BP Woes Deepen With New Probe
"Federal investigators are examining whether BP PLC manipulated crude-oil and unleaded-gasoline markets, signaling a rise in regulatory scrutiny of the British energy giant, said lawyers and traders close to the case.
"BP, which has been summoned before Congress next week over problems in its Alaska pipeline operations, already faces a civil complaint filed by federal commodities regulators for allegedly manipulating much of the U.S. market for propane. The separate investigations on crude oil and gasoline could intensify public and political pressure on BP because these markets are bigger and directly affect most American households." (WSJ)
Beyond Macaca: The Photograph That Haunts George Allen
In 1996, George Allen, now running for re-election to his Senate seat in Virginia, made common cause with the right-wing white supremacist group, Council of Conservative Citizens. That past that's come back to haunt him, as he tries to overcome the damage he wrought with a single unthinking word. (The Nation)
Frist Medical License Renewal Questioned
"Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist acknowledged Tuesday that he may not have met all the requirements needed to keep his medical license active â even though he gave paperwork to Tennessee officials indicating that he had. . . .
"Starting with renewal applications filed in January 2005, the state required doctors to have completed 40 hours of continuing education in the two years that preceded their filing.
"A renewal application Frist filed with the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in February of this year specifically mentions the continuing education requirement and bears his signature." (AP)
Marine Who Led Haditha Attack Was Recommended for Medal
"The platoon commander for the squad of Marines who killed as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians during an attack in Haditha last year recommended later that the sergeant who led the attack receive a medal for his heroism that day, according to military documents.
"Lt. William T. Kallop wrote in a praise-filled memo that the incident on Nov. 19, 2005, was part of a complex insurgent ambush that included a powerful roadside bomb followed by a high volume of automatic-weapons fire from several houses in the neighborhood. He lauded Sgt. Frank Wuterich for his leadership in the "counterattack" on three houses while the unit received sporadic enemy fire." (WPost)
Everybody, Brother Confirm: Armitage Was Source of Plame Leak
"Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the C.I.A. leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday.
"Mr. Armitage did not return calls for comment. But the lawyer and other associates of Mr. Armitage have said he has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a Central Intelligence Agency officer." (NYTimes)
Judge to Rule Soon on Wiretap Lawsuit
"A federal judge suggested Tuesday that he would try to keep alive a lawsuit that challenges President Bush's domestic wiretapping program, while taking steps not to disclose classified information.
"U.S. District Judge Garr King said he expected to render his decision next week in a case involving an Oregon-based Islamic charity that the government said had links to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The charity believes it was illegally wiretapped and says a document the government accidentally gave to its lawyers in 2004 bolsters its case." (AP)
Ex-aide to Rep. Doggett Sentenced
"A former aide to Rep. Lloyd Doggett was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday to stealing $168,000 from the congressman's campaign....
"She pleaded guilty to a count of felony misapplication of funds. She must serve four years' probation and pay $123,000 more in restitution. She already has returned $45,000 to the campaign.
"Her attorney, Charles Grigson, earlier said that Willis had a spending addiction due to a psychological problem and that she was seeking professional help." (AP)
FEC Won't Ease Limits on Interest Groups
"Federal election regulators refused to ease limits on political advertising Tuesday, blocking an effort to let interest groups run radio and television ads mentioning elected officials within weeks of an election." (AP)
Ex-FEMA Chief Blames Administration
"Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who lost his job because of Hurricane Katrina, said Tuesday his biggest regret a year later is that he wasn't candid enough about the lack of a coherent federal response plan.
"'There was no plan. ... Three years ago, we should have done catastrophic planning," Brown said, charging that the Bush administration and his department head, Michael Chertoff, "would not give me the money to do that kind of planning.'" (AP)
NSA Suit Plaintiffs Subpeona White House
"The subpoenas, directed to President George Bush, the White House Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice, and the Chief Legal Counsel for Verizon, seek a variety of information regarding 'any ongoing or continuing, policy, contract, transaction, continuing transfer of data or records or other similar or analogous arrangement or understanding' betwen the US government and Verizon, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, BellSouth, Cellco, Sprint and Sprint Nextel." (Raw Story)
Montana GOP Pols returning campaign money from Accused Fraudster Pat Davison
"Montana's congressional members said Monday they are donating to charity or returning campaign donations they received from Pat Davison, the former GOP gubernatorial candidate under suspicion for fraud.
"The campaign for Republican U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, where Davison was a fundraiser until recently, said it had returned the campaign money on Friday. Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who received less money from Davison, said he donated the money Monday morning to a charity." (AP)
Island Territory -- A Former Abramoff Client -- Loses Federal Aid
"The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, the war on terrorism and Hurricane Katrina relief are the three main reasons why the millions of dollars the Northern Marianas government requested from the U.S. Congress will not pass this year." (Pacific Magazine)
Book Alleges Mob Ties to Former Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown
"A book scheduled for release next week revives decades-old allegations that Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, during his years as California governor, maintained political links to. . . figures with alleged ties to organized crime.
"Brown's opponent in the attorney general's race, Republican state Sen. Chuck Poochigian of Fresno, intends to shine a spotlight on the book, 'Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America's Hidden Power Brokers.'" (LATimes)