Today, President Bush will announce a freeze on some subprime mortgages in an effort to stop a wave of foreclosures. Bloomberg writes, “Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s success in crafting agreement on a five-year fix of subprime mortgage rates owes a debt to an unlikely source: congressional Democrats.” Atrios has more.
The NIE’s conclusion that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program came about after intelligence agencies obtained notes last summer of Iranian military officials complaining “bitterly” about the “decision by their superiors in late 2003 to shut down” a central part of the program.
One in three Americans “want to deny social services, including public schooling and emergency room healthcare,” to undocumented immigrants, according to a LAT/Bloomberg poll. However, 60 percent still favor creating a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding individuals.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) yesterday took offense at being described as a “puppet” of President Bush by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman, “said it’s understandable that Republicans are sensitive about being associated with Bush.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday blocked a Bush administration rule under the “Healthy Forests Initiative” that “allowed logging and burning projects in national forests without first analyzing their effects on the environment.”
“President Bush has sent North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong-il a personal letter, Pyongyang revealed on Thursday, as it faces uncertainty over when and how it will meet nuclear disarmament steps agreed with Washington.”
“Car bombs in Baghdad and three northern Iraqi cities killed at least 22 people and wounded more than 60 others on Wednesday, as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived for an unannounced visit with senior Iraqi officials.” The wave of killings “accounted for the highest daily death toll in several weeks.”
Gates has “decided against a proposal to shift Marine Corps forces from Iraq to take the lead in American operations in Afghanistan.” Gates told Marine officials that Iraq “remained too volatile to contemplate such a significant change.”
The White House formally nominated Mark Filip, a federal judge in Chicago, for the Justice Department’s No. 2 job on Wednesday, a day after the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman threatened to postpone confirmation hearings until next year.
And finally: Conservatives dream of Reagan on Mount Rushmore. Former ambassador Fred J. Eckert, a staunchly conservative former Republican congressman from New York, has worked to create an image of what Rushmore would look like with Reagan carved into it. The result can be viewed at ReaganRushmore.com. Eckert claims that, “in time,” his fantasy will become reality.
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