Keyword: cultureofcutandrun

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  • Dems Signal Lost Hope in Ending War

    04/04/2008 11:03:04 AM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies · 101+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 4/4/8 | ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Democrats signaled on Friday that they don't see much hope in ending the Iraq war this year so long as President Bush insists U.S. troops remain committed there in large numbers. But party leaders wrote to Bush on Friday anyhow, telling him it's not too late to change course and pleading with him not to leave the war for the next president to handle. "We are deeply concerned that you and the congressional Republican leadership are intent on staying the current course throughout your administration and then handing the Iraq war off to future presidents," the Democrats...
  • Democrats Undecided How to End War

    04/01/2008 3:27:14 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 90+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 4/1/8 | ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
    Democratic leaders returned from their spring break this week to declare that Iraq is in turmoil and that they will continue to try to force President Bush to end the war. But facing another uphill battle, party members are undecided on whether to try to cut off money or take a softer approach that is more likely to succeed. They will have to decide soon. Congress has approved only $86.7 billion of the Bush administration's $196.4 billion request for war spending this budget year, which began Oct. 1. Most of the money is required by the military, which says it...
  • US: Saddam paid for lawmakers' Iraq trip

    03/26/2008 3:07:47 PM PDT · by bad company · 154 replies · 6,238+ views
    WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors say Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion. An indictment in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam's regime. Prosecutors say Iraqi intelligence officials paid for the trip through an intermediary. In exchange, Al-Hanooti allegedly received 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil. The lawmakers are not mentioned but the dates correspond to a trip by Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and...
  • Editorial: Iraq will be unwelcome inheritance for next president

    03/26/2008 10:30:53 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 213+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/26/8 | Editor
    In May 2003, a little more than a month after President Bush launched his invasion of Iraq, the United States had 150,000 troops there. At the time, Bush declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended." We know now that a long occupation was just beginning. For most of the intervening years, U.S. troop levels have hovered between 130,000 and 150,000. Then came Bush's major troop escalation (the "surge"), which brought U.S. troop levels to a peak of 171,000 last October. At the time, Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, told Congress that he expected U.S. troop...
  • Even if Dems win, total Iraq exit uncertain

    03/17/2008 9:49:35 AM PDT · by SmithL · 14 replies · 480+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/17/8 | Carolyn Lochhead
    The presidential election presents a clear choice on the Iraq war. Republican Sen. John McCain vows to stay. Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama promise to begin a withdrawal. Still, when asked in New Hampshire if they would promise to have all U.S. troops out by the end of their first term, Obama and Clinton both refused.Since the invasion five years ago, Iraq has delivered enough surprises and overturned enough certainties - and the candidates have left themselves enough wiggle room - that there is reason to believe the United States could still be in Iraq five years...
  • For Dems, winning's only half the battle

    12/27/2007 7:38:10 AM PST · by SmithL · 17 replies · 293+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/27/7 | John H. Bunzel
    Once their candidate for president has been chosen, the Democrats will confront two opposing forms of reality that will play a role in their success or failure next November. One evokes their hope of capturing the White House and maintaining control of Congress. The other is a sober warning of a deep-rooted problem they will encounter that could thwart their far-ranging plans. The good news for the Democrats is that the center in American politics has shifted moderately to the left – or (put another way) away from the right and toward a discrediting of the Bush-Cheney era. As The...
  • Pelosi's first year as House speaker marked by little change on war

    12/23/2007 2:06:16 PM PST · by SmithL · 23 replies · 68+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 12/23/7 | Zachary Coile
    The last day of the House's 2007 session last week summed up the turbulence of Nancy Pelosi's history-making first year as House speaker. In the morning, she beamed a wide smile as she stood beside President Bush while he signed an energy bill with the first major increase in fuel economy standards in 30 years. But by Wednesday afternoon, her party was facing two of its biggest defeats. To keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million Americans next year, Democrats had to abandon their pledge not to pass any legislation that increased the deficit. Then Pelosi, whose party...
  • BBC: Democrats frustrated in Congress -( President Bush and the Republicans stymie Iraq retreat)

