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Thread: An Important Day: Democratic Congress Begins!

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    An Important Day: Democratic Congress Begins!

    [QUOTE]WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democrats prepared to take control of both houses of Congress on Thursday with plans to quickly raise the minimum wage and toughen lobbying rules.

    The Democratic takeover after most of the last dozen years in the minority comes with congressional leaders and President Bush stressing bipartisanship -- but with indications emerging of the partisan fights to come.

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, is slated to become the new speaker of the House -- the first woman to hold that post -- and Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, is scheduled to take over as Senate majority leader. (Watch to see what the Democratic-led Congress might accomplish )

    New members of Congress will also take their oaths in ceremonies on Thursday.

    Exit polls showed that rising discontent over the war in Iraq and a spate of corruption scandals helped drive voters in November to hand Democrats control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994.

    [B][U]And a national poll released this week showed Democrats have strong support for nearly all the measures they want to pass in their first days in charge[/U].[/B]

    Reid invited both Democrats and Republicans to a rare closed-door conference Thursday in the Old Senate Chamber in hopes of setting a bipartisan mood after years of political rancor.

    A memo from Reid to colleagues lays out the Senate's agenda, which closely follows planned votes in the House, [B][U]starting with ethics and lobbying reform, a minimum wage hike, reforming the Medicare prescription drug program, acting on recommendations of the 9/11 commission and full funding of embryonic stem cell research[/U][/B].

    After passage of a series of routine resolutions -- [B][U]including elevating 89-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, as President Pro Tempore, third in the line of presidential succession[/U][/B] -- the Senate floor will open up for speeches about the upcoming session.

    Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told reporters that Democrats would move quickly on rules changes.

    "On Thursday and Friday, we're going to adopt rules that will change the way the people's house operates to ensure its integrity, to ensure its openness and to ensure its transparency," Hoyer said Wednesday.

    Tighter restrictions on spending earmarks, lobbying, gifts and travel will be proposed, Democratic House leaders said. (View what House Democrats pledge to pass in the first 100 legislative hours)

    A $2.10 hourly increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 is among six bills Democrats pledged to advance in their first 100 hours of making new laws next week, after members are seated and committees are organized.

    The minimum wage was last increased in 1997. Democrats want to phase increases over two years, a proposal that has drawn conditional support from President Bush. (Minimum wages by state)

    But they may face a tougher hurdle in efforts to repeal Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. In the only veto of his presidency to date, Bush killed a similar bill that passed with bipartisan support last year -- and White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday that the president's position has not changed.

    The schedule for the 100 legislative hours stretches from Tuesday through January 18, five days ahead of Bush's State of the Union address.

    Bush: Avoid 'stalemate'
    In a statement in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, Bush urged Congress to make the tax cuts passed during his administration permanent and grant him line-item veto power, which would allow the president to cut specific spending from a bill without killing the entire measure.

    And in an opinion piece published in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Bush wrote that Democrats now have a responsibility to avoid creating a "stalemate" by passing bills "that are simply political statements."

    "If a different approach is taken, the next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation," Bush wrote. (Full story)

    The Supreme Court killed a previous law giving the president line-item veto power in 1998, and Hoyer said he opposes renewing it.

    House Republicans, now facing life in the minority for the first time since 1994, complained that the Democrats are cutting them out of setting House rules. They urged Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to adopt the same "minority bill of rights" that Democrats had urged in 2004.

    Watching the administration
    Democrats also promise to beef up oversight of the Bush administration.

    The new head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, is already butting heads with the Justice Department over documents relating to the interrogation of suspected terrorists.

    And the incoming chairmen of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees have already announced plans to hold hearings on the war in Iraq.

    Party leaders got a dramatic show of pressure from anti-war protesters Wednesday, as peace activist Cindy Sheehan and others interrupted Hoyer's news conference with chants of "De-escalate, investigate, troops home now." [/QUOTE]

    So, how do we feel about the plans of our new Congress? Opinions on the issues?

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    Looks as though this congress will do more in a very short time than the republican "do nothing" congress that was ousted in Nov.

    I don't see so far anything about getting out of Iraq. It is still early though.

