|March, 2007 link archive
Thursday, March 1, 2007After Chinese speculators 'Take the Money and Run,' Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assures Congress "that the markets were 'working well' and the outlook for the U.S. economy was upbeat," despite the "bloody fingerprints" left by an 'Invisible Hand.'
With Democrats preparing to "load up" an Iraq bill with "$10 billion in add-ons," former senator Lincoln Chafee recalls how "every single senator at the time who now seeks higher office" voted on 'The Senate's Forgotten Iraq Choice.'
Iraq reconstruction coordinator Timothy Carney, who called U.S. post-invasion policy "incompetent, foolish, dubious" in an interview with NPR, was previously blocked from appearing at a House oversight hearing, after being named to the 'dream team.'
Although Stars and Stripes reports that "attacks against coalition forces in Iraq averaged nearly 180 a day in January," First Lady Laura Bush explained to CNN's Larry King that "what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody."
Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp reports that a 'Military Press Crackdown Extends Further Than Walter Reed,' where "top officials ... including the Army's surgeon general," who "lives across the street from Building 18," have reportedly known about outpatient neglect for "more than three years."
Report that 'U.S. had doubts on North Korean uranium drive,' prompts observation that "In this decade there's been no stronger force for nuclear weapons proliferation than the dynamic duo of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush."
A Gallup poll finds that while Democrats believe Sen. Hillary Clinton to be their 'Most Electable' presidential candidate, Republicans give Sen. Barack Obama "the better odds," as Obama pulls ahead among black voters.
After reading two "pathological columns" on Al Gore, the Daily Howler's Bob Somerby finds it "impossible to imagine a pundit admitting what actually happened to Gore" at the hands of the media in the 2000 campaign.
A former right wing radio host in Texas will spend 3 years in prison after exposing himself to an 11 year old girl and then breaking probation, while "accusations of lust and greed, betrayal and embezzlement" provoke a "Christian gesture" in California.
The rise of a new 'third man' -- who calls for an end to "bi-polar" politics in France, is said to make the coming presidential election "more exciting," after Jean-Marie Le Pen explains that "anti-Semitism 'can be funny.'"
Friday, March 2, 2007
Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigns, one day after firing the commander of Walter Reed, who was replaced by a predecessor who critics say was aware of problems at the facility and did nothing, and whose oversight of the hospital is still under examination.
Now less than ever. A congressionally appointed panel concludes that the National Guard has been "stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," and is thus "less prepared now than it's ever been to respond to a major terrorist attack, a natural disaster or another domestic crisis."
Ahmad Chalabi returns to the limelight amid talk of a Cabinet position, contending in an interview that his "polarizing" associations are "a non-issue in Iraq," while the party of Iyad Allawi threatens to withdraw from the Iraqi government amid rumors of a possible coup (scroll down).
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith tries to rebuild his reputation with a website which features a quote from one general but not another, and an opening statement that is criticized for "cherrypicking." Plus: 'Doug Feith versus The Blogosphere.'
The Vice President tries out a new title, but Joe Conason finds Cheney's credibility in its 'last throes,' and Robert Parry wonders if it isn't the very policies advocated by the Vice President that "validate the al-Qaida strategy."
'Is "Howard Kurtz" a software program?' wonders Glenn Greenwald, after correctly predicting a column profiling how right wing bloggers exposed the "scandal" of anonymous commenters on a liberal blog lamenting that Cheney hadn't been killed by a bomb in Afghanistan.
Tony Snow tells reporters "I don't know" if Osama bin Laden is the leader of al-Qaeda, as a pair of articles in the Asia Times finds al-Qaeda 'ready to take on the world' and 'looking for a new home in Iraq.'
Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks, who is the first to be charged under the Military Commissions Act, recounts a 'life of terror and torture' in U.S. custody in "a document to be presented in May to a British court as he pursues British citizenship."
As former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias charges that he was fired because he resisted pressure from GOP lawmakers to speed up a corruption investigation of a Democrat just before the November elections, a 'House panel subpoenas fired U.S. attorneys' who have been reticent to testify.
An unexpected call to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's daily radio program leads to speculation that Fidel Castro is back, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is said to be having "nightmares over Venezuela."
Robert Reich argues that it is "way too early for a sigh of relief" about the recent market "correction," and Paul Krugman imagines how 'The Big Meltdown' might come as "a self-reinforcing cycle of complacency" in the market gives way to "a self-reinforcing cycle of anxiety."
The House passes what the AFL-CIO calls "the most important labor law reform legislation in 70 years" over objections from employer groups that are said not to "pass the laugh test," but the bill is expected to face a filibuster in the Senate and a veto in the White House.
With a nod to the Blues Brothers, a conservative conference on a 'Mission From God' features an appearance by Rudolph Giuliani but not Sen. John McCain, as Max Blumenthal captures some of the colorful range of opinion on display and Bill Scher zeros in on the conservatives' "secular problem."
Monday, March 5, 2007
As the 'U.S. Army scrambles to clean Walter Reed' and Congress begins hearings, the Washington Post adds up 'troubling stories of military health care across the U.S.,' to conclude that 'It's not just Walter Reed,' and Salon's Mark Benjamin discusses the "media's newfound interest in wounded vets."
Paul Krugman notes that the Katrina-like debacle at Walter Reed is not just a matter of using "cooked numbers to pretend that it has been generous to veterans," but a result of "the Bush administration's relentless push to outsource and privatize."
The choice of Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman to deliver the Saturday Democratic radio address on the Walter Reed scandal is seen as part of an attempt to "shut out" progressives, as Lieberman gets grilled over plans to get things fixed on "Imus in the Morning."
David Swanson warns that "the Democrats' strategy of letting the war continue," could turn "George Bush's war" into 'the Democrats' war,' as he considers the limits of what Congress is willing and able to do, while Glenn Greenwald makes the case for 'confrontational investigations, subpoenas, and hearings.'
Frank Rich see signs of nostalgia for "the politics of personal destruction" in the Clinton campaign's "over the top" reaction to a "dust up with a Hollywood tycoon," that show Sen. Clinton out of touch with the looming reality of "the politics of mass destruction in Iraq."
Responding to a raid on an Iraqi government intelligence agency in Basra that discovered prisoners with "signs of torture," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki denounces the "illegal" raid, but fails to mention the torture.
After a "panicked shooting" in Afghanistan involving U.S. forces leaves a number of civilians dead, journalists covering the event are threatened and have their photos and videos deleted by the American troops, and a Nato air and artillery strike kills nine more civilians.
Following up on his article in the Independent, Robert Fisk talks to "Democracy Now!" about 'bin Laden at 50, Iraqi Death Squads, and why the Middle East is more dangerous now than in past 30 years of war reporting.'
Sen. Pete Domenici apologizes for 'calling U.S. attorney about federal probe,' but denies wrongdoing, and the White House comes up with a new explanation of why federal attorneys were fired, as Robert Parry reviews how President Bush learned "about the value of having federal prosecutors who see things your way."
The Washington Post's "Citizen K-street project," an "unprecedented" 25-part five-week investigation of lobbying influence, launches with the story of how Gerald S.J. Cassidy "helped create a new culture of wealth in the nation's capital."
