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  • U.S. midterm elections

    The Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections.

    Many votes still remain to be counted but Democrat gains in many key seats led the White House to acknowledge, late on Tuesday night, that it had lost control of the house.

    Tony Snow, White House spokesman, said:"We believe Democrats will have control of the House, and look forward to working with Democratic leaders on the issues that remain foremost on the agenda, including winning the war in Iraq and the broader war on terror and keeping the economy on a growth path.

    "But it also gets us to a point: Democrats have spent a lot of time complaining about what the president has done. This is an opportunity for them to kind of stand up."

    The elections have been shaped by an unpopular war in Iraq, scandal at home and dissatisfaction with George Bush, the president.

    Democrat control of the house gives them the power to block and delay many of Bush's policies.

    In the Senate, the other of Congress's two houses, Democrats have taken three of the six seats they need to take control.

    Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate and one of its most conservative members, lost his seat after two terms to Bob Casey Jr, the state treasurer.

    In Ohio, Mike Dewine lost to Democrat Sherrod Brown, a congressman strongly opposed to free-trade agreements.

    Lincoln Chafee, the most liberal Republican in the Senate, lost to Sheldon Whitehouse.

    Democrats take House of Representatives

  • #2

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    • #3
      Arabs relished on Wednesday the beating the U.S. Republican party took in mid-term elections, saying President George W. Bush had been given a well-deserved slap for heavy handed Middle East tactics.

      But few believed the elections that handed Democrats at least partial control of Congress would exact any real policy shift on the issues they care about most - from the U.S. role in Iraq to the Iranian nuclear row, Israel and Sudan.

      "There will be a feeling that justice has been done partly, although not completely," said Mustafa al-Sayyid, a political scientist at Cairo University.

      "People are realistic. A victory in Congress doesn't mean the administration will be forced to change its foreign policy. Moreover President Bush is known to be quite rigid. His approach is ideological and it is difficult to expect he will change."

      U.S. voters handed a huge victory to Democrats, who gained about 30 seats in the House of Representatives on a wave of discontent with the Iraq war, corruption and Bush's leadership.

      Democratic control of the House could slam the brakes on much of Bush's agenda and increase pressure for a change of course in Iraq. Democrats also moved to the brink of capturing the Senate, pending late results.

      From Sudan to Egypt to Iraq - countries where many Arabs see U.S. policy in the region as domineering and imbalanced - that prospect was seen as worthy of celebration.

      "It's something every Egyptian should see as excellent. We hope there'll be no more attacks on Muslim countries," said Samer Kamel, a watch salesman in the Egyptian capital.

      Many Arabs would like a more hands-off U.S. policy in the region. They nearly universally oppose the U.S. military presence in Iraq and see the Bush administration as siding with Israel in its decades-old conflict with the Palestinians.

      Arabs also tend to oppose U.S.-led efforts to curb Iran's nuclear programme, not necessarily out of strong support for Tehran's ambitions but because Washington is silent on Israel's nuclear programme.

      Some Arabs also see the U.S. as being too forceful over demands for international troops for Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region, where Bush has said genocide was taking place, a charge Khartoum denies. Arabs would prefer a lighter touch.

      "We are hoping for relations of cooperation and not confrontation," said al-Samani al-Wasiyla, Sudanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

      Algerian analyst Ismail Maaraf Ghalia said: "The Democrats will also make U.S. proposals for reforms in the Arab World more credible because their idea is based on partnership not on pressure and interference in internal affairs."

      Few Arabs saw evidence that U.S. Democrats would force a total about-face on policy, especially on Iraq, but hoped they would help push the administration to be more diplomatic.

      "Their strategy would not be so different from the current Republicans' strategy, but policy decisions wouldn't be as aggressive, arrogant or ill-advised as happened in the past few years," Kuwaiti political analyst Khaldoun al-Naqeeb said.

      Abdel Monem Said of Egypt's Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies said that while Democrats may restrain the Bush administration a little in Iraq, a divided government could also see Washington deferring engagement on other fronts like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, creating a void.

      "A void in the world power system usually is not good," he said. "A lot of evil-doers will try to fill the vacuum."

