Friday, November 03, 2006

Morning News Roundup (03 November)

Your Government at Work
  • A federal government web archive of Saddam-era documents, launched “under pressure from Congressional Republicans…to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam,” was shut down after weapons experts said some of the documents posted “could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms.” [ThinkPRogress' ThinkFast]

  • Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

    And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.
    Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who followed the bill closely as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that she still does not know how the provision made its way into what is called the conference report. Neither the House nor the Senate version contained such a termination clause before the conference, all involved agree. [NYTimes]

  • I hope that when the political history of the last half century is written it will show, as it should, that the Republicans engaged in a brand of divisive electoral politics that pitted Americans against each other: white against black, men against women, rich against poor, native born against immigrant, straight against gay. Republicans deserve to be tarred by history for exploiting our weaknesses, our prejudices, and our lesser selves for their own political gain. But those are still our weaknesses and our prejudices. We own them. And it is our lesser selves that have succumbed to the Republican political pitch and been willing to be exploited. Removing the Republicans from power will only be a temporary fix unless we fundamentally fix ourselves so that no one, no party, no movement can exploit those same weaknesses again. [TPM Reader DK at Talking Points Memo]

BushCo's Wars
  • Officials have found 56 bodies, all men between 20 and 45 years of age, bearing signs of torture scattered around the Iraqi capital in the past 24 hours, all apparent victims of sectarian death squads, police said Friday. [WaPo]

  • AP reports that Thursday was another bloody day in Iraq, with a big bombing in a Shiite market and an overall death toll that AP estimated at 49. It says that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is planning a cabinet shuffle to improve the image of his government. [Juan Cole's Informed Comment]

  • The Bush administration, in one of the most shamelessly manipulative acts one can fathom, has ensured that the show trial of Saddam Hussein is scheduled to end with a guilty verdict and likely death sentence on November 5 -- two days before the election. They are now openly acknowledging that they think this event should and will influence the outcome of our election. [Glenn Greenwald]

Climate Crisis
  • Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a record last year and are likely to keep rising unless emissions are radically cut, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a report on Friday.

    The U.N. weather agency found that the so-called "mixing ratios" of carbon dioxide reached an all-time high of 379.1 parts per billion in 2005, and the global average for nitrous oxide hit a record 319.2 parts per billion. [WaPo]

  • All wild seafood will have disappeared from the world's menus within 50 years if current trends in overfishing continue according to one of the most comprehensive studies of marine life. The apocalyptic warning is issued by a team of ecologists and economists from a dozen research centres who have studied detailed records on fish catches going back to 1950.
    "We really see the end of the line now," said lead author Boris Worm, a marine biologist at Canada's Dalhousie University. "It's within our lifetime. Our children will see a world without seafood if we don't change things." [The Independent and WaPo]

Domestic Potpourri
  • Four years after Oregon raised its minimum wage, the Wall Street Journal examines conservative claims that it would hurt the economy and finds “none of these fears materialized.” Private, nonfarm payrolls and wages are up, and “job growth is strong in industries employing many minimum-wage workers.” [ThinkPRogress' ThinkFast]

  • Over the past quarter-century, and especially in the last 10 years, America's very rich have grown much richer. No one else fared as well. In 2004, the richest 1 percent of households - 719,910 of them, with an average annual income of $326,720 - had 19.8 percent of the entire nation's pretax income. That's up from 17.8 percent a year earlier, according to a study by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez. [McClatchy News]

Big Blue Marble
  • Five Hamas militants and three demonstrators have been killed as Israel pressed on with a deadly offensive in the northern Gaza Strip that has seen 24 Palestinians killed in 72 hours. [Agence France Presse]

And one more thing... the cover to this week's Economist:

Looking forward to next Tuesday...

[ posted with ecto ]


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