** Gaming tax report shows how recession-proof Nevada isn’t – the state governor most likely to grace the posts of the Wonkette hints at another round of budget cuts. [RGI] State First Lady Living In Mansion For State Chief Executives succeeds in getting state’s most interesting d-i-v-o-r-c-e moved to Reno. [RGI]
** Ironic Headline: “Nevada Republicans bolt party line, support housing package. [Las Vegas Sun] However, don’t start the cheering quite yet, the game isn’t over by a long shot: “Housing bailout bill seems to be on shaky ground.” [NYT]
** There’s a wonderful sense of irony in a headline that reads, “Anti-Pork McCain Speaks at New Jersey Museum Funded By Nearly $1 Million in Earmarks.” [Think Progress]
** Amazing document dump – all the papers released from the Pentagon concerning military analyst briefings vis a vis Iraq, compliments of Meteor Blades at Daily Kos. Beware: (1) All the files appear to be pdf and therefore a bit slow loading; and (2) As with nearly all document dumps there are repetitions, in addition to items being out of chronological order. It took the better part of this afternoon to browse through one folder of briefings and talking points.
** It’s not just Fort Bragg – “Army targets eight posts for repairs” [FayObs] Opponents of the New G.I. Bill will likely point to the CBO report that says the bill could cut retention rates by 16% and might cost up to $6.7 billion over five years. However, the rest of the report says that “better recruiting but weaker re-enlistments would leave the military with a $1.1 billion cost over five years to maintain the current force.” [Army Times] A reminder – we’re spending about $10 billion per month on the occupation of Iraq.
** ‘Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same, Old black water, keep on rollin’: “But after an intense public and private lobbying campaign, Blackwater appears to be back to business as usual,” from James Risen’s NYT article “Iraq contractor in shooting case makes comeback.” See also: “Blackwater unlikely to face charges in Iraq shooting,” [IHT] “Black water inquiry sought” [SDUT] “Blackwater Worldwide adopts fresh image to seek funds” [TimesOnline]
** Why – in the tawdry tail end of the Bush Administration – does this come as no surprise whatsoever? “FBI, ATF battle for control of cases: cooperation lags despite merger.” In the five years the agencies have been together in the Department of Justice they have “fought each other for control, wasting time and money and causing duplication of effort.” Full story in the Washington Post. “OMB Watch testifies on regulator policy regarding the rulemaking process and the unitary executive theory” [OMBWtch]
** It’s not necessarily the emergency rooms: “Illegal farm workers get health care in shadows” [NYT] A drop in charitable donations and the inability of some youngsters to qualify for subsidized health mean “Some programs threatened at a local (Boise, ID) school for pregnant teens” [IdaStat] “Think Again: The costs of enforced sexual ignorance” [CAP] “Public Citizen tells FDA: Ortho-Evra patch exposes women to dangerous estrogen levels, risk of blood clots” [Public Cit] “Paid maternity leave still on the wishlist for many U.S. mothers” [EPI]
** “Farm Bill conference agreement contains significant domestic nutrition improvements” [CBPP]
** Oops: “U.S. – Man held is not leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq” [WaPo] which really isn’t compatible with the May 9 article “Reports of Qaeda Arrest” [NYT] and certainly doesn’t square with the right wing CNS report “Good news from Iraq.” If, as Vice President Dick Cheney says, things in Iraq are going swimmingly, then why this headline: “Military adds armor to vehicles as roadside bombs surge” [AP]
** “In surveys conducted between October 2007 and March 2008, 58% of voters under age 30 identified or leaned toward the Democratic Party, compared with 33% who identified or leaned toward the GOP. The Democratic Party’s current lead in party identification among young voters has more than doubled since the 2004 campaign, from 11 points to 25 points.” [Pew]
** “EPIC prevails in Virginia Fusion Center FOIA Case” [EPIC] “EPIC filed the case after the State Police refused to disclose documents describing the federal government’s involvement in efforts to limit Virginia’s transparency and privacy laws.”
** “Spanish reporter shot by foreign soldiers in Haiti” [Reuters] A court held that Spanish journalist Ricardo Ortega was shot in Haiti in 2004 while covering a demonstration between supporters and opponents of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. “Foreign forces and U.S. Marines had been sent to the poorest country in the Americas to try to keep peace after the bloody rebellion by gangs and former soldiers against Aristide.” Populist groups in Haiti issued a call for solidarity with underpaid workers: “On the occasion of this First of May, we take the opportunity to ask the State to apply a minimum wage of 300 gourdes per day instead of 70 gourdes, so that the working classes can survive this gnawing hunger.” [Anarkismo] The current exchange rate for the Haitian Gourde is 1.00 HTG = 0.03 US dollars. [XE] “Haiti’s prime minister nominee says solutions to poverty must be long term: spurred by recent food riots, Haiti’s congressional allies got more generous concessions for the nation’s textile industry approved by Congress.” [MiamiHer]
* Meanwhile back in Zimbabwe: “US, other envoys in Zimbabwe visit victims of political violence, urge halt to attacks” [VOA] “Mediator Mbeki meets Mugabe on Zimbabwe crisis” [Reuters] “Fresh evidence of attacks in Zimbabwe as Mbeki arrives for talks” [IHT] “Arrests of Zimbabwe Union leaders a flagrant violation of human rights” [AFL-CIO]