Afternoon News Roundup

Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly brings up an issue that has not been discussed much by pointing to a WaPo article today on the issue of what to do with the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Everybody wants us to close Gitmo (I’m in favor of this too) but there seems to be an issue with Europeans like the British and Germans being reluctant to take back their own citizens who have been detained there upon their release. It turns out our allies are reluctant to take them back because we are requiring them to keep the detainees on 24 hour surveillance as a condition for their release.

Kevin Drum also mentions an intriguing possibility of post election defections from the GOP to the Democrats in the Senate. Apparently there is a good chance that as many as 5 sitting senators might switch parties once the elections are done.  This is the first I’ve heard of this but it certainly is a fascinating possibility. This kind of mass defection is the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation so if the rumors are true we could be in for a very interesting year in 2007.

Via Raw Story, we learn that Reuters is reporting Israeli President Moshe Katsav is under pressure to resign his office based on evidence that he raped or molested more than one female employee in his office. Katsav has been accused by female employees of inappropriate behavior, sexual molestation and outright forcible rape of women working with him, making him the highest ranking Israeli official to ever have an indictment drafted against him for sex crimes. If the charges are filed as they are rumored to be in the process of doing, Katsav has pledged to step down and resign his largely ceremonial post.

The page scandal plaguing the GOP appears to be expanding to scrutinize a second lawmaker. Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe of AZ, an openly gay House member, took a camping trip in 1996 with two former members of the page program that has drawn the attention of the investigators with the House Page Board looking into the scandal touched off by the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-FL, when it became known he traded inappropriate emails and instant messages with a former page in the same program.

And finally, Raw Story is reporting that we have reached a significant milestone in the United States with the 300 millionth American having been born at 7:46am this morning. It took 139 years for the US to reach its first 100 million after declaring independence from Britain in 1776. The second 100 million came 52 years later, and the third took only 39 years. Demographers project the US population could reach 400 million by 2043.


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