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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: May 2008

Afghan Reconstruction Gets New Watchdog

The appointment of a special inspector general to examine waste and fraud in the reconstruction of Afghanistan comes three months after a congressional deadline to fill the position, The Post's Karen DeYoung reports today. The White House yesterday named retired Marine Corps Major Gen. Arnold Fields as inspector general for...

By Derek Kravitz | May 30, 2008; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

District's Cardiac Response Times Lagging

Despite its relatively small size, ambulances in the District have a low survival rate for cardiac arrest patients: only one in eight make it to the emergency room with a pulse, The Post's Elissa Silverman reports today. Across the river in Arlington County and Alexandria, where ambulances cover a much...

By Derek Kravitz | May 29, 2008; 2:48 PM ET | Comments (1)

McClellan on Cheney

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's new book touched off a firestorm of criticism from Bush administration officials, The Post's Dan Eggen reports. Among McClellan's targets in the 341-page book, entitled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," was Vice President Dick Cheney, who...

By Derek Kravitz | May 29, 2008; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (14)

Watchdogs: The Coast Guard's Accidents Investigations, or Lack Thereof

"Washington Watchdogs," a periodic feature of the Post's Investigations blog, looks at the findings of the federal government's official investigators. The U.S. Coast Guard didn't fully investigate hundreds of sea accidents and deaths because of inexperienced marine investigators, says an inspector general's report from the Department of Homeland Security....

By Derek Kravitz | May 28, 2008; 8:01 AM ET | Comments (1)

Paul's Campaign A Family Affair

Ron Paul's presidential campaign is truly a family affair. Over the past few months, Paul's campaign has put the Texas congressman's relatives in a number of key positions, paying them nearly $170,000, according to the latest campaign finance reports, The Post's Matthew Mosk reports today. Among the family members raking...

By Derek Kravitz | May 27, 2008; 3:43 PM ET | Comments (46)

Rove Subpoenaed in Continuing House Probe

Former Bush presidential adviser Karl Rove was "invited" in mid-April to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Yesterday, he was served with a subpoena, The Post's Carrie Johnson reports. The judiciary committee's subpoena of Rove is the latest in a long series of inquiries into whether Rove and others were...

By Derek Kravitz | May 23, 2008; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (1)

McCain's Man, The Rebel and Abramoff

Charles R. Black Jr., a key lobbyist for presidential candidate John McCain, has ties to a brutal Angolan guerrilla leader (Washington Post). John McCain's man in Washington, lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr., has ties to a brutal Angolan guerrilla leader, as The Post reports today, but he's not the...

By Derek Kravitz | May 22, 2008; 1:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

District Embezzlement Case Widens

The District's Office of Tax and Revenue remains in the headlines -- two today. A third conspirator in a far-reaching embezzlement case, 33-year-old Walter Jones of Essex, Md., has pled guilty to being involved in the biggest fraud in the District's history, the embezzlement of $20 million to $50 million...

By Derek Kravitz | May 22, 2008; 12:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

FBI Interrogation Report Shows Internal War

Complaints levied against FBI agents about abusive interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other U.S. military sites show a proverbial war of ideals between government interrogators, according to an internal audit released yesterday. Reports that Guantanamo detainees were being subjected to extreme temperatures, religious abuses and nude interrogation were...

By Derek Kravitz | May 21, 2008; 6:45 PM ET | Comments (2)

Clinton and Her 'Radical' Friend

The battle for the Democratic nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has featured two candidates trying to distinguish themselves while defending their past associations. Obama was criticized in April by Clinton for interacting with two former student radicals, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, members of Students for a...

By Derek Kravitz | May 21, 2008; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Philly Police Officers Fired in Beating Case

Four Philadelphia police officers were fired for their role in a videotaped beating May 5 of three suspects -- a swift action by the city's police commissioner who once presided over the District's cop shop. The firings were announced today by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and police commissioner Charles...

By Derek Kravitz | May 20, 2008; 4:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Lobbyists Behind Tax Breaks

Sen. Charles Grassley, a ranking member of the Senate's Finance Committee and a Republican from Iowa, is demanding more transparency in the process that would make public the names of lobbyists and firms that advocate tariff suspensions, Inside U.S. Trade reports. The push for more transparency follows a September 2006...