    Some on the democratic side are askiing for impeachment. I do feel a case can be presented for it. I don't think that it is worth the costs of doing it.
    Bush is a terrible president. His leadership is extremely questionable. His mishandling of the wars, Katrina, 911 are just things that are glaring about his failed and miserable terms in office.

    The country is in a hell of mess because of the republicans. This congress has a lot of hard work in front of them. I want to wish them all the best.

    Today's CNN pole on the troop surge:
    Would 20,000 to 40,000 additional U.S. troops help stabilize Iraq?

    Yes 22% 11984 votes
    [COLOR=Red][SIZE=4][B]No 78% 42757 votes[/B[/SIZE]][/COLOR]
    Total: 54741 votes

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Looks as though this congress will do more in a very short time than the republican "do nothing" congress that was ousted in Nov.

    I don't see so far anything about getting out of Iraq. It is still early though.

    Some on the democratic side are askiing for impeachment. I do feel a case can be presented for it. I don't think that it is worth the costs of doing it.
    Bush is a terrible president. His leadership is extremely questionable. His mishandling of the wars, Katrina, 911 are just things that are glaring about his failed and miserable terms in office.

    The country is in a hell of mess because of the republicans. This congress has a lot of hard work in front of them. I want to wish them all the best.

    Today's CNN pole on the troop surge:
    Would 20,000 to 40,000 additional U.S. troops help stabilize Iraq?

    Yes 22% 11984 votes
    [COLOR=Red][SIZE=4][B]No 78% 42757 votes[/B[/SIZE]][/COLOR]
    Total: 54741 votes[/QUOTE]


    right; the country's in a huge mess...it had nothing to do with the appeasment minded administration from the 90's who let bin laden sit in sanctuary while he planned and carryied out attack after attack with no reprecussions...it had nothing to do with signing deals with terrorists like yassir arafat, who was then handed a nobel peace proze by the vaunted international community....

    all this sh!t started 1/20/01....this is how the mind of the lunatic left works...

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Looks as though this congress will do more in a very short time than the republican "do nothing" congress that was ousted in Nov.

    I don't see so far anything about getting out of Iraq. It is still early though.

    Some on the democratic side are askiing for impeachment. I do feel a case can be presented for it. I don't think that it is worth the costs of doing it.
    Bush is a terrible president. His leadership is extremely questionable. His mishandling of the wars, Katrina, 911 are just things that are glaring about his failed and miserable terms in office.

    The country is in a hell of mess because of the republicans. This congress has a lot of hard work in front of them. I want to wish them all the best.[/QUOTE]

    Ok. So you agree with all their proposals, and would further approve of both a demand to withdraw from Iraq in some form, and would be positive in general should an Impeachment attempt be made. Very clear, thank you.

    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Today's CNN pole on the troop surge:
    Would 20,000 to 40,000 additional U.S. troops help stabilize Iraq?

    Yes 22% 11984 votes
    [COLOR=Red][SIZE=4][B]No 78% 42757 votes[/B[/SIZE]][/COLOR]
    Total: 54741 votes[/QUOTE]

    Ok. In fairness, how many of the 55K folks polled are qualified to have a legitimate opinion on Millitary Strategy and Tactics? With apologies, these kinds of polls I find very silly.....if 55K people were polled about the usefulness of XXX Medical procedure, that wouldn't mean the majority would be right in any form. Joe Bob Citizen can barely tell you who our President is, much less give a legitimate educated opinion on advanced Millitary tactics.

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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]right; the country's in a huge mess...it had nothing to do with the appeasment minded administration from the 90's who let bin laden sit in sanctuary while he planned and carryied out attack after attack with no reprecussions...it had nothing to do with signing deals with terrorists like yassir arafat, who was then handed a nobel peace proze by the vaunted international community....

    all this sh!t started 1/20/01....this is how the mind of the lunatic left works...[/QUOTE]

    No offense my friend, but if we could keep the thread on-topic, that would be good.

    How do you feel about their specific proposals listed in the article, and anything they do NOT have proposed to do that you think they should or should not have on their docket?

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]So, how do we feel about the plans of our new Congress? Opinions on the issues?[/QUOTE]

    Beginning of the end of high taxes, corruption, crime, poverty, terrorism, energy problems and global warming.

