In a 7-3 ruling today, a House Judiciary subcommittee ruled that that the White House’s assertion of executive privilege to block the release of “documents sought in subpoenas issued to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and the Republican National Committee was not legally valid.” During the 20-minute hearing, Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-MI) said that “the White House participated in false statements to Congress.”
I can’t wait.
This online climate calculator from UC Berkeley provides a much more comprehensive picture of your total greenhouse gas emissions than most online calculators.
They also provide links to six carbon offset sellers (though two of the links are currently bad) should you decide to go carbon neutral. I am not endorsing any of those, although I will say that the CEOs from two of the offset companies on the list, Native Energy and Terrapass, were at the Markey hearing and made a very good case for their companies.
Michael Currie Schaffer mounts a convincing defense of Joe Wilson’s self-promotional tendencies in The New Republic. As he notes, had Wilson been the sort of decorous wilting flower the establishment seems to think he should be, serious wrongdoing by public officials would never have come to light. And that, of course, is precisely why establishmentarian types find Wilson so unseemly.
The AP reports:
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against members of the Bush administration in the CIA leak scandal.
Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to leak her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband’s criticism of the administration.
Read more on the leak scandal here.
UPDATE: Full opinion is HERE.
UPDATE II: Flashback — Judge John D. Bates, the judge who dismissed today’s suit, also dismissed the lawsuit over Dick Cheney’s energy task force records:
Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court found that Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the General Accounting Office, did not have sufficient standing to sue the vice president.
Mr. Walker had asked the judge to order the White House to reveal the identities of industry executives who helped the administration develop its energy policy last year.
In declining to do so, and in dismissing Mr. Walker’s suit, Judge Bates said that granting the G.A.O. chief’s request “would fly in the face of the restricted role of the federal courts under the Constitution.”
UPDATE III: In a statement, Melanie Sloan, legal counsel for the Wilsons, promised to appeal the dismissal:
“While we are obviously very disappointed by today’s decision, we have always expected that this case would ultimately be decided by a higher court. We disagree with the court’s holding and intend to pursue this case vigorously to protect all Americans from vindictive government officials who abuse their power for their own political ends.”
Habitual overpraiser Catherine Andrews proclaims Friday Night Lights “hands-down, the best show that’s been on television in the past couple of years.” Which it is, if you neglect several better shows. That said, it is the best show to have appeared on the dying medium of network television in the past couple of years. More interestingly, she points out that the entire first season is viewable online at NBC.com as the network tries valiantly to secure an audience for their excellent, but little-watched show before it enters its second season.
At any rate, these efforts will almost certainly fail and the show will almost certainly be canceled, though it’ll be interested to know if the network and the creative team manage to destroy the show’s quality (see, e.g., Veronica Mars) before it dies or if they let it go down nobly. For whatever reason, network television is incapable of sustaining a good show the way a subscription model or even ordinary cable (The Shield, Battlestar: Galactica) is and I think we should all just come to terms with that reality.
On May 23, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging him to “prepare plans for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces.”
Given the express will of the Congress to implement a phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq and the importance of proper contingency planning to achieve that goal, I write to request that you provide the appropriate oversight committees in Congress – including the Senate Armed Services Committee – with briefings on what current contingency plans exist for the future withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Alternatively, if no such plans exist, please provide an explanation for the decision not to engage in such planning.
Clinton said she conveyed similar concerns in a private meeting with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Peter Pace, and has publicly warned the administration that redeployment is “complicated” and “If they’re not planning for it, it will be difficult to execute it in a safe and efficacious way.”
On Monday, Clinton received a “biting reply” from Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman, who told Clinton that “public discussion” of withdrawal is inappropriate:
Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia. … [S]uch talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.
Edelman is directly contradicted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who testified that debate over Iraq redeployment has been “helpful in bringing pressure to bear on the Maliki government.” Additionally, these “very same Iraqi allies” aren’t unnerved by talk of redeployment, but overwhelmingly favor it — 71 percent of Iraqis want the U.S. troops to withdraw within a year.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress has obtained Edelman’s letter HERE.
ABC’s miniseries The Path to 9/11 has now been nominated for
six seven Emmy awards. This “docudrama” was rife with historical inaccuracies that blamed President Clinton for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, while heaping praise on President Bush. It was written by avowed conservative Cyrus Nowrasteh, who once spoke on a panel entitled: “Rebels With A Cause: How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood’s Next Paradigm Shift.”
Cato’s Michael Tanner sheds a tear for Andrew Biggs:
Just when you thought partisan idiocy in Washington couldn’t get any worse, the House voted last night to cut off the salary of Andrew Biggs, the new Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. No one doubts Biggs’ qualifications for this position. But his sin is having supported proposals to allow younger workers to privately invest a portion of their Social Security taxes through individual accounts. Apparently holding a position that Democrats disagree with is now so abhorrent that it disqualifies you from public office.
Biggs, like Tanner, thinks Social Security is a bad thing and should be dismantled. House Democrats, like the American people, think Social Security is a good thing and should be protected. There’s no reason Biggs should draw a Social Security Administration salary to help work to undermine the program.
I confess I often just don’t understand what Planet Gore is trying to say. Here is the opening of a new post titled “Shocked, Shocked“:
This morning, the Washington Post joins House Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman in being nonplussed over a Bush Administration task force having met with industry representatives when formulating policy.
“Waxman said he was not surprised to see the prevalence of energy industry groups on the list of meetings.”
The “shocked, shocked” reference to Casablanca is equally strange, since it is normally used when people say they are surprised at something that they themselves are well aware of (if not doing themselves). But again, “Waxman said he was not surprised.”
A number of people have told me they are nonplussed (but definitely not “shocked, shocked”) that I can stomach reading PG at all, but I view them as the best (unintentionally) humorous diversion in the climate blogosphere. Let’s call these errors PG Disinfotainment Watch #39 and #40.