Thursday, February 21, 2008

From McCain's loan to $60,000 for 1 year's golfing..

From American Progress:

Think Fast...

In a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) this week, Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason says the presidential candidate "can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign."

Federal agents are investigating whether former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) "knowingly played a role in an alleged conspiracy in 2006 to influence a Mississippi judge presiding over a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against" his brother-in-law, "famed plaintiff attorney Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs." In November 2007, Scruggs was indicted for bribing the judge.

Despite recent interest rate cuts, "the Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its projection for economic growth this year, citing damage from the double blows of a housing slump and credit crunch. ... It said it also expects higher unemployment and inflation."

In a statement to Parliament, British foreign secretary David Miliband "has admitted two US 'extraordinary rendition' flights landed on UK territory in 2002." Miliband said he was "very sorry" for previous denials from top British officials, who said in 2005, 2006 and 2007 that "there was no evidence that rendition flights had stopped on UK territory."

An Urban Institute study found that "the average number of Americans who lost their insurance each year increased faster during the economic recovery of 2004-2006 than the recession years of 2000-2004." The study concludes that this spike resulted because the number of Americans receiving coverage from their jobs declined, while wage increases failed to match growing insurance premiums.

A new study concludes that the "supposed 'global cooling' consensus among scientists in the 1970s -- frequently offered by global-warming skeptics as proof that climatologists can't make up their minds -- is a myth." An examination of "dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles from 1965 to 1979" found that "only seven supported global cooling, while 44 predicted warming."

"The Army has shut down public access to the largest online collection of its doctrinal publications," a site "popular with researchers for its wealth of field and technical manuals and documents on military operations, education, training and technology." Open government advocates call it "unnecessary secrecy by a runaway bureaucracy."

The Pentagon's disbursement of "roughly $1 billion a year for the past six years" to Pakistan is facing allegations of "disputed expenses and suspicions about overbilling." Congress has asked the Bush administration "to provide receipts for every Pakistani expense over $1 million," but has not yet received a response.

And finally: It's no secret that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) enjoys golfing. Harper's, however, reports that in 2007, Boehner "used money from his political funds to pay for food or lodging at least 16 resorts or country clubs. His combined spending between 2005 and 2007 at the Wetherington Golf & Country Club alone came to nearly $60,000," roughly "equivalent to the median family income (for a three-person family) in Boehner's home state of Ohio."


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