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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that growing up in a small town around miners taught him to be ready to step outside and throw some hands to settle differences and the former Golden Gloves middleweight boxer has shown in 2007 -- and in his previous stint as minority leader -- that he's always ready to poke a stiff jab in the face of George W. Bush and the Republican party. While he will never be able to make all Democratic voters happy in how he stands on every single issue, Reid is stepping up to the plate big time in the battle of words and positioning with the White House and sending daily messages to the Bush-Cheney regime that their Iraq-war propaganda and questioning the patriotism of others will no longer be tolerated. Reid stayed on message this weekend, making hard-hitting statements about Congressional Republicans and rapidly assailing Vice President Dick Cheney's appearance on CBS's Face The Nation on Sunday. In an exclusive interview with our friends at PoliticsTV, Reid slammed Bush, John McCain and all who continue misleading Americans about how well things are allegedly going in Iraq. Here's an excerpt:
"For the President, Secretary of State, John McCain to say that things are getting better, has to be the proverbial example of the ostrich with its head stuck in the earth. We have a situation in Iraq that's going from bad to worse. The deaths are up, the bombings are up, the American soldiers -- if things keep going the way they have this month, the month of April, the fifth year of the war, will be one of the highest for deaths in the history of the war. "So, I'm terribly troubled about what's going on in Iraq, not only for the loss of American lives, which is certainly paramount in my mind, but the loss of Iraqi lives and the destabilizing of that area... Prior to the war starting, there were no terrorists in Iraq -- none -- now it's the breeding ground for terrorists, to be shipped all over the world. This war has been an absolute waste of time, effort and money."After saying that Democrats will stick to their guns in demanding that the U.S. leave Iraq because "the American people are where we are; President Bush is where no one is," Reid looked ahead to the coming week in the Senate and the looming debate on prescription-drug legislation that he believes will cause yet another fight. "We're going to do something the Republicans hate, and that is allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower price prescription drugs. They hate it because they are owned by the Pharmaceutical industry," said Reid. "The most well-paid lobbyists, who walk around in their Gucci shoes and are driven up to Capitol Hill in their limousines, chauffeur-driven limousines, are preventing us from moving to have Medicare be able to negotiate for lower price drugs." "Why don't they want that? Because they want the insurance companies and the HMOs to continue ripping off the American people." The rest of the PoliticsTV interview is here. The Democratic leader kept after the White House Sunday after Dick Cheney appeared on Face The Nation and had the same Propaganda Party he has whenever he appears on the morning news shows. In an unintentionally funny moment, Cheney considered the Bush administration's track record of domestic and international failure and said "on reflection and indeed, the record of the president and his administration will stand up well to scrutiny." Life must be good in Fantasyland.... Reid's office responded within an hour of the Cheney spinfest on CBS:
"Vice President Cheney has long since lost credibility, so it should be no surprise that he would spend time this morning continuing to mislead us about the war in Iraq. The American people know that the height of irresponsibility is to put this country at risk by mismanaging a war from day one, drawing our troops further into a civil war, sending our troops to war without the armor or training they need, repeatedly misstating the grave realities on the ground in Iraq, and distorting deadlines for troop funding to score political points. "After five years of war, the American people and our men and women in uniform deserve honesty about our future in Iraq and a policy that transitions our mission and allows the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future... Unfortunately, the Vice President and this Administration are clinging to the same failed, irresponsible strategy that has put our troops and our country at risk, and are unwilling to work with Congress or listen to our military to change course in Iraq."Hey, if I were the referee -- and were it not for the presidential veto to give Bush unearned clout -- I would mercifully stop this fight. You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.