FUBAR

Toxic dust death added to 9/11 toll

Visitors at site of World Trade Center (AP)Felicia Dunn-Jones died of lung disease five months after Sept. 11, and last year her family asked that the city's medical examiner add her name to the death toll.

New York City Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch refused, writing back that his office could not link her death to the exposure "with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt."

That changed Wednesday, when Dunn-Jones was added to the medical examiner's list of attack victims. It marked the first time the city has officially linked a death to the toxic dust caused by the World Trade Center's collapse.

Put the war debate aside for one day

I take as my reading today these immortal words written by A.A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame:

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier's life is terrible hard."
Says Alice

Pessimism sweeps America

It's gloomy out there. Men and women, whites and minorities — all are feeling a war-weary pessimism about the country seldom shared by so many people.

Finally, some real leadership

Newsbreak: A majority of the nation's lawmakers have now taken a firm stand. They signed onto legislation to set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. And, despite President Bush's ongoing surge, freezing U.S. troops at current levels.

Our gun culture

The late writer Andre Dubus began buying guns in the 1970s, after a loved one was raped at knifepoint. At first he took a gun with him only when he went out with a woman. No one would be raped where he was concerned.

Katie Couric’s descent into ratings hell

Perky Katie Couric is perky no more and her new, dour demeanor matches the sinking ratings of her failing evening newscast on CBS.

And while Katie is in the dumps, her colleagues in the media world continue to dump on her.

Billions of dollars worth of oil missing in Iraq

One of the many lies the Bush administration used to sell the invasion of Iraq was a claim that the country's oil money would finance major parts of the cost of the war as well as reconstruction.

Never happened as the war has now cost American taxpayers more than $500 billion and a new study shows billions of dollars worth of oil is missing in the civil-war-torn country.

The FBI’s image problem

Since 9/11 the FBI's image, once almost invulnerable to detractors, has taken one hit after another beginning with evidence its officials ignored signs that might have derailed the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and ending with the abuse of so-called national security letters that permitted them to poke around with impunity in the affairs of U.S. citizens.

U.S. Disaster response crippled by Iraq war

 
   Tornado damage (AP)

Critics of the Iraq war said on Tuesday the Bush administration's failure to replenish vital National Guard equipment sent to Iraq caused Kansas to fall short in responding to last week's tornado disaster, and other states were equally vulnerable.

A little old-fashioned karma comin’ round?

Rev. Al Sharpton (AP)

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who recently urged that radio host Don Imus be fired for making a racially insensitive remark, said in a debate that "those of us who believe in God" will defeat Republican Mitt Romney for the White House. But Sharpton denied he was questioning the Mormon's own belief in God.

Rather, the New York Democrat said he was contrasting himself with Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author he was debating at the time.