January 31, 2005
Online Comm Roundup, Monday
Robert Greenstein. The Incredible, Shrinking Government - Robert Greenstein previews the coming battle over guns, butter and the role of government
Byron Williams. Ethical transgressions erode journalism's credibility
Sustainable Energy Coalition. 48 Groups Refute President's Claim That Nuclear Energy Is " A Renewable Source of Energy"
Nick Turse. The Emergence of the Homeland Security State: The Civilian Half
Gar Alperovitz. Time for Moral Outrage About Social Security
Steve Weissman. Calling the President's Bluff
Nick Jahr. Picking Up Where the Rainbow Left Off - Conceived as a progressive challenge to the DLC, PDA has organized chapters in thirty-six states
William Rivers Pitt. The Story of the Ghost
Dave Lindorff. Chertoff and Torture - how the new Homeland Security nominee prevented early exposure of the US's use of torture
The Natoin. Iraq's Lost Election: The best long-term outcome is for Iraqis to regain control of their own country
Joel Bleifuss. R.I.P. FDR?
Burhan Wazir. Celebrations of Iraqi Democracy Mask Uncertain Future
Alan Bisbort. Happy B-Day, Mother Earth What is the truth about overpopulation? Are trends going up or down?
Amy Goodman. Iran is Next on Bush´s Hit List
Gore Vidal. Was Lincoln Bisexual?
dailycal. American Muslim Vote Unifies Disparate Groups and Revitalizes the Democratic Process
Todd Spivak. Illinois's Anti-Discrimination Law Could Lead to Other Rights
Christian Parenti. Only chaos is sovereign: On the streets of Iraq, nobody is really in control
Norman Solomon. A wartime media taboo - Why are the media ignoring the option of quick withdrawal from Iraq?
Jennifer Gonnerman. New York's Last Executioner Kept His Work Secret
Lisa Sorg. Inauguration Protesters Fear What Will Come Next
Adam Hochschild. The Idea That Brought Slavery to Its Knees
Zelie Pollon. The Vote Must Go On
Paper Com Monday
David Kipen. Let's hear it for president's team of speechwriters
StarTrib. Phew!/EPA's giveaway to feedlots
Kevin Drum. Resist the Filibuster Fiat
Frank Rich. Forget Armor. All You Need Is Love
Bob Herbert. Acts of Bravery
SFC. Gunpoint democracy
Sheryl McCarthy . Reduced U.S. grants will hurt college kids
Newsday. Too little value on life of troops
CapTimes. Feingold's key vote
Bernie Sanders. Unfettered free trade is ruining middle class
Dave Zweifel. Bush folks don't bother to check facts
James Roosevelt Jr. Don't use FDR to undermine Social Security
BGlobe. Defending the Arctic
January 30, 2005
Inventing New Terms
This one was just too funny to let go; O'Reilly with president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy:
O'REILLY: Let's get to your beefs with President Bush. Predictable. You want judges that would uphold Roe v. Wade. Obviously, you would want that. But this is interesting. You're pro-choice on abortion, but you're not pro-choice on Social Security. Isn't that interesting?Interesting indeeeeed!
January 29, 2005
Where In the World Is VP Dick Cheney?
Can you spot him?
January 27, 2005
Deaths Hit Community
The AP writes, "No single military attack or accident stands out as hitting Hawai'i harder since the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor."
The crash of a transport helicopter in Iraq that claimed the lives of 27 Marines shook the Windward O'ahu community around the Kane'ohe Marine base as residents awaited the names of the dead.From the Honolulu Advertiser, "Grief spreads out into the community," an article discussing the effects of deployment and loss on a community:
"Your heart just sinks," said Bobbie Jerome, 34, a teacher whose Marine husband, Jon, has not been deployed to Iraq.
"Whether you know them or not," added Shondra Hampton, also 34, a fellow teacher at Kailua Intermediate School whose husband, Shawne, is in the Navy and also has not been deployed.
Some 12,000 Hawai'i-based troops, including 1,000 Marines, serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. About 4,700 members of the Hawai'i Army National Guard and the Army Reserve are scheduled to leave for Iraq in the coming months.
But when that loss is unexpected and involves a large number of people, it reaches beyond those immediately affected and spreads to an entire community that is also searching for ways to grieve.More crash coverage.
The deaths yesterday of 27 Kane'ohe Bay Marines in a helicopter crash in Iraq will hit their families and close friends the hardest. But the pain also will be felt by neighbors, acquaintances and even others who also lost loved ones recently, experts said ... As of yesterday afternoon, local schools had not yet learned whether their students or staff have been affected by the crash, but campuses with many military dependents already have programs in place to help their students deal with deployed parents and possible tragedies.
At Kainalu Elementary School in Kailua, where a quarter of the children have parents in the military, school counselors have set up a "Miss U" program to help students cope with parental deployment.
The Armed Forces YMCA soon will offer tutoring and the chance to talk about military life and adjusting to their parents' absences.
Another program gives the school's youngest children help with the transition period after their parent has been deployed.
Meanwhile, the violence continues.
Paper Comm, Thursday
Scott Horton. Rationale sound familiar? We've heard it before
Scott Ritter. Criminals the lot of us
Seattle PI. A credit warning
Dick Feagler. Forcing democracy on Iraq is getting really expensive
Seattle PI. A credit warning
StarTrib. Stem cells/New federal rules are needed
Maureen Dowd. Love for Sale
NYT. The Best Coverage Money Can Buy
Dave Zweifel. New Glarus chief sends news from Iraq
Ellen Goodman. Freedom, but in full
Benjamin R. Barber. Privatizing Social Security: 'Me' Over 'We'
LAT. Which Way Out?
"37 Troops Die on Deadliest Day in Iraq"
January 26, 2005
Online Comm, Wed
Shelley Waters Boots. Beyond Latchkey Kids
Robert C. Byrd. "Standing for the Founding Principles of the Republic"
Ari Berman. Annals of National Secrecy- The Pentagon owes Sy Hersh an apology
Regis T. Sabol. Rupublicans Frolic While Americans Die
Michelle Tea. Camel Night- Making rent in a self-righteous world
Mark Lloyd. Don't Be Fooled Again - The Senate must be very careful and very public when it considers the president's choice to fill the spot vacated by Michael Powell
Jarrett Murphy. Spin War II - As Bush part deux begins, the press may need to practice civil disobedience
Robert Kuttner. Off the Wall - All you need to know about The Wall Street Journal’s misleading budget figures
Robert Parry. Freedom from Reality
Knute Berger. The Next Bobby Kennedy . . . . . . Could be Bobby Kennedy Jr.
Rick Anderson. The Minus Touch - A study of touch-screen voting in Snohomish County, Wash., suggests that machines favored the Republican candidate for governor. But there's no way to prove it.
Seattle Weekly. Who Wants to Be a Socially Responsible Miliionaire?
democracynow. Seymour Hersh: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"
Bruce Kluger. Cartoon Madness: Christian conservatives classically over-reached when they launched their amphibious assault on SpongeBob SquarePants – and harpooned themselves squarely in the foot
Robert Weissman, Russell Mokhiber. The 10 Worst Corporations of 2004
atrios. Playing Against Type for Once
Ruy Teixeira. Zogby Poll: Bush Job Approval Lags, 'Shame' Quotient Rises
stevegilliard. President Courts Blacks With Plans For 2nd Term
tbogg. ...and starring Jim Geraghty as Milton Waddams
alfrankenshow. THE WHITE HOUSE LANGUAGE POLICE SHARPEN THEIR NIGHTSTICKS
seetheforest. Why Republicans Win
Altercation. Call it 'Chutzpah…'
Paul Glastris. Pundit payola
Matthew Yglesias . FUN WITH VETO PLAYERS
jameswolcott. Foiled Again
gadflyer. Things That Make You Go Hmm...
dccc. Flush Your Money Down the Toilet Accounts
maxspeak. Budget: SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST
nathannewman. Lies, Damn Lies and Bush Budgets
nathannewman. Bush Plays the Race Card on Social Security
davidsirota. U.S. Trade Policy Threatening Global Economy
mydd. A Multi-Polar World - The Financial Times Weighs In
dailykos. Red ink. As far as the eye can see
thepoorman. Wingnut Welfare
Paper Comm, Wed
Jesse Jackson and Greg Palast. Black voters in United States disproportionally disenfranchised
Helen Thomas. Peaceful means best way to spread freedom
Seattle PI. The wrong job - Alberto Gonzales has failed to show that he is prepared to act as the United States' attorney general. The Senate should reject the president's nomination of Gonzales.
Harold Meyerson. A Voice for All of Us
Clarence Page. Bush's Social Security plan is a risk
John Nichols. Carson an exception in TV wasteland
David Helvarg. SpongeBob and Friends: Splendor in the Kelp
Derrick Z. Jackson. Neglecting Mother Earth
Robert Kuttner. Oh yes, it can happen here
January 25, 2005
Online Comm, Tuesd
Frederick Sweet. You Trust This Man With Your Social Security?
William O. Beeman. How U.S. Missteps May Cloud Iraqi Vote
Eric Boehlert. Like father, like son - As Colin and Michael Powell exit the Bush administration, they leave legacies of failure
Molly Ivins. 'From the day of our founding'
George Soros. The New Bush Doctrine
Sydney H. Schanberg. Bush's Almanac - Never mind the body count. When reality annoys you, simply ignore it.
