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Despite 935 documented lies, Rove book insists Iraq war was justified

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Blames Democrats for Katrina aftermath

Republican strategist Karl Rove says in a new memoir that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq badly damaged the Bush administration’s credibility and led to dwindling public support for the war.

The former White House political adviser blames himself for not pushing back against claims that President George W. Bush had taken the country to war under false pretenses, calling it one of the worst mistakes he made during the Bush presidency. The president, he adds, did not knowingly mislead the American public about the existence of such weapons.

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In “Courage and Consequence,” Rove argues that history will look favorably on Bush’s two-term presidency, particularly his decision to invade Iraq. He calls the 2003 invasion the most consequential act of the Bush presidency and a justifiable response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even though al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, not Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, were responsible.

In the run-up to the war, Bush and his national security team, including Vice President Dick Cheney, attempted to link Saddam to the attacks as a way to build support for the invasion.

“Having seen how much carnage four airplanes could cause, Bush was determined to do all he could to prevent the most powerful weapons from falling into the hands of the world’s most dangerous dictators,” Rove wrote.

Rove depicts Bush as a courageous and resolute leader whose conduct in office was forever shaped by the Sept. 11 attacks. He calls Bush’s achievements over two terms “impressive, durable and significant” and says many of the controversies that weakened his presidency were falsehoods perpetuated by political opponents.

Rove staunchly defends Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated states along the Gulf of Mexico in September 2005. Bush came under withering criticism for the federal government’s response to the crisis; his memorable praise for FEMA administrator Michael Brown — “Heck of a job, Brownie” — was fodder for those who said it revealed the administration’s detachment and incompetence.

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In the book, Rove blames state and local officials for botching recovery efforts, particularly Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, both Democrats.

He also has sharp words for President Barack Obama, calling him a stereotypical Chicago politician who plays fast and loose with the facts.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the book in advance of its March 9 release.

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In 2008, the AP reported that a study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

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The study — posted on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism — counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

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MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle says Trump’s stock market and America’s ‘real economy are two very different things’

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MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle ranted about the difference between the actual economy and President Donald Trump's stock market.

Over the past weeks, since the coronavirus crisis began, the stock market has been bouncing like a basketball. At times, it closed after record spikes, the following days it dropped to record decreases.

She explained that Trump may be giving a week and a nod to the agriculture industry or oil companies, but it doesn't stop employees from dying if companies are opened back up.

"We're talking about life and death!" she exclaimed. "People are dying! Grocery store employees are dying! If he is mentioning this to people in the ag community -- if you run a farm, you cannot run the risk that people you have out there working have the virus. They're spreading it to someone else. This is very serious business. So, yes, the president is getting out there, talking up a big game. And it makes the market go up and it makes the market go down. But this is a perfect example of where the stock market and real-life and the real economy are two very different things."

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‘American shame’: Doctors spit fire at Trump’s ‘sinful incompetence’ on COVID-19 pandemic

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Stat News this week interviewed a dozen different doctors from across the United States, and they all said that the federal government had failed to act in a timely manner to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, minced absolutely zero words when asked to evaluate the Trump administration's response to the crisis.

"The American public doesn’t know that a large portion of this catastrophe was preventable, if not for the sinful incompetence of our leaders," he said. "It didn't have to be like this."

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QAnon conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic are a public health threat

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First there was the pandemic, then came the “infodemic” — a term the head of the World Health Organization defines as the spread of false information about COVID-19.

The most dangerous conspiracy theories about the coronavirus are now part of the QAnon phenomenon. For months now, actors in QAnon have downplayed the severity of the crisis, amplified medical disinformation and have been originators of hoaxes.

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