Daily Digest: War update, Oberstar at the U, Bachmann falters

by Robert Downs


WAR UPDATE: Troops leave Iraq and bad goes to worse in Kabul
A suicide bomber hiding explosives in his turban assassinated former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who headed a government peace council trying to cultivate contacts with Taliban insurgents. The assassination was a potentially devastating blow to the Afghan-led peace process aimed at ending 10 years of war. Four of Rabbani’s bodyguards also died and a key presidential adviser was wounded in the attack at Rabbani’s Kabul home Tuesday.
President Obama immediately sent out a release condemning the killings, saying that the United States “will not be deterred from creating a path whereby Afghans can live in freedom, safety, security and prosperity.” Unfortunately, nobody has been living in peace in Afghanistan lately. Just last week a group of gunmen fired rockets and artillary at the United States Embassy and NATO compound in downtown Kabul. We knew that it was going to be bad, but recent reports have dropped nothing but bad news on the doorsteps. 
The attack on Rabbani came on the same day that Admiral Mike Mullen announced that the number of American troops in Iraq will fall to 30,000 by the end of this month. Although the U.S. officially ended its mission in Iraq on Sept. 1, there are still about 44,500 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Jim Oberstar awards first fellowship in the Humphry School
Former 8th District Democratic congressman Jim Oberstar, who was defeated by 4,400 votes last year by Republican Chip Cravaack, presented a fellowship in his name at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, according to a glowing MinnPost.com piece
The $10,000 scholarship, was sponsored by the Minnesota Forest Industries, and the scholarship in Oberstar’s name will support one public policy or urban planning student each year.
Bachmann Blues
Michele Bachmann’s chance to make a run for the presidency seem less likely every day. She finished last in a poll of South Carolina conservatives, with undeclared Sarah Palin posting better results. 
A poll of South Carolina Republicans and independents who lean Republican found that Rick Perry leads Mitt Romney by 30.5% to 27.3% — within the margin of error.
Bachmann registered at 4.2 percent, behind Godfather’s Pizza guy Herman Cain, at 6.8 percent and Sarah Palin at 6.3 percent.