News and Notes: The National Scene
Big news day:
Jose Padilla Verdict to be Announced at 2:00 pm - UPDATE: Verdicts are being announced at 2:24 pm - Padilla and both co-defendants are guilty on all counts. Prosecutors are breathing a big sigh of relief, the evidence on Padilla was thin. The defendants all face up to life in prison on the charges.
Stock Market Crashing - Concerns relating to the troubled subprime mortgage market have sent the Dow Jones average down over 300 points (2.3%) this afternoon.
Biden's Son Going to Iraq - Beau Biden, a captain in the Army National Guard and the son of presidential contender Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), will be deployed to Iraq. “He’ll go ... I don’t want him going,” the senior Biden said. “But I don’t want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference.”
Brainiacs for Obama - A new Gallup poll shows Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) with much higher support among highly educated voters while Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) leads among those with a high school diploma or less.
No Prison for Ney Aide - William Heaton, former chief of staff to convicted Republican Congressman Bob Ney, received two years probation and a $5,000 fine for his role in his disgraced bosses' corruption. Heaton, who went on the infamous Scotland trip paid for by convicted GOP influence peddler Jack Abramoff, wore a wire and leaked documents to the FBI.
Petraeus and Crocker To Appear Before Congress Only in Closed Hearing? - That's what Congressional aides say the White House has proposed. By the way, the "Petraeus Report" will not be that - it has been revealed that White House aides are writing it.
Skipping Iowa Straw Poll a Good Call for Rudy - CQ Politics commentator Craig Crawford opines that former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) made the right decision in skipping the recent straw poll in Iowa. Although former governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) won handily, he had to "share the limelight" with surprising second place finisher Mike Huckabee (R-AR). So, it was worth it for Rudy to save the time and money.
Clinton Edges Giuliani in National Poll - Now it's the Quinnipiac Poll showing Clinton with a slight lead in the head-to-head matchup, reversing former results from this pollster.
Giuliani Earns "C-" Grade on Foreign Policy Essay - Columnist Fred Kaplan at Slate.com says that Rudy's latest essay in Foreign Affairs is very bad:
"Had it been written for a freshman course on international relations, it would deserve at best a C-minus (with a concerned note to come see the professor as soon as possible). That it was written by a man who wants to be president—and who recently said that he understands the terrorist threat "better than anyone else running"—is either the stuff of high satire or cause to consider moving to, or out of, the country."