Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Thursday, August 10, 2006

CONTROL OF CONGRESS COULD CHANGE IN '06, POLLS SHOW

(CNN)---Most Americans believe the GOP-controlled Congress has been a failure and say they plan to vote for Democrats in November, according to a poll released Wednesday.

CNN dot com
August 9, 2006

53% or registered voters polled by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN said they were supporting Democrats, while 40% said they were leaning Republican. The remaining 7% either planned to support another party or had no opinion.

As for changing their minds when they get to the ballot box, only 43% of those planning to vote for Democrats said that was a possibility as opposed to 54% of those saying they plan to support Republicans.

54% said that since 1995, the GOP-led Congress has been a failure. 40% called it a success. In a similar 1998 poll, 58% of respondents called Congress successful.

Despite the apparent lack of confidence in the GOP, another question seemed to show that the respondents' confidence in Democrats was shaky, too. Asked which party would move the nation in the right direction, 43% said Republicans, compared to 41 who said Democrats.

But the national mood may not be as sour as it would appear---55% of people polled said things are going "very well" or "fairly well" in the United States.

Asked which issues facing Congress this year were "extremely important," the respondents said in order: terrorism, gasoline prices, Iraq, the economy, immigration, the Middle East, the minimum wage, prescription drugs for seniors, the cost of electricity, stem-cell research, and same-sex marriages.

48% of respondents said terrorism was extremely important. That was followed closely by fuel prices, at 47%; the situation in Iraq, at 45%; and the economy, at 40%.

The poll was conducted by telephone August 2 and 3 with 1,047 adult Americans responding.

The sampling error was puls or minus 3 percentage points, except for the questions on congressional success and which party would lead the nation in the right direction. Those questions were asked of a half sample, or about 524 people, and the sampling error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

CENTER FOR WAR-RELATED BRAIN INJURIES FACES BUDGET CUTS

Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.

USA Today
By: Gregg Zoroya
August 8, 2006

House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriations bill contain $7M for the Defense and Veteran Brain Injury Center---half of what the center received last fiscal year.

Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.

***That's because the Republican run Congress thinks that our troops aren't important enough to take care of them. They are very willing to send them to war, but that's it! They continue to cut everything they can when it comes to our veterans! You always hear them say, "give our troops what they deserve." But that's only when the cameras are on. But when it comes time to voting for our veterans, forget it. Veterans are one of the first people that they cut! Don't forget. The Republicans don't believe in "entitlements" and are getting rid of as many as they can, including our veterans'.

"I find it basically unpardonable that Congress is not going to provide funds to take care of our soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line for their country," says Martin Foil, a member of the center's board of directors. "It blows my imagination."

The Brain Injury Center, devoted to treating and understanding war-related brain injuries, has received more money each year of the war---from $6.5M in fiscal 2001 to $14M last eyar. Spokespersons for the appropriations committees in both chambers day cuts were due to a tight budget this year.

***It shouldn't effect our troops! Bottom line! End of debate!

"Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there was just so many priorities," says Jenny Manley, spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee. "They don't have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year."

George Zitnay, co-founder of the center, testified before a Seante subcommittee in May that body armor saves troops caught in blasts but leaves many with brain damage. "Traumatic brain injury is the signature of the war on terrorism," he testified.

Zitnay asked for $19M, and 34 Democratic and six Republican members of Congress signed a letter endorsing the budget request.

Look at the numbers up above and tell me who it is that cares about these troops. THE DEMOCRATS!

The House of Representatives approved its version of the spending bill on June 20. A vote in the Senate is pending.

Scientists at the center develop ways to diagnose and treat servicemembers who suffer brain damage. The work is done at seven military and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, including the center's headquarters at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and one civilian treatment site.

The Senate has clashed with the Pentagon in recent months over a program to identify troops who have suffered mild to moderate brain injuries in Iraq from mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs---the most common weapons used by insurgents.

Preliminary research by the center shows that about 10% of all troops in Iraq, and up to 20% of front line infantry troops, suffer concussions during combat tours. Many experience headaches, disturbed sleep, memory loss and behavior issues after coming home, the research shows.

The center urged the Pentagon to screen all troops returning from Iraq in order to treat symptoms and create a database of brain injury victims. Scientists say multiple concussions can cause permanent brain damage.

The Pentagon so far has declined to do the screening and argues that more research is needed.

RISING UNEASE IN CONGRESS OVER IRAQ WAR

Washington---Signs this summer are pointing to an increasing unsettledness among Capitol Hill lawmakers---of both parties---over the war in Iraq and other U.S. activities pertaining to the war on terror.