Hans Johnson. A Healthy Choice: A movement builds to take on Wal-Mart
Sam Rosenfeld. No Comparison - Republicans say they’re no worse than early ’90s Democrats. Don’t believe it
democracynow. Gore Vidal on Bush's Inaugural Address: "The Most Un-American Speech I've Ever Heard"
Melinda Tuhus. Social Security: The Female Problem
Zelie Pollon. "This Election Is No Good"
Maureen Turner. Bush's Choice - As an emboldened president continues his assault on reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade faces its biggest threat yet
Susan Clark Armstrong. Lesbian Student Shut Out of Yearbook
Chris Thompson. Refereeing California's Next Big Boom: Stem-Cell Research
George W. Bush Gets Razzie Nom
WORST SCREEN COUPLE
George W. Bush & EITHER Condoleeza Rice OR His Pet Goat / FAHRENHEIT 9/11
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Condoleeza Rice / FAHRENHEIT 9/11
Britney Spears / FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (that's a little too easy, isn't it?)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Donald Rumsfeld / FAHRENHEIT 9/11
Oped Roundup, Tuesday
SeattlePI. What's the rush?
Paul VanDevelder. Government still stealing from Native Americans
Bart Whiteman. Sponge Bob Puts Move on Me
Guardian. Hanging by a thread - Iraq elections
E. J. Dionne Jr. Oh, Never Mind
Newsday. Bush says his pledge to promote liberty is not meant as new policy
Robert Scheer. 1600 Pennsylvania Meets Madison Ave.
Jesse Jackson. Democracy at the point of a gun
Mary Ratcliff. A Well-Funded Manipulation of Public Opinion
Orcinus. Talking treason
perrspectives. Name That Bush Scandal Contest Winners”
Altercation. Have death squad, will travel
liberaloasis. A Democratic "Contract With America"?
Joshua Holland. Can We Ever Hope To Compete With The Finns?
tomdispatch. A Demobilized Press in a Global Free-Fire Zone
Matthew Yglesias. THE NUMBERS ON ABORTION
Matthew Yglesias. THE PERSONAL IS PRIVATE
TalkLeft. Join Us and Help Fight the New York Death Penalty
Chris Bowers. The Rise of the DLC
atrios. Norm's Smile
dailykos. Opposition to Gonzales Growing
January 24, 2005
Online Comm Roundup
Rami Khouri. Bush's Widening Credibility Gap
Matthew Rothchild. The Hidden Passages in Bush's Inaugural Address
Norman Mailer. America and Its War with the Invisible Kingdom of Satan
Rod Helle. The Origins of Persian Aversion of the U.S.
Christian Weller. Conservative Rhetoric or Reality
Dan Glaister. Avoiding accountability? The revelation of Rumsfeld's secret spy network has one congressman wondering what the Pentagon is trying to hide
Mark Hertsgaard. Why Dean should take charge; With his passion and populist appeal, Howard Dean is exactly the leader the Democratic Party needs right now
Jennifer Buckendorff. The Oprah way - To change people's minds on issues like gay marriage, liberals need to learn to tug at their heartstrings
Byron Williams. Condi: less than candid - To regain world's trust, Rice should begin by telling truth at home
Cynthia Tucker. Rice has the opportunity to correct foreign policy course; Can new secretary of state save the world?
Patrick Mulvaney. Waiting for 'Roper v. Simmons'| A forum on the juvenile death penalty
Ari Berman. The Faith-Based Fraud - A taxpayer tool for political gain
Nat Hentoff. Gonzales Twists the Rule of Law
Marla Cone. Dozens of Words for Snow, None for Pollution
Amanda Griscom Little. It's My EPA and I'll Cry If I Want To
Juliette Terzieff. From Tragedy to Slavery: The children orphaned by the Asian tsunami are becoming easy targets for human trafficking rings
Paper Comm, Monday
Dennis Roddy. Jared Taylor, a racist in the guise of 'expert'
Frank Rich. On Television, Torture Takes a Holiday
Gary Younge. A fantasy of freedom - If Bush wanted to tackle tyranny, he could start with regimes under US control
NYT. A Bridge to Sell: Though President Bush promises a worry-free future for retirees, his plan to privatize Social Security offers more risks than benefits to older Americans
Gordon Adams. The Pentagon's new budget proposal reveals that there is not enough money to pay for the multitude of missions facing defense forces
Ross Collin. We must challenge Bush over schools
LAT. Stem Cell Setbacks
LAT. Transition to Nowhere - President Bush's notion — it is not yet a plan — of partly privatizing Social Security has three large flaws
January 23, 2005
RIP Johnny Carson
Liberal Cable News
When will the liberal media stop its liberal ways?
When Weeklies Make Amusing Covers
The Stranger's "Inaugural Drinking Issue"
January 22, 2005
Online Comm Roundup, Weekendish
democracynow. Historian Howard Zinn: "Bush Represents Everything That Martin Luther King Opposed"
Stephen Zunes . The Rhetoric of Bush's Inaugural Address versus the Reality of Bush Policy
Amanda Griscom Little. Muckraker - An FBI agent alleges that the government hasn't come clean about the dumping of radioactive waste at a closed Colorado weapons plant -- and now the site is being turned into a park
Laura Miller. Python swallows Bush! Monty Python's Terry Jones talks about becoming a political writer, the decline of the British press and how Bush and Blair have erased the line between absurdity and horror
Arianna Huffington. More money for Iraq? Congressional Democrats must put conditions on new appropriations
Byron Williams. The accountability moment
Gloria Feldt. Roe v. Wade: A Sensible Balance
David Corn. Talking Back To Bush
Ari Berman. Outrageous Outtakes - Inauguration extravaganza
Christopher Hayes. The Fight for Our Future
Tara McKelvey. Unusual Suspects What happened to the women held at Abu Ghraib? The government isn’t talking. But some of the women are
Deborah Pearlstein. Rights Without a Country - The Supreme Court rules against the administration on foreign detainees. Again
Evan Derkacz. Powell Resigns as FCC Chairman: Media reformers look to the future as Powell leaves his post
Lawrence Mishel. Torts Flim-Flam The economic impact of "lawsuit abuse" is greatly exaggerated
Andisheh Nouraee. Are Americans Stingy with Foreign Aid? Measured by percentage of gross income, we are in fact the stingiest industrialized nation in the world
Kareem Fahim. Veteran Stars of Bush's Inauguration Have Scars
Doug Ireland. Is the Doctor In? Despite some rabid opposition, Howard Dean becomes the man to beat in the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Bradford Plumer. What We Owe Iraq
Oh, it's so cliche for a 21-year old college kid to say this, but yeah, I really hate the FCC.
January 21, 2005
Friday Night Cat Blogging
Since all the cool kids are doing it, my kitty - "Sweetie Pie"
Friday Paper Comm
StarTrib. Challenges of a second term
Ellis Henican. A party that's beyond belief
E. J. Dionne. Visions in Need of a Little Realism
Bob Herbert. Dancing the War Away
Jay Bookman. Watch Bush; Congress sure won't
Paul krugman. The Free Lunch Bunch
SFC. Boxer on the offensive
CapTimes. An assault on the Constitution
John Nichols. $40M inauguration hardly 'our history'
Scot Lehigh. The unmentionable war
Jonathan Chait. Maybe Murdoch Doesn't Watch TV on Sunday Nights
"Fox News Meltdown"
Fox News - Fair and Balanced. Vanity Fair party pooper!
January 20, 2005
Thursday Online Comm Roundup
Greg Palast. OAF OF OFFICE
Marjorie Cohn. The Gonzales Indictment
Bill Berkowitz. Claude Allen in the house
Thom Hartmann. The Robber Baron's Party
Jeff Greenwald. Everyone here has post-traumatic stress" As the horror hits home in Sri Lanka, there are too many relief workers and not enough stress counselors
Sharon Lerner. The Future for Abortion? how Roe has already fallen in Mississippi
John Nichols. An Empty Exercise in Deceit: Lofty words of Bush's second inaugural address are not matched by deeds.
Michael Scherer. Small Names, Big Checks: Aside from the usual corporate suspects, there's a second tier of (deliberately) low-profile donors underwriting Bush's inaugural
Scott McLemee. The Mind as Passion: Her job, Susan Sontag wrote, was to defend a higher “standard of mental life.” Maddeningly, but above all bravely, that’s what she did
Robert Kuttner. Feeling Secure: Bush's second term kicks off with the best news for Democrats in four years
Harold Meyerson. From Lincoln to Lott: Bush invokes freedom and emancipation -- but leaves out a couple details
democracynow. Corporate America Pours in Millions to Fund President Bush's Second Inauguration
Rick Perlstein. The Eve of Destruction
CAP. Lifestyles of the Rich and Heartless
From the Madison Capital Times:
AT&T, Bank of America Corp., Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Corp., ChevronTexaco and Exxon Mobil Corp. and FedEx Corp.
Ford Motor Co., Home Depot, Lockheed-Martin Corp., Marriott International, Marriott Vacation Club International, Microsoft and Northrup Grumman.
Occidental Petroleum Co., Oracle, Pfizer Inc., Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Time Warner, United Parcel Service, United Technologies and Wachovia Corp.
What do all these major corporations have in common?
Two things:First, they are some of the firms that are chipping in "contributions" of $100,000 to $250,000 to cover the cost of President Bush's second inaugural party.
Second, they are firms that have a special interest in being on the good side of the Bush administration. Many are the largest players in heavily regulated industries that are defined by government decisions and, in the case of pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, have benefited tremendously from the laxness of the Bush administration's approach. Others, such as defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, would be shadows of themselves without lucrative government contracts. Still others, such as energy firms ChevronTexaco, Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum, are aching to get a piece of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
And they may get it.
The Scandal Sheet
"Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency -- every one of them worse than Whitewater."
