I spent a decent portion of the afternoon wandering the halls, slightly dazed at the notion that out there in the MSM a controversy was raging over Barack Obama saying he could rule out the idea of using nuclear weapons to fight al-Qaeda. Hillary Clinton, it seems, disagrees. But why on earth would you use nuclear weapons to fight al-Qaeda? You use nukes to destroy large portions of cities. Remember counterinsurgency?
Looks like young Wizards forward Andray Blatche got himself “arrested Thursday on sexual solicitation charges.”
This is what I feel like went mysteriously missing from the Beltway conversation about David Vitter showing up on the DC madam’s list. We don’t know exactly what went down, but it certainly appears that Vitter did things that get people arrested. I don’t, personally, think people should be arrested for what Vitter and Blatche both seem to have done. But one way or another, the only way to have any kind of sensible vice laws is for the laws to applied with a modicum of fairness.
Documents released Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee show that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) “was upset with Bush administration officials” over the forced resignation of U.S. attorney Paul Charlton, but the Justice Department quickly hushed his dissent. “I understand that Kyl is significantly disturbed over the Charlton issue,” Rebecca Seidel, a deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in an e-mail. “I am hoping that Kyl would not bring it up in an open hearing.”
Earlier today, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) “finally got the Pentagon briefing on how the military is planning to withdraw troops from Iraq,” two weeks after Undersecretary for Defense Eric Edelman told her that “public discussion” of Iraq withdrawal “reinforces enemy propaganda.” But Clinton said that the briefing didn’t “by any means” answer all the questions about the White House’s exit strategy. Additionally, Clinton and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) introduced legislation today requiring the Pentagon to keep Congress informed of such contingency plans.
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) — [does this make him an Icon?] — and John Warner (R-Va.) unveiled their long-awaited climate plan. It looks pretty good to me because
- It is bipartisan — indeed, it follows the strategy recommended by moderate senators like Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
- It starts quickly — by 2012 we must return to 2005 levels.
- It has a credible 2050 target — and requires regular reports from the National Academy of Sciences on the “extent to which the emissions reductions achieved under the Act no, together with actual steps taken by other nations, stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level adequate to forestall catastrophic impacts of climate change.”
- It does not have a safety valve, but instead has banking and borrowing.
This plan will be the starting point for legislation from Sen. Boxer (D-CA). Here is a detailed summary from Greenwire (subs. req’d):
When former White House aide Sara Taylor testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) asked whether President Bush had a role in the firings. Despite being under executive privilege, Taylor stated she did not attend meetings with Bush nor did she believe he was involved in the scandal.
In today’s hearing, Leahy asked the same question to White House aide J. Scott Jennings. In contrast to Taylor, Jennings refused to answer, repeatedly citing executive privilege. In fact, Taylor answered “a number of questions that Jennings has refused to answer,” despite both being under similar assertions of executive privilege.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) noted the discrepancy between Taylor and Jennings’ responses and called out Jennings for abusing executive privilege. Jennings responded: “I respect [Taylor's] decision…but I simply do not intend to disobey a directive from the President.”
Jennings’ stonewalling is an attempt to further muddle the administration’s role in the attorney scandal. As Leahy asked Taylor last month, “what is the White House so intent on hiding?“:
I do note your answer that you did not discuss these matters with the president and to the best of your knowledge he was not involved is going to make some nervous at the White House because it seriously undercuts his claim of executive privilege if he was not involved. … Your testimony today under oath bolsters that impression. And that really shows, again, that the White House counsel’s broad instruction is not only unprecedented, but it’s unsound. … This broad invocation of the notion of executive privilege to obstruct Congress from learning the truth leads one to believe it’s part of a cover-up.
Paul Kiel adds that today, Jennings wouldn’t even answer what his job description is.
Transcript: Read more
Brian Beutler explains why there are so few outlets available here at YearlyKos:
The McCormick Convention Center is, unsurprisingly, operated by a series of labor groups who, working hand in hand, rip apart the building and put it back together to fit the needs of whichever group happens to be renting space here. So for YearlyKos, the teamsters, and the plumbers, and the electricians all come in to haul partitions, and divert piping, and… lay wiring. One catch is, of course, that the more wiring you need, the more you have to pay. The other, less obvious catch, is that any wiring you try to do yourself–running extension chords and power strips across the room–might well violate your contract and cost you a big fine. So the result is a lot of dead laptop batteries. At a frickin’ blogger convention.
But now here’s the catch. At his booth, John Edwards has three seemingly unauthorized power strips (one of which is pictured above) and Barack Obama has one. Hillary Clinton’s booth, by contrast, is clean, proving once again that experience makes a difference.
The panelists at the FCC discussion told a story about a teenage girl getting arrested for filming a 20 second clip of Transformers in order to encourage her brother to go see the movie. I almost didn’t believe it, or at least felt like the anecdote must have been exaggerated in some way, but Dave Weigel looked it up and it all checks out: “Sejas faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 when she goes to trial this month in the July 17 incident.”
If you’ve ever read progressive blogs then no doubt you, like me, have heard complaints about the netroots being stereotyped as all full of Matt Yglesias types: young, male, persons. The complaints are always backed up with statistics, but actually attending the conference really brings it home. By eyeball, the attendee pool here is whiter than the United States as a whole (and certainly whiter than the Democratic Party voting base as a whole) and does seem to include fewer genuinely old people, but it’s a very, very, very mixed-aged group of very normal looking people.
Markey [D-MA] said in a statement yesterday that he decided to pull his amendment after consulting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), even though he believed he had the votes to move the legislation. While Pelosi personally favored a CAFE standard of 35 miles per gallon, industry lobbyists said she did not whip votes on the legislation and it appeared Markey was not assured of the votes needed to pass the bill.
Sad, really. This is a centerpiece of any energy or climate legislation — and much of the heavy lifting had already been done to get Senate approval.
Markey is touting a fallback strategy: