Saturday, March 17, 2007
In her remarks, Senator Clinton emphasized the urgent need to act. "The subprime problems are now creating massive issues on Wall Street. It is a serious problem affecting our housing market and millions of hard working families buying a home, many of them for the first time. We need to expand the role of the Federal Housing Administration to issue more mortgages at better rates to these homeowners. And we need to give consumers more counseling and information, prevent families from being trapped in high interest loans with pre-payment penalties, and in some cases allow more breathing room from foreclosure. This market is clearly broken, and if we don't fix it, it could threaten our entire housing market," said Senator Clinton.
This sounds about right. Essentially you need to make it possible for people to refinance, both by getting rid of prepayment penalties and strongly "encouraging" lenders who gave out a bunch of mortages they shouldn't have to renegotiate the terms in order to make repayment more realistic.
Friday, March 16, 2007
It's not that we don't trust reform; it's that we don't trust the reformers. With good reason.
At the end of this week, Adam Bonin wrote:
I've got to respond to a blatant attempt to restate the record here in an extremely misleading fashion:
we opposed netastroturf activities—and applauded the FEC’s Internet regulation exempting most bloggers and Internet activists from federal campaign finance laws.
Campaign Legal Center applauded these regulations after fighting them every step of the way. In particular, they sought to have most blogs regulated as PACs, with Mr. Ryan himself arguing at one point that DailyKos was a partisan website but that The Nation was somehow not a partisan magazine. Odd.
One might also review the CLC's formal comments in opposition to granting one partisan blog the media exception to keep them from having to register as a political committee, versus what we bloggers said about it and what the FEC decided.
And yet, the Campaign Legal Center studiously avoided directly answering whether it believed that sites like DailyKos should be regulated under campaign finance law, stating that they were focused on protecting what "individuals" did on "their own" sites. Paul, now that you've seen the 2004 and 2006 cycles, are you finally convinced that such sites should be left alone?
- There you go. We don't trust them, because some of them have been so full of shit.
SOMEWHERE in NORTHERN IOWA — The unthinkable has happened. Senator John McCain met a question, while sitting with reporters on his bus as it rumbled through Iowa today, that he couldn’t – or perhaps wouldn’t – answer.
This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.
John McCain's "crazy base land" continues to be the press.
On more than one occasion, I worked with Fox News producers and reporters. Once, in Herat, I saw one of the Foxholes approached by a couple of soldiers. One of the soldiers said he was glad they could finally talk to a "conservative" reporter. The reporter laughed and said, "Someone's got to balance out the liberals." But, later, I ran into that same reporter in Bagram. He wanted an interview with some soldiers and, when I grabbed one at random to ask if he wanted to talk to Fox News, the soldier--an Army captain--said he didn't, because, as a Democrat, he wasn't a fan of the network's politics. The reporter, shaken up, said that was ridiculous. The network had no politics, but only told the truth. "Whatever," said the captain and walked off. The reporter, after a few beats narrowed his eyes at the soldier's back and quietly hissed, motherfucker.
If you've been a longtime reader of this site, you know that the Niger story was one I reported on extensively for almost two years. The fallout from the story has now spilled out in many directions, not least of which was the recent Libby conviction. But I do hope we can finally have review and scrutiny of that report. The section of the report dealing with Niger, Wilson and Plame is simply a tissue of lies. It's a shame on the Democrats who served on the committee who got gamed into approving it.
I, for one, want to see the tectonic plates shake.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It's certainly possible that California Republicans might prefer Giuliani, but California Republicans aren't moderate. They're as wingnutty as the wingnuttiest wingnuts anywhere.
- March 15, 2007 — New unreleased e-mails from top administration officials show the idea of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys was raised by White House adviser Karl Rove in early January 2005, indicating Rove was more involved in the plan than previously acknowledged by the White House.
The e-mails also show Attorney General Alberto Gonzales discussed the idea of firing the attorneys en masse while he was still White House counsel — weeks before he was confirmed as attorney general.
The e-mails directly contradict White House assertions that the notion originated with recently departed White House counsel Harriet Miers and was her idea alone.
Two independent sources in a position to know have described the contents of the e-mail exchange, which could be released as early as Friday. They put Rove at the epicenter of the imbroglio and raise questions about Gonzales' explanations of the matter.
White House press secretary Tony Snow told reporters Tuesday that Miers had suggesting firing all 93 and that it was "her idea only." Snow said Miers' idea was quickly rejected by the Department of Justice.
Shortly before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush last year on whether to shut down a Justice Department inquiry regarding the administration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, Gonzales learned that his own conduct would likely be a focus of the investigation, according to government records and interviews.
Bush personally intervened to sideline the Justice Department probe in April 2006 by taking the unusual step of denying investigators the security clearances necessary for their work.
It is unclear whether the president knew at the time of his decision that the Justice inquiry -- to be conducted by the department's internal ethics watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility -- would almost certainly examine the conduct of his attorney general.
Had it not been quashed, a Justice Department inquiry into the domestic eavesdropping program would likely have examined the actions of Alberto Gonzales.
Sources familiar with the halted inquiry said that if the probe had been allowed to continue, it would have examined Gonzales's role in authorizing the eavesdropping program while he was White House counsel, as well as his subsequent oversight of the program as attorney general.
But the Times said it doesn't believe most alumni will cheat. "It's an honor system," said Vivian Schiller, senior VP-general manager, NYTimes.com. "And we're assuming that the alumni of this nation's colleges and universities have a thorough enough education in ethics to keep them honest."
In testimony on Jan. 18, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department had no intention of avoiding Senate input on the hiring of U.S. attorneys.
Just a month earlier, D. Kyle Sampson, who was then Gonzales's chief of staff, laid out a plan to do just that. In an e-mail, he detailed a strategy for evading Arkansas Democrats in installing Tim Griffin, a former GOP operative and protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, as the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.
"We should gum this to death," Sampson wrote to a White House aide on Dec. 19. "[A]sk the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we'll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in 'good faith,' of course."
The conflict between documents released this week and previous administration statements is quickly becoming the central issue for lawmakers who are angry about the way Gonzales and his aides handled the coordinated firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.
Sampson, who resigned on Monday as the e-mails and memos came to light, has hired a lawyer, Bradford A. Berenson, who worked under Gonzales in the White House counsel's office from 2001 to 2003. Sampson also worked there during most of that time.
...anyway, I'll be sort of in and out, connection depending, through Sunday. Feel free to go crazy.
How about that "timely" re-confession of the Iron Shiek, Khalid
On my blog (and that's how you blogwhore!) this morning there is a run down of all the crimes the Shiek (as opposed to the equally conniving, but not as evil "Master Shake") pled to besides 9/11:
Attacking Chicago, attacking Los Angeles, attempting to assassinate Presidents Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Carter. Taking part in forging the Zimmerman Telegram and writing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; rubbing down Barry Bonds; the 18-minute gap; clubbing Jon Benet to death with Jimmy Hoffa's femur; an unauthorized biography of Howard Hughes; revealing Thers name and address to right-wing bloggers; Piltdown Man; being the fifth dentist in the Trident commercials; trying to steal Whitney Houston away from both Bobby Brown AND Osama; the donation of Constantine; shacking up in the Pacific with Amelia Earhart; shooting Harry Whittington; being the inspiration for 'A Million Little Pieces'; molesting CNN anchorbots; not anticipating the breaching of the levees, or ironically anticipating flying planes into buildings; designing Tori Clark's suitcoats; blogging for Edwards 2008; replacing a restaurants expensive coffee with Folgers Crystals; belonging to Hannidate; that he eats aardvarks, armadillos, bears, boars, cats, bats, dawgs, hawgs, stoats, goats, yaks, and old gnus, but prefers ducks; watching "The World According to Jim"; choosing Barabas; laughing at Carrot Top; being a fugitive from OJ's justice; killing both Jerry Mathers & Mikey from the Life Cereal commericials in 'Nam; paying to see "Ishtar"; being Richard Hatch's financial advisor; plagiarizing Ben Domenech; clubbing Mrs. Richard Kimble to Death with Jimmy Hoffa's humorus bone; trying to put together a coalition of terror groups including rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, RedState readers and Methodists; dumping Maureen Dowd because she was so clingy; and joining the John Podhoretz Handsome Man Modeling Agency.
