News & Politics
By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 11, 2007; Page A12
BAGHDAD, May 10 — A majority of members of Iraq’s parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development was a sign of a growing division between Iraq’s legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush administration and its critics in Congress.
The draft bill proposes a timeline for a gradual departure, much like what some U.S. Democratic lawmakers have demanded, and would require the Iraqi government to secure parliament’s approval before any further extensions of the U.N. mandate for foreign troops in Iraq, which expires at the end of 2007.
The neocons who put us in Iraq in the first place have been disgraced. Our own congress wants us out. Our own people want us out. And now the Iraqi “government” wants us out, too. What is it going to take to get George Bush to admit that the main thrust of his presidency has completely failed and that we need to get the hell out of Iraq, now? Will it take another Kent State?
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 – It is not every day that a Supreme Court justice calls his own decisions unwise. But with unusual candor, Justice John Paul Stevens did that last week in a speech in which he explored the gap that sometimes lies between a judge’s desire and duty.
Addressing a bar association meeting in Las Vegas, Justice Stevens dissected several of the recent term’s decisions, including his own majority opinions in two of the term’s most prominent cases. The outcomes were “unwise,” he said, but “in each I was convinced that the law compelled a result that I would have opposed if I were a legislator.”
In one, the eminent domain case that became the term’s most controversial decision, he said that his majority opinion that upheld the government’s “taking” of private homes for a commercial development in New London, Conn., brought about a result “entirely divorced from my judgment concerning the wisdom of the program” that was under constitutional attack. . . .
[J]ustice Stevens said he also regretted having to rule in favor of the federal government’s ability to enforce its narcotics laws and thus trump California’s medical marijuana initiative. “I have no hesitation in telling you that I agree with the policy choice made by the millions of California voters,” he said. But given the broader stakes for the power of Congress to regulate commerce, he added, “our duty to uphold the application of the federal statute was pellucidly clear.”
ZANESVILLE, Ohio — After enlarging their majority in the past two elections, House Republicans have begun to fear that public attention to members’ travel and relations with lobbyists will make ethics a potent issue that could cost the party seats in next year’s midterm races.
In what Republican strategists call “the DeLay effect,” questions plaguing House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Tex.) are starting to hurt his fellow party members, who are facing news coverage of their own trips and use of relatives on their campaign payrolls.
It’s simple. When you sell out your own values and your constituents’ interests and become a paid whore for corporate and evangelical goals instead, you eventually pay the price. The only questions is: when is “eventually”? It looks like the Republicans are about to find out. Details here from The Washington Post.
Secret tape recordings made by a lawyer at the behest of federal agents can be used as evidence against indicted bankruptcy attorney Daniel J. Gates, who is accused of embezzling millions from his clients, including former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Rod Woodson.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti recently ruled that all but one of the incriminating recordings made by attorney Patricia L. Blais in 2002 are admissible.
Gates, former owner of Gates & Associates, had tried to argue that Blais was his lawyer and that the tapes were illegal because they violate the attorney-client privilege.
Another one bites the dust. Details here from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Anna Ayala, the Las Vegas woman who claimed to have bitten into a severed finger at a San Jose Wendy’s restaurant, was arrested Thursday night in connection with the case, San Jose police said.
San Jose police spokesman Enrique Garcia said Ayala, 39, was arrested, but he declined to provide further details.
“We’ve arrested her in connection with the Wendy’s investigation. She’s currently in custody” in Las Vegas, said Garcia late Thursday night.
Police did not say on what charges Ayala was arrested. A press conference is scheduled at the San Jose Police Department at 1 p.m. today to discuss details about the arrest, Garcia said.
Boston College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have moved to quash subpoenas seeking the names of students suspected of Internet music piracy, saying they’re illegal because they weren’t properly filed.
The schools said the subpoenas, issued by the Recording Industry Association of America, didn’t allow for adequate time to notify the students, as mandated by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
Read it here via Boston.com via the AP online.