|April, 2007 link archive
Monday, April 2, 2007In a "stunning rebuke" to the Bush administration, the Supreme Court rules 5-4 that the EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, as a draft report by a U.N. panel warns that "Climate change could threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people."
"The media spectacle that John McCain made of himself in Baghdad" reminds Norman Solomon of a similar foray into Vietnam by Robert McNamara, insofar as "the real lives of people are noted only as shorthand for American agendas."
The Drudge Report tried to make a spectacle of CNN's Michael Ware, claiming that he "heckled" McCain. But Ware said on CNN: "I did not heckle the senator. Indeed, I didn't say a word.... In fact, when I raised my hand to ask a question the press conference abruptly ended."
With the U.S. death toll in March "nearly twice that of the Iraqi army,' and even Henry Kissinger admitting that "a military victory ... is not possible," a former commander of the U.S. Army War College and Rumsfeld advisor concludes that "the army is broken." Plus: Recruiting like 'Mad.'
During a 'closed-door strategy meeting' with Gen. Petraeus, members of the Senate Republican caucus set an August deadline, and "some moderate Republican senators" reportedly confess "that they didn't believe the escalation would work but voted for it anyway."
Sen. Barack Obama already concedes that 'Congress will fund Iraq war' after Bush's expected veto, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he's now co-sponsoring a bill by Sen. Russ Feingold that would force the Bush administration to stop funding military operations in Iraq on March 31, 2008.
The Fox and the Chicken Coop The same contractor who established a billion-dollar a year federal reading program found to be "rife with conflicts of interest," is hired to evaluate it, while third-party scientific reviews for the Department of the Interior are farmed out to 'online roleplaying pals.'
As the Bush administration 'steps up campaign against the Syrian government,' House Speaker Pelosi's planned visit to Syria with a bipartisan delegation, under attack by the White House and Bill Kristol despite a similar GOP-led trip, draws praise from Israel's acting president.
David Hicks' plea bargain includes a gag order stipulating that "he has never been mistreated at Guantanamo," and another detainee says 'he confessed to stop torture,' but for one UK resident, whose family fled torture in Iraq, the "nightmare is finally at an end" after nearly 5 years of incarceration.
Robert Fisk looks at how the media drama of the captured British sailors has fed into a "war of humiliation," but Terry Jones notes that it is a far cry from the private humiliations of Guantanamo, and Robert Parry takes the media to task for ignoring the irony of Bush's "selective outrage."
An early Democratic defector to Bush, who urged him to focus on "'base' motivation," and played "hardball" with Kerry's record, now confesses that he has "lost faith" in his former boss due to differences over the Iraq war, but the White House puts it all down to "personal turmoil."
In Elizabeth Edwards' decision to stay in politics despite her cancer, Frank Rich finds a healthy insistence that "we not compartmentalize the harsh reality of death and the imperatives of public policy."
Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani say that they are open to the idea that the President can imprison Americans without review, 'Big (Box) Brother' follows suspicious employees across the globe, and 1984 finally arrives at George Orwell's house. Plus: 'Follicle Firm Surveilled Ex-Clients.'
Growing public recognition of rising inequality has led the Republican party to resort to "a combination of distraction and disenfranchisement" to stay in power, argues Paul Krugman, while Chip Ward explains the new role of the 'public library as an asylum for the homeless.'
As the Washington Post finds that about one-third of the U.S. attorneys' jobs filled in President Bush's second term have gone to "loyal Bushies," McClatchy examines how Democratic investigations highlight the scandals of 'The Rovian Era.'
Fox News is accused of using push polling to frame the debate about debate coverage, and perhaps even to "pressure the Congressional Black Caucus Institute into agreeing to cooperate in a 2008 presidential debate." Plus: 'Profiles In Loaded Questions.'
March 30-April 1
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Merchants at Baghdad's central market are said to be "incredulous" about security claims made during a heavily-guarded visit by Sen. John McCain, who has reportedly given exclusive rights to the video of his trip to "60 Minutes." Plus: "21 Shia market workers ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital."
Senate Majority Leader Reid, who now 'Backs Iraq War-Funds Cutoff' introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold, is said to have "officially converted after visiting wounded soldiers last week at Walter Reed Army Medical Center."
TPM Muckraker spotlights "the funny thing" about a Washington Post report on 'How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War' in Iraq, as it's argued that "the only thing worse than getting another Bush would be getting someone Bush outsmarted."
A Los Angeles Times report on 'Cracks in Sadr's army,' reminds that Sadr's movement, while in danger of splintering, is "part of the U.S.-backed government," where Needlenose detects 'A Sistani firewall for the Baathist wedge.'
Analysts tell the Los Angeles Times that the 'U.S. strategy on Iran may have backfired,' and President Bush declines to comment on an ABC News report that "Iran will be capable of building a nuclear bomb within two years."
Britain and Iran reportedly soften the tone of their rhetoric in a diplomatic standoff over 15 British marines and sailors, who were seized, argues Juan Cole, to provide Iranian leaders with a "diversion." Plus: 'Why Blair can't get no 'Falklands Factor.'
With 'Tough words from U.S.' reportedly 'hurting British bid to free crew,' an Iranian diplomat is freed in Iraq, and Patrick Cockburn reports on 'The botched U.S. raid that led to the hostage crisis.'
A 'Racist and Insulting' "propaganda film," reflecting "a culture slowly and painfully going mad," is "seen as a tool to work up anti-Iran sentiment," by portraying 'The Magnificent Persians' as "an army of beasts, monsters and demons," as perhaps imagined by "Ann Coulter on a meth binge."
Salon interviews "Fox-friendly Democrats," regular commentators who are "either scary liberals, losers or enablers," and an appearance by NBC's David Gregory with Charlie Rose, leads to the conclusion that both are "comfortable, immensely self-satisfied guys who have learned the great secret of American journalism in the present age."
Democrats are accused of a 'cave-in on White House testimony,' Time gives the U.S. attorney scandal short shrift in relation to Newsweek, and CREW's Melanie Sloan tells "On the Media" that "if you are not using a White House [e-mail] account ... then you are, in fact, in violation of the Presidential Records Act."
A 'New Target in Abramoff Case' is the former head of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, which was co-founded by Grover Norquist and Gale Norton before she became Secretary of the Interior, and one of five non-profit groups that 'Sold Clout to Abramoff.'
A bankruptcy filing by a 'Huge Mortgage Lender' is said to mean 'the fall of the industry's biggest player to date,' after it's learned that "even Harley Davidson's motor hogs are being financed with subprime loans."
As the U.S. and South Korea agree to a 'landmark trade deal' that also 'disappoints labor, rights activists,' a German rabbit breeder suspects that the 12 giant rabbits he sold to North Korea to help alleviate food shortages there, "have been eaten by top officials rather than used to set up a bunny farm."
NPR reports on a Wake-Up Wal-Mart ad that invokes 9/11 in attacking the company for opposing a House measure mandating that all port containers be scanned, and The New Yorker offers a preview of Don DeLillo's forthcoming 9/11 novel, "Falling Man." Earlier 'The Man in the Window.'
A Washington Post article is criticized for having downplayed "the real reasons" behind President Bush's decision to forego throwing out the first pitch on baseball's opening day, which the WSWS attributes to "the fact that he is widely despised by the American public -- and he despises it back."
After Marvin Gaye sang his soulful version of "The Star Spangled Banner" at an NBA all-star game, Thomas Dolby reports that, according to Stevie Wonder, the artist who asked "What's Going On?" "never got on TV again until the day he died."
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
While scolding Democrats for engaging in 'Political Theater' on Iraq, the White House "staged its usual elaborate production," in which Vice President Cheney 'Lurks Behind Shrub' and his "fact-defying remarks."
Despite Bush's determination to stick to his "only talking point," a Washington Post analysis found the president "confronted with another narrative, this one about friends and voters losing faith in his leadership." Plus: GWOT RIP?
