In his upcoming book, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld writes that President George W. Bush focused on a war with Iraq almost immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. “He asked that I take a look at the shape of our military plans on Iraq,” Rumsfeld writes. “He wanted the options to be ‘creative.’”
Since Hosni Mubarak came into power in 1981, U.S. taxpayers have sent more than $60 billion in aid to his government — but more than half was spent on weapons for the military, “an arrangement that critics say has benefited American military contractors more than ordinary Egyptians.” Major contracts went to GE Aviation and Raytheon, among other firms.
Egypt’s prime minister apologized today for the violent attacks on anti-government protesters that left five dead and 836 injured yesterday. But the premier refused to acknowledge that the thugs were acting on behalf of the government, saying, “when investigations reveal who is behind this crime and who allowed it to happen, I promise they will be held accountable.”
The Washington Post reports that, for the first time in a decade, “the amount of money spent on lobbying appears to have decreased.” “Obviously it’s the economy,” said Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists. “I don’t think it’s for any other reason than that.” Politico reports that lobbyists are “ramping up” as the GOP plans their investigations.
The EPA plans to propose new “limits on permissible levels of a new set of toxic chemicals in drinking water.” The move is a “major step toward updating the nation’s clean water laws, which have lagged far behind environmental and health science,” and comes at a time when many leading conservatives are attacking the EPA’s supposed overreach.
White House chief of staff William Daley said that failing to raise the debt ceiling could be “very dangerous” and have “enormous potential negative impacts on the markets,” adding that rejecting the debt ceiling increase would cause “devastation.”
The Obama administration “is examining whether the new health care law can be used to require insurance plans to offer contraceptives and other family planning services to women free of charge.” While removing the cost barrier to birth control, the move will likely anger anti-choice advocates and raise objections from the Roman Catholic Church.
Senate Republicans failed to repeal the recently passed health care law, with a united Democratic caucus dooming the measure with a 51-47 vote. However, legislators did repeal a “tax provision in the law that would impose a huge information-reporting requirement on small businesses” by an 87-11 vote.
And finally: While the Middle East rages, Jersey Shore cast member Snooki is taking a stand. “War is not cool at all,” Snooki told Politico while on a trip to Washington, D.C., perhaps to lobby for a repeal of the tanning salon tax in the Affordable Care Act. “I’d probably stop the war, and that’s serious. I’m not trying to be a beauty pageant girl, but war is not cool at all,” she explained.
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