to replace Porter Goss as CIA Director. Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) opposed the nomination. “If the Senate approves him before Memorial Day, as expected, Hayden could be sworn in by the end of the week.”
Executive Order 13166, signed by President Clinton on August 11, 2000, improves quality health care access for all patients, regardless of their primary language. This executive order requires Medicare and Medicaid providers to offer limited-English-proficiency (LEP) patients with a full interpreter or translator services in their own language.
This week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) plans to offer an amendment that repeals this mandate. A look at some current problems Coburn’s amendment would make worse:
– Parents with limited English proficiency are three times more likely than parents who report speaking English “very well” to have a child in fair or poor health.
– Parents often report language barriers as the single greatest issue to garnering access to health care.
– 19 percent of Spanish-speakers report having forgone needed health treatment due to a language barrier.
At a time when the United States is more linguistically diverse than at any other time since the early 1900s, we should be working to overcome barriers that may affect an individual’s access and quality of care. Coburn’s amendment undermines the steps this country has taken to ensure access to health care.
Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany. Watch it:
ExxonMobil doesn’t have a substantive answer to Gore’s movie, so it bankrolls people like Burnett to smear Gore personally.
Dutifully, Burnett recently wrote an editorial defending former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond’s lavish compensation (which amounted to $190,000 a day in 2005). He failed to mention his financial connection to the company.
Transcript: Read more
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Peter Wehner, Karl Rove’s deputy and the director of the White House’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, writes an op-ed attempting to debunk “antiwar myths.” The White House has been emailing the article to reporters this morning. Employing the same tactic that led the nation into war, the White House continues to use the media to peddle false claims in the hopes they will be accepted. Below is a debunk of their debunk:
1) To rebut the “myth” that “The president misled Americans to convince them to go to war,” Wehner claims, “Important assumptions turned out wrong; but mistakenly relying on faulty intelligence is a world apart from lying about it.”
FACT: Administration Created Stovepipes To Feed Politicized Intelligence. In his nomination hearing last week, Gen. Michael Hayden admitted that he “wasn’t comfortable” with the administration’s approach to Iraq intelligence. Hayden’s comments reveal that intelligence experts like himself were sidelined in the run-up to the war while political leaders like Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith set up intelligence stovepipes to “get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership.”
FACT: Administration Had Its Sights Set on War Regardless of Intelligence. Despite Bush’s insistence that he didn’t want war, there is overwhelming evidence he made up his mind to go to war well before the intelligence community rendered its judgments.
2) To rebut the “myth” that “The Bush administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments,” Wehner claims, “This myth is shattered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq.”
FACT: Roberts Blocking Phase II. The question of whether the administration exerted political pressure over pre-war intelligence was left to Phase II of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Cover-Up Committee, continues to thwart the completion of the report.
FACT: CIA Review Panel Found Analysts Were Subjected To Pressure. A July 2003 report produced by a “CIA review panel found that agency analysts were subjected to ‘steady and heavy’ requests from administration officials for evidence of links between Iraq and al-Qaida, which created ‘significant pressure on the Intelligence Community to find evidence that supported a connection.’”
Weight 76-year-old Pat Robertson claims he can leg press thanks to his “age defying protein shake.”
Clay Travis at CBS Sportsline notes “That would mean a 76-year-old man broke the all-time Florida State University leg press record by 665 pounds over Dan Kendra. 665 pounds. Further, when he set the record, they had to modify the leg press machine to fit 1,335 pounds of weight. Plus, Kendra’s capillaries in his eyes burst. Burst.”
This weekend on Fox News, host David Asman asked his guests to discuss the following question: “If people buy into [Al Gore's] global warming hysteria, will it put him in the White House and our economy on the skids?” Steve Forbes answered yes, and called Gore’s new movie “a real recipe for more socialist regulation.”
For what it’s worth, the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups, has developed a plan to “develop alternative fuels, increase energy efficiency, rebuild and expand public transportation networks and come up with other initiatives to reduce fossil fuel use” that would create more than three million jobs in the process.
