May 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - During the 2010 campaign, Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from Sherman Oaks, joked, "Every time I try to encourage the White House to do more to help us elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, I send them a picture of Darrell Issa with the word 'subpoena' underneath. " Issa, who has headed the House's top investigative committee since his party won control of the chamber in 2010, has lived up to Sherman's expectations. The Republican from Vista in San Diego County has become the Obama administration's chief antagonist in Congress.
May 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Three years ago, the Obama administration brought criminal charges under the Espionage Act against Thomas Drake, an Air Force veteran and intelligence expert at the National Security Agency in Maryland. He was not accused of aiding the enemy or of revealing national secrets. He had, however, helped a Baltimore Sun reporter reveal a billion-dollar boondoggle at the NSA - a computerized data-scanning system that never worked as planned. The case against Drake collapsed on the eve of his trial when it was revealed that the information was not classified.
May 18, 2013 |
TUCSON - Young people granted immigration relief and work permits under a new Obama administration program still won't be able to obtain driver's licenses in Arizona, a federal judge has ruled. Although the decision is a win for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who issued the executive order denying driver's licenses to this particular group, it's just the first battle in a case that will probably be argued on constitutional grounds. U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell on Thursday turned down a request for a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer's order but stated that the plaintiffs - a contingent of immigrant rights groups - would probably prevail on their claim that the governor's order violates guarantees of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama said Friday he wanted to put more Americans to work by slashing the amount of time it takes to grant federal approval for big job-creating projects. But Obama's choice of venue for his remarks - a Baltimore company that makes mining and pumping equipment - provided fodder for Republicans. They noted that the company president had, just the day before, testified on Capitol Hill in support of the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration has delayed for years over environmental concerns.
May 15, 2013 |
When the government obstructs the ability of a news organization to do its job, the most important victims are not journalists but readers. That's why long-standing guidelines set clear limits on how Justice Department prosecutors are expected to behave when interacting with the news media. "In recognition of the importance of freedom of the press to a free and democratic society," the government's own rules say, subpoenas for reporter's records or notes must be personally authorized by the attorney general, may be issued only after other sources are exhausted and are expected to be limited in scope to avoid gratuitous invasion into news gathering.
May 13, 2013 |
The use of unmanned aircraft to kill suspected terrorists, a practice that has dramatically escalated during the Obama administration, is receiving fresh and welcome scrutiny in Congress and elsewhere even as the number of drone strikes seems to be on the decline. Last week, Rep. William M. "Mac" Thornberry (R-Texas), the chairman of a House armed services subcommittee, introduced legislation to require the Pentagon to promptly inform Congress about every drone strike outside Afghanistan as well as about operations to kill or capture terrorists away from declared war zones.