The Daily Muck

Views

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is proposing legislation that would place limits on the administration’s ability to use the state secrets privilege to argue for the dismissal of lawsuits on the grounds that revealing evidence would endanger national security. The bill would require the administration to allow the court to review the evidence it claims should be privileged. In the past, the Bush administration has invoked the privilege without making all the evidence in question available to the court. (AP)

Last year only one campaign – that of Hillary Clinton – rented out the mailing list of her donors. The brokerage company that rented the list – for a song – is a subsidiary of a massive data-collection company, Info U.S.A. Info U.S.A.’s CEO Vin Gupta has spent $900,000 flying the Clintons on private jets, donated more than $1 million to the Clinton’s New Year’s party, contributed more than $1 million to Bill Clinton’s presidential library, and paid Bill Clinton millions in consulting fees. The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun an informal inquiry into Gupta’s corporate spending on behalf of the Clintons. (NPR)

United States attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie, Jr. who has had a successful career prosecuting corruption in New Jersey, is himself facing heightened scrutiny after it was revealed that he awarded former Attorney General John Ashcroft – who was once Christie’s boss – a no-bid contract worth at least $28 million to monitor a settlement between the government and a medical supply company. Democrats also contend that Christie, a Republican who worked on the campaign staff of former President George H.W. Bush and was a fundraiser for President George W. Bush in 2000, has engaged in partisanship while carrying out the duties of his office. (New York Times)After John McCain’s (R-AZ) victory in the Potomac primary the senator was joined on stage by Fred Malek, his national finance co-chair and President Nixon’s “Jew Counter.” As personnel chief for Nixon, Malek investigated Nixon’s suspicions about a “Jewish cabal” in the Bureau of Labor Statistics that was making him look bad. Malek also worked for CREEP, ran a program that was extensively investigated by the Senate Watergate committee, and was arrested – as a child – for “killing, skinning, and barbecuing a dog.” (Huffington Post)

The Congressional fundraising season is in full swing, but members of the press are not on the guest lists. A Politico reporter who attempted to attend fundraisers for Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH) was asked to leave both events. (The Politico)

Despite the fact that the Federal Drug Administration received about 350 reports of health problems associated with the blood thinning drug heparin, the FDA has admitted that it has never inspected the Chinese facility that manufactures the drug for Baxter International. In the wake of four deaths and hundreds of illness associated with heparin, the FDA announced that “preparations are being made to perform an inspection as soon as possible.” (Reuters)

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has mistakenly jailed and sometimes deported U.S. citizens after confusing them with illegal immigrants. Though the agency’s deputy director of detention and removal services asserts that such occurrences are rare, just last month a U.S. citizen from Minnesota and Georgia was detained for weeks and threatened with deporting to Russia. (McClatchy)