Sen. John Warner (R-Va) on Capitol Hill yesterday after a trip to Iraq this week offers a sober assessment:
I assure you, in two or three months, if this thing hasn't come to fruition and if this level of violence is not under control and this government able to function, I think it's a responsibility of our government internally to determine: Is there a change of course that we should take?"
The article continues:
Warner acknowledged that, before the invasion of Iraq, there was a lack of understanding among members of Congress about how much it would take to give Iraq full sovereignty. He blamed himself for not aggressively asking such questions before the war.
Seeing House Speaker Dennis Hastert's defense of his handling of the Mark Foley debacle in all the papers this morning prompts a pop quiz:
For the Republican leadership to force one of its members to resign from Congress, the member must:
A. Be indicted for violating campaign finance laws.
B. Get drunk and proposition young male pages via e-mail and instant messaging.
C. Plead guilty in federal court to accepting bribes.
D. None of the above.
Aw, that's too easy.
Hat tip: Kevin Logan
It's hard to avoid Foleygate here in Washington, though we here at Passport have tried hard in recent days to bring you all the other news happening in the world that doesn't involve House Republicans, suggestive emails, and congressional pages. But this update we can't ignore. Why - with all of Washington buzzing about the potentially catastrophic effect Foleygate may have on Republicans at the midterm polls, a scant four weeks away - does Bill O'Reilly at Fox think no one will notice when he labels the man at the center of the scandal a Democrat? Wishful thinking, I'm sure.
Hat tip: Wonkette
Well, we're about to find out. According to the Hotline, Oprah will tonight tell those pining for a Winfrey presidential bid to get behind Barack Obama instead. To add yet more fuel to the Obama fire, there's also a laudatory profile of him in New York magazine that describes covering him as "like going to view the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. All you see are the backs of people's heads." All this on a day when a poll shows that Hillary Clinton would lose the swing state of Iowa to every Republican candidate she was polled against.
Perusing the press briefings this morning, it is crystal clear that both Team McCain and the White House are determined to stress that everybody won. The substance of the detainee deal is still a little murky, but the White House seems to have given ground on evidence while the Senators are relying on sunshine - the best disinfectant of all - to keep the techniques in bounds.
Politically, at first glance, George W. Bush and John McCain have both won. The impression of Bush as a president straining every sinew to keep America safe has been reinforced by the narrative of the last couple of weeks—as his uptick in the polls suggests. Meanwhile, the image of McCain as the principled former POW, the conscience of the Senate, has been bolstered. The fact a deal has been reached—which is opposed by the ACLU and the ed board of the New York Times—and the public civility of the negotiations means that the damage caused to McCain among conservatives has been limited. Indeed, the Senator who might pay the highest political price for his principles is Lindsey Graham, whose break from the no-compromise right on immigration, judges, and now torture—combined with his importance to McCain for 2008—is making him increasingly vulnerable to a primary challenge in South Carolina.
The Democrats have not risen to the occasion. As the country debated this issue, the Democrats made a conscious decision to absent themselves from the stage, allowing the Republicans to claim that they're the only party serious about the war on terror. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley spun this line yesterday: "What you saw today was all Republicans coming together to enable this program to go forward in order to enhance the security of the country." The Democrats are now faced with either passively accepting the deal, as Nancy Pelosi indicated they would last night, or bucking the man they deferred to as the conscience of the country on this issue and handing Karl Rove the campaign weapon he wants—and needs—so desperately.
Despite having the support of a majority of the Senate, the alternative plan for military commissions backed by Sens. McCain, Graham, and Warner might face a filibuster led by Sen. Bill Frist, who is seriously toeing the White House line on the treatment of detainees and warrantless wiretapping. But since the White House might ultimately get most of what its wants out of a possible compromise bill, why the threat of a filibuster? Could it be that Frist, who clearly harbors presidential aspirations, wants to steal McCain's spotlight?
In other news, the International Committee of the Red Cross will meet next week for the first time with the 14 high-level detainees now held at Gitmo who sparked off this current row in the first place.
