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December 16, 2006

With Dems in Charge

"This last election was an intervention", said Patrick Leahy, incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoking at the Georgetown Law Forum, his alma mater, a few days ago.  It was a lovely talk and gave me great hope for the upcoming session, assuming Tim Johnson's health holds up. 

He has great plans for the Judiciary Committee and hopes to operate in a bipartisan manner, just as he did the last time he was chair of this committee in 2001-2002 for the brief period when Democrats last had the Senate. 

He says that the constitutional balance must be restored and that we need real oversight.  We need our checks and balances.  Among many other things, he said that he will begin restoring the oversight function by investigating the war profiteering that has gone on in Iraq. 

It is hard to win a battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqis who still are without basic services, even as they watch billions of dollars being siphoned off by unsupervised contractors.  Too much of that money is unaccounted for, and many of the facilities and services it was supposed to provide are still nonexistent.  And now this week we read about plans to spend hundreds of millions more to create jobs in Iraq.  Weren’t we supposed to be doing that with all those billions of other taxpayers’ dollars?

At the risk of incurring another of Vice President Cheney’s special season’s “greetings,” I ask:  Where did all the money go?

If you have the time and technology to watch the talk, do yourself a favor and do so.  It is uplifting to be reminded of how our country is supposed to work. 

I have to say though, I think we're in for a showdown.  I don't see how this exceedingly stubborn President will allow the oversight, constitutionally mandated as it is, that is coming down the road. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on December 16, 2006 at 09:24 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink

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