From American Progress:
"At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers." Unbeknownst "even to many on his staff," Bush has summoned "leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House" to discuss questions like, "Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?"
"Battle stress may cause combat-hardened Marines with clean records to get into trouble after they return home," new Marine Corps research shows. "The Marines have a plan to help these troops but not the resources to implement it, said a leading mental health expert with the Corps."
"Air strikes by foreign forces in Afghanistan have recently killed more civilians than the Taliban and the U.S.-led operation should cut them back," said Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission. "In the latest incident involving civilian fatalities, Afghan officials said on the weekend that 45 civilians were killed in an air strike in the south of the country."
"Four U.S. soldiers and a Marine were killed in attacks in Baghdad and Iraq's western Anbar province, the military said Monday," bringing the total number of U.S. fatalities to 3,582.
The Bush administration is "considering moving its program for a new-generation nuclear warhead into the development stage within a year, with an eye to putting the program on track before the end of its term in January 2009."
In 1999, Congress told the federal agencies that they should "award 3 percent of their contracts to businesses owned by service disabled veterans." But currently, only FEMA has met the target. "Government-wide, less than 1 percent of all federal contracts have gone to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans."
"The Pentagon has approved an Army recommendation for a 600% increase in production of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to protect soldiers from makeshift bombs in Iraq." Although lawmakers applauded the Pentagon's increase -- which would cost $8.1 billion -- Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) noted that he couldn't "support more than $6 billion in MRAP spending for next year because contractors can't build the vehicles fast enough."
And finally: Al Gore is a "die-hard" Sopranos fan, but was going to have to miss last month's season finale because he was scheduled to be on a plane to Istanbul. So Gore called Brad Grey, the chairman of Paramount, and asked for an advance copy. After originally refusing, Grey eventually "had a Halliburton-made steel case, containing a copy of the episode, delivered to the tarmac where Mr. Gore's plane sat in Chicago. The case was locked with a code. ... Mr. Gore could not open it until the plane was in the air, when he was instructed to call Mr. Grey's office for the numeric code."