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RALL "On Dec. 28, 2002, the same day that 780,000 Americans ran out of unemployment benefits, George W. Bush--our first leader in memory to refuse to extend those payments during a recession--bragged that things couldn't be any peachier. "The United States economy is growing," Bush crowed while pledging "to turn our economic recovery into sustained economic growth." By the way, that makes 1.8 million people out of work, out of benefits and out of luck under Bush's clueless conservativism. Millions more "discouraged workers" who have given up looking for jobs are no longer counted as unemployed." 01.06.03

WP ED "LET'S SEE IF we have this right. President Bush plans to propose a stimulus plan the centerpiece of which will have little or no stimulative effect. At a time when some people badly could use help, Mr. Bush's tax cut mostly will help those who need it least. And while the president is warning Congress to restrain its spending on basics such as education and aid to the poor, the tax cuts will further inflate his growing budget deficit. No wonder that Mr. Bush, even before officially unveiling the plan tomorrow, waved his magic "class warfare" amulet, seeking to obscure the obvious -- another tax cut for the rich -- by preemptively accusing his accusers." 01.06.03

NYT Bush Proposes To Go All The Way For His Wealthy Backers, Saddle Another Administration With Massive Debt. "President Bush will propose eliminating taxes on corporate dividends paid to shareholders, a measure that could cost the government $300 billion over 10 years and would be far bolder than some of his advisers had been suggesting, administration officials said today. " 01.06.03

WP "Eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individuals, the centerpiece of President Bush's stimulus package, would do little to spur economic growth or reduce the nation's jobless rate, according to an analysis this weekend by two prominent economists. " 01.06.03

WP "Democratic leaders have been charging for months that the administration's main motives for squeezing domestic programs are to offset the revenue lost through the president's 2001 tax cut and make room in the budget for further cuts and new priorities such as a Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors.Some outside analysts agree. "They're saying we can't have guns and butter, but in fact the butter side is the tax cut," said Victor Miller, a senior fellow at Federal Funds Information for States, which tracks the federal budget for the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures." 01.06.03

O'HANLON "Naturally enough, U.S. defense spending has shot up since Sept. 11, 2001, with little criticism from either side of the political aisle. The national security budget, just more than $300 billion in 2000, will be $385 billion in 2003, not even counting the costs of a possible war against Iraq. Internal administration planning documents now project that the budget will exceed $500 billion by 2009 (not counting most costs of homeland security, which are outside the Pentagon's purview). Such a $200 billion increase in the yearly military budget is too much....When combined with the president's tax cuts, it would worsen the U.S. federal deficit, deprive the country of the opportunity for any major domestic policy initiatives, and perhaps even hamper homeland security efforts in the end. " 01.06.03

NYT "Josh Bolten can't hide his revealing title - White House deputy chief of staff for policy - and a growing reputation as the hub of the administration's domestic agenda, which is increasingly set by a small handful of West Wing aides under the command of Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, and Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff....Bolten is the one who oversees the 45 minutes that Mr. Bush has scheduled for "policy time" on most days the president is in Washington....At Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm where he worked for nearly six years in the 1990's, Mr. Bolten was considered a pragmatist who liked tax cuts, and not a supply-side true believer, as are many of the economists who have influenced Mr. Bush's economic programs....He's the explainer of all things Jewish to the White House," Mr. Rove said. 01.06.03

MARSHALL "The Bushies told the North Koreans that they either had to shape up or we'd take them out. Now the North Koreans have called our bluff. And the administration -- as signalled by Powell's comments over the weekend -- has caved, enunciating a policy which is now substantially more dovish than the Clinton policy.Tough talk sounds great until your opponent calls your bluff and everybody sees there's nothing behind the trash talk. Then you look foolish. That's where we are right now with North Korea. As Nelson says, no doubt the NKs are the bad guys. And this is an extremely complex problem with no easy solutions. But the Bush administration has pursued a keystone cops policy on the Korean Peninsula for two years now, mixing think-tank braggadocio with feckless inconstancy. Now we're all going to pay the price." 01.06.03

DOBBS "Soon after rolling out a new post-Cold War foreign policy doctrine, the Bush administration is scrambling to explain why "preemption" may be appropriate for dealing with Iraq, but not such a good idea in defusing the threat from fellow "axis of evil" member North Korea. " 01.06.03

RIDGEWAY "Viewed from the cynical pit of capital politics, North Korea is no distraction from Iraq, but instead another big plus for Bush domestic policy. Fears of missiles sailing in from Asia can only underscore Bush's arguments for a "Little Star Wars" missile shield plan. Bush doesn't really want to attack the peninsula, if only because Washington is counting the days (about a month's worth is the current best guess) until the U.S. attacks Iraq. And while the White House may be willing to weather armed conflict on two fronts, the administration is less prepared to plunge two regions into economic chaos. Making war with North Korea would inevitably affect South Korea, China, and Japan-all vitally important in the world marketplace. " 01.06.03

GRASS "The dangerous combination of familial, economic and political interests along with such ignorance leads [Bush] to become a real danger." 01.06.03

REEVES "Do not be shocked to read or see in a week, a year or five years, a declaration by Japan that it has decided, as a matter of self-defense, to build nuclear weapons and missile systems to deliver them. Or perhaps it will be Brazil. Or South Korea.In just two years, the Bush administration has managed to undo the decades of work all over the world to try to prevent the proliferation of "the bomb." In talking of pre-emptive strikes against "evil" regimes -- evil, of course, being in the red-white-and-blue eye of the beholder -- the United States is forcing other countries and their leaders, sane and insane, to re-evaluate long-ago decisions to trust a few rich nations that already had nuclear technology. " 01.06.03

CASPI "George W. Bush was raised to believe in... simplistic values. Villains are villainous to the core. They have horns and a tail, so that anyone can tell them apart from the good guys. Using force against the bad guys is moral, and the good guys usually win. Bush is now trying to implement this philosophy in Iraq using hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and millions of tons of metal and explosives. For him, the world is a Hollywood movie. Bad guys come and go - sometimes they are the Taliban, sometimes Saddam Hussein - but the hero is always George W.... But what is so real about his world, which is also the world of all American action shows? In the real world, after all, evil prospers. In fact, it is often hard to tell who the evil ones are. In our real world, most people are neither saints nor villains, but somewhere in between. In our real world, not every use of force against evil is moral, and sometimes in the course of fighting evil, the good themselves turn bad. " 01.06.03

NORTON-TAYLOR "Telegrams from British embassies and missions around the world are urging Tony Blair to step up pressure on President Bush to pull back from a war against Iraq. In what amounts to a collective cri de coeur, our envoys - congregating in Whitehall today for an unprecedented Foreign Office brainstorming session - are warning of the potentially devastating consequences of such an adventure, including its impact on a greater threat than Saddam Hussein: al-Qaida-inspired terrorism." 01.06.03

BG "About 100 US Special Forces members and more than 50 Central Intelligence Agency officers have been operating in small groups inside Iraq for at least four months, searching for Scud missile launchers, monitoring oil fields, marking minefield sites, and using lasers to help US pilots bomb Iraqi air-defense systems, according to intelligence officials and military analysts who have talked with people on the teams." 01.06.03

LOEB "The U.S. military is assembling a ground force for a possible invasion of Iraq that could exceed 100,000 troops and include three to four heavy Army divisions, an airborne division, a Marine division and an assortment of Special Operations forces, according to defense officials and analysts. " 01.06.03

NYT Bush Plan For Post-Saddam Iraq. "...calls for an 18-month occupation, trials of only the most senior Iraqi leaders and a quick takeover of oil fields. " 01.06.03

RASPBERRY "A lot of us who have voiced bafflement and frustration about President Bush's success in selling his logic for a war against Iraq have been strangely silent about the constitutionality of such an undertaking. We've behaved as though the question of war is a matter of presidential discretion. Well, it isn't -- or at any rate, it shouldn't be. It's right there in the Constitution -- Article I, Section 8 -- that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war. Nor do I find anything to suggest that Congress may delegate its war-making authority to the president....The trend of recent years has been for politicians to avoid controversy when possible. Candidates would rather attack an opponent's proposals than make any of their own. Most controversial legislation passed at the state and local level seems to have come by way of referendum -- with no politician having to take a strong public position. So I don't imagine the men and women of our national legislature will step forward and tell the president that, under the separation of powers, declaring war is a congressional responsibility. I just think they ought to." 01.06.03

AVNERY "Sharon's propaganda agents are pouring oil on the flames by accusing all critics of his policy of being anti-Semites. Many good people, who feel no hatred at all towards the Jews but who detest the persecution of Palestinians, are now called anti-Semites. Thus the sting is taken out of this word, giving it something approaching respectability.The practical upshot: not only is the State of Israel not protecting Jews from anti-Semitism, but—on the contrary—its government is manufacturing and exporting the anti-Semitism that threatens Jews around the world." 01.06.03

NEWMAN "The decision to deny candidacy to two prominent Arab legislators has marred the Israeli Arab voters' faith in the election system. " 01.06.03

PARRY "The notion of a “liberal” national news media is one of the most enduring and influential political myths of modern U.S. history. Shaping the behavior of both conservatives and liberals over the past quarter century, the myth could be said to have altered the course of American democracy and led the nation into the dangerous corner it now finds itself." 01.06.03

FRIEDMAN "Is the war that the Bush team is preparing to launch in Iraq really a war for oil? My short answer is yes." 01.05.03

BERKOWITZ "It's fair, it's equitable and it's the patriotic thing to do. For those privileged Americans who have been historically underrepresented in America's military, it's time for an affirmative action plan. Americans need to move beyond mouthing slogans and posting flag decals on their SUVs and pick-up trucks, and stand up for their country. I never thought I'd be saying this, but it's time to bring back The Draft. Everyone gets an opportunity to serve -- National Football League players, major league baseball players, Hollywood stars, the neighborhood butcher, hip-hop artists, Senators' sons and daughters, Cabinet Secretarys’ youngsters -- no excuses, no special deals for cushy National Guard placements, no college deferments, no slithering out. " 01.05.03

IGNATIEFF "What every schoolchild...knows about empires is that they eventually face nemeses. To call America the new Rome is at once to recall Rome's glory and its eventual fate at the hands of the barbarians. A confident and carefree republic -- the city on a hill, whose people have always believed they are immune from history's harms -- now has to confront not just an unending imperial destiny but also a remote possibility that seems to haunt the history of empire: hubris followed by defeat....Empires survive when they understand that diplomacy, backed by force, is always to be preferred to force alone. Looking into the still more distant future, say a generation ahead, resurgent Russia and China will demand recognition both as world powers and as regional hegemons. As the North Korean case shows, America needs to share the policing of nonproliferation and other threats with these powers, and if it tries, as the current National Security Strategy suggests, to prevent the emergence of any competitor to American global dominance, it risks everything that Gibbon predicted: overextension followed by defeat. " 01.05.03

TOLSON The new american empire? Americans have an enduring aversion to planting the flag on foreign soil. Is that attitude changing? 01.05.03

NYT ED "Right now the world must seem like a potentially deadly game of three-dimensional chess to the the Bush administration. In Asia, its allies don't agree with each other about whether a North Korea with nuclear arms is an international danger. But they are very certain they don't want the United States to do anything that might trigger an angry response. The American people are confused by the contradictions between their government's approach to North Korea and Iraq, and frustrated by the sudden lack of clarity in their government's foreign policy....Washington must not get into a situation where America's diplomatic and military resources are so tied up in pre-empting future dangers from Iraq that its ability to cope with more imminent threats from North Korea and terrorism are significantly compromised. " 01.05.03

WP ED "Much as the administration might wish to play down nation-building in Kabul so that it can be done in Baghdad, or induce a dictator like Kim Jong Il to postpone his provocations until a more convenient moment, it will need to act aggressively in all these theaters or risk fundamental and possibly irreversible damage to U.S. interests." 01.05.03

GORDON "While the White House insists that North Korea's nuclear efforts do not represent a crisis, most experts believe it is the gravest threat in the region in a decade. " 01.05.03

IND "The United Nations food agency warned yesterday that supplies for some seven million people, a third of North Korea's population, will run out early next month without further aid. The news could worsen the crisis over North Korea's nuclear threats. " 01.05.03

DAO Why Keep U.S. Troops in South Korea? 01.05.03

FISK "I think I'm getting the picture. North Korea breaks all its nuclear agreements with the United States, throws out UN inspectors and sets off to make a bomb a year, and President Bush says it's "a diplomatic issue". Iraq hands over a 12,000-page account of its weapons production and allows UN inspectors to roam all over the country, and - after they've found not a jam-jar of dangerous chemicals in 230 raids - President Bush announces that Iraq is a threat to America, has not disarmed and may have to be invaded. So that's it, then." 01.05.03

AP "AMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 4 -- Pakistan insisted today that it never gave the United States permission to chase Taliban and al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan into Pakistan."Absolutely not. The Americans cannot cross the Pakistani border from Afghanistan to chase what they say are vestiges of Taliban and al Qaeda," Information Minister Rashid Ahmed said. The assertion directly contradicts American assertions that U.S. troops could cross the border if they were in hot pursuit of suspects. " 01.05.03

BURKHALTER "Recent reports that U.S. intelligence operatives and military police are torturing captured al Qaeda and Taliban suspects are but the latest evidence of the United States' disgraceful handling of detainees in its war on terrorism. For the past year we have known that U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan turned over surrendered combatants to their local allies, who reportedly murdered hundreds of them in captivity. Thousands of others who lay down their weapons were crammed into freezing, filthy, dilapidated cells at Shebergan prison. The United States detains al Qaeda and Taliban captives indefinitely without charge or trial, some imprisoned in secret locations in foreign countries where security services that are known to use torture conduct interrogations on our behalf. These immoral and illegal practices are extremely costly to U.S. interests and ought to be stopped immediately. " 01.05.03

BEAUMONT "Why al-Qaeda is winning. War against terrorism won't be won until the West grasps the fact that we are fighting a lethal idea rather than a tangible enemy " 01.05.03

KESSLER "The White House is seriously considering a proposal to cede the FBI's counterterrorism function to a new agency similar to MI5, the British domestic spy agency. The idea scares almost everyone who has actually been involved in investigating terrorism, and with good reason. A domestic spy agency would mean a return to the years when the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, investigated citizens simply for subscribing to leftist publications or for speaking out against the government. It was all done in the name of intelligence gathering, an amorphous standard that could be used to justify investigating and compiling files on anyone perceived to be different." 01.05.03

MC GRORY "A driving issue with [Dem Prez candidate John] Edwards is the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties since 9/11. He will take on Attorney General John Ashcroft. 'I know people have to feel safe, but they can feel safe but strong as far as individual liberties go. I talk about Ashcroft all the time, and the way they grab people, call them enemy combatants -- throw them in jail, deny them lawyers and keep them there indefinitely. In America, that is not okay. Do we stand for something? How can we expect to have any moral authority?'" 01.05.03

ALTERNET "AlterNet’s Rights and Liberties page is dedicated to documenting, reporting, and reflecting on the increasingly restrictive climate for civil liberties and human rights. Our goal is to alert and inform, provide passionate analysis and opinion, and offer concrete tools for action. " 01.05.03

NYT "The next round of [U.N.] decision making on Iraq promises to be even more difficult than the first. The United States may have to persuade skeptical members to accept its interpretation of less-than-overwhelming evidence that Iraq cheated the inspectors by hiding illegal weapons." 01.05.03

NYT Repubs Have The "Skids Greased." "Mr. DeLay, described by opponents and allies alike as a ruthless tactician, has been invaluable in restoring to Republicans the full control of the lawmaking machinery that was abruptly snatched away in mid-2001 with the party switch of Senator James M. Jeffords, independent of Vermont. That shift in the balance of Senate power led to one legislative impasse after another. This time, Republicans plan to move forward quickly, before the next presidential election intrudes.They are readying an agenda of tax cuts, Medicare changes, increased energy production, legal liability limits and welfare revisions that they hope will maintain their ascendancy." 01.05.03

RICH "The broader political climate carries the same aura of unreality as the ground zero architectural debate. We're told that North Korea is "not a crisis," but we are anxious anyway about an expanded war. The anxiety can be found everywhere from the numbers on Wall Street to those of a post-Christmas Associated Press poll showing that two-thirds of the nation feels that a war with Iraq will increase the likelihood of terror attacks. And yet the Republicans and Democrats return to Washington to debate . . . their competing visions of tax cuts. " 01.05.03

NYT "People in and outside the Bush court say the economic plan was hammered out months ago by a small core of still-in-place presidential advisers - Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andrew H. Card Jr. and Joshua Bolten - who control all domestic policy in an administration where power is ever more tightly held at the White House.... Republicans close to the White House say that the two newest economic faces, Mr. Snow and Mr. Friedman, are to be more salesmen than architects." 01.05.03

LAZARUS "The Bush administration, under fire for its handling of the economy, has quietly killed off a Labor Department program that tracked mass layoffs by U.S. companies.... Businesses cutting back didn't exactly jibe with the White House's recent declarations that prosperity is right around the corner. " 01.05.03

MAYER "The impulse to revise the dividend tax is a good one. Today's tax code distorts corporate accounting and warps corporate behavior. The president's plan, however, would do little to remedy the damage wrought by an ill-conceived tax code — and would make it even more unfair. " 01.05.03

NYT "Many local health departments across the nation say they will have to curtail an array of services, including cancer and tuberculosis screening and children's dental examinations, to meet the needs of President Bush's federal smallpox vaccination program....'We understand the need to be prepared, but the load for doing this is falling principally on local health departments, and we're not getting additional funding,'" 01.05.03

THOMAS "The administration has co-opted the word "reform" to roll back progress and promote its goals of weakening government restraints in a variety of areas. It's noteworthy that the administration has never pursued the corporate chieftains whose greed stunned the nation last year with the same energy that it goes after lawyers who are fighting for the consumer. "Reform" implies intent to make things better and to correct defects and abuses. But buyers, beware. This so-called reform is double speak -- a euphemism to try to block private suits by trial lawyers in behalf of consumers. " 01.05.03

TB "By meeting FirstEnergy Corp. halfway on last year’s shutdown date for the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, senior Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials violated public trust - and the agency’s mission - with a profit-ahead-of-safety compromise, according to a government report issued yesterday. The NRC’s Office of Inspector General said in a 25-page report that agency officials failed to uphold their mandate for keeping safety paramount to financial considerations by setting aside a shutdown order the agency’s staff had written in the fall of 2001....The degree of corrosion has been described by the NRC for months as the nation’s closest brush with a major nuclear accident since Three Mile Island in 1979.U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) said the inspector general’s report reaffirmed her suspicion that the NRC is a weak agency that allows itself to be coerced by industry. 'It was all about money - not people and safety.'" 01.05.03

WP Candidate With The Most Cash Wins 93% Of The Time. Average Americans Have Been Shut Out Of Political Office. 01.05.03

SMITH "Computerized Balloting is Taking Over Elections In Maryland--But Can We Trust the Results? " 01.05.03

WP Gephardt to Seek Presidency. Bush Leading U.S. Down the Wrong Path, Democrat Says 01.05.03

WP "White House Silent on Racial Controversy. The White House and the Republican National Committee declined to comment yesterday on a racial controversy involving a Bush administration ally who is campaigning to become chairman of the California Republican Party. " 01.05.03

PATCHETT Could Future Prez Debate Be Between Two Docs? 01.05.03

HA'ARETZ "Likud loyalists are now concerned that the prime minister's son Omri Sharon will be summoned to the police for questioning next week, thus keeping the Likud scandals in the headlines. The party is also worried about the complaints filed yesterday against Sharon's other son, Gilad, in the wake of an article published yesterday in Yedioth Ahronoth about suspected payoffs from contractor David Appel." 01.05.03

WT "Israel is putting the final touches on a $15 billion special aid request to the United States to bolster an economy under pressure from the Palestinian uprising and preparations for any attack by Iraq.... Israeli officials believe it is unlikely that a new aid package would be approved in Washington before a campaign to topple Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, for fear of alienating Arab countries whose political support will be crucial in the effort. The aid, they say, will help defray costs of deploying the Arrow missile, Israel's anti-ballistic missile system on which the country will rely to intercept Iraqi Scud missiles.... The loan guarantees, in which the United States would act much as a co-signer, would provide Israel a cheaper alternative to finance its national debt than floating bonds on local financial markets." 01.05.03

MUKHERJEE Destiny's Child 01.05.03

NYT "The Bush administration has exhibited a penchant for secrecy that has been striking to historians, legal experts and lawmakers of both parties....Mary Graham, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, saw two major risks in this administration's level of secrecy."What are often being couched as temporary emergency orders are in fact what we are going to live with for 20 years, just as we lived with the cold war restrictions for years after it was over," Ms. Graham said. "We make policy by crisis, and we particularly make secrecy policy by crisis."Moreover, she said, it ignores the value of openness, which "creates public pressure for improvement." When risk analyses of chemical plants were available on the Internet, she said, people could pressure companies to do better, or move away. " 01.03.03

WP Bush Defines Those Who Oppose His Tax Cuts For The Rich As Engaging In "Class Warfare." "Bush plans to propose excluding a large chunk of individuals' dividend income from taxation, the officials said. That is the bulk of an economic stimulus package expected to total about $300 billion over 10 years. " 01.03.03

DIONNE "Congress may be about to debate the wrong thing when it takes up the renewal of welfare reform this year. The Bush administration wants to push states even harder to move welfare recipients into the workforce. But in this economy, where are the welfare poor supposed to find jobs? And where will states find the money to finance work programs if the jobs aren't there?...It was a scandal that Congress and the White House failed to extend emergency unemployment benefits in the last Congress. The effect was to terminate benefits on Dec. 28 -- Happy New Year, folks! -- for at least 750,000 workers..... The surest way to cripple welfare reform would be for Washington to become stingier toward the nation's poor and unemployed at the very moment that they need the most help. They're the ones who need a 'stimulus.'" 01.03.03

DOMBECK "A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt recognized the vital connection between forests and water. When Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, the first United States Forest Service chief, set up the national forest system, they talked about managing for the greatest good for the greatest number — for the long run....It comes as no surprise that the Bush administration is proposing new forest-management policies.What's unfortunate, however, is that some of these policies effectively abandon Theodore Roosevelt's long-term goals." 01.03.03

NYT "With the new Senate majority leader as a powerful ally, President Bush will propose sweeping, long-term changes in Medicare later this month when he urges Congress to provide prescription drug benefits for the elderly....Mr. Bush, like Dr. Frist, has said he wants to foster competition between the original fee-for-service Medicare program and private health plans. Such changes could eventually make Medicare look more like private insurance. " [Note. Dr. Frist, "one of the wealthiest members of Congress with a blind-trust fortune of $20 million, retains close ties with his family's hospital chain, which "has agreed to pay cumulative fines or penalties totaling $1.7 billion to settle accusations of health care fraud that included overbilling Medicare and kickbacks to physicians." --Nathan Newman] -- 01.03.03

WP "In step with President Bush's faith-based initiative, the government on Thursday sent money from its child support programs to religious and nonprofit organizations so they can promote marriage....The government has promoted marriage in the past, primarily through the 1996 welfare overhaul, but it has faced restrictions in giving money to religious organizations to advance that same goal. Some Democrats in Congress object to the prospect that church groups will use the tax dollars to proselytize, and in doing so violate the constitutional separation of church and state....Bush, bypassing a reluctant Congress, signed executive orders last month that put parts of his faith-based initiative in motion. " 01.03.03

SCHEER "What is happening here? Certainly not the construction of a coherent foreign policy aimed at increasing the security of the United States or our allies... This is an Administration that in two years has so mucked up our approach to the world that merely applying the demands of logic is made to appear unpatriotic." 01.03.03

CORNWELL ""Day by day the North Korean crisis deepens, and day by day the language coming out of Washington grows more absurd. Kim Jong II may rule over certainly the most reclusive and arguably the most miserable country on earth. But the man whom a CNN host sneeringly dismissed yesterday as "a weird looking little dude" has tied the world's mightiest country in knots as it tries to explain why it is gearing up for war on Iraq while soft-pedalling a far more serious state of affairs in Asia." " 01.03.03

KRUGMAN "Deterrence requires a credible commitment to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior.I know, it sounds obvious. Yet the Bush administration's Korea policy has systematically violated that simple principle.Let's be clear: North Korea's rulers are as nasty as they come. But unless we have a plan to overthrow those rulers, we should ask ourselves what incentives we're giving them. " 01.03.03

NYT "Bush discounted American differences with Asian nations today on how to handle the nuclear standoff with North Korea....But in private, several of Mr. Bush's advisers say the North Korean crisis has complicated their diplomatic task at the United Nations. So has Mr. Bush's determination that a pre-emptive strike on North Korea is not viable even if Mr. Kim is only months away from adding to his nuclear arsenal, the advisers say. "We will be facing considerable skepticism on the question of how we can justify confrontation with Saddam when he is letting inspectors into the country, and a diplomatic solution with Kim when he's just thrown them out," one senior diplomat acknowledged today. 'And we're working on the answer.' " 01.03.03

WATTS "South Korea began an intensive diplomatic effort yesterday to try to avert a nuclear stand-off between its neighbour North Korea and its closest ally, the United States... Anxious about the increasingly bellicose noises from Pyongyang and the growing calls in Washington for punitive measures, it has asked China and Russia to step in." 01.03.03

KRAUTHAMMER "China supplies nearly all of North Korea's energy and 40 percent of its foodstuffs. South Korea has significant investments in North Korea. International organizations provide a huge amount of food aid. Moreover, North Korea has only a few major harbors. They could be blockaded. If China and South Korea were to cut off North Korea, it could not survive....[The Chinese] show no inclination to deny North Korea what it needs to survive. Even more ominously, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reports that the Chinese have just shipped 20 tons of highly specialized chemicals used in extracting plutonium from spent reactor fuel....We should go to the Chinese and tell them plainly that if they do not join us in squeezing North Korea and thus stopping its march to go nuclear, we will endorse any Japanese attempt to create a nuclear deterrent of its own. Even better, we would sympathetically regard any request by Japan to acquire American nuclear missiles as an immediate and interim deterrent. If our nightmare is a nuclear North Korea, China's is a nuclear Japan. It's time to share the nightmares." [Letters to BW Invited.] 01.03.03

MALLEY "While Iraq and Iran may have some very bad reasons to want to develop their nonconventional arsenals, they feel they have some pretty good reasons as well — not least of all, their fear of each other Unless these fears are addressed, any solution is liable to be short lived. Failure to offer practical ideas for what should happen if war does not occur will only make war more likely — either now or when the next crisis is upon us. " 01.03.03

NORTON-TAYLOR "Many senior British diplomats are known to share deep concerns about President Bush's apparent determination to attack Iraq with or without evidence that Saddam Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction....The diplomats believe the Bush administration is further radicalising Arab and Muslim opinion with its emphasis on military might against the long-term interests of the west." 01.03.03

WP ED "THERE HAS BEEN a lull recently in Palestinian attacks against Israelis; a shooting attack that killed four in a West Bank settlement last week was the first major incident in a month. But almost every day, Palestinian civilians, including many children, are being killed by the Israeli army and police. " 01.03.03

KENNEDY "In our effort to feed people, we have created a vulnerable enterprise: Its weakness emerges in our inadequate knowledge of how to help small farmers in the poorest countries and -- on the other hand -- in the liability of the monocultures of our major cereal grains. Both depend on our capacity to keep their genetic armaments in good shape. That will take serious support, and unless we get behind the Global Conservation Trust, the support may not be there. " 01.03.03

WP N.C. Sen. Edwards Announces Bid For White House. "Next up is likely to be outgoing House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), who is expected to set up a committee this weekend. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) are close to announcing their decisions, according to advisers. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton may also seek the Democratic nomination. " 01.03.03

RUTENBERG Outflanked Democrats Wonder How to Catch Up in Media Wars 01.03.03

KUTTNER "HAPPY NEW YEAR, George W. Bush. You enjoyed an election day blowout. Your popularity ratings are holding up nicely. But 2003 may not be as happy a year for you as 2002....At some point the public has to notice the threadbare economy, the assaults on privacy and liberty, the homeland insecurity, and the reckless foreign policy. At least [we] have to hope that it does and that we get through the year intact." 01.02.03

WP ED "With Congress so far unwilling to get involved in defining reasoned boundaries, the courts have been the only realistic check on the Bush administration's unilateral assertions of power. This is a far-too-passive means of making law in such a fateful area. In the American system, the national legislature is primarily responsible for determining what the law should be. If, through inaction, it effectively cedes that power to the president, the new rules will reflect the presidency's interests at the expense of all others. That's a dangerous prospect for civil liberties and, in the long run, for effective counterterrorism as well. " 01.02.03

OLIPHANT "THE BUSH administration's ''policy'' toward North Korea poses unusual challenges to a would-be supporter. How, for example, does a country (even a superpower, even the superpower) go about isolating another country that is more isolated from us than from the rest of the world? Or how can an official foreign policy crisis (as North Korea was termed nearly three months ago) become an official foreign policy noncrisis (Colin Powell's latest description) without anything good happening? Better yet, how can a country with no known nuclear weapons but an alleged ambition to possess them (Iraq) be more dangerous (and thus more appropriate for invasion and conquest) than a country that already has them? The administration's lame attempts at answers to these questions, and the correct answers that the administration is not prepared to give, reveal a ''policy'' that cannot stand even cursory examination and thus will have to be changed." 01.02.03

FUERTH "When using words as weapons, a leader must be prepared to back up his rhetoric with force. The president's nomination of North Korea as a member of the "Axis of Evil" in his last State of the Union message now looks like a bluff that is being called. And the outcome of the administration's diplomacy is that we are preparing to fight a war with a country that might eventually acquire nuclear weapons, while another country is closing in on the ability to go into mass production. Like it or not, the administration needs to test the theory that North Korea is trying to force the United States into negotiations. That would be bitter medicine for the administration to swallow, but in view of the alternatives it would be wise for the administration to reverse course and engage with North Korea. However, if such a process doesn't stop the North Korean nuclear enterprise, and quickly, then the administration must either accept a monumental blow to the security of the United States, or prepare for a second major military enterprise in Korea - one that would take place simultaneously, or nearly so, with action against Iraq. " 01.02.03

WP ED "THE DEBATE over what to do about North Korea, an exceptionally difficult question, has been further complicated by distorted descriptions of the problem by both the Bush administration and its critics....[Powell's] logic is convenient to the administration's strategy of playing down the North Korean threat and postponing an active response to it. But if it's not certain that this murderous and immoral regime already has a bomb, then it is important to do whatever can be done now to stop what increasingly looks like a drive by dictator Kim Jong Il to produce an arsenal as quickly as possible. Perhaps there is no way to stop him; but the administration would be wrong to prematurely concede North Korea's standing as a nuclear power. " 01.02.03

