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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: Bush By The Numbers, Walter Brasch
George W. Bush doesn’t like numbers. First, there’s the economy. When Bush came into office. Bill Clinton left him a $230 billion surplus and a balanced budget. Not only isn’t the budget balanced, that surplus from five years ago has turned into a $7.95 trillion deficit, increasing at the rate of about $1.7 billion a day. That’s about $27,000 for every American, including those who are unemployed....
About 45 million Americans, including about nine million children, don’t have health insurance, according to the American Public Health Association. The United States is the only country in the developed nations that doesn’t have universal health care....
George W. Bush had broad-based popular support from all Americans after 9/11, and manipulated that into a second term victory. But, through his own arrogance and incompetence, he has long ago spent whatever capital he thought he had, although it took the American people nine months after the 2004 election to finally speak out. No matter which poll you believe, they all reveal the same thing—if George W. Bush was America being graded on the standards of his No Child Left Behind Act, he’d fail.

Opinion: Down On The Farm With A Horse Named Trek, Jerry Politex
Prior to buying his farm near Waco around the time he decided to run for president, Bush's idea of a summer vacation was to hang out at his house in a gated club of summer homes deep in the piney woods of East Texas. To give you an idea of the culture of the area, the gated club next door called itself the KKK. Let's just say the racist past in Texas still was alive and well in certain enclaves in the state. This was hardly the place for a would-be president of all the citizens to live.
So his smoke and mirrors folks decided to turn Bush into a cowboy presidential candidate in the spirit of Teddy Rooselvelt, LBJ, and Reagan. The probem was these men could ride a horse, and Bush can only ride a bike. This became obvious when the candidate visited President Fox on his spread in Mexico, and turned down a ride on horseback offered by the Mexican rancher president. Bush wearing a belt buckle the size of a hub cap didn't make him a rancher, either.
So Bush created a fantasy world for the voters. He calls his 1,583 acre farm a ranch, but he only has 4 or 5 head of cattle on it. "'There are some guys that are all hat and no cattle. The president's not that way; he's hat and five cattle, joked Austin lawyer and former U.S. Rep. Kent R. Hance, who as a Democrat beat Bush in a 1978 congressional race by portraying him as an Ivy League interloper," reports Warren Veith in the LA Times. Veith continues: "Do four or five cows, plus two visiting Scottish terriers, constitute a true ranch? 'Well, I guess it's just up to the people,' said 74-year-old Ray Neuman, who runs 55 Hereford cattle on the property next to Bush's. 'We have trouble with just calling anything a ranch around here."
We can sympathize, Mr. Neuman. Many have trouble with just calling anyone a president. --Politex, August 31, 2005

Quip: August is the siesta month, when we shut down our brains, head on holiday, and spend money while doing nothing to earn it. We go back and forth between a deep desire to squeeze in every last moment of idle repose, and a vague sense of dread about what lies in store. In other words, we spend August the way George Bush has spent his presidency. --Bruce Reed

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: If We're Not Dumb, How Can We Appear So Stupid? Dom Stasi
What caused so many Americans (59,054,087 if one believes the vote count) to reward this profoundly failed president and his designing men with a second term? What motivated so many of our countrymen, after observing this guy, this mutant prince, this chronic incompetent whose proximate tenure proved him neither intelligent nor rational nor honest nor temperate, what caused us to unbridle such a dismal failure by providing him a docile, if equally corrupt legislative majority of more designing men to do his bidding and pillaging in our name? What blinded nearly 60 million Americans to the folly of casting their collective lot with big-money-globalists and against their own? against their nation’s economy? against their families? against their freedoms? against their futures? against their civil liberties? against their – and our - blood-won civil Constitution?...Unlike so many of us, Europeans are asking such legitimate questions, so is their press.

Review: The Wall: This Time It's Israeli, Not German, Manohla Dargis
In 2002, the Israeli government began constructing what it calls a security fence. Located some eight miles east of the Mediterranean, this barrier runs more or less along the 1949 armistice line (or Green Line) that divides Israel from the West Bank. That this more than 400-mile proposed stretch of asphalt, wire, trenches and concrete summons up the Berlin Wall is just one of its many wrenching paradoxes. More wrenching still is that it effectively drives yet another wedge between Israelis and Palestinians. The French filmmaker Simone Bitton takes a measured look at the barrier in her documentary "Wall," a film that considers hard-core political realities alongside agonizing personal truths. As might be expected, given both its impact on the surrounding populations and the history of the Jewish state, discussions about the barrier tend to be contentious, extremely partisan and, on occasion, fraught with ugly undertones.

GOP Words: DEREGULATE, v. To pursue greed and exploitation. (Nathan Taylor, Long Beach, California)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: The Fire Sermon, Chris Floyd
In his inaugural speech last January, President George W. Bush repeatedly invoked images of unbridled, ravaging destruction as the emblem of his crusade for "freedom." Fire was his symbol, his word of power, his incantation of holy war. Mirroring the rhetoric of his fundamentalist enemies, Bush moved the conflict from the political to the spiritual, from the outer world to the inner soul, claiming that he had lit "a fire in the minds of men."
But words are recalcitrant things; they have their own magic, and they will often find their own meanings, outside the intentions of those who use them. Bush has indeed inflamed the minds of men -- and women -- with his military crusade. But it is not the "untamed fire of freedom" that scorches them: It is the fire of grief and outrage at the lies that have consumed the bodies of their loved ones. This bitter flame burns in the rubble of blasted houses in Iraq and in the quiet, leafy suburbs of America, where the dead are mourned and the mutilated are left as the enduring legacy of Bush's cruel, wilful and unnecessary war.

Letter: Impossible To Fathom, Chuck Van Wey
It is impossible to fathom the reasoning of DC Democrats like Clinton, Biden and Bayh.  Bayh may really believe the repug-lite crap he utters on a regular basis, but there's a hint of calculation in the positioning of the other two.  What insane calculus are they using?  Is their disconnectedness, their denial so impermeable to reason?
I'm terribly worried that, if we retain the current congressional campaign leadership (the ones who wouldn't return Hackett's phone calls until two weeks before the election), these idiots will again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. (Previously posted in Daily Kos.)

Mojotoons: Welcome, Again, To Glox News! Tom Tomorrow

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: The Bombs in the Basement, Ernest Partridge
By all outward appearances, the Busheviks and the Republicans have it made. They are, as the late Red Barber used to say, “sitting in the catbird seat.” They own the White House, the Congress, and soon the Federal Judiciary. The mainstream media are safely corralled, with just enough dissenting voices (such as Krugman, Rich, Dionne and Oliphant) to give credence to the absurd right-wing complaint of “liberal media bias.”  Potentially devastating news developments and issues, such as election fraud, the Downing Street Memos, Plamegate, political corruption, growing domestic dissent and international hostility are not refuted in the media as much as they are ignored – crowded out with trivial reports of runaway brides, disappearing teenagers, celebrity trials and romances, etc., ad nauseum.

