Monday, September 25, 2006

Morning News Roundup (25 September)

Quote of the Day
  • From CNN yesterday (Crooks and Liars has the video):
    BLITZER: Let's move on and talk a little bit about Iraq. Because this is a huge, huge issue, as you know, for the American public, a lot of concern that perhaps they are on the verge of a civil war, if not already a civil war…. We see these horrible bodies showing up, tortured, mutilation. The Shia and the Sunni, the Iranians apparently having a negative role. Of course, al Qaeda in Iraq is still operating.

    BUSH: Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there's a strong will for democracy. [emphasis added]
  • The Carpetbagger replies:
    Even by Bush's already-low standards, it was a stunning comment. We're talking about a war that has claimed 2,700 American lives and seriously injured 20,000 more. It's a crisis that has, by any reasonable measure, made the threat of terrorism against Americans considerably worse. It's a misadventure that has cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, to fight a war sold under false pretenses, and mismanaged with almost child-like incompetence.

    Asked to explain himself, the president is unconcerned. Everything we're seeing is "just a comma." I'm sure that will bring comfort to the families of those who have sacrificed so much for Bush's mistakes.
BushCo's Wars
  • Over the weekend, stories came out in several major newspapers (including the WaPo) about the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which...
    ...cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.
    Today, Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte defended the NIE:
    "What we have said, time and again, is that while there is much that remains to be done in the war on terror, we have achieved some notable successes against the global jihadist threat," Negroponte said in a statement. "The conclusions of the intelligence community are designed to be comprehensive, and viewing them through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create."
    Noting that the NIE -- which “represents a consensus view of the 16 separate spy services inside government” -- was released in April, ThinkProgress notes that Dear Leader seems to be ignoring the bad news (as usual). From his August 21 press conference:
    You know, I’ve heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of “we’re going to stir up the hornet’s nest” theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
  • Iraq's fractious political parties reached a deal Sunday meant to prevent the country from splintering into a federation of three autonomous zones until at least 2008. Under the compromise reached Sunday, parliament will form a 27-member committee on Monday to review the constitution and then introduce the Shiite measure on creating federal regions the following day, lawmakers said. [WaPo]

  • Musharraf's new book, serialized in the Times of London today, explains how the CIA has secretly paid his government millions for handing over al Qaeda suspects, apparently in violation of U.S. law. [Foreign Policy's Passport]

  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) yesterday named several specific techniques — extreme sleep deprivation, forced hypothermia and waterboarding — that he says would be banned under his “compromise” bill on detainee policy. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said McCain’s disclosure “helps the terrorists.” [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

Climate Crisis
  • Wal-Mart is going green. The discount retailer has launched an “aggressive program to encourage ’sustainability’ of the world’s fisheries, forests and farmlands, to slash energy use and reduce waste, [and] to push its 60,000 suppliers to produce goods that don’t harm the environment.” Scott Burns of the World Wildlife Fund said, “They’re sending a very powerful signal that already is having effects on the way people produce products for them.” [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

  • Even though gas prices are going down from their $3 peak, SUVs sales still are still slumping. In August, a Consumer Reports survey by Consumer Reports found that fuel economy had become the top consideration for car shoppers, ahead of reliability, price and safety. Sales of S.U.V.’s, a market long dominated by Detroit, have plunged 18 percent this year through August, after a 15 percent drop last year, industry statistics show. That compares with single-digit declines in 2003 and 2004, when gas cost less than $2. [NYTimes via my Hugg]

Domestic Potpourri
  • Millions of older Americans are confronting a temporary break in their Medicare drug coverage this month that will require them to pay the full cost of their prescriptions or face the painful prospect of going without.

    This is the "doughnut hole" in the new Medicare drug benefit that began in January, and advocates for seniors say there is nothing sweet about it. Some seniors knew nothing of the coverage gap until they were hit with a bigger drug bill, advocates say.
    Frances Acanfora, 65, had been paying $58 for a three-month supply of her five medications. But this month the retired school lunchroom aide learned that her next bill would be $1,294. She had entered the doughnut hole. [WaPo]

  • Pope Benedict XVI today told Muslim diplomats "our future" depends on dialogue between Christians and Muslims. The pontiff was seeking to calm the anger caused by a speech earlier this month in which he quoted a medieval ruler who called some of the prophet Muhammad's teachings "evil and inhuman". [The Guardian]

  • Leaders of the Anglican Church’s conservative wing took the first steps yesterday in creating formally a new Church structure for anti-gay evangelicals in the United States. After meeting in Rwanda, archbishops from the 20 African and Asian provinces in the Anglican “Global South” grouping said that they understood the “serious implications” of their decision.
    They are to develop an alternative Anglican structure in the US for the seven episcopal dioceses who appealed this year to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for alternative primatial oversight.

    Their appeal came after the general convention of the Episcopal Church, when a female and pro-gay primate, Bishop Katharine Schori, was elected to succeed Frank Griswold as leader of the Episcopal Church. The conservatives are also angry that the Episcopal Church has stood by the election of the openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. [London Times]


At 1:36 PM, Blogger kat said...

Such a bizarre statement. What the hell does a "comma" really look like when analyzing history? Does he mean all of the current Iraq FUBAR will really just seem like a brief pause in the grand scheme of things? If I were a family member who had lost someone in Iraq I think I'd have a hard time swallowing the notion of a "comma." Whatever.

Have you seen "V for Vendetta?"

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Agen said...

We got it from Netflix a couple weeks back. Not overpowering, but good liberal, anti-fascist propagandtainment. And it's always good to see Stephen Fry.


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