Sunday, November 26, 2006

McCaskill Plans To Question War Funding

Appearing on CBS' Face the Nation, Sen.-elect Claire McCaskill said the United States needs to begin to withdraw from Iraq and said she plans to question supplemental funding requests for the conflict.

McCaskill's comments came in response to a question from moderator Gloria Borger about whether U.S. troops should still be in Iraq for longer than a year.

"I think we have to begin to withdraw. I think all of us are looking forward to the Baker-Hamilton report," McCaskill replied. "I think all of us know we have made a terrible mistake in Iraq. There are no good answers."

McCaskill said engaging other moderate Arab nations in the region would be key to solving the Iraq crisis, but acknowledged that neither party really has a solution.

She said while there is only one Commander-in-Chief, Congress has a role of oversight and accountability.

"It is unrealistic that we're going to pull the plug on the finances to make sure our troops have what they need on the ground in Iraq," McCaskill said.

But she did promise probing questions about future funding requests from the White House.

"I want to ask some questions, because this supplemental appropriation of $150 billion dollars the President is going to ask for, clearly we need some accountability. People have gotten rich off this war and I want to make sure we put a stop to that," McCaskill said.

McCaskill said she wanted to investigate war profiteering and find out why $350 billion dollars has been spent on a war, "and some guys still don't have the right armor."

The two other guests on the program, Sens-elect Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Corker of Tennessee, along with McCaskill, signaled that they want to wait and see what the James Baker Iraq Commission reports before calling for any specific solution.

But in her first Sunday morning appearance as a Senator-elect, McCaskill used her street cred as an Auditor to focus many of her comments on finances.

McCaskill was asked about how she planned to "take the swagger out of the step of the Democrats." She said it was clear Democrats didn't dominate the election and would need to work with Republicans on issues. When pressed by Borger on a specific issue, McCaskill went back to fiscal restraint, a theme she stressed in campaign stops here in the Ozarks.

"I think saving money for taxpayers and the way we spend money. I think attacking this earmark process," McCaskill said.

"I never met Claire," responded Republican Sen-elect Corker. "But I like what she said."

McCaskill then called ethics reform, "the kissing-cousin of earmarks," signaling that she might support dealing with both issues in a larger legislative package.

Borger also asked McCaskill briefly about her openness to Social Security reform. "If there's no privatization, I'm open," McCaskill replied.

The Face the Nation appearance is just part of McCaskill's trip to Washington. McCaskill's husband, Joseph Shepard was with her in the studio for Sunday's interview. According to spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh, McCaskill will spend a few days in the nation's capitol, devoting most of her time to meetings and conducting interviews for Senate staff. McCaskill is also scheduled to appear on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews Monday as well as the Tavis Smiley show on PBS.

Marsh says McCaskill will make her first trip into the U.S. Senate chamber this week.

I'm betting that McCaskill will have a much bigger presence on national political talkshows and cable channel gab-fests than Sen. Talent did. Talent's shying away from the shows, and McCaskill's probable gravitation to them, suits their personalities.


bobicus tomatocus said...

Nice McCaskill love fest piece. At least the ending of your article got it right. Claire is in this for power and political gain. Talent was a hard worker who would rather get things done.

The best quote in the story was this.

"I think we have to begin to withdraw. I think all of us are looking forward to the Baker-Hamilton report," McCaskill replied. "I think all of us know we have made a terrible mistake in Iraq. There are no good answers."

At the same time though, she claims Bush is the Commander in Chief (which he is).

She said while there is only one Commander-in-Chief, Congress has a role of oversight and accountability.

So which is it? Does the Bush administration get to decide how to fight the war or is congress going to try and usurp his authority and micromange the war like LBJ did in Vietnam.

Remember what I said earlier about cutting and running - well thats exactly what we are seeing.

The enemy is now more emboldened than ever and attacks will more than likely explode before the settle in.

What I find interesting is that hardly anyone in the media has covered the soldier's perspective. The election was a terrible on their moral. You should take the time to read some of their blogs.

Not that McCaskill or anyone in the media cares. They are just too stupid to be in Iraq, right?

Matt said...

Missouri elected a nice, well-intentioned person who is absolutely without a clue when it comes to geopolitical issues. No matter- Sens. Levin and Biden will lead her by the hand.