The Los Angeles Times editorializes that, in criticizing Pelosi's trip, Bush "only succeeded in showing his own lack of imagination," while last Sunday's meeting between Syrian President Assad and three GOP Congressmen was said to have been done "in cooperation with the administration."
Since 2004 the human smuggling business has reporedtly "flourished above all expectations" in Iraq, thanks to "the biggest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the 1948 crisis of Palestinian refugees."
As the U.S. continues to complain about 'Iran's meddling in Iraq,' with one official claiming that "It's growing," ABC News reports, in text and on video, that the U.S. has "secretly encouraged and advised" a Pakistani tribal militant group that has conducted "a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran."
The release of British sailors held by Iran prompts an observation that "Maybe bombing first and asking questions later isn't the way to go," and the brother of one of the sailors is quoted as saying, "I've just told my mum and she's really chuffed."
Secretary of State Rice fields questions from editorial writers and an editorial shouter, and the editorial page editor of the San Jose Mercury News follows up on his column about seeing his son 'leave home to fight the wrong war.' Plus: 'You're never too old.'
As a "fundamental scorn for government" is seen in the Bush Administration's "fox-guarding-the-henhouse personnel plan," Wade Horn, a "go-to guy for the Religious Right," tenders his resignation. Horn's Health and Human Services department had doled out a $1 million grant to an organization that he founded, the National Fatherhood Initiative.
After the Supreme Court was said to have urged the U.S. government to 'Do something about global warming,' the Environmental Protection Agency reiterated its claim that "the Bush administration has an unparalleled ... commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
As 'Obama Rivals Clinton in Fundraising,' it's noted that Sen. Obama's "eye-popping" totals were contributed by over 100,000 donors, but does Sen. Clinton have a 'Secret Ally' to help with her "Obama problem"?
The sight of a "Southern-fried Reagan" working a conservative crowd is compared to "what it was like to watch Rembrandt paint," but while "more people will watch Fred Thompson on Law & Order next week than will vote in both parties' [super] primaries on Feb. 5 next year," it's found that "58% of adults know nothing about him."
As President Bush tells reporters that he "will not be rendering judgment about individual orientation," Out magazine publishes its "Power 50," which includes Anderson Cooper, Tim Gill and John Aravosis.
During his speech to the National Conference for Media Reform, Bill Moyers announced the return of "Bill Moyers Journal." Watch a clip from the initial installment, "Buying the War," which, along with "Capitol Crimes," illustrates the need for "Preventive Journalism."
Thursday, April 5, 2007
In recess appointments, President Bush named a Swift Boat funder to be ambassador to Belgium, a "triple threat" as White House regulatory czar, and an advocate of privatizing Social Security to serve as deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
'Does FDA spell FEMA?' It's argued that "our dead and dying pets may very well have saved thousands of human lives," and PETA calls on the FDA's commissioner -- a longtime Bush family friend -- to 'step down in wake of pet-food scandal.'
After the U.S. Army reveals that 'Friendly Fire may Have Killed 2' in February, Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell reports that "one of the soldiers died just hours after arriving in Iraq -- and was one of those troops rushed to the country in the 'surge' who did not receive full training."
White House-led condemnation of Speaker Pelosi's 'Syrian adventure' leads to a charge that CNN has "hit bottom" in "doing the White House's bidding," and a Washington Post editorial accuses Pelosi of attempting to establish "a shadow presidency." Plus: Rep. Darrell Issa for her VP?
He says in an interview that he's had "a great career," and the New York Sun doesn't want it to end, editorializing that of all the potential presidential candidates sitting on the sidelines, "the one that who would bring the most to the race is Vice President Cheney."
Introducing his interview with 'Cheney's Nemesis,' Matt Taibbi writes that "As amazing as it is that Cheney is still walking among us, a living link to our dark Nixonian past, it's even more amazing that Hersh is still the biggest pain in his ass..."
High Anxiety A new study on Americans' confidence in U.S. foreign policy places the "anxiety indicator" at 137 on a 200-point scale, edging toward the 150 point mark that the authors "would consider a crisis of confidence in government policy."
'Docked for Duty?' Newsweek reports that U.S. attorney David Iglesias, fired for "spending too much time away from the office," was actually away performing "military service in support of what the Pentagon likes to call the Global War on Terror."
Conservative blogs seize on a report that someone "giggled" during McCain's Baghdad press conference to again level accusations against CNN's Michael Ware, and Jon Swift sets about identifying the parties responsible for "smearing Drudge's good name."
Newt Gingrich concedes, in Spanish, that 'my word choice was poor' -- but stops short of an apology -- after characterizing Spanish as "the language of living in a ghetto." Plus: Sen. John Kerry and Gingrich set to debate climate change and the environment.
After a fired employee takes the Wall Street Journal 'Inside Wal-Mart's "Threat Research" Operation,' the company 'defends its monitoring,' but reportedly apologizes for a "shareholder relations gaffe."
An "Anatomy of a Feeding Frenzy" over the death of Anna Nicole Smith, finds that from February 8 to March 2, Fox News "devoted almost one-third of its airtime to the Smith story in all its permutations." But a defender of the 'feeding frenzy' says that "I learned a thing or two in the 30 minutes I watched."
Friday, April 6, 2007
The New York Times calls on Congress to put an end to the "show trials" at Guantanamo, as a new report from Amnesty International depicts the worsening conditions there, including "permanent conditions of extreme isolation and sensory deprivation."
Time looks at how 'America's Broken Down Army' makes do with "less training, shorter breaks and disintegrating equipment," as a surge of 12,000 more National Guard troops is planned for Iraq and Afghanistan 'to lessen surge's strain on stretched thin Army.'
As the Iranian hostage crisis ends, the 'backbiting begins' with the freed Britons facing 'questions about their capture and behavior,' and a "mixed" reaction in the Iranian press, but amid denials of a prisoner swap, The War in Context's Paul Woodward considers the implications for "jock diplomacy."
To put the debate over Iranian interference in Iraq in context, Noam Chomsky asks 'What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?,' and David Edwards notes echoes of pre-war media commentary on Iraq by Western journalists for whom "Iranian history began with the 1979 hostage crisis." Plus: 'Chalabi: The Iranian Sequel?'
A newly declassified Pentagon report that finds the pre-war link drawn between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda by the Office of Special Plans "inappropriate," includes the briefing slides used to sell the link in the White House.
Defending the use of anonymous sources in a story by ABC's Brian Ross, a network vice president urges "trust" in its "very reliable reporters," even though Ross was a "journalistic leader" in tying Saddam Hussein to anthrax and 9/11.
CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey, who last week gave a skeptical assessment of progress in Iraq, says Sen. McCain's upbeat remarks on the subject were "disgraceful for a man seeking highest office ... utter rubbish."
The ongoing "outburst of flaming hysteria" from the White House and neoconservatives over House Speaker Pelosi's trip to Syria, are not so much about what she did or said, Joe Conason contends, "but how she exposed the exhaustion of neoconservative policy."
At the U.S. Attorney's office in Minnesota, four attorneys "voluntarily demoted themselves" rather than continue to work for a "Federalist Society Princess" with a "reputation for quoting Bible verses and dressing down underlings," despite an "eleventh hour" Bush administration plea for them to stay.
Joe Klein now finds it "increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead," apparently concluding that "being authentic isn't everything," but in any case not flirting with what he calls the "nutso" idea of impeachment.
Mitt Romney provides the latest illustration of the Republicans' Pinocchio problem, John Dean finds a "textbook example of an authoritarian personality" in Tom DeLay's autobiography, and support for the imperial presidency is read as a symptom of cultural trends that will likely outlast the Bush administration.
In his 'Next Crusade' as head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz is accused of favoritism toward a subordinate with whom he has been romantically linked. She received a $60,000 raise, "more than double the amount allowed" under bank rules.
