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Back in May, I requested an interview with Congressman John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and received a quick “yes” from his office. I was told that conducting the interview by e-mail would be quicker than waiting for a meeting with the congressman, so I sent over a list of six questions as requested. Since then, I have asked repeatedly for the promised replies and was assured that they would be forthcoming. My most recent request was sent to Melanie Roussell, a spokeswoman at the Judiciary Committee, on July 23rd. She apologized for letting “this slip through the cracks” and said she would “follow up . . . later today.” That’s the last I’ve heard, and as it’s now been four months since I made the original request I’ve decided to just go ahead and post the questions that I was told Congressman Conyers would be happy to answer. Several, as you’ll see, have been overtaken by events.
If the congressman would like to reply I’d be happy to fill in the blanks.
If President Bush wants Attorney General Gonzales to remain on the job and the Senate’s vote of No Confidence doesn’t produce his resignation, will the Judiciary Committee seek to impeach him?
When Monica Goodling testified, she was asked a single question about her dealings with Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, and she gave a brush off answer. Does the committee plan to follow up on this angle? Does the congressman believe that Rove and/or Miers are important figures in this story?
Is President Bush (and/or Vice President Cheney) guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors in regard to leading the country into the war in Iraq?
Polls show that impeachment of President Bush is supported by a notable section of the public. Why isn’t impeachment on the table? Have the Democrats decided for political reasons that impeachment should not be pursued? Was the congressman pressured by the party leadership to steer clear of the topic, as has been reported?
Some watchdog groups criticized the congressman for opposing a measure in the ethics bill that would have extended the revolving door ban to two years? Why did the congressman oppose that step –especially at a time that the public appears to be so cynical about political corruption and supportive of stricter ethics rules?
The congressman has announced that he will hold hearings on climbing gasoline prices. What’s the biggest factor behind the rise in prices?
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
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.”