- - Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Bachmann: Migraines not a factor in ‘12 bid

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, moved swiftly Tuesday to address questions about her history of severe headaches, saying they wouldn’t affect her ability to serve as president.

The congresswoman and White House contender rejected suggestions that migraines would prevent her from waging a rigorous campaign or from running the country if she wins.

“Let me be abundantly clear: My ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief,” Mrs. Bachmann said in a statement issued through her campaign.

She insisted that her symptoms are controlled with prescription medication and have not gotten in the way of a packed presidential campaign schedule or impaired her service in Congress.

Mrs. Bachmann’s statement followed a report published late Monday by the Daily Caller saying Mrs. Bachmann’s past migraines have led to hospitalizations and left her “incapacitated.” The online publication granted anonymity to former aides who described specific instances where Mrs. Bachmann was reportedly sidelined by severe headaches.

Campaign aides told reporters they have no plans to release a detailed medical history. Neither they nor Mrs. Bachmann disputed accounts that she sought out urgent medical treatment during past migraine episodes.


West denounces Fla. Democrat as ‘vile, despicable, cowardly’

A Republican congressman turned to email on Tuesday to call a Democratic colleague from the state “vile, despicable and cowardly” after she criticized his stance on Medicare when he was away from the House floor.

Rep. Allen West of Florida wasn’t shy about his contempt, sending his peppery email to numerous lawmakers as well as his target, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

The email said: “Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up.”

Mr. West said Mrs. Wasserman Schultz has proved “that you are not a Lady” and “shall not be afforded due respect from me!” He said he was alerting House leaders to her “heinous characterless behavior.”

Mrs. Wasserman Schultz had no immediate reaction.


Government lawyers amend anthrax-lawsuit filing

The Justice Department corrected a legal filing Tuesday to reassert its conclusion that a lone federal scientist staged the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others.

Court papers the department submitted last Friday suggested that the government had altered its position regarding circumstantial evidence pointing to Dr. Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator. On Tuesday, the department said that it was not altering its position and that the earlier filing contained “inaccurate information.”

Tuesday’s Justice Department correction involved whether a containment laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md., where Ivins worked, had equipment that could be used to turn anthrax from a liquid into the powder form used in the attacks.

The Friday filing said the containment lab did not have the equipment - a statement sharply at odds with the conclusion of the FBI criminal investigation of Ivins, who committed suicide as the probe centered on him.

Tuesday’s filing said that a containment laboratory did contain such equipment, though it said it was not in the specific containment laboratory where the anthrax used in the attacks was stored.

The court filings, prepared by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, came in a $50 million lawsuit filed by the widow of the first anthrax victim.


Waters wants ethics case against her dismissed

Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, is seeking dismissal of a House Ethics Committee case that focused on allegations she tried to obtain a federal bailout for a bank where her husband is an investor.

Mrs. Waters’ attorney, Stanley Brand, said in a statement that internal documents showing partisanship among committee members and staff make it impossible to conduct a fair ethics proceeding.

Mrs. Waters has repeatedly said she did nothing improper and that she had no role in the bailout decision.

Mr. Brand said Mrs. Waters’ rights were violated and that the case is flawed. He said if there was prosecutorial misconduct in a criminal trial, a judge would order the case dismissed.

He said the only remedy is immediate dismissal of the case.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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