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Monthly Archives: March 2006

Former DeLay aide cops plea, makes deal

By MARK SHERMAN

A former top aide to Rep. Tom DeLay pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and promised to cooperate with a federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud that has so far netted three convictions and prompted calls for ethics reform in Congress.

Tony Rudy, DeLay's former deputy chief of staff, admitted to conspiring with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff both while Rudy worked for DeLay and after he left the lawmaker's staff to become a lobbyist himself.

They call this reform?

By Dale McFeatters

The Senate, by a lopsided margin, has passed a bill designed to show that lawmakers are serious about cracking down on lobbying abuses. The bill is greatly watered down from what the leadership said it intended, and, frankly, the new rules won't change much.

Not much when it comes to alternatives

By DAN K. THOMASSON

While the Republicans are seeking to heal the wounds of divisiveness caused by the immigration issue and the president's falling ratings, Democrats are hard at work trying to convince the nation they can be trusted with national security. It is clearly a theme that will be aired over and over in the coming election as the minority party in Congress tries to regain control of one or both houses lost more than a decade ago.

Immigration debate may dominate political landscape

By ANN McFEATTERS

The heated issue of what to do about the influx of illegal immigrants into America is threatening to become a dominant issue in presidential politics. That would be dreadful for this nation.

With 8 million to 12 million immigrants illegally living in the United States, the clamor is loud for changes in immigration law. But there is no consensus on whether there should be a guest-worker program or a dramatic new effort to keep out immigrants through enhanced border security or an all-out push to force those here without documentation to leave.

Conservatives pissed over immigration bill

By DAVID ESPO

House conservatives criticized President Bush, accused the Senate of fouling the air, said prisoners rather than illegal farm workers should pick America's crops and denounced the use of Mexican flags by protesters Thursday in a vehement attack on legislation to liberalize U.S. immigration laws.

John Dean joins drive to censure Bush

Former White House counsel John Dean, who helped push President Richard Nixon from office during the Watergate scandal three decades ago, heads to Capitol Hill on Friday to back an uphill attempt to censure President George W. Bush.

Army to soldiers: We can’t protect you so nobody can

Just six months after the Pentagon agreed to reimburse soldiers who bought their own protective gear, the Army has banned the use of any body armor that is not issued by the military.

It could take a quarter century to rebuild New Orleans

By LARA JAKES JORDAN

Much of New Orleans' rebirth from Hurricane Katrina hinges on factors beyond the government's control and could take up to a quarter-century to complete, the Bush administration's Gulf Coast recovery chief said Thursday.

The big debate: Who hit who and why?

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia congresswoman who had a physical altercation with a police officer, is speaking out about the episode after saying she regretted the incident.

But she has refused to apologize in a statement and a brief on-camera interview.

Is John Snow next on Bush’s hit list?

By JEANNINE AVERSA

The changing of the guard involving President Bush's chief of staff is renewing speculation about the fate of Treasury Secretary John Snow, the administration's lead economic salesman for three years.