|August, 2005 link archive
Monday, August 1, 2005As President Bush uses a recess appointment to install John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador, an anonymous administration source tells the Washington Post that "Bolton isn't going to sit in New York while policy gets made in Washington."
The Guantanamo "trial system had been secretly arranged to improve the chance of conviction and to deprive defendants of material that could prove their innocence," reports the New York Times, according to leaked e-mails from two senior prosecutors that 'claim Guantanamo trials rigged.'
A former CIA officer who is suing the agency for wrongful dismissal, claims that he was punished for providing intelligence "in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program." His lawyer has another client who is suing the agency to stop delaying the release of his book on CIA operations at Tora Bora in 2001.
An Air Force officer says "It's no big deal" that the U.S. was knocked off of its Uzbek lily pad, but in May, a Pentagon spokesman called access to the base "undeniably critical in supporting our combat operations." And soldiers engaged in those operations say the Taliban "fight harder than anyone in Iraq ever did."
Although Iraq's constitution committee says that it can meet its August 15 deadline, a former CPA advisor suggests that the Kurdish desire for autonomy "may be the greatest stumbling block to reaching a constitutional deal." Plus: 'High Expectations of Independence.'
Amid what's described as a growing awareness that the "current course of Iraq's most powerful elected leaders could end up producing a Shiite religious state, perhaps serving as a proxy for Iran," Fareed Zakaria says that a message coming from Baathist insurgents is that the U.S. "is not our strategic enemy. Our strategic enemy is Iran. We want to end the war with America."
The New Republic's Spencer Ackerman asks: "If the U.S. ends up withdrawing from Iraq even as chaos rages ... How will hawks maintain their unshakable claims that the war was justified and victory is inevitable?" Plus: "Ain't ever been to hell, but it can't be any worse than this place."
A Newsweek report that the Pentagon plans to draw down the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to about 80,000 by mid-2006, quotes retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey as saying that if the U.S. Army has to do another rotation into Iraq in the fall of 2006 to keep force levels up to their current 138,000, it "goes off a cliff."
An article on the U.S. Army searching out potential recruits for whom 'Iraq is a way to a dream,' notes that education benefits for enlistees "can be as much as $70,000." But according to one report, "Approximately 95% ... are not eligible for this maximum amount." Plus: Military moves into Seattle-area schools and 'Ariz. Guard blogger punished.'
With a Time reporter declaring that "the days of the Iraq story getting a run for its own sake are definitely over," Atrios offers up a short history of 'Iraq Fatigue.'
Noting "the enormous, insidious and mostly unconscious pressure that exists to talk up, rather than talk down, the efficacy of al-Qaeda," Matthew Parris names the 'four powers who are behind the al-Qaeda conspiracy.' Plus: 'Finger points to British intelligence as al-Qaeda websites are wiped out.'
No Free Cable! With Nielsen research showing that the number of Americans tuning into the cable news channels at any given time -- 1.8 million -- has doubled since 1999-2000, a Newhouse News article examines 'The human cost of 24-hour news.' Are cable news channels getting a boost from global warming?
The AP reports that in "Foiling ad-aversive TiVo users, TV honchos burn with gold-rush fever as they stake out a zap-proof advertising gold mine: the programming itself."
The Washington Post reports on 'A flurry of GOP victories,' and an analysis piece in the paper quotes a professor of political history who "said that while the country has been preoccupied with the 'flash and show' over social issues, Republicans are reshaping the policy landscape in favor of a certain brand of big-spending conservatism."
As a Taxpayers for Common Sense representative says that if the energy bill "was put in the marketplace, Congress would get sued for false advertising," Media Matters points out that a New York Times reporter ignored those who said "the bill won't reduce U.S. oil imports." Plus: 'Oil surges to record as King Fahd's death raises supply concern.'
After the Senate passed an NRA-backed gun industry bill that protects manufacturers from lawsuits designed to hold makers and sellers liable in gun crimes, Greg Palast argued that even with gunshot deaths in the U.S "way down - to only 88 a day ... for Americans, America remains more deadly than Iraq."
As Time reveals that "White House official Karl Rove and others" may have learned about Valerie Plame "from within the Administration rather than from media contacts," Think Progress suggests that "If these revelations are true, the least of Rove and Libby's concerns is perjury." And more from Arianna Huffington on 'The Judy File.'
Joe Conason speculates that Republicans are 'ready to slime' special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, based on the announcement by Sen. Pat Roberts' press office that he "plans to hold hearings on the Fitzgerald probe," and the Boston Globe reminds that Roberts broke a promise.
After federal prosecutors announced that they will not press charges of impersonating a Secret Service agent against a White House volunteer who booted the "Denver Three," an attorney for the three pledged that "we'll find out who it was and we'll sue him."
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
A day after Iran threatened to break the seals on a uranium conversion plant and "resume nuclear activities," a new U.S. consensus intelligence estimate, in "contrast with forceful public statements by the White House," reportedly concludes that Iran won't be able to make a bomb for 10 years.
After testifying that "I have never used steroids. Period. I do not know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never," slugger Rafael Palmeiro, suspended for steroid use, amended his remarks: "I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period."
American Street Bush also expressed "complete confidence" in his new U.N. ambassador, who was "booed on the sidewalk" upon his arrival at the United States Mission in New York.
The WSWS observes that "Senate Democrats for the most part" focused on John Bolton's lack of a diplomatic "temperament," rather than his role in helping to "deceive the American people" on Iraq.
"About 50 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq in July," including 5 on Sunday, and 7 more Marines were killed on Monday as Poland's prime minister said that nation-building in Iraq has "failed totally." Plus: 'Onward Christian soldiers.'
'The Iraq Infection' Forbes reports on efforts by military medics to "contain an outbreak of a potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria" from Iraq. Plus: "If U.S. military hospitals are having difficulty treating it, we cannot begin to imagine the situation for civilians."
Ahmad Chalabi's Iraq National Congress praises Iran's role in "fostering peace and stability" in Iraq, where steroids are said to be as "easy to buy as a soda," and the Pentagon admits an "egregious error." Plus: "Lesson No. 1 in dealing with Chalabi."
"Given the enormous disaster of the U.S. onslaught on Iraq," writes Alexander Cockburn, in a column one must scroll down to read, "how strange it is that the counter-attack on the Bush administration should have come in the form of the Plame scandal."
In an effort to frame the Plame case, Jim Lobe dates 'Cheney's Nuclear Drumbeat' back to three talk show appearances by the vice president, all on March 24, 2002.
The U.S. envoy to Iraq talks pullout, while Norman Solomon traces the roots of the Bush administration strategy to "keep killing in Iraq while hyping scenarios for withdrawal" back to a Robert Novak column.
In an interview with AlterNet from behind bars in Canada where he is fighting extradition to the U.S., environmental activist Tre Arrow, "facing life in prison for a crime that caused no human casualties," declares his innocence.
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked during an appearance on the PBS "NewsHour," "When we are going to stop making excuses for the terrorists?", Night Light saw it as part of a trend that included a column by Thomas Friedman, dubbed 'The dumbest story ever written.'
Black Out Only eight percent of the guests on the major Sunday-morning talk shows over the past 18 months were African Americans, according to a study by the National Urban League, with Rice, former Secretary of State Powell and Fox News' Juan Williams accounting for 122 of the 176 appearances.
In response to op-eds by Charles Krauthammer and Paul Sperry, the Washington Post's Colbert I. King says, 'You Can't Fight Terrorism With Racism.' "In Krauthammer's worldview," King writes, "it's all quite simple: Ignore him and his son; suspect me and mine."
Military records show that Jimi Hendrix played gay to avoid going to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne, according to a new biography, in which Charles Cross also recounts how, within a week of his arrival in London, where signs proclaimed that Eric "Clapton is God," Hendrix had already "met God and burned him."
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
"The first non-embedded U.S. journalist intentionally slain in Iraq," who "saw the liberation of Iraq as the great cause of his day," was kidnapped and shot -- days after his op-ed 'Switched Off in Basra' appeared in the New York Times.
Although 63 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. has been "too quick to go to war," a new Public Agenda survey also found "a mixture of high anxiety, growing uncertainty and virtually no consensus about what direction the country should take."
The Pentagon is reportedly "laying the groundwork for beginning a withdrawal from Iraq," but the planning "assumes the insurgency does not get worse -- and that Iraqi security forces prove themselves ready for combat."
U.S. military planners are "so concerned" about "shortcomings" in Iraq's Defense Ministry, reports the New York Times, that "in the event that American combat troops do indeed leave over the next year, they are preparing to keep large numbers of support troops and supplies in Iraq or in nearby countries."
"If the security situation in Baghdad remains unstable," Iraq's transportation minister suggests re-routing air traffic to a new airport in Najaf, funded by Iran.
