But, perhaps more significantly, they show that Democrats, who vociferously attacked that kind of fundraising last year, have set aside their qualms and are now active competitors in the anonymous donor arms race.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Meanwhile Al Mada reports that the State of Law's Ihsan al-Awadi is stating that the US military is attempting to create a crisis to sell their continued presence on Iraqi soil. What crisis? By saying they can repel Iranians on the border. (Iran is shelling northern Iraq and possibly entering into northern Iraq as they target Kurdish rebels.) In addition, the Ministry of the Interior has stated that weapons are coming across the border Iraq shares with Iran -- echoing claims by the US military and possibly echoing claims for the US military. Alsumaria TV adds, "Iraq Interior Minister former deputy Adnan Al Assadi told Alsumarianews that smuggling arms from Iran thru Missan Province is ongoing in large quantities in an official and unofficial way and it includes rockets and mortars. He also stressed that arms smugglers are being overlooked."
Negotiations with the US government to extend the US military presence in Iraq takes a back seat in the Iraqi press to Nouri's latest scandal. On Saturday, he sacked the Minister of Electricity (which may or may not require the approval of Parliament -- no approval has been granted thus far). His office has stated that false contracts were signed. But, as the story has continued, it's emerged that Nouri's signature may be on some of the contracts as well. The Great Iraqi Revolution reports, "Wasit province police stops a young man from burning himself protesting against the bogus electricity contracts that the Iraqi government is involved in." Dar Addustour reports Sabah al-Saadi, who serves on Parliament's Integrity Commission, states that the dummy contracts had the signatures of Nouri al-Maliki and his deputy Hussein al-Shahristani. The report also notes grumbles in Parliament about Nouri dismissing the Minister with an MP stressing that is the job of Parliament. Aswat al-Iraq also notes, "A Legislature of al-Iraqiya Coalition, led by Iyad Allawi, has charged Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his Deputy for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristany and the sacked Electricity Minister, Raad Shallal, with having their signatures on the so-called 'illusionary' contracts made public recently." And noting real world consequences of the contracts, Ammar Karim (AFP) observes, "Mismanagement and bureaucratic deadlock in Iraq's electricity ministry have short-circuited a quick-fix plan for some 50 power plants to alleviate the country's severe power shortage, officials say."
Meanwhile Al Rafidayn reports that, according to the Deputy Minister of Electricity, Hussain al-Shahristani, the Minister of Electricity is still carrying out his job duties despite his 'dismissal.' The article also notes that there are MPs saying Nouri can't fire on his own (needs approval of Parliament) and that there are increasing grumbles that whatever the state of electricity in Iraq, it was Nouri's responsibility and therefore his fault. Had the story broken in the fall, it might have had less impact. But in the days of 100-degree-plus weather, the electricity issue is a daily issue for Iraqis.
What was life like for prisoners in 2010? UNAMI would love to tell you but can't. Why? From the report:
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
WHAT: Veterans listening session with Senator Murray
WHEN: Thursday, August 11th
9:00 AM PT
WHERE: VFW Post 239
190 S. Dora Avenue
Bremerton, WA 98312
WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Amazon workers hired under their veteran hired program
WHAT: Senator Murray will speak at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle to highlight her Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, a bill that will require job skills training for
service members, create new pathways to private sector and federal employment
WHEN: Wednesday, August 10th
10:30 AM PT
WHERE: Amazon Headquarters
440 Terry Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109