      Arabs relish U.S. Republican election losses

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      • #4
        U.S. Democrat candidate John Tester won the crucial Senate race in Montana, bringing the number of Democrat seats to 50. Control of the Senate will be decided by the outcome in the Senate race in Virginia.

        U.S. Democratic candidate wins crucial Senate race

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        • #5
          YAY!! We're back in control -- kharjak ya busht!

          Also, a woman is the head person in the house (democrat)... and the muslim dude that was running for something (hehe, i forgot) won as well... InshaAllah, 2007 will be a good year....

          as for elections, only sad thing is i'm stuck wid da TERMINATOR again...

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          • #6
            i read a few Articles about Pelosi , and suddenly i calmed down .
            Friendship

            [60:8] GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

            [60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors

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            • #7


              Bush admits Republicans took a "thumping"

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              • #8
                Rumsfeld's gone already, and they've now called Montana and Virginia - looks like the Democratic Party has taken the Senate too.

                It's like a summer's morning after a rainstorm



                V

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                • #9
                  The Democrats appeared to have completed their political sweep of Capitol Hill today, winning control of the Senate with a final victory in the tight Virginia race and giving the party complete command over Congress.

                  The Associated Press and other media organisations were predicting that the gaffe-prone Republican Senator George Allen was trailing his Democrat challenger Jim Webb by 7,236 votes - a margin he is unlikely to recoup in any recount.

                  Although there has been no official confirmation of the win, an adviser to Mr Allen – who was accused of making a racial slur and hiding his Jewish heritage during the campaign – told Reuters that the Senator "has made it clear to staff, to me in particular that he has absolutely no intention of dragging this out" if the numbers favour Mr Webb.

                  President Bush now faces the stark prospect of being a lame-duck leader, sharing power with a Democrat-dominated Congress. He promised yesterday that he would seek out "common ground" and saying the message of the American voters was that rival politicians must "work together".

                  He also paved the way for a new direction in Iraq with Donald Rumsfeld quitting the Pentagon hours after Democrats seized control of Congress.

                  Mr Rumsfeld will be replaced by Robert Gates, a former CIA Director. A close associate of James Baker and the President’s father, Mr Gates has in the past advocated dialogue with Iran. Mr Baker’s review on Iraq is expected to propose negotiating with Iran and Syria, or even moving US troops to bases beyond Iraq’s borders.

                  Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador in Iraq, is also expected to be replaced in Baghdad by the end of the year.

                  Nancy Pelosi, who is in line to become the first woman Speaker of the House, also tried to strike a conciliatory note yesterday, offering Mr Bush a new era of "bipartisanship" and "civility" in politics.

                  There were similar comments from Harry Reid, who now looks set to become the Senate majority leader.

                  In the recent past, Mr Bush has scorned these Democratic leaders who, in turn, have called him all manner of names. But the crude political reality, which the President acknowledged at his White House press conference, is that none of them will get anywhere in the next two years unless they agree "to set aside partisan differences".

                  The unlikely courtship led to Mr Bush showering his opponents with invitations to the Oval Office for later this week, explaining: "What’s changed today is the election’s over and the Democrats won. If you focus on the big picture . . . you can get stuff done."

                  The President said that he had genuinely believed that "we were going to do fine" in the midterm poll before acknowledging that "Iraq had a lot to do with these election . . . no question, Iraq was on people’s minds".

                  At her press conference, Ms Pelosi said that she "looked forward to a partnership to end the war in Iraq". A good place to start, she added, would be "in changing the civilian leadership of the Pentagon" — in other words dismissing Mr Rumsfeld.

                  Within an hour the Defence Secretary was gone. But this was not the first fruit of the flowering relationship, as Mr Bush made clear that he had been talking to Mr Rumsfeld and his likely replacement about the change even before the Democrats wreaked electoral carnage.

                  For all that, the President yesterday was signalling a change of course in the war in Iraq, with the departure of Mr Rumsfeld and the looming publication of a report by the Iraq Study Group perhaps providing him with an exit strategy on a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 American soldiers.

                  The Democrats themselves know that they must balance the demands of their activists — who are thirsting for revenge on the Bush Administration and shrilly calling for troops to be brought home — with the needs of the centrist voters who gave them their victory in this election.