As the AP reports that "hundreds of millions of dollars" have been wasted by the scandal-ridden Iraqi Defense Ministry, the country's legislators make allegations against Kuwait that are similar to those used by Saddam to justify his invasion of the country.
Citing classified documents, the Washington Post reports that an Iraqi general, previously said by military sources to have died of "natural causes" after "complaining of feeling sick," was actually handed over to the Scorpions.
As President Bush again bypasses the Senate, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld phones it in from Amarillo, reportedly reaffirming "his support of the war on terrorism, which he called a 'struggle between civilization and extremists.'"
The head of the National Peace Corps Association tells "Democracy Now!" that a Congressionally-authorized military recruitment program "really isnít a partnership between Peace Corps and the Pentagon, because Peace Corps wasn't consulted when the legislation was developed."
Arguing that "It takes a neighborhood to set up an ambush," Gary Brecher writes that "you can't blame U.S. Army guys for doing their job -- lying to the press. But you sure can blame the press for buying it." And, Vice President Cheney 'begs reporters to cover Saudi trip but won't let them cover anything.'
A writers group has reversed itself and decided not to give reporter Judith Miller its Conscience in Media Award, after all, citing "divided opinion: over her recent actions, and "a feeling that Miller's career, taken as a whole, did not make her the best candidate for the award."
Democrat Paul Hackett, whose election would have "put the first Iraq war veteran in Congress," came up short, but the margin of defeat in his Ohio race was called "nothing short of astounding," as well as 'Too Close for Comfort.' The Democrat running in 2004 lost by 44 points.
President Bush's recent endorsement of Intelligent Design "makes Americans who have that position more respectable, for lack of a better phrase," according to Gary Bauer, as coverage of the issue fails to make "a very simple contrast" between Bush's comments and prior statements by presidential science adviser John Marburger.
After Bush "felt compelled to comment on what a 40 year old ballplayer may or may not have ingested," Dave Zirin charges that when the president was an owner of the Texas Rangers, it was a "Crackhouse for Juiced Players."
Thursday, August 4, 2005
"The funny thing is that the very people who claim to be moral absolutists from the heartland," writes Arianna Huffington, "turn out to be arguing a variation of postmodernism -- an Eastern elitist linguistic theory laden with moral relativism."
'Source Code' TNR's Ryan Lizza assembles a "guide to the secret society of sources close to the White House," noting that "the longer Bush is in office, the more sources close to the White House there seem to be." Plus: 'Anonymous Lies From Anonymous Sources.'
"Our political parties don't want us to know how they vote on specific issues," writes David Morris. "And our media don't want to tell us how they vote."
As four more U.S. soldiers are killed in Iraq, recent casualties are seen as sending a 'new warning sign' to President Bush, in an article that quotes a Marine general as saying that "We are never going to win this thing militarily, that is the bottom line."
The vehicle in which 14 Marines were killed in Haditha was "essentially a big boat on land" that "was never intended for these kind of missions," says military analyst Daniel Goure, adding that "there are not enough main battle tanks in the world to equip the forces in Iraq."
Talk show host Melanie Morgan, part of the "Truth Tour" that went to Iraq to "get the story straight ... without the filter of the liberal media," was caught claiming that Iraqi security forces have reached 60 percent "readiness."
Left I on the News flags an AP story, in which a State Department official expresses concern over Venezuela's "massive arms imports," which amount to "what the U.S. spends ... on warfare every two hours."
Per Diem? Nigerian lawyers reportedly claim that Chevron promptly paid an invoice submitted by soldiers who "allegedly attacked two villages ... killing four people and setting fire to homes."
An internal NASA review reportedly warned last December that contractor Lockheed Martin "did not do a thorough job" in foaming the shuttle, adding that "this variable could reasonably be eliminated, and yet it continues." Plus: 'Environmental damage seen from shuttle.'
Non Sequitur revisits two pundits who appeared to be praising Bush for making 'The White Choice' when they lauded the president for moving beyond tokenism and ethnic options in picking a Supreme Court nominee.
King of Zembla wonders how the organizers of "Justice Sunday" will respond to news that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts "worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists" in the 1990s.
As prosecutors announce that a third grand jury will be empaneled in the "Coingate" scandal, the Toledo Blade spells out the division of labor.
Asking why President Bush couldn't "teach intelligent design in prison," Greg Moses explains that "it has taken me months to calm down to this level of compassion."
Friday, August 5, 2005
Presidential historian Robert Dallek tells Knight Ridder that "President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap - his administration can do no wrong. His allies and people who support him can do no wrong. Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy."
Denver Post columnist Reggie Rivers wonders why 'Nothing is ever the president's fault,' reasoning that "he's never going to have a moment of introspective clarity" if "the public is only confirming what he already believes about himself."
David Sirota sees signs that the disconnect on Iraq between the Democratic Establishment and "political reality" is "growing by the day."
As the British government institutes "strict" new deportation measures, a state of 'High Alert' is reportedly based on "information that another team might be planning a bombing," and London's mayor proposes 'Three ways to make us all safer,' including "pull out of Iraq."
'Al Qaeda to West: It's about policies' A new videotape from Ayman al-Zawahri threatening 'tens of thousands' of military dead if the U.S. doesn't withdraw from Iraq, is said to be part of an effort by Osama bin Laden and his aides to "return themselves to the center of the jihadist campaign."
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said that "some people seem confused" because they "cling to the discredited theory" that the London attacks were retaliation for Iraq and Afghanistan, and a 'Pentagon Web site bans politics.'
The New York Times headlines 'Pentagon Agrees to Issue Photos of Coffins of Iraq War Dead,' but reports that "there was no indication that the government would permit news organizations to begin taking such photographs."
Newsday editorializes that the U.S. should insist on the inclusion of basic rights in the new Iraqi constitution, and the Telegraph reports that Saddam Hussein did some last-minute banking in Baghdad a day before the invasion, involving a $1 billion cash withdrawal.
As General David Petraeus touts "enormous progress" in training Iraqi security forces, the U.S. military has reportedly flown "about a dozen high-ranking Iraqi officials" to bases in Germany "to help train American officers."
The Bush administration is reportedly negotiating the transfer of nearly 70 percent of Guantanamo detainees to three countries, including Afghanistan, where U.S. officials have agreed to help "build an appropriate prison and to train its guards."
In tracing the paternity of the political strategy that led to the creation of "a sort of parallel intellectual universe," from supply-side economics to "intelligent design," Paul Krugman nominates Irving Kristol as "the father" of "intelligent design"
The theories for why Robert Novak stormed off of a CNN set, resulting in his being asked to "take some time off," include the possibility that he was worried about having the book thrown at him. Earlier: 'Novak criticized Carville for "foul mouth," said he was "poisoning America."'
A Texas-based non-profit that claims to have secured donations from more than 2,000 people to finance its search for Natalee Holloway, stands accused of destroying a nest of endangered sea turtle eggs in Aruba.
Monday, August 8, 2005
Citing a Newsweek poll where only 34 percent approve President Bush's handling of Iraq, AFP reports that "the bleeding seems especially acute in Ohio," while Newt Gingrich ditches the GOP talking points and a columnist says that 'new Democrats are being born on the front lines.'
Mother of fallen soldier who met with White House aides in Crawford, said her response to being told that "the president really believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," was that "I know you don't believe what you're telling me." Read about her audience with Wolf Blitzer, and how the Drudge Report took her 'out of context.'
"The likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations" is said to be reflected in the Northern Command's scenarios for responding after terrorist attacks in the U.S., despite Posse Comitatus.
A report that Iraqi police opened fire on demonstrators protesting the "lack of electricity, jobs and water in one of the most peaceful Iraqi towns," cites Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's comments to Time, to the effect that "the insurgency was gradually losing ground to quiet political progress."
"Intelligence leads" reportedly suggest that insurgents are "trying to filter back" into Fallujah, where their return "would amount to rolling back the coalition's largest military victory since the fall of Baghdad."
As insurgents 'prove an elusive enemy' for Marines, Knight Ridder quotes an Iraqi soldier as saying that "We cannot recognize the enemy because he dresses like a civilian and he drives in a civilian car. He looks like everyone else."
The U.S. says it's not the only foreign interest making bombs that are being used in Iraq.
The former CIA field commander at Tora Bora, who says that Osama bin Laden was there "and could have been caught," also says that "CIA officers, Special Forces and U.S. air power drove the Taliban out in 70 days. The CIA has taken roughly 80 days to clear my book."
Members of the disbanded 9/11 commission say the White House has refused to turn over any of the information that they've requested as part of their unofficial investigation into whether the government is doing enough to prevent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Earlier: 'Whitewash as public service.'
