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.

Congress widens probe of Justice Department

Congress sought cooperation from one Justice Department official and prepared to put the agency’s former White House liaison under oath in a widening investigation into the politics of Justice Department decision-making.

World Bank panel finds Wolfowitz guilty of conflict of interest

  Paul Wolfowitz (AFP)

A top-level World Bank ethics panel has ruled bank president Paul Wolfowitz guilty of a conflict of interest for getting his girlfriend a substantial pay raise, the New York Times reported on its website late Monday.

The news came as the scandal entangling Wolfowitz claimed its first victim earlier in the day when one of his senior aides resigned.

Serve your country, lose custody of your child

  Eva Crouch (AP Photo)

She had raised her daughter for six years following the divorce, handled the shuttling to soccer practice and cheerleading, made sure schoolwork was done. Hardly a day went by when the two weren’t together. Then Lt. Eva Crouch was mobilized with the Kentucky National Guard, and Sara went to stay with Dad.

A year and a half later, her assignment up, Crouch pulled into her driveway with one thing in mind — bringing home the little girl who shared her smile and blue eyes. She dialed her ex and said she’d be there the next day to pick Sara up, but his response sent her reeling.

"Not without a court order you won’t."