National Journal reports that after meeting with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson today, House Speaker Hastert “said Congress should concentrate on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling rather than” the proposed $100 rebate to lower gas prices. If drilling is allowed, the Department of Energy has said that “even twenty years down the road, when Arctic Refuge oil is at or near peak production, gas prices would be affected by about a penny per gallon.”
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today requested that the CIA provide a “national security damage assessment briefing” to senators about the damage that may have resulted from the Valerie Plame leak. MSNBC reported Monday that the leak harmed administration efforts to track Iran’s nuclear development.
on the conservative plan to amend the Constistution to ban gay marriage: “Some historian should really look at all of the proposals that have been forth throughout the history of our country for possible constitutional amendments. Maybe at some point in time there was one that was sillier than this one, but I don’t know of one.“
UPDATE: Contemporaneous media accounts (see here for example) report that Secada was singing “America the Beautiful,” not the national anthem. The story from Cox News below, reporting that Secada sang the national anthem in Spanish, appears to be in error. Read more
From a ThinkProgress commenter to the White House Press Briefing in just three hours. CNN’s Ed Henry is on the case:
HENRY: Scott, on Friday the president firmly said he believes the national anthem should be sung in English. Kevin Phillips, the Republican analyst, wrote a book called American Dynasty. And in there, he claims that, during the president’s 2000 campaign, he did sing The Star Spangled Banner in Spanish at some Hispanic festivals, various campaign events.
Are you aware that you recall that from the 2000 campaign?
MCCLELLAN: No, I don’t.
HENRY: Do you think that that would be counter to what the president laid out on Friday?
MCCLELLAN: I don’t recall that, and I’m not going to try and speculate on something I haven’t looked into.
More on this story coming shortly.
Lt. Gen. Victor Renuart, the director of planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken out on Iran:
Military action against Iran would be fraught with risk and would have repercussions across the region, a leading American general conceded.
“Any action militarily is very complicated,” Lt Gen Victor Renuart, the director of planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Daily Telegraph.
“And any action by any country will have second-order effects, and that is a strong case to continue the diplomatic process and make it work.“
Gen. Renuart is the latest in a long line of national security experts and others warning of the dangers of a military strike on Iran, and emphasizing the importance of making diplomacy work. (Read the full list HERE.)
The Bush administration ignores this advice at the peril of U.S. national security. Just today, the respected Arms Control Association warned that if Iran and the U.S. continue to move “further away from the diplomatic solution both say they want, we may eventually see a military confrontation, a nuclear weapons-capable Iran, or both. If such perilous outcomes are to be averted, Washington and Tehran need to engage in direct talks aimed at a grand bargain that addresses each of their concerns.”
“[T]he President’s ace strategist was brought up sharply at a recent White House meeting with a group of Republican congressional-staff chiefs when he suggested that the best approach to soaring gasoline prices was this: wait. There’s no immediate fix available, so let the market work its magic, Rove said.” Sounds like the perfect approach for this Congress.
This morning on the Today Show, Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist was interviewed about high gas prices. Frist argued that if Bill Clinton had not vetoed a bill opening up the Artic Refuge to drilling in 1996, prices would be much lower. Frist said, “It’s a matter supply and demand. Right now we would have increase supply if [drilling in the wildlife refuge] had not been vetoed by President Clinton.” Watch it:
Frist presents drilling in the Artic Refuge as a long-term solution to dependence on foreign oil. It’s not. The total amount of oil in the Artic Refuge represents less than a year’s U.S. supply. At peak production, oil from the refuge would only account for 1-2 percent daily consumption. In return, we would permanently damage one of the world’s last true wildernesses.
Of course, the facts never prevented people like Bill Frist from blaming Bill Clinton for their problems.
Transcript: Read more
President Bush, 4/28/06:
I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.
But in his book American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips notes that during Bush’s first presidential campaign, he would often sing the national anthem in Spanish. From pg. 142:
When visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish, sometimes partying with a “Viva Bush” mariachi band flown in from Texas.
(HT: TP Commenter Todd)
The right wing is up in arms over a new version of the Star-Spangled Banner written in Spanish. Last week President Bush stated that “the national anthem ought to be sung in English.” Yesterday Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a resolution requiring the Star-Spangled banner to be sung only in English:
That flag and that song are a part of our history and our national identity. … That’s why in 1931 Congress declared the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem. That’s why we should always sing it in our common language, English.
In his press release, Alexander said the Star-Spangled Banner has “never before…been rendered in another language.”
But in 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish-language version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The State Department’s website also features four-separate versions of the anthem in Spanish.
It appears xenophobia isn’t part of the American tradition.