On a busy Sunday in the news world, we started by looking at the evolving scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service and prostitutes in Colombia. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., leads the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has launched a number of investigations into the current administration, and we wanted to know if he planned a House investigation into this scandal.
He didn't tell Bob whether he definitely would or wouldn't, but he did raise some interesting questions about it overall. He said, "This kind of a breach is a breach in the federal workforce's most elite protective unit, and they don't just protect the president, of course; they protect the Cabinet members, the vice president, the first family, candidates. So when you look at this, you realize if you can have this kind of breakdown, one that could lead to blackmail . . . then we've got to ask: Where are the systems in place to prevent this in the future?" Read about that line of reasoning in the Washington Post.
Issa also posited the question, "is the whole organization in need of some soul searching?" The Wall Street Journal outlines what an eventual investigation will probably look like.
Issa also brought up a tidbit we hadn't heard reported yet: There might be more service members involved than the 11 Secret Service personnel who were sent home. The Huffington Post picked up that suggestion. Finally, Issa intimated the incident was probably the tip of the iceberg. He said "Things like this don't happen once." POLITICO has more on that.
We quickly moved from the domestic news of the day to foreign policy. Sunday morning brought us news from Afghanistan of attacks against four embassies in the diplomatic area of Kabul. The Taliban was already claiming responsibility by the time most of our guests were waking up, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., brought us a little insight into that region.
He said, "Every time the president announced another withdrawal, his military commander said it increases the risk" -- pointing to attacks like Sunday morning's as proof of that heightened risk. Read the Chicago Tribune report, "Afghanistan Militant Attacks Seem Intended to Humiliate." The Los Angeles Times elaborated on McCain's comments, pointing out he said these attacks were "probably a manifestation that the Taliban still has some strength."
The Ranking Republican of the Senate Armed Services Committee then gave us some insight into the situation in Syria. McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., visited the Syrian-Turkish border Tuesday to talk to members of the Free Syrian Army and refugees from the country. He told Bob about what he saw, saying, "For the United States to sit by and watch this wanton massacre is a betrayal of everything we stand for and believe in." Because of that massacre, he pushed for arming the rebels -- with something more powerful than the non-lethal weapons the U.S. already committed to giving the rebels a week ago. Read what kinds of things McCain wants to send the rebels at the Voice of America. POLITICO explains why McCain thinks the U.S. should "lead from the front" in Syria.
Switching to a third hotspot, McCain talked briefly about North Korea's failed missile launch. Read why he called working with North Korea a "Groundhog Day exercise" from.
Finally, Bob took McCain back to the U.S. and asked about politics. McCain supports Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president. President Barack Obama leads Romney 2-1 among women voters according to a recent poll, and the past week was all about this "Mommy War." McCain poopahed the idea that Romney would continue to struggle among women, expressing confidence that Romney will bridge that gap with women voters. Read more from POLITICO.
Romney's also faced a lot of criticism for not being able to connect with the common folk. One of the reasons people suggest he doesn't connect is because of his extraordinary wealth. Romney's 2010 tax return shows he made about $22 million that year. The campaign seems reluctant to release more returns, despite the Obama campaign's repeated calls for it to do so.
McCain defended Romney's decision to only release two years of returns, saying he didn't think releasing more "was necessary" or that it was really the issue Americans were concerned about. Check out the Washington Post's detailed look at McCain's defense of Romney, and his suggestions for fixing the tax code.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also had a lot to say about taxes. The Buffett Rule, a way to force the wealthiest Americans to pay -- on average -- more in taxes than they typically do thanks to loopholes and exemptions, is being taken up in the Senate today. Geithner was on the Sunday show circuit to talk about the rule. The proposal has essentially no chance of passing either body of Congress, but Geithner told Bob the administration was fighting for it anyways because "it's the right thing to do." Read an explanation of the rule and its political implications from the Washington Post.
Geithner also answered criticisms that the rule would actually hurt the economy. He insisted there is "no credible basis" for the argument it would do so. BusinessWeek examined the political consequences of pushing to pass the rule, too.
Geithner dipped his foot in 2012 politics, too, even though he won't be staying with the administration, win-or-lose, after the election. Geithner called Romney's claims that 92 percent of jobs lost under the president have been women's jobs "ridiculous and misleading." He elaborated, saying, "It's a meaningless way to look at the basic contours of the economy" and criticized it as "just a political moment" when the real focus should be on creating more jobs across the board. Check out the Los Angeles Times piece on Geithner's reasoning.