December 2nd, 2007

ronin

It's been like three days since I called for the nuking of DC...


And we can't have that! ;]

One of the two biggest open secrets in American politics is that no bill is needed to end the legal funding of the occupation of Iraq. The occupation can be ended with an announcement by Congressional leaders that there will be no more funding. Any proposal to fund it can be blocked by 41 senators, or by one if his name is Reid. Bush has plenty of money for withdrawal (an understatement so dramatic it feels dishonest) and could be given more for that exclusive purpose (if Congress insisted). When your television tells you that the Democrats need 60 or 67 senators in order to end the occupation, your television is lying to you.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could if they wanted announce today that the House and Senate will no longer bring to a vote any bills to fund anything other than withdrawal. They have many colleagues already on board with that position, not to mention two thirds of the country. It would take 218 signatures on a discharge petition to force a bill to the floor of the House without Pelosi's approval. It is unlikely enough Democrats would oppose their party to fund Bush's occupation in that way. In the Senate, Reid alone could refuse to bring a bill to the floor, or another senator could put a secret hold on a bill. And, while not all bills can be filibustered (appropriations bills can be, budget reconciliation bills cannot), you can hardly claim you need 60 votes to get past a filibuster without admitting that with only 41 you could launch your own filibuster and that with 51 you could defeat any bill. Once we understand the goal as blocking bills rather than passing them, the number of allies we need shrinks dramatically. Blocking a bill in either the House or the Senate is sufficient to block it.

Here's a transcript of Reid admitting that he could block the funding but won't.


http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/29076


This article also points out that one of Dubya's latest signing statements allows him to allocate money from the hundreds of billions of dollars of funds marked for the Pentagon and use it for the continuing occupation of Iraq instead. Massively unconstitutional? Of course! But with a Congress that absolutely refuses to do a damn thing as Bush guts the constitution on a monthly basis, what exactly did you expect?