March 2006 Archives
March 31, 2006
19 Groups to Reinstate Boycott of Ford
19 reasons to buy a Ford Hybrid...
Nineteen conservative groups said Monday they would reinstate a boycott of Ford Motor Co., contending the automaker reneged on an agreement to stop supporting gay rights organizations.
John Dean Blasts Warrantless Eavesdropping
It's nice that Orrin Hatch can fall back on the "political points" allegation, when Dean isn't running for anything.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, fired back by telling Democrats: "Quit trying to score political points."
The Senate, Dean said, should censure or officially scold Bush as proposed by Sen. Russell Feingold's resolution. But if that action carries too much political baggage, some senatorial warning is in order, Dean said.
"To me, this is not really and should not be a partisan question," Dean told the panel. "I think it's a question of institutional pride of this body, of the Congress of the United States."
He added in prepared testimony that if Congress doesn't have the stomach for Feingold's resolution as drafted, it should pass some measure serving Bush a warning.
"The resolution should be amended, not defeated, because the president needs to be reminded that separation of powers does not mean an isolation of powers," Dean said in prepared remarks. "He needs to be told he cannot simply ignore a law with no consequences."
Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement - The Boston Globe
When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.
March 24, 2006
U.S. to pay foreign firm to help run nuclear detectors at Bahamas port
... and, the firm is Chinese... good move. Glad to see we learn our lessons well.
In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.
The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.
March 14, 2006
Feingold Draws Little Support for Censure
For the Woosie Dem's of the day, see names in bold below;
Sen. Russell Feingold's effort to censure President Bush is headed for the Senate Judiciary Committee, advancing a contentious debate over whether the president deserves a formal rebuke for his secret wiretapping program. "I look forward to a full hearing, debate and vote in committee on this important matter," Feingold, D-Wis., said in a statement. "If the committee fails to consider the resolution expeditiously, I will ask that there be a vote in the full Senate." A possible presidential contender in 2008, Feingold said Bush broke the law and violated the Constitution when he authorized the National Security Agency to conduct a warrantless wiretapping program as part of the war on terrorism. "Congress must respond," Feingold said Monday on the Senate floor. "A formal censure by Congress is an appropriate and responsible first step to assure the public that when the president thinks he can violate the law without consequences, Congress has the will to hold him accountable." Feingold's introduction of the five-page censure resolution set off maneuvering among his fellow Democrats to prevent a vote that could alienate swing voters. Republicans savored the Democrats' discomfort. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., pushed for an immediate floor vote; Democrats protested, saying they hadn't yet read the resolution. Several Democrats offered empathy for Feingold's frustration but no overt support for his resolution. Feingold is undeterred, saying that simply debating it will keep the Bush administration and congressional Republicans from playing down the matter this midterm election year. Several Democrats said that before any censure, they want the Senate Intelligence Committee to finish an investigation of the warrantless wiretapping program. In that program, the National Security Agency is allowed to eavesdrop on international calls and e-mails of U.S. residents when terrorism is suspected. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Tuesday that Feingold's censure effort was "born out of intense frustration" with the administration's lack of candor on the eavesdropping program and not out of any effort to further his 2008 presidential ambitions.
"We have no idea what this program is," said Biden, himself a potential 2008 presidential contender, on NBC's "Today" show. He said Feingold was expressing his "absolute frustration with the failure of this administration and this Congress to insist it come forward and tell us what it's doing."
Asked at a news conference whether he would vote for the censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declined Monday to endorse it and said he hadn't read it.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said he had not read it either and wasn't inclined simply to scold the president.
"I'd prefer to see us solve the problem," Lieberman told reporters.
Across the Capitol, reaction was similar. Feingold's censure resolution drew empathy but no outright support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Feingold's resolution accuses Bush of violating the Constitution and the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
It reads in part:
"Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans within the United States without obtaining the court orders required."
The resolution says censuring Bush also is warranted by "his failure to inform the full congressional intelligence committees as required by law, and his efforts to mislead the American people about the authorities relied upon by his administration to conduct wiretaps and about the legality of the program."
The only president ever censured by the Senate was Andrew Jackson, in 1834, for removing the nation's money from a private bank in defiance of the Whig-controlled Senate.
Tests predicted levee would break. F Bush
Scientists working on an independent study of a floodwall that collapsed during Hurricane Katrina said Monday that a government test 21 years ago predicted the wall could fail.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' built a levee and floodwall system to test a design similar to the 17th Street Canal in 1985, which "indicated that failure was imminent," according to a statement from Raymond B. Seed and Robert G. Bea, in charge of the National Science Foundation's Independent Levee Investigation Team.
March 06, 2006
ABC News reports on Iran bombing US troops
Negroponte is drumming the "Iran is bombing us with their weapons already" bit.
U.S. intelligence officials say Iran is using the bombs as a way to drive up U.S. casualties in Iraq but without provoking a direct confrontation.
John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Februrary 2, saying, "Tehran's intention to inflict pain on the United States and Iraq has been constrained by its caution to avoid giving Washington an excuse to attack it."
Where not to go on vacation
NASCAR's first Hall of Fame will be built in downtown Charlotte, within miles of the garages and sprawling mansions that make the region an epicenter of the sport.
Congress Probes Cruise Line Disappearances
With all due respect to the families, shouldn't Congress be focused on something other then this?
Family members of those who have disappeared on cruises will testify before Congress Tuesday in an attempt to get some answers about their missing loved ones.