3. Dark Matter: The Energy Task ForceRead it.
The scandal: A lawsuit has claimed it is illegal for Dick Cheney to keep the composition of his 2001 energy-policy task force secret. What's the big deal? The New Yorker's Jane Mayer has suggested an explosive aspect of the story, citing a National Security Council memo from February 2001, which "directed the N.S.C. staff to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the 'melding' of ... 'operational policies towards rogue states,' such as Iraq, and 'actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.'" In short, the task force's activities could shed light on the administration's pre-9/11 Iraq aims.
The problem: The Federal Advisory Committee Act says the government must disclose the work of groups that include non-federal employees; the suit claims energy industry executives were effectively task force members. Oh, and the Bush administration has portrayed the Iraq war as a response to 9/11, not something it was already considering.
The outcome: Unresolved. In June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to an appellate court ...
5. Halliburton's No-Bid Bonanza
The scandal: In February 2003, Halliburton received a five-year, $7 billion no-bid contract for services in Iraq.
The problem: The Army Corps of Engineers' top contracting officer, Bunnatine Greenhouse, objected to the deal, saying the contract should be the standard one-year length, and that a Halliburton official should not have been present during the discussions.
The outcome: The FBI is investigating. The $7 billion contract was halved and Halliburton won one of the parts in a public bid. For her troubles, Greenhouse has been forced into whistle-blower protection.
6. Halliburton: Pumping Up Prices
The scandal: In 2003, Halliburton overcharged the army for fuel in Iraq. Specifically, Halliburton's subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root hired a Kuwaiti company, Altanmia, to supply fuel at about twice the going rate, then added a markup, for an overcharge of at least $61 million, according to a December 2003 Pentagon audit.
The problem: That's not the government's $61 million, it's our $61 million.
The outcome: The FBI is investigating.
Well, I certainly agree with this from Paul Waldman:
If you watch this video, you'll see a news report about the congressional race DNC Chair contender Martin Frost ran in 2004, including a clip of a Frost ad bragging about how much he loves, among other people, George W. Bush and Dennis Hastert. I can certainly understand how, given the fact that he was redistricted into a Republican district, Frost wasn't too eager to paste "Democrat" in big letters on his lawn signs. But when you're actively trying to pose as a member of the other party, accepting that the other party's leaders are great guys and gals with whom you want nothing better than to pal around, you've crossed a line. That line doesn't mean you should be shunned, and it doesn't mean you can't be part of the caucus should you manage to stay in Congress, but it does mean that maybe you shouldn't be leading the party you worked so hard to distance yourself from.And this from Kos:
Near as I can tell, the rationale Frost offers for his candidacy is, "I'm from the South, where people hate Democrats!" Any DNC member who thinks the party has a chance to win Texas in 2008 should go ahead and vote for him.
To be clear, I don't care what Democrats might have to say to get elected in deep red districts. But if you spend a year distancing yourself from the Democratic Party and sucking up to Bush, Hastert and Hutchinson, then you have no business trying to run the Democratic Party.
I don't care if someone is a moderate, liberal or conservative Democrat. You could be any of those things and still be a partisan Democrat.
The DNC chairmanship is a partisan position. As such, Martin Frost is grossly unqualified for the position.
Thursday Paper Comm Roundup
Ted Van Dyk. Let's get real about situation in Iraq
Seattle PI. Moderation as a legacy - President Bush's second term inevitably will change America's domestic policies. His legacy and the country's future will be brightest if he makes balance his watchword
NYT. The Price of Homophobia
Maureen Dowd. Don't Know Much About Algebra
Sheryl McCarthy . Birth-control opponents hurt women
Dave Zweifel. Social Security's 'socialism' saved many
Captimes. Terrible pick for security
Ellen Goodman. New slant on a Teflon presidency
Guardian. Second time around: No one could reasonably disagree that America should conduct a "conversation" with the rest of the world, not a "monologue".
Sidney Blumenthal. A New Deal to scupper a presidency
January 19, 2005
Kazakhstan: Borat an Impostor
The star of HBO's Da Ali G Show, in one of his characters, pulled off another stunt in Virginia:
The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Washington wants the world to know: An HBO comedian passing himself off as "Borat of Kazakhstan" is an imposter. The diplomatic indignation comes because Sacha Baron Cohen, star of Da Ali G Show, has struck again.Ali G previously with esteemed members of the public:
This time the British funnyman pranked folks at a rodeo in Salem, Va., with his role as the Kazakh journalist named Borat Sagdiyev. He publicly butchered the national anthem before a crowd of 4,000 and called on President Bush to "drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq."
Wearing a cowboy hat and an American flag shirt, Cohen tricked rodeo organizers into thinking he was a documentary TV reporter who wanted to show his support for the war on terror by singing The Star-Spangled Banner. He told the audience: "I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards." He urged them to sit down rather than stand, then belted out a version of the anthem that ended with the words, "Your home in the grave."
A chorus of boos erupted. "If he had been out there a minute longer, I think somebody would have shot him," one stunned observer told the Roanoke Times after the Jan. 7 debacle.
Cohen, who also delights in pranking policy wonks using the guise of hip-hopper Ali G, is a continuing headache for the Kazakhstan Embassy. He has claimed on his show that his "countrymen" hate Gypsies and Jews and shoot dogs. Sounding exasperated, embassy press secretary Roman Vassilenko told us Friday: "Sacha Baron Cohen has nothing to do with Kazakhstan. He does not represent Kazakhstan. He does not speak for Kazakhstan. He doesn't even look like a Kazakh."
The genius of Cohen's approach is that he accomplishes more as a moron than he could as a smartass, lampooning the vacuity of talking head TV and startling his guests into dropping their sound bites. Comedy Central's Daily Show (the only newscast I regularly watch) often attempts something similar, with correspondents asking deliberately inane or off the-wall questions, but the interviewees are rarely famous and their typical response is a blank stare. Cohen strings his guests along much further than The Daily Show usually does, and he has managed to arrange interviews with an impressive list of public figures, including former Attorney General Ed Meese (who performs a rap), former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft (who says we'd never nuke Canada because "we don't want what they have"), former CIA Director James Woolsey (who tries to clear up Ali G's confusion between John F. Kennedy and J.R. Ewing), and Kofi Annan's predecessor at the U.N., whom Ali G overenthusiastically introduces as "Boutros Bout ros Boutros Boutros-Ghali" and asks, "Which is da funniest language?""Is Disneyland a member of the UN?"
Ali G presses former astronaut Buzz Aidrin--who last year punched an overly aggressive conspiracy theorist who asked him to swear on a Bible that the lunar landings were not faked--for a response to the wellknown rumors about the Apollo program. Just as you're wondering whether Aldrin will take another swing, Ali G asks the question on everyone's mind: Does the moon exist? ... Ralph Nader, too, does better than you might expect. When Ali G argues that "you'd have to be absolutely mental" to live in the rainforest, what with "all these monkeys ploppin' on your 'ead," Nader replies, "First of all, the monkeys aren't eager to search out these natives and plop on them." In response to Ali G's suggestion that people's "natural gases" could be harnessed as a source of energy, Nader says, "Well, you already have tens of millions of cattle, but they haven't figured out how to put a box on their asshole' Despite this adroit performance, according to Newsweek, "Nader's people were so furious after Ali G got him to rap during an interview that one aide reportedly said it might be grounds for a lawsuit"--presumably for intentional infliction of rhythmic distress.
The Wealth Gap Problem
According to civil rights advocates, "Economic equality has become the paramount civil rights issue of the 21st century." From the AP:
Fewer blacks than whites own their houses, get fair loans, invest in the stock market or sit on corporate boards, or have any real control over much of the trillions of dollars flowing in mutual funds, pension plans and the financial markets, they said.More: How Bush has widened the wealth gap.
"Very real gains have been made on some parts of the economic front and the education front and most particularly on the job front," said Thomas Shapiro, professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. "(But) those gains are being reversed through widening racial wealth gaps." ... In 1999, during a boom economy, Shapiro said, black middle-class families on average had one-fourth of the wealth of similarly educated, similarly employed white middle-class families.
The disparity was even starker across all income groups -- black families as a whole had only 10 cents in wealth for every dollar white families had, according to government figures.
There are historical reasons -- generations of poverty, a legacy of slavery and laws that kept them from education, housing and good jobs. But advocates say there also is persistent discrimination in mortgages and other loans.
Bush First Term Enviro Record
From the NRDC, Bush's environmental record during his first term, where he "took nearly 150 actions to undermine environmental protections over the past year, consistent with its historic assault on the nation's environmental safeguards."
Online Comm Roundup, Wed
Edward Kennedy. George Bush's Vietnam
The Nation. The Next Four Years - The big question of Bush's second term is how long it will take Americans to demand a change in direction
John Nichols. An Un-American Inaugural - George Bush's free-spending coronation breaks faith with the nation's revolutionary roots.
Gail Vida Hamburg. Diplomacy of Dunces
Dean Baker. The Falling Dollar- The solution, not the problem
George Monbiot. A Televisual Fairyland
Kenneth S. Baer. The 11-2 Commission - Democrats need an “after-action report” to figure out what happened last fall
Robert B. Reich. Our Own Ownership Society by
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Noam Chomsky on What Matters
Amy Goodman. Iran: The Next Strategic Target
Geov Parrish. No Bad Deed Goes Unrewarded: The Bush administration has done it again, nominating to a high position yet another key player in the War on Terror
Athens NEWS. Author explains how conservatives became so terribly oppressed
Rice v Reality
Via the Progress Report:
The number of trained Iraqi forces that Allawi can rely on is "somewhere over 120,000."
