Friday, June 09, 2006
Political Hot Topics
LIFE AFTER AL-ZARQAWI: Analysts and military spokesmen said Thursday that the death of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed Wednesday when two 500-pound bombs obliterated his hideout north of Baghdad, will not extinguish the sectarian conflict that he helped foment and that is now claiming many more lives in Iraq than his campaign of beheadings and bombings. Washington Post: After Zarqawi, No Clear Path in Weary Iraq

WHITE HOUSE CAREFUL IN HANDLING AL-ZARQAWI NEWS: In celebrating the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as a victory for Iraqis and Americans, White House officials were careful on Thursday to acknowledge that his death would not mean the end of the insurgency he had led. The muted approach marked a departure from the triumphalism with which the White House has greeted some other major events in the war in Iraq. From the moment in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon when President Bush heard the first, tentative reports about Mr. Zarqawi's death, White House aides said he cautioned against jubilation. New York Times: Bush Responds to the Killing of a Terrorist With Caution

3 IRAQI CABINET OFFICIALS CONFIRMED BY PARLIAMENT: Iraq's parliament approved three key security officials yesterday, ending an impasse that had threatened Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's plan for Iraqis to gradually take over security from U.S. and other foreign troops. Efforts to name the defense, interior and national security ministers had been snarled by squabbling among the Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties in the unity government that took office May 20. The frictions were fed by the surge in sectarian conflict in recent months. AP via Baltimore Sun: Iraqi parliament approves 3 crucial security officials

THE END OF AN ERA: In his trademark combative style, Rep. Tom DeLay bid farewell today to his colleagues in a speech in the House chamber where he applauded the virtues of partisanship and criticized compromise that betrays principles. Partisanship, said the Sugar Land Republican, "is not a symptom of a democracy's weakness, but of its health and strength." "You show me a nation without partisanship, and I'll show you a tyranny," said the former majority leader who has been in the House for more than two decades. Houston Chronicle: DeLay bids farewell to his House colleagues and Text of his farewell address

TX DEMS WANT DELAY ON BALLOT: The Texas Democratic Party won a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking the process that would name a replacement for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on the November ballot. State District Judge Darlene Byrne ordered Texas GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser not to convene party officials to decide on DeLay's replacement until after a June 22 court hearing. Democrats are trying to keep DeLay's name on the ballot, which would also keep his legal problems in front of voters. DeLay leaves Congress on Friday. AP via Yahoo! News: Democrats want DeLay's name on ballot

SENATE FAILS TO KILL THE PARIS HILTON TAX: The Senate refused Thursday to kill the estate tax on inherited wealth, marking the clearest sign yet that at least some of the tax cuts passed at the initiative of President Bush in 2001 won't be made permanent. The effort failed when a group of mostly Republican senators who wanted to repeal the tax failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster; they fell short, 57-41. USA Today: Senate rejects efforts to abolish estate tax; GOP leaders pledge to try again

HOUSE DEMS WANT JEFFERSON OFF WAYS AND MEANS: Members of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee voted to toss Rep. William Jefferson (La.) from the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday evening, a recommendation that is expected to be ratified next Thursday by the full Democratic Caucus -- unless the Congressman steps down on his own before then. Roll Call: Vote Sets Stage for Jefferson Ways and Means Expulsion

SPECTER VS. CHENEY, ROUND TWO: Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday told the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman that he is willing to work with Congress on new rules governing the White House's eavesdropping program. But Cheney stopped short of promising any action as he responded to a terse letter from Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the day before. AP via Yahoo! News: Cheney responds to eavesdropping rules

DASCHLE IN THE GRANITE STATE: Tom Daschle, once the most important Democrat in the Senate, tested a possible appeal to New Hampshire voters Thursday to make him the most important Democrat in 2008. The former three-term senator, who is considering a White House bid, excoriated President Bush in a speech to local New Hampshire Democrats, arguing that the chief executive and his administration "have got to be the most arrogant crowd I ever worked with." AP via Yahoo! News: Daschle tests New Hampshire for candidacy

RUDY RULES OUT INDEPENDENT RUN FOR PRESIDENT: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ruled out running for president as an independent, blunting speculation that he would do better outside the Republican party. "I'll run as a Republican if I run," Giuliani said at a press conference before a speech yesterday in Chicago to the World Business Forum, a gathering of 1,500 senior corporate executives. Bloomberg: Giuliani Says He Wouldn't Run for President as an Independent

ARNOLD AND ANGELIDES GET READY TO RUMBLE: From Eureka to San Diego, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his newly minted Democratic challenger Phil Angelides churned across California and clashed over tax increases Wednesday as they opened their five-month battle over the state's top office. Los Angeles Times: Governor's Race Hits the Road

IMMIGRANTS APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP IN RECORD NUMBERS: Driven by the fierce congressional debate over immigration, immigrants nationwide are applying for U.S. citizenship in record numbers or seeking to solidify their legal status in a move to protect themselves at a time of political uncertainty. Many fear that laws could toughen, preventing them from becoming naturalized or from bringing relatives into the United States; others appear to be motivated by the chance to obtain more rights and boost their political clout through voting. Washington Post: Applications for U.S. Citizenship Surge

CONGRESS GETTING OLDER: As a body, the Senate is rapidly closing in on qualifying for Medicare: The average age of the 100-member chamber in January 2005, the beginning of the 109th Congress, was 60.4 years old. That's the oldest it has ever been, according to the Senate Historical Office. The House's average age is 55, the oldest since at least 1949. USA Today: Congress getting grayer but not ready to retire
Posted By David DeSola, CNN Washington Bureau: 6/09/2006 10:26:00 AM ET | Permalink
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