Blog

May 20, 2004

Medicare Propaganda Update

We mentioned earlier that the GAO had declared the administration’s fake news clips on the Medicare bill to be illegal “covert propaganda,” and we promised to get back when Democratic responses came in.  This is what we’ve got so far: U.S. Senate and House Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to require the Bush administration to repay the estimated $43,000 cost of “video news releases” that the General Accounting Office says violated a federal law against the use of government …

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May 20, 2004

Speaker Pelosi

Atrios noted some other scathing remarks earlier.  This just out from the AP after this morning’s press conference: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lashed out at President Bush on Thursday, saying his Iraq policies show incompetence and the only conclusion to draw is that “the emperor has no clothes.”  “I believe that the president’s leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience,” the California Democrat told reporters at a Capitol …

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May 20, 2004

Chalabi and Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld is now saying that it is not his place to comment on Chalabi, and that it was Congress who funded the INC, so why is everybody asking him?  I’ll tell you why. (All emphasis will be mine.) On March 17, 2004 the Telegraph published an article based on an interview with David Kay (confirmed by Reuters), which summarized his answers thusly: More damaging was the dependence on defectors. Different agencies all but competed with each over their intelligence …

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May 20, 2004

The Rift Grows

The battle for the soul of the GOP appears to be in full swing: A two-month-old House-Senate standoff over the 2005 budget burst into public acrimony yesterday, when the GOP House speaker questioned Sen. John McCain’s credentials as a Republican and suggested that the decorated Vietnam War veteran did not understand the meaning of sacrifice. [...]  House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) lectured McCain (Ariz.)—an outspoken opponent of Bush’s tax cuts—over war sacrifices, drawing a blistering retort from McCain, …

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May 20, 2004

Lies in South Dakota

Diedrich is sounding more and more like his pals on the Hill every day, read this closely: A new television ad for Republican Larry Diedrich suggesting that Democrat Stephanie Herseth would cut Social Security sparked a squabble between the campaigns Wednesday, less than two weeks before the special election to fill South Dakota’s vacant House seat.  Herseth skipped an early evening campaign appearance in Madison to respond to the commercial, saying she has never supported any kind of cut …

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May 20, 2004

Breaking the Law

How many laws can you break in the passage of a law? Today, the verdict comes down from the GAO on the fake news reports put out to push the Medicare Bill / Bush Campaign: The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Wednesday that the Bush administration had violated federal law by producing and disseminating television news segments that portray the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly.  The agency said the videos …

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May 20, 2004

MI Comes Forward

Washington Post: Military intelligence officers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq directed military police to take clothes from prisoners, leave detainees naked in their cells and make them wear women’s underwear, part of a series of alleged abuses that were openly discussed at the facility, according to a military intelligence soldier who worked at the prison last fall.  Sgt. Samuel Provance said intelligence interrogators told military police to strip down prisoners and embarrass them as a way to …

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May 19, 2004

SD Gets Letters

Actually, they get a lot of letters, and I have to say I’m impressed with the extent to which SD newspapers allow for community discussion on elections that way.  But this is one that hits right on point for Republicans across the board: Two-legged stool Rapid City Journal May 19, 2004  Larry Diedrich promises to balance the federal budget and to lower taxes. This absolutely cannot be done without reducing spending as well. Like a two-legged stool, his tax …

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May 19, 2004

Top Down

From the Gonzales Memo, explaining the last of Secretary Powell’s many objections to abandoning the Geneva Conventions: “A determination that GPW does not apply to Al Qaeda and the Taliban could undermine US Military culture which emphasizes maintaining the highest standards of conduct in combat, and could introduce an element of uncertainty in the status of adversaries.” The next line in the memo is Gonzales’ response:  “On balance, I believe the arguments for reconsideration and reversal are unpersuasive.”

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May 19, 2004

Herseth, 49-40

Keloland scientific, baby: Our KELOLAND-TV/Argus Leader scientific poll shows 49% of likely voters would choose Democrat Stephanie Herseth. 40% would vote for Republican Larry Diedrich. 1% chose Libertarian Terry Begay, although he’s not on the June first ballot. And 10% are still undecided. There’s a four percent margin of error.  Stephanie Herseth says, “It’s going to be a close race. We always knew it would tighten and it’s nice to have the edge that we do. But we know …

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May 18, 2004

Reuters Reporters Beaten

AP relates on its competitor: Reuters said Tuesday three Iraqis working for the news agency were beaten, taunted and forced to put shoes in their mouths during their detention at a military camp near Fallujah in January.  After being freed from their Jan. 2-5 detention, the men told Reuters about their alleged ordeal but only decided to make it public when the U.S. military said there was no evidence of abuse, and news broke about the mistreatment of Iraqi …

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May 18, 2004

War Crimes?

Newsweek wants to know: The White House’s top lawyer warned more than two years ago that U.S. officials could be prosecuted for “war crimes” as a result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and interviews with participants in the debate over the issue.   The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes—and that it might even apply to Bush adminstration officials themselves— …

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May 18, 2004

Medicare Lawsuit

Boy, we’re humming along today: Nineteen House Democratic lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles yesterday to force U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to release disputed cost estimates on the Medicare prescription-drug bill.  The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims Thompson — through former Medicare administrator Thomas Scully — violated federal law by ordering the Medicare actuary not to provide the estimates to Congress.  The suit also …

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May 18, 2004

Are You Better Off?

Pelosi on the Floor: “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask the question that President-to-be Ronald Reagan made famous in a debate in 1980: ‘Are you better off today than you were four years ago?’ “And the answer, for most Americans, is no. Under President Bush and the Republican Congress, most Americans have suffered. “If you are a taxpayer, you are not better off. We went from a budget that was in balance – in 1999 the deficit was …

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May 18, 2004

Accounting Errors

These guys get so sloppy about carrying the ones when they’re funneling around dirty money: *** A Senate committee investigating millions of dollars in fees paid to powerful Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public relations executive Michael Scanlon also plans to examine $500,000 in contributions from Scanlon’s firm to the Republican Governors Association. The money was paid by Scanlon’s firm, Capitol Campaign Strategies, to the RGA in the closing months of the 2002 election. But it was not disclosed …

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