In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Hidden expenses double war’s cost

A new study by congressional Democrats says “hidden costs” have driven the price of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to about $1.5 trillion, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

That figure is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested, according to the report by the Democratic staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, which examines the hidden costs of the wars, the Post said.

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Drug lobbyists stall generic research

Legislation aimed at speeding the availability of cheaper generic drugs has stalled in Congress in the face of major lobbying by the drug industry.

The Senate bill would ban most settlements known as “reverse payments,” in which a brand-name company pays a generic manufacturer to delay the introduction of the generic drug. The Federal Trade Commission, which has called on Congress to take action, says such settlements could cost American consumers billions of dollars.

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Has the tide turned?

The first big test of security gains linked to the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq is at hand. The military has started to reverse the 30,000-strong troop increase and commanders are hoping the drop in insurgent and sectarian violence in recent months — achieved at the cost of hundreds of lives — won’t prove fleeting.

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Judge to White House: Save emails

A federal judge ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy on Monday directed the Executive Office of the President to safeguard the material in response to two lawsuits that seek to determine whether the White House has destroyed e-mails in violation of federal law.

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Hillary’s lead starts to slip

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s lead is shrinking among Democratic contenders for the White House after a series of miscues and stepped-up attacks by her rivals.

Her air of invincibility took a hit this week amid reports that her staffers had planted audience questions, combined with fresh criticism by Democrats who accused her of shifting with the political winds during a presidential debate two weeks ago.

Although the former first lady still leads the pack of Democratic contenders for the White House, polls released Monday suggested that her campaign was losing steam.

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The last hurrah

With all deference to the good people of Iowa, whose common sense in most things including politics is exceeded only by the richness of the state’s soil, there is really no good reason that they should have such an overridingly important role in the presidential selection process. Yet in two months they will meet in caucus, not even a primary, and give at least one Democrat and one Republican a considerable boost toward the nomination.

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Listen to this man

I’ve read quite a few books about Vietnam, but the only one that I’ve read twice is “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young,” by Lt. Gen. Harold Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway.

It’s the story of the first full-scale engagement between North Vietnamese regulars and American troops, a bloody, desperate battle in the central highlands of Vietnam that began on Nov. 14, 1965. The 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary, commanded by Lt. Col. Moore, launched a helicopter-borne air assault into the remote and rugged Ia Drang Valley, employing a tactic that would become iconic for the war.

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Failing the Veterans

On Nov. 3, the New York Times published a front-page photograph of soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division returning to Fort Drum, N.Y., after a 15-month tour in Iraq. Several soldiers, glad to be back on U.S. soil, were shown kissing the ground.

For some of these soldiers, their return to the United States and their family reunions were bittersweet, and Sunday’s Veterans Day celebration was virtually meaningless.

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Blackwater may get a new contract

Blackwater Worldwide, the North Carolina mercenary company whose hired killers murdered Iraqi civilians without remorse or punishment, is in the running for another big contract from the Bush Administration.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Blackwater is one of five military contractors who have made the final cut for a $15 billion contract to wage war on the narcotics trade that the Bush Administration claims finances terrorism.

Critics of Blackwater’s killings at random in Iraq wonder how the firm made the cut for yet another lucrative contract and are pushing Congress for an investigation into the matter.

Some feel that Blackwater will continue to get business because CEO and owner Erik Prince is a major contributor to Bush and other Republicans and his wife has long ties to the GOP establishment.

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