Day: August 28, 2011

Colin Powell: Dick Cheney Taking ‘Cheap Shots’ In Book (VIDEO)

I didn’t think Secretary Powell would stand by silently while former VP Dick Cheney trashed Powell in his new book: In My Time

The Huffington Post

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is accusing former Vice President Dick Cheney of taking “cheap shots” at him and others in a new book.

Powell was the nation’s top diplomat during the first four years of President George W. Bush’s administration. Cheney’s book, “In My Time,” is set for release Tuesday.

Cheney writes that he thinks Powell tried to undermine Bush by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government.

Powell said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he routinely gave his opinion and his best advice on issues to the president.

While Cheney writes that Powell’s resignation was “for the best,” Powell signaled he had always planned to leave the administration after the 2004 election. He suggested Cheney is almost condescending in his remarks about Powell’s successor, Condoleezza Rice.

Last week, Cheney predicted “there are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington” upon the release of his book.

“That’s quite a visual,” Powell said of the former vice president’s choice of words. “[It's] the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist or the kind of headline you might see one of the super market tabloids write. It’s not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from one of the vice presidents of the United States of America.”

He added, “I think Dick overshot the runway.”

See video here…

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New York Times Smacks Down Rep. Darrell Issa’s Demand For A Retraction

Darrell Issa

Image via Wikipedia

Think Progress

On Thursday, the New York Times responded to a demand for a retraction from Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office regarding a major piece published two weeks ago about Issa’s many conflicts of interest between his congressional work and his vast financial holdings. In the letter, Dean Baquet, the assistant editor of the paper, debunked claims of factual inaccuracies listed by Issa spokesman Frederick Hill.

In two instances, the Times acknowledged that its reporter Eric Lichtblau made mistakes. In one case, a county assessor provided faulty information. In another, Lichtblau simply used Issa’s own family foundation disclosures; he could not verify their accuracy with Issa because his office refused to respond to three weeks worth of requests by the Times.

The letter, worth reading in its entirety, demolishes what’s left of Issa’s demand for a retraction:

#1) Issa Claim: “Directed Electronics is, in fact, not a supplier to Toyota.”

NYT Response: Issa not only calls himself an “auto supplier” to Toyota on multiple occasions, but his Directed Electronics company has licensing agreements with Toyota for aftermarket parts including car alarms, an iPod adapter, and a remote start interface. The Times then lists Issa’s continued financial ties to the company he once led as an executive.

#2) Issa Claim: A golf course is not visible from one of Issa’s corporate office towers.

NYT Response: The office building overlooks the Shadowridge County Club only a quarter a mile away, and Issa’ realty agency for the building advertises “direct views to golf driving range.”

#3) Issa Claim: “Rep. Issa does not have investments dependent on Goldman Sachss (sic) performance.”

NYT Response: “Your interest in Goldman’s performance is borne out by, among other factors, your extensive holdings in its mutual funds, your investigation into the lawsuit brought against the firm by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008, and the concerns raised in your July 2011 letter about the impact on Goldman of capital requirements. As was noted in afollow-up column by one of our news columnists, Floyd Norris, Goldman Sachs also underwrote DEl’s initial I.P.O., another indication of the ties between you and the firm.” (ThinkProgress has also reported on Issa’s extensive ties to Goldman Sachs herehere, and here.)

#4) Issa Claim: The discussion of earmarks on West Vista Way “fails to mention that at the time he sought funding for his district he did not own this property.”

NYT Response: As the story noted, you secured two earmarks for the road, before and after you bought the property. (ThinkProgress debunked Issa’s claim about his earmark in April, but Issa continued to try to deceive the press.)

Notably, the Heritage Foundation blog, one of the few outlets still questioning the Times’ reporting, has received donations from Issa’s charity foundation.

View the New York Times response to Issa below:

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West Wing Week: Mailbag Day, Summer Edition 2011

The White House

This week we bring you Mailbag Day, Summer Edition 2011 where we respond to some of your emails and letters. Also this week, the President addresses the situation in Libya, monitors Hurricane Irene, and Vice President Biden travels to Asia to re-emphasize our strong economic and diplomatic ties to Asian nations. Plus, the White House experiences a little shake.

The week in one-liners: Joe, Mitt and Marco

 

The top quotes in politics this week:

“We’re not all going to end up being tenured professors at Harvard.” – Newt Gingrich speaking in Concord, N.H., about the need for manufacturing jobs.