A new study in Science warns of a 'permanent drought' in the Southwest in which "the infamous 'dust bowl' conditions of the 1930s will be the norm," as an anti-environmental lobby finds ways to adapt to the new political environment and logging is rebranded as conservation.
The New Yorker covers Prince in Las Vegas, who covers Joni Mitchell on a new tribute album. Speaking last December about "Green Flag Song," Mitchell told an interviewer: "The theme of this show is 'war, revolution and torture.' I was in such despair about the world's current state of affairs that I didn't even know where to start."
Monday, April 9, 2007
On the fourth anniversary of the capture of Baghdad, flags fly as Shiites demonstrate in Najaf against U.S. occupation, Muqtada al-Sadr tries to re-position himself as "a leader of all Iraqis," and the Los Angeles Times reports that Iraq rebels are finding a "captive audience" in U.S.-run jails.
Riverbend concludes that "the only Iraqis tasting democracy after four years of America's catastrophe are the ones who had the insight to leave Iraq behind," and USA Today attempts to get beyond the statistics with a portrait of how sectarian kidnapping affects an Iraqi family. Plus: 'Whining Imperialists.'
The New York Times finds little evidence that the buildup of U.S. forces in Baghdad is creating an "island of stability," eyewitnesses contradict claims of progress, and Juan Cole argues that continued U.S. military occupation cannot forestall further warfare.
Trying to recover from a week in which he went "from Republican presidential front-runner to political death watch," Sen. John McCain expresses "regret" that he "misspoke" about Baghdad security in an interview with "60 Minutes," but pens an editorial claiming that "every sensible observer" would give escalation a chance.
Frank Rich argues that by squandering his political credibility "on an embarrassing propaganda stunt," McCain "inflicted collateral damage" on others who support the surge and may inadvertently have "hastened America's disengagement from Iraq."
The Americans' "insipid retelling of 'success' stories" merely hid "the huge black hole that lay underneath," writes an Iraqi government insider and cousin of Ayad Allawi, in an acclaimed new book that explains how victory was allowed to "give way to anarchy" in Iraq.
Behind the right wing noise machine's "wild swings at Pelosi," Paul Krugman sees the a return to the pre-9/11 media strategy of the "Little Lie," and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson accuses his own paper's "hawkish" editorial board of ignoring substance in its "foolish" attacks on Pelosi.
The kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza last month, suspected to be the work of "a powerful unchecked clan," is said to be drawing even more criticism from journalists in Palestine, than it is in the Western media.
An Afghan reporter abducted last month with a subsequently freed Italian journalist, is killed by the Taliban, amid reports that worsening conditions in Kandahar have led ordinary Afghans to want the Taliban back, a sentiment echoed by others in neighboring Helmand province.
'Another Enemy of the People?' En route to a symposium focusing on his book "Constitutional Democracy," a distinguished scholar of public law, who had been critical of Bush while supporting the Alito nomination, finds himself denied boarding and harassed because he is on a terrorist watch list.
Glenn Greenwald tracks the spread of an "untermenchen" narrative on the right, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discusses how a series he wrote about the hidden history of racial cleansing in America, which he has now published as a book, was rejected for publication by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Reconstructing the vetting of Bernie Kerik, whom federal prosecutors are likely to be charging with "several felonies," the Washington Post finds Alberto Gonzales in charge as "red flags" are ignored and the normal investigation process is "short-circuited."
Max Blumenthal thanks the other Monica for helping the press finally discover the deep footprint Pat Robertson's Regent University has made in Bush's Washington, while Chris Hedges diagnoses 'Praying for the Apocalypse.'
As bloggers rally against theocracy, warnings against the "pigpen of secularism" help recruit for a 'Teenage Holy War,' and 'The Anti-Secularist' calls for the re-Christianizing of Europe, but laments that "nothing positive" is happening in Iraq.
As the National Abstinence Education Association hires "Swift Boat" PR firm, six states stage a "moral revolt against abstinence-only sex education," turning down millions of dollars in federal grants.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Gary Kamiya asks, "Why did the media fail so disastrously in its response to the biggest issue of a generation?," and Glenn Greenwald calls out ABC News for having "never retracted, corrected or even explained their false reports" from the fall of 2001, "strongly suggesting that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were responsible for the anthrax attacks on the U.S."
Pat Buchanan surveys 'What a Lack of Courage Cost' in October 2002, when leading Democrats voted "to give George Bush his blank check for war," and in 2007 it's the Democrats, not Bush, who are prepared to make 'The Imminent Compromise.'
Although "public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year," an AP-Ipsos poll finds evidence that "the public wants Congress to push for an end" to the war in Iraq, where 'We've Been Surging For Years.'
An Iranian-American reporter 'recalls the layers of truth told in Iraq,' from the time when journalists "gave credence to the narrative described by American officials in the Green Zone," where media eyewitnesses have an increasingly 'Obstructed View.'
The Savannah Morning News 'Sparks Newsroom Controversy' with a "story" touting "progress in Iraq," written by Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who reportedly said in January that "war-weary Americans should 'quit complaining' and prepare themselves for the conflict to continue several more years."
Gwen Ifill of "The NewsHour" pens "a word about the girls" from Rutgers, who announced during a press conference that they would meet with Don Imus, as "frequent on-air guests" scramble to "salvage their outlet," with corporate silence as the "ultimate trump card."
'Misogyny in the Morning' AJR editor Rem Rieder wonders why top media pundits, Sen. John McCain "and the rest of the A-list" haven't been 'Shunning the I-Man,' rather than providing him with "a protective cover of legitimacy," and being "complicit in ... bigotry."
As a 'House panel subpoenas Gonzales documents,' and 'Favored U.S. attorneys pull double duty,' it's argued that if the 'battle over executive privilege' ends up in a constitutional showdown, "there is no question about which side should prevail."
With Republican party-issued laptops reported to be a 'White House headache,' and Congress on the 'Email Trail,' the story's "potential to pull back the curtain ... and possibly unveil other scandals," is said to be what "really has the GOP's teeth chattering."
Rudy Giuliani opens up a 22 point lead over his nearest GOP rival, with Gallup finding the "lowest level of support to date" for Sen. John McCain, following his Baghdad market stroll, but Charlie Cook argues that "it probably isn't prudent to write McCain off yet."
It's noted that John Edwards 'beats all Republicans in latest Rasmussen polls,' but an op-ed writer asks, 'What if John Edwards worked at Wal-Mart?' See how Target's CEO, who raked in an estimated 18 to 36 million dollars last year, is putting his money to work.
"In this age of transparency, one sometimes wishes for a little opacity," writes a New Yorker reviewer about the TV version of "This American Life," which has posted video clips from the first month's worth of shows, and an edited version of the first episode.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Three four-star generals have reportedly turned down a job feeler from the White House "to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," with one of them explaining that "the very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going."
Defense Secretary Gates confirms an earlier report of 'Extended Tours for All Soldiers,' and a look at "The Hollow Army" is said to "cut through the glossy veneer that's been painted on the term 'military readiness' by the Bush administration."
Maureen Dowd observes that "even cable news showed little interest in President Bush's big speech on Iraq yesterday," while a "GOP negotiating team" is reportedly seeking a 'White House Deal on Iraq.'
As it's reminded that Democrats 'repeatedly invited Bush to work with them on Iraq,' an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll finds that a plurality of respondents want Democrats to withhold funds if Bush vetoes the Iraq funding bill, and a majority say Attorney General Gonzales should resign.
Patrick Cockburn debunks 'The Myth of Tal Afar,' Robert Fisk reveals 'America's plan for Baghdad,' and a Middle East expert discussing 'How to Get Out of Iraq' argues that "we need to stop envisioning battlefield scenarios and start imagining ceasefire scenarios."
Eric Boehlert revisits the story of how "two factually challenged camps joined forces last week in an [ongoing] effort to slime CNN's Iraq reporter Michael Ware," who recently reported that the U.S. is protecting an Iraqi-based Iranian opposition group that it considers to be a terrorist organization.
