
Social Security for illegal aliens

By Stephen Dinan
January 4, 2007

An agreement the Bush administration reached with Mexico on Social Security benefits would allow illegal aliens granted amnesty in the future to claim credit for the time they worked illegally.
The deal was reached in 2004 but never released publicly because it hasn't been submitted to Congress. The TREA Senior Citizens League, a Social Security advocacy group, recently obtained the document through a Freedom of Information Act, and said it confirms the group's worst fears.
The document is a jumble of definitions and legal language, but a spokesman for the group said what's important is what's not in the text: It does nothing to prevent undocumented aliens who later get legal status from receiving benefits for the time they worked illegally. And that comes as the Social Security system's finances are about to be put under greater strain by the retirement of baby boomers.
"If you open up the trust fund to people who have been working in the country illegally for many years, that bankruptcy date can only come sooner," spokesman Brad Phillips said. "People on the other side of this, people who have been arguing that of course illegal aliens can't get their hands on Social Security benefits, now can't make that argument easily anymore."
But Mark Lassiter, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration, said the agreement doesn't change U.S. law. The law states that those who do not have authorization to work will not get benefits under a totalization agreement.
"To get Social Security benefits, you do have to be legally in the United States. This agreement does not address in any way immigration, immigration laws or override current law," he said, adding that a 2004 law, the Social Security Protection Act, prevents illegal aliens from getting benefits.
But the seniors group said the 2004 law also states that if those aliens later get legal status -- through an amnesty or some sort of legalization plan such as the one President Bush and the Senate tried to enact last year -- they would be able to collect the benefits based on their time as illegal workers.

Dems: "We don't need no stinking fence!"

Oh really? Wonder what the National Guard think about that.
Guardsmen overrun at the Border

Jan. 4, 2007 02:44 PM

A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona's border with Mexico.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state's West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat.

The Border Patrol will not say whether shots were fired. However, no Guardsmen were injured in the incident.

The Border Patrol says the incident occurred somewhere along the 120 mile section of the border between Nogales and Lukeville. The area is known as a drug corridor. Last year, 124-thousand pounds of illegal drugs were confiscated in this area.

The Border patrol says the attackers quickly retreated back into Mexico.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Someone alert Bill O'Reilly!

Oil prices have dropped about $8.00 the last few weeks, excellent!
Oil Prices Drop to Year-And-A-Half Low

Jan 04 3:48 PM US/Eastern


Oil prices shed more than $2 Thursday to settle at their lowest level since June 2005, after the U.S. government reported higher-than- expected inventories of gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel amid warm winter temperatures

An unseasonably mild winter in the Northeast and Midwest has led to a buildup in inventories and, as a result, weaker prices.

"There is no winter at all, thus we have a lot of supplies with no home and prices have nothing to do but fall," said James Cordier, president of Liberty Trading Group in Tampa, Florida.

Light, sweet crude for February dropped $2.73, or 4.7 percent, to settle at $55.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement follows a 4.5 percent decline on Wednesday and represents the lowest settlement price since June 15, 2005.

U.S. crude inventories declined last week by 1.3 million barrels to 319.7 million barrels compared with the previous week, the Energy Information Administration reported Thursday. Analysts on average had expected crude stocks to rise by 930,000 barrels, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.

Do not adjust your government, the Dems are in control!

Democrats Take Control of Congress

Published: January 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 -- Jubilant Democrats took the gavels in the Senate and House today for the first time in 12 years, pledging a new era in Congress and a new effort at bipartisan progress.

“With the opening of the 110th Congress and the beginning of new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it’s time to start moving America forward,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the new majority leader, said. “Guided by the spirit of bipartisanship, Democrats are ready to take this country in a new direction.”

Say what?
Democrats To Start Without GOP Input

Quick Passage of First Bills Sought

By Lyndsey Layton and Juliet Eilperin
Tuesday, January 2, 2007; A01

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

Nancy Pelosi, the Californian who will become House speaker, and Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, who will become majority leader, finalized the strategy over the holiday recess in a flurry of conference calls and meetings with other party leaders. A few Democrats, worried that the party would be criticized for reneging on an important pledge, argued unsuccessfully that they should grant the Republicans greater latitude when the Congress convenes on Thursday…

Democratic leaders said they are not going to allow Republican input into the ethics package and other early legislation, because several of the bills have already been debated and dissected, including the proposal to raise the minimum wage, which passed the House Appropriations Committee in the 109th Congress, said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi.

It's bipartisan as longs as its the Dems way!

Not accepting any freshmen?

For the time being, the University of Michigan is not admitting anybody for its fall freshman class, as it figures out how to comply with the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, according to the Detroit Free Press. Seems like getting rid of preferences shouldn't be so hard. Unless, of course, you're not really planning to get rid of them. But Michigan wouldn't try to cheat, would it?

I agree. Why does this require any thought? You admit the best applicants. If the best are all black, great! If the best are all white, great! If the best are all Hispanic, and here legally, great! Just take the most qualified.