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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
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Archive: December 2007

The Price of Neglect

The last installment for 2007 in The Post's investigation of the D.C. schools highlights one example of how school officials have wasted previous infusions of money. The $80 million in brand new boilers that were installed in 50 school buildings in recent years were not properly maintained, and many of...

By The Editors | December 31, 2007; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (3)

Senators Call for New Probe of Smithsonian

Two U.S. senators called for independent investigations of information contained in Friday's story in The Washington Post regarding more than $250,000 in travel expenditures over the past four years by the founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley has asked...

By The Editors | December 30, 2007; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (8)

Nigerian Judge Orders Pfizer Arrests

A Nigeria judge has ordered the arrest of three senior Pfizer executives based in the West African country, charging that they failed to appear in court in connection with a $2 billion lawsuit, the Associated Press and other news organizations are reporting. The executives named in the warrants include Ngozi...

By The Editors | December 26, 2007; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

A $2.9 Million Mystery

With no formal contract and without the approval of the chief academic officer, D.C. school officials approved $2.9 million in a single day in 2005 for a newly created non-profit to train teachers in reading and writing instruction. The money was authorized on the basis of a pair of one-page...

By The Editors | December 21, 2007; 9:37 AM ET | Comments (0)

Investigations Elsewhere

Investigations by three newspapers caught our eye this week. Over the weekend the Philadelphia Inquirer launched a three-day series focusing on the large number of nuisance arrests by suburban police departments. The Inquirer found that three Philadelphia-area, blue-collar towns were among the top 15 in the nation for such arrests,...

By The Editors | December 20, 2007; 7:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Friend of a Friend

This week's article by Post staff writers John Solomon and Matthew Mosk adds new detail to the saga of Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner whose friendship with Rudolph Giuliani has created headaches for the Republican presidential candidate. Solomon and Mosk obtained and reviewed six boxes of...

By The Editors | December 20, 2007; 4:23 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Gift to D.C. Schools -- With Strings Attached

Today's article on how Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) forced a campaign contributor's reading program into the D.C. schools is the first in a two-day report about the chaotic ways in which pupils in the nation's capital get their curricula. Many educators believe this fractured system of classroom instruction is one...

By The Editors | December 20, 2007; 8:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Another Arrest in D.C. Tax Scandal

Federal prosecutors have charged an eighth person in the embezzlement case at the District's tax office. Alethia O. Grooms, a Prince George's County real estate agent, was charged as part of the scandal after receiving two fraudulent checks this year from the office, prosecutors said. Seven others, including two employees...

By The Editors | December 19, 2007; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Death of a Farm Program Reform

In advance of this year's farm bill debate, The Washington Post reported that 16 private crop insurance companies made $3.1 billion in profits from the heavily subsidized program over the past eight years while the government lost $1.5 billion. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), citing findings of the Government Accountability...

By The Editors | December 18, 2007; 8:15 AM ET | Comments (16)

Addiction Treatment Abused

The Baltimore Sun has launched a three-day investigation into the misuse of the drug buprenorphine, promoted as a treatment for opiate addiction, but increasingly sold and used illegally. The federal government, according to the Sun, has spent millions to create and promote the drug as part of a plan to...

By The Editors | December 17, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Abramoff Scandal Figures Sentenced

The woman who was lobbyist Jack Abramoff's conduit to the top ranks of the Interior Department was sentenced today to two months in a halfway house and four years' probation. Italia Federici, the one-time president of a Republican environmental group, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to tax evasion and...

By The Editors | December 14, 2007; 5:58 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Baseball Scandal

The performance-enhancing drug scandal that is shaking Major League Baseball first came to light as a result of investigative reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle. The scandal began with a federal raid on an obscure firm near the San Francisco International Airport on Sept. 3, 2003. At the time, few...

By The Editors | December 14, 2007; 1:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Southern Farm Interests Prevail Again

Southern farm interests flexed their political muscle in the Senate today, blocking an attempt to slash limits on what one farm family can collect in federal subsidies from $360,000 to $250,000 a year. It was the second defeat this week for lawmakers seeking to reshape the nation's farm programs,...

By The Editors | December 13, 2007; 2:27 PM ET | Comments (1)

Charities Shortchange Veterans

The American Institute of Philanthropy rated 29 veterans charities, and failed a dozen for spending too little money on the wounded troops. One group shared just 1 cent for every dollar it raised. The Post's Philip Rucker reported on that study, but went farther by examining tax filings from the...

By The Editors | December 13, 2007; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

Follow-up: School Employee Charged

A technology manager for District of Columbia schools who stuck schoolchildren with his tabs for thousands of dollars worth of lavish restaurant meals, nightclub jaunts and visits to a strip club has been charged with filing fraudulent expense reimbursement requests. Emerson Crawley was the subject of an article last month...

