Friday, April 25, 2008

States in recession & Cold it colder?...

From American Progress:

Think Fast...

A new survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures finds that the "finances of many states have deteriorated so badly that they appear to be in a recession, regardless of whether that's true for the nation as a whole."

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank notes that during "a book-launch event last night," Iraq war architect Douglas Feith "pointed his finger every which way but inward" in blaming others for the Iraq war's failures. Milbank added, "It must have been very difficult being Doug Feith: correct all the time, and surrounded by idiots."

A new report from Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen says "Iraq's military and police forces need years of improvements before they have enough recruits, officers and support systems to secure the country."

"Iraq's largest Sunni bloc has agreed to return to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's cabinet after a boycott of nearly a year" citing "a recently passed amnesty law and the government’s crackdown on Shiite militias." The deal "could still fall through," but the return "would represent a major political victory for Mr. Maliki."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may push a plan to move the Iraq war supplemental, which includes "three separate legislative vehicles: one to exclusively provide emergency funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; another aimed at stimulating the economy through a mix of domestic spending measures; and potentially, a third that would advance some sort of language on troop withdrawals."

73 percent: American consumers who are worried about rising food prices. "According to the USA Today/Gallup Poll, 46% of respondents say higher food prices have caused a hardship, including 10% who said they've created a severe hardship."

Due to soaring heating costs, "millions of Americans are behind on electric and gas bills," which means that over the next two months, "a record number of families could face energy shut-offs."

And finally: Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) just doesn't understand cold weather -- or why anyone would want to live in such climates. Meeting with a group of high school students from frigid Cold Bay, AK, Abercrombie wondered, "Let me get this straight: The name is Cold Bay. You are talking about Alaska. This is something called Cold Bay. When you are in Alaska and something is called Cold Bay, is it colder than other bays or something? Why the hell are you even out there?"


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