Lewis "Scooter" Libby has told federal investigators that he met with Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, and discussed Valerie Plame, reports Murray Waas. More on 'The expanding Judy file,' and, 'Miller's tale under scrutiny -- at her own paper.'
Jay Rosen on 'Why Robert Novak stormed off the set,' and the Wall Street Journal editorializes that "The members of the liberal press pack owe Mr. Novak an apology." Plus: 'Carville was right: WSJ was watching.'
Departed Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who was overseeing special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation, may be replaced by "an old friend of President Bush's and a member of his Skull and Bones class at Yale," reports Newsweek.
The New York Times reports that the case of Latoyia Figueroa "has become a flashpoint for the growing unease in minority communities ... about the way they believe many national news outlets focus relentlessly on missing white women, while giving little attention to equally compelling stories involving poorer minority women."
'Greta Van Susteren Cleans Up in Aruba,' and "routinely triples" the viewing audience of CNN's Aaron Brown by offering what one media critic calls "emotional pornography," and Slate's Jack Shafer on the "I don't believe it but I like it" rating.
Rick Mercier, watching coverage of the Boy Scout Jamboree, finds "something nightmarish about our misleader swooping down on a steaming pit of sweat and testosterone and whipping a throng of brown-shirted youths into a nationalistic frenzy."
King of Zembla suggests that if the serving of a subpoena to a San Francisco Archbishop didn't stand out in a newspaper report, it "might have had something to do with the headline."
"I was used as a symbol," Jessica Lynch tells Time. "They could show the war was going great because 'we rescued this person.' It doesn't bother me anymore. It used to."
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
A new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll finds that "an unprecedented 57 percent majority say the war has made the U.S.A. more vulnerable to terrorism," with one in three saying that the United States should withdraw all troops from Iraq.
As the Pentagon anticipates a "new burst of insurgent violence" in Iraq, Martin Sieff weighs the likelihood that official U.S. estimates of casualties inflicted on Iraqi insurgents are "vastly inflated. '
Norman Solomon writes that in the campaign for hearts and minds, "media outlets routinely march to the drumbeat" of a few 'Big Star-Spangled Lies.'
Editor and Publisher previews Washington Post correspondent Anthony Shadid's forthcoming book, "Night Draws Near," which closes with an admission that "I comprehend Baghdad less than I thought I did when I first encountered it."
The 1937 death of the British cow that has "emerged as the source of Saddam Hussein's 'weapons of mass destruction' program" is called an example of 19th century blowback.
Gone Troppo British Prime Minister Tony Blair will reportedly "snub" one of "the biggest political commemorations Edinburgh has seen" and remain on Caribbean holiday, rather than attend the funeral of his former foreign secretary Robin Cook.
A federal judge ruled that "the EPA lacked even the proverbial 'scintilla of evidence'" to justify reversing a Clinton-era rule requiring rat poison manufacturers to add "a bittering agent to keep children from ingesting their products."
The Globe and Mail visits the wing of a Saudi hospital "where the caged foreigners with AIDS are kept," untreated, "to await deportation or death, whichever comes first."
The Enemies He Kept Read what the Media Research Center had to say about Peter Jennings' Iraq war coverage, and why David Horowitz thinks that Jennings "did considerable damage to the cause of civilization and human deceny [sic]."
As the FCC hires 'anti-indecency activist' Penny Nance, CJR Daily's Paul McLeary writes that "her connections to groups which use terms like 'Homosexual Agenda' and want to instill 'Biblical principles' ... give us a hint at just how much [Kevin] Martin wants to crack down on alleged instances of indecency on the air -- and in which direction."
With the 'Conservative US braced for drugs and the suburbs,' a Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist speculates that the DEA may turn a mail-order potrepreneur into a "Canadian martyr." Plus: 'why is the American right still waging a massive war on weed?'
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Although a Republican operative tells the Wall Street Journal that the president's team has "really perfected the art" of controlling the news agenda while "spending time in Crawford," the paper says the "strategy that has served Mr. Bush so well is in danger of being appropriated by critics." Plus: Why 'Bush Is No Nixon.'
A four-star general, nearing retirement, is relieved of duty "to show the public that the service takes issues of integrity seriously," but TalkLeft asks, "How many Generals have you seen demoted over the torture abuse scandals?"
After four U.S. soldiers were killed and 6 wounded in northern Iraq, a bystander told Reuters, "This is the Americans. Their bodies were hanging in the trees." And a New York Times report explains 'Why Baghdad must make do with takeout.'
Although he practices "an especially high-risk profession in Iraq," a Baghdad porn dealer says that "there is no way I am going to join the police or army because the insurgents are killing many of them every day."
Cui bono? A U.S intelligence official claims that manufactured bombs found in Iraq came from the country that Michael Schwartz calls "the chief beneficiary of the occupation and the chaos it produced."
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's announcement that the Pentagon will stage an "America Supports You Freedom Walk" event on September 11, has "reignited debate and anger over linking September 11 with the war in Iraq," reports Australia's The Age.
Donald Kaul examines "the reason we're in this miserable war," amid "signs that the administration is getting ready to pull the plug," and Christopher Hitchens argues that "Bad as Iraq may look now, it is nothing to what it would have become without the steadying influence of coalition forces."
An op-ed by the author of "Chatter" warns of a "loophole bigger than the law," through which the National Security Agency supplied policy makers with the names of some 10,000 American citizens after eavesdropping on their conversations with foreigners.
Scroll down to read Michael Wolff's thesis, as described by CJR Daily, "that the New York Times and Time magazine are complicit in the cover-up of the fudging of intelligence in the prelude to war in Iraq -- in that they knew Rove was the source of the Plame leak ..." Plus: Democrats to Scooter Libby: Free Judy Miller.'
Robert Dreyfuss writes that "so far, at least, the media frenzy attending to the Plame affair is matched by nearly total silence about the Franklin-AIPAC affair," which "has greater implications for national security." Meet 'The Atoms Family.'
A conservative group 'Pulls Roberts Support,' saying that "canceling our mail campaign" is "the least we can do," after learning of the Supreme Court nominee's pro bono work against a Colorado referendum on gays. The organization had pledged to "stand by this nominee" and praised him as "an apparent conservative."
Given that "only 28 percent of Americans believe in evolution," whereas "68 percent believe in Satan," Sam Harris argues that "it is time that scientists and other public intellectuals observed that the contest between faith and reason is zero-sum."
"Should we boycott him?" That's what Fox News' Neil Cavuto asked about Mick Jagger, following a report on "Sweet Neo Con." The Rolling Stones' upcoming tour is sponsored by Ameriquest, whose husband and wife principals have been President Bush's biggest financial backers since 2002.
The Wall Street Journal reports on how Fox-parent News Corp. is courting Democrats to try and block a new local-TV ratings system that it claims undercounts African-Americans and Hispanics. The company's effort also included financing the creation of a phony grass roots group.
Yellow Dog Blog fact checks a claim made by Rep. Katherine Harris as she kicked off her campaign for the U.S. Senate, calling Sen. Bill Nelson's voting record "one of the most liberal." Plus: Ex-con hubby missing from Web site of woman challenging Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Dave Zirin says the 70 year-old Alou "has stared down the U.S. Marines, the Jim Crow south, and Major League Baseball and will give no quarter: especially if you are just another dime store right-wing microphone jockey trying to make your name on his back."
After a "wildly successful mission," GlobalSecurity's John Pike is quoted as saying that "they are all on happy pills" at NASA, and Alex Gourevitch writes that "Discovery's only mission seemed to be to return in one piece."
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Climate scientists have reportedly "reacted with alarm" to evidence of "an ecological landslide" in Western Siberia, and a "probably irreversible" 'Tipping Point' which "could dramatically increase the rate of global warming." Plus: Summer in the cities.
Analyzing what he calls 'Bush's Energy Disaster,' LA Weekly's Joshuah Bearman writes that "when barely derailing a raid on ANWR is considered a Democratic victory, it only shows how much the Republicans have been able to set the agenda."
Twenty-four House Republicans called the budget process "an inappropriate venue" for a provision that would "clear the way for oil drilling" in ANWR, preferring to debate the issue "outside the budget process."
As an online sports book introduces wagering on gas and oil prices, a columnist at a Michigan newspaper claims that he was fired for criticizing American cars. Plus: 'The pickup truck with 'roid rage.'
One day after the top U.S. military official 'tempered' predictions on an early withdrawal from Iraq, an anonymous "top U.S. military official" tells the Washington Post that it is "important to calibrate ... expectations" for post-election Iraq, stressing that "there's not going to be a fundamental change."
"Sure. That's always out there," said the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, discussing "the possibility of people going back for a third term" in Iraq. And Carpetbagger Report explains what isn't free about the Pentagon's "walk for freedom."
