Friday, May 23, 2008

friday reads

New GI Bill Passes in Senate

Senate Republicans broke in large numbers from President Bush and his would-be Republican successor on Thursday, handing Democrats critical victories on domestic programs.

Twenty-four Republicans defied the president and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, by supporting a massive domestic-spending plan as part of the emergency war-spending bill. That included a $52 billion veterans’ education benefits package opposed by the White House that has become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.

The 75-22 vote ensured the Senate could overcome a presidential veto on a $165 billion war-funding package tied with the domestic-spending initiatives, which also includes a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits and a delay of Medicaid rules.

A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in American taxpayer money spent by the United States Army on contractors in Iraq has found that almost none of the payments followed federal rules and that in some cases, contracts worth millions of dollars were paid for despite little or no record of what, if anything, was received.

Grits for Breakfast: Many unanswered questions linger about the Great Eldorado Polygamist Roundup

For His Treatment of Children in the ‘War on Terror,’ Bush Is a War Criminal

Tomdispatch: Michael Schwartz, The Loss of an Imperial Dream

Juan Cole: Will Sistani Declare Jihad on US?

U.S. home prices fell a record 1.7 percent in the first quarter and the number of workers on jobless benefit rolls held at a four-year high, underscoring the economy's woes, data on Thursday showed.

Dan Froomkin on the battle over the Farm Bill
Add another chapter to the ignominious history of the Bush-era Congress. After seven years of going belly up on such defining issues as the war in Iraq, torture and taxes, the House finally gets up the gumption to override President Bush on a major piece of legislation. And what is it? A pork-laden, subsidy-filled $307 billion giveaway piled high with election-year goodies for everyone.

Yesterday's farm bill override wasn't a rebellion against Bush. It was a massive expression of self-interest.

Oh, and Congress couldn't even do it right: A whole section of the 673-page bill never made it to the White House, so the bill Bush vetoed wasn't the one the House overrode. Congress will apparently have to do it all over again.

No wonder Congress's job-approval ratings are even lower than Bush's.

Nude in SF strikes again !

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