BLOWING THE SUPPLEMENTAL DEADLINE. Not that everyone didn't know it, but as The Hill explained last week, the White House and Pentagon's dire cries that the supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan must be passed by April 15 is crap. (Jack Murtha is quoted as saying, �We�ve never had a year where they didn�t give us bad information.�) In reality, last year's supplemental bill wasn't passed until June and 2005's passed in May (both of those under Republican Congresses). Murtha tells The Hill that the Pentagon wouldn't start running out of funding until early June, and even then, they would likely solve the problem with hiring freezes and delaying IT purchases. In other words, Democrats are ahead of last year's deadline for passing the supplemental, and even if they blow past Tax Day, the GIs on the ground won't be firing bullet-less guns. There's no reason to be nonchalant about these bills, of course, but it's important to have a realistic timeline in mind.

--Kay Steiger

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