TPM News

The Justice Department is being urged to probe claims that emails written by John Yoo could not be provided to internal investigators because they had been deleted and were unrecoverable.

As we reported last week, the Office of Professional Responsibility noted in its report on the Torture Memos:

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The ethics committee's official report admonishing Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), released late last night, concludes that Rangel's staff knew that two Caribbean junkets were paid for by corporations, in violation of House rules.

In another development, the committee is referring to the Justice Department the matter of three employees of Carib News -- which sponsored the trips -- who allegedly submitted false information to the committee during pre-travel review for the trips in question.

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Biden To Unveil New Rules On Retirement Savings Vice President Biden is set to unveil new regulations to protect workers' retirement savings accounts. "These new safeguards will protect workers from conflicts of interest when it comes to financial advisers and their 401(k)s and IRAs," an anonymous White House official told Reuters.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 10:35 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 11:05 a.m. ET. Obama will meet at 11:35 a.m. ET with senior advisers. Obama and Vice President Biden will meet at 2 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At 4:40 p.m. ET, Obama will deliver remarks and sign an executive order for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), a participant in yesterday's health care summit, and a long-time advocate of reform, believes the Republicans' stubborn performance was enough to unite feuding House Democrats and Senate Democrats. The two camps are suffering from a crisis of trust after a contentious year--a schism that will have to be bridged if health care is to pass.

Last night, after a late vote, I caught Rockefeller in the hallway just off the Senate floor and asked him how Democrats plan to come together in the wake of the summit. "Well, to be honest with you, I think today as we all sat and watched what unfolded, I think that there was a feeling that there was more of a bonding between House and Senate Democrats and that the Republicans acted so irresponsibly, it was stunning actually," Rockefeller said.

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Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) wasn't the only member left speechless by a hard Democratic retort at today's health care summit. House Minority Leader John Boehner and Rep. David Camp (R-MI) were given a stiff rebuke by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for falsely characterizing the Democrats' health care reform proposals.

To Boehner, Pelosi set the record straight on the question of public funding of abortion. "The law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion, and there is no public funding of abortion in these bills and I don't want our listeners or viewers to get the wrong impression," she said.

And to Camp, she insisted his claims about the bills' proposed cuts to Medicare were false. "You said that the Medicare cuts in this bill cut benefits for seniors," Pelosi said. "They do not. They do not."


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The AP is reporting that the House ethics panel has found Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) accepted trips to the Caribbean "in violation of House rules that forbid hidden financing by corporations."

The ethics panel announced it was looking at the trips, sponsored by an organization called the Carib News Foundation, in June. Four other House Dems, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, took similar trips; but the AP says the other members have been cleared.

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Last December, Paulding County lost its representative in the Georgia House when he resigned in a high profile sex and conflict-of-interest scandal.

Glenn Richardson, the family-values Republican who represented the county and was speaker of the house, stepped down after his ex-wife publicly accused him of having "a full-out affair" with a lobbyist while he was married.

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Sen. John McCain took the lead today challenging President Obama on health care reform - and this afternoon went after Obama's past opposition to the majority party using the so-called "nuclear option" on passing judges through the Senate.

McCain (R-AZ) said his party wants to "start over" but then turned to the process.

"I understand the frustration the majority feels when they can't get their agenda through," McCain said. He said "never" has reconciliation been used for "an issue of this magnitude."

"I think it could harm the future of our country," he said.

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Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, issued today the following statement on the health care summit:

We appreciate President Obama's attempt to reach out to Republicans one more time, but today's bipartisan summit proved the GOP is committed to little else than repeating the same stale talking points.

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