News and afternoon open thread.
Headline news in Britain, not so much in the U.S.A. The Guardian reports, 2007 is America’s deadliest year in Iraq.
This year has been the most deadly for American troops in Iraq since the invasion nearly five years ago, US military figures out today show.
Deaths peaked in May when 126 American soldiers died in coalition assaults on insurgent strongholds… The 899 American troop deaths in 2007 surpassed 2004 when 850 US soldiers were killed.
The US military deaths are dwarfed by Iraqi civilian casualties… Over the year, 18,610 Iraqis were killed. In 2006, the only other full year an AP count has been made, 13,813 civilians were killed.
The Washington Post reports 32 K Street lobbyists are aiding John McCain. “McCain aides bridle at the notion that the senator, who has consistently fought in the Senate against so-called pork-barrel spending from such interests and championed laws to restrict their lobbying and political donations, might favor his big contributors… McCain has more lobbyists raising funds for his presidential bid than do any of his rivals. He has 32 “bundlers” of donations who are lobbyists. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) is the closest to him with 29 lobbyist bundlers, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 18. McCain’s campaign has also been guided by lobbyists.” Maverick!
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Sub-prime mortgage mess takes a bite out of states and cities. “Dozens of states, counties and cities across the nation will enter the new year facing deep and unexpected budget holes as the widening mortgage crisis cuts sharply into tax revenue… The effects of the housing slowdown are not being felt evenly across the nation… The 10 most affected states, including California, Nevada and Arizona, will lose a combined $6.6 billion in tax revenue next year, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors… The fallout has been most severe in California, where officials are grappling with a $14-billion gap.”
The death of the public library may have been a bit premature. Reuters reports a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found Generation Y biggest user of U.S. libraries. “More than half of Americans visited a library in the past year with many of them drawn in by the computers rather than the books… Of the 53 percent of U.S. adults who said they visited a library in 2007, the biggest users were young adults aged 18 to 30 in the tech-loving group known as Generation Y… Internet users were more than twice as likely to patronize libraries as non-Internet users, according to the survey.”