Sunday, March 25, 2007

Think Fast

Bob Novak reports conservatives are angry at CIA Director Michael Hayden for telling Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) that Valerie Plame was covert. “Waxman’s statement astounded Republicans whose queries about her had been rebuffed by the agency. That confirmed Republican suspicions that Hayden is too close to Democrats. … When Hayden’s role was pointed out to one of the president’s most important aides, there was no response.”

A review 1,400 veterans hospitals has turned up more than 1,000 reports of substandard conditions. In response, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson this week ordered “immediate corrective action” to fix the problems. Bobby Muller of the Veterans for America said, “There is a social contract between a country and those it sends to war, and America’s social contract is broken.”

Three of the eight federal prosecutors ousted by the Justice Department as poor performers ranked in the top 10 for prosecutions and convictions by the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys, an analysis of court records shows.” A fourth prosecutor “ranked among the top third of all U.S. attorneys during four of the past five years.”

House Democratic leaders pressed undecided lawmakers yesterday to support the Iraq war supplemental spending bill, which House leaders expect to vote on this evening. One House Democratic leadership aid said, “We’re close, but not there yet.” The leadership’s vote round-up was given a boost this week by’s decision to back the bill.

“In a stinging, wide-ranging assessment,” Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen found the United States was “unprepared for the extensive nation-building required after it invaded Iraq, and at each juncture where it could have adjusted its efforts, it failed even to understand the problems it faced.”

3,000: Number of military sexual assault reports filed in 2006, compared to 2,400 in 2005. “Action was taken against 780 people, from courts-martial and discharges to other administrative remedies.”

Hurricane Katrina drained nearly 300,000 people from coastal areas between Texas and the Florida Panhandle, according to new government population estimates that tally for the first time the storm’s devastating toll on the Gulf Coast.”

The Pentagon is “quietly seeking congressional approval for significant new military sales to US allies in the Persian Gulf region” to counter Iranian influence. The sale of arms -could “spark concerns that further military buildup in the volatile region would bring Washington closer to a confrontation with Iran.”

And finally: NoDoz is no longer just for “hard-partying college students leaving their homework to the last possible moment.” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) takes them “like candy” -- two a day “at 200 milligrams of caffeine a pop.” Wilson explained, “I love coffee, but I don’t have time to drink it.”

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