Yikes this show is bad. They’d really better settle this writer’s strike some day soon and get some better stuff on the air. The Terminator show on Fox sucks, too.
Last night on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, Mike Huckabee was forced to defend his quest to “amend the Constitution” to “God’s standards.” Huckabee said his comments were in reference to his support for a “human life amendment” and a “traditional marriage amendment.” He added, “I’m not suggesting that we re-write the Constitution to reflect tithing or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear.”
When former Mississippi senator Trent Lott announced last November that he was retiring from the Senate, he was asked if he had registered with the Senate Ethics Committee because of “a rule” requiring registration “if you’re negotiating with a future employer.” Lott said that he had “not” because he said he had not made any formal plans:
LOTT: Well, I have not yet, but I’m not really involved in negotiation. I’ve tried to stay away from that. There are some opportunities out there that I want to be able to consider, but I have nothing that we’ve agreed to or lined up.
Earlier this month, Lott announced that he and former Lousiana Sen. John Breaux (D) were forming “a powerful lobbying partnership called The Breaux Lott Leadership Group.”
Appearing with Breaux on MSNBC’s Hardball today, Lott contradicted his previous statements by admitting that he chose to “leave the Senate” in order to form the “bipartisan firm” with Breaux, saying “it just seemed like it was time”:
LOTT: Plus, John and I’d talk about the idea of getting together and forming a bipartisan firm, for years we kind of joked about it, and then it just seemed like it was time for us to see if we could do this. I think there’s going to be a big demand frankly, for someone who can talk to both sides of the aisle.
Since the day Lott announced his resignation, he and Breaux have been denying that they had any “formal” plans to work together, claiming that they had only “joked about the prospect of working together.”
But their story has always been hard to believe. Six weeks before Lott announced his retirement, his son, Chet, “secured the rights to the domain name” breauxlott.com. Days after the announcement, Breaux resigned from lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs.
Earlier this week, The New Yorker reported that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said that “waterboarding would be torture” if used against him. Today, McConnell appeared to back away from his stance when asked about that comment. “The United States does not engage in torture. We do use enhanced interrogation techniques. … It has saved lives. And so from my point of view, we’ve accomplished the mission within the bounds of U.S. law,” he said.
In an address to a group of state GOP executive directors at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, Karl Rove attacked that “the woman,” Hillary Clinton, for not releasing records of her time in the White House. This, according to Rove, “raises legitimate questions about what she’s hiding“:
And these doubts that she’s raising about her view on the issues has been augmented by her refusal to do what she and her husband could do, and that is release the documents that are hidden in that library about her role in the White House and her failure to say, ‘let’s get them out’ gives the American people a legitimate question about what she’s hiding.
As the subject of a contempt resolution for hiding documents, Rove is hardly one to talk. Just last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to approve a contempt citation against Rove for withholding information relating to the firing of U.S. attorneys:
The committee subpoenaed Rove and Bolten over the summer as part of its probe into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys last year. Bush, citing executive privilege, refused to allow Rove and Bolten to testify or turn over documents to the panel. Bolten was subpoenaed in his role as custodian of White House records, while Rove called to testify over his knowledge on the role politics played in the firings.
The Senate Judiciary Committee requested Rove’s public testimony on the firings of the prosecutors and issued subpoenas for internal White House e-mails, memos, and other related documents. White House counsel Fred Fielding said Rove “had been directed” by President Bush “not to produce any documents or to produce any testimony.”
Why won’t Rove just say: “let’s get the documents out” and avoid legitimate questions about what he’s hiding?
UPDATE: Media Matters notes, “In a November 2 statement, Bruce Lindsey, the William J. Clinton Records representative, said that rather than prohibiting the release of communications between Bill and Hillary Clinton, in the 2002 letter, Bill Clinton had merely designated such communications as part of a ‘subset’ of presidential records ‘that should be reviewed prior to release.’”
John Heileman says that despite it all Rudy Giuliani’s situation now looks pretty good. Ross tries to pour some cold water on that, but I think Giuliani could easily close the narrow gap that now exists between him and McCain in Florida.
The problem for Giuliani, however, is that the only way for him to win in Florida or anywhere else if for their to be enough candidates in the field for someone with his record to sneak through with a pretty thin plurality. In Florida he’ll likely have Huckabee, McCain, and Romney in the field as three viable pro-life alternatives, plus a pro-life Ron Paul soaking up some votes. It’s hard to imagine that happening over and over again in enough states for Giuliani to win a majority of delegates. More realistically, Rudy might win a couple of big clutches of delegates, taking them off the table, and raising the odds of a brokered convention scenario.
Today, the House passed a new $696 billion defense authorization bill that includes a pay raise for troops. AP reports:
President Bush had rejected an earlier version of the legislation because he said it would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits.
The new bill, which passed, 369-46, would let Bush grant Iraq immunity under the provision, which otherwise guarantees that U.S. victims of state-sponsored abuse can sue foreign governments in court. Iraqi officials objected to the measure because they said it would have subjected Baghdad to high-dollar payouts in damages from the Saddam Hussein era.
The administration now supports the bill, said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.
”We appreciate that the House moved quickly to address the serious concerns the president had,” he said.
The revised measure also makes the 3.5 percent pay increase for troops — included in the original bill — retroactive to Jan. 1.
You know you love it:
And if you don’t love it, just skip the post.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) held a press briefing on Congress’s economic stimulus plans. Although Boehner initially promised to work together “in a bipartisan way,” he later joked that he has other plans for the Speaker:
BOEHNER: Madam Speaker, thank you for the invitation, and we’re certainly glad to be here. [...]
And with a crisis underway in the housing market, I think it’s appropriate that Congress respond, and I’m hopeful that we can come together in a bipartisan way to address the needs of the American people.
PELOSI: Thank you all very much.
Thank you, Mr. Leader.
BOEHNER: As soon as they put those cameras away, I’m going to flip you the bird.
UPDATE: The Swamp is now reporting that Boehner’s gesture was actually directed at House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). (Our headline has been changed.)
Last night, Hillary Clinton called the 2005 energy bill that Barack Obama voted for the “Dick Cheney lobbyist energy bill” citing its “enormous giveaways to oil and gas industry.” Washington Post fact-checker Michael Dobbs says she’s wrong, but in the real world she’s right. I assume Obama was more swayed by giveaways to coal interests — Illinois is a coal-producing state and before his presidential campaign geared up he was trying to grope his way toward a coal-friendly environmentalism before eventually, and rightly, giving up — than to the oil and gas industry, but it was still a bad bill and a fair tag.