Over the last several years, the paper that broke the Watergate Scandals has been little more than timid. However, with 39% approval ratings for the POTUS and 29% approval ratings for the direction of the country, even the most timid are becoming emboldened.
Washington and its Post are warming up.
Here is an example of political heat.
Rove Pressed On Conflicts, Source Says
Questions Said to Focus On Differing Accounts
By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff
Saturday, October 15, 2005; Page A01
The grand jury investigating the CIA leak case pressed White House senior adviser Karl Rove yesterday to more fully explain his conversations with reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame, including discrepancies between his testimony and the account provided by a key witness in the investigation, according to a source familiar with Rove's account.
Making his fourth appearance before the grand jury, Rove answered a broad range of questions for 4 1/2 hours, including why he did not initially tell federal agents about a July 2003 conversation about Plame with the witness, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, the source said.
His story has changed from the earliest days, when he told reporters he had nothing to do with the leak of Plame's name. Since then, Rove has testified that he discussed Plame in passing with two reporters, including Robert D. Novak, whose July 14, 2003, syndicated column first publicly identified Plame as a CIA operative married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
Some lawyers in the case think Fitzgerald may no longer be interested in proving whether Plame's name was illegally leaked to reporters. That would require the difficult task of showing that an official knew the material was classified, that the official knew that the CIA was actively working to keep it a secret and that the person purposely leaked the information.
Instead, the lawyers, who based their opinions on the kinds of questions Fitzgerald is asking and not on firsthand knowledge, think the special prosecutor may be headed in a different direction.
They said Fitzgerald could be trying to establish that a group of White House officials violated the Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of classified material, or that they engaged in a conspiracy to discredit Wilson in part by identifying Plame.
Another possibility, the lawyers say, is that Fitzgerald could charge Rove or others with perjury or providing false testimony before the grand jury. This is a popular avenue for prosecutors in white-collar criminal cases."
And on the climate change front, it looks like 2005 will likely be another warmest year on record.
Global Warming has not been a favorite subject of the American press since this Administration decided it should be studied not responded to. Here is a rare front page story.
World Temperatures Keep Rising With a Hot 2005
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 13, 2005; Page A01
New international climate data show that 2005 is on track to be the hottest year on record, continuing a 25-year trend of rising global temperatures.
Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies calculated the record-breaking global average temperature, which now surpasses 1998's record by a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, from readings taken at 7,200 weather stations scattered around the world.
The new analysis comes as government and independent scientists are reporting other dramatic signs of global warming, such as the record shrinkage of the Arctic sea ice cover and unprecedented high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico
"At this point, people shouldn't be surprised this is happening," said Goddard atmospheric scientist David Rind, noting that 2002, 2003 and 2004 were among the warmest years on record.
Several scientists said yesterday that Earth's rapid warming could become self-perpetuating as the buildup of heat in the air, on land and in the sea accelerates. Ted A. Scambos, the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said the shrinkage of sea ice in the Arctic makes it more likely that the region will warm faster, because open water absorbs much more heat from the sun than snow and ice.
"Change is really happening in the Arctic. We're going to see this again and again," Scambos said. He added that, because the Arctic helps keep global temperatures down, any warming there can mean "you're going to change [the world's] climate significantly."
Perhaps we are seeing a sea change in the way Washington
and its Post sees the World.
The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.
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