Against it before they were for it

The Majority Accountability Project has a write-up on the Democrat freshmen House members who backtracked on their pledge to not support any war supplemental that included a timetable.

If you see your Congressperson’s name on that list, make sure to send ’em a line or three and let them know how you feel about it. On a related note, click here if you’d like to know more about the Majority Accountability Project. Hey, somebody’s gotta keep those Dems accountable ;)

And speaking of the war supplemental, check out what the Dems’ latest stunt is regarding what to add to it (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON (AP) – Increasing the minimum wage should be easy for a Congress controlled by Democrats, especially with President Bush’s pledge of support.

But a $2.10 boost for America’s lowest-paid workers is again being delayed, this time in a tussle over whether to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq.

It’s been 10 years since the last minimum wage increase, and boosting it from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over the next two years was a key element of Democrats’ midterm election platform. They even added a sweetener for Republicans: $4.8 billion in tax cuts for small businesses over 10 years.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., decided to attach the minimum wage provisions to the Iraq war spending bill. Normally that’s must-pass legislation. Now it’s certain to be the subject of Bush’s second veto after Democrats loaded it up with a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.

“That’s just a temporary detour,” said Alan Viard, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He said Democrats will find a way to quickly move the minimum wage legislation back to the White House.

Republicans say Democrats could have had a minimum wage bill passed and signed by now if they hadn’t added it to the Iraq war bill. “This isn’t about getting a minimum wage increase done, it’s another political stunt that only further delays action,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

Democrats declined to say how they plan to get the bill back to the White House: as a separate bill or, more likely, as an attachment to the next Iraq war spending bill they intend to get to Bush by Memorial Day. The latter, they maintain, would give them a little more leverage by forcing Republicans to vote against money for American troops to block the minimum wage package.

“We will take whatever steps are necessary to get a minimum wage increase enacted into law as quickly as possible,” said Tom Kiley, spokesman for Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chair of the House Education and Labor Committee.

Including using a war supp they know the president will veto, further delaying the money our military desperately needs.

Politics always trumps doing the right thing to Democrats, doesn’t it? Jerks.

In the meantime, the WaPo’s liberal columinst David Broder is not backing down from a piece he recently wrote slamming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying “this war is lost”:

NEW YORK David Broder said he wouldn’t change anything in his April 26 column, which angered many readers and caused 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus to write a letter criticizing Broder in Friday’s Washington Post.

In that Thursday piece, Broder criticized Harry Reid for saying the Iraq War is lost militarily, compared Reid to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and concluded: “The Democrats deserve better, and the country needs more, than Harry Reid has offered as Senate majority leader.”

Here’s a copy of that letter the Senate Dems wrote to the editor of the WaPo.

Isn’t that something? We’ve got heated debates going on in the House and Senate about a war supplemental both houses know will be vetoed, and 50 yahoos in the Senate somehow found the time to write a letter to the Washington Post defending Harry Reid because they didn’t like that he was criticized? Um, what’s that about ‘setting priorities,’ Dems?

Jon Corzine leaves hospital, promises to ‘set right kind of example’ – then doesn’t

Remember the car accident NJ Governor Jon Corzine was in a few weeks ago, which lead to him being in stable but critical condition for most of his time in the hospital – the one where the big factor that led to the accident was that his vehicle was going 26 MPH over the speed limit?

Well, he was released from the hospital today, and here’s what he had to say (emphasis added):

FLORENCE, N.J., April 30 — Gov. Jon S. Corzine apologized to New Jersey residents Monday as he left the hospital 18 days after a devastating car crash in which he was not wearing a seat belt and was riding in a car traveling at more than 91 miles an hour on the Garden State Parkway.

“I set a very bad example” said a contrite Mr. Corzine, who broke his left femur and 11 ribs in the accident, speaking from a wheelchair just outside Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

His voice breaking with emotion, he added: “I hope the state will forgive me. I will work very hard to set the right kind of example.”

So that would make you think that he’d take special care in the future to obey the laws pertaining to speeding, right? Wrong:

No one in the motorcade used emergency lights, as his driver had been doing at the time of the accident. They kept to a pace of about 70 miles per hour, even though the posted limit is 55 on the stretch of Interstate 295 that leads to Drumthwacket, the governor’s official mansion in Princeton, where Mr. Corzine will spend the next stage of his recovery.

I’ll be the first to say that on Interstates where the speed limit is 55, you almost have to go 70 just to keep up with traffic (at least that’s how it is on I-85 and I-77 here), but you don’t freaking do it just minutes after you held a press conference telling people you’re going to work to ‘set a better example’, implying you’re not going to do the things you did that helped cause your accident!

