Tag: Defunding

Looking For Allies

At Talk Left, Miss Devore wrote in response to a comment pooh poohing not funding the Iraq Debacle:

great idea

let’s just accept we have to continue a criminal pre-emptive war, whereby we are visiting unimaginable suffering upon people. let’s just say it’s an out-of-control frat party. ok, mebbe a million dead, another 2M displaced, an entire country trashed.

and you worry about Pelosi being fragged?

You don’t seem to get the arrogance.

the Senate supported partitioning Iraq.

you go and sit on some other country telling you what your bidness should be.

At pff, sabrina wrote:

. . . If ending the war is, as he claims, his primary reason for being involved, he could have joined forces with all the other blogs who really were working for the same thing, and saying the same things he was. . . . I would join forces with anyone (with the exception of a very few) and set aside all  former feelings about them temporarily, if together we could force this govenrment to stop this war. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) So would I. I ask both of them what they suggest we can do. I am prepared to work with anyone to try and end the Iraq Debacle. I’ll be reading both of them where they write for suggestions.

I hope they see this diary and respond with their best ideas.

For the Record: On Not Funding The Iraq Debacle

I had assumed everyone knew my precise position on not funding the Iraq Debacle. I find that is not the case. For my own reference purposes, I repeat what has been my position since January 2007; articulated clearly in this February 2007 post:

Many ask ‘so what is a Democratic Congress to do?’ With Mitch McConnell promising filibusters to all attempts to revoke the Iraq AUMF, cap troop levels and to cut funding for the Iraq Debacle, what is it I am asking of the Democratic Congress.

Let me explain again – I ask for three things: First, announce NOW that the Democratic Congress will NOT fund the Iraq Debacle after a date certain. You pick the date. Whatever works politically. If October 2007 is the date Dems can agree to, then let it be then. If March 2008, then let that be the date; Second, spend the year reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain; Third, do NOT fund the Iraq Debacle PAST the date certain.

Some argue we will never have the votes for this. That McConnell will filibuster, that Bush will veto. To them I say I KNOW. But that does not fund the Iraq Debacle. Let me repeat, to end the war in Iraq, the Democratic Congress does not have to pass a single bill, they need only NOT pass bills that fund the Iraq Debacle.

But but but, defund the whole government? Defund the whole military? What if Bush does not pull out the troops? First, no, not defund the government, defund the Iraq Debacle. If the Republicans choose to shut down government in order to force the continuation of the Iraq Debacle, do not give in. Fight the political fight. We’ll win. Second, defund the military? See answer to number one. Third, well, if you tell the American People what is coming for a year, and that Bush is on notice, that it will be Bush abandoning the troops in Iraq, we can win that politcal battle too.

Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this approach for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending it are you?

The first Presidential candidate I supported was Tom Vilsack, the former chairman of the DLC. How could that be? you might ask. It is because he said this in January:

Congress has the constitutional responsibility and a moral duty to cut off funding for the status quo,” said Vilsack. “Not a cap – an end. Not eventually – immediately.

I have been accused of being obsessed. I plead guilty. I have been obsessed with ending the Iraq Debacle.

Not Funding Iraq and Discharge Petitions

Reading the comments in Buhdy’s diary at the Big Orange Satan’s place, this is what passes for rebuttal:

Discharge petition

Get all the Republicans and 18 Democrats to sign on, and it comes up for a vote. Not hard to do. And people would hold the other 210 Democrats personally responsible for 18 Bush Dogs doing it, too.

An interesting theory. Now, it so happens that those of us who argue for the not funding option are aware of the discharge petition, and the more likely avenue, a motion to recommit. We are aware that the Republicans, joined by enough Democrats, can force funding without timelines. It is why we have argued that we need 218 to embrace the not funding without timelines option. And despite saying “it would be easy” to get majority support for a motion to recommit or a discharge petition, saying it does not make it so. But let’s assume it is easy, the benefit of forcing the Republicans do that is it will prove to all of us that the Democrats in Congress have done everything they can to end the war. There is truly nothing more we can ask of Speaker Pelosi. And we do not ask for more than that. But she will not do it. So she has not done everything she can.

You want to make it a Republican war? Make the Republicans pass THEIR bill funding it. Let the Dems who want it to be their war go on the record and vote for it. Why anyone would be opposed to this strategy is beyond me.

Rahm Emanuel Rejects Defunding with a Red Herring

From Real Time with Bill Maher 9/28 (full transcript here)

here is the video.  Sorry, the embed is a little screwy. You’ll just have to search a little bit for the beginning.


