Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is one of the many administration officials benefiting from the "I do not recall" defense. On Wednesday, as Congress rushed to finish the summer session before the August break, the House Oversight Committee gathered to question Rumsfeld and three high-level generals about Corporal Patrick Tillman's death.
TELL ME, PETRAEUS. A WaPo's webcast interview yesterday with Democratic whip James Clyburn suggested that a positive report from Gen. Petraeus could cause a boondoggle for the 47 blue dog Democrats in the House, without whom it will be impossible to pass any kind of timetable for withdrawal. The report from Petraeus is expected to be mixed, given little subsiding of violence in Iraq, but some forecast a slightly more positive review.
VETO POWER. On Friday the White House announced that even if Congress passes legislation reversing the Ledbetter ruling, Bush will veto it. The statement (pdf) said such legislation would "serve to impede justice" and "allegations from thirty years ago or more could be resurrected and filed in federal courts." The basic argument the right is making on this (on the Court and in the White House) is that 180 days is more than enough time for a discrimination filing to take place (even though most states already allow for up to 300 days) .
TAKING THE VA TO COURT. The BBC reports veterans are suing the VA over denied mental health treatment and disability pay. This is more evidence that the VA is too understaffed (despite the fact that they are leaders in post traumatic stress disorder treatment) to deal with the influx of former soldiers suffering from PTSD. It will be interesting to see how the courts deal with such a case. If they throw it out, the only recourse is to put pressure on Congress to pass legislation which would increase funding for disability pay and treatment for veterans with PTSD.
CONGRESSIONAL WITHOUT AID. The WaPo has a large feature today on members of Congress who are moms. The piece focuses a lot on the guilt of being a working mother and how difficult it is to commute a long distance far away from a family, with quotes like:
"It feels like someone's ripping my heart out," [Debbie Wasserman Schultz] said. "No matter how good your spouse is, kids want their mom when they're sick."