Friday, February 03, 2006


Slate-Papers: GOP Blunted - Feb. 3

By Eric Umansky, posted 4:22 a.m. (excerpt)

Majority Leader BoehnerNewly elected House Majority Leader John Boehner, left, was once part of the House leadership under former Speaker Newt Gingrich, but was kicked to the curb around when Gingrich went down. He is not Mr. Clean. The Wall Street Journal notes that he reportedly has accepted $150,000 worth of junkets since 2000, "more than all but six other members of Congress." He's generally tight with business lobbies (not that there's anything wrong with that). And of course, about 10 years ago Boehner handed out checks from the tobacco industry while on the House floor.

The WP and LAT front (and NYT stuffs) the uptick in protests by Muslims in response to European papers printing cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. Among the "protests," gunmen in Gaza took briefly took over a European Union office. One of the cartoons showed Mohammad with a bomb on his head in place of a turban. In Islam, all images of Mohammad are verboten. Some European papers have been insisting on reprinting the cartoons as a kind of statement for free speech.

Nobody fronts Iraq, where the U.S. reported the deaths of four GIs and a Marine. And about a dozen Iraqis were killed by two closely coordinated car bombings in Baghdad. The NYT calls it the "worst attack in the capital in weeks." Also a U.S. helicopter responding to gunfire fired rockets in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, killing one woman. The Associated Press says the incident "enraged Shiites across Iraq." Meanwhile, the papers mention that the bodies of 16 men were found blindfolded and shot at close range.

A Page One Post piece details a whole host of government employees complaining that the NASA's inspector general, "suppressed audits, stopped investigations and otherwise edited IG activities to avoid embarrassing the agency or its leadership." The IG was appointed by President Bush and is now being investigated by an FBI-led ethics office.

Justice AlitoOnly the WSJ goes up high with Justice Alito (right)'s interesting first day at the office: He split with the court's conservatives and voted for a stay of execution for a man on Missouri death row.

FarhatA front page NYT piece features Mariam Farhat, left, noticing that six of the 74 parliamentary seats Hamas took were won by female candidates. Saying this about her:

*Mariam Farhat, the mother of three Hamas supporters killed by Israelis. She bade one son goodbye in a homemade videotape before he stormed an Israeli settlement, killing five people, then being shot dead. She said later, in a much-publicized quotation, that she wished she had 100 sons to sacrifice that way. Known as the "mother of martyrs," she was seen in a campaign video toting a gun.

Eric Umansky (www.ericumansky.com) writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at todayspapers@slate.com.

Source: Slate Magazine.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
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