                  When Ms Pelosi took the stage at the Democrats’ exultant victory party in the small hours of the morning, there were wild cheers as she declared: "Mr President, we need a new direction in Iraq." But the applause was noticeably more muted when she promised that Democrats would govern by "working together with the Administration and the Republicans in Congress."

                  Congressman John Conyers, who is in line to become Democrat chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has already spoken of his desire to impeach the President. But Ms Pelosi has recently ruled out any such prospect, saying that it would be a waste of time.

                  There will be much greater scrutiny and oversight of the war in Iraq, particularly on allegations of waste and mismanagement. Although exercising effective control over committee chairmen and the direction of their investigations may be easier said than done, Ms Pelosi has said that she does not want "any out-of-control investigations" such as those that might reexamine the original case for war.

                  The Democrat "six for ’06" manifesto is a relatively modest document, including measures such as raising the minimum wage, cutting interest payments on student loans, adopting all the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations on combating terrorism and offering cheaper medicine to the elderly.

                  On issues such as immigration reform, where the President’s hopes of securing legal status for undocumented workers were scotched by the last Congress, he may find that House Democrats make easier bedfellows than the right-wing populists in his own party. On other subjects, such as trade liberalisation, they will undoubtedly be more difficult.

                  In the Senate the picture was less clear. At best, they will have a majority of just one seat, provided by Joe Lieberman. Having been re-elected as an independent, despite losing the Democratic primary contest in August, the Connecticut senator is now using terms such as "unshackled" and "liberated" to describe his new position.

                  Mr Lieberman is likely to take the Democrat whip — in return for the chairmanship of the Senate’s Homeland Security committee, where his pro-war stance could blunt some of the more jagged partisan edges of his colleagues.

                  Democrats complete victory 'gaining control of Senate'

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                  • #10
                    On it's impact sur les relations Algero-Americaine: C'est une nouvelle qui ne va pas trop affecter les relations privilégiées d’Alger avec Washington, tout le monde est au courant que le Bouteflika est incontestablement soutenu par l’Administration Bush contre vents et marées.
                    Last edited by Nectar77; 9 November 2006, 15:45.
                    Nectar77

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                    • #11
                      Tuesday's electoral "wave" of repudiation against the Republicans and the George W Bush administration is hardly a U.S. phenomenon. It's global, and shows how Bush, lacking an "Evil Empire" to fight, has instead pursued "rogue states" and non-state terror groups, a policy that has turned the U.S. into an Outlaw Empire:

                      Plebiscite on an Outlaw Empire

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                      • #12
                        For at least 50 years, the U.S. has pursued a policy of belligerent regime change in the Middle East that time and again has suffered from unforeseen consequences, or "blowback". The results of the U.S. mid-term elections indicate that the American people have realized that this has happened in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The result: regime change at home:

                        Regime-change blowback

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                        • #13
                          Muslim’s Election Is Celebrated Here and in Mideast

                          User Name: Bent_Bladi
                          Password: article

                          By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
                          Published: November 10, 2006

                          SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9 — Keith Ellison wore his religion lightly on the campaign trail, mentioning it only when asked.

                          But Muslims across America, and even overseas, celebrated his election Tuesday as the first Muslim in Congress, representing Minnesota’s Fifth District in the House of Representatives, as a sign of acceptance and a welcome antidote to their faith’s sinister image.

                          “It’s a step forward; it gives the Muslims a little bit of a sense of belonging,” said Osama A. Siblani, the publisher of The Arab American News, a weekly in Dearborn, Mich., a state with one of the heaviest concentrations of Muslims. “It is also a signal to the rest of the world that America has nothing against Muslims. If we did, he wouldn’t have been elected.”

                          Mr. Ellison’s success was front-page news in several of the Arab world’s largest newspapers and high in the lineup on television news programs.

                          Few of his supporters expect Mr. Ellison, a 43-year-old criminal defense lawyer who converted to Islam as a 19-year-old college student, to effect any policy shifts in areas of concern to Muslim Americans, particularly when it comes to foreign policy and civil rights.

                          Mr. Siblani joked that even if all 28 new Democrats were Muslims, it is unlikely they would be able to sway the way Congress invariably votes in support of Israel. But many Muslims believe that just having a Muslim perspective around can make some difference.

