Percentage change in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for the average American last year.
Even as the candidates for House Majority Leader posts “try to top each other over who will crack down harder on lobbyists, they are leaning on their extensive networks of K Streeters for help with winning votes in the Republican Conference.”
“Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, including five who served Republican presidents, said Wednesday that the Bush administration needs to act more aggressively to limit the emission of greenhouse gases linked to climate change.”
This photo appears in a 2000 BBC article about the Bush transition team:
Jack Abramoff was a member of the Bush transition team:
After the 2000 election, Abramoff was named to the Bush transition team for the Interior Department, which regulates the Indian casinos that paid Abramoff his inflated fees.
Is that Jack Abramoff behind Bush? Compare the 2000 photo with two recent pictures of Abramoff:
We’ve contacted Agence France Press for more information about the photo. (HT: Canofun)
UPDATE: In the comment section, CTDem discovered another photo from the same event that suggests the person above with Bush is not Jack Abramoff. Great find.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was first asked about meetings between Jack Abramoff and White House staff on January 4. On January 5, McClellan said he would have a “thorough report” on staff level contacts “very soon.”
Fifteen days later, the stonewalling continues:
Q: Going back to the Abramoff investigation, do you have an update for us on any records or phone calls or e-mails between staff members and Mr. Abramoff or photos of the President with him?
McClellan: No, as I laid out yesterday, we’re not going to engage in any sort of fishing expedition.
I know there’s some that want to play partisan politics and do so. This is a gentleman being held to account for the wrongdoing he was involved in He is someone who through himself and his clients contributed to both Democrats and Republicans and it was outrageous what he was involved in doing and he needs to be held to account and he is being held to account by the Dept of Justice.
Here is a specific question for an enterprising White House reporter: Did President Bush meet with Jack Abramoff in May 2001?
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video of the heated exchange between David Gregory and Scott McClellan on this topic from Wednesday.
Bush: “So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him. “¦ And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.” [3/13/02]
“Now we’re going to say you can’t have a meal for more than 20 bucks,” said Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi. “Where are you going, to McDonald’s?”
Think Progress has obtained a copy of the Congressional Research Service [CRS] report that concludes “the Bush administration’s limited briefings for Congress on the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping without warrants are ‘inconsistent with the law.’” You can read it here.
Here’s the key point. Right-wing pundits point to a provision in the law that says disclosure should show “due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.” The right thinks that means disclosure is optional.
But an analysis of the statute and its legislative history by CRS shows that, while that provision might allow the administration, in very rare circumstances, to exclude certain sensitive aspects of an intelligence program, it doesn’t allow them to hide the existence of an entire program from any member of the committee:
Congress has recognized such a necessity and stated its intent that the executive branch, in extremely rare circumstances, may need “…to preserve essential secrecy..” and thus may decide “…not to impart certain sensitive aspects of operations or collection programs to the oversight committees in order to protect extremely sensitive intelligence sources and methods…” In acknowledging this narrow need, however, Congress did not explicitly recognize, in statute or report language, the executive branch’s right to withhold from the intelligence committees information about the existence of the intelligence operations and collection programs, but rather only its authority to hold back information pertaining to certain sensitive aspects of such operations and programs.
Facts are stubborn things.