An advocate of "global empire" with a record of support from conservative foundations is appointed to a prominent post at the State Department in what Steven Clemons speculates is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's attempt to "inoculate herself ... against sabotage from the Cheney team."
A report by the Oxford Research Group that is backed by former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq Hans Blix warns that strikes on Iran "could accelerate rather than hinder Tehran's production of atomic weapons." Plus: Archaeological treasures near targets of possible US. strikes.
'A CIA kidnap victim' who lost a "Kafkaesque" legal battle that "leaves him without right or remedy," writes to explain 'I am not a state secret,' as a nine year old Canadian citizen remains in "international limbo" in a U.S. "Family Detention Center."
At the CPAC conference, Mitt Romney tops the straw poll, and distances himself from "San Francisco East," while the Nation's Max Blumenthal, in his 'Unauthorized Documentary' of the event confronts Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter with some of their own beliefs.
After Coulter received an "enthusiastic round of applause" for calling John Edwards a "faggot," statements were issued attempting to distance the candidates and others on the right from her remarks, but for David Neiwert she remains a conservative "bellwether."
Fox News is found to devote '12 times more coverage to Anna Nicole than Walter Reed,' the Oscars are taken to task for a Seinfeld approach to documentaries that a new rule may make worse, and the History Channel discovers a 600 year long "godless" era in the heart of Europe.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Watch Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference, and a White House spokesperson announcing that "our principled stand of not commenting on ongoing legal investigations is going to continue."
A Guardian report describes the verdict as 'a black eye' for the White House, the National Review calls on President Bush to 'Pardon Libby,' and Fox News' legal analysts and hosts all reach "oddly similar conclusions."
"We could have rolled out the decisions more smoothly," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Wall Street Journal, in defending the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, as a "messenger" 'Quits,' a GOP Representative elects to "come clean," and a story about political pressure spreads.
Speaking to the American Legion, President Bush announced the appointment of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to review "problems, real problems" at Walter Reed, to be headed by Bob Dole and Donna Shalala.
"Nine Afghan civilians" were reportedly killed in a U.S. airstrike, hours after U.S. Marines were said to have "fired indiscriminately" in "self defense" as they "sped away" from an incident in Jalalabad.
Despite media reports that it could doom her campaign, a new poll is said to show that "Democrats don't much care" about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq.
Reading and Riding Comparing the gender-based "analysis" of two pundits, Daily Howler argues that "when you read [Maureen] Dowd, you're riding with [Ann] Coulter," whose web site is being "off listed" by advertisers, and whose latest "bomb" was said to have a 'Long Fuse.'
With the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting that time is rapidly running out for Louisiana's coast, Newt Gingrich demands an investigation of "the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people ... couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane."
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
With the White House P.R. machine 'Caught in the Spin Cycle,' President Bush is said to be "losing control of events in Washington," after 'Cheney's Henchman Gets His,' while the vice president suffers "death by 1,000 cuts."
A Wall Street Journal editorial calls on President Bush to offer Libby "a pardon, and an apology," the Washington Post is deluged with responses to an editorial describing the scandal as "pointless," and readers are encouraged to 'Guess Libby's Pardon Date.'
Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford weighs in after 'The Barack and Hillary Show Plays Selma,' with "a double-church drive-by."
Sen. Chuck Hagel, who reportedly 'acts like he's already running,' is also described as "out of patience with think-tank cowboys and talk-show Napoleons," in an Esquire profile in which he says of President Bush, "before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment."
Project Red Ink A $100 million investment in marketing raises a 'Meager $18 Million,' and prompts the question, "is the rise of philanthropic fashionistas decked out in Red T-shirts and iPods really the best way to save a child dying of AIDS in Africa?"
Thursday, March 8, 2007
'Is the Bush surge already failing?' asks Juan Cole, who sees "the Sunni Arab guerrillas running rings around both al-Maliki's forces and those of the U.S. How some extra troops for half a year will change that remains about as clear as Baghdad's sky during a spring sandstorm."
As Blue Dog Democrats 'assert power' on war spending, an effort to "fully fund ... withdrawal" is launched by the House Out of Iraq Caucus, but "exhibition season" is said to find 'The Washington Dodgers' "batting 1.000."
As 'Legal experts rap media ban at Gitmo,' a Bush administration official parries a Democratic congressman's plan to bring prisoners stateside, by asking, "Which American city will they choose to place America's most wanted terrorists?" Earlier: '8 reasons to close Guantanamo now.'
As C-SPAN 'liberalizes its copyright policies' following 'Pelosi flap,' a U.S. House committee takes up a bill that would overturn a 2001 Bush administration directive that has impeded the release of presidential papers.
Protesters 'take to streets' in Brazil to welcome "the least appropriate person on Earth for this mission," despite White House claims that "the president has had Latin America ... as a priority since he came into office."
CQ reports that senior House Republicans 'Were Aware' of patient care problems at Walter Reed "while their party controlled Congress," and Slate's Fred Kaplan says of Bush, "No doubt he is concerned."
Sen. Pete Domenici has reportedly hired a "well-known Washington defense lawyer," as 'Fired U.S. attorney's testimony' leaves "eyebrows raised" and 'Subpoenas Likely,' although 'ABC, NBC still haven't covered' the story.
Although it's suspected that 'Sen. Hagel May Enter '08 Race Soon,' with Republicans 'Searching For Their Inner Dean,' Dick Morris portrays the campaign as essentially pitting "race" and "gender" against "heroism."
In keeping with his view that "all rock music is the work of Satan," Pope Benedict XVI is said to have expressed lingering doubts about the "correctness" of his predecessor's decision in 1997 to appear onstage with a "false 'prophet.'"
Paul deLay, Pacific Northwest blues legend, who was "known all over the world as an icon" for harmonica players, and who sang of having "14 Dollars in the Bank, 1500 worth of unpaid bills," has died of leukemia at 55.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Democrats are said to have "found their brand" as an "out soon" party with a legislative push for a 2008 deadline and funding cuts for contractors, mixed with $20 billion in new spending designed to 'span the Democratic divide.'
In his first extended comments since taking command, Gen. David Petraeus admits, "There is no military solution" to the problems in Iraq and leaves open the possibility of "calling in even more soldiers" as the numbers keep going up.
President Bush opens his "We Care" tour of Latin America trumpeting aid given to the region, but his proposed budget calls for "a decrease in aid," and preliminary reactions have ranged from hostile protests to indifference.
With Latin American governments facing increasing popular pressure to adopt "more independent and egalitarian paths to development," James Petras views Bush's trip as an attempt to "integrate client regimes into the U.S. economic and diplomatic orbit and to construct an anti-Chavez coalition," but expectations appear to have been set exceedingly low.
Only in Colombia, it's argued, will Bush find "an unconditional friend," but one whose tenure is said to be tainted by 'a dark underbelly of mass graves and electoral fraud,' that serves as a target for an Amnesty International cartoon proclaiming "dirty is the new clean." Plus: 'Priests to purify site after Bush visit.'