Remember the huge oil field discovery in the Gulf of Mexico that Chevron announced earlier this week? The one that oil lovers and energy independence advocates everywhere breathlessly championed as the savior of American energy? Well, it turns out everyone should take another breath.
The Energy Bulletin released a clarification on Wednesday raining on Chevron's parade and even suggesting that there are "political motivations behind the announcement":
The September 5th announcement by Chevron and Devon and Statoil of the huge Gulf of Mexico discovery should be clarified. The announcement claims that the discovery could increase US proven reserves of oil by as much as 50%. However, the total amounts are highly speculative. ...
The area will not come online for at least 4 years and, at a full rate, for at least 7 years. Further, it is likely that there are political motivations behind the announcement, as the vote to open offshore drilling in the United States is upcoming in the US Senate.
The Bulletin goes on to state that the discovery is probably not oil, but natural gas. And Chevron gets a thinly-veiled slam for announcing such a "discovery" just weeks before Congress is due to decide on whether to lift a 25-year ban on coastal drilling. The Bulletin continues:
[T]he announcement is reminiscent of the Mexican "huge oil discovery" announced last year, of a possible 10 billion barrels, which was quietly revised this year to around 43 million barrels, a downward revision of 99.57%. This similar "discovery" was made in Mexico last year a few months before the Mexican parliament was to vote on Pemex (state oil co)'s budget and rights to expand drilling.
As if we needed more evidence of just how radioactive the foreign policies of the Bush administration are in this election year, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon postponed a vote to confirm John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
The vote had been in the works for at least two months, since Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich announced in July that he would vote for Bolton's confirmation. With Voinovich on board, the decision was in the hands of two Bush administration skeptics, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, the second and third ranking Republicans on the committee, respectively. Apparently confident that Bolton would get a pass with both, SFRC Chairman Richard Lugar scheduled a vote for today. But it was canceled this afternoon, after Chafee apparently said he had "questions that were not answered." It would take only one Republican "nay" vote to deadlock the committee.
Haven't we seen this all before? Indeed. Chafee eventually voted for Bolton in 2005 after playing similar games. This time around, though, Chafee is facing a tough reelection battle with a Sept. 12 primary and may be less inclined to support Bolton on the record. Some in the foreign policy community thought Bolton might have an easier go of it this time around, for two reasons. The first is that his confirmation vote is coming on the heels of the Israel-Lebanon war, in which Bolton was a key supporter of Israel. The second is that at least a few Dems might not want to be seen as obstructionist in this election year. Neither appears to be playing out, at least at this point.
Won't the midterms be dirty. Bush has thrown down the gauntlet. In his speech today, the president announced that he is immediately sending legislation to Congress that would allow the United States to establish military tribunals for enemy combatants - the same tribunals that the Supreme Court struck down in June (finding them unconstitutional because Congress hadn't approved them). This move is predictable. Ever since the Supreme Court decision came down, the administration has been planning to seek congressional approval. But the announcement today that more than a dozen high-value enemy combatants - including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the architects of the 9/11 attacks - have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay puts anyone wishing to debate the legality, fairness, and sensibility of these tribunals - during the fifth anniversary of 9/11 and the run-up to the midterms - in a very unenviable position. Hence the brilliant political timing.
So, it looks very likely that the administration will get to keep its closed tribunals - where those prosecuted and their counsel can be prohibited from even learning the evidence against them. I haven't yet seen the legislation in question, which could be vastly different from what ultimately emerges from Congress. But the tribunal the administration wanted initially looked a little something like this:
One can't help but wonder whether what's behind the Bush administration's recent shift in rhetoric -- redefining the war against terrorism as a new-fangled war against fascism -- is a desire to attack Iran. U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's appearance Sunday on "Meet the Press" suggests that could be the case. If anybody takes their cues from the White House/GOP playbook, it's Santorum. And, on Sunday, Santorum suggested that the way to "cure" the mess in Iraq is to attack Iran. Check out the transcript here. The particularly pertinent bits are below.
