Capitol Hillbillies

Leahy: White House lying about lost emails

041307leahy.jpgThe White House’s claim that e-mails sent on a Republican Party account might have been lost was challenged Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (left), who quipped that even his teenage neighbor could find them.

“They say they have not been preserved. I don’t believe that!” Leahy shouted from the Senate floor as the dispute over the firing of federal prosecutors continued at a high pitch.

Dems turn up the heat on Gonzales

041107gonzales.jpgCongressional Democrats investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys are serving notice to Alberto Gonzales (right) and the White House that they had better come through with long-demanded documents that have been either withheld or heavily blacked out.

Congress wants answers on Tillman, Lynch

041107tillman.jpgA U.S. House committee announced Tuesday it would hold hearings on misleading military statements that followed the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman (left) in Afghanistan and the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in Iraq.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said an April 24 hearing would be part of its investigation into whether there was a strategy to mislead the public.

Ailing Senator can still raise money

Sen. Tim Johnson’s campaign raised more than $660,000 in the first three months of the year, all while the senator has been recovering from a brain hemorrhage.

According to Johnson’s office, about 30 senators have participated in fundraisers for the South Dakota senator, who is up for re-election in 2008, since he fell ill. Johnson has been in a private, undisclosed rehabilitation facility since February and has not announced whether he plans to run again.

Approval of Congress on the rise

041007congress.jpgPublic approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power and step up their confrontation with President Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, the issue that overshadows all others.

Pelosi sends a mixed message

040907pelosi.jpgOne of our endearing traits as Americans is that on most issues we seldom speak with one voice. On the other hand the Constitution makes it pretty clear who is in charge of what. The last time anyone looked, foreign policy, with the advice and consent of the Congress on treaty matters and war, is the province of the White House. It is more often than not a tricky business that requires at least an appearance of national unity.

Time to set a date for withdrawal

040907iraq.jpg
Iraq demonstrations walk on U.S. flag (AP)

By narrow margins, both the House and the Senate have voted to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, a so-called “date certain.” If a compromise bill reaches the president’s desk, he will veto it, relying on the argument that letting enemy forces know when we’re leaving will encourage them and provide certain strategic advantages. Perhaps.

The mouth that roared (and lied)

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

040707obey.jpgIn putting together the House’s war spending bill, Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (left) gave false information to fellow Democrats, yelled at anti-war protesters and slammed The Washington Post.

“I didn’t come here to win any charm-school award,” the cantankerous Wisconsin Democrat said in an interview.

McCain admits blowing Baghdad photo op

U.S. Senator John McCain said in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday he misspoke in his recent upbeat comments about security in Baghdad, where he traveled under heavy military protection.

The Arizona senator, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, maintains progress has been made in the U.S.-led war in Iraq, according to comments to be aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Excerpts were released on Friday.

Playing the influence game

By TOM RAUM

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi engages Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus and passes him a peace message from Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad frees 15 British captives, defusing a crisis with Britain. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah moves to take the lead in pressing for Mideast peace.

The missing thread in these international developments? President Bush.