USA Today
By Gail Russell Chaddock
The Christian Science Monitor
August 9, 2006


The unease was apparent even before Sen. Joe Lieberman, a strong backer of U.S. strategy on Iraq, took it on the chin Tuesday in Connecticut's Democratic primary. Important congressional votes related to the war on terror await lawmakers upon their return from their August recess, and many---especially those dismayed by Senator Lieberman's defeat---are using this month to calibrate the intensity of public sentiment on the Iraq conflict.

***The Senate left for summer recess after completing only 1 of 12 spending bills needed to keep government agencies operating next year, all but assuring the need for an omnibus package, which are usually a smorgasbord-buffet of pork. They have a lot of work ahead of them so I think that they aren't going to waste their time on the Iraq war. It is a Republican-controlled Congress and they want to stay in Iraq. They'll avoid it at every turn.

Before they left town last week, lawmakers questioned Pentagon officials about the Iraq campaign---and heard the civilian leaders offer a more positive assessment of progress than did military leaders reporting on the view from the ground. The Pentagon testimony was most out of sync over how close Iraq is to civil war.

***Rumsfeld is a liar and thinks that he is good at it, along with Bush and Cheney! Everything that we see or read in the news tells us that things aren't going well in Iraq, including our troops. Iraq is an utter disaster and is too late to fix especially under this administration who won't seem to change the course! Don't let these Republican congresspeople make you think that they want out of Iraq because they don't. It's an election season and thry are worried about being reelected. Why would they be changing their minds now? If they are reelected, they'll stay in Iraq on the same course. At least the Democrats know that we need a new course and a timeline.

Their words prompted Sen. John Warner (R-VA) to signal that congress may need to vote to authorize U.S. troops to fight in a civil war in Iraq.

Yeah, right! "MAY NEED?"

"The real question is: Will Senator Warner follow through, or will the White House put so much pressure on him that he won't follow through," says Larry Korb, who served as assistant secretary of Defense in the Reagan administrtion and is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. "You can't win a civil war."

***The Republicans are weak and can't stand up to the White House."

Whether Capitol Hill's unease over the course of events in Iraq grows may depend in part on the outcome of the fall congressional elections. "If Democrats get control of one house, they'll be able to get a hold of a lot of issues that are under wraps now and could change the climate even more," Korb says.

***Something has to change. The Republicans have run this country down!

One major issue this fall could be the cost of the war. Senate appropriations had hoped to finish debate over next year's defense appropriations bill before the recess, but Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) instead opted to try to move a tax-cut package. A month's delay puts the debate closer to fall elections that will decide control of the House and Senate.

***Frist's failure to get a handle on appropriations bills will lead to a pork-barrel spending spree this fall, undermining repeated promises for fiscal reform!

Since the 9/11 attacks, the cost of the war in Iraq, Afghanastan, and other global war on terror operations is $437B, according to a July 28 report by the Congressional Research Service. By law, the president is also required to estimate "reasonably forseeable costs for ongoing military operations" for the next 12 months, unless he certifies that for national security reasons such an estimate is impossible.

***He uses national security reasons for everything else, so why not this?

A wild card is whether the 109th Congress will open wide-ranging hearings and debate on the conduct of the Iraq war. Nothing is on the agenda yet, say GOP leadership aides. Twelve top Democrats---including ranking members of the armed services, intelligence, and foreign affairs committees---have called on Bush to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq this year.

***The Iraq war is the last thing that the Republicans want to bring up during this election season. And since the Republicans run the Congress, I doubt, very highly if there will be any debate or hearings, let alone "wide-ranging" debate or hearings about the war in Iraq. Look! They're already trying to divert our attention with this heightening of our terror threat level from orange to red. And quess who's helping them? The British! Bush's biggest ally in the war in Iraq! This is a Karl Rove tactic! Next they are going to be telling how great the Republicans are for national security!

"The sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it. If it is not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war," said Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week.

After a closed briefing Aug. 3 with the full Senate, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dampened speculation about a shift in mission. "The Iraqi government needs our support, and that's the purpose of our mission. And we have no reason to believe that that mission will change," he said.

***In other words, "stay the course" THAT ISN'T WORKING!

At a hearing earlier that day, Warner said lawmakers will have to examine "what Congress authorized the president to do in the context of a situation if we're faced with all-out civil war, and whether we have to come back to the Congress to get further indication of support."

Critics say Capitol Hill is slow to recognize the scope of Iraq's sectarian violence---and suggest fuller debate is long overdue. "The military is disagreeing publicly with the civilian leadership openly now," says former Vice President Walter Mondale, one of many former senators who follow the war debate. Senate committees need "to call in a bipartisan groups of scholars, leaders, and foreign commanders and do with this war what [Arkansas Sen. Willaim] Fullbright did about the Vietnam War."

He adds: "We have to realize that just carrying on is not neutral. ...[A] lot of people, including the national security director of the Iraqi government, say our presence there is helping to increase anger... We have to look at this."

***Didn't Bush say that he would listen to the generals on the ground? So what changed his mind now?