In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Friday, October 30, 2020

White House denies dispute with Joint Chiefs

The White House said Tuesday that increasing U.S. troops in Iraq is an option under consideration and denied that there are differences with the Joint Chiefs of Staff over that idea.

White House press secretary Tony Snow emphasized that no decisions have been made about changing U.S. policy in Iraq.

"There’s an assumption that people have been given marching orders, and at this point, the president is asking folks to take a look at a number of things," Snow said.

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Tennessee Democrat charged in Medicare fraud

A former lawmaker already indicted on bribery allegations has been charged with taking more than $800,000 in consulting fees from contractors working for a state Medicare program, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

Former state Sen. John Ford is accused of using his elected position to promote the interests of two contractors with TennCare. Ford served on three committees with authority over TennCare.

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Ignoring the siren call of the White House

Well, perhaps Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh isn’t just another pretty face after all. Give him a C for common sense. He has decided after only two weeks of political water testing not to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. That’s not a bad decision considering his chances even in the strange and unpredictable world of presidential politics were about the same has his father’s before him, practically nonexistent.

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Bob Barr quits GOP, becomes Libertarian

A former Georgia congressman who helped spark President Clinton’s impeachment has quit the Republican Party to become a Libertarian, saying he is disillusioned with the GOP on issues such as spending and privacy.

Bob Barr, who served eight years as a Republican congressman before losing his seat in 2002, announced Friday that he is now a "proud, card-carrying Libertarian." And he encouraged others to join him.

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Violence against U.S. troops in Iraq at all-time high

Attacks in Iraq on U.S.-led forces, local security personnel and civilians have surged 22 percent to record levels, the Pentagon said in its latest quarterly report on Iraq published on Monday.

The report also noted a rise in civilian casualties and said this was directly linked to the rise of sectarian death squads, which were helped by elements of Iraqi forces.

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By any number, Iraq is a very deadly civil war

It turns out that the term "civil war" has a technical definition. Unsurprisingly, it involves the idea of armed struggle for political power within a nation or culture. But ordinarily a particular level of death is required before a conflict can properly be called a civil war: at least 100 deaths on each side and a total that reaches 1,000.

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Business as usual

The recently departed 109th Congress couldn’t get its regular work done but in its closing hours it proved it could do business as usual.

A $50 billion — that we know of — tax and trade bill emerged from Congress in the wee hours, and it was packed with special-interest provisions of which most lawmakers were probably unaware.

Most glaringly, it included a Medicare measure — earlier rejected by Senate negotiators — that would benefit a big insurance company in outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s home state of Illinois.

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White House backs off on ‘winning’ Iraq

The White House took a step back Monday from President Bush’s confident assertion two months ago that "absolutely, we’re winning" the war in Iraq.

"I’m not playing the game any more," said White House press secretary Tony Snow. "It’s one of those things where you end up … trying to summarize a complex situation with a single word or gerund, and — or even a participle."

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Laura Bush had skin cancer but concealed it

First lady Laura Bush had a skin cancer tumor removed from her right shin in early November but decided it was a private matter and did not reveal it publicly.

The White House acknowledged the procedure Monday night after Mrs. Bush was noticed with a bandage below her right knee.

The cancer was a squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, said Susan Whitson, her press secretary.

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Gates’ plans for Iraq war have familiar ring

Robert Gates, the new defense secretary, wasted no time spelling out the stakes he sees in Iraq.

In his first public remarks as Pentagon chief, Gates warned Monday that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the United States for years. He said he would go there soon to consult with commanders.

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