For all that, the Bush regime has reason to be nervous. For its continuing success depends totally on the public’s inattention to, apathy toward, and even ignorance of several potentially explosive issues which, if brought to light, publicized, investigated, and then criminally prosecuted, could demolish the House of Bush and the Republicans. These “bombs in the basement” of the GOP establishment are not disarmed. They are fully armed and ready to go off, if only the opposition can get to them and mobilize the public. And the Busheviks know this all too well.

Opinion: Where's Your I.D.? Bill Maher (HBO)
You don't have to teach both sides of a debate, if one side is a load of crap.
Now, President Bush recently suggested that public schools should teach intelligent design, alongside the theory of evolution. Because, after all, evolution is quote, "just a theory." Then the President renewed his vow to drive the terrorists straight over the edge of the earth.
Now, here is what I don't get. President Bush is a brilliant scientist. He's the man who proved you can mix two parts booze with one part cocaine, and still fly a jet fighter. And yet... yet he just can't seem to accept that we descended from apes.
It just seems pathetic to be so insecure about your biological superiority, to a group of feces-flinging, rouge-buttocked monkeys, that you have to make up fairy tales. Like we came from Adam and Eve, and then cover stories for Adam and Eve like, intelligent design. Yeah, leaving the Earth in the hands of two naked teenagers. That's a real intelligent design.
I'm sorry, folks, but it may very well may be that life is just a series of random events. And that there is no... master plan. But enough about Iraq. Let me instead restate my thesis. There aren't necessarily two sides to every issue. If there were, the Republicans would have an opposition party.
And an opposition party would point out that even though there's a debate, in schools, and government, about this, there is no debate among scientists. Evolution... is supported by the entire scientific community. Intelligent design is supported by guys online to see "The Dukes of Hazzard."
And the reason there is no real debate, is that intelligent design isn't real science. It's the equivalent of saying that the thermos keeps hot things hot and cold things cold, because it's a god. It's so willfully ignorant you might as well worship the U.S. Mail. It came again! Praise, Jesus!
No, stupidity isn't a form of knowing things. Thunder is high pressure air meeting low pressure air. It's not God bowling. Babies come from storks is not a competing school of thought... in medical school. We shouldn't teach both. The media shouldn't equate both. If Thomas Jefferson...
If Thomas Jefferson knew we were blurring the line this much between church and state, he would turn over in his slave. Now as for me, I believe in evolution and intelligent design. I think God designed us in his image, but I also think God is a monkey! God bless you and goodnight!

Sunday Bible School: (Actual test answers.)
The people who were following The Lord were called the 12 Decibels.

We're Watching: "Six Feet Under" Season One (HBO)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Bush Diary: Bush Bakes Idaho With His Hot Air, Peter Clothier
What beats me, Bush, reading extracts from your latest speeches in Salt Lake City and Idaho to rally support for your war, is where you find the balls to keep repeating the same old platitudes we’ve heard a hundred times before. And how do you manage get away with it? Oh, I know you have nothing but hand-picked audiences, prepped to roar approval at your every word. But how can you believe this tired old pablum yourself? How can you repeat it with apparent sincerity and conviction?

Hoot: Rah, Rah For The Fighten' Athletes! Jerry Politex
An NCAA rep recently told the NYT that its ban of Indian mascots at 17 universities "is not about an effort to be politically correct, it is about doing the right thing." The NCAA announcement held that "stereotyping of Native Americans is wrong," but since Florida's Seminole Tribe approves of Florida State's use of their Indian mascot, it's ok. So that's the criteria: if the group that the school masoct is named after says it doesn't object, it's ok, in the eyes of the NCAA, to have a stereotype of a particular group as a mascot.
It appears that what triggers an NCAA mascot ban is a letter of complaint about a mascot. For example, "The NCAA says it has never questioned Notre Dame's Fighting Irish nickname or leprechaun mascot because it hasn't received a formal complaint," reports USA Today. "We have not gotten information from any group that represents Irish or (anyone of) Irish ancestry ... that they believe that image is hostile and/or abusive," said Charlotte Westerhaus, NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion. Well, I'm Irish, so Ms. Westerhaus better watch out! Maybe I'll write a letter, as soon as I sober up.
But what about all those animals who can't defend themselves against university stereotyping? Luckily, we have PETA, who has written a letter to the NCAA, complaining about the use of Gamecocks as a mascot by the University of South Carolina and Jacksonville State. "Cockfighting [is] a hideous 'blood sport' that, like spousal abuse, bank robbery and driving while intoxicated, is illegal in both South Carolina and Alabama," notes PETA.
Clearly, the days of the Delaware Fighting Blue Hen mascot at the University of Delaware are numbered. Delaware was named after the Delaware Indian tribe, and the blue hen, the state bird of Delaware, is a gamecock. As the 50 States website explains: "When not fighting the enemy [during the Revolutionary War], the [Delaware] officers and men amused themselves by pitting their Blue Hen chickens in cockfights. The fame of these cockfights spread throughout the army and when in battle, the Delaware men fought so valiantly that they were compared to these fighting cocks." It's doubtful that the University of Delaware would survive the gauntlet of the Delaware Indian Tribe and PETA. All it takes is one letter to the NCAA, and goodby, Delaware Fighting Blue Hens! --Bush Watch ( August 27. 2005

We're Listening: The Best of Roxy Music (Virgin)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Homeland Security? Mag Claims Cheny Preparing Tactical Nuke Strike On Iran, Doug Ireland
Now, here's an interesting little tid-bit, considering the source: Pat Buchanan's magazine, American Conservative, has published a report saying that Dick Cheney  has had the Pentagon prepare a contingency plan for an immediate air strike on Iran, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons, in the event of "another 9/11."
The report, in Buchanan's mag's "Deep Background" column, claims: "In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing —that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack— but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."

Homeland Security: How About An Emergency Communications System That Works? William Fisher
[On 9/11] when police officials concluded the twin towers were in danger of collapsing and ordered police to leave the complex, fire officials were not notified. Four years on, families of victims, policy makers, and ordinary citizens are asking: ”Could it happen again”? And, according to virtually every expert, the answer is ‘yes’.
Public safety agencies including first responders, such as firefighters, police officers, and ambulance services, are heavily dependent on wireless radios. Wireless technology requires radio frequency capacity, known as spectrum, in order to function, and existing wireless technology is designed to work within specified frequency ranges. On 9/11 there was no spectrum allocated to public safety – and there still isn’t.

We're Reading: Chris Hedges's "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning" (Public Affairs)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Today's Special: Tony Blair's Reward: Daddy Bush's Carlyle Group

Opinion: What Does the Administration’s Leaked Mea Culpa on Iraq Portend? Robert Higgs
Although eventually some U.S. troops may be withdrawn from Iraq, we have good reason to suspect that many—perhaps 50,000 or 60,000—will remain, because their permanent bases are already under construction. A half-billion dollars for this project was included in the Iraq war supplemental appropriation approved last May. The plan widely discussed in various media outlets calls for U.S. forces, now scattered around the country in more than a hundred bases, to be concentrated in fourteen large, fortified bases on the way to eventual consolidation in four giant, heavily fortified mega-bases.
Larry Diamond, a former consultant to the U.S. occupation authority and the author of Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, tells the Los Angeles Times: “I don’t know why we just can’t say, ‘It is not our goal to set up for the indefinite duration military bases in Iraq, from which we can operate in the Middle East for our own geopolitical purposes.’” Well, Dr. Diamond, U.S. officials certainly can say so; indeed, everyone from the president to the secretary of defense to the U.S. ambassador already has said so. The problem is that, in view of the ongoing U.S. construction of permanent bases in Iraq, these American bigwigs evidently do not mean what they say. Imagine that.

