Georgia House Republicans to play musical chairs for Chambliss’ seat and other Sunday evening reads

*Get ready for a bumfight: four of the nine House Republicans from Georgia are vying for the Senate seat that will be vacated by Saxby Chambliss. According to the Hill, the “candidates said they have all spoken individually to each other. They pledged to run ‘a clean and above-board race,’ in the words of [Jack] Kingston.” In addition to Kingston, the quartet includes Phil Gingrey, Tom Price and Paul Broun. The latter is already courting the Teahadist vote by claiming that Paul Ryan’s budget cuts wouldn’t go deep enough.

*Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas handed President Obama letters written by two of Abbas’ grandchildren, according to Ma’an News Agency, when Obama was in Ramallah on Thursday.

Ten year old Firas Abbas wrote:

Dear Mr. President,

There are 168 kids in Israeli prisons.

10 of them are my age – 10 years old.

15 of them are Malia’s age.

20 of them are Sasha’s age.

Please get them out.

Make Israel stop arresting kids.

*The IMF is going to predict that sequestration will knock 0.3 percent off annual GDP growth in the U.S., according to the Italian news agency ANSA. The 1.7 percent growth forecast is “down from the 2.0 percent predicted in January.” The IMF is also set to predict that world GDP will grow by 3.4 percent in 2013, “down from a previous forecast of 3.5 percent.” The predictions are set to be published in April.

*House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers, who indirectly accused the Obama administration of lying about its intelligence on Syria today, has been indirectly donating money to a group actively opposing a key piece of legislation he sponsored. As Daily Dot explained, since Wednesday Rogers has “been using the hashtag #CISPAalert to address criticism of his Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA). Activists are wrong, he says. CISPA wouldn’t allow government “monitoring anyone’s email or personal information.”

But the congressman—or whoever runs his Twitter account—doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. A domain name registrar called Namecheap is running a promotion: offering a dollar to Internet activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation for each tweet with that hashtag. The EFF is actively campaigning against CISPA, calling it a “privacy-invading cybersecurity spying bill.”

Thus far, Rogers’ account has only used the hashtag six times. Perhaps his team is aware of the campaign, but thinks the donations are worth it, on the offhand chance that activists following the hashtag are swayed.

CISPA “would allow companies whose networks are under attack to share what they know with federal agencies,” in the Daily Dot’s words — a scenario that could essentially allow dragnet warrantless searches in the wake of cyber attacks.

*Last night, Greg Mitchell, a blogger who covers media, culture, and politics for The Nation, reported that the Washington Post killed an Outlook piece it assigned to him about the media’s failure in the run-up to the Iraq war. Instead, as Mitchell wrote:

…they ran this misleading, cherry-picking, piece by Paul Farhi claiming the media “didn’t fail.” I love the line about the Post in March 2003 carrying some skeptical pieces just days before the war started: “Perhaps it was too late by then. But this doesn’t sound like failure.”

Doesn’t sound like failure, eh? But what about the “more than 140 front-page Post stories ‘that focused heavily on administration rhetoric against Iraq’–with all but a few of those questioning the evidence buried inside”?

Editors there killed, delayed or buried key pieces by Ricks, Walter Pincus, Dana Priest and others. The Post’s David Ignatius went so far as offering an apology to readers this week for his own failures. Also consider Bob Woodward’s reflections…He admitted he had become a willing part of the the “groupthink” that accepted faulty intelligence on the WMDs.

This week neither the Post nor the New York Times published an editorial admitting any shortcomings in their Iraq coverage. Back in 2003, the Times at least called for caution in invading Iraq, in editorials. On the other hand, as Bill Moyers pointed out, in the six months leading up to the U.S. attack on the Iraq, the Post “editorialized in favor of the war at least 27 times.”

Mitchell aptly titled his story “Double Failure.”

*I’m off to get some fresh air, in case anyone is wondering, but later tonight, I’ll post one more time about the impressive letters Political Animal readers sent Fix the Debt.

Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.