AIG and the House Oversight committee have agreed to a date, May 13, on which the firm's CEO, Ed Liddy, will testify before the committee. But it looks like Liddy will be going to Washington kicking and screaming.
As we noted earlier this week, the committee invited Liddy to testify May 6, and told us that it expected to see him then. But today the Wall Street Journalreports(sub. req.) that that day "was scrapped because AIG is due to report its results for the first quarter the following day."
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared the other day on the Fox Business Channel, and during the interview she was asked exactly what she meant when she connected swine flu outbreaks to Democratic administrations. She immediately changed the subject, as you can see at the 0:55 mark:
"Well, actually, I had a full, uh, conversation that I was having with another station -- primarily about the economy, because that's what we're worried about right now," said Bachmann. "And we had just found out about the swine flu at that time, the aggressive nature of how far it was progressing. So the real topic of conversation was on the economy, as it should be. The economy right now is at a situation where we're not seeing the level of recovery that we would like to see."
She then proceeded to talk about the harmful effects of President Obama's big spending and the stimulus bill, and how without the stimulus the recovery would have already been happening.
The fun part here is that this exchange is from a clip that was posted on her own YouTube account.
The pollster asked: "Do you think Georgia would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America?" The top-line here is United States 68%, independence 27% -- but among Republicans, it's a closer U.S. 52%, independence 43%.
Respondents were then asked: "Would you approve or disapprove of Georgia leaving the United States?" Here the overall answer is approve 18%, disapprove 76% -- but among Republicans, it's approve 32%, disapprove 63%.
Look on the bright side: The Union cause is actually much stronger among Republicans here than it is in Texas, where a previous poll showed Texas GOPers evenly divided on independence, and a majority approving of Gov. Rick Perry's suggestions about seceding.
As we try to figure out just how concerned to be about swine flu (yeah, we're still calling it that, even if Obama won't), the key indicator we're all looking at is the scale of the outbreak in Mexico, where all this appears to have begun (though that's no longer certain(sub. req.)).
But the Mexican government has used several different metrics to gauge that question. And the numbers, of course, have been been constantly shifting in the last few days as the situation changes. So we thought we'd try to clear up the confusion by briefly laying out what the different numbers are, and what they mean.
Here's a weird gambit from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
As my colleague Eric Kleefeld reported earlier this week, the NRSC is running an anti-Arlen Specter robocall in Pennsylvania meant to create a chasm between the new Democrat and the voters who will select the party's nominee in the 2010 Senate race. You can listen to that call here.
But that's not the full extent of their shenanigans. They're also running a vaguely pro-Specter (but anti-Sestak) robocall at the exact same time. Take a look.
So what's the play here? That, should Sestak run, the first robocall will result (or help result) in a Sestak nomination, and that the second robocall will drive independent voters away from Sestak over to Toomey? That's the only thing I can think of, but it seems like a stretch. Then again, this is the NRSC....
Much of the day will no doubt be spent gaming the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Is it good for Democrats? For Republicans? Who will Obama nominate? How quickly and ferociously will charges of socialism and judicial activism begin to fly? And would Specter have switched parties if he'd known that he'd have had a golden opportunity to obstruct an Obama Supreme Court appointee in order to shore up his right?
All worthy questions, but all impossible to answer. At least for now.
What I want to focus on is a bit deeper in the weeds, but could prove very important, and, for Republicans, a potential source of poetic justice. (No pun intended.)
The AIPAC case -- which provided the backdrop for the current flap over Jane Harman's wiretapped conversation -- has been dropped, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
A source with intimate knowledge of the case against two ex-AIPAC staffers accused of passing along classified information says the case has been dropped.
Keith Weissman, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's former Iran analyst, and Steve Rosen, its former foreign policy chief, were charged under a rarely used section of the 1917 Espionage Act that makes it a crime for civilians to receive and distribute closely held defense information. Both men were later dismissed by AIPAC, with the organization claiming the two had violated its rules; Rosen, in turn has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against AIPAC.
Federal prosecutors reportedly had been considering dropping the criminal case in the wake of a number of recent judicial decisions that make the prosecution more difficult. Among these was an appeals court rejection of a prosecution request to review the trial judge's order that prosecutors make the case that the defendants harmed the United States and not merely benefited Israel. Some Democrats see the case as a piece with Bush-era efforts to expand government secrecy powers, but the Post quoted its sources as saying that the review would have occurred whether or not Barack Obama had won election as president.
More on this and its significance in a little while...