MC GRORY "We may talk to the North Koreans informally, but we will certainly not negotiate, Powell says. We must not "reward bad conduct." That is true with small children and other difficult human beings, but it is not necessarily a principle in dealing with a nutty little nation that has gone nuclear, having produced two bombs and acquired the makings for as many as one a month.Playing it cool may be good for Bush's war -- it won't unduly divert people -- but it doesn't do a lot for world peace. Negotiating with a paranoid Kim Jong Il might be the equivalent of dealing with a kidnapper or a hostage-taker, but surely some allowance could be made for weapons that could wipe out the world. But the buzz is that if Bush sent someone to the North Korean capital, we would be giving the maniac in charge "just what he wants" -- that is, attention. Apparently little thought is given to the possibility that a U.S. envoy might be successful in convincing crazy Kim Jong Il that North Korea needs other things more than plutonium to make it a serious country. " 01.02.03

BERGER+GALLUCCI "The extent to which North Korea is able to end its isolation from the United States and the rest of the world should not just depend on its willingness to step back from the threatening actions of the past several days and give up its clandestine enrichment program; it must be willing to step forward to resolve its past nuclear history and open its future behavior to comprehensive and verifiable international scrutiny. If it does, other issues between us can be addressed and steps toward a more normal relationship with us are achievable. This course is not without risks. But the support for a regional cutoff of all significant contacts -- or for more robust options -- is unlikely if we do not make such an effort. " 01.02.03

REEVES "Washington's plan to use economic pressure to stop North Korea from restarting its nuclear plants - seen by the CIA as nuclear warhead factories - has been rejected as ineffective by South Korea... The outgoing President, Kim Dae Jung, and his successor poured scorn on the American strategy yesterday, saying it would not persuade Pyongyang to change tack." 01.02.03

NYT "After 50 years as a stalwart U.S. ally, South Korea is now one of the administration's biggest foreign policy problems. " 01.02.03

BENN "The lengthy preparations for the war on Iraq suggest that even the world's superpower finds it hard to chew gum and talk at the same time. And there are no vacuums in the international arena: With America engaged by Saddam Hussein, others are exploiting circumstances in order to create new strategic facts. Thus the balance of power in the region is likely to change for the worse before we get to the "day after." The events of the past weeks furnish several examples of the limits of America's power as world policeman." 01.02.03

WEISS+O'HANLON "While the President decides whether to march to Baghdad, Saddam Hussein may be poised to bring the battle to American cities via terrorism. Yet Washington's focus on creating a new Department of Homeland Security has left America's cities not much better protected than they were sixteen months ago.... We can't make up for a year lost to other federal priorities, but here are five things the Administration should do right away to bolster local efforts to prevent and respond to a terrorist attack. " 01.02.03

NYT "M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws in [Bush] Antimissile System " 01.02.03

BRODER "Tom Daschle agreed with his party majority only 80 percent of the time -- a remarkably low figure for a man often described by Republicans as a partisan obstructionist....Bill Frist of Tennessee, often described as "a healer," was every bit as loyal a partisan last year as the man he replaces, Trent Lott of Mississippi. Lott was a 98 percenter; Frist, 97 percent, and the new Republican whip, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, also voted the party line 97 percent of the time. " 01.02.03

DIONNE "Bush will come up with measures supposedly designed to stimulate the economy. In fact, the stimulus argument is an excuse for furthering his campaign to reduce the share of taxes paid by the most well-off Americans. He's expected to propose making his tax cut permanent and cutting taxes on dividends....As Washington sits by, lower levels of government are forced to do all the things the president says he's against: raising taxes, cutting spending on schools, reducing outlays for security, including police and fire departments. States, like individuals and families, are also being clobbered by rising health care costs." 01.02.03

KRUGMAN "Like corporate malfeasance, deflation has turned out to be something that can happen here. It's by no means a foregone conclusion: Federal Reserve officials assure us that they can and will steer us away from a Japanese-style black hole. But we're close enough to such a black hole that it's already warping our economic space.Here's how it can happen:... " 01.02.03

WP Voucher Watch. "States Worry New Law Sets Schools Up to Fail. Federal "No Child Left Behind" law's use of test scores would label most poor performers." 01.02.03

NYT "Galvanized by the Republican takeover of the Senate, opponents of abortion are preparing a major push for new abortion restrictions in the next Congress. " 01.02.03

VINCENT Adults Lead Class In Anti-Gay Bigotry 01.02.03

NYT "Global warming is forcing species to alter habits in ways that could disrupt ecosystems, two groups of researchers say....Projections of global warming by 2100 ranged from 2.5 to 10 degrees above current levels, should concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, which flow mainly from smokestacks and tailpipes, continue to rise." Bush has said that we should learn to live with the changes, which researchers term "pretty frightening. " 01.02.03

AP "Major changes to clean air rules for utilities, refineries and manufacturers were being formally issued Tuesday by the Bush administration, prompting a court challenge from a coalition of New England and mid-Atlantic states. ``We think what they are doing is contrary to the Clean Air Act and it is fundamentally injurious to the American public,'' Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, said in an interview. " 01.02.03

NYT ED "Bush recently promised to increase fuel economy in S.U.V.'s by 1.5 miles a gallon by 2007. But that's less than what the automakers say they can do on their own, and far less than what the National Academy of Sciences says is possible for all cars with existing off-the-shelf technology. And the rewards for a big increase in efficiency would be huge: cleaner air, fewer global warming gases, reduced dependence on Persian Gulf oil. " 01.02.03

NYT Bush's Norton Reduces Southern California Water Supply As A Penalty 01.02.03

NYT "Hebron Residents Describe an Israeli Reign of Beatings. " 01.02.03

NYT ED "For an idea that's doable, our foreign policy choice is dismantling Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Just as terrorism is the greatest Palestinian obstacle to Middle East peace, so the settlements established in territories captured in the 1967 war are the greatest Israeli obstacle. They deprive the Palestinians of valuable land and water and deny them geographical continuity. They are hard for Israel to defend against Palestinian attack, and they make it impossible to establish a clear, secure Israeli border." 01.02.03

HA'ARETZ "Sharon, the political analyst, who only sees the Arabs' responsibility for terror and not the part he plays in egging them on, does what commentators do when they have no explanation for what is going on: He uses distraction. Corruption? That's not the issue. The main thing is getting ready for the war on Iraq. Scare tactics never hurt a commentator when the words run dry." 01.02.03

FOOT "Triumph of doublethink in 2003: Orwell warned against the kind of lies we are being fed about Iraq." 01.02.03

HOLT "The full and fair picture, which the VOA has followed most of the time, is flexible enough for most days; but some days the White House - or Defense or State - wants to make a point so badly that it is tempted to stretch the truth or even (here comes the dangerous part) to make it up. This happened in the cold war, and it could happen again in the war on terror if we are not careful. " 01.02.03

LEDBETTER How Internet Bubble Reporting By Business Media Became Part Of The Problem 01.02.03

NYT "As universities rush to install wireless networks, professors say the technology poses a growing challenge for them: retaining their students' attention. " 01.02.03

VON HOFFMAN Bah, Humbug. "For a long time now, Christmas has been fading away-in public, at least-into an inoffensive occasion called the Holiday Season. Every sect, race and nationality can think up a feast day falling in or around Dec. 25 and join the Holiday Season festivities, which are sufficiently denuded of their original religious meaning so that none will feel out of place. The fact of the matter is the real meaning of Christmas might be lost if the holiday did not beckon non-Christians into the malls as well as the Christians. Christmas is too important to the gross domestic product to limit Christmas shopping to Christians. " 12.30.02

NYT ED Bush's "unilateral order, which lets religious groups use tax dollars to finance their programs, should be struck down. " 12.30.02

CANDAELE+DREIER "This Christmas it is unlikely that George W. Bush, Scrooge on the Potomac, will be transformed by any ghostly visits. Indeed, since the November 5 election (in which the Republicans' narrow majorities in the Senate and House were mirrored by a slim majority of the popular vote), Bush and his cronies seem to believe they have a mandate to outdo themselves in rewarding the corporate class that helped bring them to power. Yes, this holiday season--even as Bush prepares the nation for war--selfishness is back in style for those at the top of the economic pyramid. Sacrifice and "compassionate conservatism" are out." 12.30.02

HIGHTOWER "What an irony that [the Christmas tree] industry profiting so handsomely from the celebration of the birth of Jesus would treat the poor in a way that Jesus abhorred. A bough cutter noted that the worker's pay was so low that "we don't know whether we'll even have enough money to give Christmas presents this year." Another worker added, 'A lot of Americans are nice and treat you well. But others will kick you if they can. '" 12.30.02

BIVENS "Holes in the Homeland Security Act ...Voluntary submission" is much more about protecting profits than about homeland security. " 12.30.02

SANGER Bush Caves To North Korean Nuke Production. "The diplomatic, nonconfrontational approach the administration has taken has clearly put Mr. Bush's aides in the odd position of explaining why they are massing troops around Iraq, as it lets inspectors roam the country and releases lists of weapons scientists, while insisting on patient diplomacy with a country that has expelled those inspectors and announced that it will restart plutonium production immediately. " 12.30.02

LAKE Bush Foreign Policy In Disarray. "The National Security Strategy reflects the state of mind of [an administration] that has not decided what it wants to be on the world stage. For the multilateralists, the document devotes a chapter to "cooperation with other main centers of global power." For the unilateralists, the strategy reserves the U.S. right to act alone. For the peace processors, the strategy pledges to work to cool regional conflicts. For the idealists, the strategy commits the United States to promoting democracy.But the most telling phrase of the document is in its introduction: "The aim of this strategy is to help make the world not just safer but better." These, of course, are two very different aims." 12.30.02

AP Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Monday he'd been prepared to use atomic weapons if Indian forces crossed into its territory earlier this year when tensions peaked -- in an admission of how close the neighbors came to nuclear war. 12.30.02

CRIMMINS "THE YEAR 2002 was like a fairy tale - the middle of a fairy tale, when despair grows exponentially with each turn of the page. Just a year after the usurping of the throne, sinister forces continued dismantling all that was ever good and decent within the fallen kingdom of America. And so the dark shadow that was 2001 grew longer until our nation became engulfed by starless, moonless, unremitting night. At year’s end, many of us fear we may never see another metaphorical sunrise. " 12.30.02

HUFFINGTON 2002 In My Rearview Mirror 12.30.02

REEVES "The year 2003 could very well be one of the most important in American history -- and because of American superpower, it could be almost as significant in world history. An unashamed bleeding-heart liberal perspective of the United States and its opportunities and problems at the end of 2002 would focus on three issues -- moral issues. They are war and peace, health and sickness, and common decency. " 12.30.02

DUNHAM Wars, Economy, And Paying Off Fat Cats Shaping Up As Bush Big Three Problems For New Year 12.30.02

FRANKE-RUTA "As governors from both parties struggle with tough choices about which meat-and-bone programs to cut, the Republican governors are having to make a tough political choice as well: whether to ally themselves with a president who does not want to give the states a federal bailout or with their Democratic counterparts who are hoping for help from Washington. Further complicating matters, nearly half the states will be run by newly elected governors, many of whom owe at least some of their electoral success to the president. " 12.30.02

BS " Nebraska's combative stance, born of a belief in state control of public education, has thrown a wrench into the Bush administration's plans to implement a new education law." 12.30.02

SLPD "The Environmental Protection Agency was on the verge of warning millions of Americans that their attics and walls might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation. But, at the last minute, the White House intervened, and the warning has never been issued. The agency's refusal to share its knowledge of what is believed to be a widespread health risk has been criticized by a former EPA administrator under two Republican presidents, a Democratic U.S. senator and physicians and scientists who have treated victims of the contamination. " 12.30.02

NYT Screaming Machins And Burning Rivers. "This is the cantankerous world of energy extraction in the Rocky Mountain West, where natural gas is abundant and cheap to remove, and where the Bush administration, in its aggressive push to increase domestic energy production, is on the brink of approving the largest-ever gas-drilling project on federal land. Here in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the Bureau of Land Management says that early next year it will give final approval to the drilling of 39,000 wells on eight million acres. " 12.30.02

WP "The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is about to undergo a dramatic transformation, as Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), long a nemesis of the environmental movement, takes control as chairman.... The committee, with jurisdiction over a broad range of environmental issues and government construction projects, traditionally has had a moderate or liberal chairman -- such as the late Sen. John H. Chafee (R-R.I.) and outgoing chairman James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) -- who maintained strong ties to conservation and environmental groups." 12.30.02

REESE "There are a lot of lies floating around in this buildup to war. I have no doubt that the president intends to go to war at the end of January regardless of what the inspectors find or don't find. That's a mistake, but as our elected president, Mr. Bush has two more years in which to make mistakes.At any rate, one of the dumbest lies floated out of Washington is that Saddam Hussein needs weapons of mass destruction to stay in power. This is put out as a weak argument for the claim that he must have them. In fact, it's a stupid statement. No dictator in human history has ever relied on weapons of mass destruction to stay in power. Saddam controls the Iraqis the old-fashioned way - with a secret police, a network of informers and conventional torture and execution." 12.30.02

RALL "Does the U.S. really possess proof, as it claims, that Saddam is up to no good? Or does it merely suspect--in other words, have a gut feeling--that Iraqi scientists are cooking up smallpox bombs hundreds of feet beneath the desert? The American people aren't being allowed to see the evidence excusing the bloody war about to be waged in their name. Nor are the prospective allies whose help--and young men--we are requesting. "To say that we know but we won't tell you is not very persuasive," Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations said. "It's not a poker game where you call your cards and call the other's bluff." Incredibly, Bush even resisted turning over intelligence data on Iraqi weapons to the U.N., information might help inspectors prove that Saddam was violating the 1991 ceasefire agreement. " 12.30.02

DOBBS "High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists. What U.S. officials rarely acknowledge is that these offenses date back to a period when Hussein was seen in Washington as a valued ally. " 12.30.02

RASPBERRY "How much of the commitment to rid the world of Saddam Hussein is calculated to meet Israel's needs rather than our own? As important as it is to avoid the logical trap that to oppose the war is to proclaim Saddam Hussein's innocence, one must be careful not to buy into the line of those who oppose the war because they hate Israel. But if we are willing to launch a war at least partly for Israel's sake, shouldn't we have a little more clout than we appear to have over such matters as the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories?" 12.30.02

DEBKA Military/Intelligence Sources For Israeli Web Site Reportedly Say Final Bush Ultimatum With New Year's Day Deadline Given To Syrian President By England's Blair And Delivered To Saddam Last Week. 12.30.02

GERSON+MOTLEY "Saudi Arabia's response to Sept. 11 is at odds with its public posture as a stalwart in the fight against terror. " 12.30.02

NYT Voter News Service Is in Danger of Dissolution 12.30.02

KLINKENBORG "Every generation needs an observer as critical of the provinciality and double standards of the moment as H. L. Mencken was of those in his own time. " 12.30.02

IVINS Bag O' Quotes. Bob Eckhardt, on the occasion of the Texas legislature voting to cut off aid to illegitimate children: "I am not so much concerned about the natural bastards as I am about the self-made ones." 12.30.02

BG "While there is nothing wrong with looking ahead to the next election, Democrats accuse Bush of going a step further, calling his a ''press release presidency'' in which he launches projects just for the publicity, with no intention of fully funding them. Bush often cites last year's education package as one of his chief accomplishments in office, but his budget proposed $6 billion less for the initiative than Congress had authorized spending. His budget also cuts the proposed funding for new Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement by $209 million - despite declaring, when he signed the original $776 million Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance bill into law, that it was ''the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.'' ''He got all the credit for signing this bill and none of the blame for gutting it,'' said Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts. ''They are totally, totally political. They calculate the political implications of everything they do.'' The problem in criticizing Bush, Frank said, is that the support he garnered after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has continued to distract attention from other administration moves. ''When we are arguing at the level of abstraction, he wins because he's popular,'' he said. 'We can only win when we point to the specifics, and the media has not had room for those specifics.' " 12.29.02

VONNEGUT "PRIOR TO THE shutting down of the large state hospitals in the 1960s and '70s, there was very little homelessness. Warehousing broken souls wasn't good, but setting free these souls with few if any community supports was not progress. The state saved millions of dollars, sick people died like flies, and we came to accept large numbers of untreated mentally ill people living in the streets as OK. " 12.29.02

OLIPHANT "TUCSON: THERE WERE already 12,200 people out of luck out here. After yesterday, there were 7,300 more, and there will be a thousand more every seven days until something is done in Washington. In New England, another part of the country hit moderately by economic hard times, the numbers of people previously out of luck, fresh out of luck, and facing serious trouble weekly are 56,600, 45,900, and 4,800.Nationally, more than a million people have exhausted all the unemployment compensation to which they are entitled but have yet to find a new job in an economy that is hardly creating any; another 780,000 ran out of this vital source of cash income in hard times as of yesterday; and another 96,300 will join them each and every week until Washington acts or the economy starts creating jobs.What makes this situation ridiculous is that the money to keep funding jobless assistance - the traditional US response to prolonged unemployment - is sitting untouched back East. There is $24 billion and change in the government's unemployment insurance trust fund, which means that an extension of this aid that literally puts food on tables would not take a penny in additional business taxes.What makes this situation infuriating is that the ''surplus'' in the unemployment fund is probably being used to make the mess President Bush and Congress have made of the country's public finances seem slightly less bad. And what makes it outrageous is that there is any surplus at all in an account whose purpose is to help people get through hard times." 12.29.02

HERBERT "If you want a story with legs, this is it. President Bush will have a heck of a time getting the national economy back on track while states from coast to coast are trying to balance their budgets by raising taxes, cutting spending and laying off employees....As the economy continues to struggle, the nation's mayors have been confronted with a sharp increase in the demand for emergency shelter, food and other assistance for the needy. These problems cannot be solved without significant help from the federal government." [But Bush wants to give even more fed dough to the rich as he continues his failed supply-side economic program.] 12.29.02

NYT "The issues championed today by traditional civil rights groups, from affirmative action to ending racial profiling, have become virtually identical to the Democratic Party platform, and many are antithetical to the race-neutral goals of Republicans. " 12.29.02

NYT ED "President Bush must waste no time if he means to convince the nation that his party no longer has room for a strategy steeped in appeals to disgruntled whites. " 12.29.02

SCHMEMANN Zero Tolerance For Intolerance. As E. M. Forster said, tolerance "is just a makeshift, suitable for an overcrowded and overheated planet. It carries on when love gives out, and love generally gives out as soon as we move away from our home and our friends." 12.29.02

NYT Tort Deform. Bush Wants To Do To The Nation What He Did To Texas. "Trial lawyers and consumer advocates argue that plaintiffs were stripped of much of their ability to seek redress for everything from workplace injuries to consumer fraud. In fact, studies done for the Texas Department of Insurance found that businesses facing lawsuits became more aggressive because of the new laws, making low settlement offers or refusing to negotiate. " 12.29.02

NYT "Those who believe Mr. Bush is using his pardoning powers too sparingly said there are thousands of people who long ago repaid their debt to society, or are serving unjustifiably long mandatory sentences, or can present some other compelling case that their records should be wiped clean. To choose just seven people, they said, trivializes the president's power to be a force for justice. " 12.29.02

MC GRORY "George W. Bush ends the year with a genuine nuclear crisis on his hands. He has been assiduously trying to foment one with Iraq, dropping bombs on the country and expletives on its leader. But North Korea, which is not just suspected of working on the bomb but of having at least two, has muscled Saddam Hussein off the front pages and made our crusade against Baghdad seem crass: We're starting a war not just for oil or for Ariel Sharon but because we can win it. " 12.29.02

IND ED "This newspaper stands resolutely opposed to military action against Iraq. Saddam poses no threat to the United Kingdom; nor does Iraq support al-Qa'ida, which remains capable of wreaking devastating harm on this country's citizens. We have consistently called on the Government to seek alternatives to conflict with Iraq, and we will continue to do so, urging instead that Britain maintains a policy of deterrence and containment." 12.29.02

OBSERVER "A convoy of anti-war activists, likely to include dozens of British volunteers, will leave London next month to act as human shields protecting strategic sites in Iraq... The convoy to Baghdad is being organised by former US marine Kenneth Nichols, who served in the first Gulf war and won a combat medal but has now become a vociferous opponent of another Gulf conflict." 12.29.02

CORNWELL "The US has set in motion the final build-up of men and equipment for an invasion of Iraq which now looks all but certain to happen some time in February - whatever the UN inspectors inside the country unearth or fail to unearth." 12.29.02

VULLIAMY "If America's Iraqi enterprise is - as many insist - an act of empire, then like all colonies since the days of Imperial Rome, Iraq would need a governor general. Eventually, the administrator would probably have to be Muslim, for cosmetic reasons, so that the proposed war not be perceived as a crusade against Islam... But in the immediate aftermath of war, the man in whose hands Iraq is likely to be placed is the same man who would have fought it. General Tommy Franks is commander-in-chief of what the US military calls 'Central Command' or 'CentCom' ..." 12.29.02

WP ED "AS IT APPROACHES a possible war with Iraq, the Bush administration has stepped up its rhetoric about the need for a democratic transformation in the Middle East....The State Department's director of policy planning, Richard N. Haass, delivered [a] major speeche underlining the "democracy gap" between the Arab Middle East and the rest of the world and stipulating that closing it is an essential part of the war on terrorism. Mr. Haass, a veteran Middle East policymaker, even acknowledged in his address that "successive U.S. administrations, Republican and Democratic alike," had erred by not making "democratization a sufficient priority" with Arab states on which Washington depended for oil, military bases or cooperation in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Eliminating what Mr. Haass called the "democratic exception" for the Middle East would be a momentous -- and welcome -- change of American policy. And yet, as so often happens in its handling of foreign affairs, the administration has yet to match its groundbreaking rhetoric with its actions." 12.29.02

HA'ARETZ "The parallels between Palestinian and Iraqi suffering are very popular with Palestinian commentators. As far as they are concerned, Israel Defense Forces operations in the Palestinian territories and the approaching war in Iraq are part of a plan by America and its allies to subdue the Arab nation and take over the oil. On one Lebanese TV current events show, the panelists discussed why the Bush administration is so determined to strike at Iraq, which probably doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction, while it is lax with regard to North Korea, which has provocatively announced it has a nuclear bomb. Both, after all, are in President Bush's 'axis of evil.'" 12.29.02

MUFSON HE'S IN A HOLE, BUT KEEPS ON DIGGING. "Bush and North Korea: Where's the Big Stick? " 12.29.02

DOBBS Spinning The Korea Crisis. "It is the foreign policy crisis that the Bush administration does not want to call a foreign policy crisis: a charter member of the "axis of evil" moving rapidly ahead with a nuclear weapons program... The absence of warlike rhetoric is also in stark contrast with the administration's "zero tolerance" approach toward Iraq, whose weapons programs are generally considered to be much less advanced than those of North Korea. " 12.29.02

SANGER Asia's Splits Deepen Korea Crisis 12.29.02

WP ED " NOTHING IS WRONG, in principle, with the Immigration and Naturalization Service's plan to register and fingerprint temporary visa holders in this country who hail from countries with a history of sponsoring terrorism or exporting terrorists. It makes sense for the government to have as precise an idea as possible of who is here and where those people are living. The assumption by some civil liberties groups that it is illegitimate racial profiling to attach stricter conditions for visas for nationals of some countries than for others seems wrong. Yet a basic sympathy with the INS's "special registration" project does not redeem the counterproductive manner in which the INS handled the first wave of registrations. The initial deadline for registration -- for those from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Sudan -- was Dec. 16. Hundreds of people who showed up to comply, many of them in Southern California, were handcuffed and detained on minor immigration charges. Some of these people seem to have had merely technical problems and had already submitted paperwork to fix them. Somehow, a program intended to keep track of who was in the United States turned into another dragnet for trivial immigration matters unrelated to terrorism." 12.29.02

ONG HING "The planned deportation of almost 1,400 Cambodian refugees back to a country with one of the world's worst human rights records should make us rethink our deportation laws....The real tragedy of the deportation of Cambodian refugees is who they are. Most of those being deported have little connection to contemporary Cambodia, their only memories being of the cruelty and starvation under the Khmer Rouge and the "Killing Fields" massacre of more than 2 million of their countrymen. Some do not speak Khmer, and many do not read or write the language. Some were born in refugee camps in Thailand and have never set foot in Cambodia. Others entered the United States as infants. Most have resided in the United States for more than 20 years and for all intents and purposes are Americans, having grown up here. Like it or not, they are products of the American environment." 12.29.02

ANNAN "If we want to save Africa from two catastrophes — AIDS and famine — we would do well to focus on saving Africa's women. " 12.29.02

NYT Trickle of Oil Starts Flowing in Venezuela 12.29.02

LYDGATE+BUDNICK Big Smelly Brother. Trashing Portland's Trash Snooping Police 12.29.02

SCHWARTZ Who Owns the Internet? You and i Do 12.29.02

NYT Merry Christmas: 750,000 Americans Lose Jobless Benefits Today Due To Bush Inaction, GOP House 12.28.02

EDGAR "In churches, temples and mosques across the country this holiday season, groups are gathering to pray and fast, to study the lessons of peacemaking from their religious traditions and to send the administration in Washington a clear message of moral reason: War is not the answer. " 12.28.02

BG "A leading human rights group said yesterday that the CIA's method of interrogating Al Qaeda suspects could constitute torture and result in the prosecution of US officials by courts around the world. " 12.28.02

BG ED "MORE THAN 70 percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home rather than in a hospital or institution. But only 25 percent get their wish; 22 percent in Massachusetts. This is just one way in which Americans' way of dying is at odds with their wishes. In an effort to move those wishes to the forefront, a national coalition called Last Acts published a report last month that grades the states on several indicators of how well they facilitate the decisions that lead to deaths in the company of loved ones with as little pain as possible. " 12.28.02

AA-S Bush's Texas: "A 25-year-old state law that allows removal of corneas from bodies without the permission or knowledge of relatives is under attack in the Legislature and in court.... Consent is routinely required for removal of other tissues and organs, despite a separate state law that allows a medical examiner to permit their removal if the family cannot be contacted within four hours of a person's death. " 12.28.02

BG "Rumsfeld orders US forces to Gulf. Services are alerted as buildup intensifies " 12.28.02

BG ED BushAdmin Agit-Prop? "THE POSSIBILITY that Saddam Hussein could be deposed without a war is being broached at home and abroad. A week ago Senator Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who is incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, mused on the Fox News Network about the possibility that Saddam might accept an offer from some unnamed Arab country to go into exile. A report Thursday in The Washington Post cited US intelligence officials who ''believe that although Hussein maintains a tight grip on his government, he could be overthrown by a military coup.'' " 12.28.02

NIMMO "Either Bush talks, or takes out the nukes in unabashed Israeli fashion. If he talks, the neocons will accuse of him of betraying his principles -- which are, in fact, the principles of the neocons. If he attempts to take out the nukes and depose Kim Chong-il, missiles may very well rain down on South Korea. If he follows the latter course, he will have to fight two simultaneous wars -- and imperial overreach will stretch the US military at the seams. Dread the thought, the use of "mini-nukes" on Pyongyang and the people of North Korea may then actually become an option, as spelled out in the ruthless NPR document which Bush and his cronies in the Pentagon have taken to heart.No matter how you cut it, Dubya has painted himself into a corner. He may yet go on record as the most ill-advised and murderous US president." 12.28.02

REUTERS Chinese Paper Rips Rumsfeld Over N.Korea Warning 12.28.02

WP U.S. Seeks N. Korea Censure. Bush wants U.N. support as part of administration's "isolate and contain" 12.28.02

NYT "The Bush administration plans to offer Pyongyang a choice between nuclear disarmament or economic collapse. " 12.28.02

WP ED "President Bush must keep Iran's nuclear program high on his agenda, his administration must continue to pursue the subject at all levels of the Russian government, and Congress must not allow it to drop. " 12.28.02

KARMI "Many Arabs see ... a variety of sinister plots involving control over their oil, neo-colonialism in their region and the machinations of a hegemonic Israel. Much of this has been ascribed to the Arab obsession with conspiracy theories, and yet there is an anti-Arab theme running through the debate over Iraq. A deep and unconscious racism imbues every aspect of western conduct towards Iraq - and by extension the Arabs in general." 12.28.02

O'FARRELL "Instead of helping George W Bush get re-elected by joining a war in the Gulf, Her Majesty's armed forces would be parachuted into New Hampshire, where they could give out glossy leaflets saying "Re-elect Bush and Cheney 2004!" Dubya would still be grateful to Tony Blair, but no horrific war crimes would be committed and British servicemen would all come back safe and sound, except for the unfortunate few who got lost in downtown Detroit." 12.28.02

Candaele+Dreier "While the Bush Administration is doing all it can to focus our attention on the threat of Iraq and Al Qaeda to the "American way of life," a close look at the current Republican domestic agenda makes you wonder whether this crude radical theory warrants a closer look. Ironically, while the GOP and much of the media apply the term "class warfare" any time the Democrats and their allies in the labor and environmental movements push for even the most timid reform, it is the Bush Administration that perfected the most blatant version of ruling-class politics. " 12.28.02

KELLER "In the twilight of the Congressional session, some legislator anonymously arranged for a provision to be slipped into the Homeland Security bill protecting vaccine makers (mainly Eli Lilly) from lawsuits filed by the parents of autistic children. Hundreds of parents are pressing a claim that the mercury in a measles vaccine contributed to their children's disorder. For all I know, the suit may be baseless, but surely that's for a court to decide. This is a glaring example of legislative malfeasance. And strong evidence points to Dr. Frist as its author. He is cozy with Lilly and he drafted identical legislative language earlier. But he refuses to own up to it " 12.28.02

ZITNER "The Bush team is going to great lengths to vet members of scientific panels. Credentials, not ideology, should be the focus, critics say. " 12.28.02

WP ED "Democratic contenders for president [are] merely amplifying what every American knows: "Washington is not doing enough to make America safe." The official alerts, after all, have not lost their cryptic character. " 12.28.02

IDG Yes, You Are Being Watched. 12.28.02

CNN "At least six Middle Eastern students studying in Colorado have been jailed in the past 10 days for failing to take enough college classes as required by their student visas. " 12.28.02

NYT ED "The United States has always been a special destination for those fleeing oppression. Sadly, that seems to be changing. " 12.28.02