'What's Wrong With Cutting and Running?' asks retired Gen. William E. Odom, who calls on journalists to investigate "why leading Democrats have failed so miserably to challenge the U.S. occupation of Iraq." Plus: Will Republicans run an "old warhorse" in '08?
Knight Ridder columnist Joseph Galloway on "the first casualty" of the war in Iraq: "In this war the truth was murdered in cold blood well before the war ever began, and it continues to die the death of a thousand cuts every day."
The "American contact" who allegedly supplied Osama bin Laden with a satellite-telephone battery is said to be currently employed by the new Iraqi governmentís Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
James Wolcott "was careful to write down" these words by a "papal contributor" to a Fox News panel on Iraq: "A baby has been born, a little democratic baby."
As Cindy Sheehan 'Draws a Crowd,' Bill O'Reilly draws Dolores Kesterson, and again 'lowers the bar.' Sheehan responds to critics, including O'Reilly, who said that she "is being used by far left elements who object to our way of life."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter concludes that President Bush is within his powers in withholding legal memos written by Judge John Roberts, a power that Bush gave to himself with a 2001 executive order.
Sidney Blumenthal profiles 'The Informer,' whose "craven torment and wild flailing at his inability to halt his self-destruction might cast him as a Dostoevskian figure. But his absence of doubt deprives him of the depth of existential crisis."
The AP reports on FEC filings revealing that "the Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire."
Friday, August 12, 2005
Knight Ridder reports that auditors have uncovered massive fraud in the Iraqi Defense Ministry, through which "senior U.S.-appointed Iraqi officials" appear to have drained sums "nearly equal to the estimated $1.3 billion allocated" for the Ministry's annual budget.
A "person close to the talks" on the drafting of Iraq's constitution is quoted as saying that "I guess you could say there's a Kurdish version, a Sunni [version], a Shiite [version] and an American one."
National Guard and Reserve combat deaths for August having already set a new monthly high in Iraq, and it's said to be "a matter of available forces" as Iraqi towns are 'left vulnerable after being secured.'
President Bush dismissed talk of troop reductions as "speculation based upon progress that some are seeing in Iraq," but retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey says that "by the end of this coming summer we can no longer sustain the presence we have now ... the wheels are coming off."
Greg Beato suggests that the White House's strategy on Sheehan may be, "The more followers her vigil attracts, the bigger the backlash," while Steve Gilliard thinks that "The more they use politics against Sheehan, the bigger their mistake becomes."
Gary Hart laments that the 'voice crying in the wilderness' "unfortunately, is not a Senator. She is not a party leader."
The "continued high standing of the hawks" among Democratic party leaders is "made possible by their enablers in 'the strategic class,'" writes Ari Berman, "the foreign policy advisers, think-tank specialists and pundits ... who churn out the agitprop."
A reader who sent a link to an article headlined 'Closure over 2 who fell in Vietnam,' suggests thinking about "how many people today will be suffering 37 years from now because of the Iraq war." Earlier: 'Who's Paying for Our Patriotism?'
Three war protesters who had expected to be arrested when they "cut a large hole in the fence," walked onto a U.S. base in Germany, and "hung a banner," say they "weren't challenged by anyone" and eventually had to turn themselves in.
Raw Story examines how Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman "Pat Roberts ensured there was no serious investigation into how the administration fixed the intelligence that took the U.S. to war in Iraq or the fabricated documents used as evidence to do so."
Bloomberg offers up speculation that the "indictment of Jack Abramoff on fraud charges in Florida may reverberate throughout Washington as federal prosecutors increase pressure on the Republican lobbyist to cooperate in other investigations." Plus: Mohammed Atta cruising with Abramoff?
After failing to find major media coverage of Halliburton's dealings with an Iranian nuclear negotiator, Ward Harkavy writes, "If only Halliburton's Iran subsidiary were based in Aruba, instead of the Cayman Islands."
Greta Van Susteren "has ridden this sad little story to her best Nielsen ratings ever," writes the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson. "Hey, who cares about Iraq? They're draining the pond! They're digging in the landfill!" Plus: 'Fox Unplugged,' and 'Blitzed Out' in CNN's "Situation Room."
Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, on 'How to Prosecute the Plame Case,' argues that "the Intelligence Identities Protection Act ... is not a law under which guilt is nearly impossible to prove -- as the pundits, citing each other, have led us to believe." And 'Vanity Fair rips media "conspiracy" in covering up role in Plame scandal.'
Congressman Bernie Sanders gave Matt Taibbi "an insider's guided tour of the horrors of Congress," through 'Four Amendments and a Funeral,' during "orgy season."
Michael Scherer explains 'Why Big Business Hearts John Roberts,' now that "corporate leaders ... have stepped up their efforts to shape the federal bench."
Two days after he announced his candidacy for governor, a tabloid publisher doing business with Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly spent $20,000 on a "confidentiality agreement" with a woman whose lawyer says that "she maintained it was more of a massage situation -- however you want to interpret that."
Schwarzenegger's plan to charge donors $100k to watch a Rolling Stones concert with him, prompts "California's Nurses" to suggest: "Dear Mick--how about changing 'My Sweet Neo-Con' to 'My Sweet Schwarzen-Con?'"
Mick Jagger now says that 'Neo-Con' is "not an attack on President Bush," while Keith Richards urges people not to be sidetracked by "some little political storm in a teacup." "No problem," say GOP fundraisers.
Monday, August 15, 2005
As leading Democrats joined Republicans to 'call for more American troops in Iraq,' Sen. Joe Biden said on "Meet the Press" that "we can't fire the president and the vice president for their incompetence, to the extent that it exists, but you can, in fact, do that with the secretary of defense."
Frank Rich writes that "a president can't stay the course when his own citizens ... won't stay with him," but Paul Craig Roberts argues that "Bush can ignore the American public, because the Democrats ... have completely collapsed as an opposition party."
Norman Solomon takes issue with Rich: "the message that 'we're outta there' is pernicious. It looks past the ongoing need to demand complete U.S. withdrawal (if 'we're outta there,' why bother to protest?)"
Hours after President Bush said that U.S. troops will come home when the "mission of defeating the terrorists in Iraq is complete," the Washington Post reported that "Washington now does not expect to fully defeat the insurgency before departing, but instead to diminish it."
The rancher has a long-standing beef with the activity that accompanies Bush's Crawford visits. In 2002 he told Texas Monthly, "what really ticks me off. Bush portrays this as his hometown, and it ain't. He just barreled in here."
Billmon writes that "the president's French-style, five-week vacation is starting to look like a rather spectacular PR blunder, thanks in large part to Sheehan." And Bush isn't the only one 'Running from Sheehan and the Truth.'
Although "the mainstream media had for the time being decided to fall in love with her," writes Tom Engelhardt, "they had their own ideas about who exactly Cindy Sheehan should be," and "would attempt to tame her."
Just as "Paul Bremer had to slip out of Iraq in the middle of the night," Juan Cole believes that "we may well be watching the point at which ... his constitution may be making the same undignified exit."
"In 28 months of war and occupation here, Iraq has always contained two parallel worlds," writes Dexter Filkins, "the world of the Green Zone and the constitution and the rule of law; and the anarchical, unpredictable world outside. Never have the two worlds seemed so far apart."
"Deception and wishful thinking" have been the 'Iraq War's Two Constants,' according to Robert Parry, who adds that "impeachment may be the only political option left if the American people hope to force a U.S. withdrawal before 2009."
The 2005 Marine Corps Times "Marine of the Year," who prepared soldiers for open-casket funerals while serving as a military mortician in Iraq, faces attempted murder charges after he "fired a shotgun from his apartment window at a group of revelers outside a nightclub"
Time reports that "Iran shows every sign of upping the ante in Iraq," but U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad says that "Syria is the most serious troublemaker with regards to Iraq. Iran is the second one." President Bush hawked it up about Iran in an interview on Israeli TV.
A "Democracy Now!" segment on the Gaza pullout, includes interviews with a Manhattan-born pediatrician who moved to the Gaza Strip with his family to resist the pullout, and the Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah.
In a case closely watched by Congress and the White House, a federal judge blocked new workplace rules that "would have dramatically reduced the clout of unions" in the Department of Homeland Security.
Murray Waas reports that "not only could [Karl] Rove not remember the name of the journalist who purportedly might have told him of Plame's CIA employment, but he also ... could not even recall whether the conversation took place on the phone or in person."
The Los Angles Times reviews special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's "history of invoking perjury laws and related statutes to buttress his investigations," as the New York Times editorializes "Let Ms. Miller go," on grounds that "if she is not willing to testify after 41 days, then she is not willing to testify."
Organizers of "Justice Sunday II" claim that the broadcast "will make its way into" 18 million more households than the original, while a RedState.org blogger came away "puzzled a little by the point of it all."