– Condoleezza Rice, 1/19/05
According to Pentagon figures, there are "4,000 soldiers 'trained and on hand'" in Iraq.
– LA Times, 1/18/05
Wed Paper Comm
Ed Garvey. Special interests rule in world upside down
John Nichols. Congress should grill Rice on WMDs
Robert Kuttner. Minimum wage issue a winner for Democrats
Derrick Z. Jackson. Summers's tortured logic
Aaron Belkin. Military's Self-Inflicted Wound
Johnathan Freedland. Who is Bush take two?
Reed Brody. Justice for Abu Ghraib
Pierre Tristam. Inaugural fear in a year of war
Emil Guillermo. Bush's Bluff
Harold Meyerson. A Tale of Two Texans
January 18, 2005
Bush Plan Bad for Environment
File it under 'no shit Sherlock.' WPost:
The Bush administration's bill to curb air pollution from power plants would reduce air pollution less than the current Clean Air Act rules, according to a preliminary report by the National Academy of Sciences released yesterday ... But the committee, which consists largely of academics, said in its 160-page report that it is "unlikely that Clear Skies would result in emission limits at individual sources that are tighter than those achieved when NSR is triggered at the same sources. . . . In general, NSR provides more stringent emission limits for new and modified major sources than" Clear Skies. The panel will issue a final report by the end of the year.More on the 'Clear Skies' initiative, via the Sierra Club.
The NSR rule triggered dozens of state and federal suits against more than 50 power plants during the 1990s and forced some to install new pollution controls. The administration argues that this approach costs jobs and keeps plants from running at full capacity.
Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.), the ranking minority member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the report "provides further proof that the Bush administration has been recklessly tinkering with the Clean Air Act for several years and wants to go even further. They want to replace existing programs, like New Source Review, that have documented benefits, with a proposal that is weaker and slower when it comes to reducing emissions and protecting health and the environment."
Conason to Join TAP as Investigative Editor
Good news all around, from an American Prospect PR:
American Prospect Executive Editor Michael Tomasky announced today that the Prospect has hired Joe Conason to serve in a new position as the magazine’s Investigative Editor. Conason, the well-known investigative journalist, political columnist, and best-selling author, will oversee the Prospect’s new emphasis on investigative reporting. He will assign, edit, and write articles, and he will join the magazine formally on January 24.Conason, of course, is linked regularly on this site. His latest.
Conason has a long history in investigative journalism. In the 1980s, he wrote articles about the secret U.S. real-estate holdings of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos—articles that ultimately helped bring down the dictator’s regime. In the 1990s, he uncovered details about the conservatives who were plotting to destroy the Clinton presidency, revealing the existence of the “Arkansas Project” that poured millions of dollars into investigating the Clintons’ lives. With Gene Lyons, he co-authored the best-selling book, The Hunting of the President, which was released last year as a documentary film. More recently, Conason was one of the first journalists to reveal the origins and finances of the so-called Swift-Boat Veterans for Truth.
Bush's Jobs Plan: Failure
From EPI's Jobs Watch site:
The Bush Administration called the tax cut package, which took effect in July 2003, its "Jobs and Growth Plan." The president's economics staff, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA, see background documents), projected that the plan would result in the creation of 5.5 million jobs by the end of 2004—in other words, 306,000 new jobs in each of the 18 months from June 2003 to December 2004. Even without the passage of Bush's tax cut plan, the CEA projected that the economy would generate 228,000 jobs a month.Charts, graphs, etc avail at the site.
With the newly released payroll employment data for December 2004 it is now possible to assess whether the administration's tax cut strategy produced the employment growth that was projected (see table and figure below). The final verdict is grim. Job growth over the last 18 months has fallen short by 1,703,000—more than one-third less than the number of jobs the administration said would be created without the tax cuts. Given that the economy failed to produce the number of jobs expected with no policy change, it seems hard to argue that the tax cuts were a successful strategy in adding any jobs—the promised 1.4 million additional jobs never materialized. The announced revisions (up 236,000 in March 2004) to the payroll employment series (see Data Note below) do not materially change this assessment ...
Paper Comm Roundup, Tuesdsay
CapTimes. Timeline needed to end war
Newsday. Bush is wrong to think his election was a ratification of his policy
Terry George. Unlike its response in Asia, the West has stood idly by while genocide, disease and famine ravage Africa
Marie Cocco. Expect 4 more years of the same Bush
Paul Krugman. That Magic Moment
Seattle PI. War lessons elude Bush
E. J. Dionne Jr. What Bush Could Say
NYT. One Last Election Lesson: North Carolina's election fiasco is a cautionary tale about the perils of relying on electronic voting without a paper record
BGlobe. Unfit as attorney general: TWO MEMOS on the US treatment of detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq stand in the way of Alberto Gonzales becoming the next attorney general of the United States
Robert Scheer. Pomp and Improper Circumstance
January 17, 2005
The Coming Wars
Seymour Hersh has been right on target in his past articles ... if he's right in this one, oy ... THE COMING WARS: What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
George W. Bush’s reëlection was not his only victory last fall. The President and his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state. Bush has an aggressive and ambitious agenda for using that control—against the mullahs in Iran and against targets in the ongoing war on terrorism—during his second term. The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. This process is well under way.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East: the establishment of democracy throughout the region. Bush’s reëlection is regarded within the Administration as evidence of America’s support for his decision to go to war. It has reaffirmed the position of the neoconservatives in the Pentagon’s civilian leadership who advocated the invasion, including Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Douglas Feith, the Under-secretary for Policy. According to a former high-level intelligence official, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the election and told them, in essence, that the naysayers had been heard and the American people did not accept their message. Rumsfeld added that America was committed to staying in Iraq and that there would be no second-guessing. ... In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. “Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,’” the former intelligence official told me. “But they say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned—not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there.”
January 14, 2005
Josh McConaha. Haven't we heard this before?
liberaloasis. Tell Your Senator: Vote Your Values, Reject Gonzales
DCCC. Deja Vu 'Til Ya Puke
Paul Waldman. Framing Social Security
Ruy Teixeira. More on Mr. Popularity
tomdispatch. 37 Questions for Donald Rumsfeld
boldprint. Ted Kennedy Stands Up
oliverwillis. Glenn Reynolds: Dumb On Purpose
maxspeak. LENINIST-OLIGARCH EXPROPRIATIONIST WATCH
politicalwire. Dean Bloggers Under Fire
theleftcoaster. To Counter White House Campaign On Social Security, Democrats Need Their Own Campaign
nathannewman. Class Conflict in the GOP
nathannewman. Bush Admin Promotes Corruption in NJ
pandagon. In The Interest Of NonStories
Sam Rosenfeld. THAT SOUNDS TOO RESPONSIBLE
Matthew Yglesias. GLOBAL JIHAD: THE NEXT GENERATION
Kos. FBI Still Stuck in the Tron Age
Paper Comm, Friday
Jay Bookman. Iraq war finger-pointers likely to find hands tied
Robert Fisk. Fear and voting in Baghdad
StarTrib. Iraq/No WMD, no reason for war
Paul Krugman. The British Evasion
Bob Herbert. A Gift for Drug Makers
Sidney Blumenthal. Happy talk: Bush's inaugural address next week will be full of his administration's ideological fantasies that now substitute for reality
John Nichols. Dean candidacy could revitalize Dems
Derrick Z. Jackson. NFL athletes let down Rev. King
BGlobe. Testing North Korea
January 13, 2005
Online Comm Roundup
Kamil Mahdi. Iraqi resistance and public awareness of neocon designs for empire will bring the occupation to an end – not the anti-war movement
Erik Leaver. In order to succeed, the anti-war movement has to answer the big question: What role should the U.S. be playing in the world?
Jonathan Schell. No foreign power, not even the world's sole superpower, can create democracy in Iraq.
Jyoti Thottam. Tsunami Brings Sea Change in Sri Lanka
Robert Parry. It's the Media, Stupid!
mediamatters. FOX promo for Bush special ... or special promo for Bush?
Eric Alterman. Now that Gonzales is Bush's Orwellian choice for the nation's top law enforcement officer, the entire story is being washed with a bright coat of white
Terence Samuel. Swivel Chair: Choosing a new DNC chair forces Democrats to decide just how left -- or right -- they'll go
Donald Trader. An Urgent Call to Republicans - Hey, Republicans! If you voted for this war, go fight in it
EPI. Proposed Social Security reform cuts income support
Richard Ackland. Excuses, Excuses From a Regime Too Ready to Throw Away the Key
Norman Solomon. Far from Media Spotlights, the Shadows of "Losers"
Julian Borger and Jonathan Steele. Surprise, surprise, there were no WMD - But Bush sticks to his guns on whether invading Iraq was worth the cost
Bill Berkowitz. Rumsfeld's bloody paths of glory
Geov Parrish. Shred the Constitution, win a promotion
David Corn. WMD Hunt Ends; Bush's Spin Goes On
Stephen F. Cohen. The Media's New Cold War
Paper Comm, Thursday
Sen. Jon S. Corzine and Sen. Sam Brownback. We must stop the genocide
SeattlePI. Disarmed threats
StarTrib. Inauguration/Don't stick D.C. with the bill
StarTrib. Williams deal defines a new low
Richard Cohen. Hollow Accountability
NYT. Bulletin: No W.M.D. Found; The absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq proves that sanctions and the United Nations worked.