IVINS Bush Discovers Hunger and Looks the Other Way. "When Bush was running for the presidency in 2000, the feds released their annual report on hunger in America [right before Christmas, if memory serves --ed.], and Texas was once again in its perennial spot at the top of the list, No. 1 in hunger. Bush thought it was some dastardly scheme by the Clinton administration to make Texas, and hence Bush, look bad. He denied there were any hungry people in Texas and said, "You'd think the governor would have heard if there are pockets of hunger in Texas." Yeah, you would. But look on the bright side: so he didn't know there's hunger in Texas after six years in office; after only two years in Washington, he's discovered the problem. " 12.27.02

KRUGMAN "It has been a jobless, joyless recovery. Payrolls have continued to shrink. The number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months — an indicator of families facing severe distress — has risen 55 percent over the past year. And thanks to inaction by Congress and the [Bush] administration, 800,000 of those long-term unemployed will lose their benefits tomorrow....The administration clearly still believes that [economic] problems aren't challenges to be met, they're opportunities to push a pre-existing agenda.... This doesn't look like a happy new year. " 12.27.02

NYT ED "Jobless benefits for an estimated 780,000 Americans will abruptly stop tomorrow, even though most recipients have not yet exhausted their benefits. President Bush, who failed to show any leadership on this matter in November, has belatedly asked Congress to extend the program for these workers and to make the benefits retroactive to Dec. 28. That's not enough. The way unemployment insurance typically works is that states provide laid-off workers with 26 weeks of benefits, followed by 13 weeks of federal aid. Under Mr. Bush's scheme, federal benefits would be extended only for those who were already receiving them on Dec. 28. The extension would not cover the jobless workers who will exhaust their regular state-funded benefits after Dec. 28 — an estimated 95,000 every week — but will receive no federal help unless the program is reauthorized. By the end of March, 1.2 million workers could fall into this category. " 12.27.02

FOX Bush Wants To Put Our Children And Grandchildren In Debt To Win In 2004. "Economists and others doubt that Congress will not eventually raise the limit. A federal default is considered unimaginable because it would rattle the bond markets, force interest rates higher, weaken the world economy and deliver a jarring political blow to Bush. " 12.27.02

NYT Growth in Sales for Holiday Period Weakest in Years 12.27.02

BEBCHUK "A settlement reached by regulators and the nation's top investment firms is merely a slap on the wrist....We should not exaggerate the extent to which the settlement will restore investor confidence. " 12.27.02

NYT Expecting a Vacancy, Bush Aides Weigh Supreme Court Contenders 12.27.02

NYT "The Web sites of some federal agencies have revised information on sexual issues; critics suggest that the Bush administration changed them for political reasons. " 12.27.02

NYT "As Patents on Popular Drugs End, Costs for Generics Surge..Virtually all the companies along the distribution chain, from wholesalers to managed care drug distributors and pharmacies, are profiting handsomely before generic medicines reach patients." 12.27.02

KINSLEY "Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, who will be majority leader instead of Lott, is a Southern politician who avoided Lott's tragedy by having the courage to be born a decade later. By the time he entered politics in 1994, the correct answers on the great moral test of civil rights were obvious. Or, at least, what are perceived to be the correct answers haven't changed since then. Frist looks from afar like a decent, generous man with humanitarian instincts who doesn't always let decency, generosity and humanitarianism get in the way of his ambition. ("A humanitarian who doesn't let it get in the way" might be the definition of a "compassionate conservative.") He won his seat from an incumbent Democrat by using television commercials full of racial innuendo. Frist is undoubtedly a better person than his use of those commercials would suggest....But if I were Frist, and for entirely pragmatic reasons, I would give the matter some thought. It would be a pity to get blindsided like his predecessor. " 12.27.02

JACKSON Daschle's Role as Lott's Enabler. 12.27.02

KUTTNER "Most Democrats go only so far to improve race relations because they have to get elected. And as recent elections show, white voters have a way to go. An otherwise popular Georgia governor got defeated last month because he had the effrontery to use some political capital to rid a Confederate emblem from the state flag." 12.27.02

DIONNE "Democrats dispirited by this year's election results can turn to the Empire State and to the nation's largest city for confirmation that their political views are gaining ground and that even very liberal policies can triumph. " 12.27.02

LAT Many Afghans Fault U.S. for Good Times That Haven't Materialized 12.27.02

WP ED "[Burma's] a lush and potentially wealthy nation with a population of close to 50 million, but its despotic regime (which calls the country Myanmar) would fit comfortably on Mr. Bush's axis. The ruling generals enrich themselves, protect drug lords and have imprisoned more than 1,000 people who peacefully expressed a desire for freedom. And yet, amazingly, a pro-democracy party survives....You would think this rare circumstance would be seized upon by the Bush administration as an opportunity. Some officials do in fact seek to support the democrats. But others are inexplicably tempted to consort with the dictators....Recently, America's highest-ranking diplomat in Burma gave a cheery interview to the junta's stooge newspaper. What could she have been thinking? " 12.27.02

SCHWEID Bush Administration Faces Wide Choices, None Guaranteed to Offset Nuclear Threat. 12.27.02

AP Reports: North Korea to Expel U.N. Nuclear Inspectors. Pyongyang Also Says It Will Reactivate Nuclear Lab. 12.27.02

KRISTOF "Is it fair to present the war on terrorism as a parable of good (us) versus evil (them)? Grenville Byford reflected the skeptics' view in a Foreign Affairs essay, arguing that moral clarity is more apparent than real and that "the sooner the rhetoric is retired the better." Highly nuanced intellectuals tend to poke three kinds of holes in moral clarity: " 12.27.02

NYT "Meeting Daily, U.S. Nerve Center Prepares for Terrorists " 12.27.02

WP ED "WHEN ISRAEL had a policy of applying what it euphemistically termed "moderate physical pressure" to detainees suspected of terrorist links, the United States knew what to call it. "Israeli security forces abuse, and in some cases torture, Palestinians suspected of security offenses," reads the State Department's human rights report for 1998. Times have changed. The Israeli High Court of Justice in 1999 struck down the policy that the State Department had described as "often [leading] to excesses." But the United States -- suddenly engaged in a struggle against Islamic terrorism -- now has detained thousands of suspected Islamic terrorists abroad. And suddenly, practices that bear a striking resemblance to the old Israeli policy are taking on an American face. " 12.27.02

FISK The Malevolence Of History. We keep saying that if we want to have a new life we must re-educate the young, but I think we must re-educate the old so that the young can be free. 12.27.02

HA'ARETZ "The division of labor between Bush and Sharon is Iraq for the Americans, Lebanon and Gaza for the Israelis." 12.27.02

MORRIS "Labour MPs seized upon the opposition of religious leaders to military action in Iraq last night, claiming their views were more in touch with the country's than the Prime Minister's... With more church figures backing the plea for restraint from the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, anti-war MPs stepped up their campaign against Tony Blair's war plans." 12.27.02

CORNWELL "Let's be clear, it's Mr Bush who can't lose face. Just think of the headline 'Saddam wriggles free again' - it induces apoplexy in the White House. " 12.27.02

ALLISON "Should Hussein take a page from Tom Clancy's novel "Executive Orders" and dispatch operatives to a half-dozen American cities with perfume bottles filled with smallpox to spray in shopping centers, how bad could it be? Were this to happen early next year, the "Dark Winter" war game organized by some of the nation's leading think tanks last year offers clues about likely consequences. That scenario ended with 3 million Americans infected, 1 million of whom died.How likely is such an attack? Obviously, no one knows. But American's best intelligence analysts offered their judgment on this question in the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Only after a positive vote in Congress authorizing use of force against Iraq was ensured were the relevant portions of this estimate declassified. Its conclusion is chilling." 12.26.02

NYT "Democratic contenders for president are beginning to challenge President Bush's record on terrorism. " 12.26.02

BEZLOVA "As more of the world's Christmas glitter is being made in China, cut-throat competition and lack of labor protection have transformed Santa Claus workshops into appalling sweatshops where 1.5 million Chinese peasant girls work 12 or even 14 hours a day, inhaling toxic fumes. " 12.26.02

USA Bush's Uncle Shares Bush Family Ties (And Deals) With China [02.18.02] 12.26.02

MILBANK "Two years after winning the White House on a platform of "compassionate conservatism," President Bush so far has achieved few of the items on his legislative agenda to help the disadvantaged, even as he has notched a string of victories on foreign, security and fiscal policy." 12.26.02

IVINS "Gosh, I'm feeling ever so much better about the economy with the new Bush team on the job. " 12.26.02

NYT ED "Middle-aged employee, beware. The [Bush] Treasury Department has proposed new rules on how companies can convert traditional pension plans into more portable ones." 12.26.02

WP ED Trickle Down Not Working. Well, Dah. "WHATEVER fiscal tricks and fixes the governors of Maryland and Virginia work out with state legislators in the coming weeks, the results are bound to pinch in already pinched counties and cities about to tackle new budget cycles. Federal and state tax cuts will end up hurting close to home. " 12.26.02

IND "The spectre of US double dip haunts investors. Americans buy gold and bonds after business investment and consumer spending disappoint." 12.26.02

WP ED "Given that trade rules affect central aspects of people's lives -- the safety of food and the quality of the environment as well as the cost of living -- they ought to be created and implemented in the sunlight. And yet, despite wide acceptance of this point, there has been little progress in making the WTO more transparent " 12.26.02

NYT "With Japan increasingly worried about North Korea's missile arsenal and nuclear bomb programs, the United States has offered assurances that its Aegis destroyers are capable of shooting down medium-range missiles, the Japanese Jiji Press news agency reported today.Japan's defense minister, Shigeru Ishiba, won the assurances from Pentagon officials when he was in Washington earlier this month, the agency said. North Korea is believed to have about 100 missiles with a range of 800 miles, enough to cover most of the Japanese archipelago. " 12.26.02

NYT ED "While Washington is preoccupied with Iraq, North Korea has abruptly re-emerged as an ominous threat to international security. Given its erratic leadership, its record of exporting missile and other military technologies to American foes and its rekindled nuclear weapons program, North Korea is at least as threatening to global security as Iraq, and probably more so. American intelligence officials suspect that North Korea already has one or two nuclear weapons. North Korea has missiles that can strike Japan and may soon have intercontinental missiles.... The Bush administration must engage in multilateral talks to diffuse the crisis. " 12.26.02

SAFIRE "North Korea exists as a totalitarian state now threatening world peace only because China's army saved it from defeat by U.S. forces under a U.N. flag in the 1950's. Ever since, China has been the dark regime's main supporter. Today's rogue state of North Korea is China's child; Beijing cannot feign irrelevance.The Bush administration has in the past year embraced China, overlooking its brutal Xinjiang crackdown, tolerating its espionage, ignoring its military buildup, smoothing its way to world trade, gobbling up its exports. But it's been a one-way street.The North Korean blackmail presents Hu Jintao, new leader of 1.3 billion Chinese, with his first global test. So far, by pretending he has no responsibility for the Communist partner on his border - whose missiles will soon be able to take out Beijing as well as Tokyo - Hu is failing. The U.S. and its allies will stop the danger in Baghdad. An onrushing generation will wrest power from the danger in Tehran. But Bush must make plain that if China wants to join the war on terror, it must rein in the danger on its doorstep." [Readers' Comments Welcome] 12.26.02

HOAGLAND Santa Speaks. "Impasse does make you nostalgic for the supple, manipulative personal shadow diplomacy of the Nixon era. Pauses. Now there was a president who understood lying, cheating, unstable paranoids. Back channels to the new South Korean president -- to prevent putting him on the spot publicly, as Bush did with Kim Dae Jung two years ago -- would also help." 12.26.02

AP "President Richard M. Nixon ordered a worldwide secret nuclear alert in October 1969, calling his wartime tactic a "madman" strategy aimed at scaring the Soviets into forcing concessions from North Vietnam, declassified documents show.It didn't work, as Moscow displayed no concern " 12.26.02

NYT Iran and Russia Sign Accord to Speed Nuclear Power Project. 12.26.02

MAWAKKIL "Too many of us are passively watching the Bush administration follow Israel's right-wing leadership into an era of never-ending warfare, perpetual budget deficits and complicit support for ethnic cleansing." 12.26.02

IND "Tony Blair and George Bush came under sustained attack from the leaders of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches yesterday over their growing threats to take military action against Iraq." 12.26.02

WP "U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations. 'Stress and Duress' Tactics Used on Terrorism Suspects Held in Secret Overseas Facilities " 12.26.02

WP ED "AS ANY GRADE school teacher will tell you, it's better to tell the truth. So it was unsettling to read that in its new propaganda war (known as Info Ops to the insiders), someone at the Pentagon had suggested planting fake stories with foreign journalists. " 12.26.02

NYT Intervention For A Friend By Renquist's Kid Questioned. "The intervention is the latest controversy involving Ms. Rehnquist. Congressional investigators are looking into dismissals and transfers of senior staff members, her possession of a government handgun in her office and her approval of Florida's request to delay an audit of the state pension fund. " 12.26.02

CBS William Rehnquist Ready To Retire For Even More Conservative Bush Appointee? 12.26.02

BAKER "America was born in the streets," read the advertisements for Martin Scorsese's new historical epic, "Gangs of New York." And these are mean streets indeed. While it's not surprising to see graphic violence in a Scorsese movie, some critics have complained that the film, as a dramatization of American history, is too bloody.... Yet one might just as well ask if Mr. Scorsese has gone far enough. " 12.26.02

MACGREAL "Once again, there is no room at the Bethlehem Inn. Two thousand years on, the hotel has been commandeered by Israeli soldiers, and just about every other lodging in Christ's hometown will be closed on his birthday for lack of business....Bethlehem has endured the punishment favoured by the Israelis against the people they rule." 12.25.02

MORRIS "In this season of sharing and goodwill, there is a sad truth to be faced: Despite the generosity of donor countries and the enormous sacrifices of relief workers, the humanitarian agencies are increasingly unable to respond fully to the world's ever mounting hunger crises. " 12.25.02

NYT "Life After Welfare in the Here and Now of America's Jammed Shelters " 12.25.02

BG Bush Christmas Gift To The Unemplolyed. Many scramble as Saturday nears for halt in jobless benefits.12.25.02

SFC Bush Christmas Gift To The Rich. "White House officials are urging the president to propose cutting taxes on shareholders' corporate dividends by about half, according to administration officials and Republicans close to the Bush administration. " 12.25.02

NYT Fed Judges At Request Of Pharmaceutical Corporations Strike Down Law Requiring Lower Drug Prices. 12.25.02

CNN "States will face budget deficits of at least $60 billion next year thanks to a weak economy, forcing deep spending cuts or tax hikes, an independent analysis finds. " 12.25.02

NYT North Korea's Christmas Gift To The World. "North Korea warned of an "uncontrollable catastrophe" unless the U.S. agrees to a negotiated solution to a standoff over its nuclear programs. " 12.25.02

MARGOLIS "The UN reports the Taliban and al-Qaida on the offensive, Afghan women remain veiled and the country is in a dangerous mess. Declaring victory in Afghanistan may have been premature. " 12.25.02

RUSHDIE "As the world prepares for war, two extraordinary portraits of human conflict are offered at movie theaters this Christmas. Peter Jackson's "The Two Towers," the second installment of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" are superficially similar because of their mutual interest in battle; but they could not be more different beneath their bloodied surfaces, and the choice between their conflicting visions is one we may all shortly have to make." 12.25.02

LETTER "I wonder how differently this effort to attack Iraq would be played out if Laura and George Bush were sending their daughters off to fight this war. There seems to be no leadership or compassion in our federal government, only people involved in some marketing blitz to sway public thinking toward fighting a war with Iraq. " 12.25.02

WP ED "THERE IS POLITICAL criticism, there is political attack, and then there is political political correctness: the massive overreaction to perfectly useful ideas that have been badly stated or misinterpreted. There is a danger, for instance, that people will become afraid to criticize any aspect of American foreign policy, lest they be branded "anti-American." That, at any rate, is the conclusion many will reach after reading of Sen. Patty Murray's experience. " 12.25.02

KREPEL Patty Murry Is the Conservative Web's Answer To Trent Lott, But Only If You're Willing To Believe The Distortions And Accept The Circular Logic. 12.25.02

JOHNSON "They don't use racial epithets in 2002; they don't have to. They speak of "welfare cheats" or "welfare mothers" and get the same mileage.The euphemistic pitch is so familiar, we don't even listen. The politicians speak of "conservatism" and "creeping socialism" and "traditional values" in articulating some vague manifesto for a party that has joined successfully the old silk-stocking Republicans, the rednecks and the fundamentalists. It's not just a wild coincidence that the white voters of the South - once staunchly, unanimously Democrats - became Republicans when blacks were given the vote. Just like whites deserted the public schools after they were integrated; just like whites deserted the cities for the suburbs when blacks were guaranteed decent housing. The whites fled the Democratic Party when blacks joined. So, no, the fact that Trent Lott slips up and uses real words doesn't shock me. What shocks me is that so many pretend that he is the only politician who feels the way he feels. To portray Trent Lott as some Lone Ranger of Racism with his loyal sidekick, Mississippi, is a joke. " 12.25.02

WP "The Bush administration is about to make it easier for state and local governments to gain control over roads and paths on federal lands, a move environmentalists and some lawmakers say will spur development in wilderness areas and national parks. " 12.25.02

LIPMAN "Iraq has announced that it will abrogate its contract with one of Russia's biggest oil companies, Lukoil. This unfriendly act may be explained by Lukoil's activities in the United States: For some time now, the company has been working to make sure that it will retain its position in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's regime is gone." 12.25.02

HA'ARETZ "Saddam Hussein transferred chemical and biological weapons to Syria that Iraq wanted to hide, according to information Israel has received, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Tuesday evening. Sharon, who spoke on Channel Two, said Israel was checking the information... Also Tuesday, Labor spokesmen said that remarks made earlier in the day by Military Intelligence chief Major General Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash) on a possible United States attack on Iraq indicate that Sharon and his aides are using the issue to sow fear in the Israeli public and deflect its attention from the police investigation on irregularities in the Likud primaries. " 12.25.02

WP Arab, Muslim Groups Sue INS, Ashcroft Over Detentions. 12.25.02

HINDMAN "Eventually, the Web will be indispensable for elections, if only for one reason: campaign finance reform. " 12.25.02

WP ED "Bush...churlishness...Just as a president can abuse the pardon power...he can also debase it by underusing it. The power was meant as a check on the criminal justice system, a vehicle for mercy and for remedying injustices....Yet Mr. Bush could not find a single inmate who deserved clemency. By issuing an average of 3.5 pardons a year -- none of which carries consequence other than forgiveness for individuals who long ago served their time -- he announces, in effect, that the American justice system requires no check, just a Christmas card. " 12.24.02

CARROLL Santa Bush Is Coming. "Sometimes the coming moral horror presents itself in prospect with clarity and force. When President Bush announces, as he did two weeks ago, an American readiness to use nuclear weapons in retaliation against any use by Saddam Hussein of chemical or biological weapons against US forces, he is, in effect, ceding to Saddam the primacy of moral judgment. He is saying that, under certain foreseeable circumstances, which may or may not be likely, the United States will join Iraq in crossing the threshold into the ethical abyss of mass destruction. By raising the specter of nuclear use, President Bush is already defining the war he is about to initiate as a war without moral limit. Having imagined choices and consequences to that extent, alas, he does not seem to have considered what will follow from an American return to the exercise of power by nuclear terror: a savage century." 12.24.02

WP "One of the world's most ruthless and terrorist-supporting gangster regimes just took a large step toward enhancing its nuclear arsenal -- and its ability to supply nuclear materials to other bad actors in the world. In response to this provocation, the Bush administration is justly resisting pressure to offer North Korea what would amount to rewards for its behavior. It also is playing down the seriousness of the crisis. The second tactic may serve the first, but it carries risks of its own. " 12.24.02

GUARDIAN "Pyongyang has issued a series of threats, including one to "destroy the earth" if the US resorted to nuclear war against it... But the US state department yesterday rejected Pyongyang's insistence that the crisis can be solved if the US signs a treaty of non-aggression. "We will not bargain or offer inducements for North Korea to live up to the treaties and agreements it has signed," a spokesman said." 12.24.02

BG ED "THE ADMINISTRATION says it wants to deal diplomatically with North Korea's removal of seals from canisters containing spent nuclear fuel that could be processed into plutonium for nuclear weapons. If so, President Bush should reconsider his own obtuse policy toward the regime in Pyongyang. " 12.24.02

FRENCH North Korea Uses Nuclear Fear as a Wedge Between Allies 12.24.02

SFC Bush seeks sweeping overhaul of federal rules Health regulations, environmental protections among hundreds of targets 12.24.02

KRUGMAN "In naming three whistle-blowers as persons of the year, Time magazine seems to be celebrating what should have been, not what was. " 12.24.02

CLINES "Citizens who hailed the statistical success of welfare reform need to see the hard aftermath: a new category of people who are working homeless. " 12.24.02

NATION ED "In Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," Ebenezer Scrooge was forced to view his own death in order to gain some self-awareness of his life as the epitome of cruelty and selfishness. This Christmas it is unlikely that George W. Bush, Scrooge on the Potomac, will be transformed by any ghostly visits. Indeed, since the November 5 election (in which the Republicans' narrow majorities in the Senate and House were mirrored by a slim majority of the popular vote), Bush and his cronies seem to believe they have a mandate to outdo themselves in rewarding the corporate class that helped bring them to power." 12.24.02

HUFFINGTON "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Actually, for corporate America, more the latter than the former, what with all the Congressional investigations, indictments, camera ready perp walks, SEC fines, multimillion dollar restatements of earnings, and billion dollar bankruptcies. (Welcome to the club, Conseco!)" 12.24.02

BG Frustrated veterans accuse Bush of breaking promise. 12.24.02


TIMES UN chief issues secret orders for war in Iraq 12.24.02

SFC California reservists join nationwide mobilization Numbers climb as U.S. marches toward war 12.24.02

HA'ARETZ "Even if Saddam proves indubitably that he has no idea what use can be made of enriched uranium, or the difference between smallpox and chicken pox, his fate is sealed. Bush's advisers keep whispering into their boss' ear that his historic role isn't to tell the entire truth, but to win the war against the bad guys." 12.24.02

HA'ARETZ "The mantra about hitting back if Iraq attacks us was just a way of getting the United States to grant us umbrella protection in the event of an Iraqi assault. Bush has already committed himself to this personally, so what's the point in repeating this macho threat, which only gets the Americans hot under the collar and creates the impression that we are partners in a war that the U.S. doesn't want us in?" 12.24.02

HOOPER "Germany's finance minister said yesterday that the country would refuse to pay anything towards an invasion of Iraq, a remark that will further strain relations with the United States... Hans Eichel, quoted in yesterday's edition of the tabloid daily Bild, said: 'One thing is clear: we will not provide any financial support for a war against Iraq.'" 2.24.02

OLIPHANT Path to war grows clearer - if we have the evidence. 12.24.02

IND ED "Mr Bush not only effected Mr Lott's departure, but he did so in a way that absolved southern Republicans of the charge of collective racism. Trent Lott was hardly alone in fêting Senator Thurmond. However, he became the scapegoat for a complexion of highly offensive views that live on in parts of the American South. This pervasive racism can now be safely, and quite dishonestly, swept back under the carpet until next time a powerful politician needs to stab a less powerful one in the back."12.24.02

RIDGEWAY "With Congress under pressure to regulate the cost of drugs and other medical services, we could have a new majority leader who not only hews closely to free-market principles but has been deeply enriched by them—both personally and politically. In the current election cycle, reports the Center for Responsible Politics, the senator has taken in nearly $1 million from doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical companies. Life hasn't all been roses for the family Frist. In 1993, federal investigators swept through 19 HCA offices searching for evidence to document charges of overcharging and fraud. Among the accusations was that the network was paying kickbacks to physicians in the Medicare program. Seven years later, the company pled guilty to 14 felonies. Corporate difficulties were compounded by a suit from whistle-blowers who said they received death threats and were ostracized after going public with the allegations. Just last week the Justice Department unexpectedly announced a settlement, with the company paying $631 million. " 12.24.02

GUARDIAN US Wrecks Cheap Drugs Deal Cheney's intervention blocks pact to help poor countries after pharmaceutical firms lobby White House. 12.24.02

BR Congressman Sanders works to repeal provisions of Patriot Act. 12.24.02

GUARDIAN "Almost 10% of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have no meaningful connection with al-Qaida or the Taliban and have been held for more than a year because of bureaucratic wrangling and obstinacy, published reports said yesterday." 12.24.02

BG Congressional Democrats are up in arms over a Justice Department decision to suspend a grant program that offers funds to help firefighters and other emergency workers for terrorist attacks. 12.24.02

NYT Florida Dem Senator Graham Considers Run for President.12.24.02

SFC "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco tapped a fellow Northern California Democrat, Rep. Robert Matsui of Sacramento, on Monday for the powerful but difficult job of heading the Democrats' efforts to win back the House in 2004. " 12.24.02

ABC New Jersey on Monday became the first state to enact ''smart gun'' legislation that would eventually require new handguns to contain technology that allows only their owners to fire them. 12.24.02

KURTZMAN The year in politics: A quiz 12.24.02

GROW TIME Person Of The Year "A nasty political sequel is being played out before our eyes. "The Bureaucracy Strikes Back" is the story flowing from the courageous saga of Minneapolis FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle on higher-ups in the FBI's bureaucracy. " 12.23.02

PERRY "It should come as no surprise that the revelations of Minneapolis FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley came and went so quickly. Still, you’ve got to credit W and company. The administration has dispatched her story with impressive speed and political acumen. First they took advantage of the cover afforded by the Rowley firestorm to announce sweeping rollbacks in the U.S.’s meager rules against indiscriminate domestic spying, rules spawned by the exposure of prolific FBI abuses in the 1960s. Under the new guidelines set forth in John Ashcroft’s little-noted May 30 diktat, there is no longer any pretense that intelligence agencies need “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity to mount prolonged fishing expeditions into the affairs of private individuals. The administration then turned to defusing Rowley’s story." (July, 2002) 12.23.02

NYT Big Brother Is Now. "In the Pentagon research effort to detect terrorism by electronically monitoring the civilian population, the most remarkable detail may be this: Most of the pieces of the system are already in place. " 12.23.02

NYT Nearly two dozen cities have passed resolutions urging federal authorities to respect the rights of local citizens. Efforts to pass similar measures are under way in more than 60 other places....Resolutions passed by some towns like Amherst, Mass., have a sharper tone, going so far as to direct city personnel not to help federal or state officials in activities that could be considered in violation of civil rights or liberties.12.23.02

KINSLEY "There is an honest element in the new party line about deficits, too. At least the Republicans no longer are pretending that deficits, if they happen to occur, are detritus left behind by the previous administration, like those McDonald's wrappers behind the dresser in the Lincoln Bedroom. Instead, Republicans embrace the coming deficits as their own and pooh-pooh any desire for a balanced budget as some kind of liberal Democratic folly. But this is breathtakingly dishonest on three levels. " 12.23.02

NYT ED "To save money, Kentucky is freeing prison inmates. In California, the governor is threatening to slash financing for the state's proud university system and cut subsidized syringes for diabetics. Oklahoma plans to scale back health care for children under 6. Across the country, all but a very few state governments are in desperate need of Washington's help. The National Governors Association calls the budget crisis "the most dire fiscal situation since World War II,"...the states can only cut and tax and borrow so much. They need Congress and the White House to provide funds promised for homeland security, election and welfare reform, education and especially health care.States, most of which are required by law to balance their budgets, have upgraded police and emergency services in the wake of 9/11. Washington has yet to pay them back." Meanwhile, Bush is busily giving fed money to the rich through tax cuts. 12.23.02

NYT ED "The year of the corporate scandal may be coming to a close, but corrupting boardroom cronyism lives on. " 12.23.02

ORLOWSKI "Spitzer: Man Of The Year - Savior of Capitalism? " 12.23.02

BBC Bush "has blocked an international agreement to allow poor countries to buy cheap drugs. " 12.23.02

ROTHSCHILD "The threat is unmistakable, but in case anyone missed it, the next line of the Bush document mentions "nuclear response." So here's the policy: If Saddam were to use chemical or biological weapons against a U.S. attack--and CIA director George Tenet says that's the only likely time Saddam would use them against us--then Bush may drop a nuclear weapon on Baghdad... Look how nasty Bush's little war could quickly become! " 12.23.02

ASHLEY "We are preparing for conflict very soon: tens of thousands of American troops are already in the region, British and US warships are sailing, special forces and marines are being inoculated against anthrax, Bush has cancelled his trip to Africa. We are going to war, but Tony hasn't quite got round to telling us. By the time we wake up from our Christmas hangovers, the momentum will be unstoppable, just as in 1914, once the armies were moving, it was too late to alter the railway timetables. " 12.23.02

AP "Today's claims about Iraq could become tomorrow's call to arms. But not all the statements coming from the Bush administration have been supported by evidence, and some that haven't are central to the question of whether Americans should go to war. The overarching claim, that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, may have the weight of probability behind it, but it has yet to be backed by proof shared with the public." 12.23.02

WILNER Guantanamo Prison. "We can do everything we need to do to protect our national security without abandoning the rule of law. But if we fail to abide by it, we undermine our stature in the world community. We endanger our citizens and our troops abroad. And we compromise the very principles we are fighting so hard to defend. " 12.23.02

HOLTON "Trent Lott's demise as Senate majority leader is a chance for the Republican Party to decide if it wants to continue to exploit racial inequality. " 12.23.02

NYT G.O.P. Senators See No Need for Altered Stance on Race. 12.23.02

WP Civil Rights Leaders Widen Attack on GOP. Groups Charge Senator's Actions Reflect Party's Agenda 12.23.02

HERBERT "Republicans haven't rid themselves of the habit of playing to closet racists and Confederate flag-waving yahoos. " 12.23.02

RASPBERRY "It is impossible to review the succession of Lott apologies without concluding that he not only regrets the racial insensitivity of his birthday party remarks but also has come to suspect that some important aspects of his present political views -- the dominant views of his party -- may be racially insensitive as well. You see why he had to go?" 12.23.02

HA'ARETZ "Israelis plan trips abroad to dodge war...As fears rise ahead of the expected American offensive in Iraq, travel agencies are fielding growing numbers of inquiries about open tickets overseas. Families, particularly from the center of the country, are considering taking their children out of the country. Some have already purchased plane tickets for mid-January." 12.23.02

SEITZ "In just one more bizarre twist in the election free-for-all, the Israeli attorney general in mid-December threatened to disqualify one of the six parties representing Israel’s 1 million Palestinian citizens on the basis of a 1985 election law that bans parties whose 'objects or actions, expressly or by implication, include ... negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.' Knesset member Azmi Bishara has already been stripped of his parliamentary immunity to stand trial for allegedly making inciteful comments supporting the right of Palestinians to resist occupation. Bishara has responded to the threat of being blacklisted by accusing Israel’s attorney general of acting as 'a tool in the hand of the extremist right.' " 12.23.02

