“If liberals are unhappy about some decisions, and conservatives are unhappy about other decisions, then it may seem to them that the President is on the path of sensible compromise,” Cheney said. “But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.” “You cannot keep just some nuclear-armed terrorists out of the United States, you must keep every nuclear-armed terrorist out of the United States. Triangulation is a political strategy, not a national security strategy,” Cheney said. “There is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people are in the balance. “
THE SENATE: The Senate today finished work on its version f the war spending bill. This morning, Senators voted 94-1 to limit debate and amendments on the bill. The only "no" vote came from staunchly anti-war Democrat Russ Feingold. The key difference between the House and Senate versions was the Senate's inclusion of money for the IMF. Conservatives claimed that this money was unnecessary in a war funding bill (as if they would EVER want to spend money on the IMF). Democrats saw the funding as an important investment to help cure the global economy. Senator Jim DeMint offered an amendment stripping the IMF money out of the bill. The amendment was defeated 30-64. Interestingly, three Democrats voted for the amendment. Senator Bayh (IN) voted against it, presumably because it wasn't "fiscally responsible." Both Senators Sanders (VT) and Feingold (WI) voted against the money because they recognize that the IMF is a corrupt entity.
The vote on final passage of the bill was 86-3. The no votes were from Sanders (I-VT), Feingold (D-WI) and Coburn (R-OK). Those first two were because of principled war opposition. Coburn objected to the IMF money.
The Senate also agreed to a bunch of amendments by unanimous consent, including one from fear-loving Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) which prohibits President Obama from releasing torture photos. The House and Senate versions of the war funding bill will have to be reconciled during the recess. I don't expect conference negotiations to be too contentious. I'll guess that the bill makes it onto Obama's desk in 2 weeks time.
So there you have it, folks. Congress is in session for 5 weeks, they pass two major pieces of housing legislation, an important credit card reform bill, and an overhaul of military procurement rules. Not too shabby at all. The next few months are when the big ticket items like health care and energy will come up. We will be there with you every step of the way.