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HR 2006

House Passes Another Veto-bound Iraq Bill :: The House of Representatives yesterday [10-May-2007] passed another Iraq war spending bill for President Bush to veto. The bill, H.R. 2206, which passed 221-205, would provide $42.8 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or less than half the $100 billion requested by President Bush. The bill withholds another $52.8 billion until the end of July, and makes that funding contingent on Congressional review of war progress reports submitted by the White House. The bill now moves to the Senate, where lawmakers will probably try to modify it to avoid a presidential veto. One suggestion among Senators has been to approve the entire $100 billion in war funding, contingent on Iraq meeting binding "benchmarks" of progress in ensuring its own internal security.

Wake me up when September ends :: Indeed, this touches on an important point — Dems need to set out defining “progress” now before the White House does it for them. Let’s not forget that the purpose of the so-called surge was to alleviate pressure in Baghdad so that political progress would at least be possible. So far, it’s not. If Petraeus reports in September about moving some sectarian violence from one province to another, the White House doesn’t get to call that “progress” that justifies extending the current policy. Dems need to get out in front now — “progress” means disarming militias, broad quelling of sectarian violence, sharing oil revenue, reintegrating Baathists, etc. Anything less is failure. And given what we know and expect, failure is what we’ll see in September.

Exclusive: General John Batiste on Countdown :: Keith, this is less about deadlines and timelines than it is about coming to grips with the fact that we went to war with a fatally flawed strategy, flawed then in March of 2003, flawed today over four years later. This is all about a president who‘s relying almost solely on the military component of strategy to accomplish the mission in Iraq. Sadly, we‘re missing the diplomatic, the political, and the economic components that are fundamental and required to be successful. We have an interagency process that has been dysfunctional during this administration. There‘s no unity of effort between the agencies. It—the bottom line is, we have a failed strategy now, and our president has not mobilized this great nation to accomplish the critical work to defeat global terrorism. And until we get these two things right, we‘re wasting our time {view ad}.


TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR, "HUMAN EVENTS": Well, look, there's no doubt that the Republicans are worried about the war in Iraq itself. They're worried about the political ramifications of the lack of progress in Iraq. But, Wolf, the House Democrats passed legislation that potentially could defund the war in the middle of July. Two weeks ago, David Petraeus, who is the U.S. commander in Iraq, came to Congress, and he told members of both parties, look, in September, I will be able to make an initial judgment about whether the surge strategy is working. Democrats can't possibly be serious about de-funding this war six weeks before the commanding general can even tell them whether it's working.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What Democrats believe is that we can both fund the troops, as well as commit the president to changing the course in Iraq. And, if progress is being made by July, the Democrats believe that they can extend the funding to ensure that the troops...

JEFFREY: But, Donna...

(CROSSTALK) BRAZILE: ... will have the resources.

JEFFREY: Why would they cut off the funding on July 13, as the House bill envisions as a possibility, if General Petraeus says he won't even know whether the surge is working until September?

BRAZILE: But we will know if the Iraqi government...

JEFFREY: I mean, don't you trust General Petraeus?

BRAZILE: Well, I don't know him. The Democrats believe that, by July 13, we should know whether or not the Iraqi government is making progress on the oil-sharing and the provincial elections and the de-Baathification process. So, we believe that we will know by July if the Iraqi government...

JEFFREY: So, they know more than General Petraeus? Why didn't they tell him this when he was in town, talking to them personally?

BRAZILE: Well, General Petraeus knows that the era of blank- check politics is over with. He knew that the Democrats would change the course in Iraq. And he also understood that the Democrats were not about to give the president what he wanted. [+]

guess HR 2006 keywords are: split funding & milestones. bought LATime's 09-May paper version & today noticed, on page A23, "The Pentagon on Tuesday alerted more than 35,000 Army soldiers that they could be sent to Iraq this fall".

i'm writing this while watching ellen's Mother's Day show. but! this doesn't stop me from remembering important benchmarks!

{1} Fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

{2} Shinseki's Iraq war force requirements ("I would say that what's been mobilized to this point -- something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We're talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that's fairly significant, with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so it takes a significant ground- force presence to maintain a safe and secure environment, to ensure that people are fed, that water is distributed, all the normal responsibilities that go along with administering a situation like this").

{3} Mission Accomplished.

there're probably more...

[05:28pm] :: just finished watching ellen wear a pregnancy pad & lovely pink top. looking hugely maternal, lol, but, not pregnant. (nothing but preggies in the audience & everyone getting neat baby gifts, including bugaboo strollers). so i'm trying to think of a pregnancy analogy about General Petraeus' September report. then i thought of home pregnancy tests & women peeing on strips of paper. Wikipedia inspiration! — The Doctor's Visit by Jan Steen, but Steen's Love Sickness works even better...



Typically the patient is a young female, often suffering from a variety of illnesses related to love, either "love sickness," erotic melancholy, or pregnancy ... In this painting, the doctor looks with concern at his patient, a young girl, dressed in silk and leaning on a table, as he takes her pulse. Behind her stands a smirking young man who holds a holds a herring in one hand and two small onions in the other. At her feet is an opened letter, alongside a bowl with a piece of burnt ribbon, and a heating box filled with coals, known as a brazier. Behind the physician, a woman playing a harpsichord smiles at the young girl. Behind her, a maidservant beckons a tall, dark, and handsome young man in a red cloak to enter the room ... In this visual narrative, the diagnosis is clear to everyone but the hapless doctor. His clothing is outdated and looks more like theatrical costume from the comedia dell'arte. The physician seems out of date and out of touch with the realities of adolescent development. If the doctor is befuddled by love, the smirking young man (likely a Steen himself) clearly knows the diagnosis, and the objects in his hands are bawdy symbols of what is needed to cure the patient ... Likely the young man's arrival has quickened the young lady's pulse, a symptom of lovesickness causing alarm to the physician who does not see the lover, and does not interpret the multiple clues—the love letter at her feet, the herring and onions, and the smoldering ribbon, a dubious medical test for assessing pregnancy. In one variant, the ribbon, dipped in the patient's urine, was burned; if she became nauseated at the smell, this was diagnostic of pregnancy. [+]

ps. i don't mean any disrespect to General P., but if i should suddenly start puking my guts out every morning i couldn't say, hey, i'm pregnant!. (believe me, if i actually were it'd be an immaculate conception). General P's september checkup will be an important indicator of ... something. but i do not think it's the sole confirmation that this patient sure is preggers!

pps. because i suddenly remembered another benchmark! WMDs — our first indicator of our patient's pseudocyesis. aka, spurious pregnancy, feigned pregnancy, imaginary pregnancy, hysterical pregnancy, wind in the bowels, phantom pregnancy and grossesse nerveuse ("mental pregnancy")...

Tags: hr2006, iraq
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