                          “Congress needs to reflect the diversity of America, and that means its vibrant religious diversity as well,” said Farhana Khera, the executive director of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers and a former senior Senate staff member. “It’s good to have diverse voices on the House floor, in committees and caucus meetings. It is good for the country to have different views aired, especially when the primary national issues relate to Islam and affect Muslims in this country and Muslims overseas.”

                          In a telephone interview, Mr. Ellison, who will also be the first black to represent Minnesota in the House, said his faith was particularly helpful in galvanizing the large community of Somali immigrants in his district, but the overall impact was difficult to assess. “For some people, it might have been a problem and other people it was a bonus,” Mr. Ellison said, noting that the campaign had received a fair amount of nasty e-mail and telephone calls denigrating Islam.

                          He said that his priority was to represent his district, but that he hoped to do it in a way that touched a wider swath of Americans.

                          “I think a lot of Muslims feel highly vulnerable and feel that they are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny,” he said when asked if he felt he was wearing a particular mantle, of representing Muslim interests. “I am going to do it from a standpoint of improving the quality of civil and human rights for all people in America.”

                          Many Muslim American activists hope Mr. Ellison will inspire other Muslims to run for office, some even comparing his candidacy to John F. Kennedy’s breaking the taboo against a Roman Catholic’s being president.

                          “I think it has inspired American Muslims,” said Adeeba Al-Zaman, 23, who flew from her home in Philadelphia to Minneapolis to volunteer to work in the last few days of Mr. Ellison’s campaign. “The fact that he won will probably motivate other Muslims that we have a shot and we matter and we are a part of the fabric of this society and we should be engaged because we have a chance.”

                          Ms. Al-Zaman also noted that with Mr. Ellison in office, Muslims would seem more normal, and that Congress and all Americans would see that “we care about things like health care and education and everything else that all Americans care about.”

                          The sense of vindication is even stronger because Mr. Ellison was attacked on religious grounds by his Republican opponent, Alan Fine. In September, Mr. Fine said that as a Jew he was personally offended by Mr. Ellison’s past support for Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the radical group Nation of Islam.

                          Mr. Ellison denied any link to Mr. Farrakhan and reached out to Jews, eventually gaining some endorsements from Jewish groups.

                          In the end, Mr. Ellison won 56 percent of the vote in his district, a Democratic stronghold that covers much of downtown Minneapolis and its immediate suburbs. Mr. Fine took 21 percent, as did Tammy Lee of the Independence Party. The incumbent, Martin Olav Sabo, is retiring

                          Attacks on Mr. Ellison’s religion helped galvanize Muslim Americans nationally, with supporters raising money from Florida to Michigan to California. His supporters were quick to point out that they backed Mr. Ellison not simply because he was a Muslim, but also because of his progressive platform, which included calls for universal health insurance and a withdrawal of forces from Iraq, and because he was running a positive campaign.

                          Mr. Ellison’s victory was widely noted in the larger Muslim world. The day after the election, it was the third headline mentioned on Al Jazeera, the most popular satellite news channel in the Middle East, right after a report that 18 Palestinian civilians had been killed by Israeli artillery in the Gaza Strip and a report on the overall Democratic sweep in the elections.

                          The news garnered a rich variety of comments from Arab readers on the Web site of Al Arabiya, a satellite news channel based in Dubai. “God willing in the next election, half of Congress will be from the rational Muslims,” wrote one reader, while another said, “May God make this the beginning of victory for Muslims on the very ground of the despots.”

                          A third wrote, “We pray to God that you will be successful and will move forward in improving the image of Islam and the Muslims.”

                          Arab news reports highlighted the fact that Mr. Ellison would probably take the oath of office on the Koran, something which also upset Muslim-bashers in the blogosphere. Some suggested it meant he would pledge allegiance to Islamic law rather than to upholding the Constitution.

                          Mr. Ellison said he had not really thought about the swearing-in ceremony and had tried to keep the campaign focused on issues rather than his religion.

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                          • #14
                            U.S. vote embarrasses allies

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                            • #15


                              Pelosi’s support for Israel is heartfelt, supporters say

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