Letters: GOP Words: Framing Chavez, rOsamOnd
Pat Robertson is just the diversion. You hear on the news that tongues are wagging over [Christian Mullah] Pat Robertson['s suggestion that Venezuelan President Chavez be assassinated]. Then CNN or whomever plays a clip of him saying we can't afford a war, so it would be cheaper and better to assassinate "Venezuela's iron-fisted dictator" who has "ruined Venezuela's economy." [Neither statement is factually correct. --Politex]
So what sticks in the public brain? That Robertson is a kook? Nah -- we already know that and we don't care. It's not going to cost Robertson a penny to say what he said. Robertson is being used as a Trojan Horse. The real propaganda message is that Venezuela is ruled by a dictator who has ruined Venezuela's economy. Sound familiar?
Suggestion: Whenever you refer to Chavez, call him "Democratically-elected Venezuelan President Chavez."

rOsamOnd, here's what the Los Angeles Times said in an editorial yesterday. --Politex
"...And then there is the Bush administration's actual record in Venezuela, which is hardly exemplary. In April 2002, the United States embarrassed itself by not denouncing an attempted military coup against Chavez until he had regained power. Later revelations that Bush administration officials had been in contact with members of the Venezuelan opposition months before the attempted coup only fueled the Chavez machine. In such a context, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's quick dismissal of Robertson's remarks, and his observation that the assassination of foreign leaders is "against the law," is welcome but insufficient."

Verse: Lame Duckitude Revisited, Madeleine Begun Kane
They say that George Dub's a lame duck,
That he's finally run out of luck.
But he keeps signing laws
That are chock full of flaws.
Lame Duck Dubya's still running amuck.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: How the NRA Sneaked A Huge Victory Past The Media-- And The Voters, Doug Ireland
I'm not in the habit of throwiing bouquets to network television news, but a recent edition of ABC's Nightline deserves a large one. The August 18 Nightline broadcast was devoted entirely to a report from John Cochran about how the National Rifle Association -- the puissant gun lobby -- pushed through the Senate a heinous bill called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which gives full immunity to gun manufacturers and gun sellers against lawsuits from victims of crimes in which guns were used. Nightline made a large point about how the media went to sleep when this bill sneaked through the Senate on July 29 -- and, indeed, a Google search reveals almost no print coverage of the passage of this NRA-sponsored legislation. I follow Washington politics closely, but this one whizzed right by me, so little did the news media cover this NRA coup until the Nightline broadcast.

Opinion: What Bookworm Bush Should Be Reading On Vacation, II, Politex
Last week we reported that the Bush ministry of propaganda announced that Bush is supposedly reading three books while on vacation: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky, Alexander II: the Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky, and The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M Barry.
If you've stopped laughing by now, here are three actual books that Bush should be reading, reviewed by Jim Holt in the August 22 issue of The New Yorker:
Frankfort's "On Bullshit" (Princeton; $9.95)
Penny's "Your Call Is Important To Us: The Truth About Bullshit" (Crown; $21.95)
Blackburn's "Truth: A Guide (Oxford,; $25)
If the image of Bush reading books about lies smimilar to those he sanctions about the books he reads sounds a bit too post-modern for you, rest assured that our liar-in-chief doesn't need to read books to decide where he stands on the truth. As Holt reminds us, one member of the Bush Administration defined the President's hold on the factual world thusly: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." --Politex, August 24, 2005

Quip: Another Bush Vacation Book: Women Are From Venus, Let's Invade Iran

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: Bush's Iraq Exit Strategy Runs Through Iran, Chris Floyd
Now is the summer of discontent for President George W. Bush, a man beset on every side -- by a failing war and falling popularity, by scandal, suspicion and rising hostility, even in the red-state heartlands. With each passing day of his long vacation in the Texas wastes, his presidency is shrinking palpably before our eyes, his wildly inflated public image shrivelling like a punctured balloon.
The fountainhead of his trouble, of course, is the murderous quagmire he has created in Iraq. Some say he has no exit strategy, no way to escape the corrosive effects of this gargantuan disaster, which is draining his support and destroying the aura of the all-conquering "war leader" that he used to impose his radical right-wing agenda on the country. The tide has turned against him at last, some say; he's a lame duck crashing to the ground.
But those writing Bush's political obituary have "misunderestimated" him once again. For it's becoming increasingly clear that Bush does have an exit strategy from Iraq -- and it runs through Iran.

Big Bush Words: Bush Changes Words to further War On Environment, Jerry Politex
The Bush ministry of propaganda, helmed by PR people such as his close friend Karen Hughes, knows that words help win wars. For example, using "Death Tax" instead of "Estate Tax" went a long way in the shifting of the terms of debate. Similarly, getting the media to use "Climate Change" in place of "Global Warming" both muddies the ideas being debated and puts a less grim face on it. Here are two news stories that exemplify the difference, followed by an explanation of the linguistic strategy being used:
Global warming: Will you listen now, America?, McCarthy
Climate change to blame for changing bird populations: report, Vinograd
Framing 101: How Republicans Change Words, Lakoff

GOP Words: DEMOCRATIC ALLY, n. Any democracy, monarchy, plutocracy, oligarchy or dictatorship--no matter how ruthless--that verbally supports American diplomatic and economic goals. (L.J. Klass, Concord, New Hampshire)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: U.S. Press Misses Bush Cave-In On Iraq's Islamist Constitution, Doug Ireland
If the Bush administration brokered a deal in Occupied Iraq to enshrine Islamic law as the guiding principle of the new Iraqi Constitution, you'd think it would be headline news in the U.S. media, wouldn't you? Well, that's what has happened -- yet you can search the Sunday papers in vain to find this sell-out to the Islamists clearly portrayed -- or, in some cases, even mentioned.

