Monday, September 08, 2008

Beware: Congress is Back

Congress returns to Washington this week for another three weeks of trying to pass funding bills whose contents have been scrutinized by subcommittees and committees instead of the usual fare of late: the Pentagon aside, Congress throws everything into a massive omnibus funding bill that no members have read, that no member will take the time to read, and therefore will vote into law provisions that are detrimental to the country as a whole.

Even separate pieces of harmful legislation that address policy issues can get introduced and start down the process of enactment. Hector. 362 which would authorize the president to impose a blockade on Iran, is a case in point. The proposed legislation, if enacted, would be the equivalent of a declaration of war. Yet more than a clear majority of the House of Representatives signed on as co-sponsors before because they simply did not read the legislation.

But while our democracy seems to be inoperative, the Iraqi parliament is steaming ahead full tilt to keep the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki honest and transparent. Newspaper reports that a deal was almost in the bag on U.S. security guarantees and the status of US troops in Iraq after December 31, 2008 apparently were accurate. Secretary of State Rice flew into Baghdad to seal the deal, only to find al-Maliki back-peddling about the conditions and length of time US forces could stay – hence the2011 date for all foreign troops out.

It’s a bit ironic that the teacher who “gave” democracy to Iraq now can’t match the student’s accomplishments.


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