On the eve of the meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair today to discuss the next steps in Iraq, Iraq’s new prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki stated for the second time in the past week that Iraqi forces should be able to take over security within 18 months – by the end of 2007.
This is the same period of time outlined in Strategic Redeployment 2.0, the progressive plan for Iraq written by Larry Korb and myself at the Center for American Progress.
Signs are that Bush and Blair will avoid setting down a clear marker for withdrawing troops – yesterday White House spokesman Tony Snow pushed back against suggestions that President Bush might finally listen to the Iraqis and set a timeline.
But the call for a timeline for withdrawing troops should not come as a surprise. This is exactly what most Iraqis want. Last fall, Iraqi leaders from across the ethnic and sectarian spectrum called for a timetable for troop withdrawals at a conference in Cairo.
These leaders are voicing the opinions of their constituents – a recent poll found that 70 percent of Iraqis support withdrawing U.S.-led forces by the end of 2007.
CNBC is reporting Treasury Secretary John Snow will resign by mid-June.
Number of times Ken Lay’s name was mentioned during today’s White House press gaggle with Tony Snow, which began 30 minutes after the guilty verdict was announced.
“On September 29, 2003, three days after it became known that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate who leaked the name of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, columnist Robert Novak telephoned White House senior adviser Karl Rove to assure Rove that he would protect him from being harmed by the investigation, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the federal grand jury testimony of both men,” Murray Waas reports in the National Journal.
The National Review’s June 6 cover story, Scare of the Century by Jason Lee Steorts, has several serious errors and omissions. By distorting evidence, Steorts misleads his readers about the threats of global warming. Here’s a debunk of some of Steorts’s inaccurate claims:
CLAIM: “[T]here is wide disagreement about the extent to which carbon-dioxide emissions are responsible for the warming we’ve seen so far.”
FACT: In 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the recent warming trend “is real and has been particularly strong within the past 20 years”¦due mostly to human activities.”
FACT: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program concluded that humans are driving the warming trend through greenhouse gas emissions, noting that “the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone alone.”
FACT: Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity.
CLAIM: “When it’s not even clear that the warming we’ve seen is hurting us “” many argue that it’s a boon, citing its benefits to agriculture and its potential to make severe climates more hospitable “” such draconian solutions should be unthinkable.”
FACT: The 2001 report by the IPCC finds that global climate change’s “negative health impacts are anticipated to outweigh positive health impacts.” Assuming that current emission levels continue, an increase in heat waves and a deterioration in air quality “will increase the risk of mortality and morbidity, principally in older age groups and the urban poor.” Additionally, any “regional increases in climate extremes (storms, floods, cyclones, etc.) associated with climate change would cause physical damage, population displacement, and adverse effects on food production, freshwater availability and quality, and would increase the risks of infectious disease epidemics, particularly in developing countries.”
longtime AEI scholar Karl Zinsmeister, on race: “[C]olorblindness has become a real risk today. … The penalty for the person who, ignoring race, turns down the wrong street today can literally be death.” Greg Sargent has more at his new blog, The Horse’s Mouth.
former CEO Jeffrey Skilling found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud.
Last night, ABC’s Brian Ross reported that, according to a federal law enforcement source, “the Congressional bribery investigation now includes Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, based on information from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.”
Subsequently, the Justice Department flatly denied the story.
This morning, Brian Ross appeared on ABC and defended his report. Ross said, “Despite flat and repeated denials from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement officials…describe the 64-year-old Illinois Republican [Hastert] as ‘very much in the mix’ of the corruption investigation.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
President Bush has appointed a new senior domestic policy adviser: Karl Zinsmeister, a “longtime scholar at the American Enterprise Institute,” and editor of the think tank’s magazine. Last June, he wrote about the “central reality” in Iraq: “With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over.”
“The FBI is seeking interviews with top House Members from both parties to determine whether they leaked details of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program to The New York Times, further fanning the flames of an already tense relationship between Capitol Hill and the Bush administration.” One Senator said “the FBI will interview current and former Senators about the leak as well.”
A new study finds New Orleans “is the U.S. city most likely to be struck by hurricane force winds during the 2006 storm season.” Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers has finished repairing the city’s levees, but experts say New Orleans is “still very much at risk“¦ because the level of protection the corps has reached is still not as strong as the city needs,” not even good enough for a Category 3 storm.
13: The number of days before VA Secretary Jim Nicholson was told about the burglary of data on 26 million veterans.
“Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is calling on the Bush administration to negotiate directly with Iran, saying he believes that is the only path toward resolving the nuclear crisis.” Read more