Transcript: Meet The Press Bush Reneges On His Willingness To Protect Iraqi Women's Rights
MR. GREGORY (Sitting in for Tim Russert):  The role of Islam [in the proposed Iraqi Constitution], of course, is a critical issue.  And Tim Russert, during an interview with President Bush, asked him about this in February of last year.  Let's watch that.
(Videotape, February 8, 2004):
MR. TIM RUSSERT:  If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein?
PRES. BUSH:  They're not going to develop that.  And the reason I can say that is because I am very aware of this basic law they're writing.  They're not going to develop that, because right here in the Oval Office, I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion.
(End videotape)
MR. GREGORY:  Fast forward to this morning.  Gentlemen, we put this on the screen from The New York Times.  "[American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay] Khalilzad had backed language [in the constitution] that would have given clerics sole authority in settling marriage and family disputes.  That gave rise to concerns that women's rights, as they are annunciated in Iraq's existing laws, could be curtailed. ... [The[ arrangement, coupled with the expansive language for Islam, prompted accusations from [a Kurdish leader] that the Americans were helping in the formation of an Islamic state."
Mr. Diamond, is that a change of position?
MR. DIAMOND (Former adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq):  It would be, I think, a substantial change if it's true.  ...We're not a veto player there anymore.  But neither do I think the United States should be endorsing it.  And I think our clear stand should be in favor of individual rights and freedoms, including religious freedom, as vigorously as possible. So I hope the ambassador on the ground is standing up for that principle. [He's not, as Gregory just quoted from the NYT. --Politex]
MR. GREGORY:  Mr. Gerecht, the consequences of this?
MR. GERECHT (Former Middle East specialist for the CIA):  Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this.  I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible....I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then.  In 1900, women did not have the right to vote.  If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled.  I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy....

Mojotoons: There's a light at the end of the transport tube. Tom Tomorrow

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: Activists Against Teen Screen Will Attend August 24 DC Protest Against The FDA, Evelyn Pringle
TeenScreen is planting the seed of mental illness in the minds of children. School kids are being conned into taking a survey full of loaded questions and the results are being used to convince parents their children are mentally ill and need dangerous brain-damaging drugs....The CDC knows its in trouble for its part in the cover-up....
The DC protest, August 24, 25, and 26, will be held in front of the White House and adjacent Lafayette Park and was organized by Allan Routhier (lost his wife to suicide after 7 days on Wellbutrin.) Others who will attend are...

Letters: Vietnam Redux, Australian Gullibility, and Good News
What can I do! I see Vietnam all over again. I'm a retired Army Sergeant. I served for 3 1/2 years in Veitnam with the Americal Division. When Rumsfeld [blew] off Collin Powell I knew we were in deep [doo-doo]. It didn't take a politician to realize that history was about to be repeated. Any soldier in the world knows that it takes boots on the ground to win a war. Was Rumsfeld ever a Private, Sergeant, or Officer? Ask Collin Powell the same Question! Rumsfeld was , is, and will always be a political hack. Technology is wonderful, it beats armies into the ground, but it doesn't win wars! It takes soldiers with guns that believe in their leaders! Good Luck, George Bush! --Vic Rafiner

Read your site this am., gave me a lift just to find it. I am Australian with a gov't committed to lying through its teeth in the name of security & economic stability....Are US voters as greedy & gullible as we seem to be?
Bravissimo! Yours is always the first e-mail I open -- it is my springboard to news and editorials. Thank you so much. I view you as a public service! --Xristi Megas

Sunday Bible School: (Actual test answers.)
When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang The Magna Carta

We're Watching: Wong Kar-Wai's "In The Mood For Love" (Criterion)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: Cindy Sheehan: On the Road to Jericho—On the Road to Crawford, Sara S. DeHart
Last Thursday, George W. Bush emerged from the Crawford, Texas, White House, a former pig farm, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at his side to present a carefully scripted response to Cindy Sheehan's public dissent against the Iraqi war that was dutifully reported in the Washington Post as news. The script expressed sympathy, but it lacked what Cindy Sheehan has, authenticity.
Why do Bush's words "I grieve for every death" sound false and contrived? Or when he says, "It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one," I do not take him at his word. When he says, "I understand the anguish that some [not all] feel about the death that takes place," It sounds like another lie.

Garlic: Roundtable: Hu's In Charge
According to today's ECONOMIST, "Hu's In Charge." That is, Hu is in charge in China. Hu thinks, and I quote, "that the Communist Party, riddled with corruption and other abuses of power, is quite capable of cleaning up its own act without the need for any checks or balances." What's your opinion?

We're Listening: Jazz piano trio "Eldar" (Sony)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
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Opinion: A Cancerous Tumor in the Body Politic: Time for Surgery, Bernard Weiner
"The Bush-Cheney secrecy and style of governing carries with it potential consequences that are far worse than any political scandal. Their secret presidency is a dangerous threat to democracy in an age of terrorism. ...Bush and Cheney have picked up where Nixon left presidential power. They seek to free the presidency of all restraints. They want to implement their policies -- a radical wisdom they believe serves the greater good -- unencumbered by those who view the world differently.
"When the moment comes and terrorists surprise America with an even greater spirit-shattering attack than 9/11, Bush and Cheney will simply push aside the Constitution they have sworn to uphold, inflame public passions with tough talk to rally support...and take this country to a place it has only been once. For eleven weeks during the outset of the Civil War, President Lincoln became what scholars have euphemistically called a constitutional dictator. But with terrorism it will likely not be so brief. Bush once quipped, 'If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.' George Bush, however, is no Abraham Lincoln."

Opinion: 2006 and 2008: Republicans Will Make Sure They Win By Any Means Necessary, Paul Krugman
The simple truth: "Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election." Two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida's ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore. This was true despite a host of efforts by state and local officials to suppress likely Gore votes, most notably [Katherine] Harris's "felon purge," which disenfranchised large numbers of valid voters.
There was at least as much electoral malfeasance in 2004 as there was in 2000, even if it didn't [supposedly--Politex] change the outcome. And the next election may be worse....The whitewash of what happened in Florida in 2000 showed that election-tampering carries no penalty, and political operatives have acted accordingly. For example, in 2002 the Republican Party in New Hampshire hired a company to jam Democratic and union phone banks on Election Day....
Reports show that [in 2004 Ohio] votes were suppressed by long lines at polling places - lines caused by inadequate numbers of voting machines - and that these lines occurred disproportionately in areas likely to vote Democratic. Both reports also point to problems involving voters who were improperly forced to cast provisional votes, many of which were discarded. The Conyers report goes further, highlighting the blatant partisanship of election officials. In particular, the behavior of Ohio's secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell - who supervised the election while serving as co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio - makes [Katherine] Harris's actions in 2000 seem mild by comparison.
And then there are the election night stories. Warren County locked down its administration building and barred public observers from the vote-counting, citing an F.B.I. warning of a terrorist threat. But the F.B.I. later denied issuing any such warning. Miami County reported that voter turnout was an improbable 98.55 percent of registered voters. And so on.
Our current political leaders would suffer greatly if either house of Congress changed hands in 2006, or if the presidency changed hands in 2008. The lids would come off all the simmering scandals, from the selling of the Iraq war to profiteering by politically connected companies. The Republicans will be strongly tempted to make sure that they win those elections by any means necessary. And everything we've seen suggests that they will give in to that temptation. NYT.