In the ongoing scandal at the 'Department of Injustice,' Paul Krugman points to data indicating that many more prosecutors simply caved in to pressure to transform the DOJ into a "component of the Bush administration's attempt to create a permanent Republican lock on power."
Karl Rove insists the prosecutor purge is "normal and ordinary," and the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes finds nothing wrong with 'leaning on prosecutors,' but Sen. Arlen Specter comments "One day there will be a new attorney general," as the current one 'agrees to change in law.'
A Justice Department audit finds that the FBI's use of "national security letters" to secretly obtain phone, e-mail and financial records was "underreported by 20%" and included "potential violations of law," but as Glenn Greenwald notes, Bush rejected the reporting requirements of the law in his "signing statement."
The Wall Street Journal reports on the growing success of the grassroots media reform movement in blocking "some of the most-wanted issues on corporate wish-lists," while critics find the news media still in need of an "accountability moment" for lapses in their watchdog role.
Will Bunch lists a few reasons for thinking that Fox News' Roger Ailes doesn't deserve his First Amendment Leadership Award, while some ads about suffering in Darfur placed by religiously affiliated organizations are found to have less to do with God and freedom than "oil and earthly power."
A pair of articles in the Asia Times looks at the "seamless web of ... networked weapons and military robots," on the Pentagon drawing boards for the next war, and then assesses U.S. plans to "militarize space." Plus: South Korea's 'Robot Ethics Charter.'
On a return visit to Guantanamo, Karen Greenberg recounts how her military handlers initiated her into "Gitmo decorum" for reporters, as "Democracy Now!" interviews a member of the cast of "Arrivals," a new play that brings the "extraordinary rendition" of Maher Arar to the stage.
A Southern Baptist leader says the problem with Rudolph Giuliani is divorce, and firefighters charge neglect, but a former supporter thinks Giuliani 'really shouldn't be president' because he "would construe presidential prerogatives so broadly he'd make George Bush's notions of 'unitary' executive power seem soft."
In an interview with Focus on the Family, Newt Gingrich confesses that he had an 'affair during Clinton probe,' as he seeks "God's forgiveness" for his personal failings, but it's argued that the next competition for "values voters" will involve "a lot more than kissing Mr. Dobson's ring."
As Forbes toasts "the richest year in human history," Paul Krugman looks at why we have become "a more unequal society again," Nouriel Roubini concludes that "the housing market is still far from bottoming out," and a survey finds 'U.S. workers hate their jobs more than ever.'
Monday, March 12, 2007
With the Pentagon struggling to 'find fresh troops,' and facing a critical shortage of midlevel officers, Salon's Mark Benjamin reports that at Fort Benning, 'the Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq,' including a soldier who "corkscrewed his spine."
As Britain faces a "Walter Reed" of its own, the New York Times finds the U.S. military health care system is ill-equipped to handle "the signature wound of the war," and the New Statesman adds up the long term costs of medical care for wounded Iraq veterans.
A panel of experts all tell Rolling Stone that the war in Iraq is 'Beyond Quagmire,' with Nir Rosen concluding that "there is no best case scenario," and retired General Tony McPeak summing up the results of a failed "experiment."
Michael Schwartz finds the escalation strategy is turning Iraq into a 'Cauldron of State Terrorism, and in an 'Open Letter to General Petraeus,' James Petras argues that a policy of "security through intimidation" is ultimately unsustainable, as 'reports of progress in Iraq are challenged.'
Ray McGovern gives the president an "F" on his 'Axis of Evil Report Card,' Glenn Greenwald reviews Robert Kagan's unbroken "track record of deceit and falsehoods," and Slate's Timothy Noah presents 'Doug Feith, Flimflam Man.'
As Halliburton announces plans to move its corporate headquarters to Dubai, raising questions about taxes and subpoenas, House Oversight Committee Chair Henry Waxman plans to hold a hearing to consider "the ramifications for U.S. taxpayers and national security."
Frank Rich argues that 'Libby's Pardon is a Slam Dunk' because "Cheney's Cheney knows too much," and a pardon fits the pattern of other "extreme measures taken by the White House to cover up the war's devastation."
The conflict in Afghanistan could "drag on for generations," according to a study by Canadian lawmakers, and the "current NATO contingent doesn't have enough troops to go toe-to-toe with the Taliban."
The BBC examines how the media is getting dragged into the Afghan conflict, including an ongoing controversy over the forced erasure of journalists' footage of American soldiers killing civilians, and the kidnapping of an Italian journalist by the Taliban.
Arriving in the "most significant threat environment" of his Latin American tour, George W. Bush is greeted with more protests, but U.S. press coverage of his visit to Colombia is expected to need some 'translation.'
With much of Latin America 'skeptical of U.S. intentions,' and Bush appearing to "push free-trade agreements that favor the U.S.," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on his own tour of the region, vows 'socialist opposition to the U.S. superman.'
Sunshine Week 2007 kicks off with an assessment of current challenges to the public's right to know, and an AP survey finds that sunshine laws are "sporadically enforced, penalties for failure to comply are mild and violators almost always walk away with nothing more than a reprimand."
After McClatchy linked Karl Rove to the U.S Attorneys purge, the White House acknowledged he "served as a conduit for complaints," and a scathing editorial in the New York Times calling for the firing of the "consigliere to Mr. Bush's imperial presidency," is echoed by Sen. Chuck Schumer and other Democratic senators.
An Obama "joke" by Fox News chief Roger Ailes gives Democrats an opening to withdraw from a controversial Fox News sponsored debate, leading to a hyperbolic response from the right, and an occasion to review 'Fox News at its Finest.'
According to the Washington Post, John Edwards, who led the pack on the Fox News debate, has had a change of rhetoric, moving away from biography and triangulation toward more concrete and left-leaning stands on liberal issues.
Sen. John McCain calls on Henry Kissinger to "connect the dots" for him, as Vietnam Veterans against McCain takes aim at the Senator's right flank, with a website attacking his record on POW/MIA issues.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A report that "The White House was deeply involved in the decision late last year to dismiss federal prosecutors," and the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales' chief of staff, prompts a prediction that "his boss won't long outlast him."
The New York Times reports on a 'Perilous Mix for U.S. Troops,' and a study finds that 31 percent of some 100,000 returning veterans seen at V.A. facilities between Sept. 2001 and Sept. 2005, were diagnosed with at least one mental health problem.
As Rep. Henry Waxman demands that Secretary of State Rice respond to 11 outstanding requests for information about claims relating to Iraq, House Democrats remove a provision from a military spending bill that would have required President Bush to gain approval from Congress before attacking Iran.
In a speech that one observer described as "horror-soaked," Vice President Cheney told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that's been called 'slow bleeding,' they are not supporting the troops, they are undermining them."
As a White House spokesman confirms a report that the U.S. military is planning a possible Iraq pullout if the "surge" fails,' Barry Lando asks, 'Total withdrawal -- Who are you kidding?' Plus: new network formed to close overseas U.S. military bases.
Anthony Shadid pens an appreciation of a Baghdad bookseller who was killed last week when a car bomb exploded in front of his Mutanabi Street store, leaving "nothing but burning words" in the latest chapter of the 'war on Iraqi arts and minds.'
