Unnamed White House officials say that President Bush is aware of Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates’ “critique of current policy and understood that Mr. Gates planned to clear the ‘E Ring’ of the Pentagon, where many of Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s senior political appointees have plotted Iraq strategy.”
Meanwhile, “Rumsfeld’s abrupt resignation from the Pentagon the day after Republicans lost both chambers of Congress has infuriated some GOP officials on and off Capitol Hill,” the Hill reports.
Twenty-three U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq in the first ten days of November.
During his press conference yesterday, President Bush “made it clear that, for now, his idea of how to ‘put the elections behind us’ is to use the Republicans’ last two months in control of Congress to try to push through one of [his administration’s] worst ideas…: a bill that would legalize his illegal wiretapping program and gut the law that limits a president’s ability to abuse his power in this way.”
The election “only spells more trouble for politicians under federal investigation” who were voted out of office — including Sen. Condrad Burns (R-MT) and Reps. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and Katherine Harris (R-FL) — since it prompts prosecutors “to pursue more aggressively a case since the potential defendant no longer has the institution of Congress defending him or her.”
“Massachusetts’ lawmakers on Thursday took a giant step toward killing a proposal to ban gay marriage in the only U.S. state where it is legal,” delaying a decision “on whether to back a constitutional amendment that would have given voters a chance to ban gay marriage.”
Speaking to Democratic House leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), President Bush said yesterday that “all three of us recognize that when you win, you have a responsibility to do the best you can for the country.” Except, as the New York Times notes, there was a fourth person in the room: Vice President Dick Cheney.
In a “closely watched race” for the Ohio School Board, pro-science candidate Tom Sawyer “handily defeated incumbent Deborah Owens-Fink,” who had “consistently supported antievolution measures” and described the idea that there is a scientific consensus on evolution as “laughable.”
And finally: Someone call Will Smith. Former British Ministry of Defense chief Nick Pope has warned that Earth “could be attacked by extraterrestrials at any time.”
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