    What could be better than that?

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]No offense my friend, but if we could keep the thread on-topic, that would be good.

    How do you feel about their specific proposals listed in the article, and anything they do NOT have proposed to do that you think they should or should not have on their docket?[/QUOTE]


    no offense taken but I was specifically answering his post....

    as far as my overall feeling- hope for the best expect the worst....amongst ohters...


    [QUOTE]A memo from Reid to colleagues lays out the Senate's agenda, which closely follows planned votes in the House, starting with ethics and lobbying reform, a minimum wage hike, reforming the Medicare prescription drug program, acting on recommendations of the 9/11 commission and full funding of embryonic stem cell research. [/QUOTE]

    I have no problem with lobby reform as long as it is across the board, inclusive of the lobbying efforts of unions.....somehow I think it is not going to happen just that way...

    I am for a minimum wage hike.....

    Reforming the Medicare prescription drug program- it depends on what that reform is....

    Are they going to act on some recommendations of the 9/11 commission or all of them?? They campaigned on the latter but have reversed course and in order for people like Murtha to keep their seats they have stated they will go with the former....

    Completely against full funding of embryonic stem cell research for a number of reason, not the least being it is nothing but a shot in the dark at this point compared to general stem cell research....

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]So, how do we feel about the plans of our new Congress? Opinions on the issues?[/QUOTE]


    Ethics and lobbying reforms if they are well thought out is probably a good thing.

    Federal minimum wage is probably irrelevant, it may modestly help some and it may devastate others?

    The Medicare Prescription drug program is a complete disaster and needs to be either dumped completely or scaled down dramatically. I look forward to the Dems acting on this.

    Full funding of embryonic stem cells, is something I support but I'm not sure of what full funding really means? Have to get back to you on that one, the devil is in the details.

    Acting on the 9/11 commission report seems reasonable and should be debated.

    Seems like a modest but reasonable agenda. Certainly not earth shaking but other than the war the economy is good and the Congress should be very carefull not to screw it up.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Ok. So you agree with all their proposals, and would further approve of both a demand to withdraw from Iraq in some form, and would be positive in general should an Impeachment attempt be made. Very clear, thank you.



    Ok. In fairness, how many of the 55K folks polled are qualified to have a legitimate opinion on Millitary Strategy and Tactics? With apologies, these kinds of polls I find very silly.....if 55K people were polled about the usefulness of XXX Medical procedure, that wouldn't mean the majority would be right in any form. Joe Bob Citizen can barely tell you who our President is, much less give a legitimate educated opinion on advanced Millitary tactics.[/QUOTE]


    I think a reasonable withdrawal with all respect to the Iraqi people of our troops is warranted. Bush has already lost the war for us. There are more terrorist now since he declared war in Iraq than before.

    If impeachment charges can be brought agianst him and would work, then I am for it. He needs to be relieved of his duties. He has disgraced the USA before the world. We have more countries against us than before.

    Even Carter never had the world against us like Bush. We are on the wwrong side of the war effort and it has to change.

    The polled people were not asked if they had military expertise. They were asked if 20K to 40K more troops would help stabilize Iraq. I think they answered correctly.

    I don't know how people can hang on to the war at this point in time. Bush has lost it already. Everyone knows who GWB is. He is a loser president.

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    I can't really say since I am Canadian, but stem cell research is a concern, considering most don't know about alternatives which are more effective.

    Up here in Canada, the courts just ruled in favour of a child having THREE parents (homosexuality is at the heart of the matter)

    Decisions being made like this are going to have SERIOUS repercussions in generations to come.

    I find the study of history would be adequate regarding this. Every dynasty and powerful nation at some point went down this road where everything at one point or another became acceptable to do in the pursuit of happiness. And everyone of them fell....it is only a matter of time.

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]The polled people were not asked if they had military expertise. They were asked if 20K to 40K more troops would help stabilize Iraq. I think they answered correctly.[/QUOTE]

    I think you misunderstand me. The question is not your or my opinion on the validity of this opinion, but the value of those opinions at all. It's fine to say most of the 55K are against more troops being sent, but the fact is that the vast majority of that 55K is unqualified to have an educated opinion on the topic. You're agreement with them, in this case, is irrelevant to that point, as would anyone elses disagreement.