By The Editors | December 12, 2007; 9:21 AM ET | Comments (14)

Witness for the Prosecution

Italia Federici, one-time president of a Republican environmental group, provided the government "substantial assistance" in sending former Interior deputy secretary J. Steven Griles to jail for 10 months earlier this year, according to a filing today by the Justice Department. In return, federal prosecutors are recommending that she be...

By The Editors | December 11, 2007; 7:00 PM ET | Comments (3)

Meet the Reporters and Editors

At any given time, more than two dozen reporters and editors are working on investigative articles for The Post. Starting now you can read a bit about their backgrounds and previous work, and contact them directly. Check out our new page for the investigative team....

By The Editors | December 11, 2007; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Update on Veteran

Army 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, who was recently profiled by Post reporters Dana Priest and Anne Hull, has received good news: an Army hearing officer has recommended that she should not face a court-martial for attempting suicide and endangering another soldier while in Iraq. Whiteside, who is undergoing psychiatric...

By The Editors | December 11, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

Responding to a Critic

Economist Dean Baker, who blogs for The American Prospect, takes issue with last week's installment in The Post's ongoing Harvesting Cash series. (Read today's editorial about the Post series and former President Jimmy Carter's op-ed piece about farm subsidies.) Baker argues that the article indicts the Agriculture Department's loan...

By The Editors | December 10, 2007; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (1)

Still Not Sweet on the Senator

Last month, The Post reported that American Crystal Sugar Co., a huge Minnesota beet refining cooperative, has rewarded pro-sugar lawmakers with nearly $1 million in campaign contributions this year. The company has also punished one lawmaker, Sen. Norman Coleman (R-Minn.), who went against its wishes on a crucial trade vote...

By The Editors | December 7, 2007; 5:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Missing CIA Tapes

Did the CIA eliminate evidence of waterboarding? That question is behind the uproar over the revelation that the CIA destroyed videotapes of its harsh interrogations of two captured al-Qaeda leaders. Today's report refocuses attention on what happened in the agency's secret prisons in recent years. The Post's Dana Priest...

By The Editors | December 7, 2007; 2:47 PM ET | Comments (43)

Police Shootings in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune, known for its investigations of police practices and the criminal justice system, has produced an eight-month examination of police shootings dating back a decade. Using records from internal investigative files, medical examiner autopsies and depositions in lawsuits, reporters Sam Roe, David Heinzmann and Steve Mills examined 200...

By The Editors | December 6, 2007; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Follow the Money

The federal government has never made it easy for the public to "follow the money" that flows from Washington through contracts and grants. It took a nonprofit, OMB Watch, to make that information easily available on a website, which the group has just expanded and updated with more data. The...

By The Editors | December 5, 2007; 4:37 PM ET | Comments (1)

Investigating the 'Bank for Rural America'

Since the 1970s, a little-known loan program from the Agriculture Department has endured nearly $1.5 billion in losses -- while backing almost $14 billion in guarantees to private banks. That's the latest finding in The Post's ongoing investigation of waste, fraud and abuse in the nation's farm support programs....

By The Editors | December 5, 2007; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Doctors Don't Always Tell

Physicians generally agree that they should report impaired or incompetent colleagues, but 45 percent said they didn't always do so, The Post's Christopher Lee reports. Serious weaknesses in the nation's system of disciplining doctors was the subject of a 2005 investigation by reporter Cheryl W. Thompson. The three-part series described...

By The Editors | December 4, 2007; 3:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Notes on a Suicide

The New York Times published a front-page story today about Charles D. Riechers, the senior Air Force procurement official who took his own life following the revelation that he had been placed into a private consulting job for two months while awaiting confirmation for his Air Force post. Post reporter...

By The Editors | December 4, 2007; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Poor Oversight of Thrill Rides

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has not required any ride manufacturers to make safety improvements in the past eight years, despite several deaths and dozens of injuries, The Post's Elizabeth Williamson reports. This summer, four young people died at amusement parks, according to news accounts. Critics say the...

By The Editors | December 4, 2007; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

New Arrest in Tax Refund Scam

A former assistant branch manager at a Baltimore bank has been arrested for allegedly helping D.C. city workers steal millions of dollars by issuing phony property tax refund checks. Prosecutors accuse Walter Jones of being the linchpin in a scheme allegedly operated by former D.C. tax manager Harriette Walters. Jones...

By The Editors | December 3, 2007; 5:57 PM ET | Comments (4)

Veteran is Diagnosed, Then Charged

Post reporters Dana Priest and Anne Hull continued their examination of the treatment of war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the story of Army 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, whose doctors say she has a mental disorder. After seven years of exemplary service, the 25-year-old Army reservist...

By The Editors | December 3, 2007; 12:05 PM ET | Comments (15)

Probation for Killers

In our continuing effort to use this blog to cite outstanding investigative work occurring elsewhere, we point you to the Dallas Morning News' five-part series, Unequal Justice. The investigation by reporters Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin found that 120 killers had received probation in Texas between 2000 and 2006. Of...

By The Editors | December 3, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)


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