Saturday, February 2, 2008

At the end of the day

AP: "Candidates Scramble to Reach Voters"

Sign of the times -- "Bush’s abuse of signing statements has been a constitutional mess for several years now — with more than 151 signing statements challenging 1149 provisions of laws, Bush is without rival in American history — but this week, matters grew particularly ugly." Seems Bush intends to ignore certain portions of a defense authorization bill. Meaning he's above the law. More at The Carpetbagger Report.

U.S. attorney scandal -- The Wisconsin Senate voted unanimously to reimburse Georgia Thompson $228,793 for her wrongful prosecution by one of the DOJ's loyal Bushies. "And remember that efforts by Congress to investigate the Justice Department's handling of the case -- in addition to other possible cases of selective prosecution -- have been firmly rebuffed (with the exception of the disclosure of one telling email)." From Paul Kiel.

Get the Swoop -- Economy is on the front-burner at the WH: "President Bush intervened forcibly to convince an initially reluctant Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates.... On foreign affairs: "One senior official commented privately to us about Secretary of State Rice: 'She is there but not there.'" Concerns over Pakistan and Afghanistan "are now concentrated.... ...Admiral Fallon has just returned from a visit to Pakistan where he held discussions with the new Army Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani." Special ops to deploy to Pakistan "under nominal Pakistani command. US officials have noted... Musharraf’s position continues to weaken. They are unimpressed by any of the civilian alternatives and would be content to accept a new military leader." Swoop

Digby discussed the Reagan myth and it's the same ol' conservative story -- "They get into office, cut taxes on the rich and steal taxpayer money for their [wealthy] contributors."

Oil bonanza -- Mobil-Exxon "beat its own record for the highest profit ever recorded by a U.S. company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion last year.... ...Exxon has benefited from a near-doubling of oil prices, from a low of around $50 a barrel in early 2007 to almost $100 by the end of the year - the single biggest jump in oil prices in any one year." Via TP: "Climate Progress notes that the other Big Five oil giants — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell — have seen similar trends."

Merrill Lynch in a pinch -- MA Sec of State William Galvin "filed a civil fraud complaint against Merrill a day after the firm took the unusual step of agreeing to reimburse Springfield for losses on the investments.... ...An official in Mr. Galvin’s office said the Springfield case was part of a larger investigation into Merrill’s sales of similar investments to other Massachusetts towns and cities." NYT

Playing favorites -- BTD at TalkLeft: "...blogs should not be about favorite candidates. It should try to persuade and/or pressure Dems, candidates and officeholders, on the issues that matter to them. In 2007, I was very critical of the blogs' performance on withdrawal from Iraq. Why? Because it was candidate centric, not issue centric.... ...There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.... ...It's more important BY FAR than 'fighting' for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you."

Those killed in the dual suicide bomb attacks in separate Baghdad markets rises to "as many as 100 people." McClatchy Newspapers questioned, "Were Baghdad bombers willing suicides or victims?"

U.S. troop cuts in Iraq may be put on hold according to Gen. Petraeus. Senior Pentagon officials countered by saying "that President Bush [should] also consider the stress on U.S. ground forces and other global military risks when determining future troop levels." Chairman of the JCoS, Adm. Michael Mullen: "I find all the talk about a freeze or a pause [in troop cuts] in Iraq so interesting." More remarks at WaPo.

[That's more after the jump.]