By Derek Kravitz | May 20, 2008; 1:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Yemeni Terrorist Suspect Steps on Reporter's Toes

Jaber Elbaneh, one of the world's most-wanted terrorism suspects, was jailed over the weekend, but not before the Yemeni man quite literally ran into the Post's Craig Whitlock. A previous Post story shows how 41-year-old Elbaneh was allowed to roam free in his native country under the personal protection of...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 9:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dairy Price Gouging Investigated

Federal regulators are investigating allegations that the nation's largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, has manipulated milk and cheese prices, The Wall Street Journal reported today. And investigators are separately reviewing a transfer of $1 million in cash to Gary Hanman, a former director of the organization, as part...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 9:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Controlled Unclassified Info' Enters Security World

A new Bush administration memo has introduced the world to "Controlled Unclassified Information" -- a new government category that will replace "Sensitive but Unclassified" in the jargon of terrorism information and disclosure, The Post's Walter Pincus reports today in his "Fine Print" column. Such information -- though it does not...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 8:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Former AOL Time Warner Execs Accused of Inflating Earnings

Eight former AOL Time Warner executives fraudulently inflated the company's online advertising revenues by more than $1 billion between 2000 and 2002, news services reported today. The revelation comes nearly six years after The Post's Alec Klein examined a number of the online division's advertising and commerce deals, focusing on...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 7:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

HUD Contracts Prompts More Questions About Jackson

How a three-employee Texas company went from having no government work in 2004 to landing $71 million in contracts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to oversee the upkeep and sale of defaulted homes was detailed Sunday by The Post's Carol D. Leonnig. A Post examination of...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

A New Feature for the Blog: Findings of the Government's Official Investigators

Welcome to a new feature that will appear here frequently. "Washington Watchdogs" will cherry-pick the reports, audits and testimonies generated by the federal government's inspectors general, the Government Accountability Office and others. Today we look at reports examining child neglect in group homes; the resignation of a Naval officer...

By Derek Kravitz | May 19, 2008; 3:36 PM ET | Comments (1)

Congress Passes Veto-Proof Farm Bill

UPDATE: Senators gave final congressional approval this afternoon to the farm bill by a veto-proof margin of 81-15, news services are reporting. The Bush administration has pledged to veto the nearly $300 billion measure.If that occurs, each chamber must call a new vote and pass the bill by a two-thirds...

By Derek Kravitz | May 15, 2008; 12:12 PM ET | Comments (3)

Defendant in Spitzer Probe Pleads Guilty

A woman who booked high-end prostitutes for customers, including former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, pleaded guilty today in a federal probe, becoming the first person to admit wrongdoing in the highly-publicized case, the Associated Press reports. Temeka Rachelle Lewis, 32, pleaded guilty to federal charges of promoting prostitution and...

By Derek Kravitz | May 14, 2008; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Detainees Drugged and Deported

"Pre-flight cocktails" of dangerous psychotropic drugs were forcefully given to foreign detainees by federal employees during trips back to home countries, The Post's Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest report today in the last installment of the four-part series into medical treatment provided to immigrants by the federal government. The drugging...

By Derek Kravitz | May 14, 2008; 3:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Friend Of Catfish Farmers

The Post's Jeffrey H. Birnbaum reports today that U.S. catfish farmers were one of the winners in the recently brokered $300 billion farm bill, thanks in large part to Thad Cochran, a ranking Mississippi Republican on the appropriations committee. Under the a provision in the bill proposed by Cochran, the...

By The Editors | May 13, 2008; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Suicides In Detention

During the past five years, 15 immigrant detainees have committed suicide under medical care and treatment provided by the federal government, making it the most common cause of death, The Post reports in the third installment of its four-part "Careless Detention" series. The Post's Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest examine...

By The Editors | May 13, 2008; 2:15 PM ET | Comments (1)

Poor Care for Foreign Detainees

In a four-part series, the Post is examining failures in the federal government's medical treatment of foreign detainees, housed in compounds, private prisons and local jails across the country. Among the problems are missing and incomplete medical records, lack of access to physicians and hospitals and serious lapses in care...

By The Editors | May 12, 2008; 5:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Walter Reed Closure Looms

The planned closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center will take another step forward in the next two weeks as Bethesda naval hospital's multimillion-dollar expansion begins, consolidating medical operations in the area and moving much of the care of wounded soldiers to Maryland, The Post's Miranda S. Spivack reports today....

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 8:05 PM ET | Comments (1)

Israeli PM Investigated For Payments

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's political future may be in doubt after fresh accusations surfaced yesterday that he illegally accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from a New York businessman, The Associated Press reports today. Olmert said he would step down if indicted. And in an interview with Lally Weymouth...

