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September 04, 2009

GQ buries story that links Putin to bombings

Matt Taibbi - Taibblog – GQ, Having No Balls, Spikes Putin Story - True/Slant
The magazine apparently buried Scott Anderson’s expose about the 1999 apartment bombings in Russia that led, directly according to some and indirectly according to others, to the ascension of Vladimir Putin to power. The bombings were officially blamed on Chechen terrorists but over the years lots of evidence has surfaced pointing to some involvement by the Russian security agencies. A number of people who investigated those bombings, including journalist/deputy Yuri Schekochikhin and his journalist colleague Anna Politkovskaya, have since been murdered, although no direct connection has ever been drawn between the two. The evidence pointing to FSB involvement in those bombings was always intriguing. The most compelling revolved around a bomb found in the basement of a building in Ryazan that was found to have been placed there by the FSB, which later dismissed the incident as a “training exercise.” Anderson’s story pushes this theory forward with an interview of former KGB agent Mikhail Trepashkin, who investigated the case and claimed to have evidence of FSB involvement. However Trepashkin was arrested just days before he was scheduled to give evidence in a trial related to the bombings. He ended up being convicted of disclosing state secrets. Trepashkin has ties to gazillionaire mob creature Boris Berezovsky, however, and generally speaking it is impossible to know the truth really about anything with these Russian political shenanigans. But it is certainly notable that there has been an extraordinary effort to shut down those investigating the bombings. Which is understandable, when you’re talking about a thug like Vladimir Putin; that’s what these guys do, after all.

September 02, 2009

Presidential Fail: Obama to throw public option under bus

Raw Story | Report: Obama won’t insist on public option
In a move that is sure to raise the hackles of his party’s liberal base, President Barack Obama will not insist that Congressional legislation to reform healthcare include the so-called public option to compete with private health insurers, according to a report Wednesday. Politico reports that Obama officials have allegedly decided not to insist on a public option in a planned speech the President is set to deliver on healthcare.
Meanwhile, Bob Dole tells the president to stop being a constitutional law professor and start being... the president.
If I were a White House adviser, I would suggest that the day Congress reconvenes, President Obama's version of reform should be introduced by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Health-care reform is the vital issue of our time, and Obama should be out front with his specific plan on this make-or-break issue. ... Obama's approval numbers would jump 10 points if Americans knew he was fully in charge. ...

August 28, 2009

Reid talks out of both sides of his ass on healthcare

Reid Muddies Water: I'm For Public Option--So Long As It's Private | TPMDC
During a tele-townhall with constituents today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he supports a public option...but then he added an extremely important caveat. Reid said he doesn't think the public option ought to be a government run program like Medicare, but instead favors a "private entity that has direction from the federal government so people that don't fall within the parameters of being able to get insurance from their employers, they would have a place to go. " That sounds suspiciously like Reid would prefer a so-called co-op system, which almost all reformers regard with suspicion, and many regard as a non-starter. Reid is ultimately more than just one vote, too. If the Senate passes a health care bill through the regular legislative process, he'll be the one marrying two different pieces of legislation: one which creates a public option, and one which creates co-ops. Likewise, if the Senate passes health care reforms on a partisan basis through the so-called reconciliation process, his office would take the lead in determining whether to try an include a public option in the reconciliation bill.