Peter Maguire. Soldier serves as scapegoat in Iraq prison scandal while higher-ups duck responsibility
Wisconsin State Journal. Reform student aid to offset Pell cuts
Ellen Goodman. Medical good/bad news
Joseph Nevins. From crisis, opportunity
Doris Matsui to Run
Like Lois Capps and Mary Bono, Doris Matsui will seek the seat of her late husband; AP:
With her family by her side just four days after burying Rep. Robert T. Matsui (news, bio, voting record), Doris Matsui said, "I am asking those who supported him to now support me."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) has set a March 8 primary election and May 3 special election to choose a new congressman for the Democratic-leaning district. The second election will be held only if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the primary vote.
In a speech at her family's Sacramento home, Matsui sounded campaign themes: opposing President Bush (news - web sites)'s plans to privatize Social Security (news - web sites), expanding health care coverage for children and increasing federal spending on stem cell research.
Matsui said stem cell research offers hope for the disease that caused her husband's death Jan. 1 — pneumonia brought on by myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare form of bone marrow disease.
"Now I have joined the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide for whom this is personal," she said, criticizing Bush's limited federal funding of stem cell experiments.
January 12, 2005
Good Ol' Ann Coulter
Look at this interview with Ann Coulter in the New York Observer:
I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning." ... I just think it would be fun to nuke them and have it be a warning to the rest of the world." ...
"Seriously, I think the rest of the countries in the Middle East, after Afghanistan and Iraq, they're pretty much George Bush's bitch ...
[Gurley] What should we remember about Bill Clinton?
[Coulter] "Well, he was a very good rapist. I think that should not be forgotten." ... I will go to a black church and talk about gay marriage. The brothers aren't big on queer theory. The four groups most opposed to gay marriage are blacks, Hispanics, old people and blue-collar workers -- i.e., the four pillars of the Democratic Party."
Fire the Consultants
It should amaze anyone how Democrats keep hiring the same old people - the same ol' people who lose races over and over and ... Amy Sullivan:
Despite widespread grumbling about his aggressive sales tactics, Hansen is still part of the DSCC (he stepped down as field director midway through 2002 as criticism mounted; officially, he is now a "consultant" for the committee). What's most surprising, though, is that Democratic candidates continue to hire him despite his lousy record. After losing seven of nine close races in 2002, Hansen was again a man in demand during the last election cycle. His firm handled five of the most competitive Senate races in 2004, including the two – Tony Knowles in Alaska and Erskine Bowles in North Carolina – that prognosticators thought were most winnable. Only one of Hansen's candidates, Ken Salazar in Colorado, pulled out a victory.And the biggest loser in political consulting ...
Hansen is part of a clique of Washington consultants who, through their insider ties, continue to get rewarded with business even after losing continually. Pollster Mark Mellman is popular among Democrats because he tells them what they so desperately want to hear: Their policies are sound, Americans really agree with them more than with Republicans, and if they just repeat their mantras loud enough, voters will eventually embrace the party. As Noam Scheiber pointed out in a New Republic article following the great Democratic debacle of '02, Mellman was, perhaps more than anyone else, the architect of that defeat. As the DSCC's recommended pollster, he advised congressional Democrats to ignore national security and Iraq in favor of an endless campaign about prescription drugs and education. After the party got its clock cleaned based on his advice, Mellman should have been exiled but was instead ... promoted. He became the lead pollster for John Kerry's presidential campaign, where he proffered eerily similar advice – stress domestic policy, stay away from attacking Bush – to much the same effect.
Hansen and Mellman are joined by the poster boy of Democratic social promotion, Bob Shrum. Over his 30-year career, Shrum has worked on the campaigns of seven losing presidential candidates – from George McGovern to Bob Kerrey – capping his record with a leading role in the disaster that was the Gore campaign. Yet, instead of abiding by the "seven strikes and you're out" rule, Democrats have continued to pay top dollar for his services (sums that are supplemented by the percentage Shrum's firm, Shrum, Devine & Donilon, gets for purchasing air time for commercials). Although Shrum has never put anyone in the White House, in the bizarro world of Democratic politics, he's seen as a kingmaker – merely hiring the media strategist gives a candidate such instant credibility with big-ticket liberal funders that John Kerry and John Edwards fought a fierce battle heading into the 2004 primaries to lure Shrum to their camps. Ultimately, Shrum chose Kerry, and on Nov. 3, he extended his perfect losing record.That's our lovely Democrats.
Online Comm Roundup
Fred Kaplan. Some Questions, Mr. Chertoff- What senators should ask Bush's new choice for homeland security secretary before they confirm him
Edwin Black. The Projected Winner in Iraq: Failure
David W. Orr. The Imminent Demise of the Republican Party
Anthony Kaufman. Living in Oblivion; Reagan-era callousness sparked an indie film renaissance. Will Bush II inspire another?
Andrew O'Hehir. The sexual life of Abraham Lincoln; After reading C.A. Tripp's highly anticipated study of Abe's alleged homosexuality, we still don't know if he was gay. Does it matter?
Truthout. Retired Military Leaders Slam Gonzales
Arianna Huffington. America's finite future?
John Nichols. Calling Dr. Dean
Katrina vanden Heuvel. The Real Moral Fight
Paul Starr. Why We Need Social Security
Alexander Wohl. Replicating Rehnquist: George W. Bush wants a committed conservative to join the Supreme Court. Here are his likely options
George Howland Jr. Washington State's Revote Revolt
Rachel Brahinsky. Boxer's Rebellion: Activists and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) forced Congress to discuss voting rights on Jan. 6 when Boxer joined members of the U.S. House of Representatives in challenging the certification of Ohio's Electoral College vote
Jason Vest. Repeating Errors of History
It's Official: No WMDs
From today's front page Washington Post: "The hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq has come to an end nearly two years after President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein. The top CIA weapons hunter is home, and analysts are back at Langley. In interviews, officials who served with the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) said the violence in Iraq, coupled with a lack of new information, led them to fold up the effort shortly before Christmas."
Kerry Indication for 08?
The speculation in The Hill (via Kos, and I agree with him that Kerry shouldn't run in '08):
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is vetting the leading candidates to be the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, and asking them to remain neutral in the presidential selection process in 2008. It is the latest indication that Kerry is putting down markers to run again for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008.And this on the DNC chair:
His outreach to DNC candidates also marks his return to the fray after Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, that candidate he was backing for chairman, ruled himself out of contention in November. The DNC contest is exposing the presidential ambitions of a number of Democratic politicians. In addition to Kerry, other potential 2008 presidential candidates have also contacted — or been contacted by — the several DNC aspirants, providing an early list of who is sending clear signals within the party that they will run for the Democratic nomination ... But Kerry appears to be the only potential candidate in ’08 to maintain an open line of communication with the DNC candidates and has further set himself apart by requesting that the next DNC chairman remain neutral three years hence, when the Democratic selection process begins anew. Last week, Kerry asked former Rep. Tim Roemer (D-Ind.), whose home-state Democratic senator, Bayh, may run, to remain neutral.
Several of the campaigns said that Dean is all but a shoo-in to be on the final ballot, with all of the other candidates scrambling to be among the last two or three standing.
“Dean has the highest floor and the lowest ceiling,” a strategist for one of the rival campaigns said. Blanchard, who did not attend the first regional gathering of DNC delegates in Atlanta, said, “I do believe Howard deserves a second chance. I don’t know if this is the position for him, and this is not an endorsement, but he deserves a second look.”
Wed Paper Comm
honoluluadvertiser. Congo: The forsaken heart of darkness
Sally Kalson. White House has bigger credibility problem than CBS
Matthew Rothschild. It is time to leave Iraq
Andrew J. Rotherham. No Pundit Left Behind
John Nichols. On Ohio vote, Congress shirked its duty
Robert Kuttner. The myth of partisan gridlock
Derrick Z. Jackson. A new disaster in the works for tsunami victims
Terry Jones. A man-made tsunami: Why are there no fundraisers for the Iraqi dead?
SFC. A new Mideast
January 11, 2005
Online Comm, Wed
Ari Berman. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Chris Smith booted for supporting the troops
democracynow. FAIR on Bush Admin Funding of Armstrong Williams: "The Government Is Running a Domestic Propaganda Operation Secretly Targeting The American People"
Marcellus Andrews. Milton Friedman: Liberal Role Model
Robert Parry. Bush's 'Death Squads'
Joe Conason. The yes man: Ever faithful to his boss, George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales dodged his Senate critics Thursday with the company man's eternal defense: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Steven Laffoley. Steven Laffoley: America is Riding the Polarized Express
Molly Ivins. Leading by misleading: From Iraq to Social Security to jobs, Bush administration hallmark is deception
James Ridgeway. The Big, Bad Michael Chertoff
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Privatizing the Public Good: Why the Armstrong Williams scandal isn't an aberration
Fred J. Viskovich. The Limits of U.S. Military Power: Americans overestimate the power and reach of their military, at great cost to America and the world
Gerald Rellick. How Did We Ever Get in This Mess?
Stewart Nusbaumer. Where Antiwar Protesters Should Not Protest
Matthew Yglesias. Should Old People Have Plumbing? If your answer is yes, you should oppose price-indexing Social Security
Dahr Jamail. Iraq: The Devastation
Paper Roundup, Tuesday
StarTrib. Missed opportunity in Congress
Richard Cohen. Not Too Late For Justice
E. J. Dionne Jr. Making Us a Better People
NYT. New Twist on Corporate Governance: Corporate governance, a relatively obscure issue a few years ago, has now grown big enough to generate its own scandals
Lawrence J. Korb. The Pentagon's New Math
Paul Krugman. The Iceberg Cometh
SFC. Leave no ethics behind
CapTimes. Defending fair wages
Eloisa F. Callender. Bush tsunami bumbling washes away good will
Thomas Oliphant. Kerryism's comeback on Iraq
Robert Scheer. Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman?
