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Speaker Nancy Pelosi accepted the terms, and Ways and Means issued a rare bipartisan statement saying, ‘This new policy clears the way for broad, bipartisan Congressional support for the Peru and Panama FTAs.’ Mr. Rangel called it ‘truly an historic breakthrough,’ and Democrats hailed it as proof of their ability to govern.

“But they lacked the nerve to stand up to the AFL-CIO, which frowned on the deal and proceeded to lobby the rank-and-file to revolt. Mr. Rangel soon admitted privately to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson that he couldn’t deliver on the bargain after all. And then came [last] Friday’s announcement that Democrats won’t even take up the Peru trade bill until Peru first changes its labor and environmental laws. They also said Mr. Rangel will personally fly to Lima in August to instruct Peru’s government on what Congress demands.”

Squirrel hunt

“The idea that [Special Counsel] Patrick Fitzgerald has somehow served justice in the execution of his duties is discredited quickly with a simple analogy,” J.P. Freire writes at “If a man goes hunting for bear and comes back with a squirrel, he hasn’t had a successful hunt. He has only found a snack.”

The prosecution of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., Mr. Freire writes, “was on its way to being Watergate, as long as everyone respectfully played along and pretended that Secret Agent Joseph Wilson and Secret Agent Valerie Plame were involved in super-double-secret covert operations. If this couple had been singularly responsible for finding evidence to invade Iraq (which, thankfully, they were not), the eventual trial would have ended with a flourish. Instead it just squeaked like some small animal dying.”

c Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or