Dispatches > The Buzz

The Buzz

"The Buzz" Continued...

Issue: "'Darkest moment'," April 28, 2007


The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales April 19, probing for "gotcha" moments on the Justice Department's removal of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) pressed Gonzales on why he should not resign when so many Americans believe his continued service undermines the nonpartisan integrity of federal prosecutions. Other lawmakers challenged Gonzales to consider the credibility of the department over personal self-preservation. The embattled attorney general was visibly flustered at points but maintained that none of the firings were inappropriate. Democratic and Republican lawmakers continued to pressure President George W. Bush to dismiss his friend.


Nine Republican presidential candidates delivered short speeches in rapid succession at the Lincoln Day fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, April 14. Attendees reported that frontrunners Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney failed to stand out, leaving the race wide open for late-comer and rising star Fred Thompson. Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore landed the choice jab of the night: "Rudy McRomney is not a conservative, and he knows he's not a conservative."

The race for the Democratic primary is tightening also: In an April 15 Gallup poll, frontrunner Hillary Clinton's favorable rating among Americans dipped to 45 percent. Candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards maintain ratings above 50 percent, and Al Gore continues to draw significant support despite not yet declaring a bid.

Capitol Hill

Nine-term Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) resigned his seat on the House Appropriations Committee April 19 under scrutiny over his ties to convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. FBI agents searched the lawmaker's home April 13 for records of Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., a company run by Doolittle's wife, Julie, who was on retainer for Abramoff from 2002 to 2004. Doolittle has denied wrongdoing.

April showers

Thousands of customers remained without power nearly a week after an Atlantic coast storm dumped 8 inches of rain on communities from New Jersey to Maine. It prompted severe tidal flooding, stranded travellers along the busy northeast corridor, and killed 18.


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