When I started calling around Tuesday to the Departments of State and Defense about the prospective loss of Kyrgyzstan’s Manas air base, the critical facility
When I started calling around Tuesday to the Departments of State and Defense about the prospective loss of Kyrgyzstan’s Manas air base, the critical facility for air-based resupply of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, I got pretty uniform answers. It’s not definite. We haven’t heard anything official. Negotiations are ongoing. A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that Kyrgyz President Bakiyev’s announcement that the United States would have to leave the base was merely “political positioning.”
Well, the first stage is denial. But the second stage — acceptance — appears to be dawning on American officials.
A senior State Department official said that negotiations with Kyrgyzstan over the base had been halted and that the alternatives under consideration included bases in Europe and the Persian Gulf, as well as a possible expansion of existing bases in Afghanistan. [...]
The senior Defense official said the closure “has all the earmarks of being a done deal.”
The Russians basically paid more money — $2 billion in loans — to the Kyrgyzstan government to deny the U.S. access to the base than Washington pays to lease it. Charmingly, The Times reports the Russians “took pains on Wednesday to reassure President Obama that they hoped to cooperate with him in Afghanistan and elsewhere.” Defense Secretary Bob Gates has told the Senate that he’s exploring ways to expedite the deployment of up to 30,000 new U.S. troops to Afghanistan ahead of this summer, which is currently the earliest they can get there. How will that happen without the only regional supporting airbase? Russia’s first gift to the Obama administration has been an elbow to the solar plexus.
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg
In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.