As the National Association of Evangelicals 'slams torture,' a Miami Herald reporter talks to "On the Media" about the banning of reporters from the military hearings for 14 high-value terror suspects at Guantanamo.
Dark Continent CJR Daily's Paul McLeary finds that "stories about the new AFRICOM command have been completely absent from the mainstream American press," and argues that while "none of us should look the other way when Washington's sabers start rattling... skepticism can be taken too far."
Neil of Arabia Bill Berkowitz recaps a recent visit to Saudi Arabia by a Bush brother, who described the country as "a kind of tribal democracy," and Lawrence Wright touches down in the kingdom during his 'Trip to Al-Qaeda," which he also discusses in a Huffington Post interview.
As President Bush calls for immigration reform and is grilled about deportation during his visit to Guatemala, a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds that guest workers in the U.S. are being treated like 'Indentured Servants.' Plus: 'Accused narco banker to host Bush-Calderon meeting in Yucatan.'
The White House's most consistent Congressional ally in 2006 was viewed favorably by only 10 percent of respondents to a CNN poll that was conducted in advance of his "non-campaign campaign" announcement. And, 'Republicans see divided party and trouble in '08.'
A Media Matters' report finds that Sunday talk shows "have consistently given Republicans and conservatives an edge over their Democratic and progressive counterparts," and an advertising executive says to 'Forget the tabloid stuff; substance sells.'
The Arctic tundra gets some 'Surprising New Inhabitants,' the director of "The Great Global Warming Swindle" discusses the heat he took, some scientists call on Al Gore to 'Cool the Hype,' and while it's reported that 'Al's Army' is "coming to a church near you," the "War Against Gore" ends up on the cutting-room floor.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
After Attorney General Gonzales admits that 'Mistakes Were Made' in the firing of federal prosecutors, it's argued that "the passive voice just doesn't do him justice," although he speaks "fluent scandalese."
As 'Editorial pages call for axing Attorney General,' it's speculated that he'll be gone by "Friday afternoon... late in the day." And with 'McCain declining to comment on attorney purge,' it's a 'Trifecta!'
For Tom Engelhardt, 'The Seymour Hersh Mystery' starts with the lack of media interest in "the possibility that a vast, secret Middle Eastern operation is being run, possibly illegally and based on stolen funds and Saudi money, out of the Vice President's office."
U.S. plans for 'Prison Growth' in Iraq are said to include a food contract proposal, which, while "sensitive to local traditions," bans hiring Iraqis and requires all food to be "purchased outside Iraq and convoyed into the country."
As 'House Democrats drop effort to close Guantanamo,' a 2008 budget unveiled by Senate Democrats reportedly 'leaves war funding intact' and "would not roll back any of President Bush's tax cuts after 2010, when they are set to expire."
Although House Speaker Pelosi was reportedly 'booed at AIPAC,' "after she said that the Iraq war has been a failure on several scores," Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are elsewhere described as "speaker and leader for the war-management movement."
Militants hit 'Close to Home' in Pakistan, where a 'Taliban Writ' is imposed by 'brothers in alms,' and plans are reportedly afoot to remove "all that stands between Washington and a group of nuclear-armed mullahs."
Although one new poll shows the "biggest lead of the season" for Rudy Giuliani, another finds that New York City voters overwhelmingly believe that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is "a better mayor" and "would make a better president."
The AP reports that the Army Corps of Engineers knowingly "installed defective flood-control pumps" after Katrina, and people must still "line up before dawn" for access to 'Bad medicine in New Orleans.'
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Murray Waas reports that a Justice Department inquiry into the domestic eavesdropping program 'Probably Would Have Targeted' Alberto Gonzales, "had it not been quashed" by President Bush, on the advice of his Attorney General, now standing in the 'Twilight Zone' on the 'The Road to Rove.'
As lawmakers probe discrepancies between "documents released this week and previous administration statements" on prosecutor firings, 'The Responsibility Era' president is said to be "having trouble taking responsibility for his own conversations with his cabinet officials."
It's "George Orwell meets Monty Python," as the prosecutor firing scandal elicits the silence of the crickets, and blame is assigned, while at the Department of Justice, "There are a lot of things going on," according to White House spokesman Tony Snow.
Dick Polman sorts through 'Fresh spin samplings from an administration under seige,' and the WSWS suggests that Democrats have seized upon "a means of diverting attention from the party's open complicity with the Bush administration on the Iraq war."
"Strip away the rhetoric," it's argued, "and the U.S. troops have no reason to be in Iraq other than to grab the country's oil and use its territory as a launching pad for further military attacks." Plus: 'March Madness.'
After the 9/11 mastermind confesses again, at a military hearing, it's noted that "there was no way to confirm the testimony as the Bush administration has banned reporters and lawyers from proceedings."
As '"No Money Down" Falls Flat' in the U.S. mortgage industry, putting 'the subprime dominoes in motion' on the worldwide stock market, Nouriel Roubini adds the observation that "garbage lending ... added up to about 50% of originations in 2005 and 2006."
"People can howl all they want about how well the economy is doing," argues Bob Herbert, but "the simple truth is that millions of ordinary American workers are in an employment bind," and "black males ... are in a deep danger zone."
Freshman Democrats are advised to 'avoid Stephen Colbert,' gay writers and editors defend Ann Coulter, an endorsement emerges from an appearance by Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Fox, and multiple mysteries are unraveled, despite a "disapproving tone" endured by conservatives.
Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.net has launched its 'First Citizen Journalism Project,' with 'Assignment Zero' being a "report on the spread of what's called crowdsourcing" -- not to be confused with "digital sharecropping."
Friday, March 16, 2007
As more Republican legislators call for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, e-mails putting "Rove at the epicenter" in the firing of U.S. Attorneys suggest a wider purge was not initiated because "80-85%" of U.S. Attorneys are "loyal Bushies."
CJR Daily considers the journalistic implications of Talking Points Memo's success -- along with McClatchy and a few others -- in "keeping on top of the U.S. Attorney story while the mainstream media dragged its heels."
The use of an outside domain for some White House e-mail leads CREW to question whether the Bush administration was breaking records laws, and Glenn Greenwald examines the White House's "unprecedented" manipulation of security clearances to block a FISA investigation.
With a new Gallup poll showing 67% of respondents against a Libby pardon, Valerie Plame breaks her silence, telling the House Oversight Committee that senior administration officials "carelessly and recklessly" blew her cover. Live hearing coverage here and here.
Although a New York Times report on violence in Sadr City claims that "many Iraqis ... welcome the Americans in their streets," a February poll of Baghdad residents shows only 3 percent agreeing that security has improved, as McClatchy's Hannah Allam relates 'a bird's-eye view of Iraq's problems.'
Looking behind the deceptive labels, an economist finds that 'The Trillion Dollar Defense Budget is already here,' Facing South looks at 'the costs of being the most military-friendly state in America,' and the House passes a bill designed to make government contractors more accountable.
A Pentagon study of 'Stability and Security in Iraq' admits "some elements ... of a civil war" and notes that "coalition forces remained the target of the majority of attacks (68%), but the overwhelming majority of casualties were suffered by Iraqis."
