>For those who have the time, today might be a good day to contact congressional representatives about the continuing issue of retroactive immunity for telecom corporations that cooperated with the Bush Administration’s domestic spying program. Nevada citizens may want to contact Rep. Berkley, Rep. Porter, and now 420th ranked Rep. Dean Heller. There appears to be some movement toward “caving” into the demand for retroactive immunity in which the members of the Intelligence Committees are at odds with those who have other committee assignments; this was quite evidently the case in the Senate, and that division appears to be happening in the House as well. TPM Muckraker offers a summary of the situation thus far. Paul Kiel provides an analysis of the status of the PAA.
The Las Vegas Sun raises “Questions on everyone’s mind” about the Hepatitis scandal and headlines “Take a grain of salt and read this: clinic owner defends practices in ad.” The LVRJ weighs in with “Public Health Crisis: Criminal inquiry starts,” and reports that “Related clinics (are) closed.”
Bay of Piggies: This paragraph should be sufficient to entice a person to read the Vanity Fair’s exposé on the Bush Administration’s fiasco in regard to the Palestinian elections: “Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)”
The Mukasey Paradox: As is quite often the case, Prof. Jonathan Turley nails the essential problem with Bush Administration “logic” in this terse summation: “In his twisting of legal principles, the attorney general has succeeded in creating a perfect paradox. Under Mukasey’s Paradox, lawyers cannot commit crimes when they act under the orders of a president — and a president cannot commit a crime when he acts under advice of lawyers.” [LAT] Perfect. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has already commented on this issue: “The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that.”
Bush Administration Medicaid cuts slash deep: Nevada stands to lose an unspecified amount of funds for public providers of Medicare services; $2.1 million over five years in payments for graduate medical education; more losses in payments for outpatient hospital services; approximately $5.4 million lost in provider taxes; another $50.4 million over five years in coverage for rehabilitative services; $4.5 million lost in payments for school administrative and transportation for children’s access to school district staff with assistance with Medicaid enrollment or in accessing Medicaid benefits; an unspecified loss in funding for targeted case management, which could total some $28 million. [MedSum pdf] The House Committee on Oversight provides a state by state summary of what the Administration’s proposal will cost. And, if you’re thinking that this approach to medical care is bad; wait until you read what California has in mind for a “disaster plan” to respond to a “Katrina-like” (read earthquake, wildland fire) emergency. [Sac Bee] via [DKos]
Another wreck for the Straight Talk Express: While attempting to deflect criticism of his associations with lobbyists, the McCain Campaign has — hired another lobbyist. [AmerBlog] The Nation offers more in “The Real McCain Scandal,” (sub req) see also: Carpetbagger Report