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“On their face, the numbers don’t seem big, but there are millions more budgeted for the Office of Homeland Security, and we don’t know where that money is going,” says a senior Republican Appropriations Committee aide. “Ridge won’t even meet with us over these issues. It’s frustrating.”
Apparently, Ridge is willing to meet with members of the House and Senate: White House logs indicate that he has held more than 50 meetings there with many senators and congressmen. He’s also met numerous times with them up on the Hill. But according to a legislative affairs staffer in the White House, Ridge is under strict orders from senior White House adviser Karl Rove to ignore all formal invitations to testify before congressional committees.
Why? “If Ridge did it, then people like Rove would have to do it too,” says the staffer.
Ridge was not confirmed by the Senate, thus he is not required to appear before that body. The same goes for Rove and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. “We don’t want to set any precedents,” says the White House source.
For now, though, sights are set on Ridge. Senate Democrats have been threatening to slap Ridge with a subpoena, but have yet to do so. Ridge yesterday offered to appear in a public but noncommittee setting on Capitol Hill to address Senate and House leaders and answer their questions . Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle turned down that deal. “He wants to get Ridge under oath,” says a Senate Democratic leadership staffer. “They want to embarrass him and the administration.”
As he explains, Democrats are looking for ways to criticize the administration’s war effort without appearing to be directly attacking President Bush.p> DICK, HILLARY AND HAROLD br> Apparently, just in case she decides not to run, Sen. Hillary Clinton is staking a claim in a Democratic presidential candidate: Dick Gephardt . While Gephardt has more than enough political contacts from his previous forays in presidential politics and his years on the Hill, Hillary is said by several of Gephardt’s staffers to have helped set up a meeting between their boss and longtime Clinton friend and political adviser Harold Ickes
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?