Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Short Takes

First, some good ones from today's NYTimes:

- Carl Hulse on the earmark-combating efforts, noting some recently-unveiled specific proposals to deal with the issue. Particularly noteworthy are a measure introduced by Rep. Flake in the House that would "require that earmarks be included in the legislative language of bills rather than accompanying Congressional reports, and he would create a procedure to challenge the spending on the floor" and one from Senators Lott and Feinstein in the Senate to "allow senators to object to any earmarks added in the final stages of negotiations and force sponsors to win at least 60 votes to retain them." The Senate measure would also "require that the final version of legislation be available for at least 24 hours before a floor vote and that the sponsor of each earmark be included along with a justification." While I favor a longer sunshine period (72 hours would be more appropriate, in my view), 24 would be better than nothing.

- Rep. Heather Wilson of NM, who chairs the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, called Tuesday for a full-scale inquiry into the Administration's wiretapping program. Wilson, a former National Security Council aide, said she has "serious concerns" about the program, and wants the House Intelligence Committee to undertake a "painstaking review" of the whole thing. I agree with Rep. Wilson, and hope she can persuade others on the Intel Committee.


- Haley Barbour will not run for president in '08.
- Alan at Maverick Views has a good post on the wiretapping controversy.
- Joe Gandelman covers the latest exit from NASA orbit.


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