No an evildoer is an evildoer, but somehow after six years of conveniently timed news-releases it doesn't surprise me that this did not come out on a Friday.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
We are pleased to offer a complimentary subscription to TimesSelect. You must be a student or faculty member with a valid college or university e-mail address to be eligible for this offer. You no longer need an access code to activate your TimesSelect University Subscription.It had been such an inconvenience, having to fly to Malaysia myself to gather my own pithy observations about global economics from the local cabbies.
...adding, it was actually a minor "scandal" when Clinton did it, even though it was perfectly normal, because there was the general perception that he had no right to appoint the people he wanted to.
Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias disagree about the meaning of the 100% goals in the No Child Left Behind legislation, this one:
No Child Left Behind, the landmark federal education law, sets a lofty standard: that all students tested in reading and math will reach grade level by 2014. Even when the law was enacted five years ago, almost no one believed that standard was realistic.
But now, as Congress begins to debate renewing the law, lawmakers and education officials are confronting the reality of the approaching deadline and the difficult political choice between sticking with the vision of universal proficiency or backing away from it.
"There is a zero percent chance that we will ever reach a 100 percent target," said Robert L. Linn, co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. "But because the title of the law is so rhetorically brilliant, politicians are afraid to change this completely unrealistic standard. They don't want to be accused of leaving some children behind."
Drum suspects that this is a plot by the conservatives to have almost all public schools fail. Perhaps coincidentally, a Republican politician already introduced legislation that would give parents money for a private school placement if the public school of their child failed for five consecutive years.
Yglesias finds this paranoid and points out that states can define what a 100% proficiency means, to make it such a low level that all children can pass.
Of course the program is then nothing but political mouthwash.
Since Atrios left the key under the mat I thought I would
The Army Corps of Engineers, rushing to meet President Bush's promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.Doesn't anyone ever read Arthur Miller anymore?
The 2006 hurricane season turned out to be mild, and the new pumps were never pressed into action. But the Corps and the politically connected manufacturer of the equipment are still struggling to get the 34 heavy-duty pumps working properly.
The pumps are now being pulled out and overhauled because of excessive vibration, Corps officials said. Other problems have included overheated engines, broken hoses and blown gaskets, according to the documents obtained by the AP.
The drainage-canal pumps were custom-designed and built under a $26.6 million contract awarded after competitive bidding to Moving Water Industries Corp. of Deerfield Beach, Fla. It was founded in 1926 and supplies flood-control and irrigation pumps all over the world.
MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
MWI has run into trouble before. The U.S. Justice Department sued the company in 2002, accusing it of fraudulently helping Nigeria obtain $74 million in taxpayer-backed loans for overpriced and unnecessary water-pump equipment. The case has yet to be resolved.
Although reading Greenwald's post makes me think that conservative pop-historian Paul Johnson should sue this guy for pilfering his act.
And speaking of the kind of enabling historians that Bush likes...
(To the Addams Family theme)
They're creepy and they're chubby,
Warmongering and schlubby,
With Freepers they are clubby,
The Kagan Family.
Think Tanks they do employ 'em
For Wars that are a screa-um
Please pay them their per diem
The Kagan Family.
da-da-da-surge da-da-da-surge da-da-da-surge(Petite)*
So c'mon and get your War On
Cuz' Congress you can crawl on
For Op-Eds you can count on
Use the KAGAN Family.
*photo from here.
