|August, 2006 link archive
Tuesday, August 1, 2006'U.S., Israel Start to Diverge,' while "fissures between the United States and its allies widened at the United Nations," and it's reported that 'Bush resistance to immediate Mideast ceasefire may be backfiring.'
As Israel attempts to "change the tone" after Qana, the New York Times cites an influential Israeli columnist who says that "blind cheerleading" and statements by Israeli military leaders "covering our skin" have left him "covered in shame." Plus: Glenn Greenwald on 'Competing realities.'
The Lebanese city of Bint Jbeil, scene of last week's heaviest fighting, is described as "no longer a place of the modern world," whose "center is a forsaken panorama of destruction and devastation, nothing untouched."
Rigorous Intuition's Jeff Wells argues that "goading Syria and Iran into a general war by turning Lebanon into a slaughterhouse means the Israeli state has become, itself, a suicide bomber; an engine of apocalypse."
Financial Times reports that, "after months of disillusionment, America's neo-conservatives have fallen in love again with the Bush administration," and Alexander Cockburn hails 'The Triumph of Crackpot Realism' in Lebanon.
Lebanese analysts tell the New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson that Hezbollah has "been significantly strengthened by the conflict," while Lara Deeb argues that Hezbollah has also "been cast misleadingly in much media coverage of the ongoing war."
Bombings and shootings reportedly killed at least 63 in Iraq on Tuesday, and an Iraqi told Reuters that "If we expect Iraqi security forces to protect us, we will burn just like those innocent people."
'Castro Steps Aside -- for Now,' prompting "partying, honking, yelling" in the streets of Miami, as Fidel's 'less charismatic, more radical' brother assumes command. Plus: Cuban officials call U.S. 'plan to aid post-Castro Cuba' a "new plan of aggression."
Among the billionaire 'Tax Cheats Called Out of Control' in a Senate report on the 'U.S. Tax Shelter Industry,' are two brothers said to have ranked high among "the kingmakers who put Bush in the Governor's Mansion in Austin."
David Corn chronicles 'The Neverending Saga of Phase II,' following a report that a Senate review of the administration's use of prewar intelligence "might not emerge until after the November election."
As though to counter President Bush's use of 'The "Ic" Factor' in his repeated references to "the Democrat Party," Craig Crawford urges Democrats struggling to find a campaign message to try 'A Nixon Prescription.'
While GOP candidates wonder 'how far from Bush is best,' the Black Commentator reports that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, 'Our Brightest Light' on 'The Last Plantation,' is "hated and feared ... by Democratic House leadership, which abhors activist Black lawmakers more than it does Republicans."
Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher proclaims that "the corner [has been] turned from pure anti-Liebermanism to pro-Lamontism," but elsewhere Ned Lamont's stand on collective punishment in Lebanon is found to be "disappointing."
Legendary blues singer and pianist Floyd Dixon, who helped bring "rhythm and blues to the masses" in the late 1940s, and who celebrated a much-heralded comeback in the late 1990s, died in Los Angeles of kidney failure at age 77.
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
As it resumes "wide-scale air attacks" and pours "up to 10,000 armored troops" into southern Lebanon, Israel is said to have "walked straight into the trap laid by its enemy," and to be "making every good man in the Middle East irrelevant."
"Cyprus, Turkey and even Greece" could feel the impact of Lebanon's ongoing 'environmental devastation,' as one official warns that "what is at stake today is all marine life in the eastern Mediterranean."
What Really Happened rounds up media coverage indicating that the Lebanon crisis began after "Israel sent troops across the border into Lebanon ... claimed the captured invaders were [kidnapped]" and then "cast itself as the victim." Plus: An "inspired question."
"So ... what did Condi do last night to get her plan on track and bring about that belated cease-fire?" asks Liberal Oasis. "Booked herself on 'The O'Reilly Factor,'" where she said that "There are a lot of problems with Syria and France, there's no doubt about that."
The New Republic is said to have dodged an Army lieutenant's "public-spirited challenge" by "selectively editing" his letter to the editor.
The Washington Post reports that a 'White House Proposal [to] Expand Authority of Military Courts' would also "allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction."
"It is worthwhile to remember," writes Truthout's William Rivers Pitt, "that whenever you see George W. Bush talking about winning the 'War on Terror,' you are looking at the largest arms dealer on the planet."
Although signs are said to point to a 'tidal-wave election,' the Booman Tribune finds Democrats heavily involved in a 'Protection Racket,' as Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign is described as having "reached into the lowest depths of the Rove playbook."
If Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney loses her runoff election to the candidate tagged as "the anti-McKinney," she has reportedly "made it clear she will not go without a fight," as a story that Rep. McKinney is suing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for libel is retracted.
Maureen Dowd relays some rough justice for 'Mad Max,' and Arianna Huffington detects the possible hand of "the Shakespeare of spin, the Picasso of PR, the Camus of Contrition," in a "world-class mea culpa."
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Perusing "the obscene score-card for death," Robert Fisk observes that "If Hizbollah had planned this campaign months in advance - and if the Israelis did the same - then neither side left room for diplomacy."
Although the IDF has reportedly changed its story, various Fox News personalities continue to advance the argument that Israel was the victim at Qana, while at least one Israeli activist is "sick and tired of being involved in a peace movement which supports war."
Arguing that "no issue highlights the absence of a Democratic alternative to Bush policies more than Israel," Lawrence of Cyberia fears that Democrats "will be left ... holding the baby ... long after the Republicans who invented it have collectively jumped ship."
With President Bush heading to the ranch for a 'working vacation,' Sidney Blumenthal reports neocon hardliners in the Bush Administration are "secretly providing NSA intelligence to Israel and undermining the hapless Condi Rice."
As Muqtada al-Sadr's followers rally in support of Hezbollah, a confidential memo, written by Britain's outgoing ambassador, reportedly warns Prime Minister Tony Blair that "civil war is a more likely outcome in Iraq than democracy."
President Hamid Karzai is reportedly "starting to feel the strain" of increasing violence in Afghanistan, as his government's new media restrictions order that "Terrorist acts should not lead news bulletins."
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld flip-flopped into the hot seat, after first indicating that he was too busy to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and telling reporters, "let's be honest: politics enters into these things, and maybe the person raising the question is interested in that."
Friday, August 4, 2006
With Israel's bombing of the northern bridges in Beirut, "cutting off practically the last landlink with neighbouring Syria" and the main supply route for U.N. relief, a threat to destroy the infrastructure of Lebanon is seen as largely already carried out.
Witnessing the mass displacement in Southern Lebanon, Christopher Allbritton details the interaction of reporters there with Hezbollah, while Jonathan Cook accuses Israel, not Hezbollah, of 'putting civilians in danger on both sides of the border.'
A "media onslaught" by Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is said to aim at countering "the sense of an opportunity blown that he's picking up from newspaper and TV commentators," as some 'Indigenous Middle Eastern Jews condemn Israeli aggression.'
Hullabaloo's Digby contends that the 'Qana was staged' conspiracy theory is not just a blog phenomenon but a "Republican Noise Machine Special," and CJR Daily debunks the idea that the photos of the incident were staged. Plus: 'Israeli military accused of whitewash.'
An editorial in the Guardian suggests that "trophy videos" from Iraq, recently banned by the Pentagon, "offer an insight into modern warfare and the psyche of the average serviceman which conventional broadcast news and current affairs coverage cannot get close to."
Hundreds of thousands of Shiites march through the streets of Baghdad in the biggest pro-Hezbollah demonstration in the Middle East, reflecting the growing anger throughout the Muslim world about the situation in Lebanon. Plus: Juan Cole interviewed on 'War in the Middle East - from Baghdad to Beirut.'
Although Gen Abizaid admits that a civil war in Iraq is "possible," the British Ambassador to Iraq warns it is "the most likely outcome," McClatchy reports "Iraqis already believe they're living through a civil war' and even Thomas Friedman confesses it's 'Time for Plan B.'
Sen. Hillary Clinton's grilling of the Defense Secretary culminates in a call for his resignation, but Rumsfeld protests that "you'd have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I've been excessively optimistic." Plus: Commenter realizes, "I work with a dude like this."
Down in the polls and facing a likely primary defeat, Sen. Lieberman scraps plans for a massive get out the vote campaign amid "signs of desperation," in what's termed "the worst campaign possible," but Billmon warns that it is not necessarily a breakthrough for anti-war wing of the Democratic party.
Criticizing the Sierra Club's endorsement of Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Paul Krugman argues that "those who cling to the belief that politics can be conducted in terms of people rather than parties ... are kidding themselves."
The American Psychological Association issues what's described as an "angry response" to Salon's criticisms of its policy allowing participatiion in the interrogation of terror suspects, a policy that has reportedly touched off an internal struggle for the soul of the organization.
At 'Mexico's Critical Moment,' Mexican President Vicente Fox responds to a blockade of Mexico's stock market by urging citizens "not to play with fire." Plus: 'Collateral Damage on the Mexican Border.'
Blistering summer heat converts Pat Robertson on global warming, but PZ Myers points out that he got the right answer for the wrong reasons, and the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee says, "I cannot imagine any objective finding that CO2 is a pollutant ... If that's true, God is a polluter."
As Alan Keyes is asked to fire a deputy director of Renew America over his accusation that sex with infants is a growing trend among gays, an accused pedophile gets religion, and the Smoking Gun gets the goods on 'Rush Limbaugh's Dominican Stag Party.'
Monday, August 7, 2006
An Israeli attack on a Lebanese border village turns out to be significantly less deadly than originally reported, after the 'deadliest barrage of Hezbollah rockets' so far leads one analyst to examine 'Retaliation's mutual injustice.'
In 'One ring to rule them', Juan Cole floats a "peak oil theory of the US-Israeli war on Lebanon (and by proxy on Iran)," and BP has reportedly said that the largest oil field in the U.S. "could be closed for weeks or months."
The opinion editor of the Daily Star highlights the antagonism of Hezbollah to openness and diversity in Lebanon in an article the Angry Arab finds condescending, while the paper's copy editor decries a "perverse game of chicken ... with backers and lackeys cheering the carnage on the sidelines."
The Washington Post's Thomas Ricks said on "Reliable Sources" that "according to some U.S. military analysts ... Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon."
The New York Times observes how its role in providing key social services wins loyalty for Hezbollah, but the Middle East Report emphasizes that the party is not just "using its social organizations to bribe supporters."
Reuters cans a Lebanese photographer for doctoring an image of a post-IAF strike on Beirut, after Ynet, in a survey of purported media bias, singled out the news service for praise for its reporting on Israeli deaths, and Left I on the News compares coverage of the Qaa massacre in the major U.S. papers.
The New York Times reports on 'Israel's long term battle' to control the narrative of the war, while the Los Angeles Times details the ways "Israel and Hezbollah seek psychological advantage with every weapon available," from hacking broadcasts to phone messages to leaflets from the sky.
Syria announces that it is "ready for the possibility of a regional war if the Israeli aggression continues," provoking a sarcastic consideration of the divergence of Syrian and Lebanese interests by one Lebanese blogger. Plus: 'Oil Spill Reaches Syrian Coastline.'
Secretary of State Rice ducks a question by dismissing the view of many U.S. troops in Iraq and declaring civil war a "hypothetical," but Sen. Chuck Hagel, after calling for the U.S. to withdraw troops in the next six months, insists that Iraq is 'a hopeless, winless situation.'
Newsweek cites an anonymous Bush aide saying that the president "will move U.S. troops out of Iraq if the country descends into civil war," Time chronicles 'life in hell,' and if things are as bad as former U.S. ambassador Peter Galbraith suggests in his new book, "it's possible that poor, ragged Lebanon may be Iraq's best model."
In what one Pentagon analyst terms a "grim warning of just how serious the situation in Iraq has become," the US military shifts 3,700 soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade to Baghdad in an attempt to quell sectarian violence that is said to be pushing residents of Baghdad out of the city.
Reading Prime Minister Blair's 'mad speech about Iraq,' Patrick Cockburn hopes it remains untranslated because it confirms Muslims' worst fears that the war is a crusade, and Ray McGovern looks for an exit from the "policy fiascos that have brought violence and chaos to the Middle East."
Faced with a suit for leaving contractors behind to die on the battle field, Blackwater claims immunity from liability as "an essential and indistinguishable cog in the military machine."
In an interview with the New York Times, Brent Wilkes, who allegedly bribed Rep. Randy Cunningham, outlines a career built on "transactional lobbying," and characterizes "the appropriations process as little more than a shakedown," while Rep. Bob Ney quits his reelection bid, 'dogged by corruption charges.'
Despite Senator Clinton's "carefully scripted chewing out" of Donald Rumsfeld, Bob Herbert reminds that she is still one of 'the war enablers,' or as Maureen Dowd puts it, "the enunciation of a clear sentence about the war in Iraq by Hillary Clinton means that there must be an election coming up."
As Glenn Greenwald contends that neocon love for Sen. Joe Lieberman, resolves "any residual doubts about where Lieberman fits on the political spectrum," Cokie Roberts warns of "chaos" and Newt Gingrich speaks of a "legitimate insurgency in Connecticut, which needs to be met head on."
In his new Rolling Stone column, Matt Taibbi examines "a masterpiece of yuppie paranoia," and David Byrne, watching the documentary "Jesus Camp," sees evidence of a desire "to turn the U.S. into the 'Christian' version of Iran or Saudi Arabia."
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
A tally of the 'Toll of a war that shames the world,' notes that "45 per cent of the casualties have been children," while Israel has reportedly "threatened to attack U.N. peacekeepers if they attempted to repair bomb-damaged bridges," and has been 'Accused of sending poison to Hamas premier.'
Charging Israel wiith premeditated assault on Lebanon, the Guardian's George Monbiot finds "the suggestion that Hezbollah could launch an invasion of Israel or that it constitutes an existential threat to the state ... preposterous."
U.S. diplomacy is said to reveal "a strikingly weak hand" in the Middle East, with U.S. officials seen as having "burnt their bridges. It started with Iraq..." -- where the country's premier apologized for a U.S. raid on Sadr City, during a 'Summer of Goodbyes.'
A military investigator has reportedly informed a tribunal of a U.S. soldier's admission that he put some chicken wings on the grill after participating in "the rape and killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her family."
"Democracy Now!" interviews the author of 'The war the world ignores,' which quotes a human rights campaigner as saying that "when the world looks at Congo it sees a pile of riches with some black people inconveniently sitting on top of them."
Champagne or Xanax? David Sirota lays out four scenarios for today's Lieberman-Lamont primary, while an OpinionJournal columnist argues that "the party of George McGovern is back" and that "of course, this is President Bush's fault." Plus: 'Lanny's Friends'
20-20s As a new poll finds President Bush with a 20 percent approval rating among Americans in their twenties, the Wall Street Journal reports that "an anti-incumbent mood is striking hardest against politicians aligned with the president, regardless of their party." Earlier: 'Doom and Boom.'
It's reported that Tom DeLay will withdraw from his congressional race, and an internal strategy memo based on a poll of GOP voters is interpreted as urging Republicans to "run the same campaign in 2006 that they did in 2004."
As the U.S. Army considers building a military theme park in northern Virginia, Tourism Victoria welcomes 3,200 sailors "with wallets full of cash" from a vessel named for Sen. Trent Lott's predecessor.
An Extra! search for 'Katrina's Vanishing Victims' finds that, "with few exceptions, the media's rediscovery of impoverished Americans lasted barely a month," while in some New Orleans neighborhoods, "it looks like a week has passed since Hurricane Katrina, not a year."
Although "many doctors in the United States no longer recognize TB," the Los Angeles Times reports that there were 14,093 cases in the U.S. last year.
Although the Internet is "potentially ... the best reporting medium ever invented," the New Yorker's Nicholas Lemann finds that "the content of most citizen journalism will be familiar to anybody who has ever read a church or community newsletter." Plus: Jay Rosen on Lemann's 'Amateur Hour.'
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Democrats reject a pro-war senator and an anti-war representative, prompting Washington media to file early "Joebituaries" -- and reporters covering "a stemwinder of a concession speech" in Atlanta to call 9-1-1.
A New York Times analysis previewed a Wednesday speech by Ken Mehlman, saying that the RNC chair "will use Mr. Lamont's victory to portray Democrats as a party weak on national defense, and his affiliation with blogs to present the Democrats as captive to the extreme wing of the party."
While Sen. Lieberman's defeat is seen as an indication that 'Peace Voters Mean Business,' William Rivers Pitt and Rahm Emanuel argue that 'It Wasn't About the War,' TNR's Martin Peretz blames 'The Clinton Factor,' and Dick Morris predicts that 'Joe Will Rise Again.'
Hailing the return of 'Sore Loserman,' Paul Hogarth expects that "Fox News would be eager to give him his own show -- just like Zell Miller." Plus: Upsetting the editorial pages, and 'Who will stand with the Democratic nominee?'
Despite 'The Sweetness of Lieberman's Defeat,' Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair argue that "you had only to travel down I-95 to Georgia to see what happens to real progressives, where the Democratic Party conspired with Fox News and the rest of the press to try to destroy Cynthia McKinney's political career. For the second time."
David Sirota describes Lieberman as preparing to "fire off that last spiteful round -- right into the gut of the Democratic Party," while the WSWS observes that "Lamont, like Lieberman, is a fervent defender of Israeli aggression in Lebanon."
By way of asserting that "Nobody wanted this war," Thomas Friedman argues that "Israel spent the last six years preparing for Warren Buffett, while Hezbollah spent the last six years preparing for this war." Plus: 'Hezbollah hasn't hit investment in Israel.'
USA Today reports that "Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war."
Following a report that the Bush administration has drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would eliminate most "outrages upon personal dignity" of prisoners from the list of prosecutable offenses, Suburban Guerrilla ponders "the fact that they're doing this now."
For "the first time in two decades ... a Republican incumbent in the House has lost in a primary," and a new job is suggested as a way for a former GOP incumbent to get himself out of a sticky situation in Texas.
A data leak leads to the unmasking of 'AOL Searcher No. 4417749.'
Thursday, August 10, 2006
A British announcement of a "major terrorist plot" preceeds the first U.S. red alert and a soda and hair gel crackdown, as it's reported that "The suspected terror plotters ... planned to conceal their liquid or gel explosives inside a modified sports beverage drink container and trigger the device with the flash from a disposable camera."
With prominent Democrats lining up for Lamont -- and the morning shows lining up Lieberman -- Vice President Cheney told reporters that "to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside" by Connecticut voters will only encourage "al Qaeda types."
Israel's "worst day of battlefield deaths" took place as a cabinet meeting "dissolved into shouting matches" before voting to "expand ground combat operations," while Hezbollah's leader denounced a draft U.N. resolution for giving Israel "more than it wanted and more than it was looking for."
The Los Angeles Times reports on the water control issues raised by Israel's bombing of irrigation canals connected to the Litani River, while the New York Times stakes out "the only remaining crossing."
Interviewed outside the studios after a Fox News Sunday appearance, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said "No, we are not" using cluster bombs in Lebanon, although an Israeli general had previously acknowledged their use. Earlier: 'Steel Rain' as a U.S. weapon of choice.
Israeli officials accuse the BBC of "working on behalf of Hezbollah instead of doing fair journalism," and of being "downright hostile to Israel on every level."
As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatens to sever ties with Israel, three Dissident Voice correspondents report that "no matter what you may think about Chavez or his policies, there is no doubt that Venezuelans adore him."
As Shiite death squads replace insurgents as "the main focus" in Baghdad, "fully trained" Iraqi troops reportedly exhibit "weak discipline, divided loyalties" and "the tendency to fire wildly in every direction at the first sign of danger."
Sidney Blumenthal chronicles 'Joe's Fall From Grace,' to become what David Sirota calls "the very sharp tip of the national Republican Party's spear ... aimed at the heart of the Democratic Party" -- but 'It's Not 1972.'
Voters' Remorse A Scripps Howard poll finds that 'Bush Would Lose to Gore and Kerry Today,' although in a rerun of 2004, Kerry's percentage of the vote would actually fall, due to increased support for Ralph Nader.
Friday, August 11, 2006
"Democracy Now!" looks at why many British Muslims are skeptical of the alleged airline bomb plot, and Homeland Security Director Chertoff's 'new math' comes into question, as does MSNBC's sense of context.
Looking for a precedent in the abandoned 1990s "Bojinka" plot, William Saletan sees little hope that in 'The liquid world' the government will able to develop rules or gizmos enough to completely protect against "Liquids on a plane."
Billmon predicts that "today's hysteria probably is an authentic glimpse at the shape of things to come," given how much U.S. actions in the Middle East seem have increased "the jihadi recruiting pool."
"Weighed down by the unpopular war in Iraq," AFP sees Bush and his aides seeking 'political gains from the foiled plot,' which 'puts terrorism back in U.S. political campaigns,' just in time for the Fall elections.
Predicting more atrocities from both sides, Robert Fisk sees signs of Israeli frustration in facing "a far more determined and disciplined enemy than in 1982," as Israel reportedly asks the U.S. for expedited delivery of cluster munitions.
Viewing CNN's Anderson Cooper, Mark Perry finds that the "language of the war on terrorism has opened a chasm between the United States ... and Europe," and 'Luftmensch Reporter,' Philip Weiss, 'Watches the Rockets' at the Lebanese/Israeli border.
The Daily Star ironically headlines an AFP article, 'Israel delays major offensive as tanks thrust into Lebanon,' while War in Context examines the claim that "an existential threat" is confronting Israel rather than Lebanon.
'Broadcasting From the Bunker' Spiegel profiles Hezbollah's Al-Manar, which 'neither bombs nor computer hackers' have been able to silence, and whose continued ability to broadcast is said to be "the biggest sign of Israel's military inability to hit targets of value."
Although 'last month was the deadliest in the Gaza Strip for nearly two years,' The Electronic Intifada notes that "Israel's ongoing war against Gaza seems to be taking place in a relative media blind spot."
Hearing Sen. Lieberman's remark that Ned Lamont's win constituted a "victory for extremists," Lamont responds, "Wow....That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney's comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That's a false premise."
Asking "what's really behind claims that Mr. Lieberman is sensible," Paul Krugman finds "that many Washington insiders suffer from the same character flaw that caused Mr. Lieberman to lose Tuesday's primary: an inability to admit mistakes."
As it's suggested that 'Lamont needs to assume he's running against Rove,' Bill O'Reilly insinuates that anti-semitic attacks on Lieberman "spread like lice," while the timing of attacks by Ann Coulter and Lieberman on Maxine Waters, raise questions of coordination.
The Business of Fox Appearing with Coulter, Tom Delay claims that the liberal view of terrorists is that "you can't go after these wonderful people that just killed a bunch of Americans," and brands Democrats "the party of Europe."
A new GAO report finds that nearly 30% of overseas State Department employees don't meet the language requirements of their jobs, but Mark Fiore offers a course in a new language that's sweeping the globe. Plus: 'U.S. lags world in grasp of genetics and acceptance of evolution.'
Barbara Ehrenreich presents a 'class analysis' of the new "Miami Vice," in which "the poor serve largely as scenery," Wal-mart opens up to unions in China, but not at home, "to build a harmonious society," and an AP reporter is nominated for a job at the big box retailer.
Monday, August 14, 2006
After a "pre-ceasefire bloodbath," a U.N. ceasefire resolution takes effect in Lebanon, but "Robert Fisk argues that this is only the beginning of 'the real war' as the tens of thousands of troops Israel has moved into Lebanon remain a provocation and a target.
Facing 'political fire' over what the government was able to achieve in Lebanon, 'Israeli leaders fault Bush' for "egging Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into the ill-conceived military adventure," as 'The fall of the Israeli empire' is predicted, and it's argued that 'American support may no longer be enough.'
As Human Rights Watch calls on the U.S. to deny Israel's request for cluster munitions, amid warnings that unexploded cluster bombs await returning Lebanese, the previously unreported April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, notes that "Hezbollah is the only major terrorist group with global reach currently not trying to kill Americans."
The son of Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman, was killed in southern Lebanon just days after his father contended in a press conference with other prominent authors that "Israel already exhausted its self-defense right."
"Democracy Now!" interviews Seymour Hersh about his article reporting that Israel came to Washington before the Hezbollah kidnappings "to get a green light for the bombing operation," and that "Israel is our stalking horse" for a war with Iran. Hersh also responded to official denials in an interview on CNN.
