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12/10 Morning Report

A Hamas official called the idea of early elections ”a threat to democracy”. The thought among Abbas and the Fatah faction is the current leadership has ruined the nation. Early elections could help bring a solution—economically and politically. But, just as it does in Lebanon, Hamas is shutting down any attempts to bring change. Let us not forget that Hamas, and other pro-Syrian elements of the cabinet, walked out rather than take action against possible illegal actions by Syria.
(…sure…they want things to be fixed…right…)

President Bush hasn’t said what he will do with the Iraq Study Group report. However, aides are working through alternatives. This NY Times article makes it sound like a scramble to find other, more workable, ideas. In fact:

Dan Senor, a former administration spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, said…“It’s easy to suggest these steps in theory, but we haven’t been able to figure out the how,” Mr. Senor said. “Now, neither have these 10 wise men and woman.”

Since the Times previously quoted the ISG as saying there were big risks to the plan, why would is suddenly be a surprise that Bush wants to look at options?

One of the recommendations was to “quickly” turn things over to the Iraqis. The main problem with that, according to the Bush Administration and the military, is the Iraqis are not ready. Want proof? See this report on the escape of Sadaam’s nephew. It documents quite well the short comings of the Iraqi security forces. It also reveals the amount of work needed to make it better.

In other US news, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was re-elected despite the investigations over his finances. The report calls it a landslide victory, though Jefferson got 58% of a low voter turnout election. In her favor, Pelosi tossed Jefferson off the Ways and Means Committee. But, the whole thing does not speak well of Democrats. And, it is a reminder to Republicans of what we have to do: Not fall into the same trap of acceptance and protection.

And, more offshore drilling has been approved by the Senate. It was actually part of a tax and trade package approved by a vote of 79-9. Among other things, it approves the sharing of some 37% of the oil royalties from the deep water drilling with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Finally, over at The Daily Kos, there was an interesting read about ”Us And Them.” While I totally disagree with the statements about Bush and Republicans, he makes some great points about our emotions and what we do with them.

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