CNN reports, “Normally VIP visits to Iraq are kept under wraps, at least until the day of the trip. But Senator John McCain Friday night said he’s going to Iraq next week.” In April, the last time he visited in Iraq, McCain claimed Americans were “not getting the full picture” of the situation in Iraq. On that same visit, McCain was escorted through a Baghdad market with 100 soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache gunships. Here’s the video from that visit:
Light blogging today (I’ll post some stuff here eating breakfast) as I’ll be driving with Sara from the Yglesias family compound in Brooklin, ME to Acadia National Park on the other side of the bay. I was a little upset to see yesterday that the Bangor Daily News‘s usual steady diet of small town-ey stories has been interrupted by George W. Bush’s decision to follow me to Maine and, even worse, bring Vladimir Putin with him.
National Park Service Photo
Good for him. One of the big plusses of having guys like Webb with a military background in the Democratic congress is that he not only has pretty sound instincts about national security issues but has a lot of self-confidence and a willingness to push the envelop on these things.
“A Justice Department official who was eyed as a possible replacement for one of several fired U.S. attorneys announced her resignation Friday. Rachel Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, will step down July 9, the department said in a statement.” Last week, Steve Benen recounted three other DoJ officials who have recently announced their resignations on Fridays.
UPDATE: Reuters reports Brand became “the seventh official to quit the department since the Democratic-led Congress launched an investigation in March into the firing of nine federal prosecutors.”
On Wednesday, Pete Evich, the former legislative director for scandal-plagued Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), said “he was recently contacted by federal investigators in their probe of Doolittle’s ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.”
Evich is currently a lobbyist representing Sierra College. CQ reports today that perhaps not coincidentally, Doolittle requested a $300,000 earmark for Sierra College in the 2008 Financial Services appropriations bill.
Rep. John T. Doolittle, who’s been caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, has requested a substantial earmark for a college represented by one of his former aides, who, coincidentally, has just been contacted by the FBI.
Pete Evich, a lobbyist and Doolittle’s legislative director until 2002, has been representing Sierra College, which could end up receiving $300,000 if the congressman’s request is approved.
Doolittle, R-Calif., asked for the money to be included in the 2008 Financial Services appropriations bill (HR 2829). It’s intended for a “mechatronics workforce training initiative,” according to the House Appropriations Committee.
Doolittle repeatedly accepted large sums of money and expensive gifts from Abramoff and his clients. In return, he routed $400,000 to the lobbyist’s client and championed Abramoff’s interests to federal officials.
Evich is the second Doolittle aide to acknowledge their contacts with the feds, suggesting “prosecutors are widening their investigation in the wake of an FBI raid on Doolittle’s home in April that led him to give up his seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.”
TPMmuckaker also points out that Doolittle is now claiming that “he has no problem with his former aides talking to prosecutors because he thinks it might hasten his dismissal as a focus of the Abramoff probe.” “I’ve always believed that the truth vindicates us,” he said. “I am glad they are going to delve more into it.”
“He’ll eat anything in his path.” Moyers adds, “Rupert Murdoch is no saint, he is to propriety what the Marquis de Sade was to chastity. When it comes to money and power, he is carnivorous, all appetite, no taste.” Watch it:
Is it just me, or does Stephen Hunter seem to be stretching to find things about SiCKO that are worth complaining about:
His anecdotes draw pointed contrasts with Europe, as he returns to France and England as examples of superb health-care systems, but the comparisons are never put in any kind of context. France and the United Kingdom each has a population of around 60 million, a fifth of America’s 300 million. Is it easier to administer a program so much smaller? I don’t know, but I’m not investigating health care; he is, he should and he doesn’t.
Well, look, no filmmaker can consider every possible permutation. If Hunter wants to complain that Moore has ignored some relevant issue, he ought to make the argument for its relevance. Maybe he could ask one of his colleagues at The Washington Post who covers health care if he thinks this is an important issue. My guess is that large population size is probably an asset for a national health care system, since the existence of a larger populations means it’ll be easier to project future health care needs.
I might worry that some countries are too small to engage in the right sort of planning. But I’ll concede that like Holmes (and, I guess, Moore) I haven’t thought a lot about the issue. It would, however, be pretty simple to divide the country into five semi-autonomous “health care regions” for the purposes of administering a national health care system. Obviously, one loses ones card as a Serious Independent Thinker unless one professes disdain for Michael Moore, but Moore’s basic thesis here (admirably summarized by Holmes as “American health coverage = BAD, European health coverage = GOOD”) isn’t especially controversial among the most earnestly wonkish analysts you can imagine.
Photo by Flickr user Gadl used under a Creative Commons license
Since 1990, Great Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions have dropped 15%, while its GDP has risen 45%.
–Cited by Barbara Boxer in Thursday’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “Examining Global Warming Issues in the Power Plant Sector” (at 1:51:00).
So you can have both climate protection and economic growth. It has been done. The time to act is now!
Former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz — who resigned last month after being embroiled in a corruption scandal at the World Bank — announced that he has found a comfortable landing pad from which to continue to disseminate his right-wing ideology:
Paul Wolfowitz vowed to continue in political life after he steps down as president of the World Bank this weekend following an internal revolt. … He said he would be joining the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank in Washington, as a visiting scholar, which would allow him to continue influencing public policy.
Prior to his recent government service, Wolfowitz served as a member of AEI’s Council of Academic Advisors.
Before the Iraq war, AEI helped spawn the administration’s regime change plans. Several Iraq war architects — such as Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, John Bolton, and Doug Feith — previously worked at AEI before their service in the administration. In February 2003, President Bush delivered a major policy speech to AEI, mapping out his war plan, “thanking them [AEI] for their service” and support for the invasion.
To this day, AEI “has the President’s ear” on national security issues. Bush’s escalation plan is largely based on a November 2006 paper by AEI analyst Frederick Kagan, who argued that the U.S. should “re-enter [Iraq] in large numbers.”
AEI offered a rigorous defense of Wolfowitz, despite his corrupt practices at the Bank. Said one AEI scholar: “The coordinated effort to harm him has revealed to polite society in Washington that something at the World Bank is seriously wrong.” Another placed the blame on Bank employees, slandering them as “militant staff.”
With his return to AEI, Wolfowitz said he continues to hold out hope of one day “rejoining the government.”
Earlier this week, ThinkProgress reported that this Sunday’s edition of NBC’s Meet the Press will include a journalist roundtable featuring David Brody, a blogger and news correspondent for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. Meet the Press has now confirmed its Sunday roundtable lineup:
Senior National Correspondent, Christian Broadcasting Network
Host, PBS’s Tavis Smiley
Host, PRI’s The Tavis Smiley Show
Moderator, PBS’s All-American Democratic Forum
Political Director, NBC News
Senior Correspondent, PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer