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Thursday, October 25, 2007


"A Lot of Low-Hanging Fruit"

The item about Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in the Washington Post warmed the cockles of my heart. Reading about Blackwater, what the Bush administration has wrought in Iraq, VP Cheney and the darksiders clamoring for military action against Iran can make one feel sort of hopeless about the state of affairs. Then comes Jonathan Weisman's report and it feels as though all is not lost. The evil acts of the neocons cannot be undone but Waxman is going to make sure that they face the harsh glare of testifying before the House Oversight Committee. ""We have to let people know they have someone watching them after six years with no oversight at all," said Waxman, 68. "And we've got a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick."

Washington Post

Today, Rice will finally appear. But Waxman (D-Calif.) has not spent the week on a victory lap. He has found time to produce evidence accusing State Department security contractor Blackwater Worldwide of tax evasion, to fire off a letter to Rice demanding information about alleged mismanagement of a $1 billion contract to train Iraqi police, and to hold a hearing on uranium poisoning on Navajo land.

Waxman has become the Bush administration's worst nightmare: a Democrat in the majority with subpoena power and the inclination to overturn rocks. But in Waxman the White House also faces an indefatigable capital veteran -- with a staff renowned for its depth and experience -- who has been waiting for this for 14 years.

These days, the 16-term congressman is always ready with a hearing, a fresh crop of internal administration e-mails or a new explosive report. And he has more than two dozen investigations underway, on such issues as the politicization of the entire federal government, formaldehyde in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers, global warming, and safety concerns about the diabetes drug Avandia.


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