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Message from Sen. Ken Salazar re: Trade Promotion Authority

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, TPA, also known as "fast-track" authority, provides the Executive Branch with flexibility to negotiate trade agreements with other countries and to have those agreements considered by Congress under expedited procedures that do not allow for amendments, and that require only a simple majority for final approval. Although the Constitution gives Congress – and not the President – authority over international trade, Congress periodically delegates some of that authority to the Executive Branch in order to allow more efficient and effective trade negotiations with other nations.

The TPA framework that Congress passed in 2002 expired on July 1. Since Congress has yet to extend or renew TPA, the authority that Congress grants the President to enter into certain trade agreements, as well as the ability of Congress to consider legislation to implement those agreements under expedited procedures, has ceased. However, because they were completed before TPA expired, pending trade agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia, and Korea can still be considered under TPA's expedited procedures. Once the President sends legislation to implement those agreements to Congress, the House and Senate will have 90 days to consider the proposal and bring it up for a vote.

I certainly understand concerns about how unfair competition from abroad can threaten the viability of American producers. I also believe that trade agreements must place American workers on a fair and level playing field with those working in other countries. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind when Congress considers extension or renewal of TPA, and that I am committed to fighting for a trade negotiation framework that gives our nation the tools it needs to reap the benefits of free trade, while ensuring a level playing field for American businesses and workers.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Ken Salazar re: Complex 2030 and Nuclear Weapons

Thank you for contacting me regarding Complex 2030 and the Reliable Replacement Warhead. I appreciate hearing from you.

I share your concerns regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, the goal of Complex 2030 and the Reliable Replacement Warhead program that it encompasses is a decreased U.S. nuclear arsenal. President Bush has called for our nuclear stockpile to be reduced by nearly 50% by 2012.

Under Complex 2030, these decreases, coupled with technological improvements are aimed at maintaining a smaller, safer, more secure stockpile, with assured reliability over the long term.

Moreover, this increase in long-term reliability will ideally be accompanied by a correspondingly reduced necessity of future nuclear testing. As you may know, the U.S. has had a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1992. The RRW program would utilize new-design replacement warheads that will be easier to manufacture and certify without nuclear testing.

The RRW program was first funded by Congress in Fiscal Year 2005, and President Bush has requested $89 million for it for FY 2008.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Congressional appropriations process moves forward.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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A Message from Senator Ken Salazar re: The War in Iraq

Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding the war in Iraq. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

U.S. forces have now been in Iraq for over four years. I have strongly disagreed with the manner in which this war has been managed by the Bush Administration. However, I also believe we owe it to both the Iraqi people and our troops to continue working toward stabilizing the country. At the same time, Americans and Iraqis need to recognize that the U.S. military presence will not continue indefinitely.

Recently, the Senate voted on whether to consider an amendment, introduced by Senators Levin and Reed, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill that would have changed direction in Iraq by requiring the President to begin reducing the number of American troops in Iraq within four months after enactment. In addition, it would require transitioning the mission of our remaining military forces to force protection, training of Iraqi Security Forces, and targeted counter-terrorism missions. This amendment failed 52-47 on a procedural vote that required the support of 60 Senators. I voted in favor of allowing a vote on this amendment because it is imperative to find an immediate solution in Iraq that creates a diplomatic, economic and military road map to end American combat operations in Iraq.

In support of this approach, I recently introduced a bill called the "Iraq Study Group (ISG) Recommendations Implementation Act of 2007." This bipartisan legislation puts forth a comprehensive military, political, economic and diplomatic strategy to transition the United States' mission from one of combat to support. It was developed in consultation with the co-chairs of the ISG, Secretary of State James A. Baker, III and Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.

The group of ten that comprised the Iraq Study Group came from disparate political parties, professions, and worldviews. They consulted with nearly 200 leading officials and experts including senior members of the Government of Iraq, the United States Government and key coalition partners, and they received advice from more than 50 distinguished scholars and experts from a variety of fields.

In the end, I sincerely hope that we can all join together in this effort to support our troops by bringing them home safely to their families and loved ones.

Again, thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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That about says it all...

Here's a wonderful rant from www.presidentbushisafuckingmoron.com

Ok, enough pussyfooting around. George W. Bush, our President, Commander in Chief, and the head honcho of the Republic Party, is a fucking moron. Calling this asshole “dumb as a stump” is an insult to trees. He’s so dense, his skull has an event horizon.

Never mind crime, this sucker’s soft on smart.

I know – big newsflash – and yet every time this nimrod makes a speech (we are seriously stretching the definition of that word right there) all the newscasters put on their furrowed-eyebrow faces and act like they’re parsing Churchill and not Mr. fucking Magoo. Hello? What kind of Pravda-ass bullshit is that?

And, if I could have a word with the speech writers for just a minute: When you’re writing for someone who barely puts any downward force on his brainpan, you gotta use the small words so he doesn’t get that confused look on his face, like Helen Thomas just asked him if the Sunni Triangle is stabilizing and he's trying to recall the correct pronunciation of “isosceles”.