'Reviving John McCain' As "the imagery of the military" is deployed yet again to serve the senator's campaign, his Baghdad market mission is called "simply not credible" by Sen. Barack Obama, during MoveOn.org's 'Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Iraq.'
A subpoena in the U.S. attorney firings scandal reportedly "marks the first time that Congress has demanded rather than asked for information about the issue," as Democrats also focus on "what sitting U.S. attorneys may have done to keep their job."
The New York Times reports that the Election Assistance Commission "watered down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation," instead, "issuing a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate."
A 'Franchise' reels as Don Imus loses some advertisers, but one media analyst is quoted as saying that, as a matter of principle, "you can't let third parties decide corporate policy," and an MSNBC executive cites the potential cost of replacing the show "with three hours of regular news coverage."
"I would appear on his program again, sure," said Rudy Giuliani, campaigning in Alabama, which he compared to New York City, and where he reportedly "had trouble with a reporter's question" regarding the price of bread and milk.
Majority Retort What appears to be an unpopular decision prompts a longtime Air America observer to comment that "not even I could have predicted that the Green brothers' first order of business would be to Miltonize Sam Seder."
Thursday, April 12, 2007
A New York Times editorial sees "no possible triumph in Iraq," Robert Novak reports that "U.S. troop deaths are skyrocketing, with very little attention being paid to this fact at home," and "not even the guy who helped invent the 'surge' wants the job."
Despite GOP claims of 'Military Near Desperation' over funding, it's argued that President Bush "has the ability to provide the funds to the troops immediately, regardless of the language" in the Iraq Supplemental, and asked: 'When Will the War Money Really Run Out?'
The 'Toll of War' can be seen in hundreds of files that the ACLU pried loose from the Defense Department, of claims submitted by surviving Iraqi and Afghan family members of civilians said to have been killed or injured or to have suffered property damages due to actions by coalition forces.
Political opponents greet Rep. Tom Lantos' statement that "I'm ready to go" to Iran, "And knowing the speaker, I think she might be," with reactions ranging from "troubling" to "treason," but an aide to Speaker Pelosi said that she "has no intention of going to Iran."
Norman Solomon charges three Democratic contenders with making "horrific statements" on Iran, while a "propaganda fiasco" in the U.K. is said to reveal Western public opinion as 'Iran's secret weapon.'
As the White House claims that e-mails from Republican Party-sponsored accounts "have potentially been lost," and that some may involve messages from Karl Rove, it's reported that the Justice Department has been unable to find "evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections," despite a five-year crackdown on voter fraud.
Sen. Patrick Leahy breaks 'the "L word" barrier,' saying that 'Bush Aides Lied About E-Mails,' and a White House spokesman tells reporters, "We live in a new time." Plus: 'White House lost over five million e-mails in two year period.'
A 'Churchillian' Sen. John McCain slips into third in a new poll, after reportedly "trimming the fat" in his campaign staff, while Rep. Duncan Hunter spells out his aspirations, and David Sirota catches a '2008 Myth' in the act of creation.
Bob Herbert sees "the roof ... caving in on Mr. Imus," following an "internal mutiny" at MSNBC, but pundits are still 'Rallying Around Their Racist Friend,' and "treating Don Imus like the victim here."
'First Dissed, Now Disappeared,' Jill Nelson can "appreciate the concern for Black women on the part of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other Black men, but I'd feel a lot better if they gave up some of the face time and didn't suck up all the air in the green room."
A sports writer's claim that 'Imus isn't the real bad guy,' complete with a complaint about the "nationally televised recruiting celebration" at Rutgers, leads to a break down of 'The Rapper Defense.'
NPR interviews violin virtuoso Joshua Bell about his incognito performance at a Washington D.C. subway station which prompted one busker commenting on Bell's take to remind "that it's not about the money. It's about the music."
Kurt Vonnegut died Wednesday night at the age of 84. It was his year. He spoke of the end in an interview with Rolling Stone, and wrote about his "Blues for America" in "A Man Without a Country," which included many of his articles for In These Times.
Friday, April 13, 2007
In an instant the floor became "a junkyard of humanity," observes the Washington Post's Sudarsan Raghavan in his eyewitness account of the Green Zone bombing, which raised questions about the government's ability to fully protect itself, much less its citizens.
In the 'Baghdad Gulag,' Pepe Escobar finds "a post-mod, Arab condo version of Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, where the eye of the system is ubiquitous," facing "unruly slums" suffused with "waves of anger." More Escobar, on the 'Night bus from Baghdad.'
A FOIA request unearths details of nearly 500 "condolence payments" for civilians killed by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the Iraqi government offers an $800 bounty to displaced families willing to return to their original homes in Baghdad, where overall security remains uneven.
Amid warnings of a 'military meltdown,' the Washington Post sums up the reaction of soldiers and their families to extended tours as "akin to a collective groan," but Fox News finds 'troops' looking for 'the bright side.'
Laura Rozen illuminates 'Kurdistan's Covert Back-Channels' with an investigation of how "an ex-Mossad chief, a German uberspy, and a gaggle of top-dollar GOP lobbyists helped Kurdistan snag 15 tons of $100 bills."
After the World Bank Staff Association calls for his resignation, Paul Wolfowitz admits it was a "mistake" to secure his girlfriend a huge unauthorized raise, but misses the real scandal, and is reportedly still flogging "the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda," as his fate hangs in the balance.
The White House confesses that some of the missing e-mails may relate to the firing of U.S. attorneys, and that among the missing are at least "four years' worth" of e-mails from Karl Rove -- all of which appears to amount to 'The dog ate our e-mail.'
Although the "Bush administration's implosion" has proved a setback for the "Christian right's strategy of infiltration," Paul Krugman argues that the extent of the movement's influence and the extremism of its agenda goes underreported, and it "will surely find new champions."
As Rudy Giuliani uses John Bolton to burnish his foreign policy credentials, and 'stumps for Confederate flag supporters,' it's argued that his mantra of "leadership" is an attempt to paper over a history of poor judgment, and "the only -ism" he believes in is "sadism."
A scene from the documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side" suggests that Guantanamo is providing 'A Taste of Texas Justice,' and the ordeal of a former Guantanamo detainee inspires Patti Smith to compose "Without Chains."
Stephen Soldz discusses the 'Aid and Comfort for Torturers' given by psychologists and psychiatrists in Behavioral Science Consultation Teams, as concerns are raised about the 'militarization of neuroscience.'
A failure of medical schools to provide training in performing abortions, according to Medical Students for Choice, is slowly chipping away at "abortion rights and access," while a bill is introduced to mandate inclusion of bible training in the Texas public school curriculum.
Although the "TIDE has turned" against Don Imus, Hullabaloo's Digby points out that "raw hypocrisy" among the "Imus Elite" has long been noticed, and Al Franken takes note of the wider problem and 'calls on CNN to fire Glenn Beck.'
The DNC is accused of appointing a shill for "the most hated company in America," to run Public Affairs for the Democratic National Convention in Denver, as the Guardian looks into efforts to use "stuck torrents" to frustrate pirates.
"Democracy Now!" interviews Bill McKibben about Step it Up's upcoming National Day of Climate Action, but Joshua Frank argues that the movement hasn't stepped it up enough to deal with the real scope of the crisis.
In its second annual green issue, Vanity Fair sends global warming skeptics to hell, James Wolcott passes judgment on the man who "inscribed the term 'environmental wackos' into the political lexicon" and Robert Kennedy Jr. details how 'Texas Chainsaw Management' has handed "top environmental posts to representatives of polluting industries."
Monday, April 16, 2007
Following a weekend of intense violence in Iraq, Sadrist ministers quit the Iraqi government to protest the lack of a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, amid concerns about Sadr's possible role in a 'nightmare scenario' for the Bush administration.