Oh, and no, Gov. Corzine, you haven’t set any example, unless you’re talking about the “Business As Usual” example.

Like so many other politicians, he talks out of both sides of his mouth, but this is probably the fastest (no pun intended) flip flop I’ve ever seen.

“Do as I say, not as I do …”
Photo courtesy: Richard Perry/The New York Times

Update/Related: South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson was also discharged from the hospital today, after suffering a brain hemorrhage that kept him there for four and a half months. He’s still got a lot of physical therapy ahead of him but it looks like he’s recovering well.

Will one Ro replace the other on The View?

The NYPost reports that Roseanne Barr is an “early favorite” to replace Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View:

April 30, 2007 — A Rosie is a Rosie is a Rosie.

Roseanne Barr has emerged as the top contender to replace Rosie O’Donnell next year on “The View,” sources say.

A rep for Barr says she has not been approached.

“It’s almost like that rumor that spread last month about how she was going to be on ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ” said Barr’s spokesperson.

“She’s a piece of work, she’s a character, she says what’s on her mind and she’s funny,” said a source with knowledge of ABC’s sudden and desperate search to find a new co-host to replace O’Donnell who quit the show last week.

“They’re missing strong personalities on that show, and that’s what they’re going to need if they want to keep it going,” an ABC staffer close to the situation told the Post.

During an appearance on “Larry King” last week, Roseanne danced around the question of joining the “The View.”

“I’m not looking for the job,” she said at one point – and joking at another, “Well, I want $10 million, like Rosie.”

Say it isn’t so, Baba Wawa!

Flashback to 1990: Roseanne Barr mangles the Star-Spangled Banner, grabs crotch during rendition

In more upbeat news, The View’s only conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, is pregnant with her second child. Her hubby is NY Giants QB Tim Hasselbeck.

Smear campaign taking place at World Bank as Wolfowitz tries to hang on to his job

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz came out swinging today against charges levelled at him by the World Bank that he used his position in order to provide a nice raise and cushy promotion for his girlfriend:

WASHINGTON — World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz on Monday decried what he called a “smear campaign” against him and told a special bank panel that he acted in good faith in securing a promotion and pay raise for his girlfriend. He reiterated that he had no plans to resign, and President Bush gave him a fresh endorsement.

In a prepared statement to the panel, Wolfowitz said the institution’s ethics committee had access to all the details surrounding the arrangement involving bank employee Shaha Riza, “if they wanted it.”

Wolfowitz told the panel, “I acted transparently, sought and received guidance from the bank’s ethics committee and conducted myself in good faith in accordance with that guidance.”

The special bank panel is investigating Wolfowitz’ handling of the 2005 promotion of bank employee Riza, who was scheduled to appear later in the day.

The controversy has prompted calls for the resignation of Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war in his preceding Pentagon job. The bank’s 24-member board is expected to make a decision in the case this week.

Back on the 16th, the Wall Street Journal posted a lengthy piece titled “The Wolfowitz Files -The anatomy of a World Bank smear” which is well-worth the read if you want to understand how shallow the World Bank’s case is against Wolfowitz. A sampling:

The World Bank released its files in the case of President Paul Wolfowitz’s ethics on Friday, and what a revealing download it is. On the evidence in these 109 pages, it is clearer than ever that this flap is a political hit based on highly selective leaks to a willfully gullible press corps.

Mr. Wolfowitz asked the World Bank board to release the documents, after it became possible the 24 executive directors would adjourn early Friday morning without taking any action in the case. This would have allowed Mr. Wolfowitz’s anonymous bank enemies to further spin their narrative that he had taken it upon himself to work out a sweetheart deal for his girlfriend and hide it from everyone.

The documents tell a very different story–one that makes us wonder if some bank officials weren’t trying to ambush Mr. Wolfowitz from the start. Bear with us as we report the details, because this is a case study in the lack of accountability at these international satrapies.

The paper trail shows that Mr. Wolfowitz had asked to recuse himself from matters related to his girlfriend, a longtime World Bank employee, before he signed his own employment contract. The bank’s general counsel at the time, Roberto Danino, wrote in a May 27, 2005 letter to Mr. Wolfowitz’s lawyers:

“First, I would like to acknowledge that Mr. Wolfowitz has disclosed to the Board, through you, that he has a pre-existing relationship with a Bank staff member, and that he proposes to resolve the conflict of interest in relation to Staff Rule 3.01, Paragraph 4.02 by recusing himself from all personnel matters and professional contact related to the staff member.” (Our emphasis here and elsewhere.)

