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View Poll Results: Who do you trust more on National Security
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I'm a Dem & trust Dems
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Dems going on the offense

Old 03-29-06, 08:47 AM
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Dems going on the offense

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/29/po...gin&oref=login

WASHINGTON, March 28 Seeking to capitalize on President Bush's troubles overseas, leading Democrats in Congress are unveiling a broad attack this week on the administration's security policies at home and overseas along with a set of proposals intended to demonstrate that they have a credible alternative.

In a set of policy papers titled "Real Security: Protecting America and Restoring Our Leadership in the World," Democratic leaders in the House and Senate plan to join with leading figures in the party, including former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Wesley K. Clark, the retired general and former presidential contender, in presenting the plan on Wednesday.

Their purpose, Democrats say, is to rebut the Republican accusation, echoed in some editorial columns, that with Mr. Bush's approval ratings sagging eight months before the next election, party leaders and candidates have not laid out a coherent set of alternatives, especially on Iraq and on dealing with nuclear proliferation.

The Democrats' material asserts that in combating terrorism, party leaders want to increase financing for Special Operations forces and interdicting terrorist financing and to spend more on economic development in troubled areas like the Middle East and South Asia.

Democrats also want to give greater powers to the office of the national intelligence director and to investigate accusations of abuse and torture of detainees. They say they want increased financing for screening containers at ports and securing nuclear and chemical plants and training emergency health workers.

Most of the proposals are not new. Many echo arguments put forward by Democrats and by their 2004 presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, including a demand for more military equipment and body armor for troops and improved veterans' benefits.

In the diplomatic field, the proposals say Democrats will "redouble efforts to stop nuclear weapons development in Iran and North Korea," but they offer few details that differ from the Bush administration's effort to get cooperation from allies in Asia, the Middle East and Europe to pressure those countries to abandon their nuclear programs.

"In these times of unprecedented challenge and change, real leadership demands preparing for the threats that exist today and those that will emerge tomorrow," said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, who will be appearing with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader.

"It demands tough and smart policies that recognize that a stronger America begins at home," Ms. Pelosi added.

In a statement to be released on Wednesday, Mr. Reid is to say: "Over the last century, Democrats have led America through two world wars, have stared down threats to our security at home and have defeated the ideals of Communism and Fascism. Today, Democrats are here to build on that record."

But Republicans, anticipating the Democratic attack, were already circulating their own counteroffensive on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, said he had just obtained a copy of the Democrats' plan and added, "It's taken them all this time to figure out what we've been doing for a long time."

Mr. Bond said that while Democrats sought to showcase their support of national security, they had tried to block renewal of the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act and the administration's program of wiretapping without warrants.

Democrats say that while their policies lack detail in some respects, they were able at least to put together a package of proposals to which all members of the party could subscribe, calling for more money to be spent on a broad array of items, including port security and foreign aid.

Meanwhile, the manifesto skirted divisive issues like whether the United States should set a timetable on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, as advocated by Representative John P. Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but opposed or not endorsed by other members of his party.

Instead, it calls for making sure that 2006 "is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces." Beyond "redeployment," no mention is made of whether American troops should be taken out of Iraq.

The Democrats' paper also calls for the United States to achieve "energy independence" by 2020 by increasing production of alternative fuels.
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Old 03-29-06, 08:50 AM
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don't see a poll
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Old 03-29-06, 08:52 AM
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The thread shows up immediately but the polls take time to write IMHO it's a bug in the s/w but that's the way it is...
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Old 03-29-06, 08:52 AM
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weird. i saw two threads before the poll went up
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Old 03-29-06, 09:04 AM
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The Democrats' paper also calls for the United States to achieve "energy independence" by 2020 by increasing production of alternative fuels.
there was an editorial in the WSJ the other day. Gas prices are going up again and it's not oil companies. The new energy bill takes effect and since there is no protection for MTBE from lawsuits, no one is willing to sell or transport it. this is creating a huge demand for ethanol and there is not enough to meet demand.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:21 AM
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doesn't look like there is anything new in there
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Old 03-29-06, 09:23 AM
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Democrats say that while their policies lack detail in some respects, they were able at least to put together a package of proposals to which all members of the party could subscribe, calling for more money to be spent
Shocking!