So the question is, how do we, how do we cure Iraq? Focus on Iran. We need to do something about stopping the Iranians from being the central destabilizer of the Middle East." [Note: I changed the punctuation in the first two sentences. The MTP transcript had it wrong. If you listened to Santorum, it was clear he was answering his own question.]
But understand, at the, at the heart of this war is Iran. Iran is the, is, is the problem here. Iran is the one that's causing most of the problems in, in Iraq. It is causing most of the problems, obviously, with Israel today. It is, it is the one funding these organizations. And is the, is the country that we need to focus on in this war against Islamic fascism."
Is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist about to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's quest to save the world? National Journal, a publication so insider it makes The Note look like USA Today, predicts that if Frist decides his presidential ambitions are dead in the water, “Gates will gladly bring Frist into his fold.”
The move would make sense for both men. Frist would provide Gates with better connections to the evangelicals who agree with him on ends, if not means. The Majority Leader also brings Washington savvy to the table and -- considering his family connections -- help on the logistics of healthcare. He'd also be a huge financial asset thanks to his personal fortune and fund raising skills. Working with Gates to cure AIDS, would allow Frist to remind the GOP establishment and inside-the-beltway pundits why so many of them used to be convinced he'd be president one day.
Frist is only 54, and it is not out of the question that he could make a run for president in 2016 after burnished his public image with major philanthropic achievements. But the fact that we're talking like this demonstrates just how far his star (and by association Bush's) has fallen.
In 2002, after Trent Lott shot himself in the foot, it was Karl Rove who maneuvered Frist into the Majority Leader's office. That was back when Bush had a 64 percent approval rating and the conventional wisdom in Washington was that he and Rove could pretty much hand pick a successor. (If you’d said at a cocktail party then that there’d be no Rove primary you’d have ended up covered in vol-au-vent). But Frist has been a huge disappointment as majority leader. Can you name any great achievements of the Frist-led Senate? His diagnosis by video-tape of Terri Schiavo undercut one of his strongest political suits -- a reputation for saving lives as a surgeon. He followed that up with a decision to back stem cell research, which alienated him from the hard-core Christian right and looked like an attempt to atone for his earlier error.
Having said all of that, if Frist is part of the team that helps rid the world of AIDS, he’ll leave behind more of a legacy than even storied Senate majority leaders LBJ and Mike Mansfield. He'd also trump quite a few of the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The latest Congressional hearing on immigration reform was chaired yesterday by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican from Colorado. Allard spent a bunch of taxpayer money staging a "field hearing" of the Senate Budget Committee in Aurora, Colorado. The topic? Ironically, the "cost" of illegal immigration. No senator on the committee other than Allard bothered to turn up.
I've got an idea for Sen. Allard's the next Congressional hearing on the virtues and dangers of immigration. Call Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, to testify. Ask him if he could fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without the 33,000 non-U.S. citizens currently serving in the military. After all, it is Hispanic soldiers who, according to research by demographers at the University of Pennsylvania, are doing a disproportionately high percentage of the dying in Iraq.
As Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora begs for international aid to help offset the estimated $3.6 billion dollars in damages his already economically fragile country has endured over the last few weeks, California Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos -- in a mind-boggling move -- is promising to stop a bill that would send $230 million in reconstruction funds to Lebanon. The top Democrat on the International Relations Committee, Lantos is apparently concerned about smuggling on the Syrian border and worried that Israel isn't getting enough money:
Lebanon will get help from both Europe, the Arab world and the United States. Unless the United States provides some aid to Israel, Israel recieves no aid.
Lantos needs to get his priorities straight. Smuggling is something the international community can worry about after it ensures that the Lebanese government is back on its feet and the Lebanese people are no longer dependent on Hezbollah for relief. And reconstruction money for Israel can come later: With a per capita GDP of $21,000, Israel, which is already on the U.S. dole to the tune of $2 billion a year, is more than capable of funding what little "reconstruction" it needs.
If the West is losing the Global War on Terror, as nearly all foreign policy experts now agree, who is winning? The answer appears to be Iran, according to a new report put out by Britain's preeminent think tank, Chatham House, which concludes:
There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East."
