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Jun 11, 2004

The Terms of the Debate

Josh Marshall wrote astutely, We’re like contestants on Wheel of Fortune with a long phrase spelled out in front of us with maybe one or two letters missing. We know what the letters spell. It’s obvious. We just don’t have the heart to say it out loud. To phrase it differently, there is no debate left about whose direct fault this is.  The only question that remains, as with so much surrounding the GOP, is what part malice and …

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Jun 11, 2004

Quote of the Day

Clift, Newsweek: “Reagan sought converts while Bush seeks to consign his political enemies to hell,” says a Senate Republican. Ok, a little more…  Reagan started a revolution that President Bush is ending. Tax cuts don’t have the resonance they had when the top marginal rate was 70 percent, as it was when Reagan took office in 1981. Bush has no domestic agenda for a second term, if he gets one.

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Jun 11, 2004

Jonas Morris on the Employment Picture

Allow us to introduce Jonas Morris, who will be researching and giving us in-depth guest posts periodically.  He has more than thirty years as a reporter, analyst and writer, and has worked in many Democratic campaigns, including the presidential campaign of Lyndon Johnson.  This first installment fleshes out the reality of the employment picture, and although it does not include this last month’s numbers, it gives a much better feel for what is actually happening.  Enjoy. No Rosie Scenario …

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Jun 11, 2004

DeLay’s Delay Tactics

If you have been wondering why DeLay’s indictment has taken so long to come down the pipeline, it is because they have been deluging the relatively small DA’s office with frivolous legal requests as a stall tactic.  That strategy got pretty much deflated yesterday, when the Republican AG handed down a decision on a plethora of open record requests: In a pair of extensive rulings, Abbott said Earle does not have to comply with most of the open records …

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Jun 11, 2004

Morning Reading

Today is a day to keep track of the Rumsfeld Wire (in the right sidebar).  Read through what’s in there now.  All hell is starting to break loose, and it isn’t pretty. Update: If you need to let your stomach settle before diving into that, Archpundit has a good analysis of the House landscape in Illinois (in addition to his guest post here last month).  This is a state bubbling with Democratic energy, have a look. Update 2: Still …

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Jun 10, 2004

The Supremacy of Congress

LA Times: On the eve of the war in Iraq, Bush administration lawyers spelled out a strikingly broad view of the president’s power that freed the commander in chief and U.S. military from the federal law and international treaties that barred the use of torture. [...]  Congress adopted an anti-torture law in 1994 that barred Americans abroad acting under U.S. authority from inflicting “severe physical or mental pain.” But the 56-page memo on “Detainee Interrogation in the Global War …

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Jun 10, 2004

Misplaced Loyalties

From Bulletin News (super-subscription): House GOP Considers How To Keep DeLay In Job.  House Republicans are reviewing what they might do about a rule that seemingly would force Majority Leader Tom DeLay to step down from his post if he were indicted as a result of an ongoing investigation into Texas political finance laws. Insiders today revealed that Republicans are considering a “spontaneous” vote of support for DeLay that would allow the leader to stay in his post during …

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Jun 10, 2004

A Plunge From Moral Heights

So runs the title of Richard Cohen’s op-ed in the Wa Po today: Attorney General John Ashcroft, whose Justice Department prepared the memos—one of them running to 50 pages and signed by Jay S. Bybee, then head of the Office of Legal Counsel—assured the Senate the other day that the memos are of no consequence. They were only internal Justice Department stuff, the scribblings of lawyers and—most important—the president has not “directed or ordered” torture, Ashcroft said. In another …

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Jun 10, 2004

More on the Rift

Thus far in our coverage of the “GOP Schism” we have focused on two main issues: deficits and Abu Ghraib.  But anybody with sense sees that both of these issues hinge on an underlying contrast between sheer, infinitely cynical political expediency on the one hand, and some semblance of sticking to principle and conscience on the other.  Thus we get the long-rostered Team Tom DeLay vs. the desperately understaffed Team John McCain.  But here’s an interesting specimen: Orrin Hatch.  …

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Jun 10, 2004

19 Points

LA Times (pdf): If the November 2004 general election for Congress were being held today, which party would you like to see win in your congressional district: the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?  Democrat   54 Republican   35 Panic time.

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Jun 10, 2004

GOP Surviror: Webisode II

So rough.  So very, very rough…

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Jun 10, 2004

How Not to Get NATO’s Help

There comes a point when denigrating other countries for the sake of a new way to campaign on hate crosses the line from idle despicability to seriously harming our national security interests.  The NRCC crossed that line some time ago, but we got another good example on Saturday from the Texas GOP Convention.  From the head of the faux minority PAC Dream PAC, we get this “optimistic” campaign slogan: “There are people who say ‘Why can’t we be like …

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Jun 09, 2004

Wrecking Ball

Oh that Josh Marshall is so five minutes ago.  No, but seriously, the swordsman supreme links to the “Safe Harbor for Churches” story today, which we hit up yesterday, but who cares about us - let’s hear what Jewish Week reports on the subject: “This is the most shocking example of politicizing churches I’ve ever seen,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the Americans United executive director. Some Jewish groups agreed. “This week, the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and President …

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Jun 09, 2004

Let’s Have a Little Talk

Well there’s just so much going on, the White House couldn’t possibly be expected to know what was going on at every single interrogation facility. Right? The head of the interrogation center at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq told an Army investigator in February that he understood some of the information being collected from prisoners there had been requested by “White House staff,” according to an account of his statement obtained by The Washington Post. Lt. Col. Steven …

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Jun 09, 2004

Undoing Reagan’s Legacy

Steven Pearlstein, Wa Po: If Republicans really want to honor the memory of Ronald Reagan, they should toss in the trash the corporate tax legislation making its way through Congress. One of Reagan’s greatest achievements was passage, with bipartisan support, of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. The goal of the landmark bill was to make the tax code simpler and fairer while boosting economic efficiency. Loopholes were closed, tax rates were reduced, and all sorts of distinctions were eliminated …

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