45 Pro-Impeachment Protesters Arrested at Rep. Conyers Office
In Washington 45 protesters calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney were arrested Monday at the U.S. Capitol. The arrests occurred after the demonstrators refused to leave the office and hallway of Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. The arrested included Cindy Sheehan and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. They were urging Conyers – the chair of the House Judiciary - to introduce articles of impeachment.
Gonzales Refuses to Step Down Over Attorneys Scandal
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is returning to Capitol Hill today to testify about the U.S. attorneys scandal and the politicization of the Justice Department. In a statement released on Monday Gonzales said he does not intend to step down. Meanwhile Congressman John Conyers has announced the House Judiciary Committee plans to vote Wednesday on whether to issue contempt citations to White House chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. Both Bolten and Miers have refused Congressional demands for information on their roles in the U.S. attorney dismissals.
OxyContin Manufacturers Fined $634 Million
In other pharmaceutical news, the manufacturers of the painkiller OxyContin have been ordered to pay a $634 million fine for misleading the public about the drug"s risk of addiction. In 2002, the DEA said the drug played a role in 464 deaths. Three top executives from Purdue Pharma escaped serving anytime in jail. Instead they will pay part of the fine and perform 400 hours of community service. Former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani played a central role in negotiating on behalf of OxyContin manufacturers with federal prosecutors
Halliburton's 2Q Profits Double to $1.5 Billion
In business news, Vice President Cheney's former company Halliburton has announced its second quarter net income has more than doubled to $1.5 billion. In April Halliburton sold its stake in KBR, the largest military contractor in Iraq.
Minimum Wage Increases to $5.85/Hour
Meanwhile the first minimum wage increase in a decade goes into effect today. The new minimum wage is $5.85 an hour up from $5.15. According to the Economic Policy Institute the change will affect about 13 million workers or 10 percent of the nation's work force. When adjusted for inflation the minimum wage is still lower than anytime in the last 50 years.