ASMAN: Al Gore’s new documentary, An inconvenient Truth, it hits the theaters this week. If people buy into his global warming hysteria, will it put him in the White House and our economy on the skids? Steve, first off, is it gonna get him in the White House?
FORBES: No, if he believes that’s gonna get him in the White House, he needs to rub on something stronger than this sunscreen.
ASMAN: Alright, but if his global warming agenda somehow gets mixed up into our agenda, the national agenda, what’ll it do to the economy?
FORBES: It will ice the economy. And after all, some people do believe the DiVinci Code, so some will believe the DiGore Code. [Laughter] But the fact of the matter is, the policies that result from it would hurt the economy, would create unemployment. It’s a real recipe for more socialist regulation.
Last night, Bill O’Reilly attacked ThinkProgress and Media Matters, falsely claiming we encouraged our readers to complain to NPR because their contributors appear on Fox. Watch it:
A quick fact check:
1. ThinkProgress never encouraged anyone to contact NPR, nor did we criticize them for allowing their contributors to appear on Fox. We noted that one of their contributors, Mara Liasson, falsely claimed “it’s Democrats not just Republicans taking money from Abramoff.” In fact, only Republicans accepted campaign contributions from Abramoff.
2. MediaMatters did encourage its readers to contact NPR, but only to note the inaccuracy of Liasson’s statement, not to complain that she appeared on Fox. In fact, MediaMatters is a strong advocate of more ideological diversity on Fox, including the O’Reilly Factor.
3. The NPR ombudsman, Jeffery Dworkin, claims ThinkProgress and Media Matters misinterpreted Liasson’s comments due to a misplaced comma in the original Fox transcript. In fact, we didn’t use the Fox transcript; we transcribed the segment directly from the video. (Note: this isn’t the first time Liasson has gotten her facts wrong about Abramoff’s contributions.) Nevertheless, we updated our original post with a link to Dworkin’s column so readers could judge for themselves.
Transcript: Read more
“Two top CIA officials will bolster prosecutors’ charge that Vice President Cheney’s chief aide lied to them, court papers show.” The New York Daily News reports: Prosecutors say Scooter Libby learned Valerie Plame’s identity “from, among others, agency officials who will be called to testify at his trial for perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice. Both CIA officials – including a top architect of the 2003 Iraq invasion – discussed Plame with Libby a month before columnist Robert Novak blew her cover in July 2003, prosecutors charge.”
Writing in this weekend’s Washington Post, prominent conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie criticized “Bush’s base betrayal.” Yesterday, the White House responded by emailing around previous quotes of Viguerie’s criticisms of Ronald Reagan. Viguerie responds, “That is standard operating procedure for this White House: Put the spotlight on the president’s critic, rather than respond to the critic’s arguments.”
Despite Condoleezza Rice’s insistence that “No one would like to shut down Guantanamo more than this administration,” Bloomberg reports, “They’re settling in for the long haul at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” Work is almost complete on a new $30 million state-of-the-art detention facility.
A story written by Amir Taheri, a prominent neo-con, regarding new legislation in Iran “allegedly requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive-colored badges circulated around the world last weekend before it was exposed as extremely dubious.” Juan Cole described the article as “typical of black psychological operations campaigns,” particularly in its origin in an “out-of-the-way newspaper that is then picked up by the mainstream press.”
“Railroad to Nowhere” off the tracks? A wasteful $700 million earmark to relocate a railroad line in Mississippi “will not be included in the conference report for the emergency supplemental bill…, a Frist budget aide said Monday,” though “a spokeswoman for the author of the provision, Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) said it was still on the table.”
Public Citizen yesterday released a report, “The Bankrollers: Lobbyists’ Payments to the Lawmakers They Court,” which provides “more proof of the symbiotic relationship between K Street and Capitol Hill.” The report found lobbyists and their political action committees have given members of Congress $103 million since 1998. Read more