Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Morning Buzz
It is Tuesday....and here is your morning buzz... You may need a few cups of coffee today, lots of headlines to get through....

Top Stories

House passes $516 billion spending bill
The House Monday approved a $516 billion measure funding 14 Cabinet agencies and funding for troops in Afghanistan, setting the stage for a year-end budget deal with the White House

Secretary of States Arrives, Unannounced, in Iraq
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an unannounced visit Tuesday to Kirkuk in the oil-rich Kurdish region, where the U.S. administration has emphasizing what it sees as new signs of cooperation and progress, and then flew to the Iraqi capital for meetings with national leaders.

Turkish troops cross into Iraq
Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels Tuesday, two days after Turkey's military launched air assaults across the border, according to the chief of staff for the president of the Kurdish regional government.

U.S. Helps Turkey Hit Rebel Kurds In Iraq
The United States is providing Turkey with real-time intelligence that has helped the Turkish military target a series of attacks this month against Kurdish separatists holed up in northern Iraq, including a large airstrike on Sunday, according to Pentagon officials.

Oklahoma still in the dark after storm
Rebeca Rascon bundled up her two children against a brisk wind as she arrived to report power at her south Oklahoma City home was still off more than a week after an ice storm battered the state.


Raw Politics

Poll: Electability key among Democrats
Democratic voters increasingly are focused on nominating the most electable presidential candidate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama fares better than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton against prospective Republican rivals.

McCain Senses Momentum Is Starting to Help Him
Senator John McCain is making a push to attract independent voters in New Hampshire and plans to restart his Iowa campaign.

For Romney, a Course Set Long Ago
George Romney had big ideas for his youngest child. Mitt Romney had already made millions as the founder of a giant buyout firm. But his father wanted Mitt to follow him into politics, convinced he could unseat Senator Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts.


Keepin' Them Honest

Still NO Federal $$$$
It's not just Katrina.. and Louisiana.. it's Texas! Only thirteen Texas families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Rita have received federal aid. This is now more than TWO years later. About 4300 families applied. State officials distribute the money -- just like in NOLA. Congress gave Texas more than half a billion dollars after Rita for housing relief and infrastructure repairs.. but the state has only used TWO percent of it. This is all according to a state audit. Governor Rick Perry says state had to guard against abuses of federal hurricane aid.. HELLO! It's been more than two years and only 13 families have new homes.
Of the 1.2 billion in housing relief money that WAS spent.. $230,000 went for administrative expenses such as salary and travel at the state department.

Crime & Punishment

Police brutality cases on rise
Federal prosecutors are targeting a rising number of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality, Justice Department statistics show. The heightened prosecutions come as the nation's largest police union fears that agencies are dropping standards to fill thousands of vacancies and "scrimping" on training.

Songs of Love and Murder, Silenced by Killings
Mexico’s country music stars are being killed at an alarming rate — 13 in the past year and a half, three already in December — in a trend that has gone hand in hand with the surge in violence between drug gangs here.


What you WILL be Talking about today

NJ inmates make Shawshank-style escape
Two jail inmates used photos of bikini-clad women to hide holes they used to escape and left behind a thank-you note, signed with a smiley face, for a guard they claimed helped them, officials said Monday.

'Dear Santa' Letters Get Nasty
The holiday cheer in one Canadian city was stifled last week when as many as 15 children received nasty letters signed by their favorite holiday icon: Santa Claus.

Christmas card mailed in 1914 finally arrives
A postcard featuring a color drawing of Santa Claus and a young girl was mailed in 1914, but its journey was slower than Christmas. It just arrived in northwest Kansas.
Posted By jamie kraft: 5:25 AM ET
  4 Comments
It still amazes me how badly the government has let down the region hit by hurricane Katrina. Is there no accountability? Do they think it's okay to leave it the way it is? It is so frustrating. The only thing I can suggest is to keep on keeping them honest.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 7:40 AM ET
Jamie,
Getting up as early as you do to do the buzz, I think you are the one that needs some major cups of coffee!!

It seems that no matter what congress does that Bush always seems to get what he wants in the end! Now he has his budget deal passed in the house.

So are we now going to pick up Turkey's war!? I mean helping them bomb the Kurd rebels in Iraq....I think we have enough on our plate without adding more! I don't care if they are our allies or not.

I think it is crazy that the Democrats are looking at someone to run just because of their electability! I mean we need someone that can actually get something done! They need to be looking at the person and what they actually stand for in my opinion! Isn't that what this election is about...well it is supposed to be anyway! I think that has been lost along the way!

I'm not the least bit suprised about the families in Texas still not getting help to rebuild their homes after Rita! I mean look at the way the government has done all the past hurricane victims! It is a shame that they want to hang on to the money themselves instead of using it for what it is really meant for. I guess greed controls alot in this countries government! Can't wait to see this report!

It seems that the Canadians have a Scrooge in their midst! Whoever did that to those kids should be ashamed! That was terrible!! I hope they find the culprit!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 8:35 AM ET
Jaime:

You all aren't going to follow Ron Paul tonight. He is supposedly going to be on Glen Beck today.

Why do I know this? Ron Paul's army is working Florida this morning. I had a bell ring this morning and flier on my front door asking me again for the fifth time to send Ron Paul a contribution.

The Ron Paul campaign is every where down here. There are Ron Paul boats at the marina, Ron Paul motorhomes and Ron Paul mini-vans.

I met Ron at the You Tube Debate. I asked him a question regarding his stance on abortion. He gave me a honest answer and was personable and friendly. He is not the candidate for me but he has this "crazy like a fox" appeal.

Just wondering...can't you all get him to walk over from the Beck studio to the 360 studio for an interview?
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 9:08 AM ET
Hi Jamie. You're right on regarding your frustration over the Katrina money. I hope to see the story on the show.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 4:38 PM ET
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