    12/19/2007 10:46:46 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 15 replies · 171+ views
    BBC ^ | Thursday, 20 December 2007, 02:29 GMT | Jane O'Brien BBC News, Washington
    <p>It has been a frustrating year for the Democrat-controlled Congress.</p> <p>They came to power on an anti-war ticket but have so far failed to change the course in Iraq or bring American troops home.</p> <p>Despite holding the purse strings, attempts to cut funding for the conflict have been met with the President's veto and an inability to raise enough votes to overturn it.</p>
  • Pelosi Says She Miscalculated GOP Determination on Iraq

    12/18/2007 9:32:04 AM PST · by george76 · 138 replies · 2,205+ views
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., admitted Thursday that she had underestimated the willingness of Republicans to stand behind President Bush’s Iraq policy despite the drubbing the GOP took in the polls in 2006. “The assumption I made was that the Republicans would soon see the light,” she said. Instead, the minority stuck to the president’s war policy in the face of unrelenting pressure from congressional Democrats and powerful lobbying campaigns by anti-war groups. Bush has consistently refused to accept any limitations on his authority to direct military operations in Iraq, or on funds destined for the war effort. Democrats...
  • Iraq war is hell on the bottom line at the box office

    11/23/2007 6:52:38 PM PST · by SmithL · 12 replies · 140+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/23/7 | Joe Garofoli
    Jabbar Magruder is an active duty Army National Guard sergeant who served 11 months in Iraq. He was hoping that stateside Americans would get a glimpse of what the war was like when several dramas featuring the Iraq conflict either in the foreground or the background hit theaters this fall. Few have. Despite A-list casts - including Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones - and generally good reviews, war-related dramas tanked this fall at the box office, failing to attract a substantial audience during Hollywood's serious film season. And now, with the lighter holiday movie fare blanketing screens...
  • Gates Jawbones Hill on War Spending

    11/15/2007 1:06:21 PM PST · by SmithL · 26 replies · 49+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 11/15/7 | ROBERT BURNS and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writers
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that unless Congress passes funding for the Iraq war within days, he will direct the Army and Marine Corps to begin developing plans to lay off employees and terminate contracts early next year. Gates, who met with members of Congress on Wednesday, said that he does not have the money or the flexibility to move funding around to adequately cover the costs of the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "There is a misperception that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers,...
  • House Passes Anti-War Bill

    11/14/2007 7:15:48 PM PST · by SmithL · 139 replies · 181+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 11/14/7 | ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
    House Democrats pushed through a $50 billion bill for the Iraq war Wednesday night that would require President Bush to start bringing troops home in coming weeks with a goal of ending combat by December 2008. The legislation, passed 218-203, was largely a symbolic jab at Bush, who already has begun reducing force levels but opposes a congressionally mandated timetable on the war. And while the measure was unlikely to pass in the Senate — let alone overcome a presidential veto — Democrats said they wanted voters to know they weren't giving up. "The fact is, we can no longer...

    11/08/2007 8:21:14 AM PST · by SoFloFreeper · 185 replies · 335+ views
    ASSOCIATED PRESS | 11/8/07
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote as early as Friday on legislation that would pay $50 billion for the war in Iraq but require that President Bush start bringing troops home.
  • Return of the chicken hawks

    10/23/2007 7:46:23 AM PDT · by SmithL · 37 replies · 92+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 10/23/7 | Debra J. Saunders
    Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, has become the Democrats' Ann Coulter - he keeps saying things that aggrandize him while discrediting his political persuasion. Last week, after President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program to cover not only poor but also middle-class children, Stark accused Republicans of wanting "to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send them to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked Stark for his "inappropriate" comments. Stark then issued a new statement:...
  • Pelosi says Democrats must do more to stop the war

    10/09/2007 9:47:03 PM PDT · by SmithL · 32 replies · 517+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 10/9/7 | Zachary Coile
    Washington -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, talking on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the House vote to authorize the Iraq war, acknowledged Tuesday that the failure to end the war is hurting Democrats in Congress and lawmakers will have to take bolder action. The San Francisco Democrat, in a wide-ranging lunch discussion with reporters, said her party's successes in passing domestic legislation - such as raising the minimum wage and helping make college more affordable - were being overshadowed. "It is in fact true, though, that the war has eclipsed everything," she said. "While I'm very proud of...
  • Even if Democrats win White House, troops likely to remain in Iraq

    09/25/2007 9:20:24 PM PDT · by SmithL · 26 replies · 56+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/25/7 | Carolyn Lochhead
    Washington - -- What is wrong with this picture: Two-thirds of the country oppose the Iraq war, but Democrats again are proving unable to achieve their promised "new direction, and President Bush is certain to keep the maximum possible number of U.S. forces in Iraq for the remainder of his presidency. Iraq is making the Vietnam quagmire look like a sandbox. Facing votes on another $200 billion in war spending and poll numbers that have sunk below Bush's, Democrats readily admit that voters are furious with them. The reason they can't end the war, they say, is that they don't...
  • EDITORIAL: Out of Iraq - who will lead?