In the first of what's anticipated to be a series of 'hard-hitting articles on contractor abuse' in Iraq, the Washington Post's Steve Fainaru tries to reconcile divergent accounts of "a shooting rampage" on Baghdad's airport road that is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.
With the U.S. now holding some 18,000 detainees as "enemy combatants" in Iraq, up from 10,000 a year ago, an article by Dr. Steven Miles in the American Journal of Bioethics, considers the ethical implications of medical and psychological collaboration in the 'Interrogation of Guantanamo 063.'
Confronted in a Town Hall Meeting, Hillary Clinton won't say that she read a 2002 intelligence report on Iraq, but does say "she believed she was giving the President the authority to send U.N. inspectors to Iraq." Plus: Report claims 'France told U.S. before September 11 of Al-Qaeda plans.'
It'll "make people's hair curl," predicts David Ignatius, who appears to have gotten an advance peak at the much anticipated but embargoed memoir from former CIA director George Tenet, which is expected to take on Cheney and his people on WMD, and on what was supposed to happen after the invasion.
His hopes of victory undimmed, the vice president explains on "Face the Nation" how "last throes" was misunderstood, and bets that the Democrats will cave on timetables for Iraq, but doesn't face the toughest questions, as Juan Cole warns that the 21st century won't all be television.
The smear campaign the vice president is suspected of orchestrating against the House Speaker appears to be having trouble gaining traction at home, as Pelosi's diplomacy wins over the overseas press.
In a joint interview on "Democracy Now!," Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn discuss Iraq, Vietnam, Activism and History, while Gore Vidal contemplates how the 'end of the American empire' is being hastened by a plague of incompetents.
Rebuked but not resigned, Paul Wolfowitz soldiers on, as it's reported that he gave top appointments to Iraq war backers, and the corporate media is accused of focusing on "his girlfriend, not his world-class war crimes."
As the World Bank and the IMF meet, Mark Weisbrot looks at how the 'IMF's Fall from Power' is illustrated by the organization's failures of prescription and prediction in Argentina, and by the weakening grip of the IMF's international creditors cartel over middle income countries.
The New York Times reports that for years banks and lenders have successfully lobbied against less costly student loans provided directly by the government, and with IRS audits targeting the middle class "more often, more quickly," Art Threat follows the trail of tax dollars.
An op-ed by the Attorney General proclaiming 'Nothing Improper,' is dismissed as "pablum" by the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, as it's argued that Gonzales' real role in the removal of U.S. attorneys was as the "rubber-stamper" for decisions coming direct from the White House.
Although a new Pew survey finds that the coaxial and digital revolutions have done little to improve the general public's knowledge of current events, the best informed Americans are "likely to be viewers of fake news."
Confessing that he himself is "among the hypocrites surrounding Imus," Frank Rich nonetheless attacks critics of the former talk show host for wanting to silence Imus, as the political function of "the terrible things right wingers say" comes under examination.
A Harvard professor's attempt to derail the tenure bid of a critic of Israel at De Paul University, appears to find a sympathetic ear in the dean and perhaps the university president, though few among the rest of the faculty appear to be persuaded. And Reuters reports on George Soros' article 'On Israel, America and AIPAC.'
Matthew C. Nisbet and Chris Mooney advocate "framing science" to avoid offending religious sensibilities, but P.Z. Myers objects that this much debated approach amounts to hiding "appreciation of the consequences of science from the public," and to another scientist it is just "appeasement." Plus: A 'Creation Museum' reaches out.
The latest federal report documenting the ineffectiveness of abstinence-only education gets a "Friday burial" release, True Love Waits targets AIDS education in Africa, and conservatives are suing the FDA for 'politicizing women's health.'
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The slaughter at Virginia Tech is said to have renewed the gun control debate, but mostly 'on one side,' as "supporters of gun rights generally kept their heads down," and a U.S. ally in the "war on terror" decried America's "gun culture."
A London Times columnist examines America's "lethal commitment" to its "freedoms," as law enforcement officials examine a 'You Caused Me to Do This' note from the English major who did it, and who had authored a one-act play titled "Richard McBeef."
"In Iraq this is a daily event," said Juan Cole, referring to the Virginia Tech killings during a "NewsHour" appearance to discuss Iraq. "Imagine how horrible it would be if this kind of massacre were occurring every single day."
Comparing himself to the Duke lacrosse players, Tom DeLay appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" to lament his persecution at the hands of the "Nifong of Texas," as the Virginia Tech shootings deliver the networks from their 'Duke v. Iraq' dilemma.
Calling one episode of "America at a Crossroads" "a virtual infomercial for Richard Perle," Salon's Gary Kamiya argues that "if anyone still believes that PBS has a left-wing bias," this 12-hour series "should shut them up once and for all."
The WSWS examines "mounting signs" that the Bush administration is preparing to sacrifice Gonzales to save Karl Rove, while Eugene Robinson questions whether Gonzales has "multiple-personality issues" along with the credibility problems he shares with Rove and Paul Wolfowitz.
Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson, seen as running far behind "No One" in the GOP field, has explained that he "meant it as a compliment," when he told Jewish activists that making money is "part of the Jewish tradition."
Rudy Giuliani was scheduled to make a campaign appearance at Regent University, the "tier 4" school that has sent more than 150 graduates to jobs in all levels of the Bush Administration, and whose founder finds his brand extension facing market resistance.
Glenn Greenwald salutes Charlie Savage, about whom the Boston Globe's editor said: "What Charlie does and the reason he won this richly deserved Pulitzer is because he covered what the White House does, not just what it says." Plus: Winner for breaking news photography was picked to click.
"From 'alternative' to 'template'?" is the question asked about City Pages, whose longtime editor Steve Perry departed after the paper became part of New Times Media, which is a frequent target of Alt-Weekly Death Watch.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
In a week that has seen "several spectacular attacks on the capital," four bombs killed at least 178 people in Baghdad, following reports that U.S. troop deaths are 'climbing,' and that the war has taken the lives of '600 U.S. Contractors.'
With support for the war at 32 percent, Charlie Cook finds it "ominous" for the GOP that independents are "coming down on the anti-war side" of the 'Opinion Gulf.' A previous column by Cook prompts question, 'Tenacity or Pig-headed Petulance?'
An Army lieutenant colonel argues that "the American press has reported the reality of the war in a balanced way," and that the "military's ongoing condemnation" of the reporting "has more to do with its own mistaken belief that the American media lost the Vietnam War and has less to do with the current reporting on Iraq."
In a 'Pro-Israel Lobby Debate,' Norman Finkelstein and James Petras dispute whether neocons only "become pro-Israel when Israel is useful to them in their pursuit of power," and it's argued that, in the run-up to the Iraq war, "neither side" could possibly have told "the unvarnished truth."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich states his intention to "introduce Articles of Impeachment with respect to the conduct of Vice President Cheney," who Tom Engelhardt calls "perhaps the last priestly guardian of the old language of the Iraq war," with "The administration's familiar war vocabulary and imagery ... finally disappeared down the memory hole." Plus: 'Cheney Does Africa.'
In what Maureen Dowd calls 'The Saga of Wolfie and Shaha,' the order to hire Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend for an Iraq mission may have come from Douglas Feith's office, but Christopher Hitchens maintains that 'the World Bank president did nothing wrong.' Earlier Dowd: 'More Con Than Neo.'
A 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act reportedly hands "the federal government and other opponents of abortion," "the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench." An AP report notes that six federal courts have said the law "is an impermissible restriction on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion."
The Project on Government Oversight finds 'Oil Industry Scofflaws Honored' by the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, whose auditors are said to have been told, "Don't bother the oil companies" about unpaid royalties from oil and gas leases on public lands.
"I'm not arguing for repetition," said the Washington Post reporter who called out the TV networks for not reporting the Virginia Tech massacre in prime time, in responding to a complaint about excessive coverage.
