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MUNDANE DISTRACTIONS
House of Murtha 
19th-Nov-2005 11:38 am
Well, if you keep up with news on any level you've likely heard about the Democrat who called for an "immediate withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq. That Democrat is Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. The only problem is there is some confusion on if he said that or not.

Originally there was a slew of stories from various "news sources" (including Al Jazeera) using the phrase "immediate withdrawal." Do a search with your favorite search engine using a 'News' option if possible (usually "democrat murtha" will give you good results) and have a look at some of the headers that pop up. Interesting stuff.

But, if you want to read the statement Murtha actually released go here. Do a search on that page for "immediate." It's going to give you two matches and they're both part of the phrase "immediately redeploy" and they're both at the end of the release. If you want to see how Murtha delivered this statement verbally go here and choose your format to hear or see (I listened and read along with the written release, some addition but not major variations). Now I'm not a military person so if you know if "immediately redeploy" is the same as "immediate withdrawal" please let me know. Education is a good thing and I enjoy learning new things. Right now it sounds more like a restructuring concept than anything.

So, let's ignore that release from Murtha because he did make another statement, and maybe it was there that he said "immediate withdrawal." Again, we have a problem because it looks like he talked about U.S. troops leaving Iraq "at the earliest practicable date." Oh wait, I know "earliest practicable date" must be some new catchphrase that the Democrats are going to use to push this agenda, right? Umm...nope.

OK, so we've got a Representative giving his opinion about Iraq. It's no big deal right? Just a view and there can be some good civil discussion about it. Or maybe not. I'm thinking that when the White House spokesman Scott McClellan says, "Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party..." then the gloves are off. I mean, making that kind of comparison out of the blue? I'm thinking someone in the White House REALLY wanted to get folks on "their side" to close their ears to Murtha.

The current state of all of this? The Republicans decided to have the House vote on a non-binding resolution that was designed to fail. Why? I guess to show the troops that the government hasn't abandoned them. I watched a good amount of all of this on C-SPAN and in the end I was asking myself, "So, what was the point?" I'm all for these folks supporting the troops and finding the best way for them to actually do it, but if they're at a point where they think putting on a show for the sake of attention is the way to do it, I think they're wrong. If they (everyone) was doing what had to be done to support the troops (making sure they had proper equipment...especially the life saving kind) then they wouldn't need to call attention to the fact that it was getting done. It basically struck me as people (yeah, Republicans) wanting kudos for everyone (both 'sides') in the House for DOING THEIR JOBS! I wonder how much it cost the tax payers for that show?

Or maybe they just didn't want anyone to notice:

- The House cutting in to programs for the poor, students and farmers. (Link to voting record at site) - Article here and info about what Republicans had to do to get moderates' (including their own) support is here.

- Republican Senate action to keep taxes down for oil companies. (Link to voting record at site)

Remember to go here to do a search for the full info on House bill. It is HR 4241.

I dunno folks. It's tough to say if it's all just interesting timing or a nice way to draw attention off of the stuff that might actually really piss people off.

I guess this is what they get paid the big bucks for though, right?
Emmitt
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