    09/23/2007 8:21:59 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies · 271+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/23/7 | Editor
    IN WASHINGTON, there is a stalemate about Iraq. President Bush continues to stay the course, buying time with surges and promising troop-force reductions if and when the security and political situation merit. The Democrats who control Congress lack the votes to force a withdrawal - and there is reason to wonder whether they would have the stomach to force an abrupt end to the war even if they could do it. It's defense versus defense. Neither party wants the blame for "losing Iraq." So the surge goes on. Even when it ends next summer, 130,000 U.S. troops will remain in...
  • Iraq: Be careful what you wish for

    09/19/2007 10:34:10 AM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 37+ views
    SFGate: The Ross Report ^ | 9/19/7 | Andrew S. Ross
    In 'Planning for Defeat,' the New Yorker's George Packer, one of the first journalists to expose the extent of America's disaster in Iraq, assesses the various options, all unpalatable, now facing the U.S. -- including Democratic calls for a fast, virtually complete withdrawal, beginning now. On the latter, Packer writes: Predictions that a departure will actually strengthen America's position are not so different from the wishful thinking of the Bush Administration. They see only the benefits of withdrawal; they refuse to face the brutal trade-offs that either staying or leaving would impose. A more honest argument says that it's simply...
  • Democrats Won't Temper Iraq Legislation

    09/18/2007 1:16:36 PM PDT · by SmithL · 52 replies · 235+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 9/18/7 | ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- After weeks of suggesting Democrats would temper their approach to Iraq legislation in a bid to attract more Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared abruptly Tuesday that he had no plans to do so. The Democratic leader said he will call for a vote this month on several anti-war proposals, including one by Sen. Carl Levin that would insist President Bush end U.S. combat next summer. The proposals would be mandatory and not leave Bush wiggle room, said Reid, D-Nev. "There (are) no goals. It's all definite timelines," he told reporters of the planned legislation. Levin,...
  • BARBARA LEE: Time for Congress to take a stand

    09/04/2007 12:41:50 PM PDT · by SmithL · 51 replies · 1,128+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/4/7 | Barbara Lee
    If you believe the Beltway hype, members of Congress will return today to a fiery debate about whether or not the president's so-called "surge" has produced military progress in Iraq. Beltway pundits are breathlessly predicting Democrats will be thrown into disarray by claims that the increased troop levels in Iraq may have produced security results. Don't believe the hype. First off, the data are suspect. The Pentagon refuses to share the methodology by which it arrived at the metrics used to claim success. Even if the progress is real, it is hardly encouraging when put in perspective. When discussing the...
  • EDITORIAL: The battle of September

    09/04/2007 12:32:55 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 359+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/4/7 | Editor
    FOR MONTHS, the Bush administration has pleaded with a growing legion of war skeptics - including more and more Republicans - to give the troop surge time to work. Progress would be apparent by September, when the administration was required to report back to Congress, the White House promised. September has arrived. As Congress returns to work today, its most urgent mission is to take a hard look at the Bush administration's rationale for keeping 160,000 American troops in Iraq. President Bush has admonished members of Congress to maintain an open mind until early next week when Gen. David Patraeus,...
  • Pelosi's approval numbers suffer alongside Congress

    07/02/2007 1:01:26 PM PDT · by SmithL · 20 replies · 1,320+ views
    MediaNews via CoCoTimes ^ | 7/2/7 | Steve Geissinger
    SACRAMENTO -- Political power means a lot to some, but in Nancy Pelosi's case it came at a whopping price. The Bay Area Democrat's honeymoon as House speaker that started in January is just a distant memory now, despite California's Democratic lean, a late-June statewide poll reveals. Pelosi's approval rating in California since March has plunged from 52 percent to 39 percent, according to the survey by the San Francisco-based Public Policy Institute of California. "A fantasy land" that stirred the dreams of the Democratic Bay Area in particular has given way to something akin to "the worst of reality...
  • Durbin Takes on Judge Over Combatants

