Wednesday, November 24, 2004

GOP Rebellion In The House

A little rebellion in the House
November 24, 2004
© 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Since his 51 percent victory on Nov. 2, President Bush has been acting like an imperial president in the FDR tradition.

He has retired six Cabinet officers, replaced three with White House staffers, effected the recapture of Fallujah, begun cleaning out State and the CIA, and let Mexican President Fox know that his guest-worker/amnesty plan to legalize Mexican illegal aliens will be pushed and passed in Congress in the new year.

But Saturday night, as he was in Chile telling the world that China, Russia, South Korea and Japan were on board to pressure North Korea back to talks on its nuclear program, a rebellion erupted back home. Bush was handed a stinging defeat by his own House Republicans. continue

Guess Who Could View Your 1040?

WASHINGTON (AP)- Democrats said Tuesday they would block quick congressional withdrawal of a provision that would give more lawmakers access to income tax returns, demanding that majority Republicans first promise to stop rushing bills through Congress.

Members of both parties object to the provision, saying it is an infringement of taxpayers' privacy. But it has become caught up in a larger fight over Congress' habit of passing massive bills with lightning speed, giving lawmakers little time to learn precisely what they are voting on. continue

Top-donating corporate PACs favored GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top-giving corporate political action committees didn't hedge their bets in the fall elections despite the narrow division between the GOP and Democrats in Congress.

They favored Republican candidates 10-to-1. continue

Oregon: Concerned Locals Push For Presidential Election Fraud Probe

By Nick Diamantides
Nick Diamantides / SouthernOregonNews.com

Medford, Oregon "We believe exit polls in the Ukraine, but we don't believe exit polls in the U.S.," said Tim Ream. "What is that telling us?" Ream was one of the speakers at a meeting Monday night in the Medford Public Library attended by about 75 people from Southern Oregon who want the federal government as well as state governments to investigate occurrences they say indicate widespread fraud in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. continue

GOP Seeking To Gut Endangered Species Act

Congress taking aim at Endangered Species Act

By JOAN LOWY
Scripps Howard News Service
November 24, 2004
-
A bruising battle over reforming the nation's premier law for protecting endangered species is shaping up for the next Congress.

Emboldened by their increased majority, House and Senate Republicans said they are optimistic that they can enact major changes to the Endangered Species Act, a goal that has eluded the GOP for more than a decade. continue

Conservatives Put Politics Ahead of Security on Intelligence Reform

House conservatives over the weekend killed critical efforts to overhaul the nation's intelligence infrastructure, favoring the status quo over the important recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission. The legislation—supported by President Bush—would have created a central director of national intelligence to preside over the sprawling intelligence operations in multiple government agencies.

  • President Bush should spend some of his "political capital" to better protect the nation. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), questioned President Bush's motives in not leading an aggressive push to pass the intelligence reform bill, saying that some of the opposition the legislation faced, "quite frankly, is from the White House, despite what the president has said."

  • House leaders should stop playing politics with the nation's security. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert blocked the intelligence reform vote because he was unwilling to pass a bill by relying on votes from Democrats. In response, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean (R), said he was "obviously disappointed" by the decision to play politics with the vote: "There's no question it would have passed easily."

  • Conservatives leaders owe the country a real vote on intelligence reform. House conservatives complain frequently about procedural blocks to legislation. They should put the words to work and let the American people judge their efforts by allowing a full vote on critical intelligence reform.

  • Daily Talking Points is a product of the American Progress Action Fund.