NYT "'We cannot hold these elections, simply because the Israeli side has obstructed our efforts to have it, through the occupation, incursions, closures and siege,' saod Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator....The elections were scheduled last summer, after President Bush called for reform in the Palestinian Authority and suggested that he could not support moves toward a Palestinian state as long as Mr. Arafat was the leader. But American officials did not support this election since it was felt that although his popularity was falling, he was likely to win it. " 12.23.02

WP ED "THE AIDS PANDEMIC, which kills nearly six people per minute, is probably the most underestimated enemy of all time. In country after country, people have ignored the warnings until the virus has infected a 10th of the adult population or more. But this serial denial is not limited to the poor countries where most of the dying happens. It extends to rich countries such as this one. "Oh, AIDS," goes the reaction, 'of course it is awful. But we've seen what it can do, and, frankly, it doesn't directly affect ordinary people in Anaheim or Nashville.' " 12.23.02

TALBOT Folks On The "Home Front" Hardly Notice As Their Privacy And Freedoms Are Slowly Being Taken Away By Government Bureaucrats With TIA, "'biologically inspired algorithms for agent control." 12.22.02

RALL "George W. Bush's ersatz presidency is working hard to transform the United States from a law-abiding republic into a postmodern blend of late Soviet totalitarianism and Gold Rush-era company town. Workers by the hundreds of thousands are stripped of their union protection. Oil drillers and clear-cutters are set loose in our national parks. Officials refuse to tell the truth about the 9/11 attacks. In the middle of a deep recession, the deficit is run to record highs to accommodate tax cuts for a few rich individuals and corporations. Ludicrous ideas that would have been dismissed as absurdly paranoid a few years ago are floated, signed into law and fully funded: smearing liberals as disloyal, a Total Information Awareness office that lets the Pentagon track which magazines you buy, unmanned "drone" spy planes deployed over the West Coast, jailing and executing people without letting them see a lawyer, much less a judge. Years after Bush is gone, we'll be paying off the debts he ran up and the lawsuits brought by those whose rights he violated." 12.22.02

SH Bush "tore out 8000 pages of Iraq dossier...THE United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council." 12.22.02

PACIFICA "The names of the companies were supposed to be top secret. Two weeks ago Iraq provided two copies of its full 12,000-page report, one to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva, and one to the United Nations in New York. Zumach said the U.S. broke an agreement of the Security Council and blackmailed Colombia, which at the time was presiding over the Council, to take possession of the UN's only copy. The U.S. then proceeded to make copies of the report for the other four permanent Security Council nations, Britain, France, Russia and China. Only Tuesday did the remaining members of the Security Council receive their copies. By then, all references to foreign companies had been removed. " 12.22.02

GUARDIAN "Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, last night blocked a global deal to provide cheap drugs to poor countries, following intense lobbying of the White House by America's pharmaceutical giants." 12.22.02

PACIFICA "He persistently attempted to block school desegregation in his state; a federal court threatened to hold the state in contempt for his failure to comply with a court order. He gave a lengthy interview to the Neo-Confederate magazine Southern Partisan, in which he praised Confederate leaders who fought to preserve slavery, including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. He distorted the record of a highly qualified African American state Supreme Court Judge and misled his colleagues in the Senate, successfully sabotaging the judge's nomination to a federal district court. He received an honorary degree from Bob Jones University and spoke there just three years ago; the Christian university has a segregationist history and until recently banned interracial dating and marriage. No, this is not the resume of the embattled Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott. It is the resume of the man who has already been entrusted to enforce the nation's civil rights laws. We're talking about Attorney General John Ashcroft. " (second item) 12.22.02

NELSON GOP In Denial Overs Its Race Problem 12.22.02

WP ED "We hope the [Senator Lott's] decision [to step down] does not interfere with his announced plans to turn this unpleasant episode into something positive. He should pursue his idea, first unveiled on Black Entertainment Television, of a task force on reconciliation, developed on a bipartisan, bicameral and multiracial basis. His commitment to "move an agenda that would have things that would be helpful to African Americans and minorities of all kinds and all Americans" was also a welcome announcement that we hope the senator seeks to fulfill, even if not as majority leader. A Trent Lott-led legislative effort based on substance would perhaps burnish the GOP's minority outreach efforts and the racial reconciliation said to be sought by President Bush. " 12.21.02

BALL "In the South, the past is like a bothersome pest that we try to keep hidden; but from time to time it likes to crawl out of the muck into the full sun.. " 12.21.02

BURNHAM "After 1948, the South began to slip away from the Democratic Party, and by 1966, Republicans were riding the wave of white backlash to score gains in congressional elections, a realignment furthered by Richard Nixon in 1968 and completed by Ronald Reagan in 1980. Although they lost in 1948, the Dixiecrats hijacked American politics. Apparently they have not yet let go. " 12.21.02

RICH Lott, Ashcroft, and Bush. "I almost feel sorry for Trent Lott. Despite all the hyperbole that preceded his demise, he is no Bull Connor or David Duke or even Jesse Helms. He's just the guy who had to die before anyone looked too closely at other, even more powerful politicians' sins. " 12.21.02

NYT ED "Mr. Lott's demotion, and the likely election of Bill Frist as majority leader, will not magically erase more than three decades of cynical Republican manipulation of the race issue. Ever since the late 1960's, when Richard Nixon and his political advisers devised the "Southern strategy" in an effort to head off George Wallace while broadening the party's reach, the Republicans have talked nobly about civil rights in the North while playing to racial division in the South to lure white voters from the Democratic Party. If Mr. Bush and Mr. Frist are serious about compassionate conservatism, this dual strategy must come to an end." 12.21.02

DOWD "This week, George W. Bush authorized the first executive action of his presidency: a stealth assassination of Trent Lott. " 12.21.02

BG ED "As majority leader, Frist would be more moderate than Lott. But even some Republicans, especially those who place great stock in the Senate's independence, worry about his weakness for taking orders from the White House. " 12.21.02

NYT ED "It seems clearer than ever that the White House and the Senate should conduct a more rigorous review of judicial nominees' records on race. " 12.21.02

NICHOLS "Members of the U.S. Senate, who are charged under the Constitution with the task of determining whether Cabinet nominees meet the standards that should be set for government service, should uphold that responsibility by closely examining Snow's troubling pattern of turning government service to personal and corporate advantage. They should also analyze the even more serious question of whether, as the nation's secretary of the treasury, Snow is capable of serving the best interests of the United States or simply of corporate America. " 12.22.02

WP "Civilians are paying the price of U.S.'s "undeclared war" in the southern "no-fly" zone. " 12.22.02

VULLIAMY "Saddam must decide whether he really wants to fight a war he cannot win and which could - if it goes the way he and some in the US say it might - end his rule and turn his country into the dust... Meanwhile, Bush - for all his declared yearning for peace - is said by sources in both Washington and the United Nations to be a man with his mind set: it has become politically inconceivable, say insiders, for him to face an electorate in the future with Saddam Hussein left in power." 12.22.02

REESE "President George Bush has to put up or shut up. If his administration has hard evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, he has to put that evidence on the table for everyone to see. Otherwise his credibility and the credibility of the United States will be zilch. " 12.22.02

FRIEDMAN "An Arab or European delegation could show up in Baghdad at any time and forge a deal for Saddam Hussein to back down or go into exile. " 12.21.02

BAR'EL "We can imagine what will happen when control of Iraq becomes a playing field that is open to everyone. Will the Shi'ites be the first to reach the finishing line? Will the Kurds start shooting at them with the weapons they are now receiving from the United States? And what about the Sunnis, the Assyrians and the Turkmen? Some people are dreaming of a temporary American regime until matters calm down. It would not be amiss to retrieve the reports from Somalia from the archives or to read the daily reports coming from Afghanistan in order to understand the implications of an American administration in a Muslim country. " 12.22.02

IND ED "Thankfully, there are some public figures in Britain who are not intoxicated by the intensification of activity in the Gulf, who are still capable of standing back and expressing opposition to war. As we report today, several bishops - including the new Archbishop of Canterbury - are opposed to war against Iraq, and many more will express deep reservations this Christmas." 12.22.02

OBSERVER "International aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a war in Iraq, which could leave millions without food or shelter." 12.22.02

HA'ARETZ "As far as the Europeans are concerned, ethically Israel is no better than the Palestinians, and both parties are equally to blame for the "cycle of violence." After the war in Iraq, Israel will be even more dependent on Washington's good will." 12.22.02

ROSTON Who's Who in the House of Saud 12.22.02

ALTERMAN "Conservatives and a few not-so-conservatives have been conducting a journalistic jihad against (New York Times executive editor Howell) Raines ever since he decided that dissension within the military, within the Republican Party in Congress and within the Republican national security establishment--many of whose members served in the first Bush Administration--about George Bush's decision to pursue a pre-emptive war against Iraq constituted a genuine news story. (Conservatives apparently hoped to be able to launch wars against whomever they please without any discussion, except those sanctioned from above and officially leaked to Bob Woodward.) " 12.22.02

BROOKE Koreans in both the North and South are concerned about an erratic U.S. policy that veers between neglect and overattention. 12.21.02

WP ED "As North Korea flaunts its exports of long-range missiles and its efforts to produce nuclear weapons, both the Bush administration and [South Korea] have a lot to lose if they cannot find a comfortable common ground." 12.21.02

HOAGLAND "From the Korean peninsula to the Red Sea, the Bush administration is absorbing new lessons daily in the difficulties of turning its bold pronouncements and overwhelming global power into workable policies that protect Americans and advance U.S. interests abroad. " 12.21.02

AP Patriot Act Called Threat to Democracy. Muslim American Leaders Say Law Violates Civil Liberties 12.22.02

NYT ED "The refusal of two major hospitals to participate in offering smallpox vaccinations to their health workers could undermine efforts to prepare for bioterrorism. " 12.21.02

OBSERVER "Now Blair has been warned that he has to get a grip on what the Government is telling the public. One Cabinet member spoken to by The Observer said that it was 'time to stop scaring the public' and that the constant diet of stories about al-Qaeda cells, possible hijackings and 'dirty chemical bombs' being unleashed on the public were in danger of sending them into a spiral of confusion. And then when a real and present threat is identified, what is to say that the public won't just ignore it?" 12.22.02

LYNN "With his country teetering on the brink of disaster, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez clings to power -- thanks primarily to the passionate support of the nation's poor. " 12.22.02

NYT The Teddy Bear And The President 12.22.02

KRUGMAN "The Bush administration has done as little as possible, as late as possible, on homeland security, Sept. 11 and corporate reform.. " 12.20.02

HUFFINGTON "The battle between the public interest and the special interests can be a demoralizing one. It sometimes seems like every dispatch from the front brings bad news. A judge appointed by President Bush rules that Dick Cheney can keep all the secrets he wants. Major GOP donor Eli Lilly gets a legislative gift worth billions anonymously slipped into the Homeland Security Bill at the last minute. The president's pick to take over the Treasury is CEO of a company that, despite close to a billion dollars in profits, paid not a penny in federal taxes in three of the last four years." 12.20.02

KINSLEY "The coming White House campaign for changes in the tax code is starting to look like a world-class weird combination of extreme frankness and extreme fantasy. For a quarter-century, Democrats have been saying that Republican tax cuts favor the rich, and Republicans have been indignantly denying it. Now...prominent Republicans are saying: Heck yes, we're out to shift the tax burden from the very affluent to the middle class. White House CEA Chairman Hubbard is one of those who has declared openly that rich folks deserve a break and ordinary folks deserve to pay for it." 12.20.02

WP "Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said last night that there are few signs that the U.S. economy has regained any vigor since hitting a "soft patch" in the summer. " 12.20.02

WP Bush Plan Seems Geared To His Re-election, Not Economy. "One of the first tasks for President Bush's new economic team next year will be selling a package of tax cuts as a quick "stimulus" to a lackluster economy. But a number of analysts question whether any boost is needed at all, and whether the ideas under consideration would have much of an effect until 2004, when Bush is seeking reelection. " 12.20.02

WP ED "ANYTIME a cash-strapped governor starts talking about deinstitutionalizing the mentally ill, watch out....Releasing seriously ill people into the community does nobody any good -- least of all the patients themselves -- if appropriate services do not in fact become available. In Virginia -- as in many states -- it can be difficult legally to ensure care for unwilling people who badly need it and who may be dangerous without it. Mr. Warner's talk about the rights of the mentally ill will ring hollow if, without necessary supervision, people stop taking their medications, commit crimes and find that the protection of their "rights" entitles them chiefly to lengthy prison terms." 12.20.02

NYT Ky. Prison Inmates Go Free to Help States Reduce Deficits. 12.20.02

KRISTOF BushAdmin's "failure to deal with North Korea and the restarting of its nuclear warhead assembly line could conceivably cause another Korean war. " 12.20.02

WOOLLACOTT "At least Korea is united over one thing - anger at the US. There is a new desire for freedom on both sides of the 38th parallel." 12.20.02

ENS "Conservationists Warn Bush Will Dismantle Safeguards. Conservation and environmental groups are bracing themselves for what they say will be an unprecedented assault on environmental laws in the new Congress and throughout the next two years." 12.20.02

SDUT "A bipartisan group of 22 US lawmakers from California signed a letter Thursday that blames the Bush administration for the collapse of a landmark water pact aimed at reducing the state's dependence on the Colorado River. " 12.20.02

NYT ED "The consequences of the Bush administration's objection to promoting condom use and counseling to prevent AIDS in Asia will be deadly. " 12.20.02

NYT ED "If the [Bush] Supreme Court uses a baseless claim that property is being taken to deprive poor people of legal representation, this nation's commitment to equal justice before the law will be the real loser." 12.20.02

IND "Hundreds of Middle Eastern and North African men, some just 16, have been hauled into custody across southern California in the past few days, enraging civil liberties groups and drawing comparisons with the internment of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during the Second World War." 12.20.02

AP "Immigration lawyers estimate at least 500 Middle Eastern immigrants have been detained in California since Monday, when male visa holders, age 16 and older, from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria were asked to report to local immigration offices to be fingerprinted and photographed. " 12.20.02

NYT ED "By failing to provide information the inspectors need, Iraq compels the United Nations to rely on more aggressive methods. " 12.20.02

TYLER Yesterday, Powell "made it more clear than ever that time was fast running out for Iraq to avoid war. He spoke forcefully, after the United Nations heard a report from a chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, describing as incomplete and misleading the 12,000-page declaration on secret weapons programs that Iraq submitted Dec. 7." 12.20.02

WP ED "The conclusion that the Iraqi statement was, as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell put it, "a catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions" was echoed not just by the chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix, but also by Iraq's sometime defenders....That unity of views is tremendously important -- it deals a major setback to Saddam Hussein's effort to save himself and his arsenal by splitting the council and the international community. It also brings the Bush administration a big step closer to leading a military campaign that would destroy the Iraqi dictatorship and the threat it poses. " 12.20.02

AARONOVITCH "[The] real worry is that the world will believe that the US is set on war no matter what the material facts are. You will certainly find enough people to argue this case in any pub in Britain, and some US hawks have gone out of their way - for some strange psychological reason - to confirm this impression. If the US begins to set impossible standards for the inspectors, judging them by their success in, say, luring Iraqi scientists out of the country, and then acts without a UN resolution, the consequences could be dire. I have hardly met a single ordinary person in Britain in the past three months who doesn't express extreme scepticism about military action. I struggle to think of a parallel in recent times. If it's like that in London, one may easily imagine how things are in Amman." 12.20.02

SENGUPTA "The United States has failed to provide Britain with full details of its "solid evidence" proving that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, security sources say. There is also concern in London that the Americans are again trying to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network, a link British and European intelligence agencies do not believe exists." 12.20.02

DOBBS "Experts say only a coup or death-bed conversion by Hussein could prevent Iraq attack." 12.20.02

RUSSELL "A war with Iraq could help to boost al-Qa'ida and destabilise the Arab world, MPs warned the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, yesterday... He was criticised for being "surprisingly unconcerned" by the potential terrorist threat facing Britain and the West that would arise from an attack on Saddam Hussein." 12.20.02

NYT FBI Rejects Idea Of Coordinating Domestic Intelligence Outside Its Walls. 12.20.02

IGNATIUS "Henry Kissinger was wise to resign as head of the presidential commission on the intelligence failures that led to Sept. 11, 2001. For despite his gifts as a statesman, Kissinger at times fostered the politicization and consequent enfeeblement of the U.S. intelligence process that should be one of the commission's concerns. " 12.20.02

NYT Bush Ally Is Set to Make a Bid for Lott's Post. 12.20.02

DIONNE "In all the denunciations of Sen. Trent Lott's after-the-fact endorsement of Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign, almost no one is talking about the principle on which Thurmond based his defense of segregation. The principle was states' rights. And so it's not surprising that many Republicans are eager to shove Lott out of his job before this debate goes too deep. For all their attacks on Lott, most contemporary Republicans are just as committed as Lott is to states' rights doctrines." 12.20.02

NYT "The Bush administration wants Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable monitoring and, potentially, surveillance of its users. " 12.20.02

NYT "Scientists Favoring Cautious Approach to Smallpox Shots. " 12.20.02

EREKAT "Israel's insatiable appetite for constructing settlements in occupied Palestinian territory is making a two-state solution impossible. " 12.20.02

HA'ARETZ "It is the government that teaches the Hebron settlers that Jews are allowed to do whatever they want in the city and to its large Arab population. If not for a temporary injunction issued by the High Court of Justice last week, the government would have acceded to pressure by the settlers and ordered the demolition of 15 Palestinian-owned houses for the sake of building a "promenade" nearby. It's worth noting in this regard the arrogant statement of Kiryat Arba Local Authority Chairman Zvi Katzover during the evacuation. Katzover, whose salary is paid by the state, announced that the settlers plan to return to the place."12.20.02

NYT Wal-Mart Found Guilty Of Forcing Workers To Work Unpaid Overtime. 12.20.02

WP "Homeland Defense Funding Blasted. White House Accused Of Shortchanging Effort. "How this administration can prefer tax cuts for the most fortunate 1 percent of Americans over domestic defense for 100 percent of Americans is beyond me, but they do," [Senate Dem John] Edwards said during a speech at the Brookings Institution." 12.19.02

NYT Bush Tax Cuts To Rich "Trickle Down" To More Inmates On The Streets 12.19.02

FT Cheney's Halliburton Agrees to $2.8 Billion Asbestos Penalty. 12.19.02

WP ED " THE BUSH administration's decision to deploy a rudimentary missile defense system in Alaska and California by the end of 2004 begs the question of what threat justifies such an accelerated timetable. The missile system, after all, is far from proven; some of its key elements have not yet been built, much less tested. So if it is to be rushed into the field, at considerable cost and risk of failure, it ought to be because a potential adversary has appeared capable of attacking the United States with an intercontinental missile. Yet there appears to be no such enemy. " 12.19.02

GUARDIAN ED "Not in our interest: Missile defence is the wrong road for Britain." 12.19.02

NYT Two Hospitals Refuse to Join Bush's Plan for Smallpox.12.19.02

IND "The Government is preparing a campaign of "national resilience" to gird the public for a prolonged war of attrition against al-Qa'ida... Counter-terrorism experts fear that the network is preparing to use crude but potentially devastating chemical bombs against "soft" British targets, such as pubs or transport hubs." 12.19.02

REUTERS Senators Fault 9/11 Inquiry as Superficial 12.19.02

GOODMAN LAT Poll: 72% Say Not Enough Evidence For Iraq War. Why No Protests? 12.19.02

KAPLAN "The Administration's bullying autumn war drive, its explicit discussion of pre-emptive strikes and regime change, its overtly corporate agenda on energy and oil, and its early, arrogant attempts to make war without Congress, let alone the United Nations, unleashed a flood of antiwar sentiment and activity across the country. The sheer breadth of this opposition could help to birth one of the largest antiwar movements in US history--that is, if these politically diverse antiwar eruptions can join forces as a movement at all. " 12.19.02

NYT Bush Advisors Weigh How Serious an Arms-Violation Charge to Make Against Baghdad. 12.19.02

WP Bush Meeting Sets Late January Decision on Iraq War. 12.19.02

CORNWELL "The senior commanders of the US forces most directly involved in the ground part of any war with Iraq are said to fear the campaign could be a more protracted and bloody affair than some in the Pentagon's civilian leadership expect." 12.19.02

BERGEN "While the Bush Administration looks to the weapons inspection process in Iraq to turn up a material breach worthy of war, hawks in and out of government have been making a separate case for invasion, claiming that a US military strike against the country is necessary under the amorphous rubric of the "war on terrorism" and because of Saddam Hussein's alleged connections to Al Qaeda. In fact, it is Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq that has supplied much of the ideological and financial impetus for Al Qaeda, and it is Saudi Arabia that continues to play an obstructionist role in the investigation of the 9/11 attacks, not Iraq." 12.19.02

GUARDIAN "Israeli hardliners had the pleasure this week of seeing their controversial tactic of "targeted killing" of their enemies vindicated by being imitated. For it has emerged that their close allies in the US administration have now drawn up a target list for a systematic policy of assassination against those they call terrorists." 12.19.02

TYLER "The global campaign against terrorism forced the U.S. into an important but uneasy alliance with Yemen and its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. " 12.19.02

SAFIRE "By allowing Yemen to buy Scud missiles from North Korea, President Bush sacrificed principle in the interest of shortsighted practicality. " 12.19.02

AP U.S. Pressure On Venezuela? "Government officials said the administration has rebuffed the request of some oil companies to tap the government reserve, but Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham did direct that a series of oil repayments to the reserve be deferred until next fall. " 12.19.02

PLESCH "Failure of the 82nd airborne: As the US prepares for war on Iraq, its troops in Afghanistan are coming under increasing attack from the forces they were sent to dig out. " 12.19.02

OLIPHANT George W. Bush's "moral confusion - par for the course for the son and the grandsons of principled Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush - is far more significant than one more example of Lott's failure to make the transition out of overt white supremacism that most Southern conservatives (including Strom Thurmond) made long ago.As long as it exists, the party of Lincoln will continue to flirt with the beast - a dance that has been going on for nearly 40 years. For the majority of conservatives, the easy step is to reject the white supremacist States Rights Party movement Thurmond led in the presidential election of 1948. The real challenge is to squarely face the Barry Goldwater coup in 1964, the immoral cynicism of Richard Nixon, the racism of George Wallace in 1968, and the accommodation Ronald Reagan made to the beast in 1980 and for more than two years after his victory. The Bush family is a metaphor for this saga. 12.19.02

KRISTOL "Having gone so far as to express the opinion that Lott doesn't need to go, isn't it time for the president to express an opinion as to whether he should? Lott's colleagues would be grateful for a recommendation. There is something ludicrous about Fleischer having to say at his press briefing Tuesday, 'The message that the White House is sending is, 'No comment' means no comment.'" 12.19.02

NYT ED "When a landmark case reaches the Supreme Court next year, the Bush administration should show its support for carefully drawn affirmative action programs. " 12.19.02

NYT Lott Complicates Debate On Race Issues 12.19.02

NYT Colin And Jeb Bad Mouth Trent 12.19.02

SCHEER "Did Trent Lott's mother, who once publicly recommended that a bullet be put through the head of a local editor who supported integration, raise the future senator to be a bigot? Or was it his favorite uncle, Arnie Watson, a leader of the White Citizens Council--a more respectable version of the Ku Klux Klan--who inspired the senator's lifelong love affair with race hate? " 12.19.02

WP Lott Says Bush Aides Undermine Bid to Stay Majority Chair. Chafee Calls For Ouster. No Replacement Steps Forward. 12.19.02

HERBERT "One of the strangest episodes in the Trent Lott furor was the rebuke by Senator Conrad Burns, who also has a history of racially insensitive comments. " 12.19.02

WP "Black Conservatives Abandoning Lott. Remarks Stir Sense of Betrayal, Frustration Among GOP's African Americans." 12.19.02

COHEN "Lott is the senatorial face of the Party of Values. His Republican Party had a core plank in its unwritten platform: It was opposed to modernity, suffused with God. Lott himself was the personification of all that meant, all those warnings of slippery slopes that lead to hell. Among other things, he's had nasty things to say about homosexuality, likening it to alcoholism and kleptomania. Now, though, Lott would repudiate that remark, too, if there was such a thing as Gay Entertainment Television. " 12.19.02

SHIELDS How Dumb Is Trent Lott? 12.19.02

NYT ED "The results of a new study of high blood pressure treatments underscore the distorting impact that aggressive marketing campaigns can have on medical prescribing. " 12.19.02

AP AT 1997 Party Enron Execs Made Fun Of Creative Bookkeeping Profits; Daddy And Junior Bush Were There To Laugh. 41: "You have been fantastic to the Bush family. I don't think anybody did more than you did to support George. " 12.18.02

GUARDIAN Symbolic Defense? "America announces premature birth of Son of Star Wars. Rumsfeld says defences will be put in place before they work but will deter attacks. " 12.18.02

NYT Bush Orders Missile Shield Defense System By 2004. Alaska, California Sites Of $18 Bil Project Which Has Questionable History Of Success. 12.18.02

NYT Pentagon Puts Spin On Missile Defense Shield Success. "In the current issue of Arms Control Today, published in Washington by the Arms Control Association, Dr. George N. Lewis and Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say the Pentagon not only ignores setbacks in the early flight stages but omits some endgame failures, too....If all the failures are taken into account, they write, the success rate of the long-range system drops to 41 percent." 12.18.02

NYT ED "A workable missile defense system is clearly in the national interest, but rushing to build a system based on the present technology seems premature. " 12.18.02

NYT Rumsfeld Wants $378 Bil Budget In 2004, Up $14 Bil. 12.18.02

NYT Tomorrow Bush Is Expected to Say Iraq Failed to Meet U.N. Terms. 12.18.02

WP Poll: 60% Americans Say "Nuke 'Em" If Saddam uses BioChem Weapons Against American Troops 12.18.02

NYT "Despite the threat of war, the Baghdad Stock Index rose sharply in the past two months. What's behind the spectacular rise?" Desired Regime Change? 12.18.02

FISK "Don't ask who is resisting forthcoming US censorship of the Iraq war. Ask who is first to climb aboard the bandwagon. In Canada, the situation is even worse. " 12.18.02

PATERSON ""Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday." " 12.18.02

BERKOWITZ "FBI Warns Corporate Leaders Of Possible Attacks By Antiwar Activists. Is a recent FBI communiqué merely an attempt to scare the public, smear the antiwar movement and discourage antiwar protests? It certainly looks that way. " 12.18.02

BAKER Economics Reporting Review: December 7 - December 13. 12.18.02

DOWD Lee To Karl: "You are on the horns of a strategic dilemma, ol' man. You gotta bail out on Trent while giving the impression to our base in the South that you're not bailin'. You don't want to say anything that will get the seggies mad and you don't want to do anything that will remind the editorial writers about all the stuff you did for the seggies during the South Carolina primary: sending Junior to Bob Jones University; fuzzin' up Junior's position on the Confederate flag and attacking McCain's position as not supportive enough; having Junior cuddle up to Big Daddy Strom; winkin' when Republicans unrelated to the campaign — maybe even the same "unknown" parties who ran the Willie Horton ad in '88 — smeared McCain for having a black daughter. " 12.18.02

WP ED Turncoat Lott. "THE TRANSFORMATION of Sen. Trent Lott from a proud son of the Old Confederacy to a pro-integration advocate of affirmative action in the space of only 13 days is nothing short of breathtaking. The senator's about-face is also hard to accept given the way his conversion came about. Were it not for his offensive remarks at Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party and the firestorm they caused, especially among conservative Republicans, in the White House and with many African American leaders, chances are Sen. Lott would still be an unyielding foe of government measures to ensure racial progress in America. His interview Monday night with Black Entertainment Television's Ed Gordon did nothing to dispel that impression." 12.18.02

SLAYTON "As the nation debates Trent Lott's comments, it is important to understand what segregation really meant. First and foremost, this was not just a bad attitude but a vast set of laws designed to marginalize one group on the basis of skin color. Thus, racism was being enforced not by skinheads but by the police, by the courts and even by society itself; individuals who broke these statutes were condemned by the local community, just as we would do to lawbreakers today. " 12.18.02

FRIEDMAN Blair For Prez? "Maybe the Democrats should give the British prime minister, Tony Blair, a green card. " 12.18.02

ROSENFELD Nader Has Yet To Run A Serious Campaign, And 2004 Looks The Same To Date. "Progressives have somehow had this idea -- and it stretches back to Jesse Jackson’s run in the 1980s –- that sending a message is good enough. It’s not, and indeed as Ronnie Dugger writes, especially not with this president. " 12.18.02

LOBE "Israel's Likud Scores Big With White House Appointment. Indicted for giving false testimony during the Iran-Contra affair, right-wing Abrams is set to take over one of the most influencial policy positions on the National Security Council." 12.18.02

HA'ARETZ "The Israeli right has hit the big time: America is on its side. The Bush administration is now the highest barrier to progress - let's say, at least an attempt at progress - toward any form of dialogue with the Palestinians. Instead of the Clinton framework, we now have the Bush hanger: a hook from which Sharon and the right comfortably hang, blocking any movement that would break out of the national cul de sac. Even Sharon has to admit that there's a strong connection between the political impasse and the disintegration of the economy and society. The absurdity of it all is that the U.S., Israel's knight of aid, is thus preventing improvement in the deteriorating Israeli economy. " 12.18.02

WP ED "Russian forces have resumed efforts to force thousands of Chechen refugees out of camps in the neighboring republic of Ingushetia, even as winter takes hold in the region. Unless it can be stopped, this cruel operation will produce a humanitarian catastrophe. " 12.18.02

HARDT "The ultimate hubris of the US political leaders is their belief that they can not only force regime change and name new leaders for various countries, but also actually shape the global environment - an audacious extension of the old imperialist ideology of mission civilisatrice . Regime change in Iraq is only the first step in an ambitious project to reconstruct the political order of the entire Middle East. And their designs of power extend well beyond that. " 12.18.02

KRUGMAN "The Bush administration's executive order removing longstanding barriers between church and state contains the seeds of a future uproar. " 12.17.02

NYT ED "Al Gore deserves the gratitude of the nation for his unquestionably painful decision not to run in 2004 for the presidency. " 12.17.02

DEJEVSKY "That Gore none the less came so close to winning that election - in fact, he won the popular vote; it was the electoral college system that defeated him - reflected the even left-right political division of the US and the poor quality of both main candidates. Gore was a strong candidate who fought a poor campaign against a poor candidate who fought ruthlessly, as though he meant it, to the last. " 12.17.02