    06/26/2007 4:13:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 873+ views
    ASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate Democratic leader Tuesday urged a Bush-appointed judge to recuse himself from cases involving enemy combatants and requested an explanation about information that might contradict his testimony about the White House's detainee policy. "It appears that you misled me, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the nation," Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois wrote to Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He urged Kavanaugh to remove himself from "all pending and subsequent cases involving detainees and enemy combatants." Kavanaugh's court gets more detainee cases than any other. "Your...
  • Democratic Rivals Trade Jabs Over Iraq

    06/19/2007 4:55:11 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 237+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 6/19/7 | NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A trio of Democratic presidential candidates appealed to anti-war passions that run deep in their party Tuesday, with each portraying himself as most strongly against the war in Iraq. Sen. Barack Obama told some 3,000 liberal activists at the "Take Back America" conference that he opposed the war from the start. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson argued that unlike his rivals, he would pull out every troop from Iraq. John Edwards pressed his fellow candidates still in Congress to force an end to the conflict. "No more we'll-get-around-to-it-next-time," Edwards said. "No more taking half a loaf. No...
  • Dems plan to put heat on Bush - Bills would repeal war approval and endorse autonomous areas

    06/18/2007 8:06:31 AM PDT · by SmithL · 37 replies · 946+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/18/7 | Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
    Rep. Ellen Tauscher of Walnut Creek thinks she knows the way to get the United States out of Iraq. She wants to repeal the October 2002 resolution that authorized President Bush to launch a war to oust Saddam Hussein. And her California colleague and fellow Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer, thinks she has an equally good idea. She wants the United States to admit that the idea of a strong national government in Iraq won't work and instead aim to set up a federal system in which Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds can separate, cool the sectarian killings and manage their own...
  • How would you grade the Dems so far?

    05/24/2007 9:30:18 PM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies · 1,150+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/24/7 | Heidi Swillinger
    Read the story that prompted this column Mike Flaherty, San Carlos An F, for failure to de-fund the war. Instead of playing commander-in-chief with timetables, benchmarks, etc, they should have used their constitutional power of the purse if they were at all serious. F for leadership, F for integrity and F for execution. Harry Reid does receive a C+ for most disheartening comment made by a U.S. senator in time of war and for furnishing aid and comfort to the enemy. Julie Bennett, San Francisco C-. It's their turn, and I feel like they are wimping out. They are asking...
  • Why Pelosi never stood a chance with funding bill

    05/24/2007 7:56:48 AM PDT · by SmithL · 39 replies · 1,463+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/24/7 | Edward Epstein
    Washington -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi suffered the most significant setback in her five months running the House when she backed down in the legislative battle with President Bush over paying for the war in Iraq, but even some of her critics suggest she and her top deputies had little chance of prevailing. After more than three months of deadlock over Bush's request for Iraq war funding, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., were forced this week to drop their effort to tie the money to a U.S. troop withdrawal and readiness standards for units being deployed into war....
  • 'Surrender monkeys' protest Pelosi's stance on war

    05/17/2007 3:59:02 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 1,779+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/17/7 | Staff Report
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Monkeys waving white flags joined protesters outside the district office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco today to speak out against the Democratic leader's support for measures that organizers say undercuts the mission of the troops in Iraq.
  • scam exposed

    05/11/2007 10:44:02 AM PDT · by BufordP · 26 replies · 808+ views
    WorldNetDaily ^ | 11 May 2007 | Melanie Morgan
    This week, the defeat-retreat-surrender Democrats came up with a brand new way to surrender to Islamic militant groups. Kudos to the strategists in the Democratic Party! The Democrats proposal: Surrender in increments. Brilliant! (I'm sure there were lots of caffeinated late-night sessions by junior staffers to come up with this idea.) Congressional Democrats said yesterday that they'll allow President Bush to fight the war against terrorism until July of this year, but after that they want U.S. troops to start handing over greater pieces of Iraq to al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist groups. This is actually an improvement over...
  • GOP keeps the heat turned up on Pelosi

