S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Congress to plunge back in this week.

Fresh from time away from Washington, Congress will be back in action with high profile hearings and efforts to pass legislation. Their approval ratings from the public are up, and the situation in Iraq may or may not be improving. Our current president (OCP) has been out on the road talking up the war and immigration reform. And Congress takes up stem cell research next.
And after a week of campaigning, Senators running for President will get back to work . . . . . or not. New journalistic kid on the block, carried an interesting story headlined, "Dear Senators: About Those Missed Votes... ," (4/10/07) by Carrie Budoff. To quote,
Yes, you're running for president. . . But what about voting, your chief chore in Washington?
. . . Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), you come around a bit more often, but not nearly as much as Senate apple-polishers Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), homebodies by comparison. They've made it to all but three votes.
Congress: 100 days and rising - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent her time off in the Middle East without permission from OCP, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making stronger and stronger direct challenges to OCP. The public is not yet convinced that change will happen in Iraq, but they are more approving of Congress than of OCP. Yahoo! News has the latest, headlined, "AP Poll: Congress approval up," (4/10/07) by David Espo. Quoting from Espo's article,
Public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power and step up their confrontation with President Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, the issue that overshadows all others.
. . . Overall approval for Congress is 40 percent. The survey shows Bush's approval ratings remain in the mid-30 percent range, that a striking 39 percent strongly disapproves his handling of foreign policy and the war on terror, and that the public has scant hopes that the president and Congress can work together to solve the country's problems.
. . . While Pelosi has commanded much of the spotlight for the Democrats, the party's Senate leader, Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) of Nevada, has shown an increasing willingness to challenge Bush over Iraq.
. . . Forty percent of those surveyed said they approve the job Congress is doing, up from 25 percent approval registered for the Republican majority in the weeks leading to last fall's elections. Disapproval of Congress totals 57 percent. The public opinion split is identical on the issue of Democratic handling of Iraq — 40 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove.
And there is Iraq - Yesterday, thousands of supporters of Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr marched in the Iraqi city of Najaf. They are being urged to fight "the occupiers, the Americans," not each other.
And Congress perceives a stem cell research mandate since their election last fall. A number of Republicans are trying to put together something that can get bipartisan support. In the current climate that is paramount, since OCP is now in full veto mode. The news from Reuters is headlined: "Stem cell vote set for Congress this week," (4/8/07) by Maggie Fox. To quote,
The Senate will consider two bills, one virtually identical to a bill vetoed by President George W. Bush last year that would have expanded and encouraged federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.
The other is a compromise measure worked out by Republicans Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. It would encourage stem cell research on embryos that have naturally lost the ability to develop into fetuses, such as those that have died "naturally" during fertility treatments.
. . . Polls show the U.S. public consistently supports embryonic stem cell research, especially using embryos left over from fertility treatments.
. . . [Sean Tipton said] the current Democratic-controlled Senate will be even friendlier. "When the Senate passes this bill, the president is going to be under incredible pressure to acknowledge that the science has changed and to acknowledge that the American people support this research," he said in a telephone interview.
Republicans no longer own everything. They have the White House, but it is almost in shambles. The ineptitude and scandal is more and more apparent to the news reading public, who now waits for Congress to clean up some of the mess. We shall see what happens.
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My "creative post" today at Making Good Mondays is about the promise of Spring.

1 comment:

Kitchen Window Woman said...

I hope that they do more than they have been doing. It is not enough and it looks like the Dems. are softening about cutting the war funding. Any plans for an attack on Iran need to be stopped and our wounded, brain injured and PTSD suffereng troops need a lot more help than they are getting. I wish we had more like Henry Waxman and John Conyers!