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The Political Fallout of John Murtha’s Death

The Political Fallout of John Murtha's DeathDemocratic Rep. John Murtha died Monday. Representing a competitive working-class Pennsylvania district, Murtha is being remembered for his influence on defense, his volte-face on the Iraq War, and his close friendship with Nancy Pelosi. Commentators on the left and right are greeting his death with sympathy, while acknowledging disagreements. Beltway pundits, of course, are quickly laying out the prospects for the race in his district.

Political Predictions

  • Prepare for a Fight Rick Klein of ABC News “Murtha’s district is certain to be hotly contested this year. Republicans have long viewed his predominantly rural district as a prime pick-up opportunity. Murtha’s was the only congressional district in the country to support John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008.”
  • Weakens Democrats Further writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. “Murtha’s passing comes at a tenuous time for House Democrats as they seek to convince some of their older members to re-up for another term in the face of what looks to be a difficult national political environment for the party. … Murtha’s death also makes Pennsylvania perhaps the most competitive state in the country when it comes to the battle for the House.”


Proposal to send FEMA trailers to Haiti

The trailer industry and lawmakers are pressing the government to send Haiti thousands of potentially formaldehyde-laced trailers left over from Hurricane Katrina.


The 100,000 trailers became a symbol of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s bungled response to Katrina.

The government had bought the trailers to house victims of the 2005 storm, but after people began falling ill, high levels of formaldehyde, a chemical that is used in building materials and can cause breathing problems and perhaps cancer, were found inside. Many of the trailers have sat idle for years

This document is the most interesting. It’s a standard part of the job description package for most federal jobs. It is entitled “FEMA Job Hazard Analysis” and lists, in helpful chart form, the activities involved in the position. The position is Logistics Material Specialist, Trailer In-Bound Inspection (the guy or gal who inspects a brand-new trailer before it is sent off to a needy family in the Gulf).

Under the “Physical Hazard” for those entering a new trailer it says, “Formaldehyde off gassing…” Continue reading

Obama administration opposes funding for 911 health bil

The Obama administration stunned New York‘s delegation Thursday, dropping the bombshell news that it does not support funding the 9/11 health bill.

Why are you ignoring the rescue workers who are sick and dieing? How did building 7 come down? The EPAs lies are causing the deaths of thousands of first responders. Still no response from the Mayor.

Where the Hell is Secretary Napolitano?

Top Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee publicly reprimanded Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today for failing to show up at a hearing where the committee examined the attempted Christmas Day suicide bombing of Northwest Flight 253. One Democrat on the committee said he wanted to know “where the hell” Napolitano was.

The committee has primary oversight over Napolitano’s department, and top Democrats on the panel made it clear they were angry that she failed to show up for such an important hearing. Continue reading

Blair says ‘I’d do it again’

Former British Prime Minister appears before Iraq War Inquiry

London, England (CNN) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he fully believed his pre-war claim that Iraq was capable of launching chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.

“I did believe it, frankly, beyond doubt,” Blair testified Friday before an inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Blair said Friday that concern over Iraq’s ambitions to develop weapons of mass destruction had been the main factor behind Britain’s decision to back the war.

“This isn’t about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception,” Mr. Blair said. “It’s a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam’s history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking U.N. resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons program or is that a risk it is responsible to take?”

He went on: “The decision I took — and frankly would take again — was: if there was any possibility that he could develop weapons of mass destruction, we would stop him. It was my view then and that is my view now.”

After six hours of testimony, though, Mr. Blair seemed to have betrayed no new secrets.

Mexico Senate OKs Bill To Legalize Drug Possesion


Mexico’s Senate approved a bill on Tuesday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of narcotics for personal use, in order to free resources to fight violent drug cartels.

The bill, proposed by conservative President Felipe Calderon, would make it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny quantities of other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines.

Mexico’s Congress passed a similar proposal in 2006 but the bill was vetoed by Calderon’s predecessor Vicente Fox, under pressure from the United States, which said it would increase drug abuse, but now is worried by the drug-related violence along its border.