In response to the Hersh piece, Juan Cole warns that "Any U.S. attack on Iran could well lead to the US and British troops in Iraq being cut off from fuel and massacred by enraged Shiites," and Billmon suspects that "failure in Lebanon has badly eroded whatever slim chance remained that war [with Iran] could be avoided."
Ahmadineblog Coinciding with his interview on "60 Minutes," which will be broadcast uncut on C-SPAN, the president of Iran launches his own multilingual blog for an international audience, -- featuring an online poll that asks readers if they think the U.S. and Israel are "pulling the trigger for another world war" -- while suppressing other blogs.
An Italian historian and diplomat interrogates the resurgent description of the enemy as "Islamo-fascism" but does not find the movement most resembling fascism in the Middle East in Iran, while British officials are seen to stick to "the toned-down language of law enforcement."
A new poll finds that 58 percent of Americans say the U.S. should pull all troops out of Iraq within the next year, "stay the course" becomes "win by adapting," and Jill Carroll begins telling her story in the first of an eleven-part series.
The Washington Post analyzes "a major cultural shift in the presidency and the news media" that lets the president "fly under the radar," Press Secretary Snow tells reporters that after Bush read Camus "we discussed the origins of existentialism," and it's said that 'Cheney "utterances are losing their news value."'
William Kristol echoes and CNN amplifies 'Cheney's claim that Lamont Win Helps 'Al-Qaeda Types,' while Cal Thomas blames 'Taliban Democrats,' in an atmosphere described as "a case study in how anti-Dem narratives dominate political media."
Sen. Edward Kennedy charges that the Vice President's comments on Lamont's victory are "an attack ... on democracy itself," and Ned Lamont is offended by unhesitating attempts to turn terror attacks to partisan advantage, and Paul Krugman suspects that "Americans are fed up with leadership that has nothing to hope for but fear itself."
As two major news organizations acknowledge "that the GOP's advantage on national security issues has disappeared," the Los Angeles Times reports 'Democrats go on offense in latest terror case,' but the real test for the Democrats, Matt Stoller suggests, will be 'Bolton's pull versus Lamont's push.'
Noting reports that "an attack was not imminent" and that Bush administration officials pressed for premature arrests, it's argued that the Republicans "cannot be trusted to protect us from the threat of terrorism because -- to paraphrase The Downing Street Memo -- they fix terror investigations around smear campaigns."
CNN prepares a full day broadcast of 'Target USA,' Brasscheck TV reviews some history of 'bogus terror plots,' and Joshua Holland observes the left is as caught up as the right in the "rhetorical war" on terror.
Thomas Frank argues that liberals need to try puncturing the "marginalization fantasy" that allows conservatives to continue marketing their "brand image as angry outsiders," and hold them responsible for the consequences of the establishment they control.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
With Hezbollah now said to be "bathed in a heroic light," Justin Raimondo ponders the spectacle of 'Israel, Defeated' -- but an AP report calls it a draw, and Sean Hannity protests that 'One nuke and it was all over.'
Returning Lebanese refugees are reportedly "expressing their hatred for Israel -- and, to a striking degree in this normally Western-leaning nation -- for America, which is seen as the Israelis' unquestioning backer," as "fireworks rose into the sky over Beirut, where Hezbollah staged a noisy victory parade."
As the New York Times strikes a reference to doubts in the Bush administration over Israel's ability to "win an outright military victory," the Independent's Andrew Gumbel characterizes 'America's one-eyed view of war" as 'Stars, stripes, and the Star of David.'
Although Democrats vow not to be Swift boated on security this fall, Stephen Zunes argues that "the Democrats' support for Israeli attacks against Lebanon is quite consistent with their support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq."
Analyzing 'The politics of the latest terror scare,' the WSWS finds, "buried in the reams of newspaper articles and hours of television commentary ... bits and pieces of information that cast further doubt on the substantiality of the official claims."
As George Will heralds 'The Triumph of Unrealism,' the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg argues that a bellwether defection shows that Bush has gambled and rolled 'Snake Eyes' in what George Soros calls 'A Self-Defeating War.'
Military recruiters have been increasingly resorting to "overly aggressive tactics and even criminal activity," including "sexual harassment or falsifying medical records," according to a study by the Government Accountability Office. Earlier: Pentagon reports 40,000 desertions.
Discussing Sen. Lieberman's primary loss, Bill Clinton said that "his position is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld position," while a Lieberman spokesman attempted to position challenger Ned Lamont "slightly to the right of socialist Bernie Sanders."
Deep Macaca A Washington Post editorial wonders "which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas" Sen. George Allen "had in mind when he chose to mock" the only dark-skinned person present at a campaign event, after which Allen apologized "if he's offended by that." Earlier: Allen's "major league media hit man."
As it's reported that a PBS pundit is a White House appointee, a new FCC inquiry reportedly "follows an April study by the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy that found that 77 stations had aired video news releases without properly labeling them."
Although both Republicans and Democrats are said to be "praying that Castro survives -- at least until November 8th," Eric Umansky is glad to find the Bush administration "putting exiles in decision-making positions on Cuba. Because that turned out so well elsewhere."
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
One of 21 signers of an open letter calling for a complete overhaul of U.S. policy toward both Iran and Iraq, tells the Los Angeles Times that "To call the Iranian situation a 'crisis' connotes you have to do something right now, like bomb them."
Over 3,400 Iraqi civilian deaths in July are seen as indicating that "the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one," as President Bush reportedly invites academic to assess "the prime minister's effectiveness."
From Camus to Dostoyevsky As Maureen Dowd connects President Bush to a "villainous gay French race car driver," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough rolls a highlight reel and puts the question to his guests, but 'Rickie Lee Jones has had enough.'
As 10,000 bags go missing at British airports, former diplomat Craig Murray suspects "more propaganda than plot," given that "None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports." More on 'The Alleged UK Terror Plot.'
An effort to satirize TSA for its efforts to counter "a serious snake threat to international aviation security" prompts The Lizardman to report a 2002 encounter, in which he was "told ... that if I even brought the snake to the airport it would cause a security shutdown." Plus: 'No shortage of fear.'
With Sen. George Allen reportedly in 'Damage Control' mode over an "odd story," Democrats roll out excerpts from a book by Allen's sister, which describes table talk in the senator's family of origin.
