Monday, April 09, 2007

News Quotes

Scandal Puts Spotlight on Christian Law School
"Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn't pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions. But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website." (Boston Globe)
Attorney Inquiry Touches a Pillar of New Mexico
"The seat of federal justice in Albuquerque is named for Senator Pete V. Domenici, a former mayor and native son who has showered New Mexico with federal money during his decades in Washington and was rewarded by having his name adorn the United States courthouse. But a brief telephone call last year from Mr. Domenici to a federal prosecutor, David C. Iglesias, has become a central element of a Congressional inquiry into the dismissal of Mr. Iglesias and seven other United States attorneys." (NY Times)
Deputies to a US Attorney Step Down
"Rachel K. Paulose's swearing in on March 9 as the United States attorney in Minneapolis stirred debate in local legal circles because of the ceremonial trappings. But the complaints about Ms. Paulose's investiture seem mild in comparison with the uproar ignited on Thursday, when three of her top deputies stepped down from their leadership positions." (NY Times)
Gonzales Crams for a Senate Grilling
"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has virtually wiped his public schedule clean to bone up for his long-awaited April 17 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee—a session widely seen as a crucial test as to whether he will survive the U.S. attorney mess. But even his own closest advisers are nervous about whether he is up to the task." (Newsweek)
White House Looked Past Alarms on Kerik
"When former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani urged President Bush to make Bernard B. Kerik the next secretary of homeland security, it did not take White House aides long to compile an extensive dossier of damaging information about the would-be Cabinet officer. Several White House aides tried to raise red flags. But the normal investigation process was short-circuited." (Washington Post)
Giuliani: More Trouble for Kerik
"Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani recent apologies for nominating Bernard Kerik have not staunched the flow of embarrassing revelations. New questions have surfaced about why Kerik's nomination was withdrawn less than a week after it was announced. " (Newsweek)
Guantanamo Detainees Resume Hunger Strike
"Terrorism suspects at a maximum-security prison at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have resumed a mass hunger strike to protest the conditions of their confinement, detainees' lawyers said Sunday. The on-again, off-again action involving at least 20 prisoners over the last few months started after more than 170 of the 385 men currently detained at Guantanamo were moved to the newest and harshest facility, Camp 6." (LA Times)
Soldier Recounts Abuse at Walter Reed
"Two months before Mario Alberto Echeverri administered a sleep disorder test to an Army corporal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the medical technician had been arrested for fondling the groin of a U.S. Park Police officer. Seventeen months before, Echeverri had been observed touching a Walter Reed patient inappropriately and was warned against such behavior. Two years before, he had been accused of improperly touching a patient at a private sleep center in Gaithersburg." (Washington Post)
Army is Cracking Down on Deserters
"Army prosecutions of desertion and other unauthorized absences have risen sharply in the last four years, resulting in thousands more negative discharges and prison time for both junior soldiers and combat-tested veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army records show. The increased prosecutions are meant to serve as a deterrent to a growing number of soldiers who are ambivalent about heading — or heading back — to Iraq and may be looking for a way out, several Army lawyers said in interviews." (NY Times)
Frosh Calls for Ethics Overhaul
"Seeking to fulfill their campaign promises, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) and several of his party's most vulnerable freshmen quietly introduced a bill before the Easter recess to eliminate the ethics committee and replace it with an independent outside commission made up of former Members who are not lobbyists." (Roll Call)
Building Influence
"The Lewis Group of Companies in Southern California has built thousands of homes and dozens of shopping centers, office buildings and industrial parks from the San Gabriel Valley to the High Desert. But the Upland-based company has helped shape more than the region's physical landscape. The political presence of the Lewis Group in the Inland Empire is unmistakable. During the past six years, the company and its top executives have given nearly $2.3 million to political campaigns and causes ranging from city council races to the area's representatives in Congress." (San Bernadino Sun)
Kontogiannis an Enigmatic Figure in Cunningham Case
"An alleged co-conspirator in the sordid bribery tale of Randy Cunningham remains an enigmatic yet key figure in what federal officials have said is the single-largest case of congressional corruption in U.S. history. The alleged co-conspirator, New York businessman Thomas Kontogiannis, has so far escaped indictment despite being accused of having helped to steer more than $500,000 in illicit money to the former North County Republican congressman ---- who now resides in an Arizona prison." (North County Times)


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