DIONNE "While other Democrats scramble for advantage in the 2004 nomination contest, Gore can make arguments -- for national health insurance, for fiscal responsibility, for social justice, for a foreign policy that wins rather than loses allies -- without anyone saying he's fermenting sour grapes. Gore is free as no Democratic candidate for president will be free. " 12.17.02

BRODER "That was a good and generous thing that former vice president Al Gore did for his party. By stepping aside from the 2004 presidential race, he has allowed the Democratic Party to go ahead without the burden of its unhappy past and seek a clearer path to the future. There is a lesson here for Trent Lott -- if he is of a mind to heed it." 12.17.02

WP ED Let's Bash Gore One More Time. "ONCE AGAIN, Al Gore seems to have drawn out the armchair psychiatrist in many of us: His decision not to run for president means that "for the first time, he is free," as one radio commentator put it, or that "he's finally found himself." There he was on "Saturday Night Live" making fun of himself with the ease of Mike Myers: Stiff Gore and Yearning Gore and Hopelessly Disappointed Gore, all played by the real Al Gore. " 12.17.02

LETTER "This time around, it was clear that we were headed for more of the same superficial nonsense, and Mr. Gore was wise to walk away. But something is wrong with a system that drives away someone who is clearly more qualified to be president than anyone else in the potential Democratic field. " 12.17.02

BALZ+BRODER Dem Candidates Jump In, Daschle Urged Not To Run. 12.17.02

ENGEL "Behind the Bushies' enthusiasm for war, the political timetable is creating the same sense of inevitability as the railway timetable in 1914. If the US lost the winter window of climatic opportunity and waited another year, it would allow a new post-Gore Democratic frontrunner (irrelevant whether it's a hawk like Lieberman or a dove like Kerry) to paint Bush as indecisive. Round here, that is the unthinkable." 12.17.02

WHITAKER "The American media are softening up public attitudes to war with Iraq." 12.17.02

HIRO " Of the two slogans that the Bush Administration has coined to sell the idea of invading Iraq--installing democracy and monopolizing Iraq's petroleum riches--the one about democracy means little to ordinary folks. It is the prospect of uncontested access to the world's second-largest oil reserves--leading to the end of America's growing reliance on petroleum from Saudi Arabia, the homeland of most of the 9/11 hijackers--that excites popular imagination in the United States. And the US hawks, who are determining Iraq policy, know it." 12.17.02

CORN "Kissinger, an international consultant for transnational corporations, claimed he was forced to retreat to avoid a nasty fight over disclosing his clients. After Bush tapped Kissinger, much of the fuss over his appointment concerned his business ties--not his record as a prevaricator, his embrace of human rights-abusing regimes, or his experiences as a practitioner of secret warfare and a stonewaller. Kissinger maintained he has no clients--such as overseas governments or foreign firms--that would compromise his supposed independence. But that was not the point. Kissinger pockets millions of dollars advising US-based corporations looking to do business overseas, sometimes in countries where the government controls what firms receive what contracts." 12.17.02

HITCHENS "Three Stooges. Who's worst—Kissinger, Lott, or Law?" 12.17.02

NOAH Bush Tax The Poor Movement Picks Up Steam 12.17.02

NYT Treasury Nominee to Get Unearned Pension From Railroad. "Getting credit for years not worked, and having virtually all compensation counted toward pension benefits, are two of the newest trends in pay for senior executives, said Judith Fischer, managing director of Executive Compensation Advisory Services. She calls such deals 'the eternal wealth syndrome.' "12.17.02

NYT Meanwhile,Bumpy Market Has Many Average Americans Delaying Retirement 12.17.02

COHEN "Lott's toast to Strom Thurmond was not an isolated event, a slip of the tongue, as he has characterized it, but instead a typical statement for the Mississippi senator. What slipped was his usual guarded demeanor. " 12.17.02

NYT ED "Some Senate Republicans remain under the illusion that Trent Lott commands sufficient respect to remain the majority leader. " 12.17.02

NYT "Republicans with close ties to the Bush administration said that Senator Trent Lott had no chance of remaining majority leader and that the White House wanted him out." 12.17.02

ALLEN+MILBANK Bush Won't Resist Lott Removal. President's Agenda Feared in Jeopardy 12.17.02

NYT "Conservative columnists, including Andrew Sullivan, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, and publications like National Review and The Wall Street Journal have castigated Mr. Lott for his remarks at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th-birthday party, arguing that the conservative movement's credibility on racially tinged issues like affirmative action and school vouchers has been squandered. " 12.17.02

LITHWICK "There are two legal versions of what happened in the courtroom last week. The first is that what Justice Thomas did is unforgivable; by hijacking the argument into the murk of personal experience, he did violence to the disinterested, lucid distance necessary for justice to be achieved. The second version is that he recognized, and his colleagues chose to respect, that some questions cannot be answered dispassionately, especially ones as fraught as, "Can symbols constitute threats?" In this version, personal narrative in appellate decision-making is ignored only at the peril of true justice.The latter conclusion is troubling. It suggests that the Supreme Court will never do "true justice" until there's a Holocaust survivor, a gay abortionist and a blind monk on the bench. " 12.17.02

LETTER Under Bush, Entire Mountainsides Are Being Leveled Of Trees. It's Logging, Not Experimentation. 12.17.02

WP "Iron Triangle" Adviser To Step Down From FEMA. Perhaps Help Run Bush Re-Election Campaign. 12.17.02

NYT C.I.A. Chief Tenet Prospers From Bond With Bush.12.17.02

KRISTOF " Capitalism hasn't done well in South America."Inequality in most Latin American countries is far worse than 10 years ago," notes Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations. In Brazil the richest 10 percent of the population now gets 48 percent of the income, while the poorest 10 percent gets 0.7 percent. In Argentina, once a first-world country, I visited a slum where doctors told me that 90 percent of the children had worms.If only Saddam Hussein ruled Brazil! If only Hugo Chávez were developing nuclear weapons! Then Washington might pay attention to the fire next door, which will affect us as much over the next two decades as Iraq's machinations. " 12.17.02

BENNETT "With a West Bank wall, Israel is seeking to create a physical separation as stark as the social one between Israelis and Palestinians. " 12.17.02

FISK "What about Israel? What about Mr Ariel Sharon, the "man of peace"-- according to Mr. Bush - who goes on building more and more and more Jewish settlements in the occupied territories? Well, just like so much of Mr Blair's - and Mr Bush's - Middle East "policy", what you really don't want to see, you can just wish away." 12.17.02

WP Bush Working On New Tax Plan To Shift The Burden To The Poor. BushAdmin is "refining arguments for why it may be necessary to shift more of the tax load onto lower-income workers." 12.16.02

WP "Gore Stuns Many by Choosing Not to Run for President in '04 " 12.16.02

NICHOLS "Poor Al Gore, he never could get presidential politics right. Just as the former vice president and 2000 Democratic nominee for the top job was starting to take some of the bold stands that might have inspired grassroots Democrats to consider him anew – criticizing the rush to war with Iraq, pointing an appropriate finger of blame for economic instability at Bush tax policies, and acknowledging that a single-payer national health care plan is needed – he decides NOT to run in 2004. " 12.16.02

HEFFERMAN Take My Candidacy. Please. Gore kills on SNL! 12.16.02

WP A Wide-Open Fight. More Democrats Likely to Join Fray 12.16.02

BBC Time Poll Says Hillary Has More Rank And File Support Than Any Dem Candidate For Prez In 2004 12.16.02

WP Nickles Seeks Lott's Ouster GOP Agenda at Risk, Senator Says 12.16.02

WP Four Singled Out As Being Potential Successors to Lott GOP May See Rare Fight for Leadership 12.16.02

KURTZ Why Did The Mainstream Media Drop The Ball On The Trent Lott Story? 12.16.02

PRESTON "They won't quite put up. Observe how abnormally slow the CIA is to release its precise case against Saddam, to say where the weaponry may actually be housed. No details, no pictures, no intercepts. But that doesn't mean they have to shut up... We're going to war on their say-so. Except they won't say-so. We're asked to decide on the evidence. Except we can't see it. Here come the weapons of mass assertion without attribution ..."12.16.02

SAFIRE "To learn about germs and nukes in Iraq, knock on the doors of that country's 50 leading scientists. " 12.16.02

TISDALL "This will be a big week for Iraq and all those who wish to bomb it. Since last summer's heady excitements, when George Bush seemed ready to go Saddam-hunting all on his ownsome, Washington hawks and assorted birds of prey have endured a series of false dawns. " 12.16.02

NYT "The Defense Department is considering a directive to the military to conduct secret propaganda missions in friendly nations. " 12.16.02

UPI Pentagon plans for smallpox outbreak 12.16.02

WP ED "[Sharon] systematically has destroyed the Palestinian administration in the territories, and both his party and many of its senior parliamentary candidates are on record as opposing a Palestinian state. If he is reelected, Mr. Sharon might be expected to continue policies that have focused on ending Palestinian violence through military force and postponing a comprehensive settlement indefinitely." 12.16.02

HA'ARETZ "Within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, concern over Al-Qaida's involvement strengthens the need to renew as quickly as possible political negotiations with the Palestinian national leadership. Without such negotiations, the entire Palestinian national movement will decline and be replaced by Islamic extremists, who pose a much greater danger." 12.16.02

NYT Arafat Warns Bin Laden to stop justifying attacks in the name of Palestinians. 12.16.02

NYT ED Bush Needs More Than Words To Fight AIDS. "If President Bush visits Africa next month, he should be carrying with him an AIDS initiative backed with real money." 12.16.02

ABC U.S. Anti-Abortion Stand Under Fire at U.N. Meeting 12.16.02

NORTHROP "Ultimately, the [Bush] decision to adapt to the effects of global warming will prove shortsighted, but for now money and wide open spaces are still abundant. [We have "the luxury of moving to higher ground, rerouting rivers or simply turning up air conditioners to adapt to the effects of climate change.] Our closest allies, facing a grimmer future, understand all too well the urgent need to cut carbon emissions." 12.16.02

RASPBERRY "Thousands of black children are drifting downstream toward a deadly waterfall. And we black adults are standing along the bank reassuring ourselves: 'Well, at least it's not our fault.' " 12.16.02

BAZZI "Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs lists American companies that provided materials used by Baghdad to develop chemical and biological weapons in the 1980s, according to a senior Iraqi official....A Bush administration official declined to comment on U.S. companies' presence in the declaration, or the potential embarrassment if the list were made public....Shipments to Iraq continued even after the United States learned Hussein had used chemical weapons against Iranian troops and Kurdish villagers in northern Iraq in 1988, according to Senate investigators....The U.S.-Iraqi relationship flourished from February 1986, when then-Vice President George Bush met with Iraq's ambassador to Washington, Nizar Hamdoon, and assured him that Baghdad would be permitted to receive more sophisticated U.S. technology, until the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.... 'Our attitude toward Iraq has been opportunist, rather than principled.' " 12.15.02

EAKIN "If Iraq's task is demonstrably impossible, on what basis can it be justified? Ultimately, the best defense may hinge not on logic or law but on more nebulous concepts like experience and common sense. "The thing we're asking them to prove, whether you put it positively or negatively, is so extremely hard to prove that we're almost rigging the outcome by the way we put the question," said Laurence H. Tribe, the Harvard professor of constitutional law." 12.15.02

REDBURN "When the nation is preparing to spend at least $100 billion to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein and much more to maintain stability in the Persian Gulf, nothing is more crucial than investing a fraction of that sum to help liberate the world economy from its addiction to Middle East oil." 12.15.02

SANGER "North Korea may not have Iraq's malicious intent, but it owns at least two nuclear weapons, the means to deliver them, and a huge conventional force facing South Korea, Japan and American troops in Asia. But as a senior American official put it last month: "We are taking on Iraq because we can, without doing much damage elsewhere. We are tripping over ourselves on North Korea because there is no military option we can live with, and no diplomatic option that the White House likes." In fact, there's been a different strategy for each point on the axis. For Iraq, it's confrontation. For Iran, it's hands off." 12.15.02

NYT ED "North Korea Can't Wait. The White House must mobilize an all-out diplomatic effort to prevent that next step in North Korea's nuclear program from being taken." 12.15.02

BERENSON "President Bush replaced his top economic aides, which showed that he takes the threat of a weak economy seriously. But that concern has not extended to his core policies. " 12.15.02

NYT "As State Budgets Break, Pain Trickles Down...In this slow economy, with unemployment up to 6 percent and the big capital gains of the flush 1990's evaporating, tax collections have plunged, forcing most states to grapple with the biggest budget deficits since World War II, according to the National Governors Association." Government official indicates voters don't appear to understand the relationship between tax cuts and lack of services, suggesting "the tax system is broken." 12.15.02

DOWD "We could have had a perfect Friday the 13th trifecta. But then Trent Lott, coddler of racists, spoiled it...For a full hour, I will talk about my hopes and dreams for the people in this state and this country, regardless of their race, and to make sure that African-Americans have the opportunities that they deserve," he promised the press in Pascagoula. For the love of Amos 'n' Andy, hasn't Mr. Lott punished the black man enough?" 12.15.02

NYT "In Lott's Life, Long Shadows of Segregation. " 12.15.02

BARRETT "The Leading Segregationist in Mississippi" Asks Lott To "Stand Fast" To His Principles. Says Lott Was "Forced To Recant," Strom Statement Was "From The Heart And Honest," Thanks Lott's Daughter For Attending His Press Conference. 12.15.02

LEWIS+GUMBLE "As war in the Middle East threatens to throw the international oil market into uncertainty, the member nations of Opec, led by Saudi Arabia, are quietly gearing up for a price war intended to boost their own market share at the expense of their competitors. Such a squeeze would set back US efforts to lessen its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and seek alternative energy sources elsewhere in the world. " 12.15.02

BURKE "Dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists have been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to woo key tribal leaders away from Saddam Hussein. " 12.15.02

BUNCOMBE ""With an armoury including satellite imagery that can distinguish a tank from a bus, even through thick cloud, to microwave bombs that can destroy electrical and computer systems without hurting civilians, military planners preparing for war are confident that any strike would be completed in little more than a week." " 12.15.02

MIHM Stench Warfare. 12.15.02

LANDESMAN Smallpox Martyrs. "The simplest way to deliver the deadliest bio-weapon of all, smallpox, is also the most low-tech and efficient. All you need is a suicide volunteer, and we now know they are legion. Infect him in Baghdad or Karachi or the Gaza Strip; have him sit out the virus's two-week incubation period until he begins to cough and get woozy. Then buy him a plane ticket from New York to Los Angeles, or from Chicago to Atlanta. All he has to do is watch the in-flight entertainment and emit the occasional cough. A sneeze works, too. " 12.15.02

CUSHMAN Bush Is Saving The Forest By Removing The Trees. "In the name of science, the United States Forest Service has proposed the experimental logging of half a million acres in two forests in the Sierra Nevada to see how it will affect the habitat of the California spotted owl and the ferocity of forest fires. But skeptical environmentalists are saying the real purpose is simply to give timber companies a chance to cut more big trees on some of the nation's 190 million acres of public land....The Bush administration's experiment is designed on such a grand scale that it will vastly increase the amount of timber being taken from the two northern California forests, which have been heavily logged in the past. Some trees to be cut are much larger than current forest regulations would allow: in some cases, up to 34 inches in diameter, or almost nine feet in girth." 12.15.02

REICH ""The death of opposition in America: America's defeated Democrats need to deepen the analysis of their election post-mortem. American democracy is in danger if they fail to remake the culture of politics." " 12.15.02

GORENBERG Christian-Right Zionism. 12.15.02

HA'ARETZ "The Shin Bet wants you to join Qaida PA unveils Israeli intelligence scheme, denies Gaza links to bin Laden." 12.15.02

AP White House builds pressure for early elections in Venezuela.12.15.02

PALAST "George W Bush is an oil man; he owned oil companies, now it looks like they own him.Certainly the Keystone Kops-style plot against Chávez by Venezuela's military-industrial complex served Big Oil's interests. But that's an old-style shoot'em-up coup, likely to fail. The coup d'etats of the 21st century will follow the Argentine model, in which the international banks seize the financial lifeblood of a nation, making the official presidential title-holder merely inconsequential except as a factotum of the corporate agenda." (July, '02) 12.15.02

STRATFOR "Private oil industry sources in Caracas told Stratfor Dec. 13 that foreign companies operating local retail outset networks -- including British Petroleum, Shell and Texaco -- are refusing to buy gasoline shipments from tanker trucks driven by Venezuelan military personnel and civilian supporters of President Hugo Chavez, because many of the trucks have not been used in three or four years....A senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy told Reuters that the Bush administration is willing to tap U.S. strategic oil reserves to help any American oil companies whose refining operations are being affected by Petroleos de Venezuela's strike. The source added that the U.S. government also is willing to renegotiate contracts with oil companies that were providing Venezuelan crude oil to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. " 12.15.02

CAMPBELL ""Venezuela is on brink of second coup. The President's supporters are preparing for a last stand . " 12.15.02

VHeadlines "Uruguayan EP-FA congressman Jose Bayardi says he has information that far-reaching plans have been put into operation by the CIA and other North American intelligence agencies to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias within the next 72 hours. " 12.15.02

ROSEN "Civil libertarians greeted T.I.A. with alarm and called it a harbinger of even more Orwellian technologies to come. ''I fully believe that data-mining in the next five years will be used to determine whether you or I get access to a federal office building,'' said Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The Bush administration stands behind T.I.A., but privacy advocates hope to persuade Congress to pull the plug. When the government proposed creating a National Data Center in 1965, public outcry led to the passage of the Privacy Act of 1974, which prohibits federal agencies from routinely sharing personal information. Whether Americans still support that principle after 9/11 remains to be seen. " 12.15.02

NYT Wi-Fi War Chalking. 12.15.02

KELLER "The Bush administration's enthusiasm for human rights would be more believable if it were less selectively applied....Promoting freedom abroad will ring a little false as long as the administration is so often, so instinctively, scornful of freedom at home. The automatic recourse to preventive lockup, the lack of confidence in the criminal justice system, the casual regard for privacy and presumption of innocence, the obsessive secrecy — you don't have to be a libertarian to wonder how dearly this administration cherishes the values it promises to export. " 12.14.02

CHANCELLOR "The US government has a creepy new objective in its war on terrorism, an objective it calls 'total information awareness'. " 12.14.02

TONER "What was striking about Trent Lott's statement last week was how long the reaction took to build and how many politicians were initially caught off balance. " 12.14.02

WP ED "Mr. Lott's long and sorry record on racial matters -- of which the current scandal is only the latest chapter -- remains for us a more convincing testament to his views than yesterday's news-conference-under-pressure. " 12.14.02

EDSALL+BALZ Lott's Hurdle: Republicans The Senate leader faces toughest challenge within his own party. 12.14.02

KING Who's Sorry Now? All of today's huffing and puffing about Trent Lott's record is old news. 12.14.02

NYT "Henry A. Kissinger informed President Bush that he could not serve as chairman of the Sept. 11 commission if it meant revealing the clients of his consulting firm. " 12.14.02

SIEGEL "Anyone who has ever seen a picture of what smallpox can do can understand why the level of fear is so high. " 12.14.02

BROAD Bush Signals He Thinks Possibility of Smallpox Attack Is Rising 12.14.02

NYT Reaction Is Mixed to Inoculations but People Seem Doubtful 12.14.02

WP "Vaccination Plan Problematic Analysis: Health workers are leery of fallout from smallpox inoculations. " 12.14.02

WP Nuclear Sites In Iran Worry U.S. Officials White House Cites 'Pursuit of Weapons' 12.14.02

WP Matalin to Leave Position As Counselor to Cheney Need for Family Time Cited in New Role as Consultant 12.14.02

CROWLEY "Democrats may claim that Landrieu's victory shows the party does have a winning message. But there may be a different lesson. As Brazile puts it, "You cannot be nice. These people go for the jugular. Mary proved that you can attack them back." Alas, that may be as profound as the meaning of Landrieu's victory gets. " 12.14.02

GLANCEY "Is our creed more than a confusion of cheap energy, discriminatory education, junk food, shopping malls, cynical housing, privatised public services, property deals, celebrity culture, the machinations of multinational corporations, leisurewear, chic pornography, the right to bear arms, and a deep-seated fear of the Saracen bogeyman handed down in popular legend, and half-baked government dossiers, from the crusades? Most decent British and American citizens, not loath to protest against unrighteous war nor to fight for a just cause, want and deserve better than this. We need to know what we are fighting for, and to give more than a damn. " 12.13.02

CLYMER "Republican Party's 40 Years of Juggling on Race.Bush's repudiation of Senator Trent Lott underlined the juggling act the G.O.P. has maintained on race." 12.13.02

KRUGMAN "The Republican Party's longstanding "Southern strategy" is to have men who don't share the open-mindedness of the nation in powerful positions. " 12.13.02

DIONNE Will The Party Of Lincoln Become The Party Of Lott? 12.13.02

WP "Lott's Statements Not Isolated. Over 40 years, his record has been at odds with traditional civil rights views." 12.13.02

CRESPINO "Sound bites pitched toward the racist right have been the dirty little secret of the Republican Party for four decades." 12.13.02

LETTERS Readers Say Lott Must Go, GOP Has Dirty Not-So-Secret 12.13.02

KENNICOTT "When the dust clears, the question that will remain is not whether Lott apologized enough, or sincerely, or in the right way; the question will be who accepted his apology, when, and at what price. " 12.13.02

NYT Bush Uses Opportunity Of Lott Flap To Announce Controversial Aid To Religious Groups By Executive Order. Says Religious Groups Can Discriminate In Hiring Practices While Using Fed Money Without Penalty. 12.13.02

WP ED "But the faith-based initiative is not National Secretaries' Day. It stalled in both the House and Senate last year after a raw and substantive debate over the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Last summer there was an uproar after the leak of a Salvation Army internal report saying the group had received a commitment from the White House to protect religious charities from state laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Salvation Army is a Christian group that does not recognize gay couples in its employment benefits. In his executive order yesterday, Mr. Bush did not explicitly promise religious organizations that receive federal grants an exemption from such state laws. But he did make clear that religious organizations that receive federal contracts may discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion." 12.13.02

NYT Bush Selects Anti-Supply Sider To Push His Supply Side Economic Agenda As White House Salesman 12.13.02

NYT Will Bush Be Using Friedman's Ideas Or His Wall Street Connections? White House Says Connections Only, As Supply Side Agenda Remains The Same. 12.13.02

NYT "Having the confidence of the markets is important, but the danger [in the selection of a new economic team] is that in seeking to please the clubby world of Wall Street, the administration may be sacrificing reformist zeal." 12.13.02

WP Court Reinstates Roadless Forests Rule. Restoration of Clinton Measure a Setback to Bush Administration, Timber Industry. 12.13.02

NYT "The president's comments on ABC News on Wednesday that he would offer voluntary smallpox vaccinations to the public caught senior health officials by surprise and seemed to get ahead of an announcement planned for today, a rare occasion for a White House that sticks closely to its playbook." 12.13.02

NYT State Officials Question Bush Timetable for Smallpox Vaccines.12.13.02

NYT Bush Smallpox Vaccine Plan Carries Risk Of Infecting Others 12.13.02

NYT Kissinger Failure To Disclose Clients Re His 9/11 Appointment May End Up In Court 12.13.02

NYT ED The Kissinger Dodge. "The committee investigating the government's handling of terrorism before Sept. 11 should not exempt Henry Kissinger from naming his clients. " 12.13.02

NYT Iraqi Omissions. "Iraq's declaration fails to account for chemical and biological agents missing when inspectors left Iraq four years ago. " 12.13.02

HA'ARETZ "My heart goes out to the propagandists and copywriters who are working for Ariel Sharon. They can't recycle the winning slogan, "Sharon will bring peace and security." Because he didn't bring either one. Indeed, when he was at the height of his power and really could have, with a unity government and cowed ministers, with Netanyahu in exile on the lecture circuit in America, he took no creative step to extricate us from the cycle of bloodshed. To paraphrase a famous saying, it can be said of him that as one who purported to be the only one capable of bringing peace and security, he missed no opportunity to miss every political initiative to eliminate terrorism." 12.13.02

NYT U.S. Delay on Proposal for Palestine Irks Allies. 12.13.02

HA'ARETZ "The appointment of Elliot Abrams as commissar for the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio should erase any worry from Sharon's mind about the results of the Quartet session with Bush on December 20. Abrams, who was involved up to his neck in the Iran-Contras affair, learned his political lessons from his father-in-law, Norman Podhoretz, the long-time neo-conservative editor of Commentary, once a liberal intellectual American Jewish Committee-backed journal that turned radically to the right in the 1960s under Podhoretz's stewardship. Abrams' affection for Arafat competes with Avigdor Lieberman's nostalgia for the rais." 12.13.02

NYT "By delaying Turkish membership, the European Union has failed to make an enormous contribution toward integrating Turkey into the West." 12.13.02

GEDMIN "Yet seldom has the gap between rhetoric and reality been as great as now. In truth, it's hard to see that poor Turkey is getting any closer [to EU membership]. Josef Joffe, publisher of the German weekly Die Zeit, says: "Even if it were a matter of life and death, the process will still be a very long one." And that's the best-case scenario. " 12.13.02

DOBBS With Yemen, Does Bush Go Back On Defense Policy Announced Just The Other Day? 12.13.02

WP ED " THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION would dearly like to postpone any major engagement with North Korea. A hotly contested South Korean presidential election is only days away, and a decision on whether to go to war with Iraq may need to be made within weeks. But North Korea's brutal and isolated dictator, Kim Jong Il, apparently intends to force his way onto Washington's agenda, even if it means bringing his country to the brink of war. Yesterday's announcement by Pyongyang that it would reactivate its closed nuclear reactor and resume construction on two others brings North Korea to the edge of activities that the United States has previously regarded as grounds for military intervention. Bush administration officials said yesterday that the threat won't change their stance of refusing Mr. Kim the political negotiations he craves. The question is whether that tough stance will yield concessions -- or further escalation by a desperate regime." 12.13.02

GOLDENBERG "Pyongyang's threat to restart its nuclear reactor may push the Bush administration into a North Korea strategy that runs counter to its every instinct, experts said yesterday... Only months after President Bush denounced North Korea as the eastern end of the "axis of evil", US officials may be forced to talk to Pyongyang to prevent a deepening of the crisis." 12.13.02

KINSLEY "DNA evidence unavailable at the time has now proven conclusively that five teenage boys sent to prison 12 years ago for raping and almost killing a female jogger in New York's Central Park were not guilty of that crime (whatever else they may have been up to that evening). What's most shocking is that the boys' convictions were not the result of perjured testimony by racist cops, or manufactured evidence, or jurors addled by some prosecutor's demagogic brilliance. The convictions were based almost entirely on the boys' own confessions. Why would anyone confess to a crime he didn't commit? " 12.13.02

NYT Lott Apologizes Again, Kerry Calls For Resignation From Senate Leadership Role. 12.12.02

CONASON "Like his sub rosa support for the CCC, Lott's connections with Jim Johnson and Rex Armistead strongly suggest that, unlike Thurmond, he never changed at all. His statements and affiliations are not a series of momentary aberrations but a clear pattern. George W. Bush may find that pattern acceptable, despite the damage that Lott's prominence inflicts on this country both at home and abroad. Whether the president's party and the Senate will agree remains to be seen." 12.12.02

NYT ED Fire Trent Lott 12.12.02

COHEN "If it's impossible to believe that Lott is a racist, it is just as hard to see him remaining as the Senate majority leader. After all, he did not confine his praise to Thurmond the man -- his after-the-fact explanation of what he said -- but singled out the '48 campaign. This was a campaign waged on behalf of keeping African Americans second-class citizens -- of depriving them of their basic rights, including the effective right to vote. Lott is intellectually stunted by a pernicious and -- if the Senate had any sense -- politically lethal case of Margaret Mitchell Syndrome. He speaks as a conservative white man and only as a conservative white man. It is his only frame of reference. He does not have the slightest empathy for what it once meant to be black in the Jim Crow South. " 12.12.02

HERBERT Racism and the G.O.P. 12.12.02

WP ED "Mr. Lott's original comment was not the sort of innocent misstatement that can happen to anyone in public life. If Mr. Lott does not, as he insisted in one of his apologies, "embrace the discarded policies of the past," then what did he mean? It's troubling that this question doesn't trouble Mr. Bush and his comrades. " 12.12.02

JACOBY "YOU DON'T HAVE to be a liberal - or a Democrat, or black - to be appalled by Trent Lott. You only have to be a mensch - or enough of one to regard Jim Crow and its trappings as one of the most shameful chapters in American history. Is that the view of Lott's Republican colleagues in the US Senate? If so, let them prove it by replacing him as majority leader when the new Senate convenes next month. " 12.12.02

NYT An Intense Attack by Justice Thomas on Cross-Burning. 12.12.02

NYT Bush Decides. Smallpox Shots Will Start Soon Under Bush Plan. 12.12.02

GRADY "Resuming Smallpox Shots Carries Risk." 12.12.02

ALTMAN "Health Workers Union Wary of Smallpox Vaccinations. " 12.12.02

NYT Critics Say Under New Proposal Bush Wants To Give Another Blank Check To Timber Cutters In National Forests 12.12.02

NYT Bush Refuses Dem Request To Have Kissinger Turn Over Client List. 12.12.02

CNN Mitchell Cites Potential Conflict of Interest As Reason For Resigning 9/11 Post 12.12.02

NYT Congressional Panel Concludes FBI, CIA "Missed Opportunities" To Prevent 9/11 12.12.02

RIDGEWAY "Small Arms Make Big Trouble. Pocket Rocket." 12.12.02

NYT North Korea to Reopen Nuclear Plant Over Oil Cutoff by U.S. 12.12.02

CORNWELL North Korean Missile Ship. "What began as a feat of derring-do on the high seas in America's war on terror ended yesterday in a diplomatic dilemma, one that underlines just how complicated, contradictory and perhaps even self-defeating that war will be." 12.12.02

NYT ED "Effective containment of North Korea will depend on close American cooperation with South Korea. " 12.12.02

WP ED "For the administration, these considerations, and its own preemption principle, seem to have been outweighed by the perceived advantages of continuing a partnership, however attenuated, with the Yemeni regime. If so, that would be the second time in months the White House has ignored its doctrine to satisfy real-world demands: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, another dodgy ally in the fight with al Qaeda, has paid no penalty for his swap of nuclear bomb technology for North Korean Scuds. " 12.12.02