Jesse Jackson. Bush could use vision of LBJ
Blog Roundup, Mondayish
Kevin Drum. RATHERGATE FINALE
liberaloasis. The Sunday Talkshow Breakdown
DCCC. Payola Chat
Eric Alterman. "The biggest [scandal] in the history of the Universe," (Not)
Zach Rynar. Transforming our Military
collegedems. NYDN: Bush flunks on college aid
talkingpointsmemo. Here is one of many comparisons and observations we'll be making to provide some counterweight to the White House's efforts to deceive the American people about Social Security
americablog. Southern Baptists called tsunami "a phenomenal opportunity"
boldprint. You Know You're a Republican When...
thepoorman. The Good News You Aren't Hearing About
nathannewman. Anti-labor Legislative Agenda
dailykos. Lindsey Graham: "Democrat by night"
Sarah Posner. How Gingrich Would Steal An Independent Judiciary
Thomas F. Schaller. Go Slow, Young Man: Tax reform of Social Security reform -- which will Bush go slower on?
Perrspective. The "Name That Bush Scandal" Contest
January 10, 2005
How a DNC Chair is Elected
If you're curious, and a political science nerd, you may be interested in Matt Stoller's post on Simon Rosenberg's blog (I currently take no position on who should be the DNC chair, FYI) on how a DNC chair is elected.
Online Comm Roundup, Monday
Robert B. Reich. A Suitable Remedy: When the FDA is weak, we rely on strong courts
Anya Kamenetz. No Trust Fund? Try Food Stamps; Down and out in Brooklyn, young artists turn to public assistance
democracynow. Gonzales Grilled on Role in Torture at Confirmation Hearing
John Nichols. An Election Reform Movement: Citizens get the need for election reform. Unfortunately, most of Congress doesn't
Anna Quindlen. The Ghost of Politics Past: Instead of Playing Desperate Defense, the Democrats Might Try Searching Their Souls, Asking Simple Questions with Complex Answers
Christian Christensen. Fox News as U.S. Goodwill Ambassador
Thom Hartmann. First They Came For The Terrorists...
Bill Berkowitz. The Capital Research Center at 20: Defunding progressive organizations drives DC-based institute
Sean Gonsalves. The New Monkey Trial
MotherJones. Coming Home: Seven families lay their fallen soldiers to rest.
Douglas McGray. Life on the Inside: A maverick program has a new deal for street people -- free apartments, no strings attached. So if it’s just a big giveaway, why do conservatives like it so much?
Illinois Times. Left-Wing Coalition Tries to Hit Sinclair in Pocketbook
Scott Fleming. In Good Conscience: A soldier who served with the 320th Military Police Company at Abu Ghraib speaks out about the atrocities he witnessed
Christy Harvey, Judd Legum, Jonathan Baskin. The Death Squad Option
Aaron Sarver. The Media Movement Matures
Matthew Hirsch. The cost of discrimination: Same-sex marriage isn't just about civil rights. It's about your money too
Jon Stewart Book Banned in Mississippi
Library officials in two southern Mississippi counties have banned Jon Stewart's best-selling "America (The Book)" over the satirical textbook's nude depictions of the nine U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) justices.
"I've been a librarian for 40 years and this is the only book I've objected to so strongly that I wouldn't allow it to circulate," said Robert Willits, director of the Jackson-George Regional Library System of eight libraries in Jackson and George counties.
"We're not an adult bookstore. Our entire collection is open to the entire public," Willits said. "If they had published the book without that one picture, that one page, we'd have the book."
Wal-Mart has declined to stock the book because of the page, which features the faces of the nine Supreme Court justices superimposed over naked bodies. The facing page has cutouts of the justices' robes, complete with a caption asking readers to "restore their dignity by matching each justice with his or her respective robe
Media Matters with comments from William A. Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
William A. Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said of the tsunami disaster in South Asia: "In one strange sense, then, what's happening to these poor Asian people is their gift to the world." Donohue's comments came after MSNBC host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL) asked him about "the Catholic church's take" on the disaster ... O'Connor did once characterize the Holocaust as Judaism's "gift" to the world, as the Associated Press reported on May 4, 2000, following O'Connor's death. But the AP also noted O'Connor's admission, during a January 1, 1997, New York Times interview, that he said "some dumb things" to the press on occasion: "The press could have asked me about satellites to Mars and I would have given them an answer." The AP also noted that on Yom Kippur, 1999, O'Connor "sent a letter to Jewish leaders expressing 'my own abject sorrow for any member of the Catholic Church, high or low, who may have harmed you or your forebears.' Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel published the letter in a Sunday Times advertisement, saying: 'For the prince of the church to say the things he does, it's very strong.'"
Monday Oped Roundup
StarTrib. Tsunami/An ecological catastrophe, too
Bob Herbert. The Scent of Fear
NYT. For the Record on Social Security: It appears that the president and his aides are trying to sow ignorance to gain support for their flawed plan to privatize Social Security
Ted Marmor and Jerry Mashaw. The Bush proposals for Social Security are about dismantling the current system - and not saving it
BG. Addicted in Afghanistan
LAT. Misdirection on Malpractice: There's not much evidence to support President Bush's assertion last week that medical malpractice awards are to blame for high healthcare costs
ChicST. Forcing reservists to stay is no way to get Army we want
Neil Bates. U.S. holds itself hostage to oil interests
starbulletin. McCain should refrain from blocking Akaka bill
January 08, 2005
Blog Roundup, Weekend
thepoorman. Honkys: A Tragic Comedy In 4 Acts
Jeffrey Dubner. MEET THE NEW MEMO, SAME AS THE OLD MEMO?
juancole. Election Woes
washingtonmonthly. VINTAGE WOLFOWITZ
washingtonmonthly. FUN WITH NUMBERS
talkingpointsmemo. Armstrong Williams
wonkette. Press Gaggle: Style Over Substance
Igor Volsky. Gonzales evades the open secret
mahablog. Speaking of moral clarity ...
pandagon. Negotiating With Himself...And Losing
nathannewman. Bush: Limit Asbestos Victims RIghts
liberaloasis. Gonzales Hands Dems Some Rope
Atrios. Goldberg on Charles Murray
mydd. DNC Chatter
January 07, 2005
Pundits on Bush Admin's Payroll
Recently, we learned that conservative columnist Armstrong Williams is getting paid to push the administration's line on NCLB. This brings up the question: How many other pundits are on the Bush admin payroll? From Amy Alexander:
Those of us who've wondered for some time about the mysterious proliferation of Mr. Williams over the past few years now have at least part of an answer. While this plug-for-pay deal will likely fall pretty quickly from the radar of the ever-expanding gaggle of media-watchers, it most certainly deserves further exploration. It must be said that this slimy deal with Williams and the Bush Administration simply widens the credibility gap between black Americans and the press, and between the press and discerning consumers of news: anyone who suspects that journalists are mere shills for the government or big corporations now have this handy, multi-cultural handy example of just such a thing! Of course, usually "liberal" journalists are accused of having unsavory motives (see Dan Rather, Howell Raines, et al) but the news that Williams was paid to pimp No Child Left Behind simply heaps more steaming dung onto the public's already overflowing perception of "the media" as a big, roiling pot of rotten stew. It's progress, I guess, when a black media hustler can scale the heights of American leadership and reap a quarter-million dollar payoff of the type historically reserved for white guys.And another example of the Bush admin using fake news for propaganda.
On the bright side, we should keep in mind that Williams is NOT a journalist; he has become a pseudo-journalist via the on-air exposure he received during the Hill-Thomas hearings in 1991. His conservative "credentials" began to mount up after he was adopted by the right wing think tank-lecture circuit-talk radio crowd; since then, he has found easy sledding in the world of big media, which of course says a lot about the limitations of top editors in network news and the like. I mean, it is not an accident that black conservative pundits like Armstrong, who are at best journalistic lightweights, seem to find major outlets with lightening speed, while legit black opinion writers like Clarence Page, Cynthia Tucker, William Raspberry and Leonard Pitts, Jr. toiled away for years as good old fashioned newshounds before they ever experienced national exposure.
More than anything, of course, this episode shows that the propaganda machine is up and running in the Bush Administration. Makes you wonder how many other "journalists" are on the payroll.
Crossfire: What Went Wrong?
According to Bill Press, former co-host of the CNN show, it was the CNN management:
For 21 years, “Crossfire” had thrived. It was one of CNN’s signature shows. It got the network’s second-highest ratings, after Larry King. It was one of television’s most famous programs. Because it worked: two guests, two co-hosts, one topic, one half-hour, live television. Anything could happen, and did! It was a magic format and there were some magic moments ... Sadly, it was Walter Isaacson who killed “Crossfire,” in his short stint as president of CNN. He took a serious political debate show and turned it into a gong show. And, by putting it in front of a live audience, he made the whole point of the show, for guests and co-hosts alike, simply scoring cheap shots in order to get a laugh out of the audience – instead of serious debate on a serious topic.
Then they moved Crossfire from 7:30 p.m. EST to 4:30 p.m. And the show’s been on life-support ever since.
Online Comm, Roundup, Friday
Gary Ruskin. Enabling Corruption
Melissa Harris Lacewell. It's One Tentative Step Toward Fairer Elections
Grist. Political science: An interview with Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Craig Charney. Morocco: The price of anti-Americanism - It's what America wants: A moderate Muslim country moving toward democracy. But Bush's policies have so enraged Moroccans that urgently needed reforms are seen as a U.S. plot
Eric Boehlert. Fox News gets blown away: Fox's weak coverage of the tsunami in South Asia proves that when it comes to stories with global significance, the nasty, partisan network isn't ready for prime time
Ari Berman. Illusions in Iraq
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Reverend Dyson's Organizing Wisdom
Dave Gilson. Root Causes: An Interview with Wangari Maathai
Michael Coblenz. Bush Math, or When Is 4 Percent Really 32 Percent?
