Thursday, July 08, 2004

Dubya's crew promised to restore seriousness to Washington. Here's how:

An internal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the top Medicare official threatened to fire the program's chief actuary if he told Congress that drug benefits would probably cost much more than the White House acknowledged.

A report on the investigation, issued Tuesday, says the administrator of Medicare, Thomas A. Scully, issued the threat to Richard S. Foster while lawmakers were considering huge changes in the program last year. As a result, Mr. Foster's cost estimate did not become known until after the legislation was enacted.

At least a few Republican Congressmen are on record as saying they would not have voted for the bill if they'd known the true cost.

Oh, well. At least they weren't lying about a blowjob.

Meanwhile, on matters of more global significance, they're threatening to finally get serious about Pakistani nuclear proliferation (which that government has so far papered over by claiming that the head of their nuclear labs was doing it on his own -- and then giving him an immediate full pardon). Unless, that is, the Pakistanis turn over some high-level al-Qaeda leaders in time for them to use as campaign props:

One Pakistani general recently in Washington confided in a journalist, "If we don't find these guys by the election, they are going to stick this whole nuclear mess up our asshole."

Other sources for this multiply-sourced story say that they're putting heavy pressure on the Pakistanis for an announcement coinciding with the DNC.

They're serious. Very serious. About getting their way.

via Athenae at Eschaton and Kevin Drum.


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