That would have settled the matter at any rational institution, given that his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, worked four reporting layers below the president in the bank hierarchy. But the bank board–composed of representatives from donor nations–decided to set up an ethics committee to investigate. And it was the ethics committee that concluded that Ms. Riza’s job entailed a “de facto conflict of interest” that could only be resolved by her leaving the bank.


All of this is so unfair that Mr. Wolfowitz could be forgiven for concluding that bank officials insisted he play a role in raising Ms. Riza’s pay precisely so they could use it against him later. Even if that isn’t true, it’s clear that his enemies–especially Europeans who want the bank presidency to go to one of their own–are now using this to force him out of the bank. They especially dislike his anticorruption campaign, as do his opponents in the staff union and such elites of the global poverty industry as Nancy Birdsall of the Center for Global Development. They prefer the status quo that holds them accountable only for how much money they lend, not how much they actually help the poor.

Make sure to read it all.

Andrew Young, who used to despise Wolfowitz when he was Deputy Defense Secretary for the Bush administration, defends him here:

We must get beyond the current crisis at the World Bank, a careful examination of which will show that Wolfowitz was operating in what he felt was the best interest of the institution and with the guidance of its ethics committee.

This crisis also should not redound to the detriment of Wolfowitz’s companion, Shaha Riza, a British Muslim woman who is an admired World Bank professional and a champion of human rights in the Muslim world.

I am a Protestant Christian minister, a product of America’s excessive Puritanism. I’ve always looked to Europe for sophistication, temperance and the tolerance the world needs to survive. It is my appeal that we offer Paul Wolfowitz the same chance to learn from the misjudgments of the past and move on together to construct a more just, prosperous and nonviolent world.

Young sounds a little frou frou, but the essence of his comments there and throughout the piece are essentially to the World Bank: look, I hated him during the run-up to the Iraq war just like you did, but I’ve learned to put my grudges behind me and grown to respect him – and so should you.

If the facts are anything like they are as represented in the WSJ, it would appear that the World Bank is targeting and setting up Wolfowitz for one reason and one reason only: because he was a Bush guy and because he’s not a ‘business as usual’ guy at the World Bank.

Disputing George Tenet

Lots of buzz in the media today about the release of former CIA director George Tenet’s new book At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, which came out today.

I noted yesterday that Michael F. Scheuer, head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, wrote a piece challenging some of the claims Tenet has made in his book.

Today we learn that there is a dispute between Tenet and Pentagon advisor Richard Perle about a meeting that Tenet alleges took place with between the two of them the day after the 9-11 attacks. Perle says there’s no way the meeting took place the day after 9-11 because he was stuck in France, which Bill Kristol backs up here. In fact, Perle says no such meeting between he and Tenet ever took place. Tenet said he ‘may be off’ a couple of days but insists the meeting did happen.

Michael Leeden is also disputing certain Tenet claims. Captain Ed has a clip of an interview he did with Leeden in which Ledeen rebuts some of what Tenet has written.

Check out many more links about this story via Human Events’ Rightometer blog.

Look for Tenet to quickly become the darling of the Nutroots left, even though the CIA under his leadership was responsible for Bush’s “lies” about Iraq …

Update I: Chris Hitchens rips Tenet a new one.

Read more via Glenn Reynolds, Lorie Byrd, Anchoress, AJ Strata, QandO, Michael Goldfarb

UK: Five terrorists convicted and sentenced to life in prison for fertilizer bomb plot

Good news:

LONDON — A British judge sentenced all five men convicted in fertilizer bomb plot to life in prison Monday.

A jury found five men guilty earlier of plotting to bomb a London nightclub, power plants or a shopping mall.

The yearlong trial was Britain’s longest ever terror case. Details that were kept secret during the proceedings to ensure a fair trial showed ties between the five and a group who bombed the London transit system in 2005, as well as with other Al Qaeda linked cells.

The suspects were accused of plotting to use 1,300 pounds of fertilizer to make one or more bombs.

Omar Khyam was found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions made from chemical fertilizer which would endanger life. Also found guilty in the conspiracy were Anthony Garcia, Jawad Akbar, Waheed Mahmood and Alahuddin Amin.

Two others, Nabeel Hussain and Shujah Mahmood, were cleared of conspiracy to cause explosions.

The defendants, who had looked relaxed and were smiling as they were led into the court, became somber as the verdicts were read. The foreman read the verdicts after a record of nearly 135 hours of deliberation over 27 days.