Democrats cry fraud over Green signatures in Pennsylvania, where a new poll finds Sen. Rick Santorum gaining ground, and AP reports that a Green Party candidate "is considered a spoiler" for Democrat Bob Casey.
The New York Times' Adam Cohen revisits 'The Case That Must Not Be Named,' to argue that "the courts should ... stand by Bush v. Gore's equal protection analysis for the simple reason that it was right."
After viewing Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," Ruth Rosen argues that the film "reinforces the Big Lie ... that there was a connection, as Dick Cheney has never stopped saying, between 9/11 and Iraq."
Thursday, August 17, 2006
A federal district court orders an immediate halt to the "unconstitutional" warrantless wiretap program, but a new poll is said to show majority support for increased terror surveillance -- albeit with Congressional authorization.
Prescott also reportedly "let slip ... that some of the 24 people arrested last week over the alleged transatlantic terror plot will not face serious charges," and Pakistani intelligence agents are quoted as saying that the suspects were "too 'inexperienced' to carry out the plot."
Israelis have reportedly begun "transferring responsibility" over southern Lebanon, where a Hezbollah leader says it will be "just like in the past," when "Hezbollah had no visible military presence."
With an Iraq insurgency growing "worse by almost all measures" reportedly prompting U.S. officials to consider "alternatives other than democracy," AlterNet's Rick Gell weighs the implications of an "exit strategy, Bush style."
A report by McClatchy's Jonathan Landay on a new U.S. strategy to "defuse the insurrection" in Pakistan -- after the old plan "backfired badly" -- is seen as indicating that, "contrary to official White House statements on the matter, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the central front in the War on Terror, not Iraq."
A New York Times profile of a 'British Arms Merchant With Passport to the Pentagon' -- said to be "the only foreign Pentagon supplier to crack the top 10" -- neglects to mention previous reports of the firm's alleged Saudi slush fund, and its payments to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
David Broder finds the GOP facing a 'Heartland Plunge,' quoting one Republican governor as saying, "What has this Congress done that anyone should applaud?" Plus: Indians raid GOP fundraiser in Minnesota, as job prospects take a turn on K Street.
A pollster finds Sen. Joe Lieberman's "support among Republicans ... nothing short of amazing," while Democratic nominee Ned Lamont is keeping an eye on Alan Gold and the McGovern question, as a columnist argues that Lamont voters really are 'Aiding the Enemy.'
The death of a Paraguayan strongman elicits a 1984 quote from John Vinocur, connecting "people with occasionally uncontrollable urges to fall into rivers or jump from planes with their arms and legs bound" and a U.N. voting record "more favorable to the U.S. than any other 'ally.'"
Friday, August 18, 2006
Glenn Greenwald slams a Washington Post editorial on Taylor's decision for "its condescension and self-important open-mindedness to administration lawbreaking," reminding that there are not two equally worthy sides to everything, and, discusses the case in an interview with "Democracy Now!"
"If a court of appeals upholds this judge, it means that the president could well have committed a federal crime, not once but thirty times," comments Jonathan Turley, adding that right wing attempts to personalize the decision by attacking the judge do "a great injustice to the system."
CJR Daily details how the media went "meta" and covered its previous coverage of the JonBenet Ramsey case, pushing aside other stories, but a 'media criticism' piece in Slate contends that 'the press needn't regret its coverage,' and an MSNBC producer finds a resemblance between the confessed killer and Ned Lamont.
As a Washington Post article on how Republicans are 'losing the "Security Moms"' notes that polls have found "little or no advantage for Republicans in the aftermath of last week's foiled terrorist plot in London," Media Matters asks whether the media will acknowledge that there was 'no "Bush bounce" after U.K. terror arrests.'
Craig Murray finds that he hit a nerve with his earlier "call for a sceptical view of the alleged 'bigger than 9/11' plot," noting that "the sinister aspect is ... that the allegation may have been concocted in order to prepare us for arresting people without any actual bombs."
The Economist declares a victor in the war in Lebanon, new baby names ride a wave of popularity, and an editorial in the Daily Star finds that 'Love it or hate it, Hezbollah has lessons for all Arabs.'
The Lebanese army heads South, but Robert Fisk says that they are not going to disarm Hezbollah, while a Lebanese brigadier general is arrested on charges of treason after a video airs of him having tea with the Israelis.
With Hezbollah handing out reconstruction cash, U.S. attempts to compete are labeled "clueless," and the "Daily Show," suggesting that "Hezbollah is ready to embark on its new project, rebuilding New Orleans," reminds, "Sure they're Muslim terrorists, but at least they're not FEMA!"
Lebanon is to receive urgent assistance from the U.N. in its 'titanic effort' to clean up the massive oil spill off its coast, while "chemicals and dust from buildings hit during Israeli air strikes in Lebanon" are said to have become 'a major health hazard.'
The Guardian reports that the more than 650,000 refugees pouring back into Lebanon are creating a humanitarian emergency, Human Rights Watch warns that unexploded Israeli cluster munitions remain a threat to civilians, and it's estimated that "as much as a quarter of the ordnance fired during the fighting failed to explode."
Germany rejects the idea of sending combat troops to Lebanon "for historical reasons," and controversy over Gunter Grass' confession that he had been a member of the Waffen SS is said to guarantee that "everything he has written will now be reread with an ironic eye."
Taking into account the 'fierce criticism of the war effort' in Israel, an editorial in Ha'aretz finds it unlikely that Prime Minister Olmert will long survive a police probe into a murky real estate deal, and Justice Minister Haim Ramon, who is facing charges of sexual assault, announces his resignation.
As a CIA civilian contractor is found guilty of assaulting a detainee in Afghanistan, a lawyer at Human Rights Watch complains that "They are just investigating the goons and the muscle; they are not investigating the brains," and the investigation into the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha finds key pages missing from an official log.
A federal judge rules that tobacco companies have violated the law and lied to the public about the dangers of their product but imposes no financial penalties, courtesy, as Seeing the Forest points out, of an earlier ruling by two prominent Republican judges. Editor & Publisher nonetheless points to one possible beneficiary.
Challenging Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's defense of the status quo, Paul Krugman finds historical support for the idea that changing "economic reality" may be easier than he supposes, "if and when we get a government that tries to do something about rising inequality."