Starting off the State of the Union with “This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour...” ? Come on, that’s not even giving him a fighting chance. Might as well just switch off the teleprompters and have him ad lib something about French existentialism.

Oh, but that speakin’ stuff don’t matter because he connects with the people with his down home manner and Southern charm, right? Honey, please. Bush is Southern like Tom Cruise is stable. Y’all think back now: when baby Bush needed an education, daddy didn’t send that sucker to SMU, did he? No, he brought his silver-spooner home to New England for the rich kid treatment. Let’s see… Phillips Academy, Yale, and Harvard. There are winners in the Westminster Kennel Club less pedigreed than this bitch.

Sorry — what were we talking about? Oh yeah, the fabulous State of our Union. The one where our “economy is on the move” - like a drunk cow going up the down escalator on rollerskates. Yes - things sure look rosey here in the fucking US of AA, especially when they mount those goal posts on conveyor belts and press “reverse.”

And could the Decider be more confused about his own education policy? Not to nitpick, but saying No Child Left Behind preserves local control is like telling an engineer he can take his train anywhere he likes; those rails are just guidelines. But as long as those little whipper snappers are learnin’ more, we could cut him a little slack. Except, they’re not doing any better than they were before this brainiac decided that the way to improve test scores was to give more tests.

Not to worry, though, our kids are in for plenty of math lessons in the next few months. If two trains leave stations 6211 miles apart traveling at the speed of sound, how long will it take for the First Infantry Division to find out their Commander in Chief plans to cut Veterans health care funding by thirteen percent? Stumped? Maybe it's because he’s cutting education by seventeen percent.

And speaking of cuts, here’s a plan we didn’t hear from El Presidente: roll back just one third of the tax cuts Bush wants to make permanent and we can keep Social Security running for another seventy five years. I know, I know, taxes bad!, but the veterans of Gulf War VII will be so thrilled when their monthly checks kick in right on time in 2082.

And then there’s this meathead’s genius plan to stem the tide of immigration into the country of immigrants. A wall. I think I know where you can find some big green sheets of copper to build that sucker with. That French bitch isn’t really using them anymore, and what’s with that big book she’s carrying, anyway? Filled with facts, I betcha. Tear that mother down and let’s get a-buildin’.

Speaking of facts, didn’t anyone notice that in the last twenty years we’ve tripled our spending on border security, and in that same time, illegal immigration has... wait for it... tripled. So maybe a bigger wall isn’t gonna do the trick. How about that other bit, the temporary worker plan? Where instead of shipping our jobs overseas, we’ll import workers to do our jobs here. For a while, at least, and then when we wear them out we’ll send them home and get new ones. Guaranteed fresh immigrants! Do you think we can get them in fashion colors? I feel like we've been stuck in shades of brown for like, 58 seasons in a row.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough of a fuck you to foreigners, we’re gonna start recruiting soldiers south of the border? No need to clean our toilets and change our diapers, now all you gotta do is dodge roadside bombs and kill a few natives and, if you survive, well, welcome to your new country! America! Land of the free, home of the... what’s with the sitting down? Up and at ’em, amigo, time for another tour of Baghdad.

Or Tehran, perhaps? You didn’t think Bush put a Navy flier in charge of the Middle East military in order to fight a ground war in Iraq, did you? He’s dumb, but he understands the difference between land, air and sea. Or someone in the White House does, hopefully. No, the extra aircraft carrier arriving in the Gulf is there to provide the Navy’s new no-stop service to Iran’s many secret nuclear attractions. What’s that? The CIA says there aren’t any secret nuclear sites?

But then why the fuck is Ahmedinigalechadian putting on this big show, parading around with a teaspoon-full of glowing goo? I know this is going to come as a shock to some Americans, so grab hold of your seats: Maybe, just maybe, this show isn’t for you. I know, wacky, huh? Who else would Amedinglachead be trying to reach when he goes on Channel Ten Tehran: Live, Local and Lead-lined? Iranians? Couldn’t be.

Fucking Iranians. Why do they have to be so irrational? Why couldn’t they just sit down and write us a nice note, promising to allow inspections of their nuclear facilities and end their support for Lebanese and Palestinian militants. Life would be so much easier if they’d just act like they did four years ago when they wrote that exact fucking letter. They even threw in helping us stabilize Iraq - like we’d ever need help with that.

Didn’t hear about that little bit of correspondence the Iranians sent to Cheney, did you? The one that’s pretty much exactly what we’re asking for now? What the fuck else was he holding out for? An offer to host Yom Kippur services next year?

You’d have to be a serious fucking optimist to call Dick Cheney a half-wit. The only reason this asshole’s on the transplant list for a heart and not a brain is that his health plan requires proof of a trade-in before they’ll schedule surgery.

