by Chris Colvin, Nightly News writer
Hi. So a Sydney newspaper reports President Bush used a good old Americanism about how the military is faring in Iraq, but new speculation about how the U.S. is now heartily embracing the Sunnis (in preparation for a conflict with Iran?) raises some alarms. And even bigger alarms raised by the question: was that "accidental" flight of 6 nuclear warheads really no accident at all? Plus, Fred Thompson, finally! More bad news on housing.. and as credit becomes harder to get, a primer on you and your FICO.
The Carpetbagger Report picks up on a report in an Australian newspaper that says the President told the Australians "We're kicking ass" in Iraq. Here's a link to the original story in Sydney's Morning Herald.
Salon's Sidney Blumenthal adds to a body of evidence that President Bush was told Iraq had no WMD before the war, and he discounted those CIA reports. Andrew Tilghman in Washington Monthly writes about the U.S. military overblowing the threat from al Qaida in Iraq. Iraqi blogger Riverbend has resurfaced two months after disappearing.. in Syria. (Hat tip: Cursor.org)
MediaMatters Eric Boehlert reports on the curious lack of news coverage of the Iraq war over the summer, given the public's stated preference in polls that Iraq is the most important news story out there, and the one being followed most closely by the most Americans.
Oh and Syria fired on an Israeli military jet. Uh. Just a misunderstanding!
Speaking of roll-outs.. Fred Thompson is finally an actual candidate. Here's the announcement via WaPo's Balz and Shear. The LA Times' Joe Mathews has a fascinating look at Thompson's roots, and how his (former) in-laws made him the man he is today. And Fred got some needling (exactly what they wanted, no doubt) at the top of last night's GOP debate.. which was waged as Fred cracked jokes with Jay Leno yesterday. The WSJ's Mary Jacoby sums up.
Today's credit crunch news: yeah it's bad. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports foreclosures hit an all-time high in Q2. Marketwatch has it. Combine that with yesterday's horrifying numbers on pending home sales (down 12% for the MONTH of July.) Nice chart from interestrateroundup. (Hat tip: ac in Calculated Risk comments). But the head of the Atlanta Fed says problems in the housing market are contained. (Yikes, where have we heard that before?) Speaking of (un)contained, Countrywide said it was laying off 900 workers yesterday, amid rumors of much MUCH bigger cuts to come.. as a Dallas-based mortgage blog says the company knew exactly what was coming a year ago.
This seems counterintuitive.. credit card companies have drastically increase marketing to subprime borrowers.
Jeremy Grantham an investor who's been sounding the siren about a global credit bubble for a long time, argues that even if the credit crunch doesn't morph into a full-blown catastrophe, stocks, bonds and real estate still have a long fall ahead. (hat tip: patrick.net)
And here's another set of initials we need to get familiar with: S.I.V. Specialized Investment Vehicle. The SEC is taking a look at them, now.. and here's a hint: they're the kind of "off-the-books" partnerships that sank Enron.
And finally, news you can use from those lovable Minyans. Your FICO and you.