Jennifer Washburn. Studied Interest: From our February 2005 issue: How industry is undermining academia
Mike Smith. Picking through the wreckage: Catastrophes in poor nations need our cash now – and our political scrutiny in the future
Adria Vasil. I Will Live Greener in 2005: Five steps to your personal eco-revolution
John Nichols. Keep Objecting: The brief debate over certification of the Ohio results cannot be the end of the process. Democrats and Republicans need to continue to feel the heat if election reform is to be a reality
Don Hazen. Power Play: The battle for the “soul of the Democratic Party” has begun, with the opening skirmishes over Howard Dean and reproductive rights
Gonzales Pulls a Reagan
From the Center for American Progress:
"I don't recall specifically whether or not I requested this memo."The Center also lists a bunch of reasons why Gonzales shouldn't be confirmed.
– Alberto Gonzales, 1/6/05, on whether he requested a memo regarding the standards of conduct against torture.
"Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales: You have asked for our Office's views regarding the standards of conduct under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment…"
– Opening line of August 1, 2002 memo
Paper Commentary Roundup, Friday
Honolulu Advertiser. Bush torture policy: Harm's already done
E. J. Dionne Jr. Social Security: The Democrats Need a Plan
Bob Herbert. Promoting Torture's Promoter
NYT. Mr. Gonzales Speaks: The nation deserves an attorney general who is not the public face for inhumane, illegal and clearly un-American policies
Steve Freeman. Keeping our democracy alive: Did voters really count in U.S. election?
Clarence Page. Chisholm: Unbought, unbossed, unparalleled
Derrick Z. Jackson. The 'tsunami' victims that we don't count
Why Gonzales Matters
Wesley Clark on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Jan 4:
How can the American people have confidence in a man like Gonzales after what he‘s written for the president of the United States? He‘s basically said the Geneva Convention was irrelevant. He basically said that torture is something that‘s very limited, that you could be in terrible pain and that you still wouldn‘t be being tortured.Clark also made a good point about Jimmy Carter:
MATTHEWS: Yes. He said we could have cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.
CLARK: And not have it be torture.
CLARK: And Mr. Gonzales has basically said the power of the presidency is unlimited and he can do anything he wants.
How can we feel confident as Americans that we‘re living under the rule of law when the attorney general has violated what we believe to be the law? ... MATTHEWS: So Gonzales is not your man.
CLARK: I think strict Geneva Convention, strict adherence to the law.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
CLARK: We put that law in place to protect our soldiers.
MATTHEWS: You can‘t officially do it anymore, but—you‘re retired. But do you think a lot of military men of your rank, flag rank, do you think that‘s a common view? McCaffrey certainly had it last night. Is this a general view you hear from military men?
CLARK: This is what we believe in.
We—look, we fought for the Geneva Convention. It was put in place to protect our soldiers, our values and our institutions ... We can‘t win the war on terror if we give up what we stand for as the American people.
MATTHEWS: Do you find it odd that the former president who has the most role to play in the last 20 years in terms of helping poor nations with disease and problems like this, smaller versions of this, Jimmy Carter, was not asked to participate? Do you find that interesting?
CLARK: Well, I think it‘s a terrible thing that he wasn‘t asked to participate. And I‘m sure that President Carter is going to do everything he can to help this effort.
MATTHEWS: Do you think it was partisan knocking Carter off the list?
CLARK: I don‘t know if it was partisan or not. But I will tell you what. Jimmy Carter is held in very, very high esteem around the world. I‘ve had people from every walk of life around the world tell me how much they think of President Carter. So it‘s in our country‘s interest that we put President Carter out there on the line as one of America‘s great representatives.
Michael Moore on Leno Tonight
NBC, after the local news, FYI.
January 06, 2005
Blog Roundup, Thursday
Tom Engelhardt. Self-Portrait in a Tortured World
Altercation. Torture is boring
liberaloasis. UN Takes The Lead
Cliff Schecter. Repeat After Me: It's Not Your Party Anymore
Joshua Holland. Spine Discovered in Democrat
David Sirota. Have Dems Learned Nothing?
FrankenBlog. BUSH REJECTS BAD NEWS
washingtonmonthly. KEN MEHLMAN HATES CHRISTMAS!....
democrats.org. You mean he couldn't find anyone else?
nathannewman. Hartford Passes Wal-Mart Public Access Law
Tapped. THOSE HOLLYWOOD FEMINISTS
Test. How Bad Is Gonzales? Very Bad
Hamster Numbers: Debt and the dollar
From the Economic Policy Institute:
The United States is currently borrowing $665 billion annually from foreign lenders to finance the gap between payments to and receipts from the rest of the world, an amount equivalent to $5,500 per American household. This borrowing entails serious costs for the U.S. economy. However, these costs have been hidden for the past few years, predominantly by the historically low interest rates, which resulted from the Federal Reserve’s attempts to spur economic recovery after the 2001 recession and from a downturn in domestic investment. This happy scenario will not persist indefinitely, and when interest rates rise, the costs of U.S. borrowing will have serious economic consequences:
• With no improvement in the current account deficit, the external debt of the United States will rise from 24% of total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2003 to 64% by 2014.
• The cost of servicing just the additional debt incurred from 2004 to 2014 will rise to 1.7% of GDP by 2014, the equivalent of $250 billion in 2004 dollars.
Online Comm Roundup, Thursday
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Lunch With Michael (Moore)
Bill Berkowitz. Not your Grandma's religious right: Don't be shocked or awed, but the Christian right isn't satisfied merely running the government
Molly Ivins. Lynching Social Security: To eliminate nation's safety net, Bush first has to convince us it's bad
John Nichols. Keep Objecting: John Nichols reports that Sen. Barbara Boxer's backing of the Conyers challenge should open a debate on election reform
Bruce Shapiro. Gonzales: The Fight is On
Patrick C. Doherty. From Crisis, Opportunity
Marguerite Feitlowitz. The torturer general: Alberto Gonzales' arguments in defense of humanity's vilest practice are identical to those used by the generals who fought Argentina's dirty war. It staggers belief that this man is to hold our highest legal post
Alan Berlow. The facilitator: When Alberto Gonzales briefed George W. Bush on the cases of Texas death row inmates up for clemency, his memos were so shabby they seemed intended solely to make it easy for Bush to send prisoners to their deaths
Charles P. Pierce . Department of Provolone Security: Guarding our nation and splurging on cheese displays since 2002
David DeBatto. From Alberto to the Insurgency: An Iraq War veteran explains why Alberto Gonzales has already done enough damage
Jeffrey Dubner. Inherently Wrong: Alberto Gonzales may oppose torture, but he doesn’t support our Constitution
Matthew Scott Kelemen. Dying with Dignity: Alejandro Amenábar explores the life of right-to-die activist Ramón Sampedro in 'The Sea Inside.
Yvonne Bynoe. Unbought and Unbossed: Throughout her life, Shirley Chisholm publicly defied conventional notions about race, gender and class
Lakshmi Chaudhry. Rethinking Iraq: To be both responsible and effective, the anti-war movement has to mature into a tightly organized, disciplined political campaign with a well-honed agenda and plan of action
The former NBC commentator on the tsunami, via Media Matters:
During nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage's December 31 broadcast -- his first since the December 26 tsunami resulting from an earthquake in Southeast Asia -- Savage said that the tsumani was "not a tragedy" and that the United States should not be sending any aid to the affected countries because they are "hotbeds of radical Islam." Savage added: "We shouldn't be spending a nickel on this, as far as I'm concerned. ... I am sick of being bled to death by every damn incident on the earth."
Savage opened the program by saying that he needed some international aid because of rainy weather in San Francisco, the city from which he broadcasts his program. Savage also said that while he does not argue that "God struck" the people of Southeast Asia -- because he's "not a theologian" -- "[y]ou could argue, maybe this is God's hand, because some of their brethren struck Christian America."
Paper Comm Roundup, Thursday
Sidney Blumenthal. The neocons have a hand in Aceh, too: US support for Indonesia's army is compromising its relief effort
Robert. Marcia B. Baker
Richard Cohen. Conspicuous Compassion
Maureen Dowd. Don't Torture Yourself (That's His Job)
Anne Applebaum. Bush officials twist Gonzales' nomination to their liking, but they shouldn't forget his role in Abu Ghraib
Newsday. Gonzales has some explaining to do
John Nichols. Chisholm broke a path toward American ideal
Cameron F. Kerry. Counting every vote
Thomas Oliphant. Hastert's House of unexamined ethics
BG. Savaging social security
LAT. A Window on a Man's Morality: Alberto R. Gonzales' record raises questions about his fitness to serve as attorney general
Carlson Gone from CNN
Not much of a surprise, but don't expect him to disappear from TV; AP:
CNN will probably fold "Crossfire" into its other programming, perhaps as an occasional segment on the daytime show "Inside Politics," said Jonathan Klein, who was appointed in late November as chief executive of CNN's U.S. network.
Klein on Wednesday told Carlson, one of the four "Crossfire" hosts, that CNN would not be offering him a new contract. Carlson has reportedly been talking with MSNBC about a prime-time opening replacing Deborah Norville ... "His career aspirations and our programming needs just don't synch up," Klein said. "He wants to host his own nighttime show and we don't see that in the cards here. Out of respect for him and his talent, we thought it would be best to let him explore opportunities elsewhere."
An MSNBC spokesman had no comment on CNN's decision.
