Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog Wrap-up

Were the three questions posed here on Friday’s “Weekend Watchdogs”, for Vice-President Dick Cheney, actually asked on the Sunday shows? Not really. The closest CBS’ Bob Schieffer came was in regards to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. While he didn’t forcefully ask if Scooter Libby lied to prosecutors to hide Cheney’s role in revealing Valerie Wilson’s identity, he did ask: “Do you, in any way, feel responsible for what happened to him?” And he followed up with, “I ask you that because, as you well know, Senator (Charles) Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he was the fall guy for you.” Cheney, unsurprisingly, ducked all PlameGate questions by saying it would be “inappropriate” to discuss the case.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Unanswered Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney should have been asked three basic questions during his appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background.) 2. The White House has insisted it replaced U.S. Attorneys for policy reasons, in particular, for better pursuit of voter fraud. But if good policy was the concern of the White House, why would they fire prosecutors who refused to file voter fraud charges against Democrats without solid evidence? 3. Your right-hand man I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Unanswered Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney should have been asked three basic questions during his appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background.) 2. The White House has insisted it replaced U.S. Attorneys for policy reasons, in particular, for better pursuit of voter fraud. But if good policy was the concern of the White House, why would they fire prosecutors who refused to file voter fraud charges against Democrats without solid evidence? 3. Your right-hand man I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Unanswered Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney should have been asked three basic questions during his appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background.) 2. The White House has insisted it replaced U.S. Attorneys for policy reasons, in particular, for better pursuit of voter fraud. But if good policy was the concern of the White House, why would they fire prosecutors who refused to file voter fraud charges against Democrats without solid evidence? 3. Your right-hand man I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Unanswered Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney should have been asked three basic questions during his appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background.) 2. The White House has insisted it replaced U.S. Attorneys for policy reasons, in particular, for better pursuit of voter fraud. But if good policy was the concern of the White House, why would they fire prosecutors who refused to file voter fraud charges against Democrats without solid evidence? 3. Your right-hand man I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Unanswered Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney should have been asked three basic questions during his appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” Sunday. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background.) 2. The White House has insisted it replaced U.S. Attorneys for policy reasons, in particular, for better pursuit of voter fraud. But if good policy was the concern of the White House, why would they fire prosecutors who refused to file voter fraud charges against Democrats without solid evidence? 3. Your right-hand man I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog

Every Friday in our Weekend Watchdog feature, Common Sense will post suggested questions for scheduled Sunday guests. You can add your own questions in the comment thread. We’ll also include contact information for the shows, so we can let them know what their viewers want asked. Then on Monday, we’ll circle back and see if our questions were asked, and if they were answered. Let’s take back our media! CBS’ Face The Nation will be interviewing Vice-President Dick Cheney. What not to ask to him! Here’s three, but surely there’s more. add you own in the comments. 1. Why was the President claiming that if Democrats didn’t pass unconditional war funding, tours of duty in Iraq would be extended, when in fact, your administration already had plans in place to extend tours of duty? (See Eschaton for background) 2.

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Bill Scher

Prescription Drug Bill Clears Senate Committee

The Senate Finance Committee passed legislation last night lifting the ban preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices. The bill garnered some bipartisan support with two Republicans, Sens. Gordon Smith and Olympia Snowe, joining 11 Democrats in the majority. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was asked by CQ Today if Democrats had the 60 votes necessary to break his planned filibuster. Grassley said, “I hope not,” indicating he is not sure he can succeed. A vote by the full Senate is expected next week. The final outcome remains unclear, and your senators need to hear your voice.

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Bill Scher

Who Gets Progressives’ Support?

The following was originally published at TomPaine.com No presidential candidate dominated the MoveOn.org Virtual Town Hall on Iraq this week, co-sponsored by Campaign for America’s Future, Air America and the Service Employees International Union. Nonetheless, there were two clear winners in the first straw poll of Democratic presidential candidates taken directly after a substantive discussion: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, and former Sen. John Edwards. Yet the two, who were the only candidates to break the 20 percent mark, represent different ways on how to deal with President George W. Bush’s insistence on continuing the Iraq occupation. Edwards told town hall participants that Congress should give the President no quarter in the showdown over the Iraq war supplemental bill: If Bush vetoes funding for the troops, he is the only one standing in the way of the resources they need.

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Bill Scher

The Voter Fraud Fraud

Today’s New York Times has a long overdue investigative piece, shredding the Republican Party’s claims of rampant voter fraud: Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections… Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year… …Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules… …For some convicted people, the consequences have been significant. What’s the deeper significance of this story? 1.

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Bill Scher

The ‘Voter Fraud’ Fraud Exposed

A long-overdue investigative article appears in the Thursday New York Times that shreds the Republican Party’s claims of rampant voter fraud: Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections… Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year… …Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules… …For some convicted people, the consequences have been significant. What’s the deeper significance of this story? 1.

