Tuesday News Roundup

January 25, 2005

President Bush is planning to ask Congress for $80 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total to $280 billion. Talkleft notes that the administration "badly miscalculated" the cost of the wars early on.
For an extreme version of the liberal federalism we've been discussing on the blog, check out Salon's new article on blue state secession.
The D.C. government has agreed to pay $425,000 to 7 people arrested for protesting the World Bank and IMF in September 2002. The protesters were among 400 corraled in Pershing Park, arrested and held for 36 hours. According to the Washington Post, "In approving the settlement with the seven plaintiffs at a hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan hailed the deal as "historic," noting that it marked a major turnabout by city officials in accepting blame and offering to make amends for the police actions."
Sunni leaders in Iraq, while still calling for a boycott of the upcoming election, have announced plans to assist in the drafting of a constitution with the new government.
A coalition of major conservative Christian groups and leaders (including James Dobson and Jerry Falwell) have called on President Bush to renew a push for a same-sex marriage ban before tackling social security, threatening to withhold their support from the latter issue without a renewed commitment to the former. According to an excerpt from the New York Times, the letter asks "Is [the president] prepared to spend significant political capital on privatization but reluctant to devote the same energy to preserving traditional marriage? If so it would create outrage with countless voters who stood with him just a few weeks ago, including an unprecedented number of African-Americans, Latinos and Catholics who broke with tradition and supported the president solely because of this issue."
In the wake of Lawrence, Virginia's Supreme Court has struck down the state's anti-fornication law. Findlaw's Joanna Grossman notes that while such laws are still on the books in about 20 percent of states, "Virginia was right to invalidate such an antiquated law, and other fornication laws, if challenged in court, are very likely to be invalidated as well."
Sentencing Law and Policy Blog focuses on a post-Booker decision from Maine, with an excerpt illustrating one judge's reasoning on using the Guidelines.