ASH "My own impression from talking to people inside and close to the Bush administration is that the Iraq war is now a matter of when and how rather than whether....As for rationale, I've heard Americans voice all the same theories about President Bush's motivation expressed by supposedly anti-American Europeans: that he's doing it to distract attention from economic problems at home. (Senator John Kerry recently raised this charge.) That the reason is oil. That he's completing unfinished business from the first Bush administration's Persian Gulf war. That it's a grudge match to topple the man who tried to kill Mr. Bush's father. That he's going after Saddam Hussein because he can't find Osama bin Laden. That it's about winning the next presidential election." 12.12.02

RABAN "Here we go again - The family dictatorships that dominate the Middle East are the legacy of fantasy borders drawn by colonial administrators. Now with the Bush administration pressing to topple Saddam, we may be about to repeat our mistakes - and do just what Bin Laden wants." 12.12.02

BORGER "The intention behind the beefed-up inspections programmes, in the words of one US administration official are to "stress the system". The system he had in mind was the Iraqi government. But the other target of this stress, intentionally or not, is the United Nations itself and the process of international consultation it represents. That may break before Iraq does" 12.12.02

HENTOFF "We'll All Be Under Surveillance. Computers Will Say What We Are." 12.12.02

NAGOURNEY Friends Say Gore Won't Run. 12.12.02

WP Bush Threatens Nukes. "A Bush administration strategy announced yesterday calls for the preemptive use of military and covert force before an enemy unleashes weapons of mass destruction, and underscores the United States's willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons for chemical or biological attacks on U.S. soil or against American troops overseas. " 12.11.02

WP ED " FROM A FEDERAL judge in New York has come a welcome and rational effort to impose some limits on President Bush's claimed power to designate any American citizen an enemy combatant and then detain that person without criminal charge and with almost no judicial oversight.... Judge Mukasey's opinion offers a pointed reminder that even during wartime, the president's power to lock up an American citizen must be justified to the courts, and that hearing from the accused is essential to the court's task." 12.11.02

BG ED "VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney won a round Monday in his attempt to keep secret the list of industry executives who helped guide the Bush administration's energy policy last year. A federal judge appointed by President Bush said Congress's investigative arm, the General Accounting Office, lacked standing to seek the information. " 12.11.02

NYT ED "The ruling that dismisses a lawsuit seeking access to Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force records should be reversed on appeal. " 12.11.02

DOWD Welcome To The Cheney-Ford Administration. Dick Pulls Bush's Strings And Gets Ford Re-Treads. 12.11.02

KUTTNER "BUSH has just replaced his economic team but not his economic program. Herewith a guide to the perplexed....We had a pretty good test of supply side economics in the 1980s, under Reagan. Taxes on investment went down. Investment didn't go up. But the loss of tax revenues led to chronic deficits. So why try it again? " 12.11.02

GROSS "Donaldson [Bush nominee for SEC head] has a record of serving investors well, and Snow [Bush nominee for more important Sec. of Treasury position] has a record of serving them poorly. In fact, the two former CEOs stand as mirror images of the Republican Party's long and evolving association with the business world....Bush says he's running his administration like a business. Sadly, he has stocked it with ex-CEOs who are more like Snow than Donaldson....Snow's record in business bears more resemblance to that of George W. Bush, marked by poor market performance and outsized compensation." 12.11.02

AP The old Bush family friend and new S.E.C. chief, William H. Donaldson, is a well-known figure on Wall Street. But some experts wonder if he'd take on big firms.12.11.02

NYT "President Bush delayed announcing his choice today for chief White House economic policy adviser, providing an opening for conservative critics of the leading candidate, Stephen Friedman, to attack him as insufficiently committed to tax cuts. " 12.11.02

SALETAN Dem Stabenow On The Right Track: "During the tax debate last year it was the Democrats, the Democrats in the Senate that brought forward the $300 that ended up directly in people's pockets, which may be for most people the only tax cut that they get over the next 10 years under this plan. We have a philosophy and a plan that's consistent, and that is that you have to have a demand side to economics and that by putting money directly in working people's pockets, family farmers, small businesses, that you drive the economy. " 12.11.02

CONFESSORE How economist Paul Krugman became the most important political columnist in America. 12.11.02

COHEN "Even with rising tides of prosperity, the postwar consumer culture fed inequalities that are still very much with us. As we embrace brisk sales as an answer to our current economic ills, it bears noting that consumerism has played a role in reinforcing social biases and prejudices." 12.11.02

TOOBIN Candide Looks At The White House: "The New Democrat movement was originally started in the mid-eighties by people who were particularly concerned with two themes. And these themes worked their way through the Clinton years—to regain the confidence of the American people as a party that not only understood and cared about national security but was prepared to protect national security, and to rebuild confidence in the Democratic Party as a party that not only cared about economic growth but knew how to help create economic growth and understood that to do that you couldn't be anti-business. " 12.11.02

TOOBIN INTERVIEW "Lieberman is definitely in the right of the Democratic Party. He was and is a stalwart of the Democratic Leadership Council. He believes in market-oriented solutions to most problems, and he thinks that tax cuts are the best way to stimulate the economy. He is a very big hawk on Iraq, and he is a great fan of the anti-Castro lobby in Florida. But he is a big environmentalist, and he has moved to the left on several issues since 2000. Cynics might suggest that that is an attempt to ingratiate himself with the key constituencies of the Democratic Party....I think he is not a terribly calculating politician, and I think he is insufficiently suspicious of his adversaries' motives. I think his political skills are not great. " 12.11.02

HIGHTOWER The party of Daschle, McAuliffe, the DLC and their clique of overpaid and clueless consultants was campaigning on the slogan: "We-back-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-too-and-we-support-Bush's-Iraq- attack-and-his-Big-Honking-Homeland-Security-Act-though- we're-not-quite-as-sure-about-it-all-as-the-Republicans-are." Some bumper sticker. It's hard to rally to a flag that's not waving. The DLC game of positioning Democrats as the moderate wing of the GOP, hoping to siphon off a point or two of its plurality, is a loser.... Let's go where the Democratic votes are--out among the 67 percent of folks who are not voting. That's 121 million people; if we add even 10 percent of them, we start winning. 12.11.02

NYT New Dem House Whip Vows Get Tough Policy Against Repubs. Calls Past Dem Policies "Muddled" 12.11.02

AP Bush Owes Government $1 Million, Gore $440,000 12.11.02

NYT Lott Facing Growing Attacks Over "Spontaneous" Remark About Thurmond 12.11.02

WP "Twenty-two years ago, Trent Lott, then a House member from Mississippi, told a home state political gathering that if the country had elected segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond to the presidency "30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today." The phrasing is very similar to incoming Senate Majority Leader Lott's controversial remarks at a 100th birthday party for Thurmond last week. " 12.11.02

AP Black lawmakers: Lott apology not enough. 12.11.02

CONASON "Only Gore responds to a senator's racist smear, as other Democrats -- led by the morally deaf and politically dumb Tom Daschle -- keep quiet. " 12.11.02

PLOTZ "In 50 years of public office, Thurmond has compiled a perfect record: He has done nothing that can be called an achievement. His career is an unblemished half century of efforts to impede progress, inflame race relations, and squelch good government. " (1997) 12.11.02

JACKSON "THE ISSUE IS not whether Trent Lott should apologize. His words are now worthless. What counts is where Americans stand on Lott and whether he should continue to stand as majority leader of the Senate. " 12.11.02

COHEN A Pretend Bill Clinton Talks About Liars In Bush Administration. 12.11.02

SCHEER What if the Hunt for 'Evildoers' Were Aimed at Us? 12.11.02

CAMPBELL "It took Jerry Springer, of all people, to say the unsayable - that most ordinary Americans are very keen on tackling Osama bin Laden and al Qaida, but have no great interest in extending the war to Iraq. All a war would achieve, he said, would be to create a whole new generation of people who hated Americans and it was thus patriotic to oppose the war." 12.11.02

AP 100 entertainers tell Bush a war with Iraq will ``increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks, damage the economy and undermine our moral standing in the world." 12.11.02

POLNER+O'GRADY "Like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., the late Philip Berrigan believed that suffering for one's beliefs was the best way to disarm enemies. " 12.11.02

BROWN The Life Of Ivan Illich 12.11.02

NYT "The joint Congressional committee investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks voted today to recommend the creation of a cabinet-level director of national intelligence, Congressional officials said. The recommendation was one of about 20 in the committee's final report, which one leader of the panel said was too forgiving of intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. " 12.11.02

HERTZBERG "Sodomy laws are a standing insult to, among others, millions of respectable citizens who happen to be gay. They are an absurd anachronism and an obvious violation of the right to privacy. Whatever they may have represented in Montesquieu's day, or even Byron White's, in 2002 they are nothing but an expression of bigotry. " 12.11.02

RIFKIN Hydrogen: Empowering the People.12.11.02

NYT ED "A ruling from Australia's highest court in a libel case could strike a devastating blow to free speech online. " 12.11.02

NYT "The Bush administration has proposed sweeping new pension rules that will encourage companies to adopt a type of retirement plan that has been under attack for three years for what critics call a tendency to strip benefits from older employees. " 12.10.02

NYT Former Wall Stree Exec Picked By Senate Dems To Lead 2004 Election Committee. Corzine Promises Strong Focus On Economy. 12.10.02

KRUGMAN "In the midterm elections, Democratic candidates carefully avoided doing anything to mobilize the black vote, fearing that this would just encourage turnout by rural whites. But the rural whites turned out anyway, while blacks didn't. In Louisiana, black turnout — the result of a determined get-out-the-vote operation, perhaps helped by Mr. Lott's remarks — was the key to Ms. Landrieu's unexpected victory. Might I suggest that this tells us something? " 12.10.02

DIONNE "When President Bush threw everything except poisoned gumbo into the fight to defeat Landrieu in Saturday's runoff, she didn't fold. She hit Bush where it hurts, on the economy, and threw sugar in his eyes. She told the voters in a pro-Bush state that they had a choice between a Bush rubber-stamp and an independent voice. Independence beat Bush. And Landrieu did what Democrats everywhere need to do: She increased turnout among African Americans while expanding her support among white voters. " 12.10.02

WP ED "LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC Sen. Mary Landrieu is coming back to Washington for another six years despite the tons of mud and the slew of administration heavy hitters, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, thrown her way by supporters of her GOP opponent. Strong turnout in heavily African American precincts and the appeal of her retooled message to moderate suburban voters and blue-collar workers were enough to shock a White House political machine that until Saturday night was giddy with anticipation of knocking off yet another Democratic senator. Negative advertising and sly Republican political tricks aimed at discouraging black voter turnout did not prevent the Democratic Party's core base of African American voters from rejecting the challenge of the administration's handpicked candidate, Suzanne Haik Terrell. " And then there's Trent Lott. 12.10.02

MICHOLS "Mary Landrieu was no progressive before December 5, and she is no progressive now. But by putting some distance between herself and Bush, by reaching out to core Democratic constituencies, and by focusing in on local economic issues, she offered an alternative not just to Terrell but to the Bush administration and Republican policies." 12.10.02

NYT Democratic Governors Push for Bigger Role in Party Policy. 12.10.02

WP Dem Senators Frank, Dorgan Urge Gore to Give Up on Presidency. 12.10.02

HUFFINGTON "Given Sen. John McCain's propensity to stray off the ranch and courageously speak his mind, he's been a pretty loyal soldier over the last two years. But last week he finally had enough and opened fire on the White House. The last straw for McCain was the blatant way the Bush administration subverted campaign finance reform by breaking a promise it had made to him." 12.10.02

NYT Federal Judge, Bush appointee, throws out a suit to require Cheney to release records of the administration's energy task force. Says GAO head lacks standing to sue. Appeal "almost certain." 12.10.02

CSM Bush Selects Corporate Salesman Snow To Sell Supply Side Plan He Appears To Disagree With 12.10.02

STEVENSON "On domestic economic policy, Mr. Snow is known as a champion of deregulation and a critic of big punitive legal awards against corporations. He has been outspoken in calling for controlling budget deficits. " 12.10.02

NYT ED "Does President Bush think the new Treasury secretary will do a better job, or is he just looking for a more credible salesman for a tax-cutting agenda?..The next Treasury secretary will never be perceived by financial markets as a strong leader of the administration's economic team if he unquestioningly accepts, and goes about selling, a reckless Christmas tax-cutting wish list compiled by White House political operatives." 12.10.02

CSM ED "The president's new economic team, White House officials have let it be known, is more about selling George Bush's policies than changing them....But now, the focus will move to substance. If tax cuts, what kind and how much? What about the ballooning deficit? What about the still unpassed federal budget? For this, more than salesmanship is required. " 12.10.02

BRODER "O'Neill will be missed in Washington for two quite different reasons. This capital never has a surplus of truth-tellers, and they are in particularly short supply at the moment. O'Neill was notably one of them -- which may be one reason why he was the first to be fired from the Bush Cabinet. " 12.10.02

WP "Are two staunch deficit hawks really the right messengers for the Bush message? 'They're on the record as real hardliners on a balanced budget," said William A. Niskanan, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute and a former Reagan White House economic aide. "That's going to make it difficult for them to accept policies that substantially increase the deficit, and it will reduce their credibility in marketing policies that will have that effect.' " 12.10.02

NYT "Snow... is a pragmatic business executive who once campaigned vociferously to place top priority on balancing the budget rather than on cutting taxes....If the welcome for Mr. Snow seemed guarded among supply-side Republicans, many expressed alarm at the man Mr. Bush is expected to nominate as his economic adviser at the White House, Stephen Friedman, a former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs. In the past, Mr. Friedman has identified himself as an opponent of deficits, and therefore he is highly suspect to advocates of tax cuts. "I am not at all pleased with Friedman," said Stephen Moore, director of the Club for Growth, a group that lobbies for deep tax reduction and an overhaul of the tax system. Noting that Mr. Friedman has been associated with the Concord Coalition, a group that campaigns for greater budget discipline, Mr. Moore accused him of being "hypersensitive about budget deficits. " 12.10.02

WP "While Snow's strong point may be that he brings an easygoing temperament and the keen political instincts that O'Neill famously lacks, his record as chief executive of CSX Corp., a giant railroad operator, has drawn less favorable reviews than O'Neill's tenure running Alcoa Inc. Some of the actions Snow took -- and failed to take -- while in charge of CSX may prove politically troublesome to the White House as his nomination proceeds to the Senate." 12.10.02

DEJEVSKY Why Has War Hawk Wolfowitz Changed His Tone? 12.10.02

CBS "A horrible story spread widely by the first Bush administration prior to the Gulf War about Kuwaiti babies pulled from incubators by invading Iraqis turned out not to be true. The current Bush administration may be also misinforming the public in its efforts to justify a possible second war with Saddam Hussein. One example of misinformation, according to physicist and former weapons inspector David Albright, was the Bush administration’s leak to the media in September about Iraq’s attempt to import aluminum tubes which administration officials claimed were headed for Iraq’s nuclear program. “I think it was very misleading,” says Albright, who directs the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright says the tubes could be possibly used for a nuclear program, but were more suited to conventional weapons production. Government experts thought that too, Albright tells Simon, but administration officials “were selectively picking information to bolster a case that the Iraqi nuclear threat was more imminent than it is, and, in essence, scare people." 12.10.02

BOFFEY "Guessing How Quickly a Terrorist Smallpox Virus Could Spread. " 12.10.02

RAZAVI-FAQIH+URBINA "The current student movement in Iran is broader than dissent over one injustice. " 12.10.02

KRISTOF "While we're all focused on distant Iraq, our neighbor South America is quietly falling apart. " 12.10.02

WP ED "ORGANIZATIONS THAT violate U.S. sanctions on Iraq cannot usually expect sympathy from the Bush administration. Nor can groups that collude with Russian mobsters or Colombian drug gangs. If the allegations recently filed by 10 European governments in a New York district court have merit, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. (RJR) has run a smuggling conspiracy involving all three offenses. Even so, the Bush administration persists in siding with RJR and the other cigarette giants in international... " (archive charge) 12.10.02

MILBANK "DiIulio Saga Highlights Primacy Placed on Secrecy at Bush White House " 12.10.02

NYT Human or Computer? Take This Test. 12.10.02

REESE "Scaring the home folks with "enemies at the gates" is the oldest ploy in human history for justifying an all-powerful government. Give us your money and your liberty, and we will protect you from the barbarians. Of course, the supply of barbarians proves to be infinite, for as soon as one enemy is defeated or collapses, another is manufactured. Unless we find a way to reverse course and return to our republican ways, our imperial government will collapse under the weight of its own profligate spending and corruption. A government that lies, keeps secrets, spies on its own people and tries to control every aspect of their lives is a far cry from the American republic that existed from 1787 to 1865." 12.09.02

MILNER "It won't mean much, if anything, to the sputtering U.S. economy or the direction taken by the Bush administration. This house cleaning was more about politics and optics than policy, as several astute observers noted. Mr. Bush simply removed two outspoken people from key economic posts who had done nothing to inspire confidence on Wall Street or Main Street. The economy remains the greatest political threat to Mr. Bush's chances of a second term, and not even the handy diversion provided by Iraq and the fight against global terrorism will prevent it from becoming the key issue in the next presidential race if the situation continues to deteriorate....Mr. Lindsey may be out of a job simply because of a newspaper column praising him and indicating that he was being undercut by another senior Bush economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, according to one report. The column was penned by arch-conservative Robert Novak..."When you make yourself the story, you're not long for us," a Bush aide confided to U.S. News and World Report before Mr. Lindsey's abrupt departure." 12.09.02

NYT Bush Economic Cheerleaders Said To Be Picked To Tout Giving Tax Cut Money To Rich Quicker Than Originally Planned: "A reduction in taxes on stock dividends, tax law changes to make it easier for companies to write off their investments in new equipment, and probably some acceleration of the timetable under which individual federal income tax rates are to be reduced under last year's tax cut. " 12.09.02

BALZ "Bush remains saddled with an economic plan that was drawn up just before the GOP primaries and caucuses began in 2000. As a result, political as much as economic considerations have shaped the centerpiece of the plan: an extensive tax cut. Fears of an attack from rival Steve Forbes, an ardent tax-cutter from the conservative wing of the party, pushed Bush to demonstrate his own credentials as a tax-cutter, and the campaign's desire to portray Bush as a compassionate conservative prompted the inclusion of provisions aimed at lower-income workers that pushed up its cost. Long before O'Neill arrived, the Bush team had little success countering criticism of the plan as one that tilted heavily toward the wealthiest Americans. " 12.09.02

RALL "Bush's decision to cut income and estate taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations has led to reduced federal funding to states and cities. The result, according to the conservative Barry Goldwater Institute, is a huge budget gap in 2003 for the states and municipalities. "To deal with their prospective budget shortfalls," Jim McTague wrote in September 2002, "20 to 25 states will have to raise taxes, to the combined tune of $30 billion to $35 billion. Throw in the likely aggressive tax hikes by local governments, and the state-and-local tax boost jumps to $40 billion." By December estimates of the looming state tax increases exceeded $100 billion. Bush's "tax cut" is a brazen lie--it's merely a tax shift, from the rich (who pay most of their taxes to the feds) to the middle-class, whose tiny federal cut will be more than erased by a rise in state and local taxes. Conservatives believe that tax cuts stimulate the economy, but we'll never find out this time around. Most Americans will end up paying higher taxes under Bush than they did under Clinton--during a recession, when they can least afford it. " 12.09.02

ALTMAN "A $150 billion package accelerating some of the Bush tax cuts and adding new elements like child credits won't improve the unemployment or growth figures much. Some of the tax cuts would be saved while the remainder would be too small to have much of an impact on an economy this size. Besides, it's the investment sector that is weak now, not the consumer sector. The latter has been steady, with retail sales last month registering a gain. But business investment has declined in each of the past two years, in large part because the heavy investment in technology equipment in the late 1990's simply could not be sustained....In other words, there is no quick fiscal or monetary fix under the present circumstances. There is always room for different tax and spending approaches for the longer term. But Washington could go to sleep for the next year without any real impact on our 2003 economic performance....2004 could see strong growth, but more tax cuts now won't bring that on more quickly." 12.09.02

GOLDSBOROUGH "Paul Wolfowitz, representing the United States, has been to Ankara to ask what Turkey wants in return for supporting the Bush administration's war against Iraq. Wolfowitz wants to buy Turkey's complicity with "billions and billions of dollars," according to one senior U.S. diplomat. The cost to U.S. taxpayers will be high. " 12.09.02

NYT "On budget cliff, California looks at big cuts, new taxes. Republicans have pledged to reject any new taxes, saying that the Democratic governor and Legislature spent their way into the morass and must find program cuts to claw their way out. Democrats respond that the budget shortfall results chiefly from a severe drop in revenue from taxes on capital gains and stock options from the market run-up of the late 1990s and that those lost revenues must be replaced with new taxes. " 12.09.02

HOCKSTADER Bush Outmaneuvered in La. Runoff. "The Republican playbook for deposing Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana was fine-tuned in Washington and battle-tested with glorious results elsewhere in the South: Recruit a plausible challenger. Unleash attack ads skewering the Democrat on taxes and abortion. And for the grand finale, bring in President Bush to campaign at the Republican candidate's side.But something went wrong in the Bayou State....Democratic operatives and political analysts said the Republicans were guilty of political hubris, believing in their own invincibility and therefore overplaying their hand by relying too heavily on negative advertising, and counting too much on Bush's electoral magic.Bush's eleventh-hour visit, and the relentless barrage of advertising attacks on Landrieu, may even have backfired, analysts said, and were probably factors in generating a higher turnout in the core Democratic base of African Americans." 12.09.02

NYT Sen. "Breaux said Ms. Landrieu had almost been foiled by some eternal imponderables, like the necessity of appealing to disparate groups at the same time. "The challenge for Democrats in the South, and probably everywhere, is, how do you keep the base while knowing that you can't win with just the base?" he said. Ms. Landrieu moved to the right in the campaign, which dampened the enthusiasm of black voters. But it was their outpouring in New Orleans that proved crucial to her re-election....Democrats win in the South when they emphasize economic issues, and Republicans win when they emphasize social issues," said Wayne Parent, chairman of the political science department at Louisiana State University. On this point, Mr. Parent said, Ms. Landrieu smartly exploited what she called a secret deal between the Bush administration and Mexico to increase sugar imports, which would hurt Louisiana's sugar industry." 12.09.02

NAGOURNEY Kerry Readies for White House Race Steeped in Foreign Policy. 12.09.02

LYONS "If Democrats want a realistic chance of returning to power, they'll have to confront the entrenched power of the right-wing media and its cowering acolytes among the Washington press. Tom Daschle and Al Gore tried recently, with groaningly predictable results. What both episodes demonstrate is that polite, reasoned discourse won't cut it. " 12.09.02

KEANE "In San Francisco they will come onto the streets if President Bush decides to attack Iraq. There will be thousands of demonstrators, but I doubt that they will count for much while a frightened national majority remains in favour of war. This doesn't make dissent a meaningless gesture: It simply means that fear, the single biggest consequence of 11 September, is the key to understanding the new America." 12.09.02

RIDGEWAY "Since President Bush didn't want an inquiry into 9-11 to begin with, his move to bring Henry Kissinger back onstage seems designed to serve another purpose. Ostensibly appointed to investigate the spy snafus that led to the terrorist attacks, Kissinger lands in Washington at the exact moment Bush is dispatching troops to the Persian Gulf despite a growing stateside movement against invading Iraq and the treacherous diplomatic crosscurrents abroad. Kissinger's return adds several factors to the war on terrorism. First, his knowledge of the Middle East, especially of Saudi Arabian maneuvers at the height of the 1973 energy crisis, can only help Bush in sorting out the basic political lay of the land. And sure enough, the Kissinger commission is already being cast as the coming together of our great wise men: He'll be joined by George Mitchell, and maybe even Warren Rudman and Gary Hart. In all likelihood, the council's first move will be to dampen any suspicions of Saudi involvement in 9-11 and ensure none of the West's Cold War machinations in the Middle East ever see the light of day." 12.09.02

REEVES "Tim Rutten, the media critic of the Los Angeles Times, attacked colleagues and profession last Wednesday for not yelling loud enough when President Bush named Henry Kissinger to be chairman of the official commission investigating U.S. intelligence failures before Sept. 11. " 12.09.02

COCCO "The Nation Is Doing Little to Stop Terrorism. We only know what hasn't worked to stop the terror, or diminish the threat. And we're sticking with it. "12.09.02

HIGHTOWER "Is it possible that Tom Ridge doesn't actually exist, that he's really just an actor from "Saturday Night Live" doing a parody of himself, or that maybe he's even a computerized animatron created by Disney? Real or not, Ridge is our current Homeland Security Czar, and it's a hoot to watch him furrow his brow, purse his lips and, in a deep and solemn voice, make absolutely silly pronouncements about how his agency is Johnnie-on-the-spot to alert us to any terrorist threat and to make us safe from al Qaeda evil-doers. Who does he think he's kidding?" 12.09.02

NP Carter: No reason for for war with Iraq. 12.09.02

NORTON-TAYLOR "Ultimately the logic of the US argument is that, whatever is in the Iraqi declaration, and regardless of whether the UN inspectors find nothing and feel the Iraqis have cooperated, there will still be a case for war - because in that case the US's own undisclosed evidence means that Iraq will have lied and the inspectors been duped. This could drive a wedge between the US and the rest of the security council, including even Britain. " 12.09.02

IND ED "President George Bush, having been persuaded by domestic opinion to go to the UN to seek its authority for war, cannot change the rules of the game simply because the outcome does not suit his prejudices. No evidence - no war. The world should make that clear now, before the Americans try to create any more wriggle room." 12.09.02

CSM "Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person. This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby. For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War." 12.09.02

WP ED "Medical Enron. ENRON AND its successor scandals have shown that one should be skeptical of highly qualified professionals -- in those cases, accountants -- who promise to regulate themselves. This skepticism should now be applied to doctors. As The Post's Sandra G. Boodman reported last week, the medical profession is making scandalously slow progress in reducing the rate of medical errors in hospitals." 12.09.02

NYT "The gun store that supplied the rifle used in the Washington-area sniper attacks was allowed to stay in business despite four investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that found dozens of guns missing and serious violations of federal laws requiring dealers to keep records of weapons they buy and sell, according to court records." 12.09.02

NYT ED "The Bush administration's anti-environmental agenda has been gathering steam since the November elections. First it weakened rules governing industrial air pollution. Then it proposed a major revision in the rules governing management of the national forests. The revision could undermine protections for fish and wildlife. The administration provided the same benign rationale for the forest rules as it did for the air pollution rules. Existing regulations, it said, had become too prescriptive, too costly and too cumbersome. But in the name of regulatory efficiency, the administration would also eliminate mandatory environmental reviews. The only obvious beneficiary would be the timber interests and others who use the forests for commercial purposes.As such, the rules depart from both the spirit and the letter of a bedrock environmental law, the 1976 National Forest Management Act. That law was a response to decades of abuse by managers in the country's 155 national forests and by their bosses in Washington, who were mainly interested in harvesting timber. The law and the subsequent regulations written to give it muscle were designed to make sure that the health of the forest and its wildlife was valued at least as much as the interests of the timber companies." 12.09.02

WP ED "Because the Bush administration and the Forest Service have failed to create a climate of public trust on these issues, the onus is now on Mr. Rey...[a Bush-appointed] former timber industry lobbyist, as the undersecretary of agriculture who oversees the Forest Service ... to satisfy the critics -- if necessary by revising the rules once again." 12.09.02

G+M Canada Backs Kyoto. "Ottawa is offering to cap the amount that business would have to spend to meet Kyoto Protocol targets, and the taxpayer would cover any costs above that, sources say. The move, designed to calm corporate investor fears that their costs might jump if the treaty is ratified, would cap business exposure at $15 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. It represents a bet by the federal government that the costs of implementing the international accord will be far less than the figures its opponents cite, and that taxpayers will not be left with a high tab. " 12.09.02

G+M "Iceland is already preparing for the day when petroleum production ceases and the planet needs an alternative power source. The tiny island is switching to hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the universe. " Why Is Shell Backing Them? 12.09.02

FRIEDMAN "Friends, we are on the edge of a transforming moment for America in the world. If President Bush uses his enormous mandate to prepare for war - in a way that really deals with our political and economic vulnerabilities, increases our own staying power and convinces the world that we have a positive vision and are responsible global citizens - there is a decent chance we can win at a reasonable cost. But if Mr. Bush simply uses his mandate to drive a hard-right agenda and indulge in more feel-good politics, the world will become an increasingly dangerous place for every American - no matter what war we fight, no matter what war we win. " 12.08.02

LAMB "One year after the overthrow of the Taliban, there has been little improvement in the lives of most Afghans. " 12.08.02

WP Bush Dented in La. As Dem Landrieu Holds On For 51% Win. 12.08.02

NYT "Aided by warm, clear weather, the Landrieu campaign succeeded in pulling out enough African-American voters to counter Ms. Terrell's overwhelming support among white voters, a strong commitment from the national Republican Party and a last-minute attempt to discourage blacks from going to the polls." 12.08.02

WP ED "BUSH takes credit for signing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, but then subverts the reality of reform. The latest example was his delay in naming a new commissioner, Ellen L. Weintraub, to the Federal Election Commission. Mr. Bush promised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to install her swiftly, but he waited until after the commission this week decided the critical problem of how to define and regulate spending coordinated among candidates, parties and interest groups. The delay left in place for that rulemaking a lame-duck Democratic commissioner who has repeatedly joined the three Republican commissioners in weakening key provisions of the law and who once again voted for a weak rule. It takes four commissioners to change the rule, so the three Republicans can now make sure their damage is not repaired." 12.08.02

WP New Bush Economic Team, Probably Wall Street Insiders, Will Be Cheerleaders, Not Policy Makers, Expected To Push Bush's Same Old Failed Supply Side Economics. 12.08.02

DOWD "Before the elections, the White House distracted us from its muddled policy on the economy by fussing about Iraq. Now it distracts us from its muddled policy on Iraq by fussing about the economy. " 12.08.02

WP ED We Think Bush Is Leaving Poor Children Behind For The Sake Of His Tax Cuts To The Rich. "Here's the lesson: At the local level, the battle over the future of Head Start is not merely an esoteric intellectual tussle between the child development crowd, which wants poor children to learn life skills, and the early education crowd, which wants them to learn the alphabet. It is also a battle being fought in the context of limited budgets, a burgeoning immigrant population, and heavy federal regulations and administrative requirements." 12.08.02

