Reuters Round-up

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Congress in its fight with the Bush administration can subpoena current and former top White House aides in its investigation over the firing of U.S. attorneys.

“U.S. District Judge John Bates, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, rejected the administration’s arguments that the aides were immune from such subpoenas and that Congress cannot force them to testify or turn over certain documents.

“In a lengthy ruling totaling nearly 100 pages, he rejected the administration’s request to dismiss the lawsuit that had been filed by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in March.

“The lawsuit seeks to get testimony or documents from White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.

“The lawsuit charged that Bolten and Miers, cited by the House for contempt of Congress, defied subpoenas by refusing to testify or provide documents in the long-running investigation into the administration’s 2006 firing of nine of the 93 U.S. attorneys.”
Judge: Congress can subpoena Bush aides, by James Vicini, July 31, 2008

Hasn’t Congress always been able to subpoena anyone they wanted to? Weird. What a stupid lawsuit.

“LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An earthquake struck just east of Los Angeles on Tuesday, rocking tall buildings and rattling nerves across Southern California, but causing no serious injuries or major structural damage.

“The quake hit at 11:42 a.m. local time (2:42 p.m. EDT) about 30 miles east of Los Angeles in suburban Chino Hills and registered magnitude 5.4 — making it the strongest seismic event centered near America’s second-largest city since the 6.7-magnitude Northridge quake in 1994.

“It was followed in the next few hours by more than two dozen aftershocks, the largest measuring 3.6, and geologists said there was a small chance it could be a foreshock to a larger earthquake still to come.”
Earthquake strongly jolts “lucky” Los Angeles, by Dan Whitcomb, July 29, 2008

Yup, that’s us. Lucky lucky lucky to only have rolling, instead of jolting, earthquakes. But if we’re really lucky John Garamendi will be our next governor. Next real governor.

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines on Tuesday doubled the fee to check a second bag for domestic flights to $50 from $25 to help offset record fuel prices.

“Delta announced a number of baggage fee increases on domestic and international flights, including a rise in the fee for items that require special handling such as surfboards or ski equipment.

“Delta also increased the fee for a third checked bag from $80 to $125 on domestic flights and from $150 to $200 on international flights. It also raised fees for bags that exceed its weight allowance.

“These changes will apply to tickets bought on or after July 31 for travel on or after August 5.”
Delta Air doubles fee for second checked bag to $50, July 29, 2008

Might be cheaper to ship your luggage ahead. UPS and FedEx? Are you listening?

“LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian Jerry Lewis was detained by police in Las Vegas late last week when airport screeners found an unloaded gun in his baggage, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Lewis, 82, had a small .22-caliber handgun when he arrived at the security screening area on Friday at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, said Officer Ramon Denby, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

“The comedian was briefly detained and the gun was seized. Lewis was cited for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, Denby said.”
Jerry Lewis detained for carrying gun at airport, by Alex Dobuzinskis, July 29, 2008

What a kidder! And an idiot!

“THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic faces a U.N. war crimes judge for the first time on Thursday to answer genocide charges after his dramatic arrest that ended 11 years on the run.

“The man who led a breakaway Serb Republic during the Bosnian War faces two charges of genocide over the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.

“He is due in court at 1400 GMT after spending his first night in a cell at the U.N. war crimes tribunal detention centre in the Hague.”
Karadzic faces U.N. judge to hear genocide charges, by Alexandra Hudson, July 30, 2008

This should be the trial of the century, but probably won’t be. I can remember the horrors of the 90s, but in the light of the bush atrocities and monstrosities, they seem to pale.

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1 Response to Reuters Round-up

  1. Logan says:

    “Hasn’t Congress always been able to subpoena anyone they wanted to? Weird. What a stupid lawsuit.”

    The answer is, Yes. Congress has always been able to subpoena anyone they wanted to. But the Bush Administration has challenged that right of “checks and balances” under its “unitary executive” principle. BushCo basically argues that its insider advisers (Rove, Bolten, Miers, etc. etc.) don’t have to testify before Congress. That these people (whether they still work for Bush or have retired), have special privilege to be above the law of the land. Specifically the Bush Admin says that these advisers have (or have had) access to classified information regarding the war on terror(ism); information which Congress and the public are not entitled to know. (Because, you know, if Bolten, Miers, and Rove had to answer to Congress the terrorists would win and America would burn.)

    So, it was a huge setback for Bush’s unitary executive principle that the courts (the other check on executive power) agreed with Congress and ordered Bolten and Miers to testify. The next big challenge will be the fact that Bolten and Miers (on orders from Bush) may still refuse to appear on the floor of Congress. If that’s the case, Congress must petition the district court for permission to (physically) compel their appearance. Of course, the judge who would hear that case is a Bush appointee, so who knows wether that judge would agree with Congress and order guards to physically escort Miers/Bolten to the floor of Congress. (The last bit I’m less sure of, but I seem to remember reading about recently.)

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