The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sought more information yesterday about a presentation by a White House aide given to political appointees at the General Services Administration that discussed targeting 20 Democratic congressional candidates in the next election.
In a letter to White House political affairs director Karl Rove, the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asked about the Jan. 26 videoconference by Rove deputy J. Scott Jennings, which was directed to the chief of the GSA and as many as 40 agency officials stationed around the country.
Jennings's 28-page presentation included 2006 election results and listed the names of Democratic candidates considered beatable and Republican lawmakers thought to need help. At a hearing Wednesday about the GSA, Waxman said the presentation and follow-up remarks allegedly made by agency chief Lurita Alexis Doan may have violated the Hatch Act, a law that restricts federal agencies and employees from using their positions for political purposes.
In yesterday's letter, Waxman asked Rove who prepared the presentation and whether Rove or Jennings consulted with anyone about whether it might be in violation of the Hatch Act. Waxman also asked whether Rove or any members of his staff have given the same or similar PowerPoint presentations to political appointees at other government agencies.
Considering how much grief Rove has given Bush, why hasn't he just fired him? Well that is simple. Because if Bush fires Rove, the Bush looses his brain and his brain might even get pissed and decide to talk.
Paper: Internal docs show feds
'bungled' Katrina response RAW STORY
As the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped down
yesterday, government documents surfaced showing that vital resources, such
as buses and environmental health specialists, weren't deployed to the Gulf
region for several days, even after federal officials seized control of
Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the (paid-restricted) WALL STREET JOURNAL
reports Tuesday. Excerpts follow.
# Separately, internal documents and emails from FEMA and other
government agencies dating back to Aug. 31 and reviewed by The Wall Street
Journal show the extent to which the federal government bungled its response
to the hurricane. The documents highlight serious deficiencies in the
Department of Homeland Security's National Response Plan, a post-Sept. 11
playbook on how to deal with catastrophic events. Mr. Chertoff activated the
National Response Plan last Tuesday by declaring the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina an "Incident of National Significance."
In one instance, federal environmental health specialists, who were
charged with protecting both rescue workers and evacuees, weren't called in
by the Department of Homeland Security until Sunday -- 12 days after the
Occupational Safety & Health Administration announced it had teams from
various agencies standing by ready to assist. Even now, with mounting
evidence of environmental problems, the deployment is being held up by
continuing interagency wrangling, according to officials at the National
Institutes of Health, which also is involved in the effort.
On Monday, Al Franken talked to David Phillips, an ex state
department employee who knows a thing or two about Iraq.
In 1998 when the United
States first decided that Saddam was going
to have to be removed from power eventually, the government started preparing
for how to deal with post-war Iraq.
The State Department led this endeavor and was joined by 13 other government agencies.
The project cost the tax payers a few million dollars, but it produced a viable
plan on dealing with post war Iraq.
David Phillips was a key played in coming up with this plan,
and now has now authored a book, Losing Iraq, which discusses the plan in even
greater detail. I personally have not read this book yet, but after listening
to AlÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s show heard some very interesting points on it.
When Jay Garner was being prepped to take over Iraq,
he was never told that there was a plan out there on how to deal with Iraq
and its very diverse religion population. In a briefing someone brought up the
plan, and Jay was interested in hearing it. Instead of being presented with the
ideas that our country worked hard on, he was told by Donald Rumsfeld to not
worry about it. It seems that Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush now coin
themselves as experts on Iraq,
not the State Department or people like David Phillips who have spent their
careers studying it.