Bush killed inquiry: A U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor and the inquiry ended soon after. The previously undisclosed Guam inquiry is separate from a federal grand jury in Washington that is investigating allegations that Abramoff bilked Indian tribes out of millions of dollars.
WH withholds 9/11 files: Members of the now-disbanded 9/11 commission are going public with complaints that the Bush Administration is stonewalling on the release of files that show whether the government is taking action on the commission’s recommendations for preventing new attacks on the United States. The GOP chair of the commission, Tom Kean, says he disappointed and surprised. Well, that’s one of us, Tom.
Financiers pledge liberal dollars: At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades.The money will be channeled through a new partnership called the Democracy Alliance, which was founded last spring — the latest in a series of liberal initiatives as the Democratic Party and its allies continue to struggle with the loss of the House and the Senate in 1994 and the presidency in 2000.
“The House Republican Conference will have the barest majority, rendered ungovernable by the lunatic likes of Matt Gaetz and Majorie Taylor Green. The self-sabotage of an ungovernable Republican majority will all but guarantee that Democrats take back the House in 2024.”
At least 50 women have won election to the state legislature, and a 51st is leading in her bid for a state Senate seat in Colorado Springs. That would make Colorado the second state — after Nevada — to have elected a majority-female legislature, Pluribus News reports.
New York Times: “While deaths have plummeted since the beginning of the year, about 315 Americans are still dying of Covid on the average day. This year’s toll has so far exceeded 219,000. More than 27,000 Americans with Covid are in hospitals on any given day, and an uncertain number face lingering complications, so-called long Covid. Declines in test positivity and hospitalization are flattening, hinting at a possible reversal.”
“Donald Trump hoarded $94 million this election in his various political committees as his anointed candidates lost the Senate for Republicans in tight races where that money might have made the difference between winning and losing,” the HuffPost reports. Said one Trump adviser: “We didn’t lose because of Trump’s rhetoric. We lost because Trump is cheap. He left them all hanging dry …. It gave a free shot for all the right-wing pundits to turn on him.”
The world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion people sometime tomorrow, according to an estimate by the United Nations. “While it took the global population 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion, it will take approximately 15 years—until 2037— for it to reach 9 billion, a sign that the overall growth rate of the global population is slowing.”
A new YouGov poll conducted after the midterm elections finds more Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents now say they’d prefer Ron DeSantis as their 2024 presidential nominee over Donald Trump, 42% to 35%. That’s a reversal from nearly a month ago, when a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found just 35% preferred DeSantis and 45% said they preferred Trump.