Monday, September 26, 2005

Martha Frist, Czars, Patrick Tillman, Charlie Weis

A Google Blog search (can anyone detect my new schtick?) finds 348 hits for "Martha Stewart" Frist.

CNN/AP reports that Senator Bill Frist knew that his blind trust held his family's hospital company. Excerpt:

Frist spokesman Bob Stevenson said the senator received approval from the Senate Ethics Committee before he initiated the stock sale. All the information Frist received complied with federal law and Senate ethics rules, Stevenson added.

The stock was in HCA Inc., a chain of hospitals founded in the late 1960s by Frist's father and brother. At the time of the sale, insiders also were selling. Shortly after that sale, the stock price dipped because of a warning that earnings would not meet Wall Street expectations.

"If, in fact, Frist was actively involved in this decision, he certainly has to supply an explanation of how that's consistent with a blind trust," said Bob Bauer, a Washington attorney who has set up blind trusts for Democratic members of Congress.

TIME magazine reported last week that Dick Cheney stopped the appointing of a "reconstruction czar" in the Hurricane(s) region. Well, today Bush changes course, maybe, AP:

He also implied he will likely name a federal czar-like official to oversee the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. But he said that local officials must first produce a vision for how they want their rebuilt communities to look.

"I'm considering how best to balance the need for local vision and federal involvement," he said. "The vision and the element of reconstruction is just beginning and there may be a need for an interface with a particular person to help to make sure that the vision becomes reality."

The Cunning Realist has an important post on Pat Tillman's tragic death. His launching point is a weekend story in the San Francisco Gate. CR excerpt:

The extent of the disgrace defies belief: the initial coverup of the way Tillman died, the harvesting of that death for political expedience as the Abu Ghraib story broke, the predictable promotions of those arguably responsible for what happened on the ground that day, the changing of crucial testimony, the destruction of physical evidence, and the willful, flat-out lies our political and military leadership told to Tillman's family and the American public.

In the context of Tillman's strong and openly-stated opinions about Bush and the war in Iraq, it's all more than a bit interesting.

A touching story about Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis and a dying boy, CNN/SI.


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