- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2009

ROVE’S RESPONSE

“For more than two years, House Judiciary Committee Democrats and the New York Times editorial board have argued that I personally arranged for Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman to be prosecuted in 2004 for corruption and ordered the removal of eight U.S. attorneys in 2006 for failing to investigate Democrats. The Washington Post editorial board also echoed this last charge,” Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“The Times and The Post have published a combined 18 editorials on these issues, which were also catnip to House Judiciary Committee Democrats. Politico’s Ryan Grimm reported last year overhearing the committee’s chairman, John Conyers of Michigan, tell two others, ‘We’re closing in on Rove.’

“To get to the bottom of these issues, the Obama administration brokered a deal with former President George W. Bush’s lawyers and the House Judiciary Committee to provide the committee with the information it wanted while protecting executive privilege. This resulted in me sitting down for a 12-hour, two-day interview last month. More than 500 pages of material, including interview transcripts (available at Rove.com), were released last week, tidbits of which made the front pages,” said Mr. Rove, who was senior adviser to Mr. Bush.

“Judiciary Democrats had California Rep. Adam Schiff doggedly ask me about 4-year-old phone logs, e-mails, meetings and conversations. What did the committee discover?

“Judging from the evidence released, it uncovered facts that show that my role in the U.S. attorneys issue was minimal and entirely proper. I did not conceive of the idea of removing certain U.S. attorneys, did not select those to be removed, and did not see the lists of U.S. attorneys Justice was considering to replace. I had no idea who was on the final list until Justice sent it to the White House in November 2006. No fair-minded person can review the thousands of pages of documents and testimony and conclude that I drove the process.

“Instead, the committee seems to have found only evidence that discredits the idea that I orchestrated the firings to protect Republicans or punish Democrats.”

FALSE WITNESS

Peter Wehner, writing in a blog at www.commentarymagazine.com, says it is President Obama — and not his critics — who is spreading false information about health care reform legislation.

“In a conference call with a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other liberal religious leaders who support his plan to reinvent American health care, President Obama said: ‘I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness. I need you to spread the facts and speak the truth.’

“In fact, the number of examples in which Obama himself has borne ‘false witness’ is itself staggering - on everything from the cost of his plan, to its effects, to the endorsements he claims he has received, to the agreements he claims he has made. One reason support for Obamacare is collapsing is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has blown apart various false claims made by Obama about his plans,” Mr. Wehner said.

“And in the call [Wednesday], Mr. Obama once again was, well, bearing false witness. ‘Many of you have older members of your congregations. They’re all now scared to death that somehow we’re talking about cutting Medicare benefits,’ he said. ‘That is, again, simply not true.’

“The president’s statement is what’s simply not true. President Obama announced on Saturday, in fact, that he was proposing an additional $313 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts - which the White House euphemistically refers to as ‘savings’ - over 10 years, on top of the $309 billion in his 2010 budget.

“President Obama has developed a nasty little habit. It is not enough for him to spread false and misleading information on an almost daily basis; he has taken to portraying himself as America’s intrepid truth teller. He really should stop doing so.”

ABORTION DEBATE

The National Right to Life Committee accused President Obama of misleading a group of religious leaders Wednesday when he said it is a “fabrication” to say that the legislation backed by the White House would result in “government funding of abortions.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“Emboldened by the recently demonstrated superficiality of some organs of the news media, President Obama today brazenly misrepresented the abortion-related component of the health care legislation that his congressional allies and staff have crafted.

“As amended by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 30 (the Capps-Waxman Amendment), the bill backed by the White House (H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions.

“Obama apparently seeks to hide behind a technical distinction between tax funds and government-collected premiums. But these are merely two types of public funds, collected and spent by government agencies.

“The Obama-backed legislation makes it explicitly clear that no citizen would be allowed to enroll in the government plan unless he or she is willing to give the federal agency an extra amount calculated to cover the cost of all elective abortions - this would not be optional. The abortionists would bill the federal government and would be paid by the federal government. These are public funds, and this is government funding of abortion.”

TWO BOXES

“The left is determined to stuff opponents of the Obama administration’s health care plan into two small boxes, one labeled ‘right-wing whackos’ and the other, ‘gullible citizens deviously misled by right-wing whackos,’ “ Nolan Finley writes in the Detroit News.

“Tuesday morning, ABC news anchor Charles Gibson was asked by WJR’s Paul W. Smith about the growing public unrest over health care reform. He quickly defaulted to what’s become the standard explanation for the anger: Too many Americans, Gibson said, have been duped into believing the elderly will be denied life-saving treatments under Obamacare.

“It’s inconceivable to the liberal political establishment and their pals in the media that the people might have legitimate and fully informed objections to the grand government expansion they’ve orchestrated.

“The only answer that makes sense to them is that evil Republicans are scaring people to death,” Mr. Finley said.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washington times.com.

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