Leftwing Bobicus said...

Perhaps you mean well, but you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

First, we have already lost. In fact, we lost the moment we decided to go to war for dishonest, naive, cynical and quite possibly crazy reasons, without sufficient troops, armor or equipment, without a real coalition and UN or regional approval, without a plan for the occupation and reconstruction, and without a political leadership that was sincere about any of its stated reasons for going to war or serious about truly winning--whatever that means at this point.

You're not actually suggesting that Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld ever had a clue, or were serious about winning, are you? If so, prove it. In any case, the war has long since been lost, and all that's left now is to salvage what little we can of this miserable catastrophe. It's either cut our losses and start planning for withdrawal, or further extend them for no good reason.

bobicus tomatocus said...

Two words. Global test.

We should never be bound to some sort of Global test on how to handle our foriegn affairs. To do so would cede our interest and national soverignty to dictators and terrorist around the world.

Secondly, its so nice of you to tell the people of Iraq that we have lost already and that we never really had a chance to win.

The reality is somthing completely different.

It was not until this spring when Al Qeda decided to bomb a mosque and Iran started supporting Shiite Death squads to throw Iraq into an imbalance that we have the situation that we have now.

I would urge you to talk to real Iraqis and maybe even a solider or two before you begin to espouse talking points which are based in fantasy.

The fact is, much of the weakness that this nation and the world has shown in Iraq does nothing more than fire up our enemies. It encourages terrorist to continue to rape, pillage and burn while everyone watches. See Syria and Iran in Lebanon as a perfect example.

So while you fiddle, Rome burns.

Leftwing Bobicus said...

You are correct that the reality is different, but you are going to have to expand your somewhat narrow world-view if you wish to see it.

Perhaps you imagine Rumsfeld's rejection of advice from top military leaders on the amount of troops needed to secure Iraq was a winning strategy. Perhaps you think 100,000 Iraqi's leaving the country each month are a sign that they are hopeful about their long-term prospects. Perhaps you think the estimated 500,000 dead Iraqi's as a result of the war have nothing to do with being a catalyst for the increasing violence. Perhaps you lack an understanding of Mesopotamian history and cannot see that sectarian conflict has a long and established history in Iraq.

These are all parts of a larger and more complex whole, and simplistic phrases such as "staying until we win" or talk of "cutting and running" are only fodder for sound-bite dependant forums such as Hannity or Limbaugh.

To reject differing opinions based on facts as merely talking points displays an inability to face reality and thus a failure to find pragmatic solutions.

DJSharae said...

bobicus tomatocus!
I could not agree more with your Global Test comment. We cannot leave a precendent with other nations that we will be run by or controlled by what they are wanting. We are indeed a sovereign nation.

This whole concept reminds me of a U.N. Gun Debate that is on DVD where other nations and the U.N. are wanting Americans to disarm. Absolutely NOT! We as Americans do not have to answer to other nations. This is where leftwing bobicus and I differ drastically. Unlike leftwing, I do not believe that America needs U.N. approval to run our affairs--not in war and not in the area of gun control. The U.N. did not write our Constitution; it does not vote in our representatives or our President. If someone does not like the way America runs things, the person should move elsewhere.

We are said...

Jesus, if someone doesn't like the way the country does something, you try and CHANGE it. That's what this country was founded on, you narrow-minded totalitarian fool! It's thinking like that which caused this whole debacle that we're in right now- hell, thinking of that sort was going through the minds of Germans in the 30's.

DJSharae said...

I am not completely sure whether or not "we are" is referring to my comment or not, but I do have a reply.

I do not want anyone to misunderstand me. I am not at all against people wanting and going after change in American government. This is a very important reason for the American responsibility to go out and vote for those representatives that will best make the desired changes. HOWEVER-----this right and privelege to make the appropriate changes should be reserved only for AMERICANS--and not for any outside nation or the U.N.!!!!! This is key!

"We are" is correct in one area when he talks about what America was founded on. This great country has checks and balances. Changes do occur b/c of people voted in to office, etc. One upcoming change is the swing of control in the House of Reps. I heartily agree that Americans have the right to seek change; it is not at all the right of other nations or the U.N. to try to make those changes for us, though!!