Juan Cole suspects that Sen. Clinton's support for retaining some U.S. troop presence in Iraq is the result of "bad and unrealistic advice on this matter, possibly from powerful lobbies," while Pierre Tristam argues that 'Hillary Rodham Bush" is simply "recasting the Bush doctrine in Clinton terms."
'Inside America's powerful Israel lobby' Salon finds an enthusiastic response to pastor John Hagee, loud applause for Cheney and Bush, and a litmus test for the 2008 U.S. presidential election, as The American Conservative sizes up 'a surprising new challenge' to the lobby.
Spiegel interviews Garry Kasparov on his political ambitions and 'playing chess with the Kremlin,' following a demonstration he helped organize against Russian President Vladimir Putin that was heavily criticized in the Russian media.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks 'poetry and Prozac' with ABC News and prepares for 'candid talk' with Barbara Walters, as Bush returns from a week of dodging 'Chavez questions' across Latin America.
Monday, March 19, 2007
'The Ides of March 2003' In an effort to counter the "exonerating fictionalization" of the White House's rush to war, Frank Rich offers a chronology of some of the high and low points "leading up to the national train wreck whose anniversary we mourn this week."
'Anatomy of a Con Job' Sadly No! provides a step by step guide to framing an anti-anti-war march in a way that props up "the belief that supporters of the war represent a silent majority of downtrodden patriots," whatever the polls might say.
A Washington Post editorial 'accepts some blame' for the war but argues against withdrawal, while the London Times puts a 'Murdochian spin' on "a survey that indicates one in four Iraqis have had a family member murdered since the invasion of Iraq four years ago."
An editorial by Nicholas Kristof advocating more open criticism of Israel for the sake of Israel, is taken to task for "pimping the meme" of an Arab double standard on repression, while the U.S. responds to a change in Palestinian leadership by floating the possibility of talking to "certain individuals."
The Washington Post's Anthony Shadid traces the arc of collapse for Egypt's democracy movement, weighed down by the contradictions of American policy, and Robert Fisk worries that America's support for the Lebanese government may be further undermining its legitimacy.
Although one 'Reagan acolyte salutes Time's retouched cover,' Paul Krugman says 'Don't Cry For Reagan' because "Mr. Bush is what Mr. Reagan would have been given the opportunity," with the same "apparatchik culture" and the same "contempt for the rule of law."
The testimony of Valerie Plame appears to destroy 'some long-standing myths,' but Fox News' Brit Hume calls her a liar, and the media seems more interested in her wardrobe than in testimony that the White House never conducted an investigation into her outing.
"Sorry" may not be enough, as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is reported to be down to "a constituency of one," amid concerns that the controversy could spread to Karl Rove and other top aides, and a possible connection between the firing of a U.S. Attorney and a CIA corruption probe.
The significance of a Washington Post report on the illegal use of National Security Letters, according to Glenn Greenwald, is that it shows how the FBI and the telecoms "secretly created a framework whereby the FBI can obtain -- instantaneously and without limits -- any information it asks for."
In an apparent attempt to get untangled from 'the Bush backlash,' and "counter the ugly American image," Sen. John McCain vows that he would "immediately close Guantanamo Bay," as Time casts him in a somber role.
"Hillary 1984," an unauthorized internet ad for Sen. Barack Obama, is the latest in a crop of viral videos expected to become attractive Web tactics for political campaigns "to communicate negative messages -- without having to own them in public."
As 'RIAA explains why they're suing your children,' David Byrne calls for an end to "copyright control technology," and Joseph Stiglitz argues that "the patent system is an inefficient and inappropriate way to fund research in the healthcare market."
According to Chris Hedges, gay-hating by the Christian right is primarily about power, not sexuality, as a Baptist leader's revelation that homosexuality may be biological leads to dreams of "prenatal intervention," and 'Haggard's flock notes, in hindsight, there was something strange about Ted.'
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
As President Bush calls Attorney General Gonzales to express "unwavering support," it's revealed that "U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had 'not distinguished themselves' on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005." Plus: 'White House offers Rove for unsworn testimony.'
The Senate votes 94-2 to cancel a Patriot Act provision allowing the attorney general to appoint U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation, and Department of Justice documents appear to show that department officials brainstormed after the fact about why they had fired eight U.S. attorneys.
After "the polite one" marked the 'Fourth Anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom,' PBS "News Hour" panelist Walter Russell Mead argued that "four years after a war, when you say that our goal is to safeguard the capital ... if Abraham Lincoln had to say in 1864, 'Our goal is to prevent Washington from falling to the Confederate forces,' it wouldn't look good for him."
'The Terrorists-Follow-Us-Home Myth' is debunked, and an Iraq war apologist, arguing that "Since 9/11 there has not been a single terrorist attack on American soil," is confronted on CNN with the observation that in "the four years before 9/11, there was no terrorist attack in the U.S." (Scroll down to Mark Smith.)
As if to complement Juan Cole's list of Bush's 'Top Ten Mistakes' in Iraq, FAIR's 'Critical Timeline' recalls "some of the worst moments in journalism, from the fall of 2002 and into the early weeks of the Iraq War."
The New Yorker's George Packer ponders the fate of "Iraq's smallest minority," as he chronicles "America's failure to understand, trust, and protect its closest friends in Iraq," while conservatives complain that "the Iraqi people have not stepped up enough."
A New York Times Magazine report on 'The Women's War' in Iraq quotes one vet as saying that women are "classified pretty quickly" by male troops as "one of three things in the military -- a bitch, a whore or a dyke." Earlier: 'An Ocean of Ignorance.'
A BBC editor observes that in Iraq, "To get on the news, or the front page of the newspapers nowadays, a lot of people have to die. I would say the current figure is 60 or 70; and it certainly wouldn't be the lead."
As Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp finds that "the pool of reporters willing and able to report on the war is shrinking," Fox reminds viewers that the war in Iraq 'started 4 years ago ... during "Hannity & Colmes."'
Future Docketing? The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has told the Sunday Telegraph that he can "envisage a scenario" in which President Bush and Prime Minister Blair "could one day face charges at The Hague."
Sen. Barack Obama, characterized as 'more liberal than Kucinich' in a McClatchy article, despite what a Boston Globe analysis calls his less than "full-bore" opposition to the war in Iraq, is described in the pages of the Los Angeles Times as a 'Magic Negro.'
'Some Uncomfortable Pillow Talk' is anticipated, after a Los Angeles Times report finds major mainstream political reporters literally in bed with the campaigns they cover.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Following a press conference described in a New York Times editorial as "nasty and bumbling," and by James Wolcott as "the most Nixonian performance of Bush's presidency," fired federal prosecutor David Iglesias wrote that "I appreciate his gratitude for my service -- this marks the first time I have been thanked."
The 'Probe of Fired U.S. Attorneys Dominates News,' a late-hour document dump reveals a possible "18 day gap," and Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp says that "it's no surprise that President Bush would want to avoid a room full of newspaper editors these days."
