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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
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
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 naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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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.”