- The Washington Times - Monday, August 9, 2010


Rangel ‘not very’ optimistic on deal

NEW YORK | Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, said he is not optimistic that he will avoid a House trial on ethics violations.

Mr. Rangel told reporters after an event with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Monday that he is hoping for an agreement.

But he said he’s “not very” optimistic that will happen. He said he is hoping for the truth to be revealed.

A House ethics panel charged Mr. Rangel with 13 violations last month. Unless he reaches a deal, he faces a public trial.

Mr. Rangel is accused of accepting several New York City rent-stabilized apartments and omitting information on his financial disclosure forms. He’s also accused of failing to pay taxes from a rental property in the Dominican Republic, and improperly soliciting money for a college center to be named after him.


Bush to assess quake relief efforts

Former President George W. Bush, who has stayed out of the limelight since leaving office in early 2009, is to visit Haiti on Tuesday to check up on quake relief efforts.

Mr. Bush, a Republican, and his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, have teamed up to help raise money for victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed an estimated 230,000 people.

Mr. Bush will view progress made on rebuilding after the quake, hear from Haitian citizens regarding the current conditions in their country, and visit with organizations that are assisting in the rebuilding effort, Bush spokesman David Sherzer said.

“President Bush’s trip will draw attention to the great ongoing need in Haiti, and he will encourage Americans to continue to give what they can to help their neighbors in need,” Mr. Sherzer said.

Mr. Bush has kept a low profile since leaving Washington, traveling occasionally for speeches but mostly working on his presidential memoir to be published later this year.


Belt-tightening to close command

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said tough economic times require that he shutter a major command that employs about 5,000 people in Norfolk, Va., and eliminate other jobs throughout the military.

Mr. Gates told reporters at a news conference on Monday that getting rid of Joint Forces Command and other job cuts were necessary so that the military has enough money to repair itself after several years of war.

He said that among his biggest priorities was trimming by 10 percent the number of contractors that support the military.


Video shows Palin confronting protester

HOMER | An online video shows Sarah Palin confronting a protester in front of a banner that calls her the “worst governor ever.”

Media personality Shannyn Moore, a Palin critic, posted video of Saturday’s encounter in Homer to YouTube. Ms. Moore says the former GOP vice-presidential nominee was in Homer to shoot scenes for her upcoming TV series.

The video shows Kathleen Gustafson telling Mrs. Palin that she wanted her to honor her responsibilities as governor, but Mrs. Palin quit “when cash was waved” in her face.

Mrs. Palin responds: “Oh, you wanted me to be your governor. I’m honored. Thank you.”

She tells Ms. Gustafson that she’s fighting for the Constitution, but Ms. Gustafson counters that Mrs. Palin is not representing Alaska’s interests.

Ms. Gustafson said Monday that she has nothing more to say. A Palin aide didn’t return a call.


Obama examines economic candidates

President Obama is looking at candidates to fill a top White House economic post with no announcement expected this week, spokesman Bill Burton said Monday.

Mr. Obama is considering candidates to replace Christina Romer, who said Thursday that she will step down as head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in September to return to her job at the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Burton told reporters aboard Air Force One on a flight to Texas that Ms. Romer is to leave in early September and will have a voice in determining who should get the position.

He said no announcement was expected this week.

Administration officials say economic adviser Austan Goolsbee and Laura Tyson, a senior economist in the Clinton administration, are among candidates for the position.


DNA backlog grows to 3,200 cases

The Justice Department’s inspector general says the FBI laboratory has a backlog of more than 3,200 forensic DNA cases.

The inspector general says such backlogs can delay legal proceedings and prevent the timely capture of criminals.

The backlog has grown 130 percent in a single year to 276 cases for one type of DNA case, and has grown 40 percent to 757 cases for another type.

The FBI says it is bringing on board 17 additional forensic examiners. Hiring and training the new personnel could take significant time.


BP, Justice agree to $20 billion fund

The Justice Department and BP PLC announced Monday that they have finished negotiations to implement a $20 billion fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill and that BP has made a $3 billion initial deposit.

Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli said the department is pleased that BP made an initial contribution and had taken “an important step toward honoring its commitment to the president and the residents and business owners in the Gulf region.”

The company still needs to ensure that all the necessary funds will be available if something happens to the BP subsidiary that established the trust and that the Justice Department looks forward to completing an appropriate security arrangement in the near future, Mr. Perrelli said.


Cheney released from hospital

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from a hospital in Northern Virginia on Monday after surgery last month to install a pump that helps his failing heart work.

Mr. Cheney left Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute to continue his recovery at his home, according to a statement released by his office.

Mr. Cheney, 69, has had five heart attacks since he was 37 and suffers from congestive heart failure. He disclosed in a statement on July 14 that he had undergone surgery the previous week after what he called “entering a new phase of the disease when I began to experience increasing congestive heart failure.”

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