Thursday, October 19, 2006

Morning News Roundup (19 October)

BushCo's Wars
  • Iraqi guerrillas killed 11 US troops on Wednesday, one of the highest tolls in a single day seen in the course of the war. Since October 1, some 70 US troops have been killed. This level of violence resembles November, 2004, when the US invaded the small city of Fallujah to the west of Baghdad. Some of the spike in the deaths of GIs comes from the "Battle for Baghdad," their attempt to sweep Sunni Arab districts of the capital to root out guerrilla cells. But some of it probably comes from adaptations and better tactics of the guerrillas. Although the US military blames it in part on Ramadan, I can't see what that would have to do with it. [Juan Cole's Informed Comment]

  • At least 24 people have been killed in a series of bomb blasts across Iraq. About 20 people died in two separate suicide bombings in the north of the country, while four people were reported killed in blasts in Baghdad. In the bloodiest attack, 12 people died when a truck bomb exploded at a police station in Mosul. Authorities there imposed a curfew after the blast. Meanwhile at least eight people died when a suicide car bomber targeted a marketplace in Kirkuk. [BBC]

  • In the void forged by the sectarian tensions gripping Baghdad, militias are further splintering into smaller, more radicalized cells, signifying a new and potentially more volatile phase in the struggle for the capital.
    The new breed of militias embody the changed texture of violence in the fourth year of war -- from attacks against Baathists and loyalists of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, to attacks on average Iraqis purely because of their sect or their wealth. They appear more localized and more ruthless than their predecessors. They deploy death squads and explode bombs to destroy houses. They have carved neighborhoods into fiefdoms, governing through fear and intimidation. [WaPo]

  • President Bush said Wednesday that the current surge of violence in Iraq "could be" comparable to the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, a succession of battles that became a milestone because it helped turn the American public against the conflict and its political leadership. [WaPo]

  • Addressing Bush’s false claim that detainees will be able to “hear all the evidence against them,” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said last night, “The Military Commissions act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense. Your words are lies, Sir. They are lies, that imperil us all.” [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast; also below is Olbermann's conversation with Jonathan Turley about the detainee/torture bill from two nights ago]

Climate Crisis
  • A National Research Council study reports a “demonstrably downward” trend in the population of birds, bees, bats and other species that pollinate North American plant life. The trend could damage dozens of commercially important crops, scientists warned, because three-fourths of all flowering plants depend on pollinators for fertilization. [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

  • A University of Washington climate researcher says Pacific Northwest winters will be getting grayer and rainier over the next 50 to 100 years, because of a low-pressure system near the Aleutian Islands.

    Eric Slathe said weather that far in the future may not seem relevant to the average person, but the storms brought on by climate change will affect everyone paying for or designing a new bridge or roadway today. [Seattle P-I]

Domestic Potpourri
  • Former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl repeatedly raised red flags about former Rep. Mark Foley years before GOP leaders said they knew about Foley's inappropriate conduct with pages, sources said. Trandahl's lawyers said he is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Ethics Committee, which is investigating the Foley case. [CNN]

  • Evangelical Christian leaders are tackling a growing list of domestic and international issues, such as genocide in Darfur and global warming, despite dissension in their ranks over whether this broader moral agenda will dilute their political power just before crucial elections.

    Yesterday, two dozen prominent evangelicals issued a joint appeal for President Bush to take the lead in sending a multinational, U.N.-backed peacekeeping force into the Darfur region of Sudan. [...] Today, another broad coalition of evangelical leaders will begin airing advertisements on Christian radio stations calling for action to address climate change. Among them is the new president of the Christian Coalition, who has said he plans to "rebuild and rebrand" the conservative lobbying group.

    These initiatives do not sit well with some grass-roots religious conservatives, who prefer to keep the focus on a tighter range of issues, principally opposition to abortion and same-sex unions. [WaPo]

  • The latest MN-06 poll suggests Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling may be slightly ahead of far right GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. [The Left Coaster]

[ posted with ecto ]


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Jay McGinley said...

I am extremely hopeful and extremely leary of the Evangelical announcement of support. It will help or kill based on whether their actions shout louder than their words. "As you DO unto the least of these my family...."

Your mentioning Darfur in your blogging is imperative. And as doubtless you have noticed, blogging volume regarding Darfur has plummeted. Thank you for your efforts.

We are hopelessly stalled in Saving Darfur. But it is only hopeless if we-the-citizens continue to be bystanders risking little or no cost to ourselves.

Please help promote what must fast become our role models; nothing less will stop the Genocide:
DARFUR HEROES: Santa Clara Univ Vigil & Fast

More Darfur Heroes at DARFUR Dying for Heroes

Thank you, Rosemary, Dave, Mary Rachel, Jay coming up on week three of
Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops


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