Facing vigorous questioning from Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and other skeptics during her confirmation hearing today before the Senate
Facing vigorous questioning from Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and other skeptics during her confirmation hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Indiana University law professor and Office of Legal Counsel Director-nominee Dawn Johnsen said that if confirmed, she would urge the release of all OLC memos interpreting congressional statutes.
Alluding to the OLC under President Bush, which refused to release memos concerning the interpretation of statutes regarding torture and the treatment of detainees, Johnsen said that “when the executive branch acts contrary to statute in secret, that goes right to the heart of what makes our great constitutional democracy work. In this system, we as Americans are all proud of the fact that the government is responsible to us, and we the people are the government. If we don’t know how the executive is interpreting a statute, congress can’t do its job of oversight.”
That’s consistent with her previous writings on the subject of the OLC and secrecy. During her hearing, Johnsen has otherwise been getting beaten up for her past criticisms of the OLC by the more conservative senators on the Judiciary Committee — but has received high praise from Democratic senators, particularly Dianne Feinstein of California and Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.