Friday, January 18, 2008

WH emails...just and oversight...Wrong guy, wrong job...

From American Progress:

Think Fast....

The House Oversight Committee announced yesterday that it will hold hearings on missing White House e-mails. Responding to White House claims that there is "no evidence" of missing emails, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) released "an internal White House study" identifying "473 separate days in which no electronic messages were stored" by White House offices.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee defended South Carolina's right to display the confederate flag on public grounds. "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," he said. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole; that's what we'd do."

The Washington Post reveals the coal industry's multi-million dollar campaign "in primary and caucus states to rally public support for coal-fired electricity and to fuel opposition to legislation that Congress is crafting to slow climate change." Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a coal front group, has already spent $1.3 million on ads in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina.

CNN reported yesterday that "lobbyists are working overdrive in Washington trying to make sure that their cash cows are not affected by any economic stimulus plan."

"About 75% of Baghdad's neighborhoods are now secure, a dramatic increase from 8% a year ago when President Bush ordered more troops to the capital, U.S. military figures show."

Approximately "10% to 20% of Marines and soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq may have suffered" traumatic brain injury. Yet according to an Army task force study released yesterday, there are "major gaps" in identifying and treating the injury that "were created by a lack of coordination and policy-driven approaches."

"Because of an unprecedented surge in immigration applications last summer, legal immigrants will have to wait much longer during the next two years to receive visas or naturalization papers." The average wait time is now 18 months, "up from 7 months or less last year."

The House Select Committee on Global Warming called on the Interior Department yesterday "to hold off auctioning oil and gas leases in northwest Alaska's Chuckchi Sea until the department decides whether to list polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act." "Every time there is a choice between extinction and extraction in this administration, extraction wins," Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) said.

"The CIA has concluded that members of al-Qaeda and allies of Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud were responsible for last month's assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto," according to CIA director Michael Hayden. He also said the groups were "behind a new wave of violence threatening that country's stability."

The Washington Post reports that FEMA has reversed course again on what to do with its Katrina trailers. After originally purchasing 145,000 trailers and then selling them at steep discounts because communities refused them, FEMA is now seeking to repurchase them at the original price "because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde."

And finally: Yesterday, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) "launched into a lengthy question to Ben Bernanke during the Fed chairman's House testimony." "Seeing as how you were the former CEO Of Goldman Sachs," Kaptur began before being "quickly stopped by Mr. Bernanke and the laughter in the room." "I've got the wrong firm?" she asked, before being corrected that she was thinking of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Said Mr. Bernanke: "I was the CEO of the Princeton Economics Department." (Watch the video here.)


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