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- Bonus Quote of the Day
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Posts in "Foreign Policy"
April 8, 2013
An abiding aphorism for the Republican Party’s rightward shift is that Ronald Reagan couldn’t win a party primary today. Something very similar could be said of Margaret Thatcher.
The ocean of hagiography that poured out from congressional conservatives after her death Monday belies a simple truth. A quick read of the Thatcher record reveals a lot of daylight between the way she ran Britain in the 1980s and the way the GOP would run the federal government now. Full story
March 19, 2013
The 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War on Tuesday was a generally muted affair, reflecting the sustained national ambivalence about whether it merited the deaths of 4,488 Americans in uniform, the wounding of another 32,000 or the deficit spending that crested above $800 billion even before the last combat troops left 15 months ago.
That more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died — and that their country remains beset by sectarian tensions, terrorist bombings and political stalemate — helps account for the fact that the American public is split over whether the conflict was worth it: 46 percent said the war mostly achieved its aims, while 43 percent called it mainly a failure, according to a Pew Research Center poll from last weekend. That’s a statistical tie given the poll’s margin of error.
That the war has had a profound effect on the institution of Congress during the past decade is not up for dispute.
The invasion was the last major military operation granted an explicit, advance stamp of approval by Congress, and the lopsided and bipartisan votes of October 2002 remain the only time lawmakers ever authorized a preemptive strike on a sovereign nation. Full story
March 13, 2013
You’ll have Pope Francis to thank for a shortened period of legislating next week — and for an exception to new limitations on members’ overseas trips imposed by the sequester.
House votes are sure to be called off Tuesday, the day of the papal inaugural mass at the Vatican, and more than a dozen lawmakers are likely to be sent there as the official congressional delegation.
Politically, there are two very simple rationales for scrambling the pre-recess schedule and spending more than is in the budget on a quick round trip to Rome: The American public won’t mind, and the members of Congress will demand it. Full story