Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Case You Missed It

News from Tuesday,  October 17th 
courtesy of The Center For American Progress
President Bush signed the "Military Commissions Act of 2006" today in the Rose Garden, a bill that will not grant detainees legal counsel. "Also, it specifically bars detainees from filing habeas corpus petitions challenging their detentions in federal courts." The new law sets the stage for what many analysts believe will be yet another historic showdown between the courts, the president, and Congress.
With the FBI investigating Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) over "familial influence peddling," USA Today noted that lobbying groups employed 30 congressional family members last year, who lobbied for $750 million in earmarks. "There are no laws against this brand of nepotism."
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is blocking the confirmation of Bush-nominated Judge Janet Neff because she may have "once attended a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple."
The number of embedded journalists reporting in Iraq has dropped to its lowest level. "Some journalists blame the decline on Pentagon bureaucracy, the reporting restrictions journalists face, and pressure by some commanders to avoid 'negative' coverage."
Scientists reported on Monday the first direct evidence linking the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B Antarctic ice shelf to human-induced global warming.
The U.S. population surpassed 300 million. While the United States accounts for just five percent of the world's population, it consumes nearly 25 percent of the world's energy.
Lester Crawford, the former FDA chief who resigned two months after being confirmed for the job, "plead guilty to charges that he hid his ownership of stock in food and drug companies that his agency regulated." "[D]uring a period when the Crawfords held shares in Pepsico, a soft drink and snack food company, he was chairman of an F.D.A. Obesity Working Group that among other tasks was reviewing calorie content labeling for soft drinks."
"Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) acknowledged Monday that his lawyer, whom he has paid more than $38,000 in the last two months, is talking with the Justice Department about the congressman's relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff." Doolittle has denied he is under investigation for corruption.
3,000: The death toll for coalition military forces in Iraq, according to a CNN tally.
And finally: Fantasy Congress Tip #1 -- Take Bob Ney or Tom DeLay off your draft list. "Some enterprising folks at Claremont McKenna College, who clearly have too much time on their hands, have come up with the wonk's answer to fantasy football: Fantasy Congress." Start playing here.

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