We're Reading: George Lakoff's "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think" (Chicago)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Opinion: New Study Shreds The Myth of the Market Economy Bringing Democracy, Doug Ireland
It's a finger in the eye for the likes of the Times' Tom Friedman and other prophets of the beneficial effects of globalization: a new study  of 150 countries, to appear in the September-October issue of the archi-establishment journal Foreign Affairs (published by the Council on Foreign Relations), demonstrating how the conventional wisdom which says that free market economies inevitably bring democracy in their wake is a myth....The notion that the free market brings democracy with it is dear not only to George Bush and the Republicans, it is a staple of Democratic politicians' rhetoric as well -- it is the U.S. version of the pensée unique, and holds that the only possible economic model compatible with human freedom is the American one. To have this arrogant and falacious proposition left in tatters by such a prestigious publication as Foreign Affairs provides new ammunition for a radical, systemic critique of both U.S. foreign policy and Washington's attempt to dictate global economic hegemony on behalf of the multinationals. The appetizer of this new study in today's Herald-Trib leaves me eager for F.A.'s September issue.

Letters: The Disastrous Bush Economy
You can't get a job in Houston, our energy bills are out of sight, but no one is writing anything about it. I don't understand....I am a single working mother of one. No one wants to be on WELFARE, however if something isn't done about the gas prices very soon....Can the President do something?....more...

Verse: Ode To Cindy Sheehan, Madeleine Begun Kane
The mother of a soldier dead
Has Dubya running scared.
Her very name fills Bush with dread.
Face Sheehan? Dub don't dare.

She's camped outside Dub's pseudo-ranch,
In Crawford's daunting heat.
Her mission's clear: She will not leave
Till she and Dubya meet.

An inspiration to us all,
This gal has guts to spare.
She speaks out for the troops that fall,
While Bush hides in his lair.

She needs to find a reason why
Her son's alive no more.
Like many, she just doesn't buy
Dub's reasons for this war.    

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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Opinion: Bush Diary: Gaza, Peter Clothier
Whom to support? With whom sympathize? Even this I find to be a vexing question. I guess my own solution--easy, you'll tell me, at this distance--is not to take sides. To exercise as much compassion as possible for all. For the settlers, who have vested themselves, their lives, their work, their love in this little patch of land that they seem to believe was given them by God.... On the other side, who can fail to sympathize with people who have already experienced, years ago, the kind of ejection that the settlers are now called upon to experience for themselves? With people who have experienced real oppression, real deprivation, poverty, and limitations on their freedom.

Humor: Bookworm Bush's reported holiday reading: Hey, Wanna Buy A Bridge?, Politex
This morning the Guardian reports that Bush is supposedly reading three books while on vacation: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky, Alexander II: the Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky, and The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M Barry.
How appropriate. Whatever Bush says must be taken with a grain of salt, he thinks of himself as an American Tsar, and the plague of war he has given to Iraq has turned out to be quite deadly.

Before his presidential gig, reporters would ask Bush what he was reading and they would get a blank look. Then Karl Rove and Karen Hughes gave reporters book lists for such occasions, lists that curiously looked like what Rove and Hughes were reading at the time. Now, it's taken care of by the White House PR office.
Of course, it's unlikely that Bush is actually reading those books. Like so many of his other actions, he sometimes confuses what he says he is doing with what he's really doing. Take his war in Iraq. Or his economic policy. Come September, he may actually think he's read those books. --Politex, August 17, 2005

Poem: Nine Weeks: In Support Of Cindy Sheehan, Ron Chistian Welch
  ...Mister, WE are the Only ones...
     listen, we gave our husbands and sons
     To your madness -sanctified and odious,
     To the lie-that has been so well sold to us...

Quip: How to Make a Kurdistan: Boil Baghdad to separate Kurds. Cut up Iraq. Add chunks of Turkey and Iran. Douse with oil. Light a match. --Ward Harkavy

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

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Opinion: Big Bush Lies: Major Reasons For Invading Iraq Found Bogus, Jerry Politex
Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice and Wolfowitz claimed Iraq had "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and we needed to invade the country to stop Saddam from using them against us. After the invasion when no weapons were found, Wolfowitz implied the threat of WMDs was selected as a reason for the invasion because it was the one that would resonate best with the American people. The Bush lie about WMDs put Congress on Bush's side and it was used by Powell to get a UN war resolution. Ironically, Iraq NOW does have chemical weapons of mass destruction, but in a WP report we learn they were manufactured AFTER the invasion. The Bush invasion of Iraq CREATED weapons of mass destruction, not destroyed them.
John Kerry shot himself in the foot during the presidential campaign, stabbed progressive Dems and the left in the back, and pretty much blew the election by telling the nation he would have voted for Bush's invasion of Iraq even if he knew then that there were no weapons of mass desctruction. Which brings us to Bush's second reason for invading Iraq, which became his first reason once the American people learned that invading Iraq to stop the use of WMDs was a lie. According to Bush, the REAL real reason for invading Iraq was to establish "democracy." Yet, what we're seeing coming to life in Iraq is an anti-female, single-sect theocracy, but with as much greed and corruption as our own deeply flawed capitalistic republic.
NOW, according to another WP story, "the United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say." One senior policy official is quoted as saying, "What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground....We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning." For "unreality," read "lies" about WMDs and "democracy," among others. For "timetable," read "leaving prior to the 2006 and 2008 elections." Even the Bush administration realizes they can't get away with lying to all the people all the time, and spin can only take them so far, even with a compromised mainstream media. This is particularly the case when American troops are dying because of Bush lies, and the only Americans who are gaining from the war are his wealthy corporate contributors.
So, lets see. The Bush Iraq War wasn't started because of Iraqi WMDs and it wasn't about bringing democracy to the Middle East. Perhaps it was about gaining a cooperative ME oil spigot or maybe it was about taking the first step in U.S. world hegemany. It even could have been about Cheney's Iraqi war jones or Junior's need to avenge Saddam's attempt to poison his dad. Eventually, we'll get down to the core truth. Bush invaded Iraq simply because, with the help of his boundless arrogance, his heedless ignorance, and the gullible support of the American majority, he COULD. --August 16, 2005

GOP Words: CLIMATE CHANGE, n. Global warming, without that annoying connotation that something is wrong. (Robert Shanafelt, Statesboro, Georgia)

Monday, August 15, 2005

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Opinion: Grease Monkeys: The Speaker, The Spigot and the Slitherer-in-Chief, Chris Floyd
One of the grubby little secrets of the Great Potomac Grease Pit – otherwise known as the government of the United States – is that the massive amount of bribes given and taken there often has little effect on the final outcome of policy decisions and legislation....The plain fact is, most politicians take bribes to push policies they already support. With very few exceptions, you are just not going to achieve a place of prominence in national politics unless you are already the kind of person happy to do the bidding of rapacious elites, whatever the cut of your rhetorical jib ("progressive," "moderate," "conservative," etc.). Like Macbeth's spectral dagger, bribery merely marshall'st the politician in the way he was going. So why all the baubles and trinkets? Why the armies of sleazemongering lobbyists that indeed infest every nook and cranny of the capital? Two reasons.