It’s about time someone took Dick Cheney’s self-righteous smirk and shoved it up his undisclosed location. You know the look - the one where he pretends that anyone opposed to his policies is just sadly misinformed, right before he tells us, smack-dab in the middle of the deadliest month in Iraq so far, that we’re doing “remarkably well.” Remarkably well? Note to Lynne Cheney: if Dick ever tells you your hair looks nice, double check to make sure its not on fire.

And then, as if he thought we'd forget who the biggest dickhead in the White House was after watching Bush stumble through the State of the Union, Cheney wanders into the Situation Room and tells us that any talk of blunders in Iraq is just hogwash.

Sweet Jesus, this asshole’s got more nerve than Mel Gibson at a Manishevitz tasting.

And, I don’t mean to be petty, but do you think the Vice President could have put off the noshing until after his hand puppet finished flapping his jaw? I shit you not - check the YouTubes. Right around the time George tried to tell us how lucky we are that our health care plans are gonna be taxed, Dick forgot he was on national television and decided it was time for a Mentos. This guy is pissed that we can’t be more patient while he sends our kids out to play a deadly game of Where’s Waldo in Baghdad, and he can’t make it twenty minutes without a fucking snack?

See, the Vice President isn’t some hard-nosed warrior, he’s a fucking pussy. We’re just not allowed to point that out that because the script says Democrats are Alan Alda and Republicans are fucking Rambo. Which, come to think of it, is pretty fucking accurate, since Hawkeye actually went to war, and Sylvester dodged the draft, just like Cheney. And Bush. And Karl Rove. And John Ashcroft. And Bill O’Reilly. And Newt Gingrich. And Paul Wolfowitz. And fucking Ted Nugent. Jesus Christ on a cracker — did the draft boards have some sort of dickhead deferment that no one told us about?

Only someone whose combat experience begins and ends with boxes labeled “appropriate for ages 8 to 12” would be pushing this brilliant surge business. Hell, even the dynamic duo that came up with this plan in the first place are quietly backing away from the White House at this point. If those guys think you’re fucked, honey child, you are fucked.

Do you think maybe we could leave the war planning up to people whose experience in the theater of war extends beyond the fucking Loew’s Multiplex? No, no — by all means, what’s your big plan this time?

“To win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.” Or, if we can’t manage to find the enemy, we can always set out the milk and cookies and find him some new recruits. Wasn’t that a lesson from The Art of War? “If you can’t find your enemy where they are, make new ones where you are. And then alienate the locals and ignore your generals. This is a clear path to victory. But it is a path that runs through a forest of failure, and you may not recognize all the glorious triumph because it will look a lot like a deep, deep chasm of defeat. But trust me, this is an excellent way to win a war. In space. Did I mention it only works in space?”

And can someone please give this asshole a refresher course in cause and effect? “In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists.” Yeah, geez, those Shia extremists just came out of fucking no where. I wonder if they’re still pissed that your daddy got distracted after he suggested they rise up against Saddam? Guys, its been over a decade since we let Saddam fly his helicopter gunships into our special “no-fly zones” and massacre men, women and children by the tens of thousands — let it go. We don’t hold the fact that you were born on top of our oil against you, do we?

And how did those Shia extremists get so... extreme, anyway? Death squads, torture, bodies piling up in the morgues... those guys are as sick as those lunatics back in Honduras, or Nicaragua, or Vietn... waitaminute. That sounds a lot like the resume of the assholes we sent over to Iraq right before the death squads showed up. If we’re the ones training the police, and the death squads keep showing up in police uniforms, what are the chances that we’re training the death squads that have turned Baghdad into a fucking inferno?

And now we’re going to send even more of our soldiers into that mess? That, right there, is a kick-ass plan. What you really want to add to a zebra stampede is more referees. The surprising thing about this insurgency, or ideological struggle, or philosophical debate with fucking grenade launchers or whatever we’re calling it this week isn’t that we’re losing – no, the surprising thing is that we’re doing so well.

Long War my ass. This is the fucking Long Defeat.

Meanwhile, our President can’t keep track of who’s got the upper hand in this fight. “The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free-flowing communications are long over.” Dude - you left off “for us” at the end there. And “Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite.” Like, say, the right of habeas corpus?

Oh right, we never actually had that right, right? Not according to your Attorney General, Slippery Gonzalez. “The Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.” Who’d have thought we’d be waxing nostalgic for the liberty-loving ways of Honest Ashcroft so soon?

Just when you think these assholes can’t sink any lower, they bring in the new blood and start drawing up plans for circles that never even occurred to Dante.

And if I hear one more Republican hack trot out this “If you don’t like the President’s plan, let’s hear yours” line I’m gonna have a fucking aneurism. First off, “More” is not a plan. And second, we’re fucking lousy with plans over here. Do you get the feeling that if Moses came down with a couple tablets-ful of battle plans, Cheney would start questioning the Almighty’s loyalty to the ol’ red white and blue?

Maybe that’s why Bush chose a new finale of his Fate of the Union. No twanging “America” on his signature sign-off? Just, “God Bless...” as his big finish? Like Tiny Tim, but lamer.

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Truly Awesome!

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