“Dubai Ports World “has offered to delay part of its $6.8 billion deal to take over operations at six U.S. ports. Under the offer coordinated with the White House,” the company “said it will agree not to exercise control over or influence the management of U.S. ports pending further talks with Washington. It did not indicate how long it will wait.”
In a letter made public today, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) says the Bush administration “authorized” leaks of classified information to reporter Bob Woodward and suggests the leaks may have damaged national security. ThinkProgress has obtained a copy of the letter. Murray Waas has more.
“Just days after President George W. Bush threw down the gauntlet and vowed to veto any bill in Congress that could delay the transaction, senior Bush advisor Karl Rove said in a radio interview that the president might consider a postponement after all.”
“In a court filing, lawyers for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby said the indictment violates the Constitution because Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was not appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate.”
In his State of the Union Address, President promised to pursue “an agenda that will raise standards of living.”
But a study released today by the America’s Second Harvest shows that Bush has fallen short. Nine million Americans sought aid from food pantries and soup kitchens last year, even though they were members of households where at least one person had a job.
A look at why working Americans are struggling to put food on the table:
– An individual who works full-time at the current minimum wage earns about $10,700 a year “”$5,390 below the 2005 poverty line for a family of three, and $8,650 below the poverty line for a family of four.
– The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 29 percent lower today than it was in 1979.
So far, Bush has succeeded only at creating low-wage jobs and long lines at the nation’s soup-kitchens.
– Mike Darner
Brit Hume led a roundtable discussion last night about the politics of the UAE port deal. Fox News’ “liberal” commentator Mort Kondracke said President Bush should argue that only some Arabs should be subject to racial bigotry:
I think that the President can make the case that there are Arabs and there are Arabs. And some Arabs have been friendly and allied with us and that we ought to side with them, and that the Democrats will be in the position of being anti-Arab across the board.
Full transcript below: Read more
A handwritten letter from DeLay to his constituents, 2/6/06:
Where would anyone get the crazy idea that DeLay was close friends with Abramoff?
DeLay, Northern Mariana Islands, 1997:
When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made.
DeLay’s campaign to rehabilitate his credibility isn’t off to a good start.
And the White House reported in August 2004, “Real after-tax incomes are up 11 percent since December 2000.”
But Bush’s economic statistics have no basis in reality. The Federal Reserve Board reported today that the “average income of American families, after adjusting for inflation, declined 2.3% in 2004 compared with 2001.” To see how poorly this compares to previous time periods, look at this chart:
The White House’s report released today, “The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned,” blames the Katrina response exclusively on the federal government’s plans and structures, rather than on individual people. Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend:
The system wasn’t dependent on any one person. … It was a failure of various aspects of decision-making that needed to happen real time and quickly to get federal response efforts.
The report ignores the responsibility of top Bush administration officials. Luckily the recent bipartisan report from House of Representatives fills in the gaps. From The Washington Post:
[The report] lays primary fault with the passive reaction and misjudgments of top Bush aides, singling out Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Operations Center and the White House Homeland Security Council.
Regarding Bush, the report also found that “earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response” because he alone could have cut through all bureaucratic resistance.
With yesterday’s bombing of one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines in Iraq, the common consensus appears to be that Iraq is now on the verge of a full-blown civil war. Such an outcome has been predicted for years, and the Bush administration has done little to shift its strategy to address the persisting threat.
In September 2004, intelligence officials at the CIA warned that Iraq could dissolve into civil war over the next 18 months (18 months have now elapsed since the report was revealed). “White House spokesman Scott McClellan, and other White House spokesmen, called the intelligence assessment the work of ‘pessimists and naysayers’ after its outlines were disclosed by the New York Times. President Bush called the assessment a guess, which drew the consternation of many intelligence officials.”
The CIA wasn’t the only one warning the administration of a possible civil war. In fact, lawmakers and experts from across the spectrum have repeatedly tried to call the administration’s attention to the issue.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE): I have not been very enamored with the way half this administration has gone about this effort without thoroughly going into what happens the day after Saddam is down. “¦ The president said that, “What could be worse than Saddam?” Well, what could be worse than Saddam would be a major civil war in the region. [CNN Larry King Live, 10/9/02]
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV): What plans do we have to prevent Iraq from breaking up and descending into civil war? [Congressional Record, S10006-10007, 10/7/02]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): The end of Saddam Hussein could mean the start of a civil war. [Congressional Record, S10078, 10/8/02]