OP-ED AUTHORS PERISH IN IRAQ DURING PETRAEUS TESTIMONY. As Gen. Petraeus was testifying before Congress this week about the progress of the surge, two of the seven soldiers on active duty who penned last month's New York Times op-ed questioning whether we are making any gains in Iraq died in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad.
NYET GAIN. Via the Progress Report, we learn that today has been designated the Day of Conception in Russia, which just happens to coincide with Putin's unceremonious disbanding of the government. Today falls exactly nine months before Russia Day, and as one of Putin's policies to encourage more breeding in his country, he's offered SUVs, refrigerators, and monetary rewards to anyone who gives birth on June 12. So the mayor of Ulyanovsk, a region in central Russia, has given workers there the afternoon off to make with the baby making.
THE GAS REGULATIONS WE PASS. A federal judge in Vermont ruled against the auto industry today, upholding states' rights to set tougher fuel economy standards than the federal government. Automakers have attempted to block California, Vermont, and 13 other states from instating new efficiency requirements that would require vehicles to get at least 43 miles per gallon by 2016. From the Detriot Free Press:
HELLO, NURSE. Could nurses simultaneously save unions and lead the fight for a solid, universal health care plan? If what's going on in California is any indication, caregivers could reinvigorate the movement and take it beyond the bargaining table and into national politics.
RE(A)D ALL OVER. To jump on the discussion of the new Media Matters report that finds that conservative syndicated columnists are published much more frequently than their liberal counterparts, while I'm on board with Ezra and Matt's musing about the possible reasons this is true, I think there may also be another factor at work, one perhaps more difficult to overcome in today's media market.