The New York City police are requesting surveillance powers so broad even the Bush Department of Justice -- not usually known as a staunch defender of civil liberties -- is balking. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has rejected surveillance warrants, which officials told the New York Times included taps on phones in public places, a move that is drawing the ire of the local police. Mukasey must approve the proposals before they can be submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for the official go-ahead. (New York Times)
Auto industry CEOs flew private jets to Washington to plead for $25 billion in federal bailout funds, the latest public relations misstep by corporate leaders in need of help from Washington. Mortgage company AIG, the recipient of more than $150 billion in public money, earned headlines earlier this fall for its lavish executive retreats. "It's like seeing people show up at soup kitchens in top hats and tuxedos," gloated Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY). (Portfolio)
Former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (D), Obama's pick for secretary of health and human services, serves on the Mayo clinic board and advises healthcare clients for a law and lobbying firm, ties that could test the president's promise that "no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years," writes the New York Times.
Defense lawyers yesterday toured Camp 7, part of the Guantanamo complex designated for "high value" detainees that had been off-limits since it opened two years ago. Meanwhile, the only Guantanamo detainee convicted of a terrorism offense, a former kangaroo skinner from Australia, made his first public statements since the trial. David Hicks, who asked that Australian authorities lift a control order on him, pleaded guilty in 2007 to training with al Qaeda and meeting Osama bin Laden, whom police said he described as "lovely." (AP/Reuters)
Developers are using Native American land to circumvent local regulations and build controversial projects, like landfills and coal mines, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity. Projects that have gone forward with this strategy have drawn opposition from neighbors, lawmakers, and federal officials. Native American lands are technically independent from the U.S. (Center for Public Integrity)