Kay SteigerApr 30, 2007
THE ABUSE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER. Today I attended a Center for American Progress event where Fred Schwarz and Aziz Huq (and moderated by Mort Halperin ) talked about their new book, Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror . They were inspired by the reports published by the Church Committee following the last great abuse of presidential power by Richard Nixon . They smartly note that presidential power grabs are hardly unprecedented, with some of the greatest offenders including Lincoln and FDR . What the current administration did was all in secret -- something new to the violation of constitutional powers. Further, not only were the illegal activities secret, the reasons for violating the law were also classified, and the administration intends to keep them classified indefinitely. Today, they note, both the president and the vice president have certainly committed "impeachable offenses," but the path to preventing further abuse of power is somewhat...
Kay SteigerApr 27, 2007
TENET SPEAKS. Former CIA Chief George Tenet 's regret-filled new book , At the Center of the Storm , has prompted Chairman Henry Waxman to invite him to testify before the Oversight Committee in two weeks. With all the blame he's been enduring from the Bush administration, he may actually testify, unlike other administration officials. -- Kay Steiger
Kay SteigerApr 26, 2007
FORGET DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ. This morning CNN's Michael Ware did an interview on American Morning where he (wrongly) analyzed the situation in Iraq, saying troops need to stay put. Right-wing NewsBusters quoted him as saying: �And you listen very carefully to what General Petraeus says, he says �This is what we would like to see, a representative government.� When I was in Diyala province, I interviewed a two-star general on camera for CNN, and he admitted for the first time from anyone in the military that they�re now prepared to accept options other than democracy. �Now this is what this war was sold to the American public on, yet they�re now saying democracy isn�t mandatory, it�s an option, and that they�re prepared to see a government that can protect itself, give services to its people, and it doesn�t have to be democratic. In fact, the general said, most of our allies in this region are not democratic. So that...
Kay SteigerApr 25, 2007
JUSTICIA REPRODUCTIVA. Yesterday Mexico City's elected officials overwhelmingly passed a bill that legalizes abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy within city limits. Although 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, the majority of city residents approve of the bill. Unsurprisingly, anti-choice groups plan to challenge the measure in Mexico's Supreme Court. Mexican federal law currently allows abortion in cases of rape, fetus mutation, and life of the mother. Given the bad news pro-choicers had from our own Supreme Court earlier this week, it's assuring to hear abortion laws are making progress in south of the border. -- Kay Steiger
Kay SteigerApr 24, 2007
BEHIND THE PAY GAP. I attended a hearing this morning held by the House's Education and Labor Committee that examined the Paycheck Fairness Act on this, Equal Pay Day. Though the PFA has been introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro 10 times , this is the first time the committee held a hearing. A report released yesterday by the American Association of University Women found that women one year out of a 4-year college earn 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn. When the report looks at women 10 years after graduation, women are earning 69 cents to every dollar that men earn. The most significant finding of the study, though, is that controlling for all factors , including "educational and occupational choices, as well as demographic and personal characteristics," an "unexplained" 5 percent gap exists one year out of college which widens to a 12 percent gap 10 years after college. Furthermore, as Catherine Hill , research director at AAUW testified, attending a highly-selective...