From American Progress:
If the election season's voting patterns "hold today in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, voters under 30 are headed for increases not just in turnout but also in their share of the electorate." According to five Gallup and USA Today/Gallup poll since mid-February, "87% said they plan to vote, up from 81% in 2004." Overall, both Indiana and North Carolina are expecting record voter turnout today.
Over nearly seven years, "not one of the approximately 775 terrorism suspects who have been held" on Guantanamo Bay "has faced a jury trial inside the new complex, and U.S. officials think it is highly unlikely that any of the Sept. 11 suspects will before the Bush administration ends." A "high-ranking Pentagon officer” has been quoted noting the "strategic political value" of starting the 9/11 trials before November.
"The Pentagon has concluded it can't send additional troops to Afghanistan until sizable numbers of forces withdraw from Iraq," according to a senior military official. "We might be able to generate a little bit more," the official said. "But not 10,000 to 12,000 more troops," which are needed. The comments are "an acknowledgment of the challenges facing the Pentagon" while fighting two wars in the Middle East.
Concerned that Democratic leaders are cutting a "backroom deal" on surveillance legislation, "the American Civil Liberties Union urged its members to contact their legislators and oppose any compromise." House leaders "say there is no deal," claiming they still exchanging drafts with Senate negotiators.
Despite President Bush's insistence that he will "not approve any legislation that exceeds his spending request for the war" or "adds domestic money he opposes," House Democrats are preparing "a war spending measure that would include extended unemployment assistance and new educational benefits for returning veterans." The $178 billion measure may be brought to the floor this week.
A black man is "11.8 times more likely than a white man to be sent to prison" on drug charges, and a black woman is 4.8 times more likely than a white woman, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. Also released yesterday, a study by the Sentencing Project "found that, since 1980, the rate of drug arrests for African Americans increased by 225 percent, compared to 70 percent among whites."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last night "endorsed the need for government intervention" in stemming home foreclosures, "saying that letting markets take their own course could 'destabilize communities, reduce the property values of nearby homes and lower municipal tax revenues.'"
And finally: Yesterday, the House passed a resolution honoring the late actor and National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, who died last month. The measure, introduced by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) with a bipartisan list of 112 co-sponsors, noted that "the United States of America has lost a great patriot." Roll Call adds, "Language in the resolution notes that aside from holding conservative views, Heston did something else pretty un-Hollywood by staying married to Lydia Clarke -- ‘the love of his life' -- for 64 years."