Monday, May 21, 2007

Intel on Iraq to Clinton's musical win...

From American Progress:

"Two intelligence assessments from January 2003 predicted that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq could lead to internal violence and provide a boost to Islamic extremists and terrorists in the region." They will be released as part of the "Phase II" Senate report on pre-war intelligence.

In an op-ed, Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Jodi Rell (R-CT) say it "borders on malfeasance" for the Bush administration "to block the efforts" of their states to reduce global warming pollution. "For the last 16 months," the EPA has refused to sign off on state plans to enact tailpipe emissions standards.

Incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown reportedly plans to cut British troop numbers in Iraq from 7,000 to 2,000 over the next 12 months, and have all troops removed by spring 2008.

"Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears -- about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness --- have come to pass. ... The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue."

25 percent: The number of Americans who say "things in the U.S. are going in the right direction. ... That is about the lowest level of satisfaction detected since the survey started in December 2003."

"As Iraq's government compiles a record of failure, the Bush administration is under growing pressure to intervene to rearrange Baghdad's dysfunctional political order, or even install a new leadership." Echoing Jim Hoagland, one U.S. official calls it the "eternal temptation for the Americans."

"The average price of self-serve regular gasoline hit a record high of $3.18, rising more than 11 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday."

"A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday in a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan, killing 14 people and wounding 31," one day "after a suicide bomber in northern Afghanistan killed three German soldiers and seven bystanders."

"After an initially tepid reception from policymakers, the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group are getting a second look from the White House and Congress, as officials continue to scour for bipartisan solutions to salvage the American engagement in Iraq."

And finally: "Inspired by Tony Snow and Bob Schieffer's battle of the bands last week, MSNBC's 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' held a 'D.C. Idol' contest to let viewers vote for their favorite vocal moment by a politician. The winner, announced Friday, was Bill Clinton with his version of 'Imagine' from Israel. Clinton won with 38 percent, besting the likes of John Ashcroft's 'Let the Eagle Soar' and Karl Rove's 'MC Rove.'"


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