“The White House said Thursday that missing e-mail messages sent on Republican Party accounts may include some relating to the firing of eight United States attorneys.”
A few weeks ago, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a memo to the White House advocating the creation of a high-powered “czar” to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as part of an 18-point plan. At least five retired generals have turned down the job.
Paul Wolfowitz says he’s sorry, which is a good first step. A good second step would be resigning. He’s not six years old and the World Bank isn’t kindergarden playtime. I’m sure he is sorry. Still, “should you engage in corruption on behalf of your girlfriend while leading an international anti-corruption campaign?” isn’t one of the world’s more difficult questions. There are plenty of other people out there who could do the job and it would send a good message to get rid of him.
The Politico reports:
White House Counsel Fred Fielding, in a letter today, told Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, that the White House has not budged in its refusal to allow the panels to question several White House aides, including Karl Rove, about what they know regarding the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, moving the two sides closer to a constitutional battle over the scandal.
Fielding also appears to be trying to head off an attempt by Conyers to obtain e-mails and documents from the Republican National Committee regarding the firings. … Fielding also said that “it was and remains our intention to collect e-mails and documents from those [RNC-controlled] accounts as well as the official White House e-mail and document retention systems” as part of a broader deal with the two committees on staffer testimony.
In a response statement, Conyers was unmoved: “the Judiciary Committee intends to obtain the relevant emails directly from the RNC. The White House position seems to be that executive privilege not only applies in the Oval Office, but to the RNC as well. There is absolutely no basis in law or fact for such a claim.”
Appearing last night on CNN’s Larry King Live, Al Franken said that firing Don Imus was the “right decision,” but pointed out that CNN has its own anchor who regularly spews hateful and bigoted remarks.
“CNN has Glenn Beck on,” Franken told King. “Glenn Beck asked my congressman, Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, you know, I just want to ask you, how do I know that you’re not working with the enemy? … I don’t know why that wasn’t grounds for CNN thinking, well, maybe Glenn Beck shouldn’t be on. I mean, how dare he say that to a congressman who has just been elected?”
King asked Franken, “With a lot of [controversial remarks] going on, are you calling for other dismissals?” Franken said, “No, I’m not. Just Glenn Beck on your network.” Watch it:
Some recent low-lights from Glenn Beck:
The anti-gay slur “faggot” is nothing more than “a naughty name.” [1/23/07]
“[Hillary Clinton is] the stereotypical bitch.” [3/15/07]
“What happened to the Duke lacrosse team was practically a lynching without the rope. And for the first time in my life, Mr. Oreo Cookie without the chocolate on the outside can understand why people celebrated when O.J. Simpson was acquitted.” [1/15/07, using a racial slur for African-Americans that refers to "being black on the outside and white on the inside]
“I wonder if I’m alone in this — you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims’ families? Took me about a year.” [9/9/05]
“And that’s all we’re hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.” [9/9/05]
(HT: My Two Sense)
Transcript: Read more
“The House Judiciary Committee is ‘strongly considering’ offering former DoJ official Monica Goodling immunity in exchange for her testimony in the U.S. Attorney matter, according to one very solid congressional source. Goodling had preemptively asserted her Fifth Amendment rights and has declined to be interviewed or to testify before Congress. … Per Pete Williams, Goodling’s attorney, John Dowd, has no comment on the immunity question.”
UPDATE: Time magazine has a similar report.
to resign from the World Bank over his girlfriend scandal?
UPDATE: The World Bank Staff Association called for his resignation at a press conference today, and Wolfowitz made an unexpected impromptu appearance.
UPDATE II: The Treasury Department’s “top international policy adviser had kind words for embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz but deflected questions on whether the Bush administration continues to support him.”
The single least-controversial thing you can say about foreign aid and third-world development, is that it’s really, really helpful for the developing nation you’re trying to help out to become less corrupt. Since the World Bank is supposed to boost third-world development, one important focus of its mission must be improving developing world governance. Thus, it’s a really bad idea for the head of the World Bank to be caught ordering his subordinates to give his girlfriend a $50k / year raise and then get away with it.
I was considering writing a sentence here that began “if the Bush administration cares at all about . . . ” but that’s obviously a non-starter. The question is what leverage to congressional Democrats have that might help shove Wolfowitz out the door.
Yesterday in a conference call with conservative bloggers, McCain attempted to pander to the blogosphere by ensuring them that they would be tapped in to his administration, if he becomes president. From the call:
DAVID ALL: If you become America’s next president, what role would bloggers, left and right, play in your communications strategy?
McCAIN: I feel strongly that bloggers now are a vital part of the information technology in America and the world, and it’s an unusual and incredible development. …
And, the second: [As President, I would] be on with the bloggers every two weeks. … Maybe there’s too many bloggers and maybe we wouldn’t get all the questions in, and maybe my answers would be too long as they are now…But maybe by lottery. Anyone who wants to ask a question, we’ll throw your name in a hat and pick the top 15, so eventually all the bloggers get a chance.
But as a senator, McCain has hardly been a friend to bloggers. In May 2006, he said bloggers are “infatuated with self-expression” who believe themselves to be “so much more eloquent, well-informed, and wiser than anyone else.” In December, he introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles, subjecting them to “even stiffer penalties” than ISPs.
Despite his friendly rhetoric yesterday, McCain’s true colors began to show through. “Bloggers have a lot of maturing to do in a lot of areas,” he said.
Last week, Americans United for Change launched an ad campaign highlighting how several key senators, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), had voted against beginning the redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq.
The ad highlights how Collins hypocritically voted to give President Bush a blank check in Iraq despite having argued previously that “the Senate go on record opposing the President’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.” Watch the Iraq ad:
Collins responded with a 90-second video of her own. As you’ll see below, virtually the entire video is devoted to criticizing Americans United as an “out-of-state partisan special interest,” adding that “no Maine-based groups funded this attack.” The video never actually defends, or even mentions, Collins’ vote against ending the war in Iraq. Watch it:
Collins’ video is yet another example of her dishonest approach to Iraq. Days before attacking Americans United for its out-of-state funding, Collins accepted a $10,000 check from Snow PAC, the out-of-state political committee run by Utah Sen. Robert Bennett (R).
Time and again, Collins has postured on Iraq only to vote for Bush’s policy of war without end. It’s time for her to be honest with her constituents instead of feigning anger and obscuring her position.
(Join Americans United for Change HERE.)