- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

Consistent losers

With Senate Democrats failing to pass legislation on two major priorities in the past several days — increased funding for stem-cell research and a measure to allow the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices — Republican leaders predict more “losing ways” for the Democrats unless they start working with the minority party.

“The [losing] pattern continues — the Democrats have scored no [legislative] victories” this year, Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott of Mississippi said moments after his party used a filibuster to block the Democratic-crafted Medicare drug bill Wednesday.

“They’re trying to stuff the Republicans on issue and after issue, and they are not going to be able to do that,” continued Mr. Lott. “You can’t stuff the minority in the United States Senate. And I know, because I used to try all the time” [when he led a Republican majority]. You might get away with it every now and then, but this is a place where you have to communicate, where you have to give the other side an opportunity to offer amendments.”

Mr. Lott added that the Democrats’ failure to overcome the Republican filibuster on the Medicare bill was a “devastating” setback for the majority.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders say it’s the Republicans — not Democrats — that are being uncooperative.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called the Republican use of a filibuster to stop the Medicare bill “obstructionism.”

McCain’s song

Republican 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain crooned the words “Bomb Iran” to a Beach Boys’ tune in joking response to a question about any possible U.S. attack over Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

“That old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran — bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb,” the Vietnam War veteran warbled softly to the band’s “Barbara Ann” when he was asked when the United States would send an “airmail message” to Iran.

The singing performance during a campaign stop Wednesday in South Carolina drew chuckles from the audience and has already been viewed almost 11,000 times on the Internet video sharing site YouTube after being posted yesterday, Reuters news agency reports.

Campaign spokesman Matt David said the question was asked somewhat in jest and that the Arizona senator was adding some levity to the discussion.

The United States and others have accused Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. While U.S. officials have refused to take the military option off the table, they have said there were no plans to attack Iran and that they would pursue a diplomatic solution.

Mr. McCain also gave a serious answer focusing on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and desire to destroy Israel.

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