BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Action

Saturday's are slow.

However...

Frist Calls for Hearings on Fuel Profits

"With Democrats making gas prices a campaign issue, more in the GOP are asking why oil industry earnings are breaking records."

Um, maybe because the price of gas is just below 3 bucks a gallon at the Mobil on La Brea & Sunset?
WASHINGTON — Oil industry executives will be summoned to Capitol Hill to explain why gasoline prices are so high — the latest effort by Republican lawmakers to head off political fallout from high fuel costs.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) called Thursday for hearings into fuel prices, becoming the second congressional Republican leader this week to raise questions about the soaring profits of an industry that long has been a GOP ally.

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"Our free market works best when all know and follow the rules of the road," Frist said in a statement on his request for hearings. "If there are those who abuse the free-enterprise system to advantage themselves and their businesses at the expense of all Americans, they ought to be exposed, and they ought to be ashamed."
That, my friends, is liberalism 101.

Exposing those who abuse the free market system - coz we know they will.

(Gore Vidal calls them "men with an eye for opportunity.")

"Always be closing!"

Hey, wait a minute, did Bill Frist say, "If there are those who abuse the free-enterprise system to advantage themselves and their businesses at the expense of all Americans, they ought to be exposed, and they ought to be ashamed?"

Ha! He oughta know!

He's made a few bucks doing just that.

And speaking of men with an eye for opportunity --

Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel

Papers that were, um, filled with lies:
Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that ERRONEOUSLY CONCLUDED Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.


Cheney had been the foremost administration advocate for war with Iraq, and Libby played a central staff role in coordinating THE SALE OF THE WAR to both the public and Congress.

Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources.

The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said.

The new information that Cheney and Libby blocked information to the Senate Intelligence Committee further underscores the central role played by the vice president's office in trying to blunt criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence data to make the case to go to war.

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Had the withheld information been turned over, according to administration and congressional sources, it likely would have shifted a portion of the blame away from the intelligence agencies to the Bush administration as to who was responsible for the erroneous information being presented to the American public, Congress, and the international community.
And that simply could not happen.

It can happen now, though: That's why the intelligence agencies are swinging back at Cheney.
In April 2004, the Intelligence Committee released a report that concluded that "much of the information provided or cleared by the Central Intelligence Agency for inclusion in Secretary Powell's [United Nation's] speech was overstated, misleading, or INCORRECT."
What did they have on Colin Powell?

Think, think, think.
In addition to withholding drafts of Powell's speech -- which included passages written by Libby -- the administration also refused to turn over to the committee contents of the president's morning intelligence briefings on Iraq, sources say. These documents, known as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB, are a written summary of intelligence information and analysis provided by the CIA to the president.

One congressional source said, for example, that senators wanted to review the PDBs to determine whether dissenting views from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Department of Energy, and other agencies that often disagreed with the CIA on the question of Iraq's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were being presented to the president.
Survey says, "no."

More later...


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THE PRESIDENT: "Today I accepted the resignation of Scooter Libby. Scooter has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country. He served the Vice President and me through extraordinary times in our nation's history.

Special Counsel Fitzgerald's investigation and ongoing legal proceedings are serious, and now the proceedings -- the process moves into a new phase. In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial.


President George W. Bush speaks to the media on the South Lawn regarding the resignation Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, of Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby. White House photo by Paul Morse While we're all saddened by today's news, we remain wholly focused on the many issues and opportunities facing this country. I got a job to do, and so do the people who work in the White House. We got a job to protect the American people, and that's what we'll continue working hard to do.

I look forward to working with Congress on policies to keep this economy moving. And pretty soon I'll be naming somebody to the Supreme Court."

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