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The Agenda
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's coming in waves. Yesterday I noted the LA Times piece which lays out what many liberal groups are demanding. At the forefront are changes to the Patriot Act and strengthening abortion laws as well as addressing gun control not to mention more for labor.

Nancy Pelosi is sticking with her agenda to this point:
With integrity, civility, and fiscal responsibility as our guide, Democrats intend to move forward with the agenda for change on which we were elected. We will:

• Make America safer by implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.

• Make our economy fairer by raising the minimum wage and ending taxpayer subsidies for sending jobs overseas.

• Make college more affordable by cutting the interest rates on student loans.

• Improve healthcare by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices and promoting stem-cell research.

• Achieve energy independence within 10 years by investing America's energy dollars in the Midwest instead of the Middle East.

• Guarantee a dignified retirement by improving Medicare, protecting Social Security, and making it easier to save for retirement.
Not mentioned among this plethora of spending initiatives (and yes they will cost tax payers a heap when we see the real bills which will put these vagaries into action) is the pay-as-you-go she also has mentioned ... occasionally. Of course there are two way to implement PAYGo isn't there? Cut *cough, cough* spending or raise taxes. Any bets as to the choice?

Leon Panetta weighs in with an alternate plan:
While both sides are speaking the words of reconciliation, nothing will really change until they can trust each other. After six years of partisan trench warfare, that will not be easy. It begins with a cease-fire on the rhetoric of cheap shots and ultimatums. Karl Rove and other political consultants need to take a long vacation. Both sides need to speak honestly with each other and be willing to compromise.

The legislative work can begin on areas where there is likely consensus: immigration reform, lobbying and ethics reform, and education with the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

If that works, Congress and the administration can move on to negotiate tougher issues like establishing long-term budget discipline, expanding energy alternatives, fixing the prescription drug benefit and increasing the minimum wage.
The fear among many on the right is exactly what Panetta points to in areas of consensus, namely that a weak, watery immigration bill which will grant defacto amnesty.

As for lobbying and ethics reform ... I don't care who passes it ... pass it.

And, unfortunately, I agree that NCLB fiscal boondoggle will again pass as will minimum wage. As for the elephant in the room.

Pelosi:
The president's acceptance of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation on Wednesday is an encouraging step. It's an opportunity for a fresh start in Iraq, and I hope it's a precursor to a change in policy.
Panetta:
And, finally, on the war in Iraq, despite the bitter differences, both the Democrats and the president face the same brutal reality. We need a new strategy to stabilize Iraq so that our troops can begin to come home without leaving a disaster behind. The president took an important step by replacing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with Robert Gates. The Iraq Study Group led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, of which I am a member, will soon make its recommendations, which we hope will provide the beginning of a unified strategy.
Still no real plan.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
"Make college more affordable by cutting the interest rates on student loans."

This just kills me. Is there a single Democrat in America who has ever looked at the price side of the equation? Or is the steady liberal voting block of higher ed just too sacred to even explore this?

"Achieve energy independence within 10 years by investing America’s energy dollars in the Midwest instead of the Middle East."

Holy sh*t!? Is there oil in my backyard here in Iowa?
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Holy sh*t!? Is there oil in my backyard here in Iowa?
Yeah, it’s called "corn". Don’t you know? The magic answer is "ethanol".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh, THAT. I thought there was actually something of value here.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
well if you get a lot of goverment subsidies to buy the energy produced by fossil fuels that you need to produce ethanol i suppose you could sell it for a nice profit.
 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
Leon Panetta weighs in with an alternate plan:
While both sides are speaking the words of reconciliation, nothing will really change until they can trust each other. After six years of partisan trench warfare, that will not be easy.
Six years?

Is the man really daft enough to think that all this hyper- partisanship started when George Bush was elected? Is is memory so short that he doesn’t remember the Democrats,and their doings when Reagan, and Bush 41, and Bubba were in office?

Or is it just that he thinks our memory is that short?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://

 
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