    05/10/2007 8:09:54 AM PDT · by SmithL · 69 replies · 2,120+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/10/7 | Edward Epstein
    Speaker's foes likely to sling mud until something sticks -- Washington -- Firebrand Republicans would have you believe that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might have engaged in corruption for her husband, tried to grab a luxury "Air Force Three'' jetliner for her personal use, consorted with an American enemy in Syria and disrespected the top American general in Iraq. These and other charges Pelosi has faced reflect the rough political atmosphere in the Capitol, and experts say that even though the Republican allegations generally fade after a few days, they won't stop. The reason, the experts add, is that Pelosi,...
  • Democrats Not Backing Down on Iraq

    05/04/2007 11:11:36 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 706+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/4/7 | ANNE FLAHERTY
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Congressional Democrats have signaled they're not ready to back down in their confrontation with President Bush on Iraq, spurring Republicans to accuse them of causing political gridlock. Bush and Congress have been discussing a possible compromise on a war spending bill needed to finance combat operations through September. The president demands the money without strings attached and so far has found strong Republican support. But Democrats say Bush eventually will have to accept some conditions on the U.S. commitment in Iraq because of the war's unpopularity among voters. For the first time, Bush dispatched his top aides...
  • Veto Makes Democrats Weigh Concessions

    05/02/2007 8:09:57 AM PDT · by SmithL · 18 replies · 864+ views
    AP Via SFGate ^ | 5/2/7 | CHARLES BABINGTON
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- President Bush showed little appetite for compromise Wednesday, hours ahead of a session with congressional leaders aimed at crafting a new bill to fund the war in Iraq. Fresh from his Tuesday night veto of spending legislation that set timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals, Bush stuck firmly to his demands on what a follow up bill should look like. The Democrats who control of Capitol Hill, and their Republican counterparts, were due at the White House Wednesday afternoon for discussions with the president, just after a planned attempt in the House — sure to fail — to...
  • GOP lines waver after veto of war bill

    05/02/2007 7:39:35 AM PDT · by SmithL · 31 replies · 1,275+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/2/7 | Edward Epstein
    Washington -- President Bush carried through on his often-repeated threat Tuesday to veto a war spending bill requiring a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, but on Capitol Hill key Republicans started moving away from the administration's hard line against compromising with Democrats. Republican lawmakers, who thus far had stayed solidly behind the president, say they could support binding benchmarks on the Baghdad government as the debate about the war goes forward in Congress. Amid the showdown atmosphere, Bush is scheduled to meet with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders at the White House this afternoon to discuss how to proceed with...
  • Democratic Candidates' Plans for Iraq

    05/01/2007 3:45:26 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 633+ views
    How the Democratic presidential candidates say they would handle Iraq if they were commander in chief: Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: Withdraw almost all U.S. forces by the end of 2007. ... New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Begin redeploying troops out of Iraq within 90 days. ... Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: Immediately redeploy combat troops out of Baghdad... Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: Immediately withdraw 40,000 to 50,000 troops,... Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Close all U.S. military bases in Iraq and withdraw the troops, while simultaneously ordering the return of all U.S. contractors and turning over their work to...
  • Cal Thomas: Defeat, retreat and repeat

    05/01/2007 10:51:17 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 823+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/1/7 | Cal Thomas
    For the sake of argument, let's say former CIA Director George Tenet is right in his book and that Vice President Dick Cheney pushed too hard with questionable or inaccurate intelligence because of a predisposition to go to war in Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. So what? We can't go back and fix the mistakes of the past. Only two choices are available: victory or defeat. Let us assume the Democratic left is right and we should pull U.S. forces out as early as Oct. 1, or perhaps a few months later, but certainly before the next president takes office,...
  • Iraq Pullout Plan a Rare Wartime Rebuke

    05/01/2007 10:37:40 AM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 762+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/1/7 | ANNE FLAHERTY
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Anti-war legislation on the way to President Bush for his promised veto represents a rare rebuke by Congress of a large and ongoing ground conflict, even eclipsing challenges made during the Vietnam War. While a bill ordering troops home from an ongoing military mission is not unprecedented — legislation aimed at conflicts in Somalia and Haiti are other examples — the Iraq bill is an unusually swift feat by a Congress forcefully challenging a war involving thousands of U.S. troops. "Congress is not shy usually about attempting to create problems for a president when a war becomes...
  • San Mateo congressman defends Pelosi's Mideast trip { Lantos on Cut & Run Tour }

