News that Should be HeadLines!

Kirk Fordham, fired today from Rep. Tom Reynolds’ (R-N.Y.) staff, is fighting back against GOP talking points. He told the AP today that he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office in 2004 about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages. It is, the AP noted, “the earliest known alert to the GOP leadership.” Apparently, the GOP leadership has been ignoring these concerns, and the safety of the pages, for a very long time.* In Iraq news, U.S. military casualties are rising despite a two-month security crackdown in Baghdad. Eight U.S. soldiers were killed on Monday — the most killed in a single day in the capital since July 2005.

* Speaking of Iraq, Colin Powell publicly rejected the administration’s “stay the course” approach to the war yesterday. Powell, the featured speaker at this year’s distinguished Carlson Lecture at the University of Minnesota, said “staying the course isn’t good enough because a course has to have an end.” (Just once I’d like to hear an administration official make a comment like this before leaving office.)

* In light of the recent spate of school shootings, TP reminds us that the Bush administration slashed funding for school violence prevention programs.

* Congressional Dems are still exploring the possibility of blocking this year’s annual pay raise unless congressional Republicans agree to increase the minimum wage.

* British Prime Minister Tony Blair was answering questions from some children this week when a young girl asked who is the most important person to visit 10 Downing Street. “I suppose the best known would be Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton,” he replied. Suddenly realizing that he forgot to mention the current U.S. president, Blair added, “George Bush is obviously er …,” he stutters before asking an aide: “Has George Bush actually been here, yeah, no he’s been here, yeah … and then you get other people that come in from time to time.”

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