Roberts waffles on domestic spying

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, breaking ranks with the president on domestic eavesdropping, says he wants a special court to oversee the program.

But less than a day later, a top aide to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., sought to clarify his position.

Prosecutors seek 10 year term for Cunningham

Prosecutors sought the maximum 10-year sentence against former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham, citing a "bribe menu" in which the decorated Vietnam veteran detailed what a defense contractor must pay in exchange for Pentagon business.

The Cheney shooting: Revising history in real time


Vice President Dick Cheney said he didn’t immediately disclose his hunting accident because he wanted the confusing details to come out right. Instead, authorized accounts came out slowly — and often still wrong.

The result: a week of shifting blame, belatedly acknowledged beer consumption (not "zero" drinking after all) and evolving discrepancies in how the shooting happened, its aftermath and the way it was told to the nation.

"There’s a reason they call this crisis management," said corporate damage-control specialist Eric Dezenhall, "and that’s because it’s a mess."

A game of chicken on Capitol Hill


Under White House pressure, the Senate Intelligence Committee flinched and backed away from an investigation of the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program.

Specter faces an ethics problem

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sen. Arlen Specter is defending a staff member against published charges that millions of dollars in special defense projects had been directed to companies represented by the lobbying firm led by the aide’s husband.

Hey! What happened to the racism?


The House released its investigative report on Hurricane Katrina this week, under the title "A Failure of Initiative." The report is an indictment of government failure at all levels _ federal, state and local.

In 379 pages, plus 141 appendices, the report documents government failure in major areas that, if handled better, could have reduced the death and damage caused by Katrina.

But it is also important to note what the report does not say. Nowhere is there any conclusion that the poor response resulted from racism.

Spying program sparks political jitters


It could be campaign-year jitters. President Bush’s controversial eavesdropping program has irritated congressional Democrats and even some Republicans.

To some, the shift is pure politics as lawmakers worry about the November elections or look ahead to 2008. They are emboldened by fundamental legal questions about the National Security Agency’s monitoring and Bush’s weak public support on terrorism, once his bread-and-butter issue.

To others, it’s Congress reasserting itself as an equal branch of government.