Greg Sargent at The Plum Line reports that House Intelligence Committee Dems are drafting a bill that would permit Intel Committee Members to sit in on CIA briefings of Congressional leadership on top secret programs and activities.
Dems on the House Intelligence Committee have drafted a new bill that would strip the President of his authority to limit such briefings to the so-called "Gang of Eight" — the leaders of the House and Senate from both parties, and the leaders of the Congressional Intelligence committees — and allow a larger group of members of Congress to attend.
The move, which is being championed internally by House Intel chair Silvestre Reyes, would also compel the CIA to keep a far more detailed record of these briefings, though these details still need to be worked out.
Republicans haven't reacted yet, but as with everything, it's a good bet they'll oppose the measure.
Of course, they just tried with all their might to turn the scandal of Dick Cheney's orders to torture prisoners in order to force "confessions" of an Iraq-al Qaeda link that would vindicate him politically into a story about what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it. This bill would make it a lot less likely that there would be so much question about who knew what and when.
So of course, it's likely they'll oppose it. Because if we knew more about who knew what and when, it would be nakedly idiotic to try to make something as disgusting as political torture orders into a petty, partisan slapfight.
Expect Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI-02), the ranking Member of the House Intel. Committee, to loudly squawk that expanding the circle of Members who are briefed to compromise national security. Even though Members of the Intelligence Committees are all cleared for secret briefings anyway, by virtue of their positions. And even though Mr. Security is constantly compromising national security and his own, by doing things liketweeting about his location and activities while in Iraq.
Unverifed ballot counts for the Iran election have been reported on Iranian blogs and websites, in spite of Iranian government claims that incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election with a 2-1 margin, according to a UK Telegraph report:
The statistics, circulated on Iranian blogs and websites, claimed Mr Mousavi had won 19.1 million votes while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won only 5.7 million.
The two other candidates, reformist Mehdi Karoubi and hardliner Mohsen Rezai, won 13.4 million and 3.7 million respectively. The authenticity of the leaked figures could not be confirmed.
Mr Mousavi has accused Iran's government of "fraud" after Mr Ahmadinejad was declared on Saturday to have 62.6 per cent of the vote, making him the landslide winner. The capital has been rocked by disturbances for the last three days.
The UK Guardian also reported today that at least one Iranian protestor has been shot by live ammunition armed militias as more than 100,000 Iranians defied a march ban:
Shots have been fired at an opposition rally in Tehran where more than 100,000 Iranians were protesting against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
An Associated Press photographer saw one person killed when shots were fired from a compound for pro-government militiamen. Several other people appeared to have been seriously wounded in Tehran's Azadi Square. BBC's Persian service quoted an eyewitness saying that four protesters have been killed.
A reporter on Iran's English-language Press TV said: "There has been sporadic shooting out there ... I can see people running here."
Speaking live on the air, he said: "A number of people who are armed ... I don't know exactly who they are, but they have started to fire on people, causing havoc in Azadi Square."
Local residents said they had heard shooting in three districts of northern Tehran.
Earlier, the defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi addressed the crowd in his first public appearance since Friday's disputed election. Addressing the crowd from the roof of his car, Mousavi said he was ready to compete in a fresh election."The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person," he said, according to al-Jazeera television.
(And I also posted here.)
I put up the ?Countdown? video from here last Friday about Randall Terry?s indignation over Judge Sonia Sotomayor?s nomination to the Supreme Court, which he among others has been using to rally ?the base? on behalf of his ?pro-life? cause.
Well, it turns out that the ?Countdown? excerpt was just a prelude to what Terry hopes will be bigger things, based on the rest of his speech (and we?ll be so much the worse off if he turns out to be right).
As noted here, Terry ?announced the formation of a new organization to be known as Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex,? with the Latin phrase translated to ?insurrection against death.?
"The freeing moment will come when you decide to take a bullet for this movement," Mr. Terry said in a small ballroom watched over by one security guard. "Then you can't be bullied and intimidated into silence anymore."Randall Terry, judge, jury and executioner, ladies and gentlemen (and just because Alan Keyes happened to be one of the people who showed up for Terry?s little party, that hardly means that these people can be laughed off).
"My mission is to raise up a new generation," (Terry) said, "to recruit them, train them and unleash them."
He brushes off criticism that activists like him created a climate that goaded the suspect in Dr. (George) Tiller's slaying into action.
