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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Huskers beat Huskies, 2-1

Posted by Thomas Nephew on March 27th, 2007

By 50-48, Senate Democrats have defeated an amendment to strike the Iraq withdrawal timetable from H.R.1591, the Obey Iraq supplemental bill — with some critical help from Nebraska. TPM’s Greg Sargent:

Conservative Democrat Ben Nelson — a potential supporter of the amendment — stuck with the Democrats and opposed it. On the GOP side, Senators Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith voted against it.

Meanwhile, vulnerable GOP Senator Susan Collins voted for it, as did her colleague Olympia Snowe (and as did Lieberman).

This seemed possible since yesterday when minority leader Mitch McConnell announced he wouldn’t block the Senate version of the House supplemental appropriations bill (H.R.1591) with parliamentary delaying tactics requiring 60 votes to overcome.

Still, despite having heard Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) was going to support benchmarks for withdrawal, I was skeptical he’d actually vote with the rest of the Democrats until I saw it on the Senate web site. I’m just about as pleasantly surprised by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) , who in the past has often talked about opposing Bush, but then still voted for him when push came to shove.

So color Nebraska a nice deep blue for now– bluer than Connecticut at any rate, where Senators Dodd (D-CT) and Lieberman voted against eachother. Go Huskers!

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NOTE: “announced”– Anne Flaherty, “Senate GOP Will Not Block Iraq Bill,”AP via Washington Post, 3/26.

7 Responses to “Huskers beat Huskies, 2-1”

  1. eRobin Says:

    cute hook

  2. Nell Says:

    I’m so pleased that Webb voted for it, and also am impressed with the speeches he and Hagel gave for their readiness amendment (similar to the Murtha requirements on the House side). I’ll be very interested to see the vote on that; Reid co-sponsored it.
    Also, word is that Webb’s Iran bill will be offered as an amendment to the supplemental, too. That could come up for a vote this afternoon or tonight, or tomorrow. Likewise, a roll call of deep interest. Even if it fails, it’ll be a valuable guide for where pressure’s needed before it’s re-offered as a standalone.

  3. Swan Says:

    Off topic-
    Re: prosecutor-purgegate
    http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/10315.html
    http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/10322.html
    What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldnÂ?t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?
    It wouldnÂ?t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldnÂ?t talk about it.

  4. Swan Says:

    Re: the Iraq war in general
    (also see this post)
    Ever since the months prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there have been a few reports in the newspapers that the Central Intelligence Agency was casting aspersions on the intelligence the White House was relying on to justify the war. The CIA has never given a position on whether the war is needed or justified or said that Bush is wrong to go to war. But doesn’t it seem much more likely that the CIA is an extremely right wing organization than a left wing one? After all, even if the people working for them and at least a lot of the leadership really wanted a war for their own reasons, there are a lot of reasons for them to not want to tie their credibility to what they know is faulty information. They and their personnel, present and former, could use other means of promoting the Iraq war, and still be motivated to make the statements in the media. If the CIA got behind faulty information, they would have to make a choice between whether they would be involved in scamming the American people and the world once the military had invaded Iraq and no weapons were found- so: 1) Imagine the incredible difficulties involved in pulling off a hoax that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Imagine all the people you would have to be able to show the weapons to- the inspectors from the UN / the international community, the American press, statesmen, etc. Then imagine the difficulties of substantiating that story to people who would examine it- the lack of witnesses to a production plant that made the weapons or to transportation operations or storage of the weapons during Hussein’s regime of them. 2) If the story fell apart upon inspection or the CIA tried not to hoax it at all, imagine the loss of credibility they would suffer. The CIA, it is safe to bet, does not want to be known to the American people as a group that lies to them to send them to war. Even within the CIA there could be disagreement among people about how involved they should be in promoting the war or the neo-con agenda more broadly, so the CIA would have to worry about lying to and managing its own people after trying so hard to get them to trust their superiors in the agency, and perhaps there simply might be too many people in the agency who knew enough about what was going on in Iraq to know if someone was deceiving people to promote this war.
    So there is a lot of reason to be cautious against being seen as endorsing what they knew was false intelligence even if they were very strong supporters of going to war.

  5. Thomas Nephew Says:

    eRobin: cute hooks ‘r us! 🙂
    Swan: Re media failing to cover the attorney firings, your theory is possible, but there may be simpler explanations — not that they reflect much credit on news media either. I think one of the big steps in the story was simply connecting the dots between multiple firings; each was seemingly a regional story, not a national one. That plus the “pleasure of the President” gloss put on each firing separately — and for a while thereafter — put national news organizations off the scent. When TPM discovered the national connection and started beating the drums about it, there may have been an “oh there go those bloggers again” reaction. (Personally, I think TPM deserves a Pulitzer for this; that’d show ’em!)
    Re CIA: I’m no CIA expert, and maybe I’m misunderstanding your point, but at the end of the day, they *weren’t* cautious about endorsing false intelligence — or at least Tenet wasn’t, he called Iraqi WMD a “slam dunk”. On the other hand, I’ve read that many of the agency’s analysts — eg, Paul Pillar — were skeptical about WMD, the Saddam/Bin Laden connection, the wisdom of going to war in Iraq, or all of the above. Just not energetically enough to matter.
    Nell: You probably get their e-mail, too, but MoveOn specifically requested people call their Senators about the Iran amendment yesterday, along with supporting the timelined-Iraq -supplemental bill. (BTW, how ’bout Webb! I just explain to people that “concealed carry” is mandatory in VA now… that’s right, isn’t it? 🙂 )

  6. Nell Says:

    Yeah, we had a good chuckle about the Webb gun thing at our county Dem meeting last night; it can only help him around here. I just hope the charges get dismissed against Philip Thompson before things go too far.
    But, to my disappointment, the Webb Iran amendment never got offered, and the Hagel-Webb-Reid readiness requirements amendment got withdrawn shortly after it was offered. Explanation of sorts in comments at Tiny Revo.

  7. Thomas Nephew Says:

    Well, hell. (I seem to write that every few weeks on this subject.) I guess I see the rationale you describe in your “Tiny Revolution” comment (12:09PM, 3/29 timestamp, for others who follow your link) — ie, don’t make Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) mad. I just worry that the Era of New Possibilities won’t extend to debating Webb’s Iran bill. That is, McConnell may decide to force a 60-vote majority cloture vote on debate of a standalone bill about Iran, which he’d probably win with the 45+ GOP senators he’d line up to oppose cloture. So stay after Warner!
    And I’ll stay after Cardin and Mikulski. When I called yesterday, Cardin staffer told me he “supports” Webb’s bill, but he’s not listed as a cosponsor of the Webb bill S.759, in fact no one is according to thomas.gov. Mikulski’s e-mailed me what seemed like a fairly hawkish stand, although she wound up saying she’s for diplomatic efforts — but also maybe a gasoline embargo… which would be enforced how…?

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