From American Progress:
President Bush predicted today that there "will be a signed peace treaty" to turn the West Bank and Gaza Strip into a Palestinian state "by the time I leave office." USA Today, however, notes, "Despite Bush's upbeat assessment, there was little to suggest concrete progress during his second day in the Middle East."
In May 2005, a Blackwater helicopter in Iraq dropped CS gas, "a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions," on a crowded checkpoint in Baghdad. "But the same tight controls apparently did not apply to Blackwater at the time of the incident."
Ron Paul will be permitted to appear in tonight's Fox News debate in South Carolina. "Fox apparently has changed its policy of excluding Paul from debates after backlash resulting from barring Paul from a forum in New Hampshire just two days before the primary."
Attorneys for Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who reportedly ordered the destruction of the torture tapes, have told Congress that their client won't testify on Jan. 16 "without a promise of immunity."
$4,100: The pay hike that members of Congress will receive in 2008, boosting their salaries to $169,300.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will be joining JPMorgan Chase as an advisor, the bank said in a statement, likely earning over $1 million per year. Since resigning last summer, Blair has also joined the lucrative speaking circuit, "matching the earning power of President Bill Clinton."
Home heating costs soared "5.4 cents over the past week to a record $3.40 a gallon. ...The national heating oil price was up 98 cents from a year ago" and marked "the fourth week in a row that heating oil hit a record."
"The Supreme Court appeared unmoved yesterday by arguments that an Indiana law requiring voters to present photo identification imposes an unconstitutional burden." "The justices' questioning indicated that a majority did not accept the challengers' basic argument -- that voter-impersonation fraud is not a problem."
And finally: On Sunday, former senator Mike Gravel spoke at New Hampshire.s prep school Phillips Exeter Academy. "We've all got addictions," Gravel said to the students. "Anyone in here not taking any drugs?" Looks. Laughter. Chuckles. "Tylenol, aspirin, we're all druggies! ... I'm on painkillers!" He then added, "I'm sure that a lot of you have tripped out on alcohol. Well, it's a lot safer to do it on marijuana."