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Ear to the Ground

Get Ready, Here They Come

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Posted on Jan 1, 2007
Pelosi and Reid
nytimes.com

The first female speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Democrats are set to blitz Congress with a legislative agenda that tackles stem cell research, the minimum wage, ethics, 9/11 commission recommendations, oil subsidies, education and prescription drugs—all before President Bush arrives at the capital for the State of the Union address Jan. 23.

Conspicuously missing from that list is the biggest issue of all—Iraq—leaving some to wonder how responsive the Dems will be to the obvious wishes of the voters who brought them to power.


AP:

On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi will take the gavel as the first woman speaker in the history of the House, and immediately launch a 100 legislative-hour march to quickly put the Democratic stamp on the new Congress.

Before President Bush arrives on Capitol Hill on Jan. 23 for his State of the Union address, House Democrats intend to update ethics rules, raise the minimum wage, implement 9/11 Commission recommendations, cut subsidies to the oil industry, promote stem cell research and make college educations and prescription drugs more affordable.

“Democrats are prepared to govern and ready to lead,” said Pelosi, a Californian.

On the first day back, Democrats plan to change House rules on what members can accept from lobbyists. On the second day they’ll vote on other rules changes requiring that new spending or tax cuts be paid for and that pet projects tucked into larger bills be publicly disclosed.

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By Spinoza, January 2, 2007 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need an anti-Imperialist pro-peace foreign policy and domestically an addressing of the health care crisis, idealy socialized medicine. We need electoral reform including taking the money out of the process. We need to completely revamp the media and take it out of capitalist control.

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By DennisD, January 2, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth “Life” -
A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Seems very applicable to the non-agenda of the next do nothing that matters Congress.

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By WCG, January 2, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Complaints because the Democrats can’t fix - in 100 days - EVERYTHING the Bush administration has done in six years? And don’t forget, he’s still president. Not to mention the fact that the Democrats have a razor-thin lead in the Senate - a lead they still might lose.

Pelosi needs to do what she can quickly,... and Iraq won’t be quick. To my mind, ethics reform is most critical, since it’s a long-term issue with consequences lasting long after this Congress is over. And meaningful reform will fail if it’s delayed much at all.

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By William A. Franklin, January 2, 2007 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Missing from the Pelosi “pledges” is any mention of how the Dems will help reverse the ongoing destruction of our civil liberties and demolition of the Consitution and Bill of Rights.  Where are the items to largely revoke the Patriot Act and its amendments and renewals?  Where is the item to break up the HSA into smaller, more controllable elements?  Where is the items which address the Bankruptcy Act?  Where is Health Care?
Where are the many, many more issues which affect real people and lessen their lots? 

I am sure Mother Peolsi would say, sweetly and with conviction, “well, you just don’t understand the entire problem,.......”, to which I say to her, that phrase “don’t understand” is always the second lie in politics, following, “I love you”.

Well, now lets not get hasty, lots and lots of Democrats voted for those things—and they might find them handy to control us over time, so again, not to hasty…..and dont worry, we will take care or you (which is what I do fear).  Ah, perfidious Albion with a Democratic twist.

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By Jon B, January 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>>“Democrats are prepared to govern and ready to lead,” said Pelosi, a Californian.<<<

If Iraq isn’t the mother of all agenda and the only urgent matter to Pelosi, then she shouldn’t be the house speaker. Somehow I distrust her leadership if any.

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By CJ, January 1, 2007 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Agenda (minimal), far as it goes, is only slightly more than not much. Indeed, Speaker Pelosi, what about the war? Will anyone finally be held accountable? Will funding be cut off as Kucinich and a hundred others in Congress are advocating? Heard something on MSNBC that Americans think Bush was THE villain of 2006. MSNBC “anchor,” Contessa Brewer, saw fit to chastise—in her no doubt infinite wisdom—the viewing audience for being unfair to Mr. Bush. Who says media doesn’t propagandize? Got to keep an eye on mainstream media, folks. They’re out there pushing the party line—all the time.

Couple things re agenda: The minimum wage increase will result in about a third of what people actually need to lead half-way decent lives. I believe I heard the median price of a home here in the LA area is by now $450,000. Good luck minimum-wage earners! Hell, good luck people earning three times minimum wage! The miserly increase should really help out. Even if it’s true California’s minimum wage is slightly higher than the federal minimum wage—by about two bucks per hour.

In connection with minimal minimum-wage increase, prescription drugs, as with all healthcare, will remain unaffordable for millions. Pity national healthcare also appears to be “off the table.”

Finally, rules changes and reducing amounts lobbyists can “donate.” The objective, one would think, would be to shut down K Street altogether, even if that also means leftist donators. Of course, were that proposed and taken seriously, lobbyists then be lobbying to lobby! The principle virtue of even proposing such a ban would be to expose the wielding of power for the utter absurdity it really is. Barring any substantive change, I suggest Congress ought to rename K Street. How about Easy Street? Now that I think of it, why not rename Washington DC? How about Cash-Cow Town? How about a contest to rename both K Street and DC, such that names reflect reality? How about Chrome Dome for the capitol building? In fact, why not chrome-plate the capitol dome? Maybe the White House as well? Elites should strut their stuff, be open and honest as to their attitude toward us plebes. Damnit, lets get down to brass tacks and call this “deal” what it is: neo-Feudalism.

Otherwise, the one thing we can certainly count on is that Dems will do nothing to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, etc., etc., and so on and forth.

“Letting the days go by, water flowing underground…into the blue again, after the money’s gone. Same as it ever was…same as it ever was.” (I assume all readers recognize these lyrics from Talking Heads’ “Once In a Lifetime.”) Speaker Pelosi and Democratic Party leading lights (Clinton, Biden, Obama, et al.) represent very little more than “Same as it ever was.”

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By Quy Tran, January 1, 2007 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just bring justice to Bush and Co.

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By HeadlessHessian, January 1, 2007 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

God I can’t stand the suspense!  grin  what a rat fight!.. aka ‘checks and balances’ 
It is about time..we need to address our national issues and screw all others for heaven sakes.  We need to make our country strong and respected..and that begins at home.
Forget impeaching that twit..we’d only wind up with Darth as president and nothing to show for all the headaches.  I want to see the country revolt when he dares to veto something like minimum wage, or ethics laws, or stem cell research.


Headless

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By Livia, January 1, 2007 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They have to start somewhere. They might as well dig in and get something real accomplished right away. It’s all 7 years overdue.

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