Still, whatever keeps them interested I guess.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a former Secretary of the Navy, said, “I respectfully but strongly disagree with the chairman’s view that homosexuality is immoral.
Aug. 9 issue - Days after 9/11, a senior Pentagon official lamented the lack of good targets in Afghanistan and proposed instead U.S. military attacks in South America or Southeast Asia as "a surprise to the terrorists," according to a footnote in the recent 9/11 Commission Report. The unsigned top-secret memo, which the panel's report said appears to have been written by Defense Under Secretary Douglas Feith, is one of several Pentagon documents uncovered by the commission which advance unorthodox ideas for the war on terror. The memo suggested "hitting targets outside the Middle East in the initial offensive" or a "non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq," the panel's report states. U.S. attacks in Latin America and Southeast Asia were portrayed as a way to catch the terrorists off guard when they were expecting an assault on Afghanistan.
The memo's content, NEWSWEEK has learned, was in part the product of ideas from a two-man secret Pentagon intelligence unit appointed by Feith after 9/11: veteran defense analyst Michael Maloof and Mideast expert David Wurmser, now a top foreign-policy aide to Dick Cheney. Maloof and Wurmser saw links between international terror groups that the CIA and other intelligence agencies dismissed. They argued that an attack on terrorists in South America—for example, a remote region on the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where intelligence reports said Iranian-backed Hizbullah had a presence—would have ripple effects on other terrorist operations. The proposals were floated to top foreign-policy advisers. But White House officials stress they were regarded warily and never adopted.
So how this works:
1) We take that thang out, as taking it out has rather broad support
2) People argue, not entirely without merit, that we shouldn't have taken that thang out unless we planned to bang.
3) 2) is used to justify the decision to, in fact, bang.
The wise course is to put the damn thing back in your pants.
For the first time in nearly half a century, Center City vehicle traffic dropped while mass-transit ridership was up, according to new data from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
The number of vehicles crossing Center City's boundaries was about 1.015 million on a typical weekday in 2005, down slightly from 1.020 million in 2000, according to the commission's preliminary, unpublished data. In 1995, the number of vehicles was 990,000. Meanwhile, the number of mass transit riders entering or leaving Center City was 486,326 a weekday in 2005, up from 442,023 in 2000 and 484,151 in 1995.
The slight shift interrupted a 45-year trend. In 1960, when the commission began keeping track, 53 percent of all Center City trips were by mass transit; by 2000 the percentage was down to 26.5 percent. In 2005, the percentage rose to about 28.5 percent.
There's very little that can be realistically done to improve the urban highway infrastructure in Philadelphia, and plenty that could be done to improve mass transit both within the city and between the city and the burbs.
...adding, they are different questions. The CNN is job approval, the NYT is favorability. Bush's favorability, which long exceeded his job approval, is below his job approval.
...the NYT poll has the Republican party with only 34% favorability, identical to Bush's job approval.. It's his party, baby.
...just walking through the poll. I'd say the biggest thing I've gotten wrong in the past few years was thinking that the country was more anti-immigrant than it actually was. I thought Tancredo/Dobbs nativism would have had more traction.
A pretty stunning 59% of people think that illegal immigrants who have been here for 2+ years should be allowed to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. That really does surprise me. I'm glad to have been wrong.
“The White House and the Attorney General have dodged Congress’s questions and ducked accountability as if they still were dealing with a rubberstamp Congress. They are discovering that those days are gone.
“I am outraged that the Attorney General was less than forthcoming with the Senate while under oath before the Judiciary Committee. It is deeply disturbing that this plan appears to have originated from high-ranking officials at the White House and executed in secret with a complicit Department of Justice.
“This is not how justice is served, nor is it how our system of checks and balances is designed to work. It is an abuse of power committed in secret to steer certain outcomes in our justice system, and then to dust over the tracks. The President of the United States and the Attorney General are responsible for setting the moral standard for this Administration. Apparently this matter does not bother them but it does bother me, and we will summon whoever we need in our hearings to get to the bottom of this.”