After a report on 'The Governor's Database' inspires a bill to remove control of Texas criminal intelligence gathering from Gov. Perry's Homeland Security office, it's noted that "so far the MSM has been silent" on this story and other examples of Lone Star malfeasance.
Amid reports of two Secret Service agents wounded in an accidental shooting at the White House, The Smoking Gun posts video of a 2004 incident in which a DEA agent shot himself in the foot during a classroom talk on gun safety.
Given the imminent closing of the last U.S. news bureau in Canada, Edward Wasserman argues that "for an imperial power, the United States is an oddly incurious place. Our media don't help." Plus: Canada closes some outposts of its own.
Gal Beckerman describes how 'Fox News takes Vonnegut's bait, one last time,' with an obituary confirming Vonnegut's words in "Cold Turkey," that "thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative."
Thursday, April 19, 2007
"The very model of a loyal Bushie," reporting for "public interrogation" regarding his role in the U.S. attorney firings scandal, confirmed that he had discussed 'One Prosecutor's Ouster' with Karl Rove. Plus: Senators renew bipartisan call for Gonzales to go.'
McClatchy reports that "For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates," leading to what Jonathan Chait calls 'Kremlin justice in the U.S.'
The "politically explosive" ruling is said to have been "notable for the way the nine justices split on the question -- 5-4, with the Court's five Catholic justices forming the majority," augering 'A New Dark Ages for Women.'
Although neither Dinesh D'Souza nor Pat Robertson has been "invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community," the campus was flooded with twenty "rapid-response" chaplains of the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has called for the U.S. to use nuclear weapons in Iraq, and "to preach the gospel to these people!"
While the "wussification of America" is deplored, and the "Korean blogosphere" is advised to "stay calm," "self-described gun enthusiast" Sen. Jim Webb's Democrats are said to be counting on the silence of the base.
It's reported that police in Minnesota are planning to handle the arrests of as many as 3,000 protestors at the 2008 Republican National Convention, and Al Franken gets a Democratic opponent in the race to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman.
Although prices for the top 15 drugs used by seniors reportedly rose an average of 9.2 percent over the past year, Senate Republicans and Harry Reid blocked a bill allowing the government to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower Medicare prices. Plus: 'Medical care under capitalism - where does the money go?'
The lineup for the Cannes Film Festival is expected to include "Sicko" by Michael Moore, who reportedly took some 9/11 responders to Cuba for medical care. Follow what became a blog hit from the New York Post, to FoxNews.com, to "Fox & Friends."
David Broder finds 'The Media in the Mud' with Don Imus, and "their rationalizations are lame," but elsewhere it's asked whether Broder is "even aware" that his "column constitutes a revelation of sorts."
Following David Brooks' suggestion last week that Sen. John McCain was "the most substantive, most mature," presidential candidate, McCain reworked the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann," singing "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran..."
Friday, April 20, 2007
Although the "panorama of destruction" from Wednesday's market bombing left "Iraqis desperately clutching to shreds of normalcy," 'Iraq Sadrists vow no return to streets,' but Patrick Cockburn notes a surge in death squad activity, with U.S. troop increases apparently shifting the violence rather than reducing it.
As a U.N. conference tries to grapple with the humanitarian crisis of the nearly four million displaced by the Iraq war, NGOs report at least 15,000 Iraqis missing, and insecurity prevents cleanup of environmental hazards that are driving up cancer rates.
McClatchy reports that "standing up Iraqi troops" is no longer the plan, and the Christian Science Monitor takes note of political benchmarks unmet, but the Los Angeles Times finds "The Great Wall of Adhamiya" uniting Shiites and Sunnis -- in contempt.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declares "this war is lost," while Karl Rove simply wishes "the war never existed," and blames it on Osama bin Laden, once again tying September 11 to the war in Iraq.
As the 'New American Dictionary Interactive Security Fear Edition' is prepped for launch, Stephen Colbert considers the value of the war on terror as a brand, and Jonathan Schwarz looks to security's final frontier.
A New York Times editorial compares the Attorney General's performance to that of a "a dull-witted apparatchik," and one prominent Republican finds the experience like "clubbing a baby seal," as Gonzales' memory repeatedly fails, and even among senior White House aides, support bleeds away.
Despite the 'striking lack of Republican support for Gonzales' during his 'Reconfirmation Hearings,' John Dean suspects he won't be fired because of the 'GOP presidential standard for protecting cronies.'
Whenever 'The Rubber Stamp' is asked about who made the ultimate decision, he "trots back to the fuzzy gray oracle of "senior leadership," observes Dahlia Lithwick, and Joe Conason concludes that the only way to get to the bottom of the scandal is to "force the appointment of a special prosecutor."
With the revolt against Paul Wolfowitz's leadership spreading, newly disclosed documents add fuel to the nepotism scandal, another of Wolfowitz's appointees comes under fire for deleting references to family planning from Bank documents, and the White House is reportedly drawing up a list of potential successors.
Previewing Bill Moyers' upcoming documentary "Buying the War," Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell finds it a 'devastating' portrait of a press still largely unwilling to own up to its role in enabling a war waged on false pretenses, as viewers organize to discuss the implications. (scroll down)
An NPR reporter is faulted for giving Douglas Feith, whom the Economist calls "an 'untouchable' who is floating around the margins of academia," a little too much help in his struggle with history, while "a full-hour infomercial" for the Iraq invasion provokes Robert Parry to ask, 'Time for PBS to Go?'
After the Denver Post's Joanne Ostrow wrote a column accusing Bill O'Reilly of spewing "racist bile," a Fox News producer ambushed her in the parking lot of a Wild Oats market, and Ostrow believes he "staked out her residence and tailed her to the business." Plus: Sean Hannity afraid to debate Salt Lake City's mayor?
With a push for new abortion restrictions likely, groups like Operation Rescue are taking over shuttered abortion clinics crowing that "the best place to preach against an abortion clinic is from within one," as mobile crisis pregnancy centers move in to "accost women as they try to enter" abortion clinics.
'The Plot Against Medicare' has advanced, in Paul Krugman's view, in part because minority advocacy groups have been "taken in" by "insurance industry disinformation" that falsely suggests that they benefit disproportionately from privatization.
Monday, April 23, 2007
The U.S. now claims that it will "respect the wishes" of the Iraqi government concerning the building of a controversial wall in Baghdad's Adhamiya neighborhood, which has drawn comparisons to Israeli containment strategies, and was part of a plan to wall off at least 10 Baghdad neighborhoods.
In a report on the "living hell" Baghdad has become, "60 Minutes" talks to a man who has lost 14 family members about life on the edge of Adhamiya, while the documentary 'Meeting Resistance' follows the story of eight "insurgents" from the same neighborhood.
Although top U.S. commanders have only "mixed results" to show so far, the AP finds the Pentagon "laying the groundwork to extend the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq," and Paul Krugman charges that the president is treating the troops like hostages in the standoff with Congress over war spending.
Dahr Jamail reports back from Iraqi refugee camps in Syria, where the flood of Iraqi refugees now comprises "a little over 8% of the population," and underfunded facilities are reaching the breaking point.
A newly disclosed report on the Haditha massacre finds signs of Marine misconduct ignored, while a New York Times article examining the U.S. military's use of information from suspects beaten by Iraqi security forces is seen as pointing to the war's "deeper and bloodier narrative."
One extract from a new book by Guantanamo lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, depicts the malign progress of the "dissembling disease" at the detention facility, while another highlights "the surreal world of the prison's media relations."
In a C-SPAN interview, CIA Director Michael Hayden trumpets growth opportunities in the agency, as a new book details indiscretions of a former CIA executive director, and some female agents file a class action lawsuit alleging bias in the handling of "close and continuing" relationships with foreigners.
After a day of "conveniently vacant" testimony, signs point to the exit for Alberto Gonzales, but Elizabeth de la Vega warns that his departure will not right "the listing ship" of Justice, and David Iglesias finds Karl Rove "up to his eyeballs."
