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Shortly after noon yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee, led by chairman John Conyers (D-MI), voted to issue contempt citations for Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten, both of whom refused to appear before the Committee to answer questioning about the US attorneys scandal. The Washington Post sums up the details nicely:
The vote represents the first concrete step toward finding Bolten and Miers in criminal contempt of Congress. The issue will next be considered by the entire House, and if a similar vote occurs there, the citations could be referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. But a floor vote appears unlikely before the end of next week, when the House recesses for a five-week summer break.
Should a floor vote actually come about, it will be the first since 1983, when EPA official Rita Lavelle was indicted for perjury and sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment.
It appears that September will be one of the most memorable months in recent political memory. The President’s pending report on Iraq is due in mid-month, and a possible historic showdown between the will of Congress and the will of the Executive will likely demonstrate the Bush administration’s continued resistance to legislative oversight. No Comment salutes Chairman Conyers’ exercise of his Congressional prerogatives, and hopes that he has begun the process of bringing the branches of the federal government back into balance.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”