Watch Stephen Colbert’s routine at the White House Correspondent Dinner.
The number of laws “President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey…since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ‘whistle-blower’ protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.”
In Sept. 2000, then-Gov. George W. Bush criticized President Clinton for proposing to use the strategic oil reserve in response to high prices:
The Strategic Reserve is an insurance policy meant for a sudden disruption of our energy supply or for war. Strategic Reserve should not be used as an attempt to drive down oil prices right before an election. It should not be used for short-term political gain at the cost of long-term national security.
Today on Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to explain why President Bush broke his 2000 campaign pledge and announced he would stop filling the Strategic Reserve.
Bodman couldn’t keep his answers straight. First he said the decision was merely “symbolic.” Then he claimed it was actually meant “to make a contribution to the reduction of prices.” Then he suggested that Bush had indeed broken his campaign pledge, but that it was okay since it had been several years and “times are different.” Then he flipped again, saying Bush was justified because current gas prices constituted a “crisis.” Not ready for primetime. Watch it:
Full transcript below: Read more
Today on ABC’s This Week, conservative pundit George Will said the appointment of new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was an “aesthetic” fix for a “substance problem” and would do nothing to help the Bush administration. Watch it:
WILL: [Snow's appointment is] just what conservatives really want, is government by Fox News. But he’s a man of wit, charm, intelligence, goodwill and it won’t make a particle of difference. It really won’t. Because it’s not a communication problem. It’s a substance problem. Politics is about something. Now, this is an aesthetic improvement in that room in the White House, period.
In an interview aired today on Britain’s ITV, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the U.S. went into Iraq without enough troops. Powell said he always “favored a larger military presence.” Prior to the invasion Powell made the case to Rumsfeld and President Bush but was overruled. As a result Powell said we didn’t have “enough force there at the time to impose order.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
On Wednesday, following Karl Rove’s fifth appearance before a grand jury, his lawyer Robert Luskin released a statement. Much has been made of this portion:
In connection with this appearance, the special counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he is not a target of the investigation. Mr. Fitzgerald has affirmed that he has made no decision concerning charges.
The United States Grand Jury Manual defines a “target” as “a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime.” On Thursday, MSNBC’s David Shuster provided an important bit of context:
I don’t think there is any chance [Rove] will resign absent an indictment. Perhaps that’s why the stakes are so high. Scooter Libby only got notification that he was the target that very morning. He didn’t have time. It doesn’t look like Karl Rove will get advanced notification either if he gets indicted.
Karl Rove may or may not be indicted. But the fact that he hasn’t been notified that he is a target of the investigation should not provide him or his supporters much comfort.
Number of Iraqi families forced to flee their homes to escape sectarian violence.
the former FDA commissioner under President Bush, “is under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury over accusations of financial improprieties and false statements to Congress, his lawyer said Friday. … Dr. Crawford resigned in September, fewer than three months after the Senate confirmed him. He said then that it was time for someone else to lead the agency.” (Via Atrios)
It has been widely reported that Rove’s legal troubles center around his initial failure to tell prosecutors about his conversation with TIME Magazine’s Matt Cooper regarding Joe Wilson’s wife. In a new story, Murray Waas reports that Rove could also be in legal jeopardy based on the substance of what he said about his conversation with Cooper once he acknowledged it occurred. Here’s the critical point:
Rove testified to the grand jury that when he told Cooper that Plame worked at the agency, he was only passing along unverified gossip, according to people familiar with his testimony.
In contrast, Cooper has testified that Rove told him in a phone conversation on July 11, 2003, that Plame worked for the CIA and played a role in having the agency select her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, to make a fact-finding trip to Niger in 2002.
Cooper has also testified that Rove, as well as a second source — I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, then-chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney — portrayed the information about Plame as accurate and authoritative.
So there is a big difference between Rove’s version of the story and Cooper’s version of the story. If Fitzgerald establishes that Rove is the one not telling the truth, it could potentially form the basis of perjury or obstruction of justice charges against Rove.
In short: Rove’s in even more trouble than we thought.
on prescription fraud charges, Palm Beach County authorities tell CBS News.
UPDATE: Sun-Sentinel has more.