As it's noted that 'They're Going To The Mats On This One,' questions are raised about 'Who's watching the president?', a 'Republican RICO-Style Abuse of Power,' and, 'Why do so many Bush administration officials refuse to use e-mail?'
Reasoning that "an audience that decides for itself, based on 'fair and balanced' coverage, ought not to reach monolithic conclusions," a Democratic pollster cites data showing that "conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers."
With Katrina "not even half over," Rebecca Solnit maintains that "New Orleans represents what Republicans promise when they call for shrinking down government," as an official investigation reportedly blames the Crescent City's devastation on "decades of incompetence and neglect by the Army Corps of Engineers."
The Walter Reed scandal is an 'overblown' story involving not much more than "mold found behind an air conditioner," according to Rep. Jean Schmidt, who previously achieved notoriety by sending Rep. John Murtha a "message."
'Why do straights hate gays?' asks ACT UP founder Larry Kramer, who also argues that "there is not one elected official or candidate for president who, given half the chance, would not sell us down the river."
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The 'Failures of Iraq Reconstruction' are documented in a new 'Lessons Learned' report from the special inspector general's office, which found "no suggestions early on that civilian workers would be unsafe in Iraq."
A Harris poll finds support at 29% for President Bush's troop surge, although only 26% think that it "will improve security and reduce killings," and FAIR accuses ABC News of '(Under)counting Iraqi Dead.'
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in an op-ed, argues that 'Wartime spending bills often have funds for other emergencies,' such as "$3.7 billion for farm interests that make significant donations to Democrats."
Ahmad 'Chalabi bemoans what he calls a failed occupation,' reportedly preferring "not to dwell on the faulty prewar intelligence he pushed on hawkish U.S. leaders," and for Christopher Hitchens, 'Being a neocon means never having to say you're sorry.'
Ahmed Rashid ponders the prospects for Pakistan, with 'Musharraf at the Exit,' despite moving up in the ranks, and the army on an "arms-buying spree," while "our Chimpromised MSM" won't talk about "who will inherit Musharraf's nukes."
The Los Angeles Times reports that the only one of eight fired U.S. attorneys actually sacked for poor performance was a "company man" whom "the administration wanted to keep on -- until it appeared he could become a public relations liability."
As White House spokesman Tony Snow contends that Congress "doesn't have oversight ability," it's argued that the U.S. attorney scandal is an indication of "how far this White House has gone in normalizing behavior that we've been raised to associate with third-world countries."
John Bolton gets "big points for even showing up" on "The Daily Show," for what was described as "a civil debate that really placed a bright line on the different views conservatives and progressives have about this particular president and presidential powers in general." Plus: Jon Stewart fact-checks Bolton.
As Philip de Vellis, 'aka ParkRidge 47,' creator of the "Hillary 1984" video, comes forward to declare that "if she should win the nomination, I would support her," Newt Gingrich 'blasts guerilla ads.'
As a new poll is said to reveal 'Two Americas' on global warming, Sen. James Inhofe is informed that 'You Don't Make The Rules Anymore,' during Al Gore's Senate testimony, while it's said that "partisanship drowns out the issue for the overwhelming majority of Republicans."
Inhofe berated Gore for declining to debate Czech President Vaclav Klaus, whose written responses to questions from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce were quickly trumpeted as evidence that "supporting global warming initiatives is tantamount to endorsing communism and the one world order."
Robert Parry revisits the 'U.S. News Media's "War on Gore"' and the application of "double standards to Gore and Bush," but Jeffrey St. Clair recalls the "dizzying pace" of environmental setbacks and betrayals 'When Al Gore was Veep.'
Two teachers at a Los Angeles charter school were reportedly fired, after administrators declared a poem about Emmett Till "unsuitable for an assembly of young children," arguing that "what Emmett Till did could be considered sexual harassment."
Friday, March 23, 2007
The 'House OKs timetable for troops in Iraq,' by a vote of 218-212, after the Washington Post's Fred Hiatt penned an editorial against the bill that was said to be tinged with the "hallmark ... scorn for the views of the lowly Americans masses" perfected by Rush Limbaugh.
The New York Times reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates repeatedly 'argued for closing Guantanamo,' because the detention facility had become so tainted that trials of terrorism suspects there would be viewed as illegitimate. Plus: Documenting detainee abuse in CIA prisons.
A GAO report blames "faulty war plans" and "insufficient troops" for "thousands and possibly millions of tons of conventional munitions unsecured or in the hands of insurgent groups," with some weapons sites vulnerable as recently as October 2006, but the Pentagon won't talk to Congress about the problem.
Tony Karon speculates that Iraq "may no longer simply be a place or a project" but the "morbid condition of contemporary imperial America," as Democrats in Congress insert a 'bring the oil back home' provision into the supplemental appropriations bill."
With healthcare in Iraq deteriorating "to a level not seen since the 1950s," the U.N. warns that a shortage of safe water risks an outbreak of cholera this summer, and the BBC reports "horror stories" from Iraqi doctors who have fled to other countries.
'Betrayed' is how George Packer sums up the treatment of Iraqis who worked with the U.S. for years but who now get no help in their search for asylum because it would send a message "that it's game over" in Iraq.
As a new Pew poll tracks a "dramatic shift" away from the GOP and conservative values, Matt Taibbi finds congressional Republicans transformed from "a basement cock-fighting ring" to "a bunch of squawking dissidents," and speculation grows about when a major Republican candidate "will break decisively with Bush on Iraq."
CJR Daily's Paul McLeary finds the McCain "maverick" narrative wearing more than a little thin, as the candidate warns against the spread of socialism in a speech to veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Little Havana.
While it's argued "that political journalists have improved their collective performance, but that this improvement comes with an asterisk," recent mistakes and rumor mongering among "beltway insider types" at The Politico are, in Glenn Greenwald's view, evidence that "it is Drudge who rules their world."
At a large antiwar protest in Portland, Oregon, one of the few counter-protestors spotted, or mentioned in media reports, was accused of being a "agent provocateur," but in fact turned out to be a ringer sent in by the local alt-weekly to see if he could provoke intolerance.
The Washington Post publishes a rare anonymous editorial from a recipient of a national security letter, who describes his resentment about "being conscripted as a secret informer for the government" and the difficulties of life under a "gag order."
With subpoenas authorized but not yet issued, John Dean suspects that Bush 'will go to the wall on executive privilege' and refuse to allow his aides to testify under oath, and even if Karl Rove were to testify, the author of "Bush's Brain" says 'don't expect the truth.'
In what is being described as an act of "managerial dementia," the Director of the Congressional Research Service is prohibiting "all public distribution of CRS products without prior approval from senior agency officials."
After Chiquita pleads guilty to doing business with a right-wing terrorist organization in Colombia, a CNN reporter complains that the company has gotten "a raw deal" for doing "what you got to do to do business," and Democracy Now! revisits a newspaper's forced apology to Chiquita.
Vanity Fair decorates its cover with "the ultimate accessory," Metamucil 'builds a market for eating disorders' with its "Beautify Your Inside" campaign, and the Department of Health and Human Services is said to be "chock-full" of people promoting a "power-to-the-father(land) mindset."