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
'Black August' in Iraq UPI's Martin Sieff ponders whether insurgents "just got lucky," or whether something "far more ominous" contributed to 'a second week of multiple services in Ohio,' where anti-gay activists reportedly plan a 'love crusade.'
A Wall Street Journal article on 'Gauging Iraqi Readiness' by "feel" cites concerns that "pressure from Washington to show progress can skew subjective evaluations" of Iraqi security forces.
Among the latest killed by rebel attacks in Iraq were security guards assigned to protect the family of Vice President Adel Abdel Mehdi.
Billmon chronicles -- and explains why he opposes -- Pentagon efforts to "block the opening" of what he calls "the Abu Ghraib Film Festival of the Damned."
According to the police report, the "Marine of the Year" said he fired into a crowd outside a nightclub below his apartment, wounding a 15 year old girl and a 20 year old man, because "I have a wife and two kids in there. If people are firing rounds into your house, where do you go?"
Attacks on Camp Casey include a charge of "spouting sinister piffle," speculation that "a liberal president would have met with this woman to 'feel her pain'" and a complaint that "it's almost as if some in the antiwar lobby want the families of the dead to do their dirty work for them."
Truth Be Told Military sources cited by a radio talk show host who participated in the Iraq "Truth Tour," are 'contradicted by Bush, military and defense officials.'
Asked to review a proposed telegram from President Reagan to a group holding a memorial service for aborted fetuses, Roberts wrote that "a memorial service would seem an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy."
Arianna Huffington finds an example of "preemptive PR work" in a New York Times editorial, which she says may have been intended to "keep Judy from being charged with criminal contempt." Plus: 'How cute' can a "self-serving white wash" be, and 'Made for each other.'
Media Nation charges the Boston Globe op-ed page with failing to "perform due diligence" on an outside contributor, who was "particularly exercised about Wal-Mart."
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the 'Governor's close ties to gas lobby,' and Tim Rutten writes that "It's beginning to appear that if Arnold does have a progenitor in Republican politics, it's not Ronald Reagan, but Warren Harding."
This Modern World highlights an ongoing process of reframing out along the razor's edge.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Car bombs killed at least 43, and U.S. forces reportedly opened fire on a crowd of workers in central Baghdad, where the city's morgue received the bodies of 1100 civilians during the month of July, in "the most psychologically damaged place in the world."
"Americans should not imagine" that Iraq will not be "dependent on significant levels of U.S. military support for years to come," says military historian Frederick Kagan, who argued in 2003 that "the American military today may be in the best position of any military in history."
One Iraqi politician has emerged from the country's constitutional crisis as the leading candidate for 'The loneliest man in Iraq.'
The United States, seen as 'desperate for deal before its influence wanes,' is said to be "using up the lexicon of partial compliments and muted optimism" as Iraqis struggle over drafting 'A Constitution or an Epitaph?'
'Parents of Fallen Marine Make Plea to Bush,' but Reagan biographer Edmund Morris calls such people "emotional predators," and Norman Solomon warns that "media assaults" on antiwar voices are in "early stages," while Camp Casey moves closer.
'The triumph of Camp Casey' has to do with Cindy Sheehan "making her point by allowing Bush to demonstrate his core of arrogance," writes Geov Parrish, while Tom Hayden urges "the peace movement to turn its slogan into a strategy," though a question arises over the meaning of now.
The head of the Minnesota Republican Party slammed FBI whistleblower and Congressional candidate Coleen Rowley for travelling to Crawford, saying that "It's really unfortunate that she has to join the MoveOn.orgs, the Michael Moores and the left-wingers who are exploiting this circus for political gain."
Harold Meyerson argues that "in the information age, wars are not made by governments alone," but by "the journalistic equivalents of Donald Rumsfeld," who "misrepresented supposition as fact ... and neglected to consider the predictable consequences of the war they promoted."
The WSWS analyzes the response to recent remarks by Canada's top military commander, who is said to have adopted the "rhetoric of the Bush administration" in calling for "closer cooperation between the Canadian Armed Forces and big business, beginning with the present occupation of Afghanistan."
A former Marine lance corporal has been arrested for allegedly shooting down a sheriff's helicopter in New Mexico.
A British report contradicts key elements of police accounts of the subway shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, who "had already been overpowered by a surveillance officer and was shot at point-blank range," and "it doesn't just mean jittery police made a mistake."
Israeli journalist Amira Hass tells "Democracy Now!" that although most of the Gaza settlers took a package, thousands of Palestinians who worked for them got nothing. Also: Hass on the 'Palestinian after party.'
"Politically, the Israeli evacuation from the Gaza Strip ... is significant, and potentially historic," says the Daily Star's Rami Khouri. However, "morally, for the Israeli government and the settler-colonists," 'The Gazan Fiasco' is "a pile of garbage, deception and lies."
A Canadian brokerage firm is warning investors that an avian flu pandemic "could trigger a crisis similar to that of the Great Depression," except that "we won't have 30-per-cent unemployment because frankly, many people will die." Plus: 'Has time run out?' for 'Preparing for the Next Pandemic.'
The Hill reports that as 'K Street grows and grows,' lobbyists "appear on pace to set a new record for revenues this year."
Canada's National Post reports on a 'sordid tale' involving 'allegations of extortion, SWAT teams, forcible confinement, tax troubles and betrayal,' which may partially explain "upcoming projects" that include "a book, television special, DVD, CD album and extensive worldwide touring."
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The name of "one of the [State] department's rising stars" has reportedly turned up in an indictment in the AIPAC case, as "the first higher-ranking government official to be caught up in the criminal inquiry."
Israeli troops dragged "screaming settlers and supporters" from their "last bastions of resistance," and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that "everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing."
A Washington Post report on a secret memo showing that before the U.S. invaded Iraq, the State Department warned of "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance," doesn't mention documents revealing that the Bush administration began planning for regime change as early as October 2001.
After a week in which 22 Americans were killed in Iraq, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, denied that the United States has lowered its expectations for the war. Plus: 'Generals for Jesus ...'
A decorated Texas Marine has reportedly lost the right to enroll in college at in-state tuition rates because he was out of state, serving two tours of duty in Iraq.
Eric Umansky contrasts the different perspectives revealed in coverage by AFP and the New York Times of the shooting of Iraqi workers by U.S. forces on Tuesday.
"Hardball's" Chris Matthews says that his guests are giving him "two different versions" of the Iraq war, depending on whether they are on or off the air.
The Daily Howler details how Matthews "clowned at the expense of Cindy Sheehan," and a Daily Kos diarist provides some background on a woman interviewed by Matthews who was described as an "Iraqi opposing Cindy Sheehan."
Coverage of Sheehan 'turns local' as Americans 'stand with Cindy' at more than 1,600 vigils, including a not so silent one outside the White House, at which 'Freeper' counter demonstrators were reportedly outnumbered by 50 to one.
According to a WSWS contributor, "what the media fears" in Sheehan is "the broad and deep-going anger and potentially explosive social opposition that she represents." And Will Durst predicts that it "won't be long before rumors of a lesbian relationship with Hillary Clinton emerge."
New York magazine reveals 'Bill Clinton's Plan for World Domination,' along with the answer he gave when asked, "What should the Office of the First Man look like?"
Doug Ireland writes that a new study to appear in Foreign Affairs 'shreds the myth' that "market liberalization is the most reliable path to democracy," and sticks "a finger in the eye" of globalization proponents.
In an article headlined 'Iran Holds Big Bargaining Chips in Dispute,' the Wall Street Journal quotes the author of 'The Worst Option' as saying that "Soaring oil prices and chaos in Iraq" mean that "Iran's vulnerability to outside economic pressures couldn't be much lower than it is right now."
"The loss of just a fraction of Iranian oil production either though collateral damage, sabotage or economic embargo could trigger a severe economic global recession," warns Daniel Barkley, who wrote last year that 'Preemptive Strikes Will Not Disarm Iran.'
'The Fox News Effect' on "which party people voted for, or whether they voted at all," is not "detectable" because "the public manages to 'filter' biased media reports," say the authors of a study cited by the New York Times. Plus: The senator from Aruba?
Friday, August 19, 2005
A docked U.S. Navy ship comes under rocket attack in Jordan, 'Envoy predicts tough times in Afghanistan,' and Vice President Cheney tells Purple Heart vets that the U.S. "will not relent" in Iraq, but will "hunt down insurgents there 'one at a time if necessary,'" a 'leaked mea culpa' notwithstanding.
As the U.S. death toll rises during what a Financial Times report calls "the summer of the IED," the New York Times quotes an Army Reservist as saying, "The only reason we got this nasty job chasing roadside bombs is because we are expendable. They need bodies, and we provide them."
