The CIA has confirmed that “its third-ranking official, Executive Director Kyle ‘Dusty’ Foggo, attended poker games in Washington, D.C., hotel hospitality suites, the use of which is the focus of a federal criminal investigation.” But Foggo “strongly denies anything improper occurred” during the games.
Colbert walk-out: The Comedy Central host “won a rare silent protest from Bush aides and supporters Saturday when several independently left before he finished.” One Bush aide “said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming. ‘I’ve been there before, and I can see that [Bush] is [angry],’ said a former top aide. ‘He’s got that look that he’s ready to blow.'”
Ten states “plan to file suit this week to force the Bush administration to toughen mileage regulations for sport utility vehicles and other trucks.” The suit “contends that the administration did not do a rigorous enough analysis of the environmental benefits of fuel economy regulations, as required by law, before issuing new rules last month for S.U.V.’s, pickup trucks and minivans.”
The South Korean government blasted the Bush administration’s special envoy on North Korean human rights, Jay Lefkowtiz, as “biased” and “narrow-minded” due to differences of opinion about how to deal with Pyongyang. The incident is certain to further strain relations between the allies.
Terrence Boyle, “a key circuit court nominee touted by the White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,” has repeatedly violated ethics laws by ruling “in multiple cases involving corporations in which he held investments.”
Senate conservatives yesterday “hurriedly abandoned” their plan to mail $100 checks to voters to ease the burden of high gasoline prices — not because it was widely panned by constituents, but because of a “torrent of objections from business leaders and their advocates” in the oil and gas industries.
16,000: The number of species of animals and plants threatened with global extinction, up more than 500 from last year, according to a World Conservation Union report. New additions include the polar bear and the hippopotamus.
A new report from the libertarian CATO Institute on the Bush presidency: “The pattern that emerges is one of a ceaseless push for power, unchecked by either the courts or Congress, one in short of disdain for constitutional limits.”
Former Homeland Security inspector general Clark Kent Ervin writes in his new memoir, “Clearly, the Homeland Security Department has served to make us only marginally safer, and in the age of terror, marginally safer is not enough.”
Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame was working to track the proliferation of nuclear material into Iran when her cover was blown by White House political operatives in the summer of 2003. The Plame outing is said to have “damaged” the administration’s ability to track Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
And finally: Lou Dobbs states the obvious last night on CNN: “I’m not a guy who’s too keen on Americans celebrating their differences.”
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