DEAL OR NO DEAL.Robertmentioned it this morning, but another important aspect of the Blackwater issue is that the company was awarded a no-bid contract to work in Iraq. Blackwater USA is (well … was) a private firm providing security for U.S. Embassy personnel in Iraq.
DODDMENTUM. Heading up the line-up of Democratic presidential candidates slated to speak at today's Service Employees International Union Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., today, Senator Chris Dodd took the opportunity to highlight his labor-related achievements in his 26 years as an elected official and called for a renewed commitment to middle class America. "The middle class was built by a vibrant labor movement who believed that opportunity was not the right of the wealthy and privileged - it was the right of every single person who lived in this country," said Dodd.
BANKING ON IT. Bank of America, the giant bank everyone hates but is joining resentfully, has announced that they are further penalizing those who haven't submitted to their dominance yet by increasing non-customer fees on ATM withdraws to $3. The $1 increase was introduced quietly over the summer, and is sure to prompt other banks to follow suit.
ESTIMATES, FOR WHATEVER THEY'RE WORTH. A British polling agency released a new study this week that suggests that even the highest estimates of Iraqi deaths so far have been far below the actual toll. The poll, conducted by a group called ORB, asked 1,462 adult Iraqis, "How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003?" Based on their responses, researchers believe that the death toll so far in Iraq is around 1.2 million. While the U.S. military has claimed a 55 percent reduction in the number of civilian deaths resulting from sectarian violence since the surge, neither the U.S.