Saturday, May 26, 2007

News Round-Up

Wild stuff went on in the Texas House last night, as iron-fisted House Speaker Tom Craddick beat back a motion to vacate, refusing to give up his leadership post as four other Republicans filed for speaker. By the end, lawmakers who tried to overtake the speaker's podium were physically restrained and the House parliamentarian resigned. Excellent coverage over at BOR.

Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released Friday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and "probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups" in the Muslim world. Initial post-invasion plans also called for U.S. troop withdrawals to begin in summer 2003. Of course, the White House is downplaying the report.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the federal Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could "help our candidates" win the next election, according to a report by the office. Meanwhile, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday asked the lawyer of top White House aide Karl Rove to hand over more of Rove’s e-mails as they continue to investigate the controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys.

And Senate Democrats will vote next month on a resolution expressing lack of confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. A similar resolution has also been introduced in the House.

As we learn the the Smithsonian museum institute in Washington toned-down and delayed an exhibit on global warming in 2006, fearing it would displease Congress and the White House, The United States is preparing to reject new targets on climate change at a G-8 summit next month.

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