After a meeting between President Bush and more than 30 Republican senators yesterday, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) said, “’It was clear to me that a decision has been made for a surge’ of at least 20,000 additional troops.” Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) noted that most senators didn’t embrace Bush’s plan: “I think I was the only senator who acted like he would be supportive.”
The CIA has submitted portions of a book manuscript by former Director George Tenet to the White House for review amid speculation the memoirs will be critical of President Bush. A CIA spokesman denied allegations that the book had been submitted for review of negative comments about Bush.
The new congressional leadership’s “100 hour agenda” begins today as the House votes on a bill to enact several 9/11 Commission recommendations. Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton said yesterday, “if this bill is enacted, then almost all of the recommendations of the commission will have been put into law” and the “American people will be safer.”
$2 trillion. The amount the U.S. spent on health care, “fueled by the cost of hospital care, doctor fees and prescription drugs.” “Health-care spending grew 6.9 percent to about $1.99 trillion from about $1.86 trillion in 2004.”
“Tony Blair will make clear this week that Britain is not going to send more troops to Iraq even if the US pushes ahead with a ‘surge.’” The Prime Minister will “insist that the UK will stick to its own strategy of gradually handing over to the Iraqi army.”One in eight. Number of Iraqis who have now left their homes, “with up to 50,000 people leaving each month,” according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. It noted that the “exodus was the largest long-term movement since the displacement of the Palestinians after the creation of Israel in 1948.”
A federal investigation of former CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo “has stalled because of CIA reluctance to turn over classified documents requested by prosecutors, people close to the investigation say.” Foggo is under scrutiny for his role in the Duke Cunningham scandal.
President Bush “pushed for renewal of the No Child Left Behind education law Monday in a meeting with congressional leaders but was noncommittal on their request for more money to help schools meet the law’s requirements.”
A Pentagon Inspector General review of offices under former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith is “expected to be completed within the next few weeks.”
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday proposed a system of universal health insurance for Californians that would make the nation’s most populous state the third to guarantee medical coverage for all its residents.” Some 6.5 million people, one-fifth of the state’s population, do not have health insurance.
And finally: Beach babe Obama. A two-page spread titled “BEACH BABES” in the latest issue of People magazine features a photo of shirtless Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) “in the Hawaiian surf.” Presented with the image yesterday, Obama said, “You know, it’s uh — … It’s embarrassing.” Later, “Obama noticed that Jay Newton-Small of Bloomberg News was studying the image. ‘Stop looking at it!’ he mock-scolded, and hustled away.”
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