have sought reimbursement so far “for body armor and other equipment they bought to protect themselves on the front lines,” an AP investigation finds. Retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Koper, president of the National Guard Association: “I can only assume that the Defense Department seems to be doing a very poor job telling people there is a program, and that it applies to people all the way up to 2006.”
Earlier today, President Bush stood with former law clerks of Judge Samuel Alito to demand that the Senate give his Supreme Court nominee an up-or-down vote. Bush said of his current nominee:
There’s no doubt about Judge Alito’s qualifications, his intellect, or his complete dedication to our Constitution and laws. He is exactly the kind of person Americans want on the Supreme Court. “¦ And I call on the United States Senate to put partisanship aside and give Judge Alito the up or down vote he deserves and to confirm him as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.
Oh, but how quickly he forgets. Wasn’t there another Supreme Court nominee who met these same qualifications but was refused an up-or-down vote? On October 3, 2005, here’s what Bush said about then-nominee Harriet Miers:
I believe that senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers’ talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans. “¦ I’ve sought to find an American of grace, judgment and unwavering devotion to the Constitution and laws of our country. Harriet Miers is just such a person.
Both Miers and Alito have been billed by the President as having the necessary qualifications, intellect, and judicial philosophy for the job. But Harriet Miers never got an up-or-down vote because the right-wing stopped her. The Miers example makes at least two things clear: 1) there’s nothing wrong with opposing a nominee with whom you fundamentally disagree, and 2) Bush does not have the record to be making demands of the Senate.
united by anti-gay bigotry.
As rising energy prices trigger growing concerns on the part of Americans, the energy industry is determined to maintain the status quo and stall on a major opportunity to reduce energy dependence – the production of biofuels.
Energy industry officials have no shortage of excuses on why they can’t move forward on biofuels. In a recent BBC article, one unnamed industry official asserted that “there’s simply not enough foodstuff available and not enough land to grow it on” to keep up with the “growing demand for [grains] used to produce biodiesel.” A day earlier a New York Times article quoted an agricultural expert warning that demand for foodstuff for biofuels might mean higher food prices, instability and even corn shortages.
But the facts don’t back up their arguments. In the face of growing energy demands from China and India and global population growth, an international corn shortage isn’t possible anytime soon:
First, developing a biofuel economy can actually help reduce hunger and poverty by diversifying agricultural and forestry activities, attracting new farmers, and investing in small and medium enterprises. Increased investment in agricultural production has the potential to boost incomes of the world’s poorest people. Read more
with 15 questions about warrantless domestic spying.
On Monday, the Bush administration’s top mine safety official, David Dye, appeared before a Senate subcommittee to explain the administration’s response to the Sago mining disaster. Specifically, senators wanted to know why mine safety has been consistently underfunded under President Bush, and why regulations have been rolled back or weakly enforced.
Unfortunately, David Dye has a busy schedule. After an hour of questioning, Dye announced he had “some really pressing matters” to attend to, and asked to leave the hearing. Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) urged him not to: “Your presence will be required here for at least one more hour.”
But Dye insisted:
We have been diverted, dealing with these matters. We were happy to prepare for the hearing, but we really need to get back and attend to all this. There’s 15,000 mines in the United States, and we’ve got some really pressing matters.
The New York Times describes what occured next:
After Mr. Specter added, “That’s the committee’s request, but you’re not under subpoena,” Mr. Dye got up and walked out.
“I can’t recollect it ever happening before,” Mr. Specter said of the departure. “We’ll find a way to take appropriate note of it.”