Iran...has now superseded the US as the most influential power [in Iraq]."
Critics will rightly charge that this report overestimates Iran's ability to simply run amok in the Middle East unchecked. Israel, for instance, appears to be prepared to "slow down" Iran's nuclear program, "alone," as one Israeli official put it, if need be. And U.S. Sen. John McCain sounded all but certain on "Meet the Press" last Sunday that the United States expects a military confrontation with Iran. McCain said that economic sanctions against Iran have "got to be only the first step" in confronting Iran. Then he followed up:
Well, I think that sanctions is the first step, and let's hope that they take effect, and let's hope that the Iranians will cease all of these activities. I'm very doubtful, but we have to go through a step-by-step process.
McCain didn't say what those steps will or should be. It could be that neither he nor his colleagues know. Since the beginning of 2003, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has held just nine hearings on Iran, compared to 32 on Iraq. That's worrisome. Because right now, the U.S. strategy on Iran sounds an awful lot like the one that got us into the mess in Iraq.
They say that this is the year that Democrats might retake control of the U.S. Congress. It's still hard to tell, but if this National Journal ranking of the House and Senate seats most likely to switch sides is any clue, the Dems are looking good for November.
A recent poll for The Spectator finds that 65 percent of Brits say British foreign policy should change because of the threat of terrorism. But by a margin of 53 percent to 12 they want it to become "more aggressive" not "more conciliatory." (Interestingly, women are substantially more hawkish than men, 57 percent to 49.) Furthermore, 73 percent of the public agree that "[w]e are in a World War against Islamic terrorists who threaten the West's way of life."
The poll also reveals that the public has little sympathy for civil libertarian objections to stronger anti-terror laws. A whopping 69 percent support Tony Blair's plan to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge. When the government tried to introduce this plan in the wake of the 7/7 bombing last year, its suffered its first ever Commons defeat. Fifty-five percent also support passenger profiling.
But there's a paradox in the public's attitude to the war on terror, as Allister Heath points out. Despite the fact that the public seems to be echoing much of the Blair/Bush diagnosis, only 14 percent think that "Britain should continue to align herself closely with the USA." A large part of the explanation for this is the phenomenal, verging on hysterical, dislike for George W. Bush in Britain. But there is another huge contributing factor: The feeling that Britain has been reduced to being America's poodle.
Just like that, U.S. Sen. George Allen's political future has ended.
Allen's hopes of becoming president of the United States ended yesterday in the small town of Breaks, Virginia. At a campaign rally there, Allen twice pointed to a young man of Indian descent in the crowd -- who happened to be the only minority present -- and mockingly called him "Macaca." The word, which in many countries is used as a racial slur, comes from the name of a long-tailed, crab-eating monkey found in Asia known as the macaques. Pointing to the young Indian-American, Allen employed the term:
Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."
The crowd giggled and snickered. Sadly for Sen. Allen, however, the young man, whose name is S.R. Sidarth, happened to be videotaping the event. He also happens to work for Sen. Allen's Democratic opponent.
Sen. Allen says that he was unaware of the genesis of the word and that he in no way intended it to be racially demeaning. That excuse would be easier to believe were it not coming from a U.S. senator with a penchant for collecting -- and wearing -- Confederate flags. Never mind that the young man Sen. Allen chose to belittle is both an American and a native Virginian. That any U.S. senator would speak this way should be grounds for immediate censure by his colleagues and calls for resignation within his own party. Just ask former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
"A Referendum on Iraq Policy" blares the Gray Lady's analysis piece on Joe Lieberman's defeat. But will last night have any real impact on U.S. foreign policy?
It has long been argued by more hawkish commentators that if America fails in Iraq it will likely be because of a lack of political will at home. The toppling of the former Democratic VP candidate suggests that we now have an explicitly anti-war party. But this seemingly persuasive insta-analysis doesn't work for me. First, 2 of the 5 frontrunners for the Democratic nomination are pro-war and have not recanted. Second, the fact that in a New England primary in August, Joe Lieberman scored 48 percent of the vote despite an approach to the war that bordered on the uncritical suggests that Iraq is less electorally poisonous than many in Washington had assumed.
