Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Morning copy 02.14.2006

More shaddy oil deals from this White House

The New York Times:
New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the largess, known as royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period.
Be wery wery quiet

You have got to see the front page photoshop in the New York Post.

New York Times: "No End to Questions in Cheney Hunting Accident" and features a sinister photo -- not well played.

The Los Angeles Times: "Cheney Lacked $7 Hunting Credential"

Philadelphia Inquirer:
Gun-safety advocates say there are very few gun "accidents" - spontaneous discharges of firearms. Rather, they say, most unintentional shootings involve negligence or carelessness, and are anything but blameless.
This is an absurd story, as there are many more important events in the world today. However, the V.P.'s office has mishandled this one. That should be the story. Vice President Cheney is very inclined toward secrecy.

The war on terror

The New York Times: "Iran Delays Talks With Russia on Enrichment of Its Uranium"

Reuters: "Saddam returns to court shouting old slogans"

The Guardian: "Basra cuts off relations with British"

The New York Times: "U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster"

The Washington Times:
The Pentagon will miss Congress' March 31 deadline for certifying that the Army's reorganization of war-fighting brigades is abiding by its rule that women not serve in direct land combat or in support units that embed in those units, according to an internal memo.
The Baltimore Sun:
WASHINGTON // Struggling to boost its ranks in wartime, the Army has sharply increased the number of recruits who would normally be barred because of criminal misconduct or alcohol and illegal drug problems, once again raising concerns that the Army is lowering its standards to make its recruiting goals.
Paul Hackett and the Dems

The Boston Globe:
But as the event unfolded, it underscored an obvious conflict for voters looking ahead to 2008 and the Next Big Thing: In the era of terrorism and preemptive war, the Democrats are swimming in dangerous political cross-currents. The party's desire for an appealing, domestic-focused nominee who can connect with voters will keep washing up against its need for a nominee who can square off against the Republicans on national security.
The New York Times: "Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics"

Cincinnati Enquirer:
Saying he felt betrayed by his own party, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett said he has relunctantly dropped out of the Ohio race for U.S. Senate under pressure from Democratic leaders.
The Houston Chronicle:
WASHINGTON - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has helped lead the effort to paint Rep. Tom DeLay and the Republican Party as corrupt, faced increased criticism Friday about his extensive contacts with the lobbyist who set off the unfolding congressional ethics scandal.

The Washington Post: "Disaster Response Changes Promised"

The Boston Globe: "Katrina abuses said to be rampant"

New Orleans Times Picayune:
Rep. Benny Thompson, D-Miss., a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called Chertoff’s proposals, most of which were outlined at a House hearing last fall, inadequate. Thompson said that the real problem was Chertoff’s decision to have different teams focus on planning for disasters than those who respond to them.

“Secretary Chertoff’s proposal is just another example of placing a small band aid on a gaping wound,” Thompson said.

Bloomberg News: "Frist, McCain, Bayh Use Their PACs to Amass Funds Ahead of 2008"

Omaha World Herald:
DES MOINES (AP) - Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, met privately Monday with Democratic lawmakers in Iowa, pledging his support throughout the fall campaign to help them regain control of the Legislature.

More fiscal conservativism from the White House...

The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration spent more than $1.6 billion over a 30-month period on public relations and advertising contracts to promote its policies and programs, according to a report released yesterday by the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress.
Bush and education

The Houston Chronicle:
BOSTON - President Bush's signature education policy has in some cases benefited white middle-class children over blacks and other minorities in poorer regions, a Harvard University study indicated today.

Political compromises forged between some states and the federal government has allowed schools in some predominantly white districts to dodge penalties faced by regions with larger ethnic minority populations, the study said.


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