I Know What You Did Last Friday (IKWYDLF) is a semi-regular Monday blog series. Politicians, and anyone with news they have to release that they might not want to release, have historically used Fridays to reduce the exposure of said news. Important things can happen on Fridays and in IKWYDLF, we are working to make sure those stories do not disappear into the weekend ether. So take a look at the news from Friday and keep the word alive this week by writing about them, posting them on Facebook or Twitter, and making sure your friends didn't miss anything important.
Follow me below the fold for this week's goodies...
Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home: Late Thursday, Senator John Ensign announced that he would be resigning in early May. I know, I know, that's Thursday, it does not really count as a Friday news dump. Well, the dump was the Senate Ethics Committee's announcement the next day. It was an announcement that many of us did not expect:
The Senate Ethics Committee said scandal-scarred Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign made the right decision to turn in a letter of resignation Friday, and indicated a nearly two-year probe of his conduct wasn't over.
Sens. Barbara Boxer, the Democratic Ethics Committee chairman, and Johnny Isakson, the Republican committee vice chairman, issued a terse statement saying the committee had spent 22 months investigating "and will complete its work in a timely fashion." The investigation was expected to end with Ensign's resignation.
Whether or not Sen. Ensign knew the Ethics Committee would come out with that statement is unclear, but one this is clear: the timing of his announcement gave them plenty of time to make their decision on Friday. Had he announced a day later, the Committee's decision might have come out today.
Republicans Continue Fight Against 9-11 First Responders: Certainly you remember the Republican efforts to block 9-11 first responders from getting health care, but somehow we all missed this little provision:
Medical providers will soon inform 9/11 first responders about a provision in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation law that requires them to be run through the FBI's terrorism watch list before they can receive health care benefits...
The provision was tacked on by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) during the contentious fight over the bill in December, which was blocked by Republicans at the time. Stearns' amendment adds a paragraph stipulating the "disqualification of individuals on the terrorist watch list," and requiring each potential beneficiary to be run through the list.
I shit you not. "Look out! Those firefighters are probably terrorists!" No one is safe from the paranoid delusions of the RepubliConspiracy party.
McCain Lauds Arming of Taliban: Well, regardless of what you think about arming the rebels in Libya, this probably is not the best argument for it (emphasis mine):
"If the goal then is to get him out, does that ultimately mean that the U.S. could end up arming the rebels to help make that happen?" Hill asked.
"I think that that's very possible - in fact, I hope so, that if not the U.S., through other countries," McCain said. "There [are] already reports that the Egyptians have been supplying them with some weapons.
"By the way it does take time - it did during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan - but we were able to provide them with some weapons and wherewithal to cause the Russians to leave Afghanistan. So we can do it.
Oh right, I forgot about how successfully we armed the Taliban! How'd that work out again?
Fox Will Be All Over This, Right?: If you did not notice last week, something reminiscent of August, 2009 was occurring:
(There is a transcript for this video at MSNBC, if you click on the video itself it should take you to their website.)
Grijalva and the Right to Rent: Representative Raul Grijalva has introduced H.R. 1548, the "Right to Rent" bill. From his press release:
Tucson, Ariz.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva last week introduced the Right to Rent Act of 2011 (H.R. 1548), an updated version of a bill he introduced in 2009 to allow families facing foreclosure to remain in their homes as renters by paying fair market value each month. Approximately one in 175 homes in Arizona received a foreclosure filing in January, second highest in the nation behind Nevada.
The Right to Rent Act provides a strong incentive for banks or other lenders to modify mortgages to avoid becoming landlords. The bill allows a single-family homeowner who has resided in the home for at least 2 years – and purchased before 2007 at or below the median home price for thatmetropolitan area– to rent the home for up to five years.
If a lender chooses to pursue foreclosure, the family has 25 business days to choose to rent and stay in the home as tenants, preventing the social problems, crime and lowered property values that often follow vacancies. This allows children to continue attending school and provides families adequate time to prepare a transition to a more permanent situation.
This bill has been added to our lineup over at 90 Second Summaries. It is scheduled for an episode in a few weeks or so.
Say Hello To My Little Friend: The President is sending some reinforcements into Libyan air space:
Libyan rebels welcomed President Obama’s deployment of armed Predator drones and received praise from their most prominent U.S. visitor Friday, as they expressed hope that increased American support would help turn the tide in a conflict that the top U.S. military officer acknowledged is becoming deadlocked.
Racist Idiot Almost Shoots Self While Protecting Us From "Imaginary Threat": Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahaha! Ha! Okay, I'm done laughi.... hahahahahahaha! Now I'm done.
According to Southfield, Michigan police, Jones' .40-caliber handgun fired accidentally as he was leaving a television studio there on Thursday night. This is presumably the same handgun he said he intended to bring to his planned anti-sharia law protest in Dearborn, Michigan on Friday, though he's said he's come to Dearborn "totally in peace."
Police told The Detroit Free Press that Jones was getting into the passenger side of his car at 11:10 p.m. Thursday night, after an interview at the TV station, when the gun went off, putting a bullet into the floorboard.
But the money quote is at the end of the story:
"So, you are coming to protest against an imaginary threat that doesn't exist in our community," Jack O'Reilly Jr., the mayor of Dearborn, wrote to Jones in an open letter.
Shooting yourself is embarrassing. Shooting yourself while protecting a community, one that does not want your help, from a threat that the Mayor of the city calls imaginary... well I am not sure the English language has come up with an appropriate word for that. I guess we can just call it a "Terry Jones".
Burn After Reading: I sometimes read a story and have visions of the writers at the Onion trying desperately to come up with ridiculous crap that is not already true. This is one of those stories:
Turns out the CIA saves energy by shredding and burning classified documents.
A press release from the CIA explains that their "burn after reading" practice conserves energy because the exhaust from their incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA headquarters.
That's all for today folks! Don't forget to share some of these stories with your friends.