'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Only the Beginning? 

The Democrats got off to a rocky start unveiling some of the first pieces of their Iraq-free House agenda:

House Democrats tried to unveil their lobbying reform package today, but their press conference was drowned out by chants from anti-war activists who want Congress to stop funding the Iraq war before taking on other issues.

Led by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier, the protesters chanted "De-escalate, investigate, troops home now" as Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., began outlining the Democrats' plans to ban lobbyist-funded travel and institute other ethics reforms. The press conference was held in the Cannon House Office Building in an area open to the public.

Emanuel finally gave up trying to be heard over the chants, and retreated to a caucus room where Democrats were meeting.

The fact that the protesters cast a pall over Rahm Emanuel's day in the sun was especially sweet. He is notorious for supporting pro-war Democratic candidates in primaries over antiwar ones with his access to the enormous amount of money raised from corporate sources. Meanwhile, it is becoming more and more clear that Bush will announce that he intends to send at least 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. But Emanuel, and the Democratic House leadership, thought it was more urgent to address lobbying reform.

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