But the basic thing we learn, again, is that the president is a very flawed being. Instead of being able to see that his previous assessment was wrong, he sees that the world has changed. He wasn't incorrect before, it's that things were different. Then they changed.
As has happened so many times in the last six years, the maximal version of this story -- which seemed logical six weeks ago but which I couldn't get myself to believe -- turns out to be true. Indeed, it's worse. We now know that Gonzales, McNulty and Moschella each lied to Congress. We know that the purge was a plan that began at the White House -- and it was overseen by two of President Bush's closest lieutenants in Washington -- Miers and Gonzales. Sampson is the second resignation. There will certainly be more.
That's a crime, kiddies.
Monday, March 12, 2007
They're going to try to really tamp this down and appeal to the polling which indicates that most people think, in fact, that he should be pardoned. Scooter Libby should be pardoned.
CNN poll says 18% support pardon.
Ah, modern journalism.
* Despite previous network claims that a conservative advantage existed on the Sunday shows simply because Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, only one show, ABC's This Week, has been roughly balanced between both sides overall since the congressional majority switched hands in the 2006 midterm elections.
* Since the 2006 midterm elections, NBC's Meet the Press and CBS' Face the Nation have provided less balance between Republican and Democratic officials than Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday despite the fact that Fox News Sunday remains the most unbalanced broadcast overall both before and after the election.
* During the 109th Congress (2005 and 2006), Republicans and conservatives held the advantage on every show, in every category measured. All four shows interviewed more Republicans and conservatives than Democrats and progressives overall, interviewed more Republican elected and administration officials than Democratic officials, hosted more conservative journalists than progressive journalists, held more panels that tilted right than tilted left, and gave more solo interviews to Republicans and conservatives.
The neoliberal school of thought has and had significant failings. Still, I think the primary cause of its declining fortunes is that, as tends to happen with once-ascendant political tendencies, it had a lot of successes. The most persuasive neoliberal ideas have become conventional wisdom. The netroots shares the neoliberal critique of interest group brokerage as a model of party-building. Absolutely nobody nowadays makes the sort of arguments that you heard from the 1980s-vintage left about the possibility of winning elections purely through increasing voter turnout. And a lot of the low-hanging policy fruit has already been implemented. Nobody thinks TANF will be re-reformed as an open-ended entitlement. Nobody thinks NAFTA will be rescinded. Nobody thinks we're going to re-regulate the airlines or restore the government-sponsored telephone monopoly. I even think people have privately reconciled themselves to the fact that race-based affirmative action is going to fade away. And so on and so forth.
But did these things achieve any of the desired goals? Presumably the "liberal" part of neoliberal meant something. Welfare reform didn't magically reduce poverty rates. NAFTA didn't make poor Mexicans less poor. The steady erosion of race-based affirmative action hasn't ended discrimination.
So, yes, neoliberalism succeeded in enacting a bunch of conservatarian policies. But now what?
Anyway, one thing I really don't understand is people who think about their blogs in terms of success and failure. I didn't start this blog because it was going to make me rich and famous, I started it because I wanted to rant away on the internets about politics, to push back against the conservatarian domination of blogs and the internet generally, and to highlight the infinite media misdeeds. It was a hobby. Something to do for fun and maybe every now and then successfully push back against conservative bullshit. I consider myself to be an extraordinarily fortunate person because it's become more than a hobby, but I certainly never thought of this as some sort of venture to succeed or fail. Success, to me, wasn't about having more readers or any sort of personal glory, but occasionally managing to insert something into the media narrative. In the old days I used to tell reporters and editors, when they'd ask about something they ripped off from me, that it wasn't necessary to credit me as at least back then there was no better way to undermine a story than crediting it to some "anonymous dude on the internet."
Anyway, the "not enough people link to me" complaint about the blogosphere isn't an especially compelling one. I find it extra puzzling when it's paired with complaining about my redoing my blogroll, which I did to make it possible for me to actually start adding new blogs to it.