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 7:12 PM ET | Comments (1)

Farm Bill Update: Veto Threatened

A final agreement brokered by congressional leaders on a nearly $300 billion farm bill still faces a significant hurdle, with the Bush administration saying it would likely veto what it called a "massive, bloated" measure, The Post's Dan Morgan reports today. It is likely the bill will reach the House...

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 4:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Interrogation Memo to be Debated

The use of harsh interrogation tactics by CIA officials could be set for debate again after a federal judge in New York announced plans to review next week one of the Bush administration's most controversial legal opinions related to detainee interrogations, The Post's Dan Eggen reports today. The 2002 memo...

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 2:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Supporters and Their Land Swaps

A Washington Post investigative article focuses new attention on deals involving federal land and campaign contributors to presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The Post's Matthew Mosk reports that McCain championed legislation that will let an Arizona rancher trade remote grassland and ponderosa pine forest in his home state for...

By The Editors | May 9, 2008; 1:50 PM ET | Comments (3)

With Abramoff in Jail, Saipan Loses Its Fight

One of disgraced former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff's biggest clients -- the tiny Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific just north of Guam -- has lost its 20-year fight to remain exempt from U.S. immigration and labor laws. The islands played a small, if somewhat noticeable, role in a...

By The Editors | May 8, 2008; 6:54 PM ET | Comments (11)

Ex-D.C Chief Finds Philly Has Challenges, Too

As D.C. police chief a decade ago, Charles H. Ramsey had to deal with the fallout from a Post investigation which found that city police officers shot and killed more people per capita than any other large city police force. Ramsey requested a Justice Department probe, which led to 10...

By The Editors | May 8, 2008; 5:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

More On Hill Aides and Politicking

Democratic Reps. Jane Harman and Neil Abercrombie spent more than $2 million on their 2006 re-election campaigns but paid only $5,000 to campaign workers, according to campaign finance reports, The Post's Carrie Johnson and Paul Kane report today. The two Democrats, from Southern California and Hawaii, respectively, have been accused...

By The Editors | May 8, 2008; 3:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Farm Bill Update: Farms to Nowhere?

To round up enough votes to override a threatened veto of the farm bill, House and Senate negotiators have been dropping in plums for almost everybody. So it's no big surprise that there may be some last-minute money in it for a few hundred farmers in Alaska, reports Dan Morgan....

By The Editors | May 7, 2008; 7:36 PM ET | Comments (6)

Lost E-mail in Missouri and at the White House

Investigators allege that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's office ordered state computer technicians to destroy copies of e-mail messages that might have been politically damaging, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies first reported and The Kansas City Star's Kit Wagar reports today. The lawsuit -- filed by an independent investigative team...

By The Editors | May 7, 2008; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Political Activities by Hill Staffers Probed

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has sent a letter to the House ethics committee asking lawmakers to investigate claims that congressional staff members were forced to support political campaigns. The letter comes after Laura I. Flores, a former aide to Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Neil Abercrombie...

By The Editors | May 7, 2008; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Raid Is Latest Step in Probe of Special Counsel

Federal agents raided the offices of Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch as part of a probe into whether he obstructed justice by having his computer files erased, The Post's Carrie Johnson and Christopher Lee report today. More than two years ago, Bloch became the target of an investigation into...

By The Editors | May 6, 2008; 6:40 PM ET | Comments (1)

Alleged Pressure from Governor's Office

A top police commander in Maryland alleged that political pressure from Gov. Martin O'Malley's office forced state police to grant a new auto inspection license to a Prince George's County station, which had its license revoked four years ago for fraudulent practices, The Post's John Wagner reports today. Memos...

By The Editors | May 6, 2008; 11:50 AM ET | Comments (1)

D.C. Tenants Get Little Help

Despite a multi-million-dollar fund created to fix neglected District buildings when landlords fail to step in, only a fraction of the money has gone to repairs and an even smaller amount has been spent on the most troubled apartment complexes. The Post's Debbie Cenziper and Sarah Cohen report that, in...

By The Editors | May 5, 2008; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Our First Annual Top Ten List

In what we hope becomes an annual tradition, the Post Investigations blog names the top newspaper investigations of 2007: The Top Ten(alphabetically by newspaper name) 1. Charlotte Observer, staff "Sold a Nightmare" The project examined the root causes of the Charlotte area's high rate of housing foreclosures, focusing on a...

By The Editors | May 2, 2008; 7:57 AM ET | Comments (13)

GSA Chief Lurita Doan Forced Out

General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan resigned this week at the behest of the White House. Doan's resignation came almost a year after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel conducted a probe and concluded she had violated federal prohibitions against government employees using their offices for political purposes. The...

By The Editors | May 1, 2008; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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