Monday, March 26, 2007
With evidence mounting that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales played a more direct role than earlier indicated in the dismissal of U.S. attorneys, support among Senate Republicans and even conservative blogs erodes, Robert Kuttner makes the case for his impeachment and Frank Rich wonders 'When Will Fredo Get Whacked?'
As the House Oversight Committee prepares for a hearing on alleged politicization of the GSA in awarding projects and aiding GOP candidates, which has spawned 'A Unifying Theory,' the Los Angeles Times paints a picture of a Justice Department 'tugged to the right,' especially in its Civil Rights Division. Plus: 'White House aides tried to hide e-mails, lawmaker charges.'
The revelation that "teams of undercover New York City police officers" spied on protesters in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in advance of the 2004 GOP convention sparks debate, as the city moves to keep records of the surveillance sealed, arguing that the media would "fixate upon and sensationalize them."
The 'Three-Word Mantra' "war on terror" has, Zbigniew Brzezinski believes, been used to create a culture of fear in America that is having "a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world."
As a massive U.S. 'terror database' that is "a vacuum cleaner for both proven and unproven information" reportedly quadruples in four years, local DNA labs are accused of operating "rogue databases" that "operate outside of state and federal law."
Facing South predicts that the Democrats' war spending bill will 'ignite more battles,' as Howard Zinn registers his objection with the challenge 'Are we politicians or citizens?,' and Tom Engelhardt wonders whether outsourcing might explain why Americans oppose the war 'in the opinion polls, not in the streets.'
In 'The Emerging Republican Minority,' Paul Krugman contends that declining support for Republicans in recent polls reflects not just "public disgust with the Bush administration" but a rejection of Republican anti-government ideology, especially in the area of health care.
In the latest edition of the Lancet, the editors address a growing controversy over the involvement of their own publisher in the arms industry, publishing three pages of protest letters but the company says it has no plans to stop its involvement with arms fairs.
Patrick Cockburn observes that "the difficulty of reporting Iraq" is how "impossibly dangerous" it is to know what is happening outside central Baghdad," while Dahr Jamail notes the additional 'realities of repression' that face Iraqi journalists.
Although the U.S. military is opening a new 'Theater of War' in an attempt to improve public relations, it still hasn't worked out all the kinks in its relations with embedded reporters according to CJR Daily's Paul McLeary.
"They Blew up Their Poster Boy" Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell argues that the Pat Tillman case, which comes to a head today with the release of an official Pentagon report, is important because it "reveals so much about military deceit and (too often) media acceptance of it."
As the revamped military tribunal system debuts in Guantanamo today, Marty Lederman explores what it means when Tony Snow says there are "legal constraints" that prevent the president from shutting the detention facility down, despite his stated desire to do so.
With Iran considering charges against captured British sailors, Glenn Greenwald argues that the incident illustrates the dangers of remaining in Iraq, but David Rieff finds little evidence that Democrats any more than Republicans are 'against the next war.'
In an interview with an Israeli news service, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton calls for the Iran regime to be "toppled," and on CNN he defends the administration's Iraq policy, insisting that the president never specifically called Saddam Hussein an "imminent threat," but on the BBC he gets peppered with hostile questions.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
"I've got nothing to hide," says Attorney General Gonzales, as his liaison to the White House invokes the Fifth, taking the U.S. attorneys scandal to "a new level," and DOJ e-mails reveal efforts to "manufacture public reasons" for the firings.
Glenn Greenwald tasks "members of the royal court" with "sitting around on the 'Chris Matthews Show' giggling for three and a half minutes straight about the silly U.S. attorneys scandal," while the host dismissed "the legend of Karl Rove" as "good for fundraising."
Analyzing the "street" origins of "the 'investigation, not legislation' rap," James Wolcott observes that "as soon as the Democrats do a little digging, Beltway oracles hear ominous creakings underground and fret that the entire mine will collapse."
Jonathan Raban finds evidence of 'Cracks in the House of Rove' on display in an examination of "The Conservative Soul" by Andrew Sullivan, who in turn sees Dinesh D'Souza's latest book as being "more candid about the precarious state of American conservatism than many others."
Salon's Mark Benjamin reports that the U.S. 'Army Deployed Seriously Injured Troops' to "a training site in a remote desert," where, according to soldiers, "you had people out there with crutches and canes," counted as being trained for surge assignment.
As it's reported that Iraqi insurgent groups are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, one commentator is "floored by the sublime stupidity" of the notion "that the U.S. has to keep troops in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda."
"Once again, we are being used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise," say members of Pat Tillman's family, in a statement following the release of a "redacted" report which "focused on discovering if the proper administrative processes were followed" after Tillman's death by friendly fire.
'Ordinary Customers' are reportedly being 'Flagged as Terrorists,' as private businesses, seeking to avoid "penalties of up to $10 million and 10 to 30 years in prison," compare the names of customers with names on a government-supplied list of "suspected terrorists and drug traffickers."
Daily Howler reviews 'The ongoing work of a criminal class' who "don't want to write about health care," and Katie Couric is criticized and defended for asking what John Edwards called "completely legitimate questions," during a "60 Minutes" interview.
A new poll finds 2-to-1 support for Edwards' decision to stay in the race, although "more than a third ... believe that Edwards eventually will be forced to withdraw from the campaign," while John Aravosis implores the media to 'Leave Elizabeth Edwards alone.'
As 'Rookie mistakes' are said to plague both the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama and The Politico, part of a "new, right-wing narrative-boosting tag team," the AP is taken to task for a report asking: 'Is Obama all style and little substance?'
'Maxim-um exposure' of "Israeli babes" in a "beer 'n' boobs magazine" is reportedly intended to "reaffirm our brand," with an Israeli consular official quoted as saying that "many Americans don't even know we have beaches."
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
As a result of the vote, Iraq "will deteriorate into chaos and we will see them follow us home," predicts Sen. John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani, whose campaign is said to be "actively hitting up certified Hillary haters," accuses the Senate of "announcing a timetable to run out and retreat."
CNN calls McCain on his claim that Gen. David Patreus travels around Baghdad "almost every day in an unarmed humvee." On Tuesday, CNN's Michael Ware said: "To suggest that there's any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous." Plus: Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey 'Paints gloomy picture of Iraq.'
In response to a 'Killing Spree' in which "as many as 60 people" perished in Tal Afar, Prime Minister Maliki reportedly "ordered a committee to be formed" to investigate whether "off-duty" policemen were 'running with wolves.'
The companies that sent 'America's hidden war dead' to Iraq are said to have provided "little help" to survivors and families, while "exactly how many more contractors will arrive in Iraq as a result" of the surge "has yet to be determined."
Federal courts have dismissed a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and, a lawsuit against Harper's magazine, brought by the family of an Oklahoma National Guard member whose open casket was photographed by Peter Turnley, for an essay titled "The Bereaved."
GOPGSA A PowerPoint presentation prepared by Karl Rove that handicaps 2008 Republican election prospects, takes center stage at a House hearing into alleged misconduct at the General Services Administration.
