The looming Constitutional battle over who can stop a war seemed to edge closer today.
A bi-partisan group of Senators dashed off a quick note to Attorney General Gonzales.
It asked him, in short, to summarize what the current transients in the White House think, about Congress's right to terminate American involvement in a foreign conflict.
Our fifth story on the Countdown: hope they included a self-addressed stamped envelope, because the administration suddenly has a lot of plates, spinning atop a lot of sticks... from Iraq, to an erupting scandal about Global Warming, to another about the insertion of political overseers in every agency of government.
On the Hill today, even the administration's pick to head up U-S Central Command warned the Senate Armed Services committee to temper expectations in Iraq.
But while most eyes are on Iraq, the Democrats might gain easier ground against the Administration on the environment instead.
This morning, the Senate started to look into capping emissions on greenhouse gases, and the House began investigating whether the White House quashed its own scientific evidence of global warming... and is still trying to cover up... the cover up.
Aside from politicians and government officials, there is one civilian, one ordinary American who is blamed more than any other by critics of the Iraq war -- for making that war possible.
Our fourth story on the Countdown: today, Judith Miller went to court -- not as a defendant, but as a possible key to the saga known as Plame-gate.
Today she became the sixth witness to testify that Libby knew about Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, before July 10th of 2003, the date Libby told investigators he learned about Plame from NBC's Tim Russert.
David Shuster gave us all the latest details.
The bare toes of a neocon Wolf and the webbed feet of a colombian chicken.
On January 18th of this year, exactly two weeks after the 110th Congress, a Democratic Congress, first convened... President Bush issued executive order 13,422.
In among the legalese of executive order 13,422, is our third story tonight: It is language that constitutes what appears to be not only another presidential attempt to weaken the Congress, but also opens the door for potential threats to the health and safety of every American.
Here's what's at stake. Every year, the people's representatives pass laws to protect the people from dangerous or unfair practices of their bosses, big business, special interests and so on. You may have read about this in school. Government agencies then figure out how best to execute those laws. The classic example is regulating corporations to prevent them from doing things like using lead paint or asbestos insulation, or poisoning fish with mercury.
In one fell swoop, executive order 13,422 changes all that.
Here are Mr. Bush's magic words: "Each agency head shall designate one of the agency's Presidential Appointees to be its Regulatory Policy Officer."
Meaning every new rule at every federal agency will now have to go through a political appointee chosen solely, and unaccountably, by the president.
What could possibly go wrong?
It has been identified as a religious shrine, a place for human sacrifice. In the days of legend, the product of the magic of Merlin The Wizard. About a month ago, a story that it was actually a hospital.
In our number two story on the Countdown: now the results of an archaeological dig have suggested yet another explanation. A kind of Beverly Hills 2000 B-C.
Lester Holt had the report.
Dick Morriss just can't let go of a good smear, no matter how untrue it may be -- and "Three Dollar" Bill O'Reilly, still blaming the victim and fleecing the troops
Keith's Special Comment, on Presidents and terrorism.
And on the seemingly trivial fact that West Yorkshire in England, has a new Chief Police Constable.
Upon his appointment, Sir Norman Bettison made one of the strangest comments of the year: "The threat of terrorism," he says, "is lurking out there like Jaws 2."
Sir Norman did not exactly mine the richest ore for his analogy of warning. A critic once said of the flopping sequel to the classic film: "You're gonna need a better screenplay."
But this obscure British police official has reminded us, that terrorism is still being sold to the public in that country -- and in this -- as if it were a thrilling horror movie, and we were the naughty teenagers about to be its victims.
And it underscores the fact that President Bush took this tack, exactly a week ago tonight, in his terror-related passage in the State of the Union, a passage that was almost lost amid all the talk about Iraq and health care and bi-partisanship and the fellow who saved the stranger from an oncoming subway train in New York City.
But a passage -- ludicrous and deceitful... Frightening in its hollow conviction...
Frightening, in that the President who spoke it...tried for "Jaws"... but got "Jaws 2."
GN&GL...you can continue the discussion at Countdown Nation