Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

House Approves Defeat

Yes, leave it to Speaker Pelosi to get her way. The House's version of Reid/Levin passed, but by bare means, indeed:

Iraq has achieved only spotty military and political progress toward a democratic society, the Bush administration conceded Thursday, an unenthusiastic assessment followed quickly by a House vote to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.

The measure passed 223-201 in the Democratic-controlled House despite a veto threat from President Bush, who has ruled out any change in war policy before September.

"The security situation in Iraq remains complex and extremely challenging," the administration report concluded. The economic picture is uneven, it added, and the government has not yet enacted vital political reconciliation legislation.

As many as 80 suicide bombers per month cross into the country from Syria, said the interim assessment, which is to be followed by a fuller accounting in September from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in the region.

"I believe we can succeed in Iraq, and I know we must," Bush said at a White House news conference at which he stressed the interim nature of the report.

Describing a document produced by his administration at Congress' insistence, he said there was satisfactory progress by the Iraqi government toward meeting eight of 18 so-called benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on eight more and mixed results on the others.

To his critics — including an increasing number of Republicans — he said bluntly, "I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding the troops."

Democrats saw it differently.

A few hours after Bush's remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.

The vote generally followed party lines: 219 Democrats and four Republicans in favor, and 191 Republicans and 10 Democrats opposed.

"The report makes clear that not even the White House can conclude there has been significant progress," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The president is correct about congress's job. Nancy Pelosi is positively wrong for making that statement about the Surge and the progress made. One cannot make n educated, knowledgeable assessment of the Surge when it has only been going on for about two weeks, at full strength.

Earlier this afternoon, Hugh Hewitt had an interview with Michael Yon (that transcript will be here shortly), and in that interview Mr. Yon stated that from what he sees, the Surge is working. All we must do is give it a chance. Congress agreed to give General Petreus and the Surge a chance, and now impatience and pessimism is taking hold. They did get their way in the House, albeit without the veto-proof majoirty, and now this is going to the Senate. As Thomas observed in one of his numerous posts this afternoon, forty-one is the magic number to stop them from achieving a victory on this legislation.

If neither House can produce passed legislation by a veto-proof margin, then this debate is a waste of time and money for Congress because the president will simply veto each one that lands on his desk.



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