However, Lieberman's defeat has handed Karl Rove his favorite stick with which to beat Democrats: Weakness on national security. Expect to hear a lot more of this Lamont line: "Our nation is stronger when we …negotiate with our enemies." This enables Rove to campaign on the issue that most excites the Republican base and is also one of the Republicans' best shots at keeping waverers on board. Obviously, though, if the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate at its current speed, no number of commercials asking if you trust Nancy Pelosi to keep your children safe will be able to change the conversation. Ultimately, the impact of Lamont's victory could be that it helps keep Congress in Republican hands and so allows Bush to plough on with his Iraq policy.
One of the media's favorite stories is how the internet is changing politics. This morning the press treated us to a bunch of stories about blogs and Joe Lieberman's primary battle. But whatever technology is being used, the dark arts of campaigning are quite capable of keeping up. Back in the day yard signs got stolen, leaflets pulled out of mail boxes, and the like. As recently as 2002, phone-jamming was the technologically sophisticated dirty trick. But, almost inevitably, it seems that it is now denial of service attacks.
Last night, Joe Lieberman's campaign site went down. The Hotline reported that the Lieberman campaign believes that it has been hacked. The Lamont campaign responded by saying that the reason was that Joe hadn't paid his bills. Now, Lieberman's hosting company has issued a statement saying that everything is up to date on that front. That prompted the Lamont campaign - keep with me here - to deny responsibility and urge anyone who had attacked the site to stop doing so.
Whatever has happened, it is a safe bet that, as the Internet becomes more and more important as a campaign tool, we're going to find this kind of thing happening regularly in tight and bitter contests in wired countries.
President Bush likes to say that decisions on Iraq are based on information from military leaders on the ground, not political pressures on Capitol Hill. Back in April, he said,
There's a debate going on in Washington, D.C., ...about our troop levels. Here's my answer to you: I'm not going to make decisions based upon polls and focus groups. I'm going to make my decisions based upon the recommendations of our generals on the ground. They're the ones who decide how to achieve the victory I just described. They're the ones who give me the information.
Well, Chuck Hagel begs to differ. In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald on Friday, Hagel, who opposes any sharp reduction in troop numbers, lashed out at the recently announced plan to lengthen tours of duty for soldiers in Iraq and to focus troop strength in Baghdad, away from other insurgent strongholds around the country. According to the paper:
[Hagel] said that in the previous 48 hours, he had received three telephone calls from four-star generals who were "beside themselves" over the Pentagon's reversal of plans to bring tens of thousands of soldiers home this fall....
"That isn't going to do any good. It's going to have a worse effect," Hagel said. "They're destroying the United States Army."
The fact that the Bush administration acknowledged yesterday that they'd known about Pakistan's efforts to build another large nuclear reactor - which could produce enough plutonium for 50 bombs each year - and failed to tell Congress about it would be unfortunate on any day. That this news comes just ahead of a vote in the House on the U.S.-India nuclear deal - an agreement Bush has strenuously supported - should make everyone a little suspicious. Congress shouldn't have learned about the new reactor from independent analysts who just happened to spot the construction on satellite photos.
The reactor has been under construction for awhile (that's a different plant in Pakistan pictured above) so the special treatment Pakistan's neighbor is receiving from the U.S. hasn't pushed it to break new ground. But the last thing anyone wants is a renewed South Asian arms race. Pakistan upping its weapons production is certainly something that India will pay close attention to, and something that should be considered carefully by Congress before voting on the U.S.-India deal, which allows the US to sell nuclear materials and technology to India, in exchange for safeguards on civilian nuclear facilities in India. But there's a lot of concern among experts about the continued lack of oversight over India's weapons program. In a new ForeignPolicy.com exclusive, nonproliferation experts Thomas Graham, Leonor Tomero, and Leonard Weiss debunk the so-called benefits of the deal and argue that giving India special nuclear treatment will just complicate efforts to get Iran, North Korea, and others to avoid the nuke route.