The dems really aren't letting go of that body armor issue are they? Next I hear they will demand the pentagon replace the dangerous hydrogen in our fleet dirigibles.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:29 AM
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I chose other and Democrats, but that was more a convenience vote than anything else. I don't really trust or distrust them.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wmansir
Shocking!

The dems really aren't letting go of that body armor issue are they?

Considering the response of the troops maybe they should...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060326/...unused_armor_2
HUSAYBAH, Iraq - Extra body armor the lack of which caused a political storm in the United States has flooded in to
Iraq, but many Marines here promptly stuck it in lockers or under bunks. Too heavy and cumbersome, many say.
ADVERTISEMENT

Marines already carry loads as heavy as 70 pounds when they patrol the dangerous streets in towns and villages in restive Anbar province. The new armor plates, while only about five pounds per set, are not worth carrying for the additional safety they are said to provide, some say.

"We have to climb over walls and go through windows," said Sgt. Justin Shank of Greencastle, Pa. "I understand the more armor, the safer you are. But it makes you slower. People don't understand that this is combat and people are going to die."

Staff Sgt. Thomas Bain of Buffalo, N.Y., shared concerns about the extra pounds.

"Before you know it, they're going to get us injured because we're hauling too much weight and don't have enough mobility to maneuver in a fight from house to house," said Bain, who is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. "I think we're starting to go overboard on the armor."

Since the insurgency erupted in Iraq, the
Pentagon has been criticized for supplying insufficient armor for Humvees and too few bulletproof vests. In one remarkable incident, soldiers publicly confronted Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld about the problem on live television.

Hometown groups across the United States have since raised money to send extra armor to troops, and the Pentagon, under congressional pressure, launched a program last October to reimburse troops who had purchased armor with their own money.

Soldiers and their parents spent hundreds, sometimes thousand of dollars, on armor until the Pentagon began issuing the new protective gear.

In Bain's platoon of about 35 men, Marines said only three or four wore the plates after commanders distributed them last month and told them that use was optional.

Top military officials, including Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, acknowledge the concerns over weight and mobility but have urged that the new gear be mandatory.

"That's going to add weight, of course," said Harvey. "You've read where certain soldiers aren't happy about that. But we think it's in their best interest to do this."

Marines have shown a special aversion to the new plates because they tend to patrol on foot, sometimes conducting two patrols each day that last several hours. They feel the extra weight.

In Euphrates River cities from Ramadi and Romanna, lance corporals to captains have complained about the added weight and lack of mobility. But some commanders have refused to listen. In the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, for example, commanders require use of the plates. End of story.

The Marine Corps has said a total of 28,000 sets of the plates, officially called small-arms protective inserts, or side SAPIs, will be in combat zones by April. The Army has said it is hoping to have 230,000 sets of plates in the field this year.

Last year, a study by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner said dozens of Marines killed by wounds to the torso might have survived had the larger plates been in use.

"I'm sure people who ... lost kidneys would have loved to have had them on," said 2nd Lt. William Oren, a native of Southlake, Texas, who wears the plates. "More armor isn't the answer to all our problems. But I'll recommend them because it's more protection."

Some Marines have chosen to wear the plates, particularly those in more vulnerable jobs such as Humvees turret gunners or those who frequently travel on roads plagued by roadside bombs.

But many Marines particularly those who conduct foot patrols also carrying weapons, extra ammunition, medical equipment, night vision goggles, food and water say the extra armor is not worth it, especially when the weather becomes unbearably hot.

"When you already have 60, 70 pounds on and you add 10 pounds when you go patrolling through the city or chasing after bad guys, that extra 10 pounds is going to make a difference. You're going to feel it," said Lance Cpl. David Partridge from Bangor, Maine.

Many Marines, however, believe the politics of the issue eventually will make the plates mandatory.

"The reason they issued (the plates), I think, is to make people back home feel better," said Lance Cpl. Philip Tootle of Reidsville, Ga. "I'm not wishing they wouldn't have issued them. I'm just wishing that they wouldn't make them mandatory."
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