Saturday, November 05, 2005

Morning copy 11.05.2005

Diamond Jim in the Washington Post:

President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.

Next week a class on metaphysics.

The Washington Post also has a story on Samuel Alito's candor in meetings with Senators, explaining some of the week's quotes.

The New York Times:

Judge Alito, President Bush's choice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, cast the decisive vote in a case involving a major steel company, and in another involving a large chemical maker, over environmentalists in pollution cases.

On to baseball also in the Times:

Why are so many Washington figures, including a long list of Supreme Court justices, so devoted to the game? Easy, said Carter G. Phillips, a Washington lawyer and an old softball teammate of Judge Alito: "Baseball's the perfect sport for nerds."

"It doesn't require a huge amount of athletic ability to play," Mr. Phillips said. "And it's got this cerebral component that appeals to people like Sam."

AP on Niger/uranium documents:

The FBI had refused comment on the matter until Italian news sources reported this week that FBI Director Robert Mueller sent the Italian government a letter in July with the results of the bureau's two-year investigation.

The investigation "confirmed the documents to be fraudulent and concluded they were more likely part of a criminal scheme for financial gain," FBI spokesman John Miller said Friday, describing the contents of the letter.

Shailagh Murray in the Washington Post:

The highway bill seemed like such a good idea when it sailed through Congress this summer. But now Republicans who assembled the record spending package are suffering buyer's remorse.

The $286 billion legislation was stuffed with 6,000 pet projects for lawmakers' districts, including what critics denounce as a $223 million "Bridge to Nowhere" that would replace a 7-minute ferry ride in a sparsely populated area of Alaska. Usually members of Congress cannot wait to rush home and brag about such bounty -- a staggering number of parking lots, bus depots, bike paths and new interchanges for just about every congressional district in the country that added $24 billion to the overall cost of maintaining the nation's highways and bridges in the coming years.

Riots continue in France, New York Times:

AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, France, Nov. 4 - France's worst urban violence in a decade exploded for a ninth night on Friday as bands of youths roamed the immigrant-heavy, working-class suburbs of Paris, setting fire to dozens of cars and buildings while the government struggled over the violence and the underlying frustrations fueling it.

New York Times on the U.N.'s audit of Iraq:

An auditing board sponsored by the United Nations recommended yesterday that the United States repay as much as $208 million to the Iraqi government for contracting work in 2003 and 2004 assigned to Kellogg, Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's governorship in the Los Angeles Times:

SACRAMENTO — With only days before Tuesday's special election, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to jolt the campaign by taking unscripted questions from voters on live television appears to be stumbling, with little sign that he is persuading the electorate that his agenda needs to pass, Republican and Democratic analysts said Friday.


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