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Politics : Moderate Forum -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: average joe who wrote (20743)12/21/2010 6:08:44 PM
From: Skywatcher  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 20773

Republicans stiffen opposition to nuclear treaty with Russia
They insist there are too many questions and too little time left in this Congress to OK the arms pact.

By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau

December 20, 2010

Reporting from Washington
Click here to find out more!

Senate Republican leaders Sunday took their most aggressive stance yet against a proposed arms control treaty with Russia, casting new doubts over its chances of approval during the remaining days of the current Congress.

The top two GOP members of the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), said they opposed ratification of the New START treaty, which requires two-thirds of the Senate — 67 votes — to pass.

McConnell, citing concerns about language in the treaty concerning missile defense, accused Democrats of trying to fast-track the agreement.

"All of a sudden, we're once again trying to rush things right here before Christmas Eve," McConnell told CNN. "I think that was not the best way to get the support of people like me."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) quickly responded, saying he was disappointed at McConnell's decision.

"I know many senators, including my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who share the belief that this treaty is too critical to our national security to delay," Reid said.

Supporters of the treaty say its quick approval is necessary in order for the United States to resume close monitoring of Russia's nuclear stockpile.

There was one note of bipartisanship amid the discord. McConnell said that he and Reid had agreed on a deal to keep the government funded into March, guaranteeing a budget showdown in the new Congress, which will be partially controlled by the GOP.

Republicans are annoyed that Reid took time away from the treaty debate on the floor Saturday to advance a bill to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which ultimately passed, and the Dream Act, the citizenship bill for children of illegal immigrants, which fell victim to a filibuster.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Kyl said whether the treaty received a vote depended on whether enough time remained before the end of session to consider Republican amendments.

"This treaty needs to be fixed," Kyl said. "And we are not going to have the time to do that in the bifurcated way or trifurcated way that we're dealing with it here, with other issues being parachuted in all the time."

Kyl warned that he would vote against the treaty if language in its preamble pertaining to a missile defense shield wasn't altered.

Democrats beat back such an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Saturday, which would have effectively killed the deal because it would have required the U.S. to return to the negotiating table. They defeated another proposed amendment Sunday that dealt with tactical nuclear weapons.

Reid may attempt to file a motion to cut off Senate debate Monday or Tuesday in order to set up a vote before Christmas Eve.

Kyl and other Republicans contend the treaty's language limits the U.S. capacity to deploy a missile defense system in Europe. In a letter to McConnell on Saturday, President Obama maintained otherwise.

"The New START treaty places no limitations on the development or deployment of our missile defense programs," Obama said. "We are proceeding apace with a missile defense system in Europe designed to provide full coverage for NATO members on the continent, as well as deployed U.S. forces."

Obama also used his weekly address Saturday to call for the treaty's approval. Ratification would hand him another political accomplishment heading into the new year, along with the bipartisan tax-cut deal and the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

The White House continued to press moderate Republican senators to support the treaty.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate assistant majority leader, said on Fox News that he was still optimistic the treaty would be ratified before Christmas. "I think we need to bring this to a vote," he said.

To: average joe who wrote (20743)1/21/2011 12:53:43 PM
From: Skywatcher2 Recommendations  Respond to of 20773
Idiot Rick Santorum: Obama's Abortion Stance "Remarkable for a Black Man"

Not that I expect much from Rick Santorum, who's not exactly the poster child for cultural and racial sensitivity, but honestly (via Talking Points Memo):

The question is -- and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer -- is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person -- human life is not a person, then -- I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'we're going to decide who are people and who are not people.

That was an excerpt from former Senator Santorum's recent Christian News Service interview, in which he also trashed the notion of same-sex couples having the right to marry or adopt. Among other things, he said heterosexual marriage "is nature. And what we're trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don't think that's to the benefit of society or to the child."

As wretched as Santorum's views are, they shouldn't really shock us since so many people in America clearly agree with the former Congressman. Dave Weigel over at Slate discusses that point:

The coverage of [the abortion] quote so far doesn't appreciate how mainstream Santorum's point is among pro-life activists. Many pro-life activists consider their work a continuation of other movements that protected human life and elevated the status of people whom the law doesn't consider "human." In the 19th century, it was African-Americans; in the 21st century, it's children in the womb. This is a common point at the annual March for Life. In 2009, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry told activists at the pro-life event: "You are the new abolitionists. You are the new civil-rights movement."

This is especially important to remember as the Republicans in the newly GOP-controlled House start to flex their political muscles. Anti-choice Republicans in the 112th Congress are said to be planning to "push hard" on women's reproductive rights this year, attempting to restrict abortion access and de-fund critical pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood.
By Lauren Kelley | Sourced from AlterNet