The judge, Sir Michael Astill, rejected defense claims that the plot had been abandoned.

“This was a conspiracy that did not come to fruition, no doubt because of the intervention of the security services,” Astill said.

see-dubya, guesting at Hot Air this week, has a link roundup on this story and many more details of the plot.

Yay, Tony!

WH press secretary Tony Snow will be back in action today five weeks after finding out his cancer had metasized, and undergoing exploratory cancer surgery last month. The AP reports:

WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Tony Snow was back on the job Monday, five weeks after doctors discovered a recurrence of his cancer. He said he would soon undergo chemotherapy “just to make sure we’ve got the thing knocked out.”

Snow, 51, has been on medical leave since undergoing exploratory surgery last month, when doctors discovered that a growth in his abdominal area was cancerous and had metastasized, or spread, to the liver.

Snow started typically early, appearing Monday on the North Lawn of the White House for a series of morning television network news shows, including an interview on “Fox and Friends,” with his former Fox network colleagues.

“I’ve recovered from the surgery, more or less,” Snow said in a CNN interview. “I’ll start doing chemo on Friday. We’ll do it every other week for four months.”

Once a month, Snow said, “We’ll do a maintenance chemo just to make sure we’ve got the thing knocked out and put in remission.”

Snow had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Good to have ya back, Mr. Snow :)


How the Democratic hopefuls for president remembered the 15th anniversary of the LA riots

They did it by blaming the violence and destruction, that left 53 dead and $1 billion in damage to …

poverty and hopelessness.


Are these candidates vying for Rep. Maxine Waters’ endorsement or something?

Michelle Malkin remembers the anniversary and reminds people of what happened during the LA riots and how a couple of heroes emerged from the chaos, anarchy, and death that followed the acquittal of the four police officers accused of beating Rodney King after a high speed chase.

Senator Clinton to drop use of maiden name in her campaign

Via the Brisbane Times:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has dropped the use of her maiden name “Rodham” in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton identifies herself as “Hillary Clinton” in her campaign press releases and on her campaign website. The lone mention of her maiden name is in a campaign biography that says “Hillary’s father, Hugh Rodham, was the son of a factory worker from Scranton.”

She continues to use “Hillary Rodham Clinton” in her New York-focused press releases and in the Senate.

Clinton appeared surprised last week when asked why her presidential campaign had dropped her maiden name. Clinton laughed, shook her head and replied: “I haven’t, I haven’t,” before dashing off.

Howard Wolfson, a top communications adviser to Clinton, downplayed any significance to the change. Asked if it was a strategic decision to drop “Rodham,” Wolfson replied: “That’s a fair question, but there’s no plan behind it.”


She continued to identify herself as “Hillary Rodham” in her private legal career at the prestigious Rose law firm in Little Rock as Bill Clinton won statewide election as attorney general in 1976 and as governor in 1978.

I was about to suggest that it might be more beneficial for her to drop the name “Clinton” instead, but the use of Hillary Rodham would carry just as much political baggage, seeing as how it’s affiliated with her time at the Rose Law Firm, as well as those very profitable 1978 futures trades which came under question while she was First Lady.

Or perhaps it would just be more beneficial to her if she just dropped out of the race – period. :D

Update I: Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein is putting the finishing touches on a bio of Hillary Clinton that will be released on June 19:

Drawing on a trove of private papers from Hillary Clinton’s best friend, the legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein is to publish a hard-hitting and intimate portrait of the 2008 presidential candidate, which will reveal a number of “discrepancies” in her official story.

Bernstein, who was played by Dustin Hoffman in the film All the President’s Men, has spent eight years researching the unauthorised 640-page biography, A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Bernstein reaches conclusions that stand in opposition to what Senator Clinton has said in the past and has written in the past” said Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Knopf, which publishes the book on June 19.

With the thoroughness for which he is famous, Bernstein spoke to more than 200 of Clinton’s friends, colleagues and adversaries. He stops short of accusing the New York senator of blatantly lying about her past, but has unearthed examples of where she has played fast and loose with the facts about her “personal and political life”, according to Knopf.

The book could revive the explosive charge, made earlier this year by David Geffen, a former Clinton donor and Hollywood mogul, that “the Clintons lie with such ease, it’s troubling”.

Stay tuned …

PM Update: Bloomberg reports that the National Geographic Channel will air a documentary tomorrow night at 10 Eastern Time, titled “The Final Report: Clinton Impeachment.” In case you miss it, it will air again on Wednesday at 1 am ET and Saturday at 6 pm ET.