...Why don't they just move the Pentagon itself to Baghdad?
From AP, via Yahoo! News -
Army again considers longer combat tours
WASHINGTON - The Army is considering whether it will have to extend the combat tours of troops in Iraq if President Bush opts to maintain the recent buildup of forces through spring 2008.
Most soldiers spend 15 months in combat with a guaranteed 12 months home, a rotation plan that has infuriated Democrats because it exceeds the service's goal of giving troops equal time home as in combat. In coming weeks, the Senate will vote on a proposal by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., that would restrict deployments.
Other options mentioned in the article include heavier use of National Guard and/or Reserve units.
An option not discussed in the article was the Congressional Democrats growing a spine and de-authorizing and de-funding Bush's war.
...The exodus of rats off the sinking ship is accelerating...
Also from AP via Yahoo! News -
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves GOP
NEW YORK - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday switched his party status from Republican to unaffiliated, a stunning move certain to be seen as a prelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race.
White House budget director resigns
WASHINGTON - White House budget director Rob Portman announced his resignation Tuesday, joining a lengthening list of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of President Bush's administration.
At least Bloomberg wasn't always a Republican; Portman's a Beltway lifer with serious ties to the Bush family. His departure from the administration is far more significant.
...The list of future Bush pardons looks to be growing...
From the Washington Post -
One Giuliani Backer Is a Bust
When South Carolina's treasurer, Thomas Ravenel, endorsed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for president in April, he heaped praise on Giuliani for reducing crime, saying that "the mayor rescued New York City from the cesspool that it was."
So Giuliani must have grimaced yesterday when a grand jury in South Carolina indicted Ravenel on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
From AP via the Houston Chronicle -
Sen. Stevens aides questioned in probe
WASHINGTON — Former Capitol Hill aides to Sen. Ted Stevens are being questioned by the FBI as part of an investigation into the senator's relationship with a wealthy contractor.
[Bill] Allen is the founder of VECO Corp., an Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company that has had tens of millions of dollars worth of federal contracts. Allen also oversaw renovations on Stevens' home in 2000, according to carpenters who worked on the house.
The FBI is looking closely at that project, which more than doubled the size of Stevens' home in the ski resort community of Girdwood, about 40 miles south of Anchorage. As recently as two weeks ago, FBI agent Randy Wolverton requested planning records pertaining to the renovation, according to city documents.
At this point, when the Bush pardons are listed, it might just be easier to list the Republicans that he *isn't* pardoning, if only to save a few thousand acres of trees.
...And in a moment of wiseass-free blogging, my condolences go out to the families, friends, and colleagues of the 9 Charleston, South Carolina firefighters who died fighting a blaze in a furniture store.
Rest in peace Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson, 48; Capt. Mike Benke, 49; Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34; Mark Kelsey, 40; Bradford "Brad" Baity, 37; Michael French, 27; James "Earl" Drayton, 56; Brandon Thompson, 27; and Melvin Champaign, 46. (List of victims courtesy AP via the Houston Chronicle)
I'll finish up the budget posts tomorrow.