Opinion: Helen Keller and Cindy Sheehan: Not Blind To War Crimes, Mickey Z.
In a textbook example of whitewashing, if today's America knows Helen Keller (1880-1968) at all, it's the easy-to-digest image portrayed in the 1962 film, "The Miracle Worker." Brave deaf and blind girl "overcomes" all obstacles to inspire everyone she meets. "The Helen Keller with whom most people are familiar is a stereotypical sexless paragon who was able to overcome deaf-blindness and work tirelessly to promote charities and organizations associated with other blind and deaf-blind individuals," writes Sally Rosenthal in "Ragged Edge."

Mojotoons: Bushworld, where the most convoluted and unlikely explanation is usuall best. Tom Tomorrow

Sunday, August 14, 2005

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Opinion: August 24 DC Protest - What's Everybody Mad About? Evelyn Pringle
Approving and marketing lethal drugs, while concealing the results of studies that reveal deadly side affects, should be a jailable offense. This conduct is not due to mistakes, it is representative of by now an all too familiar pattern of criminal behavior by top officials within the nation's top regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry. This year Eli Lilly, was made to pay nearly $700 million to settle charges that it did not warn consumers that the drug, Zyprexa, could cause diabetes, which resulted in grave injuries and death to 100s of people, but nobody was charged with a crime.

Opinion: Looking Back At LBJ, William Fisher
While I have written thousands of words about the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it has been many years since I actually listened to the words President Lyndon B. Johnson used to introduce this legislation....LBJ, more than almost anyone alive on that day, knew the political price he might have to pay. Because he knew the Congress better than anyone else.Perhaps in purely rhetorical terms, LBJ’s speech wasn’t up to Lincoln, FDR or JFK. But in so many ways it was at least as consequential as any words ever uttered by an American president.

Sunday Bible School: (Actual test answers.)
Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

We're Watching: Jamie Foxx in "Ray" (Universal)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

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Opinion: Anti-Gay Hate Campaign Targets Starbucks, Doug Ireland
The Concerned Women of America -- an outfit run by Beverly LaHaye, the wife of fundamentalist preacher Rev. Tim Lahaye, a Christian broadcaster with her own nationally syndicated radio show, and a skilled Christer propagandist who's written eight books and sits on the board of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University -- has now targeted the latte-purveying company for promoting homosexual values. "Starbucks Funds and Promotes Homosexual Activism,:" shrieks Mrs. LaHaye's website. Starbucks' crime? The company  is corrupting our youth on its coffee cups.

Opinion: Shallow Thinking And Bush "Loyalty," Margie Burns
The apparent assumption that George Walker Bush proceeds in personnel matters on a basis of “loyalty” is not borne out by his treatment of Richard Clarke, Lawrence Lindsey, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, General Shinseki, Joseph Wilson and General Zinni among others. If a theory doesn’t fit the known facts, you can’t make it viable by simply throwing out any facts that the theory does not fit.

We're Listening: Dr. John's "Creole Moon" (Blue Note)

Friday, August 12, 2005

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Opinion: Vermin and Souvenirs: How to Justify a Nuclear Attack, Mickey Z.
Because Japan chose to invade several colonial outposts of the West, the war in the Pacific laid bare the inherent racism of the colonial structure. In the United States and Britain, the Japanese were more hated than the Germans. The race card was played to the hilt through a variety of Allied propaganda methods. Spurred on by a growing Chinese lobby and vocal American trade protectionists wary of inexpensive Japanese goods, the campaign would eventually help cajole the American public into a pro-war, anti-Japan position. By 1938, as historian Michael C.C. Adams writes, polls showed more Americans favored military aid to China than to Britain or France. Even more so than the Third Reich, Japan was the U.S. villain of choice.

Letters: Readers Voice Their Dozen Complaints Of The Week
1. I don't get five weeks vacation, but Bush lectures us about working hard.
2. Congress wants to know if Palmeri lied about steroids but not Bush about WMD?
3. How can America be safer with Saddam out of power if he didn't have the weapons Bush insisted he had?
4. BushAdmin ignores global warming, the greatest threat to national security, economy.
5. Visions of theocons who think they have the Christian duty to start WW III to induce the "Rapture."
6. Delaying, stonewalling, covering up, redacting of documents and investigations by BushAdmin.
7. My bs job pays less than last year's unemployment checks!
8. Bush sees world in fun house mirror of neocon/lobbyist fog.
9. BushAdmin making U.S. look like land of incompetent dummies.
10. Mainstream media complicit in coverup of BushAdmin lies, impeachable crimes.
11. Bush giving the finger to the global media. (literally!)
12. You want my complaint? Give me royalties. (republican? --ed.)

We're Reading: James Lee Burke's "Crusader's Cross: A Dave Robicheaux Novel" (Simon and Schuster)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

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Editorial: This Week's Ten Complaints
1. Theocons support war, lies, torture, killing, fascism, greed, anti-gay, anti-abortion. poll
2. Bush weakening uranium protections as he attacks Iran.
3. Bush cherry-picking ducuments to protect poor nominees.
4. Bush giving money to oil corporations as they price-gouge us.
5. Bush turning our federal government into a secret institution.
6. The Pentagon being able to declare martial law in the U.S.
7. Bush dumbing-down America by attacking science.
8. Government-funded programs supporting illegal immigrants.
9. Supreme Court allowing developers/governments to condemn our houses.
10. Bush economic recovery bragging is really about recovering corporations.

Letters: Your Complaint (in one sentence). Results Friday.

Opinion: The Origin Of Specious
National Mutation Through Unnatural Selection, Dom Stasi

George W. Bush wants to see “different ideas” introduced into the science curriculum of our public schools. That’s fundamentalist code for, “I want to indoctrinate your children to Creationism.”
In case you’ve just arrived here from the outer planets and haven’t heard the “news,” the latest inanity our prez has used to throw the country’s “reporters” off the Karl Rove stench, while driving another wedge through what remains of her people’s unity is this comment, he made last week: “I think part of education,” expounded Bush the philosopher, “is to expose people to different schools of thought.” He went on to say he would endorse placing intelligent design on an equal curricular footing with evolution.
My god! Are we so insane now that we’re about to allow George W. Bush to influence our children’s thinking and thus the next generation of American scientists – or would alchemists be a more appropriate title? How about sorcerers?

Verse: Dubya's Down Time, Madeleine Begun Kane

George Dubya sure loves to vacation,
And his workout time Dub rarely rations.
He likes recesses too,
For the power imbued
To name refuse to wreck our fine nation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

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Opinion: Why economics fails as a sole foundation of public policy, Ernest Partridge
"The economist . . . keeps the motivations of human beings pure, simple and hard-headed, and not messed up by such things as goodwill or moral sentiments... [T]here is ... something quite extraordinary in the fact that economics has in fact evolved in this way, characterizing human motivation in such spectacularly narrow terms. One reason why this is extraordinary is that economics is supposed to be concerned with real people. It is hard to believe that real people could be completely unaffected by the reach of the self-examination induced by the Socratic question, 'how should one live?'" --Amartya Sen

News: Anti-Bush Song Will Make Stones Album, Paul Cashmere
One of the Rolling Stones most political songs ever, 'Sweet Neo Con' will be included on the final track listing for the band's forthcoming 'A Bigger Bang' album. The lyrics are a direct attack on the US president, calling him a hypocrite. "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of ...." states the lyrics. "It is direct," Mick Jagger told Newsweek....