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Right-Wing News

    Judges

    In an interesting public relations twist, the Heritage Foundation has started to refer to the "nuclear option" on judicial nominations as the "constitutional option." Writes the Heritage's Mike Franc: "The phrase relates to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's reported decision to force through a long-overdue change in Senate rules governing the confirmation of judicial nominees. Frustrated by the Democrats' unprecedented use of procedural tactics to torpedo President Bush's nominees for the federal appeals courts, Frist and his Senate colleagues have allegedly decided to deploy what conservative jurists describe as the 'constitutional option' during the next confrontation over a judicial nomination." Read

    Focus on the Family spotlights the favorable reaction by right-wing activists to the use of the "nuclear option" in breaking the judges filibusters. Read

    The American Freedom Center's Marc Levin argues that President Bush has a "moral mandate" to appoint conservative judges. Read

    Gay Rights

    According to the editors of the Wall Street Journal, liberals who really want to advance the rights of gays and lesbians would support repealing estate taxes: "[I]f liberals really care about discriminatory legal protections and benefits, they might consider agitating for a repeal of the death tax, which puts gay couples at a disadvantage. Married couples are allowed an unlimited transfer of assets to a spouse before death, a tax benefit denied gay couples. And only heterosexual spouses can inherit each other's assets without paying estate taxes." Read

    United Nation

    Move America Forward launches petition drive to drive the United Nations out of United States, promoted by a 60-second television commercial that notes, "We tell other countries not to harbor organizations that support terrorists; why then do we harbor the U.N. here in America?" Melanie Morgan, vice chair of Move America Forward, argues "We need drastic change right away, and that begins with getting the U.N. out of this country and all the terrorist-sympathizing U.N. agents out of here immediately....Americans pay too much to the U.N. for the treatment we receive." Read

    Right Wing News

    The Los Angeles Times profiles Liberty University's new law school, calling it "the latest effort by the religious right to change American society." Read

    Higher EducationYoung America's Foundation offers its list of the top ten conservative colleges. Among those listed are Michigan's Hillsdale College, Virginia's Liberty University, and Grove City College in Pennsylvania. Read

    Congress

    The editors of the Washington Times agree with a controversial rule change made by the House GOP to shield Majority Leader Tom DeLay: "Should partisan state prosecutors be able to overturn the leadership in Congress? That's the question House Republicans wrestled with this week when trying to decide if a decade-old rule undermines Congress' authority. On Wednesday, House members decided to revise the rule, thereby allowing Rep. Tom DeLay to keep his majority leader status should he be indicted by a Texas grand jury....Over revising the rule, Democrats are crying foul. But the revision makes good sense for both sides." Read

    Separation of Church and State

    WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is so worked up over the recent Pentagon decision to avoid sponsorship of Boy Scout troops that he titled his column: "The ACLU must be destroyed." He elaborates: "The ACLU is never going to change. It is an anti-American organization. It is a group that seeks to destroy all that makes America a unique experiment in freedom. It is an organization in league with all of America's enemies. It is an organization that hates God, hates what is right, decent and morally upright. It is an organization in league with the Devil, as far as I am concerned. And the ACLU is an organization that needs to be isolated, exposed for what it is, recognized for what it is and destroyed if necessary." Read

    In the States

    The Seattle Weekly profiles Joseph Fuiten, the Christian pastor who spearheaded the Bush voter registration campaign in Washington state. Read

    Gay-straight student clubs in public schools are becoming an issue for some Virginia lawmakers and religious right groups. Virginia Cobb of the Virginia Family Forum says, "Taxpayers should not be asked to fund homosexual dating services in our schools. Schools have the ability and the right to disband these groups." Read

    Media

    Accuracy in Media's (AIM) Cliff Kincaid eulogizes AIM founder Reed Irvine, offering particular praise to Irvine's "Can Dan [Rather]" campaign started 16 years ago: "Now it seems only a matter of time before Rather, a disgraced and bitter partisan, is forced out. If he had only listened to Reed Irvine and had followed his advice over the years, Rather could be retiring in honor and dignity, rather than presiding over a floundering newscast characterized by flaming liberal bias and dwindling viewers. Reed's AIM is a central reason why so many people react with skepticism to what is on CBS and the other networks today." Read

    Used with the permission of People For the American Way [or People For the American Way Foundation]