Democrats find a "target" in Wal-mart, as civil rights leader Andrew Young resigns his position as the head of "Working Families for Wal-Mart," after defending the big box retailer's displacement of "mom-and-pop" stores with what he admits was "demagogic" commentary about various ethnic groups. Plus: Sim Sweatshop.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Despite 22 dead and hundreds injured in a heavily guarded Baghdad pilgrimage, 'Officials call the event a success,' but Juan Cole sees it as a sign that the U.S. is "powerless," and "the percentage of Iraqis who said they would not want to have Americans as neighbors" rises to 90 percent.
With Shiites and Sunnis 'virtually imprisoned in their enclaves by sectarian strife,' Michael Schwartz finds that all the "centripetal forces" tearing apart Iraq derive from the American occupation," amid fears that the civil war could spill over into wider regional conflicts.
Although the war in Iraq has now lasted longer than U.S. involvement in World War II, Sen. John McCain calls for escalation, claiming that most Americans oppose a timetable for withdrawal, but several polls contradict his claim.
As one Democratic senator calls another "the new Cheney," the old Cheney was fundraising for McCain -- whose foreign policy advisors include William Kristol -- and rehashing his attacks on "cut-and-run" Democrats, but Cheney's ploy doesn't wash at the Cato Institute. Plus: 'G.O.P. deserts one of its own for Lieberman.'
The AP uncovers a growing but largely unprosecuted number of cases of sexual assault by military recruiters, and Robin Morgan argues that 'rapes in combat zones result from the idea,' pervasive throughout the U.S. military, that 'violence is erotic.'
The Guardian reports that "eleven of the 24 people arrested in connection with the alleged aircraft bomb plot are to face charges," but with the administration "crying wolf about terrorism way too often," Frank Rich thinks he hears "the death rattle of the domestic political order we've lived with since 9/11."
Reviewing the "government bombast and media Muslim-bashing" in Britain "following the Great Bomb Scare Plot," Chris Floyd sees an Establishment "addicted to the manufacture of hysteria," as British passengers mutiny over Arabs on a plane, garnering applause from some on the right.
Lawrence Tribe admonishes the New York Times that "it's those with constitutional blood on their hands who deserve to be chastized most insistently in the public press," and Glenn Greenwald continues to correct misconceptions about Judge Taylor's NSA decision.
Frame Wars A Washington Post article on how the opinion 'Further Sharpens Partisan Divide,' reports that according to pollster Andrew Kohut, "Republicans have done such a good job framing the invasion of Iraq as part of a 'war on terror' that bad news from Baghdad is casting doubts on the anti-terrorism effort."
Israel rejects the characterization of its "reconnaissance operation" near Baalbek as a violation of the cease-fire resolution, but American media are found mostly unwilling to probe beneath the official story.
Charles Glass writes in the London Review of Books that "Unlike Israel, which has repeatedly played out the same failed scenario in Lebanon since its first attack on Beirut in 1968, Hezbollah has a history of learning from its mistakes."
"The bloody nose Israel received in south Lebanon has not shaken its leaders' confidence in their restless militarism," writes Jonathan Cook, even though "every possible outcome appears to spell catastrophe for the region, including for Israel."
In 'Tax Farmers, Mercenaries and Viceroys,' Paul Krugman takes stock of the corruption and lack of accountability in a range of privatization efforts and asks why the Bush administration wants "to run a modern superpower as if it were a 16th-century monarchy."
Robert Kuttner argues that politicians "need to go after a great deal more than Wal-Mart" to ensure that hardworking families can make ends meet, as Northwest Airlines advises laid off workers: "Don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash."
'Congress is poised to to unravel the Internet,' Jeffery Chester warns, with a bill in which "Americans are described as 'consumers' and 'subscribers,' not citizens deserving substantial rights when it comes to the creation and distribution of digital media."
The Washington Post reports warnings by some high-level Republicans that Sen. George Allen "may wind up branded as Bush without the brains," while Joe Scarborough's inquiry into whether Bush is an idiot is seen as a possible trend-setter among conservatives. Plus: 'My Position is Clear, Isn't It?'
"Democracy Now!" interviews a former Lincoln Group intern who was paid to plant pro-American articles in the Iraqi press, while Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks gets "taken ... to the woodshed" for on air remarks "that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of its firepower."
Pat Buchanan accuses Mexico of "conspiring to 're-annex' seven Southwest States," a Christian broadcaster produces a TV special featuring Ann Coulter that blames Darwin for Hitler, and the Huffington Post picks up on 'What right wingers see when they read the New York Times.'
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
With the Iraq Civil War said to be raging in Washington, triggering calls for 'Plan B Scenarios,' officials from The Other Iraq, aided by "an A-list Republican public relations firm," just want to "Thank you."
Robert Parry finds Thomas Friedman still arguing, even while calling for "Plan B," that "Americans who were right about the ill-fated invasion of Iraq are still airheads when it comes to the bigger picture."
A new poll finds 'GOP up after terror arrests,' and the New York Times reports that "the decision to press formal charges followed days of widening public skepticism about the extent of the suspected plot," and William Blum says 'Saved Again, Thank the Lord, Saved Again.'
The Wall Street Journal recently amplified the view that August 22 "might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world." Earlier: "A Christian AIPAC."
Nouriel Roubini argues that current economic indicators lend credence to his prediction of "an outright recession by early 2007."
Analyzing the possible fallout of 'GOP corruption,' Thomas Frank cautions that "conservatives are infinitely better positioned to capitalize on public disillusionment with the political system, regardless of who does the disillusioning."
Jesus' General has a career rehab proposal for a tarnished country star "whose entire image is centered around his masculinity," although he's really just "regular people," while a "bear resurgence" reportedly "has all the makings of trouble."
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
While President Bush and Secretary of State Rice "may be quite right about a new Middle East being born," it's feared that "it will not be exactly the baby they have longed for," after 'Wars of great miscalculation.'
An Afghan-Canadian journalist who co-produced the 2003 documentary, a 'Return to Kandahar,' now finds the Taliban everywhere, while the New York Times reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is facing "a crisis of confidence" and a 'Nation Faltering.'
Incumbent Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski finished dead last in the GOP primary race, reportedly bringing his political career to an "inglorious" end. Murkowski's 19 percent vote total was 2 points below his most recent approval rating.
