Wednesday :: Dec 10, 2003

Wednesday Grab Bag: Supreme Court Backs McCain-Feingold; GOP Medicare Bribery, and More


by Steve

Several items of interest today, aside from the implications of the Gore endorsement, which I will address later.

Iraq Intelligence Cherry-Picking

First, Daniel Benjamin in Slate points out that the recent attempt by The Weekly Standard’s Stephen L. Hayes to prove a Saddam-Al Qaeda connection actually proved one more time that the Administration cherry-picked its intelligence to support its case.

More Children Killed in Afghanistan

After the tragic killing of nine children last week by US forces in Operation Avalanche, an anti-Taliban campaign in Afghanistan, it was revealed yesterday that our forces killed six more children last Friday in another attack aimed at a renegade Afghan commander. Worse yet, it now appears that in the first attack we didn’t kill our intended target, but rather a laborer who was returning from work. Our intended target had left the area days earlier.

GOP Bribery Over Medicare Vote

Read Timothy Noah’s account in Slate about how GOP Congressman Nick Smith was offered what amounts to a bribe by another GOP congressman for his vote in support of the Medicare drug bill. The bribe consisted of a $100,000 campaign contribution from the pharmaceutical industry (who made out like bandits under Bush’s bill) to Smith’s son who was going to run for dad’s congressional seat himself. Smith was told that if he didn’t play ball his son would never get elected. Read the story and see how the backtracking has already started amongst the GOP cockroaches now that the light has been shined on this smarmy development.

Iraq Fatalities

After yesterday’s shoot-down of a US helicopter with apparently no casualties, two more soldiers were killed today, from new attacks. In a separate incident, a transport plane leaving Baghdad International today had one of its engines shot out by a ground-fired missile and had to make an emergency landing back at the airport. So much for having the area around the airport secure.

McCain Feingold Upheld By Supreme Court

A closely divided Supreme Court this morning upheld major parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, saying that Congress had the authority to ban soft money donations to political parties, and to restrict last-minute political ads in the weeks before elections. Notably, Sandra Day O’Connor voted with the moderate majority, and the far right conservatives dissented on the premise that money constitutes free speech. Right. If you want to see a great summary of what the court decision means, here is a release from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Steve :: 1:35 PM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!