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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Seitan Worshipper: "AP - Early departures clip Bush security team"

If you squint, you can see the rats jumping

I wonder what this could portend:

Early departures clip Bush security team

WASHINGTON - Top members of President Bush's national security team are leaving in one of the earliest waves of departures from a second-term administration — nearly two years before Bush's term ends.

As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in Iraq, at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, Pentagon and State Department in the past six months.

Some have left for lucrative positions in the private sector. Some have gone to academic or charitable institutions. The latest was Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch, who spoke favorably of Bush's policies as he announced he was leaving last week.

Turnover is normal as an administration nears its end, but "this is a high number," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and an expert on government.

"You would expect to see vacancies arise as things wind down, but it's about six months early for this kind of a mass exodus," he said.

One reason may be that Vice President Dick Cheney will not run to succeed Bush in 2008, setting the stage for wholesale changes at all levels of government no matter who wins the election. Also, several of the departures were not voluntary.

Then just this month, Randall Tobias, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development who held a rank equivalent to deputy secretary of state, resigned after being linked to a Washington call girl scandal.

Some officials, however, speaking only privately, say some people may be leaving to avoid being associated with the increasingly unpopular Iraq conflict.

- posted by Seitan Worshipper

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