Friday, June 12, 2009

The war dance

Last night at the Washington Post, Perry Bacon Jr. reported that the Democrats in Congress had found some mutual understanding that would allow Barack's war funding supplemental to move forward:

The agreement was reached only after a letter from President Obama to a congressional committee saying that his administration would appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the photos from becoming public, rather than try for a Congressional ban as part of the war funding bill. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Thursday stayed an earlier order that the photos be released immediately, so the government will now have time to appeal.

Explain to me again the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans and the differences between Bully Boy Bush and Bully Boy Barack.

In this morning's New York Times, Carl Hulse and David M. Herszenhorn explain:

The deal was concluded after Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, went to the Capitol to assure Senate Democrats that President Obama would use all admnistrative and legal means to prevent the photos' release. At the same time, a federal court issued a ruling effectively ensuring that the photos would not be released for months, if ever.

Naftali Bendavid (Wall St. Journal) quotes Rahm stating, "I talked to the Senate Democrats -- everything's fine."

The Sunny Side of Rahm doesn't shine on Iraq where Reuters reports Harith al-Ubaidi has been assassinated this morning. The Sunni leader ("head of the Iraqi Parliament's biggest Sunni Muslim bloc") was shot dead outside a mosque and then had a grenade tossed at him. The International News adds that one of al-Obaidi's guards died in the assault also. In an update Ahmed Rasheed, Waleed Ibrahim, Khalid al-Ansary, Muhanad Mohammed, Mohammed Abbas, Charles Dick (Reuters) notes:

A witness said the attacker was a suicide bomber, who ran up to Ubaidi and hugged him before detonating one or more grenades.
Police said six people were killed, including the attacker, after the assassin opened fire randomly on worshippers before detonating a grenade. They said the attacker, aged from 15 to 18 years old, shot Ubaidi twice in the head.

Meanwhile Gina Cavallaro (Army Times) reports that the National Guard and Reserve fell short of their goals last month (623 short) but remain "comfortably ahead in their fiscal 2009 goals." Staffan De Mistura has always fallen short in Iraq and been an embarrassment for the United Nations. Alsumaria reports: "UN special envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura announced that he will leave his post shortly after a two years mission in Iraq. After meeting with Iraq's supreme religious authority Ali Husseini Al Sistani, De Mistura affirmed that the United Nations will pursue its work in Iraq as long as Iraq needs it noting that a good successor will take over." The United Nations work, under de Mistura, has been a joke for two years in Iraq. That goes beyond the cover for the occupation the UN has granted to include the blaming of the Iraqi women for the cholera outbreaks each fall, it goes to the refusal to address the Kirkuk issue, an issue that was supposed to be addressed long ago but which the UN has repeatedly given cover for and allowed to be sidestepped and postponed.

TV notes. NOW on PBS begins airing tonight on many PBS stations (check local listings):

The murder of Dr. George Tiller has reignited the abortion debate, and raised the question: should violence against medical doctors who perform abortions be viewed and prosecuted as domestic terrorism? This week NOW Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa sits down with two of the remaining handful of doctors who publicly acknowledge performing late abortions, including Leroy Carhart, a fellow doctor in Tiller's Wichita, Kansas clinic.Carhart discusses his vow to carry on Tiller's mission and what it's like for him and his family to live as "targets". The show also investigates claims that law enforcement dropped the ball when it came to stopping Tiller's alleged murderer, Scott Roeder.
Hinojosa travels to Colorado as well to talk with Dr. Warren Hern, another late abortion provider who says he's been living "under siege" for decades. Dr. Hern works behind four layers of bulletproof windows and is now under round-the-clock federal protection.NOW goes into the eye of the abortion rights storm to see how Tiller's killing and its ramifications are impacting doctors, free speech, and a civilized society.

Washington Week finds Ceci Connolly (Washington Post), Bara Vaida (National Journal), Tom Gjelten (NPR) and John Harris (Hedda Hopper Lives!) joining Gwen around the table. Also tonight on most PBS stations, Bonnie Erbe sits down with Melinda Henneberger, Susan Au Allen, Avis Jones-DeWeever and Tara Setmayer to discuss the week's news on PBS' To The Contrary. Check local listings. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

The Man Who Knew
Harry Markopolos repeatedly told the Securities and Exchange Commission that Bernie Madoff's investment fund was a fraud. He was ignored, however, and investors lost billions of dollars. Steve Kroft reports. Watch Video
For Better Or Worse
Foreigners who marry Americans are entitled to become permanent residents of the U.S., but in a stricter post-9/11 world, hundreds of widows are being asked to leave the country because their husbands died – even some whose children were born in the U.S. Bob Simon reports. Watch Video
Alice Waters
She has been cooking and preaching the virtues of fresh food grown in an environmentally friendly way for decades. A world-class restaurant and eight cookbooks to her credit, Alice Waters has become famous for her "slow food" approach – an antidote to fast food. Lesley Stahl reports. Watch Video
60 Minutes, Sunday, June 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

NPR's The Diane Rehm Show offers many guests, few of them female. For the first hour (domestic) the panelists include Dante Chinni (Christian Science Monitor), Jerry Seib (Wall St. Journal) and Margaret Taleve (McClatchy Newspapers). For the second hour (international), the panelists include Abderrahim Foukara (Al Jazeera), Daniel Dombey (Financial Times), Roy Gutman (McClatchy Newspapers) and Warren Strobel (also McClatchy). The program begins broadcasting on most NPR stations (and streaming online) at 10:00 a.m. EST.

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