'The Republican Mystery' For Harold Meyerson, one possible explanation is that "the alternative reality conveyed by the Republican media ... has created a Republican activist base that is genuinely not reality-based."
Sen. Hillary Clinton picks up some high profile endorsements, after NOW finds media coverage of her campaign ranging "from intelligent and fair to appallingly sexist and pointless," and a Harris poll concludes that while half of U.S. adults say they wouldn't vote for Clinton, her "supposed liberalism is not a major liability."
Facing questions about an aide's arrest on weapons charges, Sen. Jim Webb reportedly "used the opportunity to declare his right to bear arms," and Dana Milbank notes that "a Virginia politician has never lost an election for loving guns too much."
Commencement addresses by the president and vice president are meeting opposition, with Bush scheduled to speak at St. Vincent College, located in Rep. John Murtha's district and led by a former faith-based czar, and Cheney slated to deliver the keynote address at Brigham Young University.
It's reported that White House press secretary Tony Snow's new cancer diagnosis "could hardly have come at a worse time for the administration," given his skill at treating reporters as "if they were guests on his talk show," and "his artful ability to dodge questions."
As Wal-Mart's CEO 'Writes off New York,' but gets a "19-minute infomercial" on Fox News, the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg visits Wal-Mart's bi-partisan "war room" in Bentonville, for an "Annals of Spin" article that asks: 'Can the company co-opt liberals?'
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Before being dealt a "sharp rebuke" by the Senate, President Bush declared, during a speech in which he quoted Iraqi bloggers, that "the American people will know who to hold responsible" for Iraq, prompting House Speaker Pelosi to suggest that he "take a deep breath" and "calm down with the threats."
As new DLC chairman Harold Ford Jr. 'splits with Democrats on Iraq,' arguing that "most Americans want to win," the New York Times editorializes that "Victory is no longer an option in Iraq, if it ever was."
David Sirota outlines a ''Post-Veto Strategy' for the Congress, but it's reported that the Pentagon "may have several options to keep its war operations going into early summer," despite a standoff. Plus: 'Code Pink sends a message to Capitol Hill' and 'dogs Clinton' on the campaign trail.
'Things are looking up' in Iraq, declares Sen. Joe Lieberman, although Baghdad insurgents have now succeeded in killing a U.S. soldier -- and a U.S. government contractor -- inside the Green Zone. And as 'Suicide bombers kill 60 in Baghdad market,' a CBS correspondent 'Questions the political motives behind some assessments of Iraq security.'
With the revenge toll rising in Tal Afar, "once touted by the Bush administration as an example of successful pacification," a local doctor is quoted as saying that "Even when the Americans conducted raids ... it wasn't as horrible as this."
House Minority Leader John Boehner was booed at a construction workers' union legislative forum when he said: "Who doesn't believe that if we just pull out of Iraq and come home that the terrorists won't follow us here and we'll be fighting them on the streets of America?"
As newspaper editorials call for a further probe into the "byzantine case" of Pat Tillman, his mother also says in an interview that "I would like it all aired out in a Congressional hearing," and that she thinks her son "would be kind of amused at the way the right and the left have used him." Plus: 'Ret. generals in Tillman case can be punished.'
A Guardian editorial charges Iran with 'Unacceptable behavior' in the taking of hostages, but UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave sees 'tit for tat,' and Craig Murray says that "the mainstream media and even the blogosphere" have bought into Britain's 'Fake Maritime Boundaries.'
As 'Prosecutors assail Gonzales during meeting,' former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias tells GQ that after asking "What's going on?" when informed that he was being fired, the caller told him, "All I know is that this came from on high."
Amid reports that 'Republicans Fear 2008 Meltdown,' prominent Democrats tell The Hill that Sen. John McCain 'nearly abandoned GOP' in 2001, during "nearly two months of talks" about a possible party shift.
The U.S. is 'no longer technology king,' falling to seventh place in a World Economic Forum ranking, and a new study highlighting the prevalence of 'Junk Food Ads' in children's programing, prompts a reflection on television's role in 'Supersizing the South.'
Described by one critic as "Israel's first great war movie," "Beaufort" documents the final months of Israel's occupation of Lebanon, and features "a shell-shocked Israeli unit charged with defending and dismantling a military outpost established at a 12th-century Crusader castle."
Friday, March 30, 2007
It's argued that 'politicizing the DOJ's Civil Rights Division' has been on the Bush administration's agenda from the beginning, as the Division's emphasis on investigating voter fraud raises the question 'What Do Voter Fraud and "Sasquatch" Have in Common?'
The Best and the Rightest Monica Goodling is one of 150 graduates of Pat Robertson's Regent University currently serving in the Bush administration. She's a graduate of Regent's law school, where professors try to "integrate biblical principles into areas of law." And as of last year, Robertson's Operation Blessing had taken in $14 million in faith-based money.
After the surprise resignation of a controversial Bush Administration appointee in charge of reproductive rights funding, Planned Parenthood calls for him to be replaced with "a legitimate public health expert," amid signs that "a pushback against federally-funded abstinence-only sex ed" is finally gathering steam.
As Bush drops to 17% in the Granite State and other polls indicate a comparable national collapse, it's argued that Congressional challenges to the president's Iraq policy simply reflect a national vote of "no confidence," and a Fox News poll finds that 'Most think Democrats will win White House in 2008.'
Sen. John McCain bashes "jerks from the media" -- on Fox News -- as reports continue to come in suggesting that his portrait of a safe Baghdad is not in tune with reality, and a new round of 'GOP word games' begins.
As an "onslaught of violence" kills more than 100 across Iraq, and a fight against "sectarian evictions" ends in tragedy, CNN's Michael Ware tells Sen. Joseph Lieberman, "we're only talking about the surface."
With the 'British on a tightrope over captives in Iran,' Prime Minister Tony Blair insists that there will be "no negotiating over hostages," and Ian Williams concludes that 'Sanity is the real hostage' as Iran appears to be "handing Bush a casus belli even he wouldn't have imagined."
"While Condi fiddled," remarks Tony Karon, a number of crises in the Middle East have "festered dangerously" and, contrary to U.S. media reports, the only real diplomatic initiatives are coming from the Saudis, who have grown "alarmed by the passivity and incompetence of the Bush administration."
Trying to paint the Democrats Iraq bill as "well outside the mainstream," President Bush makes a show of solidarity with the House GOP caucus, and William Greider wonders if 'the guy inside the bunker," will ever get the message or just try to "run out the clock." Plus: 'Bush caught hyping false Iraq spending deadline.'
Although Alexander Cockburn argues that "the Democratic leadership chose merely to appear to oppose the war while continuing to fund it," and attempts at pork hunting are said to miss the larger 'swine story,' the Los Angeles Times predicts a rough road to compromise on House and Senate versions of the bill.
Glenn Greenwald finds the way in which 'neoconservative radicalism has reshaped our political spectrum' summed up in a column by David Brooks that replaces the traditional conservative advocacy of limited government with the idea that "security leads to freedom."
Overfishing of large sharks has had a cascade effect on ocean ecosystems, "inflicting collateral damage on food fisheries," according to a new study co-authored by groundbreaking biologist Ransom Myers, who died this week.
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