    04/06/2007 5:05:04 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 574+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/6/7 | Edward Epstein
    Washington -- Bush administration criticism of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria this week is "hypocritical beyond belief,'' San Mateo Rep. Tom Lantos said Friday as he and the speaker prepared to return home from their nine-day trip with a congressional delegation to the Mideast. Lantos, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the criticism from President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration officials and allies, was particularly out of line because Republican House members also met Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus just before and after the delegation led by the Democratic speaker. "The notion that...
  • Pelosi Defends Mideast Trip { Cut & Run Tour}

    04/06/2007 12:59:24 PM PDT · by SmithL · 60 replies · 1,263+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 4/6/7 | ANNE FLAHERTY
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, deflecting White House criticism of her trip to Syria, said Friday she thinks the mission helped President Bush because it showed the U.S. is unified against terrorism despite being divided over Iraq. Pelosi, D-Calif., met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus this week against Bush's wishes. "Our message was President Bush's message," Pelosi said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Portugal, where she stopped briefly en route back to the United States. "The funny thing is, I think we may have even had a more powerful impact with our...
  • Some call anti-war plan a ploy

    04/06/2007 8:04:39 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 424+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/6/7 | Judy Lin
    BERKELEY -- In a move some criticized as a self-serving ruse to increase voter turnout, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata on Thursday unveiled legislation to place a measure on California's presidential primary ballot calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. "It's long past due the time we should be leaving Iraq," said Perata, D-Oakland. "We've had over 3,000 Americans killed, 25,000 injured. We're spending upwards of $400 billion that we know of, and there seems to be no end in sight," Perata said, standing in front of the Veterans Memorial Building in Berkeley, the site of...
  • Mideast media mostly upbeat on visit { Pelosi's Cut & Run Tour }

    04/06/2007 7:38:04 AM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies · 556+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/6/7 | Matthew B. Stannard, Amr Emam
    Pelosi's trip praised for its diplomacy, but journalists wonder if it will have lasting political impact - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is receiving a warm welcome from much of the regional press as she tours the Middle East -- both Arabic and English commentators are calling her visit a pleasantly diplomatic departure from the Bush administration's foreign policy. On the San Francisco Democrat's second day in Saudi Arabia, she was still fielding questions about her controversial visit Wednesday with Syrian President Bashar Assad, which produced harsh criticism from the White House. Many Middle East commentators saw the cross-party criticism as...
  • Get ready for debate about who lost Iraq

    04/05/2007 8:30:42 PM PDT · by SmithL · 22 replies · 746+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/5/7 | Edward Epstein
    Bush could blame Democrats, but Americans see it as his war -- Washington -- The highly partisan question "Who lost Iraq?" will be heard repeatedly in the coming months, historians and political scientists say, as President Bush and a Democratic Congress spar over ending an unpopular war now in its fifth year. Bush's decision to launch military operations to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 has made the protracted Iraq war the centerpiece of his presidency. Now Democrats who took control of Congress in November are trying to force an end to the war by setting deadlines for all troops to...
  • Perata unveils plan to hold statewide vote on bringing troops home from Iraq

    04/05/2007 10:15:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 20 replies · 758+ views
    SFGate ^ | 4/5/7 | Paul Feist
    Californians would vote on a non-binding resolution telling President Bush to immediately begin withdrawing troops from Iraq under legislation that state Sen. Don Perata will announce today. The measure, which would have to be approved by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, would appear on the February 2008 presidential primary ballot. "We've had nearly 3,300 Americans killed and spent more than $350 billion with no end in sight. We've established a democratic government in Iraq. Now it's up to the Iraqis work. With the possible exception of George Bush, we all know it's time to go." The...
  • Bush Raps Pelosi's Trip to Syria

    04/03/2007 10:03:23 AM PDT · by SmithL · 26 replies · 1,109+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 4/3/7 | JENNIFER LOVEN
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- President Bush criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria on Tuesday, saying it sends mixed signals to the region and to the government of President Bashar Assad. "There have been a lot of people who have gone to see President Assad: some Americans, but a lot of European leaders, high-ranking officials. And yet we haven't seen action," Bush told reporters at a Rose Garden news conference. "He hasn't responded." Bush said that Assad had not reined in violent elements of militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah as requested by the international community, had acted to destabilize the...
  • Pelosi Rebuffs Criticism of Syria Visit