"Stunning as it may seem," writes Robert Dreyfuss, "virtually no one is working on a real plan for an exit strategy," although, as he notes, even the American Conservative Union's Donald Devine argues that "the only solution is for the U.S. to exit before the whole thing comes apart."
With support said to be growing in Congress for an exit resolution, Sen. Chuck Hagel, who faced questions about Iraq during a tour of Nebraska, -- "Why are we there in the first place?" -- told CNN that President Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan and "listen to her."
Arianna Huffington objects that "the MSM want to hold Sheehan's feet to the fire on statements she's denied making about Israel while allowing Dick 'last throes' Cheney, Condi 'mushroom cloud' Rice, George 'slam dunk' Tenet, Alberto 'quaint' Gonzalez, and George 'Mission Accomplished' Bush a free pass."
As The Poor Man rounds up evidence suggesting that "we will see worse than Larry Northern," a California man arrested at "Camp Casey" on complaints that included "making a terroristic threat and impersonating a peace officer," reportedly "told deputies he was a Secret Service agent ... but he wasn't."
The AP reports that to counter Sheehan and his falling poll numbers, President Bush has a plan to change the subject, and Dave Lindorff writes of an under the radar movement that he says "could blow up White House war planning and finish off the U.S. adventure in Iraq."
Protesters who were "mostly from outside Gaza," and acting under "the advice of a reserve colonel ... secured the front doors with chains, put oil and grease on the floors and stairways ... and ran razor wire around the roof" of a synagogue, where they made 'one final stand.'
After the "theatrics in Gaza," Ramzy Baroud asks, "will Israel become less of an occupier after a few thousand settlers are relocated to a less vulnerable spot with their pockets full of cash (nearly a million dollars per family)?"
A West Bank settler who shot and killed four Palestinians says he isn't sorry and that he hopes someone will kill Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
After being told by a judge that "From the shores of Lake Erie to the banks of the Ohio River, I want them to know that you are sorry for what you have done," the first Ohio governor to be charged with or convicted of a crime, issued an apology.
Recalling 'What they did last fall,' Paul Krugman cites Andrew Gumbel's recently published "Steal This Vote," which Publishers Weekly called "riveting and frightening," as well as "What Went Wrong in Ohio," the basis for Mark Crispin Miller's "None Dare Call It Stolen."
The Toledo Blade editorializes that "It is definitely past time for Patrick Fitzgerald to act," and "Democracy Now!" hosts a debate between Murray Waas and Michael Wolff, asking: 'Should The New York Times and Time magazine have exposed Karl Rove's role in the outing of Valerie Plame?'
Number 77 on Bernard Goldberg's list of "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America," vows that "Each day for 100 days I will post a line or two of what Bernie thinks of one of the 100 and then a paragraph about who they really are." Earlier: Number 64 weighs in, and 'Magnificent 7, they're not.'
Slate's Bryan Curtis finds something missing at a Target store in Brooklyn, in his report on the "upscale discounter" buying every advertisement in the latest issue of the New Yorker, which includes an article on Kinky Friedman's run for governor of Texas. Plus: Is Wal-Mart "bluer" than Target?
Monday, August 22, 2005
War -- who is it good for? U.S. defense contractors are reportedly "riding high these days," with rising profits, "a huge backlog of orders" and expectations of "robust sales for years to come" in 'The Trillion Dollar War.'
A "central component" of 'Bush's Other Iraq Invasion' is said to be "foreign corporate access to, and privatization of, Iraq's once state-run economy," with oil "at the heart of the agenda."
Senator Chuck Hagel, describing as "complete folly" an Army contingency plan for four more years in Iraq, says that "we should start figuring out how we get out of there," while Bob Herbert calls for 'Truth In Recruiting.' Plus: 'We're going to have to leave it there.'
"The Cops Show" brings police into Iraqi living rooms, but 8 of them were shot dead north of Baghdad. And a reporter working for the Guardian finds Haditha to be "an insurgent citadel" where the Mujahideen are "fully in control."
With the airing of CNN's "Dead Wrong," Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell revisits coverage of then Secretary of State Powell's presentation to the U.N., calling it "a depressing case study of journalistic shirking of responsibility."
The general manager of a Salt Lake City TV station denies that owner Clear Channel was behind its refusal to air a spot featuring Cindy Sheehan, who writes: "Get used to it George, we are not going away."
After the mayor of Salt Lake City called for "the biggest demonstration this state has ever seen," a VFW post commander said, ''Excuse my French, but -- that son of a bitch!'' Earlier: "The mayor ... knows 'Elementals?'" asked Dave Brubeck in disbelief, in a meeting "For All Time."
"Anyone can go on a vigil," writes Alexander Cockburn. "Serious resistance, of the sort Sheehan calls for, has to throw the threat of popular sanction over both Democrats as well as Republicans" for their 'Dereliction of Duty.'
A Taliban spokesman says that "we have decided not to target polling stations in civilian areas," although people have been warned not to take part in Afghanistan's election next month.
Gunboat diplomacy Canadian warships are reportedly "sailing towards the Arctic" to assert territorial claims and "fend off rivals, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States."
Reviewer Guy Rundle chronicles the metamorphosis of Christopher Hitchens "from young contrarian to Colonel Blimp," while Max Blumenthal recounts the "utter silence" that greeted a "startling exorcism of the demon Hitchens" at Justice Sunday II.
The Houston Chronicle reports that 'Minutemen Will Be Armed" while "observing Houston's day laborers," but a spokesman says not to worry, because "these are people who know how to handle a weapon."
The operator of a Web site for business travelers tells the Star Tribune that Northwest Airlines will "say anything if they think they can get away with it. My readers don't care who is winning or losing the strike, they just want to know if their flight is going to be on time."
The airline has reportedly spent in excess of $100 million to hire and train 1,500 replacement workers, more than one-half of the give back it's demanding from the mechanics union.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Iraqi leaders employed "a legal sleight of hand ... claiming they had met their deadline, but granting themselves another extension," reports the New York Times, as they submitted a constitution under which "no law may contradict" either Islamic or democratic standards.
The Times of London describes the maneuver: "To loud applause, the speaker announced that the deadline had been met. Then to stunned confusion, he dismissed parliament without a vote, calling for three more days of talks."
Calling the development "a sort of coup," Juan Cole writes that "the rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretense of constitutional procedure is being striven for." Left I on the News takes issue with "Cole's idea of 'responsible' withdrawal."
President Bush mentioned 9/11 five times in a 30-minute speech to the VFW convention "in the conservative bastion of Utah," and Norman Solomon warns that "the Bush administration may ratchet up the Iraq war."
Referring to Americans who are opposed to President Bush's Iraq policy, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Bush "can understand that people don't share his view that we must win the war on terror, and we cannot retreat and cut and run from terrorists, but he just has a different view."
Yellow Dog Blog recounts Monday's "Hardball" episode in which Colleen Rowley was asked by guest host Norah O'Donnell about aligning herself with "anti-war extremists." Rowley appeared with an organizer of the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" tour and CaseysKids.org.
With "opposition" party leaders "sticking to a flawed stay-the-course strategy," Joshua Frank writes that "if Democratic politicians had a soul they'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with Sheehan's supporters at candle light vigils across the country. But that won't be happening anytime soon."
"The time for the press to act, if it ever does, is now," says Editor and Publisher's Greg Mitchell, who notes that even the Dallas Morning News is "taken aback by the disconnect between Mr. Bush's oratory and the situation on the ground in Iraq."
"The issues in the Iraq war are the structure of the Iraqi state, the respect of Iraqi nationalism, the constitutional and legal status of Islam, and the meaning of democracy," writes Olivier Roy, adding that "the terrorists have no interest in any of these issues." Read a review of books about Jihad that includes Roy's "Globalized Islam."
A previously secret group of U.S. and international scientists has reportedly eliminated "the biggest smoking gun that everyone was waving" as proof that Iran was making bomb-grade ingredients in a clandestine weapons program.
The Los Angeles Times describes how "evangelical programs on Capitol Hill" are 'Grooming Politicians for Christ,' by teaching them to "mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement." Earlier: 'God and Country'
The Washington Post reports that a conservative radio talker is blaming "pressure from a special interest group" for his firing after he refused to modify his statements that "Islam is a terrorist organization" and that "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews."
Among rich countries, "where there is more preaching, there is less practicing," and the countries that are the least church-going tend to be the most helpful, according to Foreign Policy's third annual Commitment to Development Index.
A unanimous California Supreme Court can "perceive no reason why both parents of a child cannot be women."
Israeli troops clear two West Bank strongholds where resistance was "staged largely by 1,600 Israelis who didn't even live there," and Danny Schechter looks back at "what was pictured as a tragic dilemma that forced good people to lose their homes and faith in their leaders."