Think building an impermeable wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is a pipe dream? Not so, says Rep. Steve King (R-IA). In fact, he's "designed" one of his own. King grew up in what he calls a "law enforcement family." So he presumably knows a thing or two about illegality. And Tuesday, when he took to the House floor to talk about immigration - the illegal kind - King carried with him a model of the wall he has engineered, presumably in his spare time. Reports The Hill:
But it got really interesting when King broke out the mock electrical wiring: "I also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top."
He added, "We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time."
So there's another secret U.S. intel program out there. This is hardly a surprise, but the fact that its existence has come to light thanks to a staunch Bush ally is a bit of a shocker. The secret program, which apparently isn't warrantless surveillance or the SWIFT financial tracking program, was revealed recently to Rep. Peter Hoekstra by a government whistleblower. Hoekstra then questioned Bush about it in a letter, writing that he was deeply troubled that the administration hadn't fulfilled its duty to inform Congress of new intelligence programs used in the war on terror. The House Intelligence Committee, of which Hoekstra is chair, has since received closed briefings on program details, but this is an about-face for a congressman who has criticized whistleblowers in the past.
You have to hand it to the Supreme Court. Yes, the Hamdan decision this morning was a rebuke to the Bush administration, and Justice Breyer again invoked the lack of a "blank check" from congress after 9/11. And yes, the justices stated in no uncertain terms that treaties and statutes matter - and that they apply in the war on terror. That's not a small victory for people who believe that the Bush administration has usurped more power than is constitutionally authorized to the president. But what the court has NOT done is tell the president he can never have his military tribunals. He can simply go to congress and ask for more authority, and if congress agrees to alter the Uniform Code of Military Justice, those military tribunals are still a possibility. Jack Balkin calls it a democracy-forcing decision. The president can't decide on his own, and congress has always had the authority to regulate military justice - so the court is using the democratic process as a lever to enforce that power balance.
So, the big question: Would congress pass such an alteration to the UCMJ allowing military tribunals for enemy combatants? Will the administration even pursue such a change before the midterms? How ugly will those campaigns be if this is an election issue?
I normally hate getting up early. I am just not a morning person. But I figured the opportunity to see fomer Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright in the same room would be worth it. This morning, the two of them were joined by Edmund Giambastiani, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a roundtable discussion held by The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.
During an event last week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Morgan Stanley Chief Economist Stephen S. Roach took Washington to task.
Washington is running a [national savings] policy right now that is leaving America in the worst possible position...of any leading country....Misaligned U.S. macroeconomic policies set up this situation.
He also specifically criticized the president's grasp on trickle-down economics:
We've got a guy down there at 1600 Pennsylvania who can't figure out why the economy is booming and he gets no credit for the boom.
Why? The other economists present agreed that because of stagnant real wages over the last decade, the raw numbers technically show a strong economy but the average American doesn't see a benefit. The question is: how will the Republicans and Democrats spin it for November?
While the news from Darfur keeps getting worse, the United States seems to be the only country in the world where the atrocities resonate and trigger some sort of response. During a rally protesting the role of Sudan's government in front of its Embassy in DC, five members of Congress had themselves voluntarily arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor subject to a fine. The corageous representatives are all Democrats: Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts, and Jim Moran of Virginia (in the photo) and Tom Lantos of California.
I was having drinks on Capitol Hill last night when an excellent question arose in conversation: Why has no member of Congress stepped forward in response to allegations made by Seymour Hersh, Joe Cirincione, and others saying that the United States is preparing to go to war with Iran?
Hersh writes an article exposing abuses at Abu Ghraib and the Hill is a chorus of criticism and outrage. But he writes an article saying that the Bush administration is preparing to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran and the response is deafening silence? That doesn't make sense.
We racked our brains to think of at least one senator who has scheduled (or called for) hearings, demanded a briefing, that kind of thing. Surely there has been one? Nope -- at least not that we could think of. Sure, it's Easter recess, but that's still a sad comment on the state of Congressional oversight.
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