Pelosi’s Pathetic Doubletalk On Iraq

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer this morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi demonstrated she has no intention of doing anything to end the war in Iraq:

BLITZER: Let's talk about the war in Iraq. When you became speaker, you said, “Bringing the war to an end is my highest priority as speaker.”


. . . BLITZER: The war, if anything, is not only continuing, but it's expanding. There's more troops now in Iraq than there were when you became the speaker. What are you going to do about that?

PELOSI: Well, we did, when we took office, we took the majority here. We changed the debate on the war. We put a bill on the president's desk that said that we wanted the redeployment of troops out of Iraq to begin in a timely fashion and to end within a year. The president vetoed that bill.

He got quite a response to that veto, and the Republicans in the Senate then decided he was never going to get a bill on his desk again. So we have a barrier and it's important for the American people to know that while I can bring a bill to the floor in the House, it cannot be brought up in the Senate unless there's a 60 vote, now 60 votes.

He got quite a response? What the heck is Pelosi talking about? He got, FROM HER, a bill with no timetables! Who does Speaker Pelosi think she is fooling? Blitzer is not fooled:

Joe Biden is a Liar

In an article about the ostensible Democratic prebuttal to the Petraeus testimony, Senator and Presidential candidate Joe Biden is quoted as saying:

Unless we get 67 votes to override [Bush’s] veto, there’s nothing we can do to stop this war

This of course, is a lie. It does not take 67 Senators to stop funding.

How to Promote Defundamentalism

(Isn’t that title cute?  I just came up with that.  It doesn’t even show up on Google.)

While I am not a Defundamentalist, I’m happy to see those of you are help to influence the political debate so long as (per Turk’s stance) it avoids ripping apart the party.  I just don’t think that blaming the Democrats in toto or concentrating fire on Pelosi (who would likely be succeeded by someone worse, Hoyer or Emanuel) is helping.  You need a concrete and theoretically achievable plan if you want to truly “make them fear us,” as y’all like to say.  So here, direct from a comment on DKos, is what I think you should do:

Iraq and the Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Crossposted from Daily Kos

I am not an economist, but reading Jay Elias’s latest diary made me think of another problem with the way George Bush and his sycophants look at Iraq: they keep falling for the sunk-cost fallacy. Wikipedia defines the fallacy as follows:

Economics proposes that a rational actor does not let sunk costs influence one’s decisions, because doing so would not be assessing a decision exclusively on its own merits.

This strikes me as being pretty much exactly the mistake George Bush keeps making. What are the merits for staying in Iraq now? None that don’t have some basis in the cost we’ve already sunk.


Not Funding The Iraq Debacle – Tell The Senate

Chris Dodd has set up a simple way to send the Senate your view on the proposed Dem capitulation. Matt Browner-Hamlin of the Dodd campaign (I am a Dodd supporter) writes:

Earlier this afternoon, my colleague Tim Tagaris sent an email to the campaign email list asking Dodd’s supporters to contact their Senators and ask them to join Senator Dodd in publicly rejecting any Iraq legislation that does not include enforceable deadlines for withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. Instead, Tim asked that people lobby their Senators to support the Dodd amendment, the best option for immediately withdrawing American troops from Iraq and ensuring there is a firm deadline tied to funding for the redeployment of our troops out of Iraq.

. . . Already over 1,000 emails have been sent to the Senate in the first few of hours of this push, asking our Senators to vote “YES” on the Dodd amendment and “NO” on any legislation without hard deadlines.

Just say no to funding the Iraq Debacle.

NYT: Dems to Cave for ANY “Compromise”

Crossposted from Daily Kos. let me go for some substance this time

Well, this didn’t take long. Here’s a couple of paragraphs from the story to make you angry:

The willingness to consider alternatives represents a shift by Democrats and is a recognition of changing political and practical realities they face in grappling with Iraq and its future.

Democrats had been counting on more Republicans to make a clean break from the president after the summer recess, but the White House has managed, at least temporarily, to hold on to much of its support.

Got that, the Republicans aren’t caving in magical September, and the Democrats are SHOCKED. So what are we getting in place of a date certain?

Republicans and Democrats are also discussing ways to tweak a bipartisan plan by Senators Ken Salazar, Democrat of Colorado, and Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee [. . .]


Not Funding The Iraq Debacle

Direct from the The Great Orange Satan:

Heck, I'd be happy if just the Democrats would follow their words with action this Magical September. We don't need Republicans to follow suit.

Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate to pass any funding bills, while Democrats can single-handedly squash any efforts in the House. If Republicans don't compromise on a withdrawal timetable, there's no impetus to pass a funding bill.

And without funding, there's no war.

Way to make me look dumb, Kos. And shut me up quick. I thank you for it.


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