Wednesday Night Quick Hits
We find out in tomorrow’s New York Times that the Bush White House suppressed the release of a report for five months (until after the election) from the 9/11 Commission which asserted that the administration and specifically the FAA didn’t take the necessary steps to beef up airport and airline security in the face of specific warnings prior to 9/11.
Condi’s initial trip to France has shown her to be a charming and nicely-dressed woman who has already struck Europeans as being unknowledgeable about world affairs and history, while sounding inflexible and belligerent.
Editor and Publisher tonight reports that Jeff Gannon has admitted to using a fake name in working as a credentialed “reporter” in the White House press corps, and despite Howie Kurtz’s asinine defenses of Gannon earlier today, Gannon in fact is more than a day-to-day visitor to the White House. And Duckman reminds me that Digby did a great smackdown of Howie and Wolf earlier in the day.
Bush has decided that maintaining tax cuts for millionaires is more important than securing our borders. So I guess all that stuff about terrorism and our porous borders was nothing but a bunch of the typical GOP hoo-hah, right? I’m sure Al Qaeda is breathing easier now knowing that the millionaires won this one.
The Bush Administration and its cozy relationship with the railroad industry (you know, John Snow's old industry) have led to a deterioration in railroad safety. But at least a top Bush official did vacation with a Union Pacific lobbyist on Nantucket, so it can’t be all bad.
First, Bush said the corporate welfare known as the Medicare drug benefit would cost $395 billion over ten years. Then his administration admitted they lied to Congress, and it would actually cost over $540 billion over ten years. Now they are admitting that it will cost hundreds of billions more than even that, and Congress on both sides of the aisle isn’t happy. Yeah, I know, if this was a Democratic administration the Mighty Wurlitzer would be in overdrive, but at least Big PharMa and the HMO lobby is still guaranteed to be sucking down billions long after Bush is gone.
The Post reports on Thursday that while a majority agree the Social Security is facing bankruptcy down the road, only about a quarter of those polled think that the system faces a crisis, thereby undercutting the Bush scare tactics. Worse yet for Bush, support for privatization plummets after respondents are told of the costs of setting up private accounts.
And along these lines, Treasury Secretary John Snow refused to give Congress today an estimate on the cost of setting up Bush’s private accounts.