- Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), who recently stated that stability in Iraq “depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ,” is now blaming bloggers for his remarks. “It’s interesting how these bloggers can distort the news,” said his spokeswoman.
- The right wing’s War on Christmas “has never been so profitable.” The conservative American Family Association has “has rung up more than $550,000 in sales of buttons and magnets stamped with the slogan ‘Merry Christmas: It’s Worth Saying’” and the Liberty Counsel “has taken in more than $300,000 with its Help Save Christmas Action Packs.”
- 76: Number of American troops who have died in Iraq this month, “making December the second deadliest month for U.S. servicemen in 2006.” With “nine days remaining in December, the monthly total of U.S. deaths could meet or exceed the death toll of 105 in October.”
- After an “overwhelming negative reaction” from residents, the mayor, and a federal lawmaker, Clear Channel Radio has agreed to keep Air America on air in Madison, WI.
- Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said yesterday that “our society would benefit” from reinstating the draft to make the military more equal. “He later issued a statement saying his comments had been misconstrued and that he does not support bringing back the draft.”
- The IRS has “cut deeply the time that it spends auditing the nation’s largest corporations.” New data shows the IRS “had reduced the time spent on each audit by 21 percent in the last five years, to 958 hours from 1,210 hours. At the same time, the number of actual audits, which had increased in the last two years, has fallen back to the level of 2002.”
- “Four days before Christmas, President Bush granted pardons to 16 people, including a man convicted of dealing methamphetamine and another who, along with his family, donated to the Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.”
- “The United States offers some of the most lucrative incentives in the world to companies that drill for oil in publicly owned coastal waters,” but a newly released study — which the Interior Department held back for more than a year — shows the billions in incentives “cause only a tiny increase in production.”