Nation in brief: Democrats ready Miers contempt bid

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007

House Democrats began laying the groundwork for finding former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers in contempt of Congress on Thursday when, as expected, she failed to appear at a congressional hearing on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

In a party line vote, a House Judiciary subcommittee dismissed claims of executive privilege that Miers invoked through her lawyer in refusing to appear. The 7-5 vote was the first step in a process that could eventually lead to Miers being found in contempt, although the timing of such a move was far from clear.

“I can’t fathom a private citizen getting a subpoena to come before this body and not showing up,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. “What we’ve got here is an empty chair. I mean, that is as contemptuous as anybody can be of the government, of the process, of the country.”


Chatty boy, mom kicked off plane

A woman said she and her toddler son were kicked off a plane after she refused a flight attendant’s request to medicate her son to get him to quiet down and stop saying “Bye bye, plane.”

Kate Penland, of suburban Atlanta, said she and her 19-month-old son, Garren, were flying from Atlanta to Oklahoma last month on a Continental Express flight that made a stop in Houston.

As the plane was taxiing in Houston en route to Oklahoma, “he started saying ‘Bye, bye plane,’ ” Penland told WSB-TV in Atlanta. The flight attendant objected, she said.

“At the end of her speech, she leaned over the gentleman beside me and said, ‘It’s not funny anymore. You need to shut your baby up,’ ” Penland told WSB-TV in Atlanta.

When Penland asked the woman if she was joking, she said the stewardess replied, “You know, it’s called baby Benadryl.”

Penland said other passengers began speaking up on her behalf, and the flight attendant announced they were turning around and that Penland and Garren were going to be taken off the plane.


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