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Friday, March 19

White House vies for Fake News Spotlight. Watch out Comedy Central! not.


Since more people watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart than read the papers or watch the news on television, I am happy to bring you the exclusive Daily Show video of the MEDICARE FRAUD! Watch It!

If you can't watch the video, and you like to read.
From the NY Times

Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law.....

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had HIRED her to read a script prepared by the government.

...Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress. In the past, the General Accounting Office has found that federal agencies violated this restriction when they disseminated editorials and newspaper articles written by the government or its contractors without identifying the source.

The arrogance of BushCo is what really gets to this blonde.

A Knight Ridder reporter revealed this week that Richard Foster, a top administration expert on Medicare costs, told colleagues last June that he would be fired or forced to resign if he revealed that the estimated price tag for upgrading Medicare's prescription-drug benefit was far higher than the figure advertised by Congress and the White House.

Mr. Foster, a chief actuary for Medicare in the Department of Health and Human Services, repeatedly came up with 10-year costs of $551 billion -- a staggering $155 billion higher than the $395 billion estimate sold to Congress in the weeks prior to the vote last November.

From the NY Times
Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost

WASHINGTON, March 17 — Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly.

Dated June 11, 2003, the document put the cost at $551.5 billion over 10 years. It appeared to confirm what Ms. Bjorklund and her bosses on the House Ways and Means Committee had long suspected: the actuary, Richard S. Foster, had concluded the legislation would be far more expensive than Congress's $400 billion estimate — and had kept quiet while lawmakers voted on the bill and President Bush signed it into law.

Ms. Bjorklund had been pressing Mr. Foster for his numbers since June. When he refused, telling her he could be fired, she said, she confronted his boss, Thomas A. Scully, then the Medicare administrator. "If Rick Foster gives that to you," Ms. Bjorklund remembered Mr. Scully telling her, "I'll fire him so fast his head will spin." Mr. Scully denies making such threats.

Read the whole thing

Ya know, when this Medicare thing came out, I was highly suspicious. It was rushed through so secretively. It seemed to have gaps in it. But the Bush Cartel managed to "seemingly" get the press/media to buy it which didn't surprise me really because the press just doesn't give a shit about the people who read it or watch it.

But seriously, the Daily Show is the best place to get your TV news. Monday - Thursday 11PM Com

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