Cheney victim has heart attack

Texas lawyer Harry Whittington, 78, shot by Vice President Dick Cheney while quail hunting, suffered a heart attack Feb. 14 after a birdshot in his chest traveled to his heart.

The White House is under fire for not releasing information on the Cheney shooting quickly enough. The secretive and tyrannical Cheney refused to comment for days. Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong made the first public statement. Armstrong is the daughter of a former Halliburton official who hired Cheney as CEO.

Sensenbrenner scolded on spying

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is too busy on his anti-immigrant tirade to question President George Bush’s domestic spying program. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s recent editorial, “A constitutional crisis,” urged the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to convene hearings on domestic spying. It said if the fight in Congress “sparks a constitutional crisis” to “bring it on.” Preserving civil liberties in times of war and checks and balances “is a fight worth fighting.”

Specter brings up impeachment

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter said last month that if President Bush broke the law with his warrant less spy program that “impeachment is a remedy.” Senate hearings on the unprecedented electronic surveillance program ascertained that no terrorist was apprehended from the years of spying.

Taxpayers: $0, Big oil: $65 billion

“It’s one of the greatest train robberies in the history of the world,” said Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat. The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth $7 billion over five years. Buried in the Interior Department’s budget is a plan that allows companies to pump almost $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

$385 million to Halliburton for immigrant prisons

The Department of Homeland Security awarded Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary a $385 million contract to build “detention facilities” for arrested immigrants and to provide construction and logistics in the event of an “immigration emergency.” Critics charge the Bush administration for doling out DHS contracts based on politics and cronyism rather than need.

Report slams Bush on Katrina

A congressional report blamed the White House for unheeded warnings, poor planning and apathy in recognizing the scope of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, which led to the slow emergency governmental response including down to local parishes. The 600-page report by the Republican-dominated House of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history concluded that “Katrina was a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare.”

Private accounts buried in budget

Even though President Bush didn’t pitch private Social Security accounts in his State of the Union message, he buried them in his 2007 budget. His plan would set up private accounts starting in 2010 and divert more than $700 billion of Social Security revenues to pay for them. A powerful coalition of forces, led by retirees and labor, blocked Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security last year.

Sources: ABC News; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel;; Project on Government Oversight; New York Times;; CBS/AP;