House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) committed the biggest blunder of her tenure by pressing the Armenian genocide resolution and then having to back down when her support vanished. She should have taken the advice of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who has opposed the Armenian proposal dating back to his days as an aide in the Clinton White House. Democratic support, once at more than 225 members, collapsed when Gen. David Petraeus, the Iraq commander, briefed congressmen individually and pointed out serious problems with Turkey created by the genocide resolution.
- The present inclination by Democrats is to quickly pass a slightly scaled-down version of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program). That would present a tough decision to President George W. Bush. Should he veto the bill, even though he is likely to get overridden the second time around? Prominent congressional Republicans want a veto, advising that an override would not be all that bad.
- The "mother of all tax reforms" -- to be unveiled Thursday by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) -- is for show rather than play. It certainly won't pass the Senate and probably won't even get to the House floor.
- In a rare public Democratic split between two important Senate committee chairmen: Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) argues that the party's Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules don't require offsets (tax hikes or spending cuts) to compensate for an AMT (alternative minimum tax) "patch," while Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) insists on PAYGO offsets. Baucus's position is a huge plus for Republican supply-siders.