Wednesday, January 16, 2008

At the end of another day

The House passed a $696 billion defense bill that gives a 3.5% pay raise to troops retroactively. Doesn't sounds like much, still, hoo-rah! The Asshat-in-Chief threatened to veto the previous bill version until Bush got what he wanted -- a provision that would allow him to "grant Iraq immunity" nullifying any "guarantees that U.S. victims of state-sponsored abuse can sue foreign governments in court." Uh-oh.

Go Cheney yourself: Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) held a press conference on an economic stimulus program. Boehner addressed House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) -- "As soon as they put those cameras away, I'm going to flip you the bird." Transcript. CQ Politics on the stimulus plan.

Tomorrow... Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing: Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) will convene "Assessing Veteran’s Charities – Part Two” that will "focus on orgs operated by Roger Chapin, who failed to comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony" in December. Chapin will appear to respond to questionable activities of 20 organizations "including a number of veterans’ and military-oriented charities." Previous hearing and transcript here.

Pentagon kerfuffle: SecDef Gates pissed off Britain and other allies "accusing Nato countries fighting in southern Afghanistan of lacking experience in counter-insurgency warfare." Times UK

Tsk, tsk. Those Ungrateful Saudis. OBL and Ahmadinejad scored higher favorability than Bush in a poll conducted in Saudi Arabia last month. Read Robert Scheer at The Nation. With friends like these...

Missing WH emails gone forever -- A new court filing disclosed that the WH "effectively erased e-mail related to some of the biggest controversies of the Bush administration, including the leak of a CIA officer's name, the start of the Iraq war and the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes." Who's to blame? The tape recycling system. CREW has more.

In the Noise --
Karl Rove revealed GOP strategies for attacking Hillary and Obama in '08. Details at the link. Bottom-line: "[T]he Republican candidate must show the electorate 'that they understand the surge is working.' Rove said the candidate should get firmly behind the war effort, painting the Democratic nominee as 'defeatist.'" SSDE.

Terror fundraising ring: In Kansas City, MO, a 42-count indictment will keep former Reagan appointee and Michigan Repub Mark Deli Siljander busy. And how! Counts include "money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists." AQ and the Taliban. Jeepers! TPM.

"Just how trivial can the media make the presidential race?" Matt Taibbi of The Rolling Stone offers some answers and Greg Sargent analyzes the John Edwards media blackout .

[That's more after the jump.]