Friday morning docket: ‘Shadow Congress’ edition

As GOP lawmakers draw to see who gets the short straw to stay in the District to protest in “shadow sessions” during August recess (all while House Minority Leader John Boehner has been spotted on the golf course), we take a look at the news:

EPA gets corny: The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a request to cut the federal government’s quota for the use of ethanol in cars, concluding, at least for now, that the national goal of reducing oil use trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn. (NYT)

Loopholes and smoke rings: A loophole in a sweeping tobacco regulation bill would give the industry a 21-month window to introduce some new products without first getting federal approval. (AP)

HHS says take a (chill) pill: Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt attempted to ease concerns Thursday that the Bush administration is planning to issue new rules that would limit women’s access to birth control. (AP)

Give us just a little more time: White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers yesterday asked a federal judge to delay an order to cooperate with Congress while they appeal the ruling. (WaPo).

A matter of trust: In a long-running dispute involving claims that the federal government has swindled American Indians under a trust account system created more than 100 years ago, a federal judge has sided, to a point, with the trust holders. (ABA Journal)

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