Breaking: News on Miers/House stand-off, and the Iraq report

Having a bit of a busy morning, but wanted to pass along these two links as I know they are hot stories right now:

Via the AP: House Judiciary Panel Argues Whether to Hold Harriet Miers in Contempt:

WASHINGTON — BREAKING NEWS: The House Judiciary Committee battled Thursday over whether former White House counsel Harriet Miers was in contempt when she claimed executive privilege and defied a congressional subpoena to testify on the Bush administration’s firing of U.S. attorneys.


The Bush administration says the president’s immediate advisers are absolutely immune from having to appear before Congress, but legal scholars say the issue isn’t that clear cut.

The question grew more pressing Wednesday as President Bush ordered former White House counsel Harriet Miers to defy a congressional summons in the controversy over the administration’s dismissals of federal prosecutors.

The Democratic chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees have said they would consider introducing contempt of Congress citations against any subpoena recipients who resist.

Tons of links and commentary on that here.

And Fox has the story on the details of an Iraq progress report, which the President discussed today:

WASHINGTON — U.S. military and diplomatic officials gave the Iraqi government a satisfactory rating on eight of 18 political and security benchmarks, a mixed rating on two and an unsatisfactory rating on eight benchmarks in a White House report prepared for Congress.

The interim progress report out Thursday — a second one due in September — says progress in Iraq has been good on key security areas such as the deployment of Iraqi forces in Baghdad, the establishment of joint security stations in Baghdad and the increased capability and independence of Iraqi military units as well as a few economic and political matters.

Unsatisfactory progress was cited in a number of political benchmarks, including the passage of a hydrocarbon law, a debaathification statute and electoral reforms. The report also points out challenges of disarming militias and ensuring full Iraqi government control of security operations in Baghdad neighborhoods.

From what little bit I’ve read, it looks like mixed bag, as I figured it would.

Here’s the PDF version of the report, or the HTML version if you prefer. It is also, of course, on the WH’s website.

Reax here.

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