Quip: Thanks for your job offer, Mr. Bush, but I've decided to pursue a non-religious profession.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

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Opinion: A Win For Science !, William Fisher
Hooray, a win for science! At last, there is something nice I can say about John H. Marburger III, President Bush's science advisor. It’s about time. I have usually found myself being critical of Dr. Marburger for either being complicit or remaining silent as the Bush White House adopts anti-science policies or spins science to pander to the President’s base of right wing religious fanatics.

Opinion: Flip-Flop Flap, Walter Brasch
 Next for the media might be investigative features about why hospital gowns have slits down the back and the medical risks of Condoleezza Rice wearing high heels. Perhaps they could report about what shoes to wear while pumping $2.50 a gallon gas, or what suitcases are appropriate when the President packs for frequent vacations in Crawford, Texas. Maybe the media could discuss if Karl Rove should wear a toupee to impress the Grand Jury if he is subpoenaed for his role in possibly leaking the name of a CIA agent in retaliation for her husband’s attack upon the president’s credibility.     Whatever the next story arc is, it will be designed to play into the public’s lust for all the news that’s fit to scandalize.

GOP Words: CIVIL LIBERTIES, n. Unnecessary privileges that you aren't afraid of losing unless you are a God-hating, baby-killing, elitist liberal who loves Saddam Hussein more than your own safety. (Megan Ellis, Bellingham, Washington)

Monday, August 8, 2005

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Opinion: Blood and Gravy: Dick Cheney at the Jackal's Feast, Chris Floyd
It's easy to forget sometimes – amidst all the lofty talk of geopolitics, of apocalyptic clashes between good and evil, of terror, liberty, security and God – that the war on Iraq is "largely a matter of loot," as Kasper Gutman so aptly described the Crusades in that seminal treatise on human nature, "The Maltese Falcon." And nowhere is this more evident than in the festering, oozing imposthume of corruption centered around the Gutman-like figure of Dick Cheney.

Opinion: “Shoot to Kill”: Hopeless Failure From the Get-Go, Margie Burns
Clearly, too few people saw the 1994 popcorn movie Speed, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. This is a comment I never would have predicted someday making – ever in a million years, in fact. But clearly, reporters and commentators implying that a police “shoot to kill” order would prevent a suicide bomber fail to remember Dennis Hopper in his mad-bomber role.
Hopper, those of you who saw the movie may recall, was perfect for the role of deranged revenge-seeker. Not much news there. His character also had the perfect riposte to any putative attack, all figured out and ready to go beforehand: if anything took out his hapless bomber (Bullock, strapped into a torso full of bombing gear), or him, he would RELEASE his grip on the button. Then – and follow me closely here, Messers Bush, Card, Cheney, Krauthammer, Kyl, Libby, Limbaugh, McCain, O’Reilly, Rumsfeld, Scarborough, Will, etcetc – the bomb would be detonated by the RELEASE. In other words, a bomb can be set up, rigged, so as to be detonated by a RELEASE on the button (or whatever device is used), not only by pressure on the button.

Mojotoons: White House Summer Blockbusters, by Tom Tomorrow

Sunday, August 7, 2005

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Interview: "Karl Rove isn't the only monster out there" An interview with Josh Frank, Mickey Z.
No sooner had George W. Bush won (sic) re-election did the jockeying for position begin for 2008. Will Hillary run? Which Republican will step up? Can the law be changed to allow Ah-nuld a shot? It's never too early, so it seems, to lay the groundwork for the spectacle of a presidential campaign. (If only the rest of us were so forward thinking.) After eight years of Dubya, will progressives yet again hold their noses and vote Democrat?
"Backing the lesser-evil, like the majority of liberals and lefties did in 2004, keeps the whole political pendulum in the US swinging to the right," says Josh Frank, author of "Left Out: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush.” "It derails social movements, helps elect the opposition, and undermines democracy. This backwards logic allows the Democrats and Republicans to control the discourse of American politics and silences any voices that may be calling for genuine change."

Opinion: Fascism Then And Now, John Pilger
The enemy then was fascism, out-and-out fascism. Armband wearing, strutting, ranting fascism. The enemy then was a great world power, adventurous, rapacious, with plans of domination, of capturing the world’s natural resources: the oil fields of the Caspian and the Middle East, the mineral riches of Africa. They seemed invincible. The enemy then was also lies. Deceit. News dressed up as propaganda. Appeasement. A large section of the British establishment saw fascism as its friend. Their voice was heard in a section of the British press: the Times, the Daily Mail.
To the propagandists, the real threat was from ordinary people, who were dreamers, many of them, who imagined a new world in which the dignity of ordinary life was respected and celebrated. Some were wise dreamers and some were foolish dreamers, but they understood the nature of fascism, and they saw through the lies and appeasement. They knew that the true enemy did not always wear armbands, and strut, and command great rallies, but were impeccable English gentlemen, who sold out their country to rampant power behind a smokescreen of propaganda that appropriated noble concepts like “democracy”, “freedom” and “human rights” and “our way of life” and “our values”. Their words were echoed by courtier journalists and justified by pseudo-historians, who feared the public’s ability to reason why.
Does all this sound familiar?... It is a warning about sinister ambitions behind democratic facades: about messianic politicians, apparently touched by God, and their denial of the consequences of their violence, and it is a warning about those who shout down the reasons why in the name of a fake patriotism. It is also about moral courage: about speaking out, breaking a silence.

Sunday Bible School: (Actual test answers.)
David was a Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar.

We're Watching: MGM's "The Complete Thin Man" (Warner Brothers)

Saturday, August 6, 2005

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Opinion: TeenScreen - Another Gross Distortion, Evelyn Pringle
Here's another gross distortion of the truth by TeenScreen. On its web site, in response to the question, is TeenScreen related to TMAP, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project? It says: “No. ... Some Web postings inappropriately and inaccurately claim that TeenScreen is a bridge to medication and hence the TMAP program. This is entirely false.... There is absolutely no relationship between TeenScreen and TMAP. ... TeenScreen does not endorse any particularly mental health treatment or medication....TMAP ... is a medication formulary for seriously mentally ill adults in Texas. The adults served by this program are cared for in public programs. TeenScreen and TMAP have nothing to do with one another."
That's what TeenScreen says. Now lets look at the truth.

Opinion: FDA & CDC smear respected independent scientists and researchers, Evelyn Pringle
In their public statements, officials within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are always claiming that researchers and scientists who conduct studies not funded by drug companies or the government are making unfounded claims about a link between thimerosal-laced vaccines and autism, and other neurological disorders, which they claim could lead to reduced vaccine coverage, resulting in preventable outbreaks of disease affecting the entire planet. I say cut the crap.

