Can Democracy Survive in Iraq?
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This month's parliamentary elections have left Iraq politically divided between two strong leaders with similar goals but no desire to compromise. Can either one form a government before violence returns? Will US troops be able to pull out on schedule? Also, President Obama signs the "fix it" on healthcare reform and student loans, and Republicans are up in arms because party money was spent at a Hollywood sex club.
Banner image: Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (C) addresses supporters during a campaign rally in the Syrian capital Damascus on March 4, 2010. Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images
Obama Signs Final Item in Healthcare Bill, Student Loan Reform ()
At a community college in Northern Virginia today, President Obama signed the final piece of the healthcare puzzle, the so-called "fix it" bill, which also makes sweeping changes to the student loan program. The President lauded the bill for removing banks as the "unnecessary middlemen" and "easing the burden of tuition on middle-class families." David Hawkings is managing editor of CQ Weekly, a publication of Congressional Quarterly.
Can Democracy Survive in Iraq? ()
What if you have an election and nobody wins? That's the latest challenge to democracy in Iraq, and it may take months for a new government to be formed. It's not even clear if the current prime minister or one of his predecessors should get the first chance to try building a coalition strong enough to take charge. Prolonged delay might produce political compromise or a return to sectarian civil war, and both leading candidates are looking over their shoulders at Iran. Should the Obama Administration stay the course and pull combat troops out by the end of August, or will continued stability require US boots on the ground?
- Ned Parker: Baghdad Correspondent, Los Angeles Times, @nedparkerlat
- Laith Kubba: Spokesman, former Iraqi Prime Minister al-Jaafari
- Michael O'Hanlon: Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Meghan O'Sullivan: former Deputy National Security Adviser on Iraq and Afghanistan
RNC in Hot Water over Saucy Club Expenses ()
A group called the "Young Eagles" spent $2000 of Republican Party money at Voyeur, a nightclub in West Hollywood, California. Turns out that was the wrong place to recruit a new generation of voters. Neil Patel, former chief policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, is publisher of The Daily Caller, the Republican answer to The Huffington Post.
- Neil Patel: Publisher, The Daily Caller
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