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Salon shows and tells in analyzing the American media's role in helping to make sure that Iraq remains 'The Unseen War.'
The man who vowed to accept "nothing less than the total victory over the terrorists," sees his approval ratings sink to a new low, and is told that "no matter where he goes," -- even to his own 'Private Idaho' or to the sports page -- "he's going to find a Cindy Sheehan."
"Unlike earlier wars," reports the AP, "gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts."
"What will history say about an opposition party that stands silent while all this goes on?" asks Gary Hart, who writes that "to harbor the thought that the administration's misfortune is the Democrats' fortune, is cowardly."
Pat Buchanan argues that "the Democratic Party stands to lose far more from this war than a GOP whose president led us into it."
Detainees at Iraq's Battle Space Camp Bucca are said to have "moved 100 tons of soil in about eight weeks" when digging an escape tunnel "longer than a football field."
A replacement for the Humvee, which would offer "more protection for troops" than "a vehicle not designed for urban combat," will reportedly be ready by 2008.
The Bush administration's 'Gas-Guzzler Relief Act' is said to offer "a minuscule change in fuel economy standards," and to create new loopholes which "encourage manufacturers to bulk up their trucks so they ... don't have to get as good mileage."
As the UK moves to ban hate preachers, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said, "I don't even know who that person is," in response to Pat Robertson's fatwa, while offering to "help some poor communities in the United States, directly selling them gasoline."
Leaders at the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council and the Christian Coalition, were reportedly "too busy to comment" on the remarks made by Robertson, about whom it is being asked: 'Out of His Mind or in the Loop?'
Appearing on CNN with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and the head of 'America's Most Powerful Megachurch,' said Robertson was "having a political discussion, where they were randomly working with some ideas."
Questioning the benefit of a one-time tax holiday on foreign profits, a former Bush administration economic adviser said that "you might as well have taken a helicopter over 90210 [Beverly Hills] and pushed the money out the door. That would have stimulated the economy as well."
Move On Out The director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics was "asked to move on" after refusing to delete references to racial profiling from a news release on a study which found that "what happened once the police made a stop differed markedly depending on race and ethnicity."
"A growing number of marine biologists" are said to "believe the seas have reached a tipping point, with scores of species of ocean-dwelling fish, birds and mammals edging toward extinction."
As the head of CNN calls on cable news to stop "obsessing over this trivial stuff," Arubans air complaints about the U.S. media horde. "We put out the welcome mat and we were trampled upon," says the editor of Aruba Today, adding that "we never thought this would become a case against Aruba."
Turkmenistan's president has banned the playing of recorded music at all public events, on TV and at weddings, reports the BBC. Read more about "Turkmenbashi," the father of all Turkmen, who was interviewed on "60 Minutes" and included in an Economist article on personality cults.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Completing a trifecta, President Bush said in a speech that "So long as I'm the president, we will stay" in Iraq, and a senior U.S. commander "said American planners were preparing for a 'long war' with Islamist militants who may move on from Iraq and Afghanistan if those countries stabilize."
After Bush hails The Anti-Sheehan and the 'American Legion Declares War on Protestors,' Oliver Willis calls on Democrats to "come out of your caves," but Stan Goff cautions, 'Beware the Progressives.'
"Who died and left Cindy Sheehan in charge?" asks Patt Morrison: "We either hang on her words or hang her for them. The grilling she gets ó about foreign policy, about regional strategies ó from the nattering nabobs of numbskullery on toxic TV turn her into a straw woman."
Although "half of U.S. adults now believe insurgents are getting the upper hand in Iraq," a former Reagan aide -- ranked #14 on a list of 'Orange County's Scariest People' that includes Richard Nixon's corpse -- calls on President Bush to "play hardball with ... the cut-and-run crowd."
Knight Ridder reports that as Iraq "descended into political chaos" before lawmakers failed to vote on the constitution, aides to Moqtada al-Sadr "could be heard making phone calls to other Mahdi Army commanders, ordering the torching of Shiite political offices in other provinces 'without killing anyone.'" Plus: 'Sadr on the inside, or the outside?'
As at least 34 die and dozens are wounded in Iraq, the New York Times follows up an article on how soldiers find 'peace in field of dreams,' with one about how 'Sticks and wheels help them forget the bombs.'
Referencing two recent columns by Paul Krugman, Robert Parry traces the U.S. media's role in "building a protective cocoon" around the Bush presidency back to Florida in 2000, when "they bent over backwards to concoct hypothetical situations in which George W. Bush might still have won the presidency."
A Salt Lake City resident is challenging a PBS station run by the Mormon Church and Brigham Young University, which in addition to airing church ads and church programming, swaps "Frontline" and "Now" for "Little House on the Prairie" and "The Andy Griffith Show."
A letter writer asks NPR's ombudsman, "Why do we have to have a comment from a conservative minister on almost every news item reported?"
Pat Robertson appears to have apologized for being "misinterpreted" and has offered a clarification of his stance on assassinating Venezuela's president: "'Take him out' could be a number of things, including kidnapping."
The Christian Science Monitor reports that "U.S. attitudes about Iran and North Korea may have switched" in 'a pivotal moment for "axis of evil."'
Bolton Into Action Three weeks before a U.N. summit of 175 world leaders, the Bush administration has reportedly "thrown the proceedings in turmoil" by recently introducing 750 amendments to a draft agreement that has been six months in the making.
Previewing Friday's immigration reform conference co-sponsored by David Horowitz's organization, Bill Berkowitz says Horowitz "apparently feels that he is well enough on his way to cleansing America's colleges and universities of anti-patriotic liberal academics to test the roiling waters of immigration politics."
Friday, August 26, 2005
Israeli decisions to seize and build, editorializes Ha'aretz, "lend credence to the Palestinian claim that the withdrawal from Gaza was merely an Israeli trick designed to obtain international support and to divert attention from its tightening occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem."
With Iraq said to be 'on the brink of meltdown' as 'political violence surges,' Saddam Hussein loyalists walked the streets of Baghdad openly, "in black masks and carrying AK-47s and grenade launchers," and gunmen killed 8 presidential bodyguards.
Knight Ridder, reporting that insurgents have "fought the U.S. military to a stalemate" in Anbar province, where Marines and soldiers "have stopped talking about winning a military victory" and are no longer "referring to the enemy derisively as 'terrorists.'"
Americans are getting a non-debate on the war, argues Terry Michael, because mainstream media "allow the Bush administration and 'opposition' congressional Democrats to engage in Amish-style shunning of those who advocate immediately ending the war." Plus: "So what's up, Democrats?"
A Pentagon task force blamed a culture that devalues women for the prevalence of rape and sexual harassment at the Army and Navy academies, with panelists citing "groupthink" and "confusion" regarding "what is warrior ethos and what is offensive behavior."
An AP/Ipsos poll, which found 90 percent support for the right to protest against the war in Iraq, also found that "Republicans are the most likely to disapprove of people voicing opposition to the war."
As a long-running vigil outside of Walter Reed gains new life as an anti anti-war protest story, Code Pink's Medea Benjamin says that recently "new people have shown up and have tried to change the tone and be more confrontational ... we think they may be related to the FreeRepublic people who are demonstrating across the street."
A Crawford counter protestor and Iraq war vet tells Raw Story that "The people we are fighting now are the same people that bombed those World Trade Center towers."
During "a brief break ... from his monthlong vacation," President Bush had a question of his own for the White House press corps: "We've got somebody from Fox here, somebody told me?" Plus: 'Why president embraces 9/11, shuns Sheehan.'
Although former C.I.A. director George Tenet declared in 1998 that "we are at war" with al-Qaeda, he neither developed nor carried out a plan to deal with it before 2001, according to "a long-awaited C.I.A. inspector general's report." Tenet is reportedly among "likely candidates for proceedings before an accountability board."
Editor & Publisher boils down a "mammoth" Los Angeles Times report on 'A CIA cover blown, a White House exposed,' that "raises questions about the credibility of the Bush White House, the tactics it employs against political opponents and the justification it used for going to war." Plus: 'A funny little story about the media.'
'The Return of Edwin Meese' The "man who found John Roberts" is recalled as also being the attorney general who "suggested that local school boards should be free to institute drug-testing programs for teachers seeking tenure."
Newsweek reports that the "harsh realities of the cocaine trade apparently pose no threat to the future of Plan Colombia," which "despite all the bullish spin coming out of Bogota and Washington ... has failed in most categories of the war on drugs."
"Some say" As Sean Hannity tries to cast Pat Robertson's assassination call as being in dispute, read what happened after a Fox News contributor, who claims that he "may know more intelligence secrets than anyone alive," incorrectly identified a California residence as being that of a terrorist.