MH "Neil Bush, a younger brother of Gov. Jeb Bush, is promoting a new business venture in Florida with the potential to benefit from his brother's policies. The Texas-based business, called Ignite, is tailoring software to help middle-school students prepare for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, a standardized test that is the backbone of Gov. Bush's ''A+'' plan that grades schools....The New York Times reported earlier this year that Neil Bush had raised capital around the world to start his new company, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- drawing criticism that he was banking on his brother's international influence....''I don't know where the money's going to come from for this,'' said Ryan Banfill, the Democrats' spokesman. 'These districts are hard pressed to pay for chalk, let alone to put money in the pocket of the Bush family.'" 12.08.02

DPNJ ED "It's a triangle of back-scratching geometry only the First Family could pull off: President Bush signs into law a federal requirement that forces states to rely on standardized testing to measure school achievement. Gov. Jeb Bush makes standardized testing a centerpiece of Florida's A-Plus plan, a scheme that turns students into cash cows for their schools if they perform well on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. And Youngest Brother Neil Bush peddles computer software designed to help students study for the FCAT, at $30 per student....A beacon of ethical conduct, Neil Bush isn't. The surprise, or at least the latest twist in a history of Bush conceits, is that Neil's powerful brothers are letting him so candidly triangulate their policies with his venture." 12.08.02

WOODSIDE "Recess has been disappearing quietly, school by school, for at least two decades. Its demise, and the apathy surrounding it, frame a somber picture of contemporary American childhood. Parents would never put their children on leashes, but they might as well: Children are shuffled from car or bus to school door, then proceed through the motions of a supervised day that more closely resembles house arrest than childhood. " 12.08.02

BBC Daddy Bush's Carlyle buys stake in UK defence labs. 12.08.02

DOWD "Just as George Bailey reverses his life to see how things would have been different, the younger George Bush is reversing his father's life to see how things would have been different. (Rather than Pottersville, W. goes to Cheneyville, a grim, secretive place where the poor are squeezed and the environment is scrooged.) " 12.08.02

WP Bush Getting Ready To Propose Drug Plan That Would Contradict Campaign Promise. "If Bush chooses such an approach, the political path is likely to be tumultuous. Leading House Republicans have favored a more comprehensive drug benefit, and Democrats and advocates for the elderly are declaring their opposition to anything less." 12.08.02

STEVENSON "After a long battle in Congress, Mr. Bush won the right to hire, fire and move the 170,000 workers who will staff the new Department of Homeland Security with more ease than Democrats and public employee unions wanted to give him. He also laid out a plan to transfer as many as 850,000 government jobs - nearly half the federal civilian work force - to private companies as a way to save money and improve performance. Saying the country could not afford to grant a bigger raise in wartime, he set next year's pay increase for 1.8 million federal employees below the level sought by Congress, and then set off a storm by acknowledging that the administration had quietly re-established a bonus pool this year for more than 2,000 political appointees.Ever since he was governor of Texas, Mr. Bush has been a master at blurring ideological lines while hewing by and large to conservative principles. " 12.08.02

NYT ED "The need for swift, collective action was the premise of the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, not further study as the Bush Administration says. " 12.08.02

NYT "Weather in the Arctic was unusually warm and stormy this year, which broke up ice and melted it more readily. The shrinking fits in with the trend since the late 1970's and general predictions of global warming. "It's the kind of change we'd expect to see," said Dr. James Morrison of the University of Washington in Seattle. " 12.08.02

TYLER "'There is a very fine line between showing a seriousness of intent and conveying the impression that you are going to war no matter what happens, and that fine line should not be crossed,' said a United Nations official who spent the week trying to evaluate the statements emanating from Washington. What seemed new this season was that the president, in a prominent interview with Bob Woodward, extended earlier public remarks on how fighting terrorism would be the focus of his presidency into a broader vision that seems almost quixotic. Mr. Bush described his presidency as one devoted to confronting the remaining despotic regimes in the world." 12.08.02

NYT "The United States will soon have enough heavy tanks, warships, aircraft, bombs and troops in the Persian Gulf region to enable it to begin an attack against Iraq sometime in January, senior military officials say. " 12.08.02

WP Baghdad Sends Report. Hussein submits a 12,000-page declaration to U.N. claiming he has no weapons of mass destruction. 12.08.02

DOBBS "As Baghdad complies with the deadline set by the U.N. Security Council and hands over a detailed report on Iraqi weapons programs, few experts in or out of government are expecting to find a smoking gun buried in the mound of documentation.A far more likely result, they say, is further ambiguity about Hussein's arsenal and widely differing opinions about the need for war with Iraq. " 12.08.02

DOWD "Dropping an 11,000-page declaration of their arms programs, Iraqis showed they had learned the art of the document dump from U.S. administrations, which have figured out that the way to confound investigators and the press is to hit them with a paper blizzard. [See Cheney's paper dump of energy records.] By the time the Arabic diary of obfuscation is deciphered, it will be summer again and too hot to fight." 12.08.02

WP ED "'Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,' Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week. If that's the case, then top secrets from the CIA shouldn't be necessary; the facts available to all those other intelligence agencies will do." 12.08.02

SENGUPTA "According to diplomatic sources, Washington does not want to show its intelligence on Iraq to all the UN weapons inspectors, only the ones it trusts – a stance which could set off a row with the UN. If the US gets its way, however, it is possible that "surprise" inspections could be carried out in Iraq before the end of the month, designed to trigger war within weeks." 12.08.02

IND ED "The US and Britain have contrived a situation in which nearly all paths lead to a war. Almost certainly, President Bush and Tony Blair have sought such an outcome from the beginning, and the discussions between them have focused more on the best way to bring this about." 12.08.02

GUARDIAN "Pentagon sources close to Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, insisted it was now 'likely' that Bush would declare Iraq in 'material breach' of last month's security Council Resolution, reveal intelligence of its alleged weapons of mass destruction programmes, and prepare for an attack within weeks....In a further sign of a probable hardening of attitudes, analysts said there were strong domestic reasons to move towards war. 'If you look at the polling numbers, they're very clear,' one Republican Party aide said. 'The American people are quite happy to go along with the President for war at the moment, but are also getting sick of this thing dragging out. The longer he leaves it, the greater the political risk.'" 12.08.02

WP Israeli Settlements Expand. Growth of Jewish outposts in West Bank up sharply since Sharon took office, say opponents. 12.08.02

COOK "Most citizens in the West, and certainly American citizens, do not understand the Palestinian people, their history, and their perception of the existence that has been thrust upon them, what I will label as 'The Stolen Homeland' " 12.08.02

HA'ARETZ "In the Israel of "peace and security," far more Israelis have been and are being killed than in the six or seven countries that are on the "avoid" list. The front is at home and not overseas. Vote Sharon!" 12.08.02

NYT ED "Equal Rights for Gays. The Supreme Court should should remove the blot of Bowers v. Hardwick from its record and extend the full rights of citizenship to gay Americans." 12.08.02

PATTEN "It's definitely not undercover work, walking into a Wal-Mart wearing a t-shirt advocating unionization. But I and several dozen others did just that in Brockton, Massachusetts today. We went armed with shopping lists, the goods headed for local charities, and watched the chattels of the largest retailer in the US scurry about, whispering in fear, then rallying their forces over the store intercom, then finally using the local police to tamp down a potential outbreak of worker rights in their fiefdom. " 12.08.02

AP Bush-Backed Census Method Results In children missed in 2000. Of over 1 million, nearly half were black, Hispanic. 12.07.02

GANNETT 2000 census off by 3.3 million. Undercounts have broad implications for states and cities because census numbers are used to redraw political districts and distribute $185 billion in federal funds annually. The Bush administration resisted making the figures public. [Children, minorities, and immigrants made up the bulk of the undercounted.] 12.07.02

WP Bush Ousts O'Neill and a Top Adviser. Treasury Chief, Key Economic Aide Resign as Jobless Rate Hits 6 Percent. 12.07.02

STEVENSON "The departures of Paul H. O'Neill as treasury secretary and Lawrence B. Lindsey as chief White House economic policy adviser had less to do with a desire to change policy in the face of a troubled economic outlook than with a need to shed the considerable baggage taken on by the two men. A fresh team, administration officials said, should be better able to sell the president's pre-existing agenda. 'This is more about perception than about policy," said Thomas D. Gallagher, a political analyst at ISI Group, an investment firm. "It's about putting a better face on the economic policy rather than on changing it'." 12.07.02

MILBANK "With Cabinet Purge, Bush Admits Plight of Economy. White House seeks to shore up a reelection vulnerability." 12.07.02

BG ED "THE 2004 presidential campaign began at the White House yesterday with the forced resignations of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Lawrence Lindsey, the president's chief economic adviser. President Bush has every right to seek new advisers, but they ought to craft economic policies that go beyond political show and actually help the great mass of Americans get through difficult times." 12.07.02

NYT Wanted: Spokesman Who Can Sell Tax Cuts 12.07.02

WP ED "HE RESIGNATIONS of two top economic officials provides the Bush administration with an opportunity to address its key weakness. Whereas foreign policy since 9/11 has been decisive and, for the most part, well executed, the Bush team's economic policy has combined incoherence with silence on key issues. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, whose resignation was the first to become public, had stumbled from one gaffe to another; he was the president's principal economic spokesman, yet he seemed amazed that people should take his loose comments seriously. Lawrence B. Lindsey, the second official to go yesterday, was a liability for a different reason. As head of the White House National Economic Council, he was supposed to coordinate the economic agendas of different government departments. By all accounts, however, Mr. Lindsey's skills in polemical communication are not matched by managerial skills. " 12.07.02

AP "A federal appeals court, upholding California's assault-weapons ban, decided that the Second Amendment does not guarantee individuals the right to bear arms. The three-judge panel's unanimous ruling Thursday conflicts with Attorney General John Ashcroft's interpretation of the Second Amendment and with a 2001 ruling by the federal Court of Appeals in New Orleans." 12.07.02

WP Dispute Over Leading Prayer Va. County Biased Against Wiccan, ACLU Suit Says. 12.07.02

RICH "A savage dictator is delivering a "full" accounting of his weapons arsenal that only a fool would take for fact, and a president of the United States is pretending (not very hard) to indulge this U.N. rigmarole while he calls up more reserves for the confrontation he seeks. The rest of us are but pawns in a great game that only Joseph Heller could have devised. " 12.07.02

WP Will Today's Iraqui Documents Of Disclosure Be Any Different Than What Saddam Has Provided In The Past? 12.07.02

YIFTACHEL "Without a Palestinian state, Israel will become an increasingly racist regime and continue the downward spiral into the economic, social and moral morass. Or in other words, without an independent Palestine, there will be no Israel within a generation or two. " 12.07.02

NYT ED In a way, it took Bill Clinton himself to tell his deflated fellow Democrats that the Clinton party is over." " 12.07.02

NYT Fever of Pitches at End of a Close Senate Race in Louisiana.. 12.07.02

WP "Lott's tribute to Thurmond seen as racist. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi has provoked criticism by saying the United States would have been better off if then- segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948." 12.07.02

FAIR Is It HBO's "Live From Baghdad" Or "Lies About Baghdad"? 12.06.02

O'KANE "US propaganda fueled the first Gulf war. It will fuel this one too - and the risks are even greater. " 12.06.02

PFAFF "Totalitarian Thinking: Stop Calling Islam the Enemy. " 12.06.02

FAIR The Most Biased Name In News: Fox News Channel's Extraordinary Right Wing Tilt 12.06.02

DIONNE "It took conservatives a lot of hard and steady work to push the media rightward. It dishonors that work to continue to presume that -- except for a few liberal columnists -- there is any such thing as the big liberal media. The media world now includes (1) talk radio, (2) cable television and (3) the traditional news sources (newspapers, newsmagazines and the old broadcast networks). Two of these three major institutions tilt well to the right, and the third is under constant pressure to avoid even the pale hint of liberalism. These institutions, in turn, influence the burgeoning world of online news and commentary.What it adds up to is a media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians. Kudos to the right. Now, what will the rest of us do about the new bias?" 12.06.02

FAIR FCC Ready to Roll Back Limits on Media Consolidation. 12.06.02

KRUGMAN Act Now. Time Is Running Out For The Internet As We Know It. 12.06.02

BW It's Time To Say Goodby. 12.06.02

SCHEER "Even if truth serum could be slipped into his morning espresso, Kissinger still would be an appalling choice to lead what should be the fearless, unbiased fact-finding investigation necessary to prevent future tragedies like the destruction of the World Trade Center towers." 12.06.02

TIMES Inspectors angered by US claims over Iraqi weapons. 12.06.02

FISK "This extraordinary, grim scenario comes from an American intelligence officer just back from Afghanistan who agreed to talk to The Independent – and to supply his own photographs of prisoners – on condition of anonymity. His prognoses were chilling and totally at variance with the upbeat briefings of the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Even in Pakistan, he says, middle-ranking Pakistani army officers are tipping off members of al-Qa'ida to avoid American-organised raids." 12.06.02

MC GREAL "Ariel Sharon has laid out his terms for Palestinian independence with a vision of an emasculated and demilitarised state built on less than half the land of the occupied territories, and without Yasser Arafat as its leader." 12.06.02

LAMBERT "Swift work in Iraq would boost the US economy. " 12.06.02

WP Unemployment Rate Surges. 6 percent rate in November is the highest level in almost nine years. 12.06.02

WP Governors Shift Fiscal Blame. States assail Bush federal government as major culprit in widening crises. 12.06.02

WP "Sen. John McCain accused President Bush yesterday of breaking a written promise to speedily appoint a Democrat to the Federal Election Commission, reigniting their roiling feud just as McCain is about to regain the post of chairman of the Senate commerce committee.McCain (R-Ariz.) said he will "assume all future assurances and promises by this administration to be quite possibly insincere." 12.06.02

NYT ED "The credit reporting industry says that convenient credit has been fuel for the American economy and should not be hampered," even by theft of your identity, and Bush tacitly agrees. 12.06.02

KALYANI Privacy Under Greater Threat after 9/11: Report. 12.06.02

NYT Louisiana Race Becomes a Mud Fight.12.06.02

BOROSAGE "The Democratic muddle continues in post-election hangover. The corporate wing of the party, the Democratic Leadership Council, once more urges the party to move even further to the right. Former president Clinton, who should know, bemoans the fact that Republicans have a "personal destruction" machine and Democrats don't. House Democrats chose a strong liberal, Nancy Pelosi, as their leader and immediately surrounded her with "the guys" who fear a liberal bent. At this point, it isn't clear the party can stand up and fight for anything." 12.06.02

TRISTAM "What B-52s do to soften up enemy ground ahead of a military invasion, "Bush At War" is doing to soften up Bush's coming war on Iraq and possibly more. Because "Bush at War" is above all a Portrait of the President As a Grown-Up, but a grown-up who seems to have no qualms about remaking the world in line with his messianic visions. "I'm here for a reason, and this is going to be how we're going to be judged," Bush said shortly after Sept. 11, explaining why the attacks would prove to be such a huge "opportunity." "There's nothing bigger than to achieve world peace," he would say again and again a Miss America-like idealist, but as Commander in Chief of the most lethal army in history. The book's implications are frightening not just because they raise the very questions that aren't being asked, but because the "inside" information coincides so accurately with what's been perceived on the outside all along. The attacks of Sept. 11 were a pretext, and so is the so-called war on terrorism. The aim is much larger. The question is not whether the Bush cabinet will take on that aim, or whether it can convince Americans to endorse it. The question is how, and when....The book's title summarizes the 352-page manifesto without meaning to be so reductively simple minded. And yet the meaning of the Bush White House is exactly that simple, that mindless. It is about Bush's war not the nation's, not the world's. To a president who thinks he's personally doing God's work and the world a favor, a doctrine needs be no more complicated than "you're either with us or against us," with one correction. He actually means, "You're either with me or against me." Richard Nixon would be proud." 12.05.02

GREIDER "It's not always only about the money. It's also about roaring egotism, the kind of imperial self-gratification the members of a privileged club operating on vast unaccountable power expect. In a twisted way, Grubman's messages were meant to defend his integrity-- he wasn't hyping stock values for personal gain, he was doing it as fatherly duty. For love, not for money. The self-portrait is probably sincere--how the players truly see themselves (and their drooling customers). Insider duplicity is the routine, milking the herd a daily chore. Why the fuss? Didn't you know this is how Wall Street works? " 12.05.02

COX "U.S. popularity has plunged across much of the world amid mounting perceptions that the United States is running roughshod over other nations and doing too little to help poor countries, a report released yesterday concludes. Growing anti-Americanism could make it increasingly difficult for leaders of democratic nations to support controversial U.S. initiatives, such as President Bush's call for assertive action against Iraq. It also threatens the stability of autocratic regimes that back U.S. policies.Those are among the key findings of the report released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a widely respected public opinion outfit. President Bush blamed the trend on "propaganda machines" bent on casting the United States "in a bad light." Said Bush: "We'll do everything we can to remind people that we've never been a nation of conquerors; we're a nation of liberators. But former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was chairwoman for the Pew survey, said part of the problem is a tendency by Bush to muscle other countries into going along with his views. "Basically, we tell other people what to do, rather than try to get consensus," she told a group of reporters. 'That ultimately will have a cost.'" 12.05.02

G+M "Anti-Americanism is growing just about everywhere in the world -- except in Canada, that is.In much of the world, discontent with the United States is up sharply since George W. Bush took over as President....People are generally more critical of U.S. policies than they are of U.S. values. People everywhere seem to admire U.S. technology and culture, but not the spread of U.S. ideas and customs." 12.05.02

HUFFINGTON "The haphazard lawmaking [in the Bush-signed Homeland Security bill]...proved baffling for pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, and for White House budget director Mitch Daniels, a former Lilly executive, who made a very public show of disavowing any knowledge of the amendment's mystifying genesis. Gosh, maybe the little provision just flew down from heaven. Or was immaculately conceived. Or maybe Osama bin Laden snuck over and planted the little public policy bomb himself. The outrageous rider stuck onto the end of the Homeland Security bill provides security for Lilly from suits filed by the families of autistic children who believe that their kids' condition is linked to Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative made by Lilly that used to be a common ingredient in childhood vaccines." 12.05.02

CONASON "Before he became a vaunted White House turncoat, DiIulio openly criticized the Bush administration for its lack of compassion. " 12.05.02

MC GRORY "You probably thought you'd never see the day when George I's record for bizarre personnel picks might be challenged, but Pater Bush has been outdone by his own son. George W.'s choice of Henry Kissinger to lead the probe into what went on before 9/11 is right up there with Dad's big-time howlers: Vice President Dan Quayle and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In both cases, George I thought he had pulled a fast one. Quayle would melt female voters, show youth how cool Bush really was. Thomas was irresistible: Democrats, no matter how repelled by his views, would not dare vote against a black nominee." 12.05.02

GANTENBEIN The lousy economics of Bush's new forest policy. 12.05.02

FREEDLAND "This surely is the smart formula: a hawk's face for the killers, a dove's for the cheerers....Tough on terror, tough on the causes of terror. It seems straightforward enough, yet rarely is that simple logic articulated. The right denounces any attempt even to understand the grievances that sustain terrorism as limp-wristed collusion with terror. The left, meanwhile, often makes the same category mistake, confusing any attack on hardcore terrorists with an assault on the wider constituency that surrounds them - as if a zealous desire to crush al-Qaida is an automatic declaration of war on Islam. Both are wrong." 12.05.02

BORGER "In a particularly worrying sign for the Turkish government, which on Tuesday gave the US a cautious green light for the use of its bases for an attack on Iraq, the survey found that 83% of Turks objected to their country being used as a launching pad for an invasion... Most Turks interviewed said they believed the campaign against Saddam was part of a general war against unfriendly Muslim countries, and had nothing to do with the threat posed by the Iraqi dictator." 12.05.02

O'KANE "The US propaganda machine is already gearing up. In its sights already is Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector. He's too much of a softie for Saddam, the former CIA director James Wolsey told the Today programme last week. His work is of "limited value". He was Kofi Annan's "second choice"... What next? Blix's granny is Iraqi? He has a drugs problem?" 12.05.02

NYT "The Pentagon is preparing for a major call-up of National Guard and Reserve troops, a move that would fill military jobs that would be critical if the United States goes to war against Iraq. " 12.05.02

TIME "Investigators are worried that last week's attacks against Israeli interests might be intended to divert attention while al-Qaida plans a "spectacular attack." 12.05.02

SHAVIT "Life in Jerusalem, a once-vibrant city that is vanishing amid violence and bloodshed. Hundreds of thousands of residents have left the area in search of a better life, but many remain out of loyalty to what was and what could have been." 12.05.02

WP "Smallpox Vaccine Reactions Jolt Experts. From Rashes to Fevers, Array of Side Effects Is...Startling." 12.05.02

WP ED "WITHOUT MUCH FANFARE, the Bush administration has been slowly preparing American health care workers to be vaccinated against smallpox, the deadly disease that was eliminated in its natural form in 1980 but that exists in laboratories in the United States, Russia and, possibly, Iraq and North Korea. State public health officials have submitted plans detailing how they would organize a mass smallpox vaccination if the disease were deliberately reintroduced by terrorists. Next week they will identify which health care workers will need to be vaccinated in advance simply in order to carry out those plans. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin a formal training program for the doctors and nurses who will give the vaccination to those workers who volunteer to receive it. After the president gives the word -- an announcement is expected any day now -- deliveries of the vaccine, out of use in the United States since 1971, will begin. " 12.05.02

NYT ED "The recent backroom political maneuver that gave Eli Lilly protection against lawsuits for damage allegedly caused by a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines was not only an abuse of Congressional process. Its more pernicious effect was to fan fears about the safety of vaccines and the ingredients used to protect them from dangerous contamination." 12.05.02

SWEENEY "Bush wants welfare recipients to marry -- but not have kids. " 12.05.02

AP "Labor Department officials, citing poor economic conditions, said they are acting to repeal the Birth and Adoption Unemployment Compensation Rule to protect states' unemployment insurance trust funds for laid-off workers, even though no state has chosen to pay for leave with those funds.... AFL-CIO President John Sweeney criticized the proposed repeal. It ‘‘reflects profound mistrust of states to make wise choices" in administering their unemployment insurance programs, he said. " 12.05.02

WP ED "IN SOME RESPECTS, the oral arguments on the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law that began yesterday before a special three-judge panel in Washington resembled spring training. How much of the law is upheld will be decided by the Supreme Court; yesterday's arguments were prologue. Still, both sides brought out their big legal guns for a case that could help define the shape of the American political system in coming decades. For if the political parties, interest groups and labor unions challenging the law prevail, they will effect a profound change in American society: Corruption will have been transformed into a legal right guaranteed by the Constitution itself.. " 12.05.02

COHEN "Is Al Gore destined to be the Adlai Stevenson of our age? Stevenson, who also came from a political family (his grandfather was Grover Cleveland's vice president), won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956 and both times was defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stevenson was considered an intellectual -- an "egghead" in the jargon of the day -- witty and erudite. Ike, on the other hand, was a clumsy speaker, a syntax-mangler who supposedly thought no great thoughts. He won both times in a walk. " 12.05.02

CQ "Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana increased the rate at which she backed President Bush during the second session of the 107th Congress, a new vote study by Congressional Quarterly shows. Throughout her difficult re-election campaign, which ends in a runoff Dec. 7 against state Elections Commissioner Suzanne Haik Terrell, Landrieu has sought to fend off Republicans' charges that she is too liberal by declaring herself one of her party's strongest supporters of Bush's policies.Landrieu voted with Bush on 85 percent of votes on which the president stated a position -- up from the 2001 presidential support score of 74 percent that Landrieu has touted frequently during her campaign. Landrieu has used that number in her bid to reach out to conservative white voters who tend to decide elections in Louisiana. But she has faced a difficult balancing act, since being seen as too conservative could alienate loyal Democratic voters, including members of the state's African-American constituency." 12.05.02

FEATHERSTONE "Wal-Mart is not only a horrifyingly stingy employer: Many workers say it is also a sexist one. From the Third World factories in which its cheap products are made, to the floor of your local Wal-Mart, where they're displayed and sold, it is women who bear the brunt of the company's relentless cost-cutting. Ellen Rosen, a resident scholar in Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Program, recently observed that around the world, Wal-Mart's business practices 'may be leading to a new kind of globally sanctioned gender discrimination.'" 12.05.02

SHEEHAN-MILES "In what may be a landmark Supreme Court case to overturn the Miranda decision, the court is scheduled to hear arguments from Solicitor General Theodore Olsen on December 4, 2002. Bush's political appointee intends to claim our government has the right to coerce information from a witness, as long as the evidence obtained isn't used at trial against the witness....Olsen plans to argue the police can detain or arrest anyone for any reason and then beat you up or even shoot you to get information, even if there are no emergent circumstances. In other countries, this is called torture. In our country, we have the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution designed to prevent such horrendous abuses by the police." 12.04.02

WP ED "Although the strategic consequences of an Iraq war far outweigh the cost issues, these costs will have to be met somehow. Moreover, the Iraq war is only one part of Mr. Bush's determination to preempt security threats, which encompasses an ambitious homeland security effort, an expanded defense budget and a willingness to slow the gears of trade and international finance by increasing the burden of inspection by customs officials and terrorism-finance task forces.Mr. Bush is failing particularly to face up to the second point. He has failed, for example, to propose a war tax to pay for the cost of containing terrorism and Iraq. He argues, to the contrary, that taxes should be cut, even beyond the already unaffordable tax cut of last year. And he behaves this way despite an expert consensus that the budget will plunge into sustained deficits once the baby boomers start to retire, even before you take account of the increased security costs that now seem likely. A president who believes in preempting problems ought to show more courage." 12.04.02

NYT "Bill Clinton said yesterday that the Democratic Party had lost the midterm elections because its candidates had failed to offer a convincing case that the party could manage national security during dangerous times. " 12.04.02

DOWD "Bill Clinton, the president who used to ape Ronald Reagan, told Democrats yesterday what they must do to take on George W. Bush, the president who now apes Ronald Reagan. They've got to get the Gipper swagger."When people are feeling insecure," a ruddy Mr. Clinton instructed a Democratic Leadership Council meeting at New York University, "they'd rather have someone who is strong and wrong rather than somebody who is weak and right." Democrats have been turned into eunuchs by the warlike Bushies. Some are skittering left. Some are skittering right." 12.04.02

WP Kerry Blasts Bush's Tax Cuts, Offers Own Plan. 12.04.02

GORDON "You Go, Joe. Al Gore's choice of Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman for vice-president was about the only thing that went right with that campaign. Now Lieberman aims to make history at the top of the ticket -- if only Gore would step out of his way. " 12.04.02

WP "Bush Goes for 'Icing' in Louisiana. GOP Pours Cash Into Senate Race Viewed as '04 Test "12.04.02

WOLFF "One Nation Under Fox. Earnest politics makes for bad TV-which is why the scrappy, outsider, underdog approach championed by Fox News has made it the new psychic heart of the Republican Party." 12.04.02

ZERBISIAS "I gotta stop watching CNN because, when my dog looks guilty because I am screaming at the TV, something is rotten in state of media columnizing. " 12.04.02

HARTMANN "Talking Back To Talk Radio - Fairness, Democracy, and Profits... It's time to revitalize democracy and rational political discourse by returning balance to our nation's airwaves, and the profits to be made in this huge unfilled niche may be just the catalyst to bring it about. " 12.04.02

NYT "The White House has decided that several thousand political appointees across the federal government will be eligible for cash bonuses, abandoning a Clinton-era prohibition that grew out of questionable practices in the first Bush administration. " 12.04.02

BRODER "The same president who says, with a straight face, that a $1 billion federal pay raise would "interfere with . . . the war on terrorism" insists the tax cut can go forward as if the budget were still in surplus and al Qaeda had never struck. The mixed message to federal workers -- words of praise followed by a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings -- comes as administration officials and private foundations are trying to persuade thousands of talented young people to take up government careers and replace those who are slated for retirement. " 12.04.02

KUTTNER "THE NEWLY elected Republican Congress has not even taken its seats yet, but one key GOP objective that most Republican candidates ducked during the campaign is already back in play - Social Security. The White House has let it be known that privatization could be on the agenda as early as next year. " 12.04.02

WP "The Bush administration acknowledges that global warming poses serious problems, but senior officials speaking at a climate-change policy conference yesterday said numerous uncertainties remain about global warming's cause and effects. They urged caution in committing the country to long-term solutions that might hurt the economy. " 12.04.02

WP "Although they disagree about how to strengthen the health care system.... democrats tend to favor health care approaches that rely on public insurance programs; the GOP tends to favor reliance on the private marketplace.... liberals and conservatives say Congress's inaction will have a corrosive effect on states, employers, health care professionals and patients, particularly when medical inflation is soaring and more people -- 41 million at last count -- are becoming uninsured. " 12.04.02

NYT "Some companies have repeatedly disseminated misleading advertisements for prescription drugs, even after being cited for violations, and millions of people see the deceptive commercials before the government tries to halt them, Congressional investigators said today. " 12.04.02

CSM "Can anti-abortion activists be sued for racketeering? The high court considers whether a law used against mafia groups can be brought into the abortion arena." 12.04.02

PAGE "Kissinger Should Be Subject of an Investigation, Not Leader of One. " 12.04.02

FRIEDMAN "An Islamic Reformation. What's going on in Iran today is precisely the war of ideas within Islam that is the most important war of all. " 12.04.02

BG "The Iraqi government said yesterday it would declare all of its arms programs to the United Nations a day before the Sunday deadline, and it allowed a weapons inspection team to carry out a surprise check of one of Saddam Hussein's presidential sites. But Iraq officials continued to deny that the country still harbors weapons of mass destruction, as both Washington and London firmly attest." 12.04.02

MOWBRAY Bush war cabinet close to decision. 12.04.02

FISK " "In North Carolina last month, a woman attending a lecture I was giving asked me when America would go to war in Iraq. I told her to watch the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post for the first smear campaigns against the UN inspectors. And bingo, right on time, the smears have begun." 12.04.02

PLESCH "President Bush may have put an invasion of Iraq on hold until it can best help his 2004 re-election campaign. The administration would prefer to see change in Iraq by subtler means than 300,000 troops and mass bombing. He does not want to relive his father's experience of winning a war a year too early and finding that come the election the victory was forgotten or, worse, the post-war peace was turning sour." 12.04.02

KRUGMAN "The [Wall Street] Journal is terrified that future tax cuts might include token concessions to ordinary families; it wants to ensure that everything goes to corporations and the wealthy. But the political theory revealed by the editorial - policy should be nasty to people with low incomes, lest they have any good feelings about government - may explain a lot of what has been happening lately. For example, House Republicans recently refused to extend unemployment insurance. Their inaction means that later this month more than 800,000 workers will receive Merry Christmas letters from the government, telling them that their benefits have been cut off. This would have been a harsh decision under any circumstances. At a time when the administration says we need further tax cuts to stimulate demand, slashing the incomes of the very households most likely to cut their spending sounds like a lose-lose proposition. But once you realize that pain is good because it makes citizens hate their government, it all makes sense." 12.03.02

