|Is Iraq in a civil war? According to the new director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, it most certainly is.
And will the Bush administration reverse course and talk to Iraq's neighbors, Syria and Iran? Yes ... and no ... Condi Rice continues her turn as spin-mistress, attempting to explain how we're going to sit down in the same room with the two bad actors in the Middle East, but only because the Iraqis invited them. I can just hear the negotiations now:
U.S.: "Could you please tell the Syrian ambassador that I said he's a horse's ass?"
IRAQI: (sitting between U.S. and Syrian reps): "Certainly, madam." (turns to Syrian, sitting beside him.) "she says you're a horse's ass."
SYRIAN: "Kindly tell the lady to bite me."
Meanwhile, that hellified market correction yesterday (which extended in Europe and Asia today) has spooked everyone, but there's more bad news out there, starting with the mortgage market, where it's about to get a lot tougher to get a loan. Also, America's homeless population is growing and hardening, at a time when the Bushbots are claiming we have the best economy ever...
And about that economy: it isn't nearly as good as the righties say it is...
A groundbreaking survey of homelessness being released today found that 704,000 people nationwide sought shelter at least once in a three-month period.
Families with children accounted for one-third of those seeking emergency shelter or transitional housing between February and April 2005, the most recent period studied, according to the report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rest were individuals, mostly adult men. Nearly half were black.
The count covered only those seeking shelter, not people living on the street, so the total number of homeless people would be higher.
"This first-of-its-kind study is a huge leap forward in our understanding of not only how many people are homeless, but also what their needs are," HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson says. The report says, for example, that at least a quarter are disabled.
HUD, which briefed USA TODAY on the report Monday, says it is the most comprehensive government estimate ever of homelessness. Previous counts looked only at the number of people homeless on a given day or week.
The three-month figure — equal to the population of South Dakota — is an estimate based on a sample of 80 communities. It will serve as a baseline for annual reports to Congress and may be expanded to include people living on the street.
On a much lighter note, could anything or anyone have saved Anna Nicole Smith? Quoth Travolta, Scientology.
The Largo, Florida city manager who wants to go from Mr. Manager to Mrs. Manager is about to get fired.
And last but certainly not least: nothing says "hit stage play" like showing off your Harry Potter...
Labels: economy, Harry Potter, Iran, Iraq, news, news and politics, poverty