What could be more important than a Republican scandal? Why, nothing, says The Washington Post, so let's lead with it!
By R. Jeffrey Smith Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page A01
The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.
DeLay's expenses during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland were billed to a different credit card also used on the trip by a second registered Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.
I'm a bit dismayed that this is their top story in light of everything that's happened in the five year's since
2000, but they have a lot of detail and research invested in the story. It's an interesting glimpse into the political world, rules broken or not.
Over 100 Killed As Post-Election Calm Dissipates
By Ellen Knickmeyer Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page A01
BAGHDAD, April 23 -- Violence is escalating sharply in Iraq after a period of relative calm that followed the January elections. Bombings, ambushes and kidnappings targeting Iraqis and foreigners, both troops and civilians, have surged this month while the new Iraqi government is caught up in power struggles over cabinet positions.
Many attacks have gone unchallenged by Iraqi forces in large areas of the country dominated by insurgents, according to the U.S. military, Iraqi officials and civilians and visits by Washington Post correspondents. Hundreds of Iraqis and foreigners have either been killed or wounded in the last week.
One page in, this looks like a roundup of bad news. But just underneath this front page headline are three links, the first one for better news:
I would have made the 6 arrests the top story of this section, or even the rights groups rejections of the abuse findings--the stories have more meat to them.
Training, Licensing Questions Raised
By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page A01
When patients needed urgent CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds late at night at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, Conn., emergency room workers used to rouse a bleary-eyed staff radiologist from his bed to read the images. Not anymore.
The work now goes to Arjun Kalyanpur -- 8,000 miles away in Bangalore, India. When it is the middle of the night in Connecticut, Kalyanpur is in the middle of his day, handling calls from St. Mary's and dozens of other American hospitals that transmit pictures to him electronically so he can quickly assess them and advise their doctors.
Huh. Okay. What's happening at the NY Times?
It did for you too, you aging hippies! Oops, sorry--
By RICHARD BERNSTEIN, DANIEL J. WAKIN and MARK LANDLER Published: April 24, 2005
TÜBINGEN, Germany, April 23 - For all Pope Benedict XVI's decades as a Vatican insider, it may have been the crucible of a university town swept by student radicalism in the late 1960's that definitively shaped the man who now leads the Roman Catholic Church.
During his Bavarian childhood under the Nazis, Joseph Ratzinger became convinced that the moral authority based in Catholic teachings was the sole reliable bulwark against human barbarism, according to friends, associates, and his biographer, John L. Allen Jr.
All righty, what else?
By JAMES DAO Published: April 24, 2005
his article was reported by James Dao, Matthew L. Wald and Don Phillips and written by Mr. Dao.
WASHINGTON, April 23 - It was called the American Flyer, and its goals were ambitious: to speed train travel between Northeastern cities, steal customers from air shuttles, provide the model for a nationwide fast rail system and help its deficit-prone parent, Amtrak, earn a profit.
"These trains will enable Amtrak to carry its customers into the 21st century aboard 21st-century trains," said Thomas M. Downs, Amtrak's president, at a 1996 ceremony announcing a $611 million contract for the new trains.
Today that train is called the Acela, and instead of being Amtrak's savior, it has become a frustrating burden. On Wednesday, the company announced plans to sideline all 20 Acelas until summer to replace cracked brakes. It was the third major disruption of the high-speed service since it came on line in 2001.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...wait, a little more coffee and ...
ASHINGTON, April 23 - A new federal policy will make it significantly more difficult for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain hearings in person before a judge when the government denies their claims for home care, nursing home services, prescription drugs and other treatments.
For years, hearings have been held at more than 140 Social Security offices around the country. In July, the Department of Health and Human Services will take over the responsibility, and department officials said all judges would then be located at just four sites - in Cleveland; Miami; Irvine, Calif.; and Arlington, Va.
Under the new policy, Medicare officials said, most hearings will be held with videoconference equipment or by telephone. A beneficiary who wants to appear in person before a judge must show that "special or extraordinary circumstances exist," the rules say.
...aaaaaand ...no, that doesn't do it for me. Perhaps a yoga class instead? But before I go, I'd like to answer my first question again. What's more important than a five-year-old Republican scandal?
Why, a five-year-old Democratic scandal. The NY Sun is hot on the trail:
A Kennedy Relative Acted as Informant in Democrat Circles
BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 22, 2005
A New Orleans political consultant who is Senator Kennedy's brother-in-law, Raymond Reggie, has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, sources close to the matter said yesterday. <>At a federal court hearing yesterday morning, Reggie, 43, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors described check-kiting and loan fraud schemes he operated involving three Louisiana banks, but they did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government.
The New York Sun reported yesterday that an unnamed witness with ties to a prominent political figure has been involved in recent federal investigations of campaign fund-raising violations, including a probe into alleged financial misreporting in Mrs. Clinton's bid for the Senate in 2000. The informant, described in court papers only as a "confidential witness," was part of an FBI plan to secretly audiotape conversations with political operatives, including a well-known person who prosecutors said was seeking to funnel donations from foreigners to federal campaigns.
Huh. Funny that WaPo and The NY Times didn't lead, or even take note of this, as Vodkapundit
, who led me to this story, notes:
And what a story! It's got corruption, Kennedys, secret informants, Clintons, even weird sexual allegations. You'd think it would be the lead headline from coast to coast.
Happy Sunday news reading folks!