    04/03/2007 10:00:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 25 replies · 926+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/37/ | ZEINA KARAM
    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured Damascus on Tuesday, the highest-ranking American politician to visit Syria since relations began to deteriorate four years ago. President Bush criticized the trip, saying it sends mixed signals to President Bashar Assad. The United States accuses Syria of interfering in Iraq and Lebanon and sponsoring terrorists — charges Syria denies. The Bush administration has resisted calls to open direct talks with Damascus on resolving the countries' disputes. Pelosi, D-Calif., is scheduled to meet Assad and other Syrian officials on Wednesday. She made no comment on arrival and headed for the Old...
  • Pelosi seen moving around Bush in Mideast

    04/03/2007 7:41:25 AM PDT · by SmithL · 72 replies · 1,631+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/3/7 | Carolyn Lochhead
    A BOLD STEP: Analysts call speaker's trip 'a big deal,' but how much can she do? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's arrival in Syria tonight is widely viewed in Washington as a bold end run around President Bush, raising her profile as a kind of Democratic prime minister to Bush's Republican presidency. Pelosi's trip is far from the usual fact-finding trip by a congressional delegation -- two Democratic senators, current presidential hopeful Chris Dodd and former presidential nominee John Kerry, hardly caused a ripple when they visited Syrian President Bashar Assad in December, with similar discouragement from the White House. Nor...
  • House silent on captured British sailors

    03/30/2007 1:01:01 PM PDT · by Sub-Driver · 47 replies · 203+ views
    By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago Members of the House left Washington on Friday for their two-week spring break without weighing in on the international crisis tormenting the nation's closest ally: the capture of 15 British sailors and marines by Iran. The omission by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., is being noted by some Republicans, who say they should have gotten the chance to join the Senate in denouncing Tehran's bold actions. "I am very disappointed that the speaker chose not to act," said Rep. Charles Dent (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa. "I...
  • Pelosi addressing Knesset as part of congressional trip

    03/30/2007 10:40:49 AM PDT · by SmithL · 55 replies · 282+ views
    WASHINGTON, (AP) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will address the Israeli Knesset on Sunday evening as part of a congressional trip to the Middle East. The San Francisco Democrat is traveling with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim member of Congress. They arrived in Israel on Friday. The lawmakers plan to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and to travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Ellison's spokesman, Rick Jauert.
  • Battles on two fronts carry risks for Bush-President confronts Dems over unpopular war,USattorneys

    03/30/2007 7:46:03 AM PDT · by SmithL · 27 replies · 234+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/30/7 | Carolyn Lochhead
    President Bush went to the Capitol on Thursday to rally Republicans behind his veto threat, confident that when push comes to shove, Democrats will remove their call for a withdrawal from Iraq from a bill to fund American troops in combat. Yet even as Bush spoke, he faced a second major front in his confrontation with Congress. The former chief of staff to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told an oversight committee that Gonzales, contrary to his own statements, was deeply involved in the firing of eight federal prosecutors. As he has throughout his presidency, Bush is choosing a high-risk...
  • Editorial: No war for pork

    03/29/2007 12:56:10 PM PDT · by SmithL · 12 replies · 146+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/29/7 | Editor
    HOUSE and Senate Democrats, with the assist of a few brave Republicans, are boldly challenging President Bush with a time line to end the war in Iraq. Regrettably, they have muddled their principled message by including about $20 billion in unrelated domestic spending in legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While it's the target for withdrawal that has drawn the threat of a presidential veto, Bush has seized on the chance to condemn Democrats for stuffing "too much pork" in the packages of about $120 billion. The Republicans did the same thing to war-spending bills when they...
  • Editorial: Reining in saber rattling -- Congress should limit Bush options in Iran

    03/29/2007 7:56:24 AM PDT · by SmithL · 24 replies · 131+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/29/7 | Editor
    While all the attention is focused on Iraq in Congress, an escalating war of words and new military actions have proceeded apace on Iran. The possibilities for provocation and missteps leading to military confrontation are increasing. The U.S. Navy now has two aircraft carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf, and is conducting war games involving 15 warships, more than 100 planes and more than 10,000 troops. Iran has been conducting frequent maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman and test-firing land-to-sea missiles. Iran last week captured 15 British sailors and marines that it accused of straying into...