Saturday, August 04, 2007

Weekend Odds and Ends

This was a big news week. Doesn't the world know it's August? Here's a quick look...

One steam-pipe explosion and a collapsed bridge later, America suddenly realizes... our national infrastructure is old and in need of major work! Sorry, American infrastructure, all our money and energy's tied up in this Iraq project. You just stay quiet and wait your turn like all the other domestic disasters.

Bad week for the Gulf Coast... First, the Bush administration has backtracked "on its pledge to do a better job in awarding contracts to small, Gulf Coast businesses for Hurricane Katrina work." And then, a federal appeals court ruled that Katrina victims "cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damages".

Russia claims the North Pole as its own. Poor, poor Santa.

After reembracing the old strategy of arming everyone in the Middle East and hoping for the best, Secretary Rice went and "pressed Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday to talk about the key issues that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state." 355th times the charm.

President Bush actually signs a bill (the homeland security bill) instead of vetoing it!!

The Senate, meanwhile, passed a bill "to make lawmakers disclose more about their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, a move some called the biggest advance in congressional ethics in decades." The vote was 83 to 14 for, with all 14 'nay' votes coming from, surprise surprise, the Grand Old Party.

And over in the House, they passed a bill to "add 6 million lower-income children to a popular health insurance program while making deep cuts in federal payments to Medicare HMOs" (plus increases in tobacco taxes). If it survives the Senate, it faces a likely veto.

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