NYT ED "A year after Enron filed for bankruptcy, a victim of its own hubris and accounting shenanigans, the regulatory agency charged with avoiding such corporate scandals is in a shocking state of leaderless disarray. The current Securities and Exchange Commission is in no condition to spot and head off future Enrons. President Bush must begin restoring the shattered agency by appointing a strong chairman to replace the departing, unlamented [and Bush-backed] Harvey Pitt. " 12.03.02

HUFFINGTON "As the war on terror shows troubling signs of becoming a war of error, the Bush administration is waging a far more successful war on behalf of its corporate backers. The latest victory comes courtesy of Congress' 11th hour reversal of a provision in the Homeland Security Bill banning government contracts for companies that move offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes." 12.03.02

CONASON "In a few days, Esquire's long, extraordinary account of how national policy is manipulated by the "Mayberry Machiavellis," otherwise known as Karl Rove and his political staff, will arrive at your local newsstands....While you wait, I can offer a few choice quotes from John DiIulio, former director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, whose disillusioning experience is at the center of Suskind's story. " 12.03.02

COHEN "Back in October the Rev. Jerry Falwell called Muhammad, the founder of Islam, a terrorist. This set off riots in India and may have contributed to the good showing of religious parties in the Pakistani election. About two weeks after he made the remark, Falwell retracted it. I think Falwell is an idiot. I will issue a retraction later. " 12.03.02

DH "JUST LIKE AL SAID! Russert pushed them RNC points. Somebody go wake Fred Barnes! " 12.03.02

AP Kerry Steps Up Attacks on Bush Policies. 12.03.02

WP ED "WITH HIS FIRST step toward a formal announcement of a run for the presidency, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry joins a fellow New Englander, Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont, in officially exploring a bid for the 2004 Democratic nomination. Both candidates have labored in the shadows of higher-profile politicians from their respective states, and they can soon expect to share the field with Democratic contenders who may start with greater name recognition and broader bases of voter support. But John Kerry's formation of an exploratory committee is not to be taken lightly. His entry gives Democrats a candidate well-grounded in issues much on the minds of many Americans, such as national and economic security, education and health care. He has a strong record of service, both in uniform and in public office. " 12.03.02

WP Landrieu Works to Solidify Black Base in Overtime Senate Contest. 12.03.02

SFC California won an important round in a battle with the Bush administration and oil companies Monday when a federal appeals court blocked renewal of oil leases off the California coast while the state studies their possible impact on the coastline. 12.03.02

BBC "Actor and director Robert Redford has accused US President George Bush of a "lack of leadership" for failing to convince America to cut down its use of fossil fuels. " 12.03.02

ABC "Is it an unconstitutional invasion of privacy for couples to be prosecuted for what they do in their own homes? Is it unconstitutional for states to treat gays and lesbians differently by punishing them for having sex while allowing heterosexual couples to engage in the same acts without penalties?...The Supreme Court has struggled with how much protection the Constitution offers in the bedroom. The court ruled 5-4 in 1986 that consenting adults have no constitutional right to private homosexual sex, upholding laws that ban sodomy.The latest case gives the court a chance to overturn that decision and strike down sodomy laws in Texas and 12 other states."I think most Americans would be shocked that there are still laws like this on the books," said the Texas men's lawyer, Ruth Harlow, legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York. She said the latest census found more than 600,000 households of same-sex partners in America, including about 43,000 in Texas. " 12.03.02

WP "THE SUPREME COURT yesterday agreed to reconsider its ugly 1986 decision upholding state bans on homosexual sex. Back then, the court held that the right to privacy did not protect consenting adults in their own bedrooms from the criminal law. But the court did not consider the far better argument against these noxious laws: that they irrationally discriminate against gay men and lesbians who are doing no harm to anyone. The current case, which involves Texas's law against "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex," offers a good opportunity for some sober second thoughts. " 12.03.02

FRANK "The Pentagon's recent purge of seven Arabic-language specialists -- people working in a field vital to the war on terrorism -- provides dramatic evidence that the country's policy on gays in the military urgently needs review....Not only does evidence show that allowing gays to serve openly does not undermine military effectiveness, the purge of intelligence experts and linguists suggests that the ban is hurting national security. " 12.03.02

NYT ED "Henry Kissinger seems to have a rather quaint idea about the ethical standards he should follow in directing a comprehensive inquiry into the government's handling of terrorist threats in the years preceding Sept. 11. If we correctly understood his comments over the weekend, Mr. Kissinger believes that he needn't detach himself from his consulting firm and can judge for himself when his work for a client might present a conflict of interest with the investigation. He even declines to identify his clients. That may be his and Dick Cheney's idea of good government, but it won't wash. This isn't the Nixon administration. " 12.03.02

POLLACK "The Secret Life of Henry Kissinger " 12.03.02

WP ED "AFTER TWO postponements, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is finally paying a visit to Colombia, the third-largest recipient of U.S. aid and a vital democratic ally in Latin America. It's a propitious moment: Colombia's new president, Alvaro Uribe, has blazed through his first 100 days with a host of aggressive initiatives, ranging from new taxes and security measures to secret talks with outlaw paramilitary groups. Yet the suspicion in Bogota is that Mr. Powell's arrival has less to do with domestic developments than with the fact that Colombia is about to take over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council -- and thus may soon have a key influence in council decisions on Iraq. That shouldn't be the case: Colombia is at its own critical juncture in a war with drug traffickers and terrorists, and it needs close U.S. engagement and support. " 12.03.02

GUARDIAN ED "The government's dossier on human rights abuses in Iraq amounts to a strong indictment of Saddam Hussein. But it does not strengthen the case for invading Iraq. Foreign secretary Jack Straw cannot have it both ways. The avowed purpose of UN resolution 1441, and US and British policy, is to disarm Saddam of weapons of mass destruction that may threaten world peace. Mr Straw claimed yesterday that this will also "deprive Saddam of his most powerful tools for keeping the Iraqi people living in fear and subjugation". That is wishful thinking. As the dossier shows, Saddam's dictatorship is efficiently maintained by conventional means such as arbitrary execution and torture and other crude forms of intimidation. To be absolutely sure of ending this "reign of terror", Mr Straw would have to set regime change in Baghdad as Britain's objective." 12.03.02

YOUNG "The official American line is, in a way, simplistic. Perhaps it has to be. Americans understand the war may be hard to win, especially if it reduces to an urban battle for every street in Baghdad. But they cannot believe they might be less popular than the regime they will replace. The sense of a democratic future for Iraq, its 23 million educated citizens cohering round a new prosperity and being transformed from the pariah to the role model in the Middle East, reveals the power of optimistic fantasy to sweep aside all difficulties." 12.03.02

HA'ARETZ "Israel is now rated second in the Western world, after the United States, in terms of social gaps in income, property, capital, education and spending, as well as in the extent of poverty. While many countries have suffered from a widening of social gaps caused by the influence of globalization and the technological revolution over the past 20 years, this trend is more pronounced in Israel than elsewhere." 12.03.02

MC GREAL "The Israeli army yesterday pasted notices ordering property seizures and house demolitions the length of a street in Hebron that Ariel Sharon wants to use to link two belligerent Jewish settlements... The order horrified but did not surprise the residents of Al-Haram street after the prime minister's call three weeks ago for what Palestinians say amounts to ethnic cleansing and a land grab. But they still do not know whether their homes are to be destroyed or handed over to settlers." 12.03.02

HUGGLER "On the sidelines of the wake yesterday, the wanted man, Hisham Salem, spoke to us. Did the demolition of the house deter him from further attacks on Israelis? "On the contrary," he said. 'These acts give us new momentum to resist the occupation, and fight till we liberate our holy land.' The helicopters were still on the horizon." 12.03.02

KRISTOF "The story of the Dai family in remote China is a reminder that we're not doing much to prepare for perhaps the most important long-term trend in the world — the rise of China. " 12.03.02

WOLFENSOHN "Four hundred million disabled people live in the world's developing countries. All too often their lives go hand in hand with poverty, isolation and despair. As the world marks the International Day of Disabled Persons today, we need to heed those who are not listened to within their societies, whose disabilities are often used against them to keep them from going to school, finding work or being visible in their own neighborhoods." 12.03.02

UPI "Marijuana use among adolescents does not appear to act as a "gateway" leading to the use of harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin, researchers reported Monday. " 12.03.02

MST Workers at the nation's only unionized peep show say their management's contract offer is too skimpy. 12.03.02

HIGDON "I have questioned in the past whether there will be free elections for Americans come the year 2004....It seems to me that when touch screen computer voting is instituted in many key states, and when the source codes for those computers are written by heavy contributors to a single party, but not inspected by unaligned auditors, it is more than a legitimate question to ask. " 12.02.02

NAUSSBAUM "John Rawls has sometimes been portrayed as a kind of natural saint, who effortlessly put others first. I believe the reality was more complicated and more admirable than that: he had a keen sense of the emotions that make for injustice, yet waged a constant struggle for justice. I recall a conversation with him about Wagner's "Tristan," when I was a young faculty member. I made some Nietzschean jibes about the otherworldliness of Wagnerian passion and how silly it all was. Mr. Rawls, with sudden intensity, said to me that I must not make a joke about this. Wagner was absolutely wonderful and therefore extremely dangerous. You had to see the danger, he said, to comprehend how bad it would be to be seduced by that picture of life, with no vision of the general good. America has increasingly moved away from John Rawls. Inequalities have grown, and the electorate seems largely indifferent to them. But our own greed and partiality can hardly diminish the virtues of his distinguished work. Perhaps we can regard the occasion of his death as a challenge to look into ourselves and identify the roots of those selfish passions that eclipse, so much of the time, the vision of the general good. Purity of heart would be to see clearly what has blocked that vision and to act with grace and self-command toward the general good. " 12.02.02

GOLDSBOROUGH "Americans said the economy was their main priority in the Nov. 5 election, and then voted as if it weren't. They said Democrats were more likely to improve the economy and then voted for Republicans. The economy is weak - investment off, unemployment up and consumer confidence at its lowest levels in a decade. Stocks are headed for their third straight yearly decline, something not seen since 1939-1941....Bush's long-term tax cuts won't help at all. The price tag for those tax cuts, 40 percent of which benefit the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers, is $550 billion. That will increase deficits and debt even without counting the costs of war with Iraq." 12.02.02

HERBERT "'Amid the current economic downturn, the fall of the stock market, and federal and state budget crises, fiscal conditions in America's cities are also declining,' according to the latest research report from the National League of Cities.Politicians have been reluctant to speak candidly about these problems, probably because they have so little to offer in the way of solutions. Now, with budgets being held together with little more than safety pins and wishful thinking, the only options being presented to startled citizens are substantially higher taxes or draconian cuts in services, or both.That may not be enough." 12.02.02

WP "Immigrants Make Up Half Of New U.S. Workers. New study of census data concludes that they were critical to the nation's economic growth in the past decade. " 12.02.02

WP Kissinger: No Conflict Of Interest 12.02.02

BW Let Us Be The Judge Of That, Mr. Kissinger 12.02.02

WSWS ED "Bush picks Kissinger to head official probe: new stage in the September 11 coverup. " 12.02.02

RALL Does Bush's Privacy Doomsday Machine, TIA, Stand For "Totally Idiotic Americans"? 12.02.02

NYT Ex-Aide Insists White House "Mayberry Machiavellis" Put Politics Ahead of Policy 12.02.02

RASPBERRY "I've been trying to figure out why people like Attorney General John Ashcroft frighten me. More accurately, I'm been trying to figure out how to say it in a way that makes sense. I think I know the source of my fear: the danger of an imposed theocracy. " 12.02.02

AP "Without renouncing the affirmation of the force of the evangelical message, it is an important work in the torn world of today that Christians be men of dialogue and work against that clash of civilizations that at times seems inevitable," Pope John Paul said Friday. 12.02.02

AP "In an unprecedented show of unity, Chicago's top Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have drafted a joint letter urging President Bush to avoid war with Iraq. It is the first public statement on any national issue by the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago since the group was founded in 1984. " 12.02.02

WP Antiwar Movement Grows. Diverse groups - from mothers to labor, churches to veterans - rally against war on Iraq. 12.02.02

WHITAKER "In a thinly-veiled rehearsal for war in Iraq, the United States is preparing an unprecedented military exercise in Qatar to test its command structure... The exercise, codenamed Internal Look, is the strongest signal yet that the US intends to wage a possible war from the Gulf state famous for its maverick TV station, al-Jazeera." 12.02.02

SENGUPTA "United Nations weapons inspectors continued their checks around Baghdad yesterday while the death toll from an attack by American and British warplanes was being exaggerated in the capital... The rumours added to the fatalism of the Iraqi people, who see the inspections as merely a cosmetic precursor to a US-led invasion. Even before the first shots have been fired, the already tottering Iraqi economy is on the brink of collapse under the threat of impending conflict." 12.02.02

REESE "The state of Iraq has done nothing in the past nine years that would in any way justify the United States in making war against it. The president's sudden interest in enforcing United Nations resolutions is hypocritical. There are many countries that ignore U.N. resolutions, most especially Israel, just as there are many countries that have weapons of mass destruction, including Israel. Furthermore, it was not Iraq that "kicked out" the U.N. inspectors in 1998. They were withdrawn so the United States and Great Britain could bomb Baghdad. Since that inspection team was riddled with spies and had made it clear that no matter what Iraq did, the sanctions would not be lifted, it is no surprise that Iraq refused to re-admit them. Furthermore, the fact that Saddam Hussein is a dictator should be of no concern to us. We have neither the moral nor legal right to go around the world deciding who should and should not rule other countries. I hope no American is so naive as to imagine that the leaders of China are democratic choices; in that case, we have literally crawled into bed with a government that has a record of having murdered more than 60 million people. " 12.02.02

GUARDIAN "(Graham) Greene's fiction has often riled Americans, but it appears that in real life too, his views caused the US government some concern... Documents obtained by the Guardian under the US Freedom of Information Act disclose how officials in Washington went to extraordinary lengths to compile secret reports on the distinguished novelist over 40 years as he travelled the world in support of anti-US causes." 12.02.02

BAROUD "When will we treasure the lives of all nations on an equal level, whether American, Afghani, Iraqi, Israeli, Palestinian, Turkish, Kurdish, Russian, Chechen and all others? How long will we remain blinded by empty slogans, unexplained hatred and pretentious condemnations? " 12.02.02

GOLDSBOROUGH "The Bush administration's obsession with Iraq has diverted its attention from more important issues, starting with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If that conflict could be resolved, the single greatest source of terrorism would be eliminated.... We have entered the world of the absurd: Bombing strengthens those whose policies guarantee more bombing. Those who would end the bombing are rejected as dangerous." 12.02.02

YOUNGE "Israeli and Australian holidaymakers can no more escape the horrors of terrorism on the beach than Palestinians can escape the tyranny of the Israeli army in their own homes or Afghan refugees can flee their incarceration at the hands of the Australian government. The same is true for the British, Americans and every other democratic nation." 12.02.02

HA'ARETZ "Freezing the peace process after every terrorist attack is the real prize for terrorism. So is the refusal to leave Gaza and the refusal to renew the negotiations over permanent borders for the State of Israel." 12.02.02

HA'ARETZ "The survey reveals the fact that in the long run, the American public, despite its loyalty to Israel, could become open to a different approach toward Israel by the administration. One source expressed the view that when 75 percent of Americans view the settlers as "the principal obstacle to peace." As the survey shows, the American demand to freeze the settlements, for example, is not likely to encounter a great deal of opposition among the public." 12.02.02

HA'ARETZ "Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon has told a closed session of a Washington-based Middle East research institute that both the Israelis and Palestinians know that 'at the end of the day, most of the settlements will be evacuated." 12.02.02

REEVES "[Gary] Hart defined the terrorist threat and political problems as a series of concentric circles. At the center he saw a small core of terrorists like al-Qaida. The second circle included governments acting against American interests, beginning with Saudi Arabia -- "Oil. We are financing the people trying to kill us." -- and extending to Germany. The third circle, he said, were 12-year-olds in refugee camps, the next generation of terrorists, kids without hope or opportunity, learning to hate America and Americans. The outer circle included people everywhere who do not hate Americans, but resented what they see as the rich arrogance and bullying of the U.S. government and its closest allies. " 12.02.02

NYT ED "Nuclear Duplicity From Pakistan Pakistan, because it helped North Korea's nuclear weapons program, is not acting as a reliable partner to the United States. " 12.02.02

MALLABY "Last June Bush promised $500 million to fight mother-child transmission of the AIDS virus. Unfortunately, this was a substitute for a more generous Senate plan that the White House squashed. But then in August Bush vetoed the first tranche of the $500 million because he objected to other spending that came with it. To date, no money has been appropriated. In the 111 days since the Bush veto, an estimated 222,000 babies have been infected with HIV.Last winter the Bush team revised its position on medicines for AIDS and other serious diseases. It signed a World Trade Organization declaration supporting poor countries' efforts to use cheap generic copies of patented drugs. On Friday, however, WTO efforts to fill in the fine print of that declaration foundered. A big reason was U.S. intransigence." 12.02.02

WP "Botswana's president literally declared war on the disease. Bill Gates is bankrolling the assault. A top pharmaceutical firm is supplying ammunition. And Harvard University researchers are here developing new weapons. It's the developing world's most intense attack on AIDS -- including free antiretroviral drugs for any HIV-positive patient who needs them -- and the outcome could shape the epidemic's future.So far, though, Botswana's AIDS fighters say they are winning major battles but losing the war." 12.02.02

COCCO "The Gores have placed at the table Washington's most unwelcome guest: an American family that isn't just "changing," but long ago changed. People get divorced. Grandparents aren't nearby when they decline. Women work. Couples pass each other in the driveway as one returns from working the day shift and the other leaves to work nights. The conservative response to all this is to say public policy should turn the clock back - back to stay-at-home motherhood for the white middle class, but more and more working hours for everyone else. Back (supposedly, anyway) to sexual abstinence for the unmarried, even if few people get hitched now before age 25. The liberal response, enunciated by the Gores, is simply to say the changes can't be undone and must be accepted. And that's about it. It's better than a reactionary bid to travel back in time. But it cannot be mistaken for a bold idea for the future." 12.02.02

WP Kerry to File Paperwork, Start Run for President. Mass. Senator Is Second Democrat in 2004 Race. [First is Gov. Dean of Vermont.] 12.02.02

KURTZ Washington Times Editorial Page Now Being Run By Gingrich Ex-Spokesman. 12.02.02

WHYTE "'Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss.' [Mark Crispin] Miller's judgment, that the president might suffer from a bona fide personality disorder, almost makes one long for the less menacing notion currently making the rounds: that the White House's current occupant is, in fact, simply an idiot. " 12.01.02

NYT Couputer-Rigged Elections? "Risk experts feel even greater qualms about another system now moving toward the virtual realm: elections. This, democracy's biggest prize, will inevitably become a target for interested insiders as votes change from verifiable paper and mechanical ballots to bits, said Peter G. Neumann, a principal scientist at the computer science lab of SRI International, a research institution." 12.01.02

NYT Conservative Father Of Bush Supply Side Economics, Enemy of Social Security And Unemployment Benefits, Could Become Greenspan Replacement 12.01.02

SPERLING "Before any Democrat -- or moderate Republican -- makes the political calculation to just go along with making every element of the Bush tax cut permanent, he or she should understand how even the most modest tweaking of the tax cut for high earners could make a crucial difference for national savings, homeland security, Social Security and our ability to address the country's most compelling challenges in education, health and poverty....Or, of course, [Dems] could make the calculation that it's easier just to sit by and let the last and most expensive elements of an ideological supply-side tax for the most well-off get implemented. But then, if you are a Democrat, you have to ask yourself, what's the point? " 12.01.02

WP "Iraq War Could Cost U.S. As Much as $200 Billion. Allied nations aren't as likely to pitch in as they were in '91. Most expenses would cover the postwar occupation." Wars almost always go over budget and this one will probably take between 5 and 10% of our annual budget. Where will the money come from? From Bush tax cuts to the rich? 12.01.02

GROSS "DURING the economic slowdown, the White House and Congress have acted like true Keynesians, raising spending on everything from the military to farm subsidies, while reducing tax rates and sending out rebates. When Congress returns in January, debate will surely continue over the best way to stimulate the economy. The menu includes phasing in the scheduled income tax cut earlier, enacting payroll tax holidays and eliminating taxes on corporate dividends. But these new booster shots may not be as effective as hoped for a simple reason: what the federal government gives to the economy, state and local governments more than take away. In its effort to stimulate the economy, the federal government has turned a $127 billion surplus in 2001 into a $157 billion deficit in 2002. But virtually all states are forbidden by law from running deficits." 12.01.02

NYT "The Securities and Exchange Commission, still reeling from the recent resignation of its [Bush-backed] chairman, Harvey L. Pitt, and other top officials, is plagued by problems that go deeper than its leadership difficulties and have undermined its ability to police companies and markets, government officials and corporate law experts say. Created in the depths of the Depression, the commission has had a long history of effectiveness that has earned it a reputation as one of the brightest stars in the constellation of federal regulatory agencies. But today, on the anniversary of the collapse of Enron — which began a wave of stunning corporate failures that exposed severe regulatory shortcomings — the commission is struggling to maintain its role as protector of investors against abuses in the marketplace."12.01.02

JONES "Like it or not, Fox has become the establishment, with critics now bemoaning not just what they say is its bias but its dominating influence.Fox's importance as a powerhouse was underscored last week when Al Gore named it first in a list of conservative news media that he said function as a "fifth column" in the larger media world. In an interview with The New York Observer, he complained of the influence now wielded by Fox, The Washington Times and Rush Limbaugh, among others, calling them 'part and parcel of the Republican Party.' " 12.01.02

ROSENBAUM Does Bush Have a Mandate on Weakening Social Security, Too? 12.01.02

WALD "The Bush administration's move to relax air pollution standards on old industrial plants has quickly attracted more powerful opposition than decisions to drill for oil and gas in fragile areas or log trees in the wilderness. The reason is the unusual way the 1977 Clean Air Act assigns blame." 12.01.02

WP ED "THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency's [Bush-backed] changes in Clean Air Act rules, which will open the door to increased emissions at some industrial facilities, have drawn sharp criticism from environmental groups and some Hill Democrats. And, in fact, there's plenty to criticize in the way the administration has approached this particular area of pollution control: It has changed an enforcement climate that was beginning to show results, and it has put the cart before the horse by going ahead with rule changes while its legislative proposal to reduce overall power plant emissions has not moved in Congress." 12.01.02

WP "Covert Legal System Sought. Under Bush's plan, suspects could be held indefinitely and denied all rights." 12.01.02

DOWD "Who better to investigate an unwarranted attack on America than Henry Kissinger, who used to instigate America's unwarranted attacks? " 12.01.02

WEISMAN "If the administration wanted to satisfy demands that all facts be uncovered, Mr. Kissinger seemed to some like an odd or paradoxical choice. While in power, Mr. Kissinger was by common agreement a master of keeping much of his diplomacy secret. When he was in power, the United States carried out secret negotiations to open up China - important members of the Nixon cabinet were kept in the dark - as well as covert military operations against Cambodia and clandestine plans to overthrow Salvador Allende in Chile. It was Mr. Kissinger who wanted to suppress publication of the Pentagon Papers, arguing that if the secret decisions leading up to the Vietnam War could not be protected, American credibility would be irretrievably damaged." 12.01.02

HA'ARETZ "A statement titled "Letter to the American People," allegedly written by Osama bin Laden and disseminated over the Internet in Arabic a few days before Thursday's double attack in Mombasa, for the first time claims that Israel's very existence is the main reason why Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization has declared war on the United States.... Even before the Mombasa attack, the intelligence services had predicted that due to the difficulties al-Qaeda was encountering in hitting American targets, it was liable to start focusing on Jewish and Israeli targets instead." 12.01.02

BENNETT "Ariel Sharon has promised a global hunt for the terrorists that attacked Israelis in Kenya last week. And that, most likely, is exactly what the terrorists were hoping for. " 12.01.02

FISK "Ariel Sharon has walked into a trap. And we are following him. Osama bin Laden is writing the script in the war against terror." 12.01.02

MC GRORY "Three women -- a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim -- ended a seven-city tour here last week. They had sought sympathy for peace and the Palestinians. Except for in Portland, Ore., they did not get a warm welcome. A number of synagogues wouldn't have them. Partners for Peace, their sponsor, booked them into three stops in Texas, including several hotbeds of Christian fundamentalism, where their credentials to speak for Israel were vehemently questioned. In California, frosty silence greeted their calls for an end to the settlements in the occupied territories....Israeli papers print much fuller accounts of Israeli wrongs and Palestinian reprisals than those here." 12.01.02

GORDON "The Bush administration seems to be better at taking the fight to its enemies than helping its friends, like a tiny nation in the Horn of Africa. " 12.01.02

NYT ED "The path out of poverty for third world farmers has been perversely blocked by the subsidies that rich countries pay their farmers and agricultural businesses. " 12.01.02

HOAGLAND "America's war on terrorism and the disappearance of abundant petrodollar surpluses bring the Saudi rulers to a traumatic moment of choice. To survive in the 21st century, they must actively help put the extortionists and terrorists out of business rather than fund and shield them. " 12.01.02

BRODER A Working Dept. Of Homeland Security? "The department has no headquarters, only three appointed officials -- Ridge and two deputies -- and 170,000 prospective employees scattered among 22 agencies who are wary of what the merger will mean for them....More than 40 years after Harry Truman called [the Dept. of Defense] into being, Congress found it had to pass major legislation to correct structural problems that made it difficult to resolve disputes among the military services. " 12.01.02

WP D.C. to New York for $10. Seriously. Thrifty Travelers Discover a Gem in Chinatown Bus Lines 12.01.02

JEFFORDS “I worry that the list of issues that dominated the election season was woefully incomplete. As we respond daily to the latest threats of terror highlighted by the administration, I believe other issues that bear directly on the security of our homeland are being dangerously obscured. Our slumping economy, our threatened environment, our underfunded schools, our corporate scandals - these are not issues that you will hear discussed by the White House, but they are being talked about by people who don't have the power to define the nation's agenda....If the new, razor-thin Republican majority abuses its power and moves forward with an extreme agenda that overlooks the concerns of the many and benefits only the privileged few, there will be repercussions.“ 11.30.02

TP Poll: Landrieu holding on to lead. But Bush visit could put Terrell in front . 11.30.02

BENSON Gore’s TV War. “Among the many problems facing the Democratic Party, according to former Vice President Al Gore, is the state of the American media. The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party," said Mr. Gore in an interview with The Observer. "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh-there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks-that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole. “ 11.30.02

CONASON “The legend of the liberal media is finally dead. When the mightiest voices of the mainstream gang up on Tom Daschle with Rush Limbaugh, who can believe in that old myth any more? “ 11.30.02

WP Friday Night Special: Bush Limits Federal Pay Hike. Citing a "national emergency," the president denies locality adjustments. 11.30.02

NYT “The Bush administration, in its fight against terrorism, is slowly chipping away at the wall that has existed for nearly three decades between domestic law enforcement and international intelligence gathering in an effort that senior officials said was vital to waging war against Al Qaeda and other terror networks. The barrier between domestic and overseas intelligence gathering was erected when the Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947. It was significantly hardened in the 1970's in response to Congressional investigations that produced revelations of widespread abuses by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the intelligence agency.“ 11.30.02

KELLER Bush’s drug czar “is a veteran of the conservative political bunkers, where pot is viewed as a manifestation of moral degeneracy. "It's still about the war in Vietnam and growing your hair long," says Mark Kleiman, a drug law expert at U.C.L.A. and a thoughtful centrist in a debate monopolized by extremes. "It's the 60's being replayed again and again and again - the S.D.S. versus the football team." For this White House, to give ground on pot would be a moral surrender....The moralistic drug war has overstuffed our prisons, left communities fatherless, fed corruption, consumed vast quantities of law enforcement time and money, and led us into some cynical foreign ventures, all without making drugs scarcer or more expensive. Legalization, on the other hand, means less crime and inner-city misery, but more addicts....Drug reform requires not only money, creativity and patience, but also the political courage to face down ideologues. And political courage, you may have noticed, is a lot harder to come by than drugs. “ 11.30.02

O’FARRELL "So if I was a UN weapons inspector I'd go back to the hotel, empty the mini-bar and hope there were enough miniature Johnny Walker bottles to drown the realisation that I was a diplomatic patsy for the US Republican party. Only I wouldn't stay there too long because there'll definitely be plenty of weapons of mass destruction all over Iraq pretty soon. They'll be dropping from US bombers to mark the start of the American presidential campaign, to make sure there's certainly no "regime change" at the White House. If the inspectors can't see that, then frankly they're never going to spot anything." 11.30.02

WP Troops Lack Protective Gear, Say Lawmakers. Safety Against Chemical, Biological Arms Doubted 11.30.02

MILBANK “In a score of speeches since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the president has called for tolerance of Muslims, describing Islam as "a faith based upon peace and love and compassion" and a religion committed to "morality and learning and tolerance." But a large number of foreign policy hawks -- some of them with advisory roles in the Bush administration -- have joined religious conservatives in taking issue with Bush's characterizations. While most of them understand the political rationale for Bush's statements -- there's no benefit in antagonizing Muslim allies such as Pakistan and Indonesia -- they say the claim is dishonest and destined to fail. For Bush and for the country, the outcome of the argument is crucial. The administration, and moderate governments in Arab and Muslim nations, are struggling to prevent the war on terrorism from becoming what Osama bin Laden wants: a war of civilization between the Judeo-Christian West and a resentful and impoverished Muslim world. “ 11.30.02

KEANE “Once again, Africa has become the battleground for somebody else's war. Bin Laden cares as much about the oppressed of Africa as other outsiders who fight wars there - he couldn't give a damn. “ 11.30.02

PBS Terrorist Attacks In Kenya. Old Missiles For Sale. 11.30.02

BBC The Threat From Portable Missiles 11.30.02

WP ED “THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION rushes headlong at some issues: It faces down rogue states, locks down swing states, locks up terrorist suspects. The Bush administration runs away from other issues: It ignores the coming baby bust; it fumbles the reforms that followed Enron's bust; it fiddles while AIDS burns. On trade, however, the administration is trying to shift from one category to the other. Having started out by caving in to farm and steel protectionists, the Bush team now reaches for trade glory. On Tuesday it proposed the worldwide elimination of tariffs on manufactured products by 2015. “ [But The Many Loopholes May Make The Entire Exercise Moot.] 11.30.02

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