Executives at the private North Carolina-based U.S. security firm Blackwater approved secret payments of about one million dollars to Iraqi officials to "silence their criticism" after its privately contracted guards killed 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007, the New York Times reported on November 11.
“What did you know and when did you know it?” was the infamously blunt question asked of President Richard Nixon regarding his involvement in the Watergate scandal. His unwillingness to answer that query eventually brought down his entire administration, culminating in his own historic resignation from office. Now that same question, instead of being asked of a President, is being asked by a President in regard to the Ft. Hood shooter and what if anything officials could have done to have prevented the recent tragedy.
With a new bag of political capital burning a hole in his pocket, President Obama pressed his nose against the window and wondered if that most wondrous of all gifts, Senate passage of healthcare legislation, could really be his by Christmas.
In a legislative clash that pitted Democrats against their fellows, the House voted Saturday to pass the Stupak Amendment. Sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Brad Ellsworth, (D-Ind.) and Joe Pitts, (R-Pa.), the measure prohibits federal money from being used to fund abortion through the Democrats’ 1,990-page healthcare plan.