Tim Russert's admission that he inverts standard practices and assumes all conversations with the powerful are off the record has been undercovered by the media, as was his admission that he squealed to the FBI right away.
We have plenty of examples of men who were publicly revealed to have committed adultery and managed to salvage their careers. Is there any female politician who has done so? None that I can think of.
The right question, because IOKIYAR:
Is there any female Democratic politician who has done so? None that I can think of.
But to answer the question actually asked, how could we forget Helen Chenoweth?
The degree to which our press is a part of this is actually incredibly shocking, especially in the post-9/11 era.
...adding, a comparison of media coverage of Peru's Fujimori and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez would provide an interesting case study.
CARLSON: Senator Thompson, let me ask you the sad question first. Why are you leaving us?
CARLSON: And you didn't even -- you didn't even run on term limits, and you just went into the sunset.
CARLSON: What's the tipping point in a Washington scandal?
CARLSON: Many of us in the press and many of your colleagues thought you would run for president. Your good friend, John McCain, did. You never did. Why not? And will you ever?
CARLSON: Friendship's never stopped any ambitions in Washington.
CARLSON: You were too tall...
CARLSON: Now, who are you going to miss in the Senate?
CARLSON: You can have a club.
CARLSON: Any Democrats?
CARLSON: I hold the record for watching "Law and Order," reruns in particular!
CARLSON: So I know that...
CARLSON: I've been -- I've caught a few of the ones that you're now in. Are the writers accommodating a loquacious ex-senator?
CARLSON: And you would filibuster anyway.
CARLSON: Well, now that you're in that life, you're kind of a Hollywood actor, maybe your foreign policy views will be taken seriously.
Are you and Sean Penn -- are you going to join...
CARLSON: Oh. Are you going to join Sean Penn in Baghdad?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Margaret, you ought to apologize. That was as brutal and hard-hitting an interview as I've ever seen. But considering Fred Thompson's reputation, his presence and his obvious charm, which I think comes through, were his eight years in the Senate just a little disappointing?
CARLSON: Well, Senator Thompson is the kind of senator we don't have much of anymore -- moderate, even though he'd probably call himself a conservative, reasonable, the go-to guy for Democrats. I think he was a creature of his time, when, you know, somebody like Senator John McCain used up all the oxygen for the independent-minded legislature. The press can only have one maverick at a time.
SHIELDS: One maverick at a time. Al Hunt?
Your liberal media.
On the Republican side, Sen. Fred Thompson is said to have hurt his vice-presidential chances when his name was linked romantically to that of Margaret Carlson. The Time columnist and "Capital Gang" regular is reportedly too liberal for George W. Bush. Thompson's standing was not enhanced when gossips said he was simultaneously involved with another woman.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Parents sound off about a grade school video about families with two daddies!
Finally someone is speaking out against this abomination. Our children must be protected at all costs.
C-Span's Washington Journal: 7:30am - Tim Darnell, Southern Political Report, Online Editor; 8:30am - Newspaper Articles & Viewer Calls; 9:15am - Roger Noriega, Former Assistant Sec. of State for Western Hemisphere, 2003-05 & Peter Hakim, Inter-American Dialogue, President.
ABC's "This Week" — Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.; former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.; singer Loretta Lynn.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Dole; former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; Shibley Telhami, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Michael Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center.
"Fox News Sunday" — Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
BAGHDAD - At least 31 people died in central Baghdad when a suicide car bomber attacked a truck carrying Shiite pilgrims returning from a major religious commemoration on Sunday, police and hospital officials said.
The attack - which also injured at least 23 people - came a day after Iraqi leaders warned sectarian violence could eventually spread around the region.
The truck - carrying about 70 men and boys - was among the convoys carrying millions of pilgrims home from Karbala in southern Iraq, where Shiites attended an important religious event. Hundreds were killed by bombers and gunmen in the past days while heading to the annual gathering.