"We think Tucker is a great journalist and we're exploring our options for a new 9 p.m. show," said MSNBC's Jeremy Gaines.
January 05, 2005
Online Comm Roundup, Wed
Ray McGovern. It's Not Only Illegal, It's Wrong: Alberto Gonzales and the morality of torture
Nat Hentoff. What Did Rumsfeld Know? ACLU releases documents of U.S. torture of detainees by more than 'a few bad apples'
Ari Berman. Players Ball: Fat cats fund Bush's inaugural
Jonathan Watts. "I am his little brother" Jeb Bush and Colin Powell have some humbling moments as they begin their tour of the tsunami disaster zone
Eric Boehlert. Payola is dead! Now what will we listen to? The bizarre, sleazy system of independent radio promotion may finally have bitten the dust. But believe it or not, pop radio may get even worse
Arianna Huffington. A year to forget, part II
Stewart Nusbaumer. The Jungle In The Desert
Robert B. Reich. Donations for Goodwill
Karyn Quinlan. Inside the Washington State Recount: A ballot-counter tells all about the gubernatorial hand recount that Democrat Christine Gregoire won by 129 votes out of 2.8 million. Guess what? It wasn't the Democrats who tried to game the system
Geov Parrish. The Most Overhyped and Underreported Stories of 2004
Lisa Sorg. Peace Corps Volunteers Play Delicate Role Amid Conflicts
David Donnelly. The Ethical Albatross: Negative opinion may have caught up with powerbroker Tom DeLay.
Michael Lerner. The Neverending Story: Imagine if every day there were headlines saying: "29,000 children died yesterday from preventable diseases and malnutrition." Would the aid money rush in? Does it?
Whitman Book Criticizes Bush Strategy
From the UK Telegraph:
In a new book, It's My Party too: the battle for the heart of the GOP [Grand Old Party, the nickname for the Republican Party] and the Future of America, she describes regular battles with "extreme anti-government ideologues".
Her book is clearly designed to cast a shadow over Mr Bush's inauguration later this month.
But she says that while Mr Bush's campaign did energise his own political base, he failed to expand it. The results showed he "missed an opportunity to significantly broaden his support in the most populous areas of the country", she writes.
Ms Whitman argues that the strategy of Karl Rove, Mr Bush's chief political adviser, to focus rigorously on the narrow conservative base may have won the day, "but we must ask at what price to governing and at what risk to the future of the party".
Oped Roundup, Wed
Bill Gallagher. BUSH'S TSUNAMI RESPONSE PATHETIC
Scott Ritter. Rude awakening to missile-defense dream
StarTrib. Ugly maneuvers in Congress
Harold Meyerson. The 'Other America' May Be Coming Back
Gene Sperling. No Pain, No Savings
Barry Schwartz. Choose and Lose: The main arguments in favor of privatizing Social Security are dubious, or disingenuous, or both
NYT. Rewarding Mr. Gonzales Given his close connection with the military prison abuse scandals, Alberto Gonzales is a troubling candidate for the job of attorney general
SFC. The president's budget ruse
SFC. Hybrid road rage
Dave Zweifel. Pell cut an attack on working people
The Capital Times. Don't certify Ohio results
Robert Kuttner. 'The good heart of the American people'
Derrick Z. Jackson. Chisholm's example for Democrats
BG. Doubts about Gonzales
LAT. Playing Games With Ethics
January 04, 2005
Blog Roundup, Tuesday
liberaloasis. Momentum against the Alberto Gonzales nomination for Attorney General is building
RoadtoSurfdom. Image, meet reality
MaxSpeak. SUFFER THE CHILDREN
Joshua Holland. Fuzzy math and foreign aid
Joshua Holland. Knocked up teens…
WashingtonMonthly. Tax Attacks III
TalkLeft. 225 Religious Groups Call on Gonzales to Oppose Torture
Nathan Newman. False Immigration Assumptions for Social Security
Sam Rosenfeld. STILL DEFINING ETHICS DOWN
Jeffrey Dubner. DON'T FORGET BERNIE
MyDD. DNC Chair CattleCall: New Year Edition
Atrios. Frist - Big Fat Liar
AlFrankenShow. JUST IN CASE: FREE CONDOMS FOR HOUSE PAGES
Krugman. Stopping the Bum's Rush
Richard Cohen. Ugly Truths About Guantanamo
Honolulu Advertiser. Homeland security: a faith-based activity?
E. J. Dionne Jr. The Matsui Generation
NYT. Leave No Sales Pitch Behind: The fine print of the No Child Left Behind Act has given an unfair boost to military recruiters on school campuses
Marie Cocco. Bush's Social Security plan misleads
George Monbiot. The victims of the tsunami pay the price of war on Iraq
Dave Zweifel. Irritating foreign students a dumb move
Thomas Oliphant. The legacy of two pioneer Democrats
Jesse Jackson. Senators should object to Ohio vote
Robert Scheer. Backing Gonzales Is Backing Torture
LAT. Odor in the Court
January 03, 2005
"Here in New York, thousands of people partied in funny hats and popped balloons in Times Square. Those who were there said it was just like the Republican Convention, but with black people." Conan O'Brien
"Today's USA Today features an editorial by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defending the war in Iraq. You can tell it was written by Rumsfeld because the opening line of the editorial is 'shut your pie hole and listen.'" Conan O'Brien
"Osama bin Laden has released yet another audiotape saying that any Iraqi who votes in the January election is an infidel and will be punished by God. And he also urged people not to waste their vote on Ralph Nader." Jay Leno
"Things are not looking good for Donald Rumsfeld. First Sen. John McCain said he had no confidence in him. Now Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf said he's angry at Rumsfeld for not providing soldiers in Iraq with the proper armor. In fact, Rumsfeld has screwed up so badly, President Bush might have to give him one of those Medal of Freedom awards." Jay Leno
"Yesterday, I received a Christmas card from Donald Rumsfeld in the mail. Would have been nice if he had actually signed it." David Letterman
Click down for comics
Online Comm Roundup, Monday
Curtis White. Ratio Nation
Susan Eaton. Wrong for Civil Rights: why civil rights and feminist activists are appalled by Gerald Reynolds's appointment
Village Voice. Media Culpa: From the Dean scream to Abu Ghraib: a highlight reel from a year's worth of press bashing
Terry Krepel. BluePillNetDaily: WorldNetDaily creates its own media matrix through lies, distortions and unbalanced coverage
mediamatters. Carlson claimed Kerry "refused to talk about" Iraq "for two years"
mediamatters. Meet the Press paired imbalanced panel with imbalanced video recapping 2004 election
Scott Lilly. What's Behind the Sagging Dollar?
Julian Borger. Indefinite and secretive: Under scrutiny for its harsh interrogation methods at Guantanamo, the U.S. plans to move some terror suspects to "permanent" prisons in other countries
Katrina vanden Heuvel. Ken Lay Would Love SS Privatization: How Enron could help save Social Security
John Nichols. Shirley Chisholm's Legacy: Pioneering presidential candidate smashed stereotypes with her 1972 run
Peter Maass. A Touch of Crude: American bankers handled his loot. Oil companies play by his rules. The Bush administration woos him. How the pursuit of oil is propping up the West African dictatorship of Teodoro Obiang
Greg Sargent. Berman's Battle: Richard Berman claims to help the average consumer. In fact, he works for corporate America
Earl Ofari Hutchinson. Broken Promises: Though their response to the tsunami disaster has been admirable, wealthy nations have fallen behind in efforts to help fight poverty in the developing world
Robert Marquand. Fear Factor; As an estimated 1.5 million displaced Sri Lankans head inland, new logistical problems crop up – worsened by a paralyzing mentality of fear
Eric Margolis. 'U.S. dollar's freefall to have global effect'
E.J. Dionne. 'Bush critics must learn lessons from such a bad year'
From the Center for American Progress:
"Some senators are doing this because they don't appreciate the fact that I named judges who will faithfully interpret the law, not legislate from the bench. They apparently want activist judges."
- President Bush, 7/7/04
"[The opinion is] an unconscionable act of judicial activism"
- Attorney General Nominee Alberto Gonzales, describing an opinion of Texas Supreme Court Justice Pricilla Owen, who recently renominated to the federal courts by President Bush.
Blog Roundup, Monday
jameswolcott. "Kind of a Shame"
Altercation. Kofi Annan and the Oil for Food Scandal
talkleft. ACLU Issues Report on Alberto Gonzales
Tapped. CONSTITUTION STATE SPECULATION
pandagon. Bob Matsui
talkingpointsmemo. Tom Delay Protection Act of 2005
nathannewman. Social Security: No Crisis
mydd. Redistricting agenda
dailykos. The Fraudsters and electoral reform
dailykos. The GOP's ethics deficit
dailyhowler. THE WEAK IN REVIEW! The New York Times went to war late last year. This morning, the warfare continues
skippy. putting your money where your vote is....
wonkette. Clarence Thomas Is Dirk Diggler
boldprint. Out of Iraq, Into Indonesia?
Rest in Peace, Robert Matsui
Sad news from this weekend.
See the DCCC's blog for more.
Paper Comm Roundup
Scott Burns. Surreal times are upon us
Jennifer Wheary. Who owns America's moral values?
Seattle PI. As we say, not as we do
WPost. Wrong Step on Judges
Bob Herbert. When the Weight of the Evidence Shifts
SFC. Our Planet, and Our Duty: THE NOVEMBER elections showed surprising agreement between Republicans and Democrats on at least one issue: the need to protect and conserve land from urban sprawl and commercial development
Capital Times. Bush fails essential global test
ChicST. New stem cell research may save lives while preserving life