Democrats in the House rounded up the necessary votes today for their $124 billion bill to fund the war in Iraq. The good news: the bill comes with a date certain for leaving Iraq (August 2008) and extra funding to support returning veterans. That’s progress. Republicans, of course, stuck with the president and his calls to stay the course in a war that has failed by every measure. But I still wish the bill had been voted down (though for much different reasons than the Republicans). $124 billion for another year of war is largely wasted money. Regardless, the Speaker and the Democrats in the House deserve credit for moving the debate in the right direction. U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer faxed me a handwritten note today (in response to a letter I sent earlier this week) in which he said voting for the bill was the only way to “end the madness” unleashed by Karl Rove and George W. Bush. The Oregon congressman wrote that the vote today will prove to be “an important set back” to the White House. The president promises to veto the bill (if the Senate were to side with the House and send the bill for a signature). We are fortunate to have people in charge of Congress that share our goal of ending the war and bringing stability to the Middle East.