In an interview about his article airing Arubans' beefs with the U.S. media, a St. Petersburg Times reporter says, "it does none of us any good to sit by and watch people abuse our profession for the sake of ratings ... as professional journalists we should stand up against it." But Greta defends, calling missing people "an epidemic."
As 'Debate arises over municipalities' actions on wireless networks,' an In These Times article explores 'The Whiteness of Wi-Fi,' and what one reformer calls the "life and death issues" of "media justice."
The superintendent of Death Valley National Park says that proposed policy revisions favoring snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, cellphone towers, low-flying tour planes and mining interests, are "changing the whole nature of who we are and what we have been." They're the "brainchild" of a former Cheney aide.
"We just don't like big shots coming from someplace else and claiming they own something they don't," said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, about a multimillionaire entrepreneur's efforts to trademark "The Last Best Place."
Monday, August 29, 2005
'Triangulation' Norman Solomon accused Frank Rich of "putting down Sheehan" and "her bumper-sticker politics," while "senior Democrats sought to distance themselves ... from Sheehan's protest," as a Washington Post editorial found "no cause for despair, or for abandoning the basic U.S. strategy in Iraq."
Bradblog spotlights another antiwar activist seeking a meeting with President Bush, "who sent him into Sadr City, Iraq in a canvass covered truck during a massive uprising in that city on April 4, 2004."
Among those who "evinced notable restraint" at a "sun-drenched ceremony" to mark the drafting of a permanent constitution for Iraq, was a Sunni Arab lawmaker who said that "it was a nice show for the president of the United States ... but for us it was very bad."
Billmon explains why it's wrong to compare 'the Philadelphia Experiment' to "the deal that just went down in the Baghdad bazaar."
Responding to a former C.I.A. specialist's assertion that "women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy," Luciana Bohne says "No ... but their absence is sure instrumental in ramming through this bogus constitution, scoring a quick publicity point for Bush."
An Iraqi police report says that U.S. forces shot and killed a Reuters soundman and, according to Reporters Without Borders, "they arrested ... the only eye-witness, who was himself injured in the incident," while 'Our Mr. Fix-It' explains that "sometimes mistakes are made."
Although Iraqi commanders say their troops are "dying at three times the rate of U.S. soldiers because they lack basic equipment," the New York Times examines why the U.S. is "wary of supplying heavy weapons to Iraq."
Citing "poor performance reviews," the Army Corps of Engineers sacked its top procurement official, who went public with criticism of the Pentagon for awarding a multibillion-dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton.
A New York Times editorial calls the jailing of the paper's star reporter, Judy Miller, an embarrassment to the U.S.
The rebranding of the School of the Americas -- as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation -- is said to have "achieved a partial detente with some academic figures and human rights organizations" following a major PR effort.
Some "politically active believers" are said to be 'Strategizing a Christian Coup d'Etat,' starting in upstate South Carolina, where one Christian Exodus activist reckons that "All we have to do is put our guy on the ballot with an 'R' sign. It could be a corpse and they'll vote for him."
It would be wiser for corporations like Starbucks "to stay out of these issues so that they don't offend conservatives and people of faith," advises a spokeswoman for an organization "which promotes itself as the antithesis of the National Organization for Women."
With Northwest Airlines strikers reportedly 'showing signs of dissent,' a labor relations professor tells the Star Tribune that while Northwest's tactic of "Using replacement workers is not new ... It certainly sends a signal that they are willing to be nasty to long-term employees if they feel it benefits the company."
The Los Angeles Times spotlighted the "have-nots" who were left behind to "hunker down" in New Orleans, where "officials made no promises that they would be able to deliver food or water ... anytime soon." Plus: 'This is the big one' -- for oil consumers.
Patricia Goldsmith rounds up recent examples to illustrate that "we seem to be on the cusp of achieving a truly independent media -- independent from facts, independent from reality ..."
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Martial Law Declared With the city said to be 80 percent underwater, New Orleans residents described "whitecaps on Canal Street," a month after an ABC affiliate reported that "when members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq ... they took a lot of equipment with them ... and in the event of a major natural disaster, that could be a problem."
An op-ed accuses the Bush administration of 'Destroying FEMA' and says that "those of us in the business of dealing with emergencies find ourselves with no national leadership and no mentors. We are being forced to fend for ourselves, making do with the 'homeland security' mission."
The cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan "already exceeds that of World War I" and is said to be "inching up" on Korea, while President Bush declared himself 'very optimistic' and Defense chief Rumsfeld said that we can't lose. Plus: "Only three words in ..."
Although a new survey finds that 52 percent believe that "Bush should talk to Sheehan," it also concludes that "her opposition has done as much to drive up support for the war as ignite opponents."
Michael Ryan argues that the news media are still "failing to acknowledge their own responsibility for the invasion of Iraq," when, during the run-up to the war, "the sound journalism ... was simply overwhelmed by the bad journalism."
"Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Joseph Biden, D-Del. and other so-called moderate Democrats," who are "still backing the unprovoked war in Iraq when they know they were sold a bill of goods," had better "get some backbone and take a stand soon," warns Helen Thomas.
The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg finds that "the reticence of so many Democrats is rooted as much in perplexity as in timidity," while noting that "9/11 did nothing to change ... the Bush Administrationís top priority ... the use of the tax code to transfer wealth to the rich and, especially, the superrich." Earlier: Hertzberg on mud people.
Matthew Rothschild analyzes 'Bush's Pat Robertson Problem,' and Eric Margolis looks at the 'My Fatwa's Bigger Than Your Fatwa' "call to murder" which "cast a spotlight on the growing power of ... one of the most powerful political lobbies in America."
As the Air Force issues new religion guidelines, the Washington Post probes "the growing influence of evangelical Protestants" in the military chaplain corps, and cites "the chief endorser of chaplains" as saying that "the bias against evangelicals, though once real, is gone." Plus: A rabbi's tale.
A lawsuit alleging racial, sexual and whistle-blower discrimination will be filed on behalf of Bunnatine Greenhouse, formerly the highest-ranking civilian member of the Army Corps of Engineers, whose performance, says Joshua Frank, has been "anything but 'poor.'"
The New York Times says it gave out the wrong address to people wishing to make donations to "Judy Millerís prison reading list."
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Iraq's Interior Ministry now says that more than 950 people died after rumors of a suicide bomber led to a stampede as Shiite pilgrims crossed a bridge on their way to a Baghdad shrine, with the majority of the victims reported to be women and children.
As New Orleans' mayor estimates the city's death toll to be "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands," Needlenose declares that "freedom's untidy" on the bayou, where "a tourist from Philadelphia," who "stood outside and snapped pictures," tells the AP that "It's downtown Baghdad." Plus: Another dome, another home.
The Wall Street Journal salutes the New Orleans Times-Picayune which has continued publishing online after being forced to abandon its headquarters near the Superdome, despite "living its own prophecy."
A Pandagon poster finds evidence that, judging by the coverage of white people "finding" and black people "looting" things they need in New Orleans, the media may "bury the truth of what happened" before the city can bury the storm victims.
The Los Angeles Times reports that New Orleans residents were standing in "orderly lines to loot," and quotes one "looter" as saying that "I just took what I need ... Everyone you see out here, they're just trying to survive."
'When the levee breaks' "In the tradition of the riverboat gambler," writes Will Bunch, "the Bush administration decided to roll the dice on its fool's errand in Iraq, and on a tax cut that mainly benefitted the rich. And now Bush has lost that gamble, big time."
RFK Jr. recalls "the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol," and Rush Limbaugh is "calling the storm Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel and warning that the left is going to use this tragedy against the right."
Yet another poll finds President Bush's approval ratings at an all-time low, with 53 percent now saying they disapprove of the job he is doing, but Maureen Dowd writes that 'A Lipstick President' hopeful is "betting that there's no need to do anything rash now, like leading."
Bush observed an early V-J Day by announcing a new reason for the war in Iraq, saying that the U.S. must continue to fight lest "Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control" and "seize oil fields to fund their ambitions."
The Seattle Times editorializes that Bush must choose between 'Withdrawal from Iraq, or the greater mistake,' reasoning that "to our dead we owe honor and respect. To the living we owe good judgment."
"The war in Iraq is over. We lost. Islam won," writes columnist Denis Hamill, who adds that "somehow I don't see the Stones playing Baghdad on the next tour."
For the neocons, war means never having to say you're sorry, writes Karen Kwiatkowski, who cites the late Jude Wanniski's column, 'When do the pundits apologize?' A Newsday obit made no mention of Wanniski's antiwar stance.
"The only reason he's being fired," said a Fox News analyst, discussing a talk show host who repeatedly said that "Islam is a terrorist organization" on his program, "... is because he went after a PC thing." Plus: Televangelist says Christians "do not need an Osami Bin Laden leading us."
"Their science is dismal," a defender of evolution says of creationists, "but they do have American culture on their side."
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