We're Listening: El Vez's "G.I. Ay, Ay! Blues" (Big Pop)

Friday, August 5, 2005

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Opinion: Another Happy Wal-Mart Camper, Kent Southard
The Fourth of July dawned more intensely than any I'd ever experienced; or so it seemed, until I awoke more fully and realized a headlight was shining right at me, meaning it was a cop. 'There's no camping here,' the officer said after I rolled down the window. I liked that very much, no 'camping.' We don't have homeless people sleeping in their cars in modern America, we have 'camping.' After determining that I wasn't a member of the congregation of the church whose back parking lot I had settled in for the night (at the recommendation of a friend, who had a girlfriend who she said slept here sometimes when she felt the need to get out of the house), and complementing my cat's big eyes, the kindly officer suggested I go over to the Wal-Mart parking lot, where they allow this sort of thing.  And indeed they do - there's a few dozen such here on any given night, the veterans distinguished by the custom window shades cut to fit every window in their car. (The lights in the lot being rather blazing.) And mind you, by all appearances, most of us there leave rather promptly in the morning, having at least occasional work to go to. All good citizens, we are.

News: Conservative Pundit Bob Novak Walks Off CNN Show, Jerry Politex

The New York Times recently reported that makers of the movie version of "The Da Vinci Code" are under pressure from the theocons: "Studio officials have consulted with Catholic and other Christian specialists on how they might alter the plot of the novel to avoid offending the devout. In doing so, the studio has been asked to consider such measures as making the central premise - that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene - more ambiguous, and removing the name of [secretive Catholic conservative society] Opus Dei." What's your opinion?

We're Reading: Cormac McCarthy's "No Country For Old Men" (Knopf)

Thursday, August 4, 2005

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Opinion: Forgotten Victims of America’s Plutocracy, Jason Miller
Like wolves among sheep, America's Plutocracy preys on the weaker and less fortunate members of society. Since America's founding, they have leveraged their economic power to dominate the government and the media, the vehicles through which they advance their avaricious agenda. In early American history, they employed an imperialistic foreign policy to ensure the expansion of US boundaries and interests. Along the way, they virtually annihilated the Native American population. Once they had attained as much of the North American continent as they were able, they used “Manifest Destiny” and the “Communist threat” as rationalizations to invade other nations (i.e.The Philippines) support ruthless dictators in other nations (Augusto Pinochet in Chile) who have tortured and killed millions. Recently, legislation favoring corporations over workers and consumers has sharply diminished the power of labor unions and opportunities for small entrepreneurs, while historically, corporations have maimed and killed their employees and their customers with hazardous working conditions and unsafe products. The wealthy elite class has dominated American politics via dynasties like the Bush clan and the Kennedy family. The predominance of regressive over progressive taxes has virtually guaranteed that the majority of America's riches remains in the hands of the Plutocrats. Throughout American history, the Plutocracy has severely victimized black Americans, through enslavement and through ongoing gross social injustices. Latin American immigrants face open discrimination for their language and cultural differences while armed vigilantes calling themselves "Minute Men" now patrol the US-Mexican border. Other racial minorities, some religious groups, Gays and the disabled also face discrimination and suppression of rights at the hands of the white, "straight", "Christian" Plutocracy dominating the government and media in the United States.

Quote: By Dem Candidate for U.S. Congress, Marine Reserve Major Paul Hackett,
Who Lost Ohio's 2nd District Yesterday

"I've said that I don't like the son-of-a-bitch that lives in the White House but I'd put my life on the line for him," he says. He re-enlisted in the Marines last year and led a civil affairs unit in Iraq that saw duty in the insurgent hotbed of Fallujah. Hackett had even more pointed criticism of Bush for saying of Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. troops in July 2003: "Bring them on." "That's the most incredibly stupid comment I've ever heard a president of the United States make," Hackett says. "He cheered on the enemy."

Verse: Karl Rove Reminisces, Calvin Trillin
Joe Wilson's op-ed piece implied
When we lacked facts we simply lied.
We showed our toughness in this strife:
When he struck us, we smeared his wife.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors of Bush Watch
...get our headlines in your e-mail

Opinion: Rick Santorum Flunks "The History of the American Family," Walter C. Uhler
Readers of Senator Rick Santorum's book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, should examine it closely, including its concluding "Bibliographical Note." Then they should ask themselves: "Is there any evidence in the text or bibliographical note to suggest that Mr. Santorum has ever read a serious, comprehensive history of the American Family?"

Quip: On the other hand, the price of a barrel of beer is holding steady.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors = of Bush Watch =2E=2E=2Eget our headlines in your e-mail

Opinion: Congressman Mack Vs=2E Venezuela, William Fisher As some Latin American analysts complain that Washington has declared "ele= ctronic war" on Venezuela with a plan to target the country for special rad= io and television broadcasts, it remains uncertain whether the project will= ever get off the ground=2E=2E=2E=2E The broadcasts were approved by the U=2ES=2E House= of Representatives in an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization = Act of 2005, introduced by Republican Congressman Connie Mack of Florida=2E=2E=2E= =2E The move came as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched his own televi= sion network, called Telesur=2E=2E=2E=2E The congressman has charged that Telesur i= s "patterned after Al-Jazeera" and will "spread (Chavez's) anti-American, a= nti-freedom rhetoric"=2E

GOP Words: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES, n=2E New locations to drill for oil a= nd gas=2E (Peter Scholz, Fort Collins, Colorado)

Monday, August 1, 2005

Today's 100+ bush headlines: Selected from around the world by the editors = of Bush Watch =2E=2E=2Eget our headlines in your e-mail

Editorial: The Income Gap And The "Root Problem," Jerry Politex "The income gap between the affluent and the wage-earners in the United Sta= tes has widened as a result of the 'failing' education system and is a matt= er of concern, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, has said=2E=2E=2E=2E= The failure of the American educational system to ensure that children in m= iddle school and high school were taught maths, science and technological s= kills they need to get good jobs was at the root of the problem, Greenspan = told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee=2E" (PTI) Actually, our failure to educate the poor is the result of the root proble= m, the Bush Administration's war on the poor=2E Since he's been in office, Bu= sh has worked to shift the tax burden and its resulting shortfalls from the= wealthy to the poor and middle class, while he's dismantled or severely we= akened programs in health, housing, and education specifically designed to = help the poor=2E As any teacher will tell you, kids can't get educated if the= y come to school hungery, ill-housed, and dumbed-down=2E

Mojotoons: Groundhog Day, by Tom Tomorrow

June Archives... July Archives... August Archives

Bush Wrong On...Taxes, The Deficit, Social Security, Energy, Education, Health Care, Nuclear Policy.


Bush And The Carlyle Group
Bush And The Gravedigger
Bush And Bin Laden Money
Bush And The Arab-American
Bush And Central Asia Oil
Bush And The Taliban Drug Trade
Bush And Tony Blair's Speech
The Bushes And The Bin Ladens

Ashcroft Watch
Keeping The Presidential Record
The Gore-Bush Media Consortium Report
Is AOL Censoring Your Information?
The Threat Of Domestic Terrorism
Airline Security Stories
War Poems
Tools Of Bioterrorism