Not to be missed: “The Swiftboating of John Murtha” by Taylor Marsh.
Clinton Praises Bush on Immigration Reform
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton praised President Bush on Saturday for supporting reforms that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to seek citizenship but said the debate in Congress is being fomented by Republicans who want to divide America.
“I’m proud of him for doing it and I thanked him for doing it,” he said of Bush during a “Cafe con Clinton” breakfast speech to the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights advocacy group.
Clinton said Bush’s roots in Texas – which has one of the nation’s largest Hispanic populations – have helped him view immigrants as people rather than statistics.
“It’s hard to demonize people if you know them,” he said.
But Clinton also argued that the nation’s government is controlled by Republican ideological hard-liners who want to use immigration to divide Americans and distract them from issues such as the war in Iraq and the health care crisis.
Instead of equal opportunity, they support a “financial elite” because they favor “concentrated wealth and power,” Clinton said.
“They believe in a government that is secret, unaccountable and that maximizes its own power,” he said. “They really believe the world works better if they run it and we keep our mouths shut.”
Clinton supported an immigration reform measure passed by the Senate that would provide a way for many of the estimated 12 million foreigners living in the country illegally to become citizens. A House-approved bill would make illegal immigrants felons and build 700 miles of border walls. House and Senate negotiators so far have not been able to work out a compromise.
I imagine there are some staff members working overtime in the offices of several congresscritters this evening. Keep those shredders humming!
Judge Says Raid on Congressman’s Office Was Legal
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Monday upheld the FBI’s unprecedented raid of a congressional office, saying that barring searches of lawmakers’ offices would turn Capitol Hill into “a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime.”
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected requests from lawmakers and Rep. William Jefferson to return material seized by the FBI in a May 20-21 search of Jefferson’s office.
The overnight search was part of a 17-month bribery investigation of Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat.
In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments by Jefferson and a bipartisan group of House leaders that the raid violated the Constitution’s protections against intimidation of elected officials.
Hogan acknowledged the “unprecedented” nature of the case. But he said the lawmakers’ “sweeping” theory of legislative privilege “would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime.”
A member of Congress is bound by the same laws as ordinary citizens, said the judge, who had approved the FBI’s request to conduct the overnight search of Jefferson’s office…
“The power to determine the scope of one’s own privilege is not available to any other person, including members of the coequal branches of government: federal judges … or the President of the United States,” the judge said.
A building blew up in New York City this morning. Early indications are that it was not the terrorist attack for which the right has been praying…
Fire Chief Cites Gas Explosion as Likely Cause of Building Collapse
A gas explosion flattened a landmarked town house on the Upper East Side this morning and left buried in the rubble a doctor who used his portable telephone to call 911 and to help rescue workers locate him as he lay in the burning debris.
The doctor, Nicholas Bartha, was the sole occupant of the building, at 34 East 62nd Street between Madison and Park, when the blast occurred about 8:45 a.m., said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. Another doctor who practices from that building was outside the building, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.
Dr. Bartha, the owner of the building where he has an apartment and medical offices, was extracted from the bottom of the pile of rubble shortly after 10 a.m. and was in critical condition with burns and other injuries, the commissioner said.
Authorities said they were investigating the possibility that the blast was the result of a suicide attempt. Mr. Scoppetta said investigators were looking into an e-mail sent from someone in the building threatening suicide as a result of a domestic dispute.