Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mission Capable

Last week the House passed bill 1591, hailed loudly as a win for the dems because of the bill's 2008 "withdrawal deadline". The Senate vote is to take place this week and if passed Bush has said he will veto. MSM bytes, predictable as usual, are drumming to the sound of fake drama, as if the masses with breath held are awaiting the vote on this one.

There are billions of the usual stuffed in the porkchop bill:

*$74M for a peanut program that pays storage fees for farmers.
* $400M to subsidize those suffering declining timber sales.
* $3.7B welfare to farmers/ranchers for losses during last 3 years.
* $25M for spinach growers loss due to the e-coli advisory.
* $60M for fisherman affected by declining salmon runs.
* $50M for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Hill Power Plant.
* $140M livestock owners/citrus growers hurricane losses.
* $120M for the shrimp and menhaden industries.
* $283M to extend the dairy farm income loss program.
* $1B for pandemic flu preparedness.
* $16M for improvements to the Capitol Hill office buildings.
* $25M for the SBA disaster-loan program.

Good grief, how did the little house on the prairie and the ponderosa ever survive without government handouts? It's a regular bonanza.

The Senate today voted 50 to 48 to reject a Republican amendment that would have removed the "withdrawal" clause from a bill on military funding. Considered a win for the dems, a decisive blow to the republicans. Yawn.

It's all hype, for with or without 1591 war will continue as long as TPTB deem necessary; 1591 just gives congressional hogs & sows funds to buy silk ears.

A few snips from the bill:
U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 - Makes emergency supplemental FY2007 appropriations for specified activities related to the global war on terror to the Departments of Agriculture (including food aid to Africa and Afghanistan), of Justice, of Defense (Military, including funds for Iraqi and Afghan security forces), of Defense (military construction and base closure), of Energy, of Homeland Security, of Veterans Affairs (particularly veterans' health programs), and of State (including international peacekeeping operations), and related agencies as well as the House of Representatives.

Provides funds to enable military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements.

Specifies conditions for assistance to Lebanon.

Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to deploy any unit of the Armed Forces to Iraq unless the chief of the military department concerned has certified to the congressional appropriations committees in advance that the unit is fully mission capable. Sets a maximum number of days for deployment in Iraq for military units. Authorizes the President to waive such prohibition and deployment limits on a unit-by-unit basis for reasons of national security.

Directs the President to transmit to Congress by specified dates certain determinations and certifications with respect to conditions to be met by the Government of Iraq.

Requires redeployment of the armed forces from Iraq if any of such conditions is not met.

Directs the President to appoint a Coordinator for Iraq Assistance, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Declares the sense of Congress that the U.S. Constitution grants: (1) the President the sole role of Commander in Chief; and (2) Congress the sole power to declare war.

Declares the sense of Congress that: (1) the commanders of the U.S. armed forces in Iraq should be allowed to conduct the war and manage the movements of the troops; and (2) Congress should remain focused on executing its oversight role.

All the "declares" are more paperwork, which congress will delegate to staffers. And a few extra committees will need to be formed and staffers hired for more paperwork (maybe some young interns can work on that). I could not find the "withdrawal" clause, although I did find the "redeployment" clause:

(d) If the President makes the certification specified in subsection (b), the Secretary of Defense shall commence the redeployment of the Armed Forces from Iraq not later than March 1, 2008, and complete such redeployment within 180 days.

Yessiree, "redeployment".

To where? Iran?


Bruce Dixon said...

Withdrawal clause? What makes you think there IS one, dear lady?

I head Kucinich this morning on Democrcacy Now say that Dems have introduced a further $140 billion to fight the war through the end of 2008, and another $50 billion to do the same for the first months of 2009.

Kate-A said...

Heehee, I jest a bit at times. ;)

[].ragko said...

As far as the government handouts I am disgusted. Look down the list. It is even more telling about GWB priorities being screwed.

Here is some idea's:

Put that money into reforestation instead of compensating the deforesters.

Put that money into Salving the ocean's so the salmon can be abundant.

Put that money into a prgram that teaches why humans are weened and no longer need milk after 1.5

Put that money into stopping the Flu-pandemic that is brought on specifically by our current medical practices.

All this while he attempts to abolish the Endangered Species act to get at the oil in Alaska.

Honestly I never meant this more than now. "Down with Capitalism"

[].ragko said...

Salving the ocean? Well Salve does work for everything.

Kate-A said...


Agree. Your ideas of what to do are excellent.

I don't have a gripe with mom & pop capitalism (i.e. my summer vegetable stand with good prices or my 1 restaurant, not a chain) - but capital seems to always lead to corporate welfare and militaristic fascism, corrupting, environmentally destructive, and perverse.

Shutter said...

Hey you are a bit tough on the down trodden spinach growers. Watch out Popeye doesn't get to here about your sassy remarks young lady !

Throw bunch in a spoonful of boiling water, pepper, when ready put in a pannikin and cover with a poached egg(or 2)..you can feel my muscles anytime.

Kate-A said...

I love spinach eaters. I do like mine wilted though in olive oil, with fresh orange juice and orange slices, salt, vinegar ...

Popeye ... sigh ... a one-eyed sailor with inverted arms ... a man in uniform always did catch me eye.

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