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Bill Scher

The ‘Voter Fraud’ Fraud Exposed

A long-overdue investigative article appears in the Thursday New York Times that shreds the Republican Party’s claims of rampant voter fraud: Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections… Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year… …Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules… …For some convicted people, the consequences have been significant. What’s the deeper significance of this story? 1.

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Isaiah J. Poole

Our Disappearing Hospitals

Why should you care about a spat over a near-bankrupt group of health care facilities outside Washington? As Alec Dubro points out in an article today on TomPaine.com, what’s happening there is symptomatic of a larger national problem of health care for the poor and uninsured. Get past the dispute between the county and the Maryland state legislature over funding and you will find the consequences of shouldering a profit-driven health care system with the responsibility for serving the needs of the poor. We are seeing the effects throughout the country, from New Orleans—where there is an unconscionable deadlock over replacing health care facilities lost during Hurricane Katrina—to dozens of other low-income and rural communities. It is one more reason why we need to get serious about a new approach to providing health care for all.

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Bill Scher

Town Hall Highlights: Diplomacy

Below are excerpts from yesterday’s MoveOn.org Virtual Town Hall, regarding diplomatic strategy: From Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.: …you have to make Iraq the world’s problems. Were I President, I would call for the permanent five of the Security Council, along with Germany and the four largest Muslim nations in the world, to call for an international conference on Iraq whereby they impose upon the regional powers … Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey … a political solution based on a federal system of giving local control in order to maintain a unified Iraq. From Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.: …we need to convene an international conference. It is time we bring other countries together to help forge a stable future for Iraq.

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Bill Scher

Town Hall Highlights: Permanent Occupation

Below are excerpts from yesterday’s MoveOn.org Virtual Town Hall, regarding the issue of permanent occupation of Iraq. From Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.: I’m against building permanent US Military bases in Iraq, and I’ve led this fight to make sure we don’t do that. Last year I introduced a law barring US Military bases in Iraq. In fact I introduced it three different times because although it passed the Senate each time, it got kicked out by the House. We finally got it put in the appropriations. I’m doing this same thing this year.

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Bill Scher

Town Hall Highlights: The Power of the Purse

Below are excerpts from yesterday’s MoveOn.org Virtual Town Hall, regarding how Congress can use the power of the purse to end the war in Iraq. From former Sen. John Edwards: That funding authority’s still the most powerful check we have. If congress is willing to use it. I propose we begin by capping funding levels at 100,000 troops to stop Bush’s escalation and force an immediate withdrawal of 40 to 50,000 troops which would come out of the north and the south of Iraq. During that time, we should not allow Bush to deploy any replacement troops to Iraq that do not meet real readiness standards, and that have not been properly trained and equipped. Our withdrawal will help us to directly engage the Iranians and the Syrians to help stabilize Iraq. The withdrawal of all combat troops should be completed in about a year. From Rep.

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Bill Scher

MoveOn.org Town Hall

Last night, MoveOn.org hosted the first “Virtual Town Hall,” where MoveOn members from across the nation posed questions to seven Democratic candidates for president. (Some Republican candidates were invited also, but all declined.) Campaign for America’s Future helped sponsor the event. The sole focus of this town hall was Iraq. Future events will focus on health care and the climate crisis. Members are now voting on “which Candidate is best able to lead the country out of the war in Iraq?”. We’ll offer additional commentary here after the results are announced. You can see video and read transcripts of the event here. We’ll post key highlights here in a few.

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Isaiah J. Poole

Imus And Beyond

Today on TomPaine.com I offer my take on the Don Imus controversy, as well as that of Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who writes on another critical aspect of the flap for AlterNet. Yes, it’s well-worn ground, but there are a couple of points that I thought it was important to stress. First, Imus’ slur against the Rutger’s womens’ basketball team wasn’t an exception to the rule. It was the rule, and it has been for years. Second, as late as this morning, people such as Democratic operative and talking head Paul Begala was on the Imus show, and then defending his appearance on CNN minutes later. Begala considers himself a friend of Imus.

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Bill Scher

Prescription Drug Battle Hits Senate – Your Voice Needed

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire reports that the Senate’s version of a bill lifting the ban on Medicare negotiating for lower drug prices, will be taken up in committee on Thursday. The expectation is that the full Senate will vote on it next week. Washington Wire notes: … it faces … bigger hurdles on the Senate floor, where Republicans are likely to filibuster … if Democrats are unable to get the 60 votes necessary to end debate, Republicans will have saved President Bush from having to veto legislation that seems to have strong public support. It doesn’t just “seem” to have strong public support. It does, 85% support in fact. And Republican Senators thinking of filibustering shouldn’t worry about saving Bush from any veto. He doesn’t have to run for re-election again. They do.

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