"You can't work with me if you can't say abortion is murder and child-killers are murderers," he said. "You've got to be prepared to take the heat over those words. The true terrorists are those who reach into a woman's womb and kill her child."
His opponents "refuse to admit that abortion is the cauldron from which evil flows," he added. "George Tiller reaped what he sowed. He was a murderer."
And believe me when I tell you that there is much more.
In 2005, he emerged as the spokesman for the parents of the terminally ill Terri Schiavo (that episode, combined with Katrina later that year, marked the beginning of the end of conservative dominance in this country). In 1993, at an anti-abortion rally in Fort Wayne, Terry said "Our goal is a Christian nation. ... We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. ... Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules." In that same speech, Terry also stated that "If a Christian voted for [former President Bill] Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple." In 1989, a "Holy Week of Rescue" shut down a family planning clinic in Los Angeles. More than 40,000 people were arrested in these demonstrations over four years. Subtlety wasn't Terry's thing -- he described Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, as a "whore" and an "adulteress" and arranged to have a dead fetus presented to Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. In 1988, Terry and his legions started standing in front of local abortion clinics, screaming and pleading with pregnant women to turn away. They tossed their bodies against car doors to keep abortion patients from getting out. They waved crucifixes and screamed "Mommy, Mommy" at the women. When Terry commanded, hundreds went jellyfish-limp and blockaded the "death clinics."
"I have known Randall longer than all his accusers... Let us remember that it is the Devil, the father of lies, who is the 'accuser' of the faithful.But meanwhile, this guy, for one, can?t even catch a break from his own archbishop because the one-time presidential candidate supports a woman?s right to choose.
"I am happy to declare as a Catholic priest and a proclaimer of the gospel, that Randall Terry is a Catholic Christian in full communion with the Church, and that the statements and insinuations to the contrary should be devoutly ignored by the faithful."
Not the most encouraging economic news in a still troubled industry. It's highly likely this problem will continue to remain high, especially as unemployment increases later this year.
U.S. credit card defaults rose to record highs in May, with a steep deterioration of Bank of America Corp's lending portfolio, in another sign that consumers remain under severe stress.
Delinquency rates -- an indicator of future credit losses -- fell across the industry, but analysts said the decline was due to a seasonal trend, as consumers used tax refunds to pay back debts, and they expect delinquencies to go up again in coming months.
Bank of America Corp -- the largest U.S. bank -- said its default rate, those loans the company does not expect to be paid back, soared to 12.50 percent in May from 10.47 percent in April.
In addition, American Express Co, which accounts for nearly a quarter of credit and charge card sales volume in the United States, said its default rate rose to 10.4 percent from 9.90, according to a regulatory filing based on the performance of credit card loans that were securitized.
Today, the Washington Post hosted Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who is currently promoting his latest book, for a brief online chat. The first question asked whether Beck believed that “we’re facing the destruction of our country.” “Yeah,” Beck replied, and compared the United States to the current political upheaval in Iran:
CHICAGO: Glenn, On June 6 you said”(I)f we don’t have some common sense, we’re facing the destruction of our country… it’s coming” Do you really believe that the USA is facing destruction?
GLENN BECK: Yeah, I said on Sept. 11 that we should fear no outside force, the only that would destroy America is us, from the inside. I look at what’s happening in Iran, and they are arquing [sic] on who is going to be a better leader in their theocracy. Both candidates were picked buy the mullahs, neither candidate can do anything without the mullahs telling them it’s okay.
I think we’re in the same situation here. Bill Mahr said this weekend that Barack Obama was George Bush Lite. What are we fighting over? What is the difference between these two parties? There are reasons to speak out, but tearing ourselves apart over these scraps of freedom is odd. We’ve stopped melting together. Our strength was that we were a melting pot.
It now appears that Keith Ellison will vote the supplemental. From the comments:I just called Keith Ellison?s office and the person who answered confirmed to me that Mr. Ellison WILL BE VOTING NO on the supplemental. Ellison puts us at 35 of[...]
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This week at Cafe, Eric Boehlert joins us for a discussion about his book Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press. Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, looks back at the 2008 presidential campaign and how key players in the liberal blogosphere shaped important events.
Joining the discussion are Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at NYU and author of PressThink; Amanda Marcotte, Pandagon blogger and blogmaster for John Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign for a time; Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher and author of Why Obama Won; Duncan Black, also known as Atrios of Eschaton Blog; Armando Llorens, who posts as Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left; and Ari Melber, correspondent for The Nation and columnist for Politico.
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