    The point is that a poll question about a highly specialized and complex subject, answered by average non-specificly-educated citizens, does not logicly render a valid argument.

    For example, a poll off 55K Americans in say, 1790, would have likely returned a 85% to 15% PRO-SLAVERY position. Having never been slaves themselves, the poll answerers would be grossly unsuited to answer such a poll. And of course the popular approval of such a policy did not make that position valid or right in any form.

    Or even better, a Poll of Americans routinely place such rare dangers as Bird Flu as much higher fears than vastly more common causes of death such as Car Accidents. However, to the Average American, who does not have knowledge of the actual numbers behind each possible cause of death, their fear is quite illogical and uninformed. Those polled are neither all Doctors, nor Insurance Tabulators, so they are simply unqualified to have an educated opinion of what to be legitimately afriad of in a true sense.

    And again (and most relevant here), if I polled 55K non-Doctors on the benifit of XXX Medicial Procedure, the resulting opinion (one direction or the other) would have no true validity....those polled were not qualified to answer.
    Last edited by Warfish; 01-04-2007 at 01:20 PM.

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    Fish,

    I understand. The people regardless of the the poll feel a certain way. The people have been turned off by the war. It is ugly. It is brutal.

    The people feel the gov't has lied and betrayed them. There can be no poll that Bush will feel good about regarding the war.

    I want to know who that % are that want more troops :)

    I know that most people have not served in the military or have real military training or expertise in military strategy.

    The congress of today has a very difficult task and Mr. Bush is not making it any easier for them.

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    On ethics and lobby reform- I agree that we truly need reform. But could they please be fair and honest with the plan. Quit it with the loop holes.
    On the minimum wage- I agree that it should be increased. I also realize that it does not come without passing on the cost to everyone else.
    On The Medicare Prescription Drug Program-Please, what were they thinking to begin with? Overhaul it and negotiate for lower prices.
    On the 911 Commission recommendations- I don't really know all of the entire details of their recommendations so I will have to check it out later. But if they ran on its implementation and won then they really need to honor their promise.
    On embryonic stem cells research- I'm for embryonic stem cell research using discarded embryos with the consent of the people involved and funded.

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Fish,

    I understand. The people regardless of the the poll feel a certain way. The people have been turned off by the war. It is ugly. It is brutal.

    The people feel the gov't has lied and betrayed them. There can be no poll that Bush will feel good about regarding the war.

    I want to know who that % are that want more troops :)

    I know that most people have not served in the military or have real military training or expertise in military strategy.

    The congress of today has a very difficult task and Mr. Bush is not making it any easier for them.[/QUOTE]

    I can appreciate your viewpoint Dawgg. I simply prefer we rule via logic and thought, and not be "feeling". But that is a pipe dream, I am well aware.

    I would be much more interested in seeing a poll of all active duty soldiers, and their view on continuing the War, the legitimacy of the War, and on adding more troops. They are the ones who signed up for it, are there fighting it, I think their view has more validity that that of any Citizen safly sitting here in the U.S. (myself included).

    I'd also love a poll of all of our Millitary Leaders, and how they feel about the War, more Troops, etc.

    Sadly, neither can really be truly polled accurately. So we'll never know.

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    [QUOTE=chicadeel]On ethics and lobby reform- I agree that we truly need reform. But could they please be fair and honest with the plan. Quit it with the loop holes.
    On the minimum wage- I agree that it should be increased. I also realize that it does not come without passing on the cost to everyone else.
    On The Medicare Prescription Drug Program-Please, what were they thinking to begin with? Overhaul it and negotiate for lower prices.
    On the 911 Commission recommendations- I don't really know all of the entire details of their recommendations so I will have to check it out later. But if they ran on its implementation and won then they really need to honor their promise.
    On embryonic stem cells research- I'm for embryonic stem cell research using discarded embryos with the consent of the people involved and funded.[/QUOTE]

    They still left off the tough task in what to do with Iraq?

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Ok. So you agree with all their proposals, and would further approve of both a demand to withdraw from Iraq in some form, and would be positive in general should an Impeachment attempt be made. Very clear, thank you.