The AP notes that Gonzales is only the most visible landmark of an 'administration awash in scandals,' as the count of officials leaving under a cloud grows, and Frank Rich finds each new scandal pointing back to the lies that took us to war.
In an interview with Bill Maher, Bill Moyers rips media complicity in a war fought under false pretenses, and commenting on the abandonment of the "Iraqis stand up" policy, asks "How many Americans is this President willing to sacrifice on the altar of his ego?"
A conveniently timed terror warning from the London Times raises suspicions, as a series of articles in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists by John Mueller and others conclude that "politicians, bureaucrats and the media all have a vested interest in exaggerating the threat of terrorism."
Newt Gingrich blames liberalism for the Virginia Tech massacre, the National Review's Mark Steyn blames "a culture of passivity," and the Rev. Phelps blames the victims, but the university's student government tells the media they have overstayed their welcome.
Facing "a searing indictment" and calls for his resignation from 24 senior former World Bank executives, Paul Wolfowitz takes a time-out from the scandal, and the media continues to struggle with what to call his "special lady friend."
Reviewing the first round results of the French Election, Doug Ireland warns of the danger of Nicolas Sarkozy, about whom a Dallas Morning News editorial asks: "How do you say 'Rudy Giuliani' in French?"
A New York Times report on Boris Yeltsin's death points out that despite his much lauded role as 'Russia's first post-Soviet leader,' the rapid privatization of industry he spearheaded led to "a form of buccaneer capitalism" in which "a new class of oligarchs usurped political power."
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
A suicide truck bombing killed nine U.S. soldiers from Task Force Lightning in Diyala, the third-deadliest region in Iraq, where "a 10-week-old U.S. counterinsurgency strategy has placed them in outposts ... that some soldiers say have made them more vulnerable."
A Globe and Mail report on torture in Afghanistan sparks a call for resignation in Canada, and a debate on whether "Mini Bush" and his government "have been wilfully blind ... or ... grossly incompetent."
A Canadian psychotherapist, whose parents survived the Holocaust, describes how he was permanently barred from entering the U.S., after a border guard googled an article about a forty-year old LSD trip, taken under the supervision of R. D. Laing.
With TV-Turnoff Week underway, coverage of a 'Campus Rampage' is found to have "dwarfed any other story this year," but viewers who turn off the tube will miss seeing Walter Isaacson tell Bill Moyers about handling calls from the "patriotism police" after 9/11.
"Was he watching the same hearing as everyone else?" a senior GOP aide is quoted as saying, after President Bush praised the performance of Attorney General Gonzales on the Hill, saying that "he answered as honestly as he could."
While Gonzales reportedly combats "identity theft," it's noted that replacing "Fredo" would be "a long process and not without its own disruption," with some in the GOP floating Ted Olson as the successor.
A 'Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry' into "U.S. attorney firings and other political activities led by Karl Rove," with the Office of Special Counsel, headed by a Bush appointee, said to have "combined a host of investigations ... into one big stew pot of wrongdoing."
Shortly after World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz hired Robert Bennett, the high powered lawyer, who previously represented both Bill Clinton and Judith Miller, promptly compared "the rush to judgment" on Wolfowitz to the Duke lacrosse case.
A chart unveiled by Fox's Bill O'Reilly, in which left-wing media dominance is depicted as being routed through Media Matters, is seen by TBogg as having its ultimate origins in a mental picture of George Soros.
'Death of a Drunk' Matt Taibbi, who lived in Russia throughout Boris Yeltsin's presidency, finds "great amusement" in media obituaries for an "inconsistent reformer" said to have "steadfastly defended freedom of the press."
David Halberstam, whose career as a serious journalist started in Nashville, covering the Civil Rights movement, and whose "cutting critique of contemporary media will be especially missed," was killed in a car accident two days after a meal described as "kind of like the last supper."
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tom DeLay accuses Democratic leaders of "getting very, very close to treason" on Iraq, and Rudy Giuliani 'warns of "new 9/11" if Dems win,' adding that "they came here and killed us in 1993 and we didn't get it.... Then Sept. 11, 2001 happened and we got it."
With Democrats determined to force GOP lawmakers "to vote again and again in defense of the unpopular war," Republicans are said to "voice the bitterness and frustration of people chained to the hull of a sinking ship."
"It was his wordiness that spoke volumes," during President Bush's appearance with Charlie Rose, during which he offered a "more nuanced" assessment of his Iraq strategy, and said, "Give my chance a plan to work." Plus: What Laura Bush wants the American people to know about Iraq and suffering.
Bush's 'Dead-ender presidency' is "devolving into an extended holding action," argues Ron Brownstein, but for Democrats on Congress, David Sirota finds that 'Selling Out to K Street Is "A Lot of Fun!"'
An op-ed by Sen. Chuck Hagel argues that placing "responsible conditions on U.S. war funding could forestall a time when we have no options," as polls show him trailing a GOP challenger in Nebraska, even though a majority of grassroots Republicans next door favor speedy withdrawal from Iraq.
Although "the initial stories of the fake reasons for Pat Tillman's death, and the fake rescue of Jessica Lynch were on page one," media that covered yesterday's Congressional hearing are seen as having neglected to "cop to their own role in perpetuating the lies."
Bill Moyers' "Buying the War" is said to be not only "as disheartening as it is compelling" in examining the media's role in selling the Iraq war, but also "frighteningly rife with portents for the future and for what will pass as journalism in months and years to come."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich launched his one-man effort to impeach Vice President Cheney, revealing that he "had not yet persuaded any of his 434 colleagues to be a cosponsor ... discussed the matter with House Democratic leaders ... [or] raised the subject with the Judiciary Committee." Plus: Getting a jump on 'Impeachment Summer.'
Even with 'More GOP Senators Critical of Gonzales,' Roll Call cites senators in both parties as saying that Bush's Attorney General "may ultimately survive the scandal over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys."
'The Dead Dog in the Room' A week after the Gonzales hearing, BAR's Bruce Dixon is still waiting for "pundits, reporters and leading Democrats" to discuss "the national Republican effort to suppress the votes of black and Latino communities" -- not to mention 'The GOP's cyber election hit squad.'
Expect no "hand-holding kumbaya singalong" when watching this video for "We'll Never Turn Back," the new CD by Mavis Staples, who is said to have "thought about New Orleans" in connecting "the bigotry of today with the racial injustice of yesterday."
Thursday, April 26, 2007
After Moyers tells "Democracy Now!" that "the press ... has yet to understand its role," David Sirota argues that "What's really disturbing" is "what the Moyers documentary "says about the state of journalism today." More on 'our failed and barren press.'
As Sidney Blumenthal traces the line 'From Norman Rockwell to Abu Ghraib,' the U.S. military brings charges of "aiding the enemy," as well as "possessing pornographic videos," against the former commander of Camp Cropper, the military detention center at Baghdad Airport, where Saddam Hussein was reportedly held.
A filing in a federal appeals court by the Justice Department, arguing that "there is no right on the part of counsel to access to detained aliens on a secure military base in a foreign country," is seen by lawyers as "an effort to restore Guantanamo to its prior status as a legal black hole."
The Washington Post reports that all sources who were willing to describe White House 'Political Briefings At Agencies' on the record "adopted a uniform phrase in response to a reporter's inquiries: They were, each official said, 'informational briefings about the political landscape.'"
After Secretary of State Rice receives one of '3 Subpoenas' issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform --"over the objections of Republicans" -- the AP reports that Rice is "not inclined to comply."
"As security permits ..." Phase II of a surge proponent's "Plan for Success in Iraq" is said to involve giving CEOs and other corporate leaders "more chances to visit the Green Zone and ... interact with American forces in the theater."
