From American Progress:
"For the first time in his presidency, Bush commuted a sentence without running requests through lawyers at the Justice Department, White House officials said. He also did not ask the chief prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, for his input, as routinely happens in cases routed through the Justice Department's pardon attorney."
The Washington Post reports House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers is "expected to move swiftly to conduct hearings on the commutation, congressional sources said."
"Seeking a legal path to shutting down the Guantanamo detention facility, senior advisers to President Bush are exploring whether the White House and Congress can agree to legislation that would permit the long-term detention of foreign terrorism suspects on American soil."
"The U.S. yesterday publicly accused Iran of intervening in the Iraq conflict, claiming that its Revolutionary Guard played a role in an attack that killed five Americans and was using Lebanese militants to train Iraqi insurgents."
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) responded by beating the war drum. "The fact is that the Iranian government has by its actions declared war on us," he said. While stopping short of advocating an immediate military strike, he claimed that "our diplomatic efforts are only likely to succeed if backed by a credible threat of force."
Vladimir Putin yesterday surprised the Bush administration by proposing to let the United States build a new radar facility in southern Russia. Bush and Putin also said they agreed in principle to involve NATO in any plans for a missile defense system in Europe, but Putin continued to oppose Bush's plan to anchor the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Although gas prices are currently lower than in May, analysts believe that "the price relief may have run its course." "'Gas prices will be going up like the fireworks,' said Phil Flynn of Alaron Trading Co. in Chicago, adding that prices nationwide could rise 5 cents to 10 cents over the next month."
Yesterday, the federal government announced that it would not be accepting any new applications for employer-sponsored green cards, affecting "tens of thousands" of legal immigrants.
And finally: Within the first half-hour of the new Transformers film, "as a miniature Decepticon (one of the bad Transformers) makes mischief aboard Air Force One, the camera zooms in on the feet of 'the president,' who is lying down in bed. Only his bright-red socks are visible as he utters -- in a faux accent that could only be that of our Texan president -- his first and only line of the film: 'Could somebody go rustle me up some Ding Dongs?'"