“It is a sign of enormous thin skin that if we speculate about her, she gets upset. And I suspect if we didn’t speculate about her, she’d be upset.” — Karl Rovetaking a swing at Sarah Palin on Fox News.

“I laugh when anyone says ‘boring.’ I think he is probably the most colorful guy I know.” — Mary Kaye Huntsman telling Piers Morgan about her husband.

“Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing.” — Vice President Joe Biden speaking about China’s one-child policy at Sichuan University. He later called the policy “repugnant.”

“I have no interest in serving as vice president for anyone who could possibly live all eight years of the presidency.” — Sen. Marco Rubio joking at the Reagan Presidential Library.

“I want to make America the strongest nation on earth, and what I’ve seen instead from this president is not a Triple A presidency, but I’ll call it a Triple D presidency.” — Former Gov. Mitt Romney speaking about President Obama in Exeter, N.H.

“So think about it very carefully. We need a miracle right now.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann shares her thoughts on the 2012 election in Charleston, S.C.

“If it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here.” — Barack Obama speaking to civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges.

“That is spectacularly good. What the hell have you just said to me?” — Piers Morgan’s reaction to Jon Huntsman speaking Mandarin.

Congress Approval Rating: Poll Shows 87% Disapprove Of Congress

Is anyone genuinely surprised that this GOP led Congress has the lowest approval rating on record?  I’m not…

The Huffington Post

Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.

The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes – anathema to the GOP – just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.

To be sure, there is plenty of discontent to go around. The poll finds more people are down on their own member of Congress, not just the institution, an unusual finding in surveys and one bound to make incumbents particularly nervous. In interviews, some people said the debt standoff itself, which caused a crisis of confidence to ripple through world markets, made them wonder whether lawmakers are able to govern at all.

“I guess I long for the day back in the `70s and `80s when we could disagree but we could get a compromise worked out,” said Republican Scott MacGregor, 45, a Windsor, Conn., police detective. “I don’t think there’s any compromise anymore.”

The results point to a chilly autumn in Washington as the divided Congress returns to the same fiscal issues that almost halted other legislative business and are certain to influence the struggle for power in the 2012 elections. They suggest that politicians, regardless of party, have little to gain by prolonging the nation’s most consequential policy debate. And they highlight the gap between the wider public’s wishes now and the tea party’s cut-it-or-shut-it philosophy that helped propel Republicans into the House majority last year.

The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling – 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch.

Continue reading here…

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Al Qaeda No. 2 Killed In Pakistan This Week

U.S. troops in Afghanistan

Image via Wikipedia

Many people see President Obama as many things, but what they can’t accuse him of is being soft on defense…

TPM News

Al Qaeda’s new second-in-command was killed earlier this week in Pakistan, U.S. officials said Saturday, in a major blow to the group still reeling from the death of Osama bin Laden.

Atiyah abd al-Rahman, a Libyan national, rose to the number two spot when Ayman al-Zawahri took the reins of al Qaeda after bin Laden was killed in May in a U.S. raid in Pakistan.

One U.S. official said Rahman was killed in a strike by an unmanned drone on August 22. He was killed in Waziristan in northwest Pakistan where intelligence officials believe members of al Qaeda are hiding, other U.S. officials said.

“Atiyah’s death is a tremendous loss for al Qaeda, because (Zawahri) was relying heavily on him to help guide and run the organization, especially since bin Laden’s death,” one U.S. official said.

“The trove of materials from bin Laden’s compound showed clearly that Atiyah was deeply involved in directing al Qaeda’s operations even before the (May) raid. He had multiple responsibilities in the organization and will be very difficult to replace,” the official said.

U.S. and Pakistani intelligence ties have been strained since the unilateral American strike against bin Laden, and Pakistani intelligence did not confirm Rahman’s death. Sources in Pakistan said four people known to have been killed in a U.S. drone strike on August 22 were local militants and not al Qaeda.

Although most U.S. officials described Rahman as al Qaeda’s No. 2, one said his rank wasn’t as clear, saying he could be considered one of the top three leaders of the organization.

Regardless, Rahman’s death, if confirmed, would signal another significant setback for al Qaeda’s core group just days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In the past decade, al Qaeda’s affiliates have become a greater concern, with its Yemen-based off-shoot now seen in Washington as the bigger threat to the United States.

Continue reading here…

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