Dan is Mother Jones' deputy DC bureau chief. He is the New York Times best-selling author of Sons of Wichita(Grand Central Publishing), a biography of the Koch brothers that is now out in paperback. Email him at dschulman (at) motherjones.com.
The U.S Attorney firings provide more evidence of the Bush administration avoiding its own email system (and accountability, posterity, prosecution).
Daniel SchulmanMar. 30, 2007 3:00 AM
On February 6, 2003, lobbyist Jack Abramoff sent an email to his former executive assistant Susan Ralston, who had since gone on to work for Karl Rove, requesting that she pass along an important message to her boss. A Louisiana Indian tribe, the Jena band of Choctaws, was seeking to acquire land for a casino, a project at odds with the interests of Abramoff's tribal clients who feared it would siphon business from their own gaming establishments. Abramoff wanted Rove to intercede and "to get some quiet message from the WH [White House] that this is absurd." After Ralston agreed to pass along word, Abramoff replied to thank her. But he slipped up.
Ever since the days of James Monroe, presidents have used signing statements to comment on new laws. Over the nation's first two centuries, such statements had challenged a total of 600 statutes; the Bush administration alone has challenged 800 statutes. This staggering total, and the way the White House has used them to essentially claim that Congress has no power over its decisions, has alarmed constitutional scholars, lawyers, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Below, a sampling:
After a month of testimony, which at times offered an inside glimpse of the Bush administration as its case for invading Iraq began to unravel, a jury will now decide the fate of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr. Jurors will have to choose between the competing narratives offered by the prosecution and the defense, deliberating on whether the vice presidents former chief of staff invented an elaborate cover story to mask his involvement in the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, or, alternately, misremembered details of his conversations with reporters and government officials during June and July 2003. Is this "a case about lying," as prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg argued yesterday, making his closing argument? Or is it, as defense lawyer Ted Wells told the jury with trademark flourish, a case about "he-said-she-said," one "about different recollections between Mr. Libby and some reporters"?
Addressing a handpicked crowd of neocons, Bush ramps up pressure on Karzai and NATO.
Daniel SchulmanFeb. 15, 2007 4:00 AM
With Iraq dominating the debate in Congress and the Bush administration both publicly and anonymously pressing the case that Iran is equipping insurgents, one could be forgiven for forgetting about a little place called Afghanistan. Before the war on terror became a boundless, amorphous struggle, one that is now destined to be measured not in years but in generations, this formed the conflict's central front. But, after spending the past few years focusing almost exclusively on Iraq, it was to this neglected frontwhere the Taliban is again on the rise, warlords reign, and the heroin trade is flourishingthat President Bush returned, rhetorically at least, today.
House committee takes the road privatization juggernaut public.
Daniel SchulmanFeb. 13, 2007 4:00 AM
If today's hearing by the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit is any indication, proponents of highway privatization could face a bumpy road ahead. Chaired by Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat, the committee heard testimony on the public policy implications of so-called public-private partnerships, an increasingly popular financing model in which cash-strapped state and local governments invite the private sector to both lease existing toll roads and build and operate new ones. DeFazio has long expressed skepticism about such deals, once describing the privatization of highways in Chicago and Indiana as a "scam" during an interview with Mother Jones.