"Large loopholes" in the 'Democrats' Timetable' for U.S. withdrawal would reportedly "approve the presence in Iraq of tens of thousands of U.S. occupation troops for many years to come," to go on 'Dying for W.'
John Edwards will reportedly call on President Bush to fire Karl Rove at the debate, and Sen. John McCain, aboard the Straight Talk Express, says that he concluded "a long time ago" that Attorney General Gonzales should resign, but "I just haven't been asked."
Although the '''Maverick" still rides' in the Arizona Republic, Howard Kurtz describes "a comical metaphor for a candidate struggling to break through a cacophonous media filter," after McCain draws a crowd of about 250 to his campaign kickoff, many of whom "were at the event mainly out of curiosity."
Heroism and Hype After a Capitol Hill hearing on Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch and military propaganda, Dick Polman ponders 'A soldier's message to the government propagandists,' but the Pentagon points a finger at the press.
Friday, April 27, 2007
'Climate Exchange' There's "urgency in the air" as Sierra magazine brings together en eclectic mix of thinkers and doers to discuss practical measures for reducing global warming, China gets set to pass the U.S. as the world's number one polluter, and Australia struggles to deal with 'the big dry.'
The magazine stand seems to have caught 'spring fever,' and even MTV is earning praise for the scope of its environmental coverage, while Stephen Colbert looks at the "real results" the Bush administration is claiming on global warming.
Build Up That Wall! As it's reported that building will resume on what Riverbend calls "The Great Wall of Segregation," she prepares to abandon her home and head for either Syria or Jordan, "the only two countries that will let Iraqis in without a visa." Plus: How the Patriot Act turns refugees into "supporters of terrorism."
The rationales for walling off large sections of Baghdad get a reality check, and Scott Ritter wonders why Reagan Republicans seem to have lost interest in tearing down walls in Baghdad, at the border with Mexico and in Eastern Europe.
Media coverage of a U.N. Iraq report, which emphasized the failure of the Iraqi government to "seriously address" the problems of detainee abuse and torture, is said to have missed its detailed depiction of the growing humanitarian crisis in the country.
Nir Rosen describes his experiences 'Riding shotgun with our shadow army in Iraq,' where the U.S., "with little regard for the consequences," is outsourcing its "dirty work to those who will, for whatever reason, decide the rewards are worth the risk."
An article in the Armed Forces Journal by a prominent active duty U.S. Lt. Colonel indicting the "intellectual and moral failures" of America's generals, is reportedly a barometer of "widespread" discontent, as a British soldier breaks ranks to speak out about "the horror of his tour of duty" in Iraq.
With a number of "large loopholes" still in the timetable, Tony Karon finds the debate over withdrawals "largely a pantomime for domestic political consumption," insofar as neither party can voluntarily leave Iraq without fundamentally changing U.S. policy goals in the Middle East.
During the Democrats' first presidential debate, Iraq dominates, with all candidates attempting to flash their antiwar credentials, but Iran strikes some sparks, as Media Matters challenges the premises of some of the debate questions which were posed by the media moderators.
Depicting the 'the inhuman stain' left by "the Bush administration's scorched earth litigation tactics," a Guantanamo lawyer charges that "the Bush administration is fighting not so much a war on terror as a war on justice," closing windows on Guantanamo in an attempt to avoid closing its doors.
The 70th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica inspires recollections of a "training run" for blitzkrieg, and reflections on the continuing relevance of the painting it inspired to modern forms of "shock and awe."
While reporting overseas has proved exceptionally dangerous, Greg Palast finds most domestic American reporting too "safe," because it is unwilling to take the time to deal with the complexities of investigative journalism.
Although Paul Wolfowitz appears to be 'losing ground' in his struggle to keep his job, Naomi Klein thinks he is 'the perfect standard bearer' for an institution already "fatally compromised," as Andrew Cockburn reviews the career of 'the puppet who cleared the way for Iraq's destruction.'
As America heads towards becoming 'Gilded Once More,' Paul Krugman holds up a hedge fund manager who makes 38,000 times the average income as simply an extreme example of how much "we've gone back to levels of inequality not seen since the 1920s."
Despite the skyrocketing Dow, stories from across the country appear to map out an indictment of "trickle down conservatism," and Dean Baker concludes that since 1980, America has taken 'a right turn leading to a dead end.'
Monday, April 30, 2007
The quarterly federal report on Iraq reconstruction casts doubt on the long-term viability of much of the program," noting that many declared "successes" are "no longer operating as designed," not because of sabotage, but because of "poor initial construction, petty looting, a lack of any maintenance and simple neglect."
Highlighting the shadow army loophole in the Democrats' "withdrawal plan," Jeremy Scahill finds Congress leaving the door open to a future "privatized surge," while the U.N. looks into human rights abuses associated with the growing mercenary industry in Latin America. Plus: Scouting out Blackwater North.
Looking for people who think the war isn't lost, the Washington Post, in Greg Sargent's view, "scrapes bottom of the barrel," but in another article it finds a variety of military experts who argue that, in terms of long term consequences, "Iraq is worse than Vietnam."
As the search for someone to take charge of the war continues, former NSA chief William Odom concludes that the commander-in-chief has "gone AWOL," and it's last call inside Baghdad's shrinking green bubble.
Senator Dick Durbin reveals that "he knew that the American public was being misled into the Iraq war but remained silent because he was sworn to secrecy as a member of the intelligence committee," but the media largely ignores the story.
Former CIA Director George Tenet's new memoir, excerpted in Time, describes WMD's as "the public face" for justifying war, discusses the Bush administration's "schoolgirl crush" on Ahmed Chalabi, and revisits the meaning of "slam dunk."
In an interview with "60 Minutes," Tenet gets grilled on the semantics of torture, and calls the outing of Valerie Plame "big time wrong,' but former Intelligence officers continue to hold his 'feet to the fire' for his role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq war.
Off on a tour of talk shows to respond to Tenet, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denies blame and parses "imminent threat," but the 'godfather of rendition' takes the opportunity to blame Tenet for "cowardly pacifism" and offer some "moral philosophy."
An upcoming status report on the war on terror, which Secretary of State Rice had considered delaying, notes a 29% rise in attacks, most of it from violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, as 'the White House scales back talk of Iraq progress.'
An attempted abortion clinic bombing in Texas and an Alabama militia's armament of pipe bombs fail to trigger charges of terrorism, Dave Neiwert argues, because the FBI has displaced right-wing extremist crimes with "eco-terror" as its chief domestic-terror concern.
During a photo-op at his Harvard class reunion, the confrontation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales by students dressed in orange jumpsuits with black hoods, yelling "torture" and "I don't recall" instead of "cheese," appears to have been hard to miss, despite an AP report to the contrary.
After his number turns up in the black book of an alleged Washington madam bent on justice, the White House's top abstinence advocate Randall Tobias mounts a "Haggard defense," and offers a pizza excuse, but nonetheless resigns.
Tobias was not the first Washington power player to be named in the scandal nor, apparently, will he be the last, as a Mexican journalist risks her life exposing the connections between politicians, businessmen and child sex rings in Cancun.
With ABC set to play host to a debate on evolution, religious right leaders use the 400th anniversary of Jamestown to launch a 'Christian Nationalist extravaganza,' as part of a larger "contest for control of the narrative of American history."
'All the President's Press' Frank Rich takes the press to task for its enduring complicity in helping the White House establish fake story lines, with David Broder as his prime example of someone who carries over the inappropriate coziness of the White House correspondents' dinner into his reporting.
In an interview with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers explores the intersection of journalism and fake news, and then talks to Josh Marshall about involving readers in investigative journalism and how the "integrity of justice" has been compromised by the federal prosecutor scandal.
'Another Economic Disconnect' One reason high profits have not led to an investment boom, according to Paul Krugman, may be that companies are "using profits to buy back their own stock," enriching executives and a few lucky stock owners, but doing little to benefit workers or the overall economy.
There are 383 link-paragraphs in this archive.