    [B]Ok. In fairness, how many of the 55K folks polled are qualified to have a legitimate opinion on Millitary Strategy and Tactics?[/B] With apologies, these kinds of polls I find very silly.....if 55K people were polled about the usefulness of XXX Medical procedure, that wouldn't mean the majority would be right in any form. Joe Bob Citizen can barely tell you who our President is, much less give a legitimate educated opinion on advanced Millitary tactics.[/QUOTE]

    Ok. In fairness how many military experts are pushing for a surge in troops in Iraq? Not General Abizaid. Not General Pace. Not General Casey. Not General Dempsey.


    From the November 2006 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

    [QUOTE]GEN. ABIZAID: Senator McCain, [B]I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they [U]ALL[/U] said NO. [/B] And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=kennyo7]Ok. In fairness how many military experts are pushing for a surge in troops in Iraq? Not General Abizaid. Not General Pace. Not General Casey. Not General Dempsey.

    From the November 2006 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

    [QUOTE]GEN. ABIZAID: Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they ALL said NO. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future. [/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

    Thank you Kenny. For once in your life, you're not talking out of your ass, congratulations. :yes: You've earned it.

    This is EXACTLY the kind of back-up one should bring to a debate. Our Millitary Leaders are the ones qualified to make these plans, strategums and Tactical decisions. Not some random 55K of plumbers, doctors and receptionists.

    You're post has intellectual legitimacy on this topic.

    The poll has none.

    Now, if only we could poll the honest and open opinions of every Senior Commander/General/Admiral/Etc. in our Armed Forces, and get a True Picture of what they think might work or not work, I'd be happy to move forward with the results of THAT poll any day.

    Presidents (with Congressional Approval) decide if we go in. How long we stay. When we leave. All for Political Reasons.

    Millitary Commanders should be deciding every other Strategic and Tactical decision....including the need or not for more troops. The are given the Mission, they should decide how best to accomplish it (within limitations, i.e. no Nukes or such, obviously).

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Thank you Kenny. For once in your life, you're not talking out of your ass, congratulations. :yes: You've earned it.

    This is EXACTLY the kind of back-up one should bring to a debate. Our Millitary Leaders are the ones qualified to make these plans, strategums and Tactical decisions. Not some random 55K of plumbers, doctors and receptionists.

    You're post has intellectual legitimacy on this topic.

    The poll has none.

    Now, if only we could poll the honest and open opinions of every Senior Commander/General/Admiral/Etc. in our Armed Forces, and get a True Picture of what they think might work or not work, I'd be happy to move forward with the results of THAT poll any day.

    Presidents (with Congressional Approval) decide if we go in. How long we stay. When we leave. All for Political Reasons.

    Millitary Commanders should be deciding every other Strategic and Tactical decision....including the need or not for more troops. The are given the Mission, they should decide how best to accomplish it (within limitations, i.e. no Nukes or such, obviously).[/QUOTE]

    I never talk out of my ass. Just cause you agree with one post and disagree with all the others does not lend validity or discredit any of them. Why are you so full of yourself? Who are you that i should care about whether you praise me or insult me. Man, you are so arrogant!

    Agree with Warfish= good sound arguments
    Disagree with Warfish = wrong, traitorous , america hating nazi sympathizer

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    [QUOTE=kennyo7]I never talk out of my ass. Just cause you agree with one post and disagree with all the others does not lend validity or discredit any of them. Why are you so full of yourself? Who are you that i should care about whether you praise me or insult me. Man, you are so arrogant!

    Agree with Warfish= good sound arguments
    Disagree with Warfish = wrong, traitorous , america hating nazi sympathizer[/QUOTE]

    Oh noes! I'm arrogant! :eek: Oh noes! You don't care what I have to say! :eek: Oh noes! On noes! :eek:

    :rolleyes:

    You didn't make a good argument because you agreed with me. You made a good argument because you backed up your position with ACTUAL FACTUAL INFORMATION. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    P.S. If you cared so little about what I say or think, why respond at all? And certainly why respond with such outrage? After all.....you don't care, remember. :rolleyes:

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    What about the ISG report? Is that enough to quell this thirst for more wasted human lives?

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