by Dan Froomkin. (Glenn Greenwald calls it “a superb list of basic journalistic rules which ought not be controversial but which are nonetheless routinely violated by our nation’s press corps. Just fathom how much more effective and meaningful our media would be if they complied with these minimal guidelines.”)
This morning, the White House sent its $2.9 trillion budget proposal to Congress, requesting “an additional $100 billion for Iraq and the global war on terrorism this year, on top of $70 billion already sought. For 2008, that spending would drop to $145 billion and fall to $50 billion in 2009, although administration officials conceded that the 2008 and 2009 requests could go higher depending on the progress of the war effort.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, total spending on the Iraq war for fiscal years 2001 through 2006 was $318.5 billion. The Bush budget would bring total proposed spending in Iraq to $683 billion through 2009. Last month, the Los Angeles Times warned the cost of the Iraq war would soon eclipse the total amount spent on the Vietnam war:
By the time the Vietnam war ended in 1975, it had become America’s longest war, shadowed the legacies of four presidents, killed 58,000 Americans along with many thousands more Vietnamese, and cost the U.S. more than $660 billion in today’s dollars.
This budget would break that mark, and the spending blueprint does not take into account other costs of the Iraq war, such as future health care costs for injured soldiers.
Percentage of Americans who say it is likely that the United States will be at war with Iran before another year goes by.
Business Week: “The budget recommends a $500 million reduction for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is the principal agency for protecting the health and safety of all Americans. Funding for the agency would total $5.76 billion. Grants to states for bioterrorism preparation would be reduced, and funding remains at current levels for preventing the nation’s leading health problems — heart disease and cancer.”
National Journal has released a new “Congressional Insiders Poll,” which surveyed 113 members of Congress — 10 Senate Democrats, 48 House Democrats, 10 Senate Republicans, and 45 House Republicans — about their positions on global warming.
The results were startling. Only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming, compared to 95 percent of congressional Democrats. Moreover, the number of Republicans who believe in human-induced global warming has actually dropped since April 2006, when the number was 23 percent.
Question: Do you think it’s been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made problems?
The last Congressional Insiders Poll on global warming was in April 2006. Subsequently:
– In June 2006, the National Academy of Sciences, an independent organization created by Congress to provide scientific guidance, unequivocally concluded that natural causes cannot explain the unprecedented warmth over the last 400 years. Rather, “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming,” the report states.
– In February 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “concluded for the first time that global warming is ‘unequivocal’ and that human activity is the main driver, ‘very likely’ causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.”
Nevertheless, belief in global warming among Republicans in Congress dropped by 10 points.
Via GFR, a Peter Beinart column that, while full of interesting notions, doesn’t make sense to me. The main point is that as the public becomes more interested in international cooperation and less interested in military conflict, voters become more open to woman candidates and this is helpful to Hillary Clinton:
Not coincidentally, the percentage of Americans who say they will vote for a female presidential candidate has returned to roughly 90 percent. And the approval ratings for John McCain — the contender most associated with an aggressive, ultra-tough foreign policy — have crashed. A February 2006 poll found that, when asked whether a man or a woman would do a better job as commander-in-chief, respondents were evenly split. And, when asked who would do a better job on foreign policy, the hypothetical female candidate led by eight points. It stands to reason. If voters who oppose the Iraq war remain more likely to support female candidates, as they were several years ago, that’s good news for Clinton, because there are a lot more of them now.
But this has nothing in particular to do with Clinton. Presumably, any non-Lieberman Democrat will be helped vis-à-vis John McCain insofar as the public grows more skeptical about the use of military force. The more important bit of research Beinart sites comes in the next paragraph where he observes that “Research shows that female candidates–especially Democratic ones–are perceived as more liberal than they really are.” This quickly gets turned around into a clever pro-HRC point (“She may find it easier to run as an antiwar candidate because that is how people are predisposed to see her. Ever since she entered the U.S. Senate, Clinton has been trying to overcome people’s ingrained perceptions. Now she must hope she hasn’t succeeded too well.”) but I think it’s obviously a huge problem for her candidacy.
Who wants to nominate a candidate who’s going to be perceived as more liberal than she really is? Who benefits from that, exactly? Well, it’s a good combination from the point of view of Al From, but I think from other points of view it’s pretty clearly a raw deal. You want a candidate who broadens the appeal of progressive politics (perhaps Petey has a recommendation), not a candidate whose a useful mechanism for selling a not-so-progressive message to the base voters in the primary.
The New York Times reported this weekend, “Seven years ago, [Sen. John] McCain charmed the news media and the public with his Straight Talk Express bus tour.” In Feb. 2000, Joe Klein wrote a New Yorker article entitled “The Fascinatin’ John McCain.” For Klein, the McCain charm has yet to wear off:
McCain, whether you agree with him or not, has been entirely consistent about the war.
Just because Sen. McCain has called for an increase in troop levels for three years does not mean he has had an “entirely consistent” position on Iraq. Here are just a few recent examples of McCain’s inconsistencies:
– McCain called for sending “another 20,000 troops” to Iraq. He endorsed Bush’s escalation strategy, but later claimed, “I would have liked to have seen more” troops on the ground.
– McCain claimed he “bitterly disagreed” with the Iraq strategy from the beginning, except that he previously said, “We will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
– McCain was for withdrawing U.S. troops to the border of Iraq if escalation failed, but then later backtracked, saying he would only consider redeployment if “we have the situation under control.”
– McCain wants to establish benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet, but “can’t tell you” what they are.
– McCain said that escalation could not bring about results in “a few months,” but then claimed, “I think in the case of the Iraqi government cooperating and doing what’s necessary, we can know fairly well in a few months.”
To Joe Klein, a record like that is entirely consistent.
More from Greg Sargent.
In Feb. 2005, President Bush visited U.S. troops stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany and thanked them for “serving our great land.”
But that gratitude extends only so far. Those U.S. troops in Wiesbaden — and others stationed in Europe — will no longer receive welcome-home celebrations from the U.S. military. Stars and Stripes reports that the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) is cutting troop celebrations in an effort to save money:
In response to continuing financial strains, U.S. Army Europe has canceled all welcome home celebrations for units returning from deployment through this fiscal year, halting the tradition of free food, rides and other community festivities for returning soldiers and their families.
While USAREUR cited cost-saving reasons for its decision to cut the celebrations, it was “unable to say how much the command would save by canceling the events, or what a celebration typically costs.” One of the largest units to be affected by the decision will be the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Brigade, based in Friedberg, Germany. It has been in Iraq since Jan. 2006, and was supposed to come home in January, but had its deployment extended by six weeks.
As Fred Steube, a Vietnam veteran and organizer of a May 2005 welcome-home celebration for Arkansas National Guard and Reserve members, noted, these celebrations are a way “to give these troops the welcome home we never got. … This celebration is the least we could do to express our gratitude.”
of Scooter Libby’s secret grand jury testimony “will be released publicly after they are presented at his trial, the judge at Libby’s trial ruled Monday.”