“Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., could soon step down in the wake of a federal investigation into his involvement in a federal land swap deal and FBI raids of an insurance agency owned by his wife. His resignation could come as early as Friday or soon after, according to sources familiar with the matter. Top Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, have been meeting to discuss what they will do if Renzi resigns and his rural congressional seat opens up.” (Via War & Piece)
“The Bush administration considered firing the former U.S. attorney in Minnesota, but he left his job voluntarily before the list of attorneys to be ousted was completed.” Thomas Heffelfinger’s case interests congressional investigators “because he worked in one of the states that White House political adviser Karl Rove identified as an election battleground, and…was replaced by a 34-year-old Bush administration loyalist who’d been a member of Gonzales’ inner circle.”
Roughly 300 demonstrators gathered today in conservative Provo, Utah, to protest a commencement speech by Vice President Cheney at Brigham Young University:
Dan Kennelly, a Korean War veteran from Sandy, acknowledged that he and other protesters were outnumbered in Utah County.
“But we’re going to try,” he said. “If someone doesn’t want to listen, that’s fine, but we’ll try.” BYU student and war dissenter Diana Smith said she’s used to being a minority voice at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints school, “but while many may disagree, it is usually respectful,” she said.
That was the general tenor of the streetside – though as in many protests, a few middle fingers were let loose by angry drivers and indignant protesters. One truck driver screamed to the protesters “you’re all traitors!” while several others in this largely Mormon town opted for the more subtle “I’ll be praying for you!”
“But no international player has generated this much buzz at such a young age since Milicic in 2002.” That’s a shameless Chad Ford discussing DVK Joventut’s Ricky Rubio.
Looking for debate info, I found this:
Asked what she would do if two American cities were simultaneously attacked, Clinton let ‘er rip. “Having been a senator during 9/11, I understand the extraordinary horror of that kind of attack,” she said. “I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate. That doesn’t mean we go looking for other fights. Let’s focus on those who have attacked us and do everything we can to destroy them.”
It was at least the second time in the debate that Clinton referenced her experience as a Senator during and after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — an effort to show she has been in the trenches fighting terrorism and its aftermath for years.
Edwards, who was asked that same question, emphasized the importance of diplomacy — changing the way that the world looks at America. “We have more tools available to us than bombs,” Edwards said.
Richardson went a step further, advocating an immediate military retaliation.
Can someone give me a better account of what the question was? I mean, military retaliation against whom? I mean, there was no military retaliation after the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London for the very good reason that there was nowhere to retaliate. Having deposed the Taliban from ruling Afghanistan, we can’t respond to a new al-Qaeda attack — even a big one — by deposing the Taliban again. So what are we talking about here? Presumably not just lashing out at random.
Yesterday, the Republican National Committee released a list of 37 White House officials who use RNC email accounts. But at least a dozen or so other White House officials with RNC accounts remain unidentified. Emptywheel notes that while the list released yesterday includes several former Cheney aides, it has not a single current aide to the Vice President. Are Cheney’s current staffers among the unidentified officials?
David Broder, of course, is a — if not the — pillar of the dread Washington Media Establishment. At the same time, it’s become so fashionable to mock him these days, one has to wonder if he really is such a pillar. Everyone’s doing it, after all. Under the circumstances, it’s worth noting that given that we live in a country of 300 million, that one man has ridiculous opinions is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that he has this column on The Washington Post and makes frequent appearances on Meet The Press. And what’s much less fashionable than Broder-bashing is noting that Broder would be irrelevant if not for the way key gatekeepers — Tim Russert, editors at the Post, executives at NBC News — keep rammig him down the throats of Americans interested in politics.
And what, I have to wonder, is Broder’s economic value to the Post? At the margin, how many readers would the Post lose if it didn’t carry his column? I have a hard time imagining it’s a large number. And yet, to harshly condemn Broder’s enablers would simply reduce one’s own chances of having op-eds appear in the Post and so forth. Unless, of course, one were a conservatives. Conservatives, after all, can regularly slander both “the media” as a whole and any number of specific media organizations without ill effect.
During a C-SPAN appearance this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was confronted by a military wife living in Ft. Hood, TX, who called in to criticize him for “pushing the war.”
The woman explained the incredible stress of having her husband deployed in Iraq:
I’m sure when your head hits the pillow you have a luxury of dreaming about anything that your mind will allow you to dream about… I sleep with the phone under the pillow. My kids — if someone rings the doorbell, instead of normal kids they freeze. And they’re in elementary school. You all don’t understand. We are military people but we are people, too. And the stress that we are under is tremendous.
While she spoke, Kristol appeared uncomfortable, looking downward and scratching markings into a piece of paper.
The caller also told Kristol that he was a “liar” for claiming that it’s “mostly the insurgents attacking us,” versus members of the Iraqi population. “They don’t want us there,” she said. “I understand you truly believe what you’re saying but it’s not working. We can’t want it for them more than they want it for themselves.” Watch it:
Kristol offered little in response, using the caller’s criticism of the stress she’s under to advocate for a larger Army. He concluded, “The strains on family life are obviously very real…and I hope we do more to deal with that.”
Transcript: Read more
Gannett News reporter Chuch Raasch reports from the road in South Carolina, where Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was campaigning today instead of voting on the Iraq spending bill:
If Sen. John McCain thinks his “bomb bomb Iran” joke last week to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” is hurting him, he’s sure not letting on. He’s campaigning in South Carolina today and at both events, the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” was played over the sound system as he was coming on stage. A tweak at his critics, who claim the joke showed McCain was too flip to be president, joking about bombing a country and all that?
McCain told Raasch later that the song was just “staff mischief,” but he “didn’t seem too perturbed about it.”
“CIA Director George Tenet says the way the Bush administration has used his now famous ‘slam dunk’ comment — which he admits saying in reference to making the public case for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — is both disingenuous and dishonorable. It also ruined his reputation and his career, he tells 60 Minutes.”
“And the hardest part of all this has been just listening to this for almost three years, listening to the vice president go on ‘Meet the Press’ on the fifth year [anniversary] of 9/11 and say, ‘Well, George Tenet said slam dunk’ as if he needed me to say ‘slam dunk’ to go to war with Iraq,” he tells Pelley. “And you listen to that and they never let it go. I mean, I became campaign talk. I was a talking point. ‘Look at the idiot [who] told us and we decided to go to war.’ Well, let’s not be so disingenuous … Let’s everybody just get up and tell the truth. Tell the American people what really happened.”