Pundits scramble to explain 'What Dylan Said' and 'What Bob Dylan Really Meant' after the singer's remarks in a Rolling Stone interview to promote his new album are characterized by Reuters as signifying that 'modern music is worthless.'
Thursday, August 24, 2006
A New York Times article on anger in GOP circles that 'Iran Threat Is Played Down,' prompts a meditation on "the meaning of 'no evidence'" -- as the Jerusalem Post floats the notion that Israel "may have to go it alone."
A Washington Post analysis of Bush's Monday news conference cites what one observer calls the president's new, "last-ditch argument" on Iraq, but Norman Solomon finds that most "routine news coverage" still "accepts and propagates the basic worldview of the Bush administration."
After Bush warned that "the terrorists will follow us here" if the U.S. leaves Iraq, one GOP congressman said on CNN that "We either fight them there, or we fight them in the supermarkets and streets here."
No Nun Talking The bishop of the Diocese of Duluth reportedly uninvited Sister Helen Prejean as a keynote speaker at a fundraiser, after he learned that her name appeared on a New York Times advertisement calling on people to "Drive Out the Bush Regime!"
The disappearance of Evolutionary Biology as an acceptable field of study for seekers of federal education grants has "some observers ... wondering whether the omission was deliberate," while the significance of a papal appointment is said to be "unclear."
Fox's Sean Hannity asserts that "some people are saying" that a Democratic win in the fall election would be "a victory for the terrorists," while Defense Secretary Rumself is said to have "emerged from his bunker and withstood quite a grilling from Bill 'The Bookie of Virtue' Bennett."
Political experts reportedly discerned a two-pronged approach for Sen. George Allen's campaign, in the fact that even as the senator was apologizing for his racially insensitive remarks, his campaign manager continued to portray him as the victim of a media "feeding frenzy."
A Utah Republican state senator, who said he thinks "Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with," now 'insists his radio remarks were not motivated by racism,' and a U.S. senator who employs "a nice little Guatemalan man" is defended as "a guy who has a sense of humor."
Friday, August 25, 2006
"Riddled with errors" says Juan Cole of the Republican Congressional report on Iran, and Gary Sick detects in it suspicious signs of a hurry, while some on the right get tired of being coy about the "pre-emptive nuclear annihilation of entire countries." Plus: 'When could Iran get the bomb?'
Reviewing the history of U.S. nuclear threats, an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists observes that "Bush's statements regarding Iran are particularly reminiscent of a diplomatic strategy ... known as the 'madman theory,'" but Needlenose proposes a "common sense" reply to proponents of war.
With 180 professors killed since February, and 3,250 having already fled Iraq, Reuters reports that students are now attacking teachers, but top U.S. generals reassure that "there's been great progress in the security front here recently in Baghdad."
An AP-Ispos poll finds that "60 percent of Americans believe that in the long run there will be more terrorism in the United States because of the war in Iraq," and a CNN poll found similar results, but USA Today is accused of cherry picking its own poll to show GOP gains.
Although one Israeli official insists that in the war in Lebanon, we were "as surgical as we could be," and another ponders what "civilian" means, the U.S. State Department investigates whether possible misuse of American-made cluster bombs violates agreements between the countries restricting the use of weapons.
With growing numbers of its citizens dissatisfied with the war, Israel is said to face 'An accountability moment,' as Tom Barry contends that "If one U.S. official were to be blamed ... for the U.S. government's disastrous stance with Israel in the recent war, it would be Elliot Abrams."
The conclusion that democracy in the Middle East is impossible, Matthew Yglesias writes, "only makes sense if you assume a perfect congruence between the idea of democracy and support for U.S.-Israeli regional security priorities."
A fed up British pilot complains about new carry-on regulations, "We are not in danger of dying at the hands of toiletries," and Pakistani authorities are reported to "have screwed tight the faucet that had trickled intriguing details from their investigation" into the alleged airline terror plot.
Marc Cooper finds Anderson Cooper's inability to focus on real news "simply indefensible," Eugene Robinson can't resist the temptation to "wallow in tabloid news," instead of worrying about "the ritual beating of the tom-toms for another war," and Pat Robertson inquires about "a shadowy group called Media Matters."
Reading Michelle Goldberg's "Kingdom Coming," John Dean lays out the "underlying strategy of the Christian nationalists: to use the courts, state and federal, to implement their agenda," while according to Katherine Harris, "God is the one who chooses our rulers."
Jon Swift examines a proclamation at Blogs for Bush that "We have reached the end of the age of Science," and Susie Day reveals the discovery by 'post 9/11 science' that 'Americans are the world's only humans.'
Digging through Domestic Policy Advisor Karl Zinsmeister's career, Thomas Frank finds signs of "the looming exhaustion of the conservative intellectual system ... and a blindness to the reality of conservative power" enabled by "the magic concept of the market," to reach for the extremes of repurposed advertising.
Facing not just labor critics but a sudden decline in profits, Wal-mart is trying out a new business model and moving up-market, but efforts to reach out to the gay and lesbian community draw criticism from all sides.
An Alabama Democratic party committee overrules voters' choice of a lesbian candidate, Forbes advises readers not to marry career women, in a story that "won't die," and a Colorado teacher is told to leave school for displaying flags from other countries.
"Tourist go home" reads the graffiti on a hotel in Oaxaca, Mexico, where months of protest against the state's governor have led the U.S. State Department to issue a travel warning. Earlier: Dispatches from Oaxaca.
Monday, August 28, 2006
A year after Katrina, Paul Krugman finds that "In America as in Iraq, reconstruction delayed is reconstruction denied," and the WSWS describes "a national humiliation without parallel in the history of the United States." Plus: 'Brown says White House wanted him to lie.'
As President Bush makes a 'Return to the Scene of the Crime,' to fight for his image, Frank Rich quotes historian Douglas Brinkley as saying that "the crucial point is that the inaction is deliberate....The last blue state in the Old South is turning into a red state."
Among the experts who say that critical U.S. infrastructure is 'coming apart at the seams,' is one Homeland Security analyst who warns that the U.S. risks becoming "the modern-day equivalent of the walled medieval city that responds to the arrival of the Black Death by widening the moat."
The New York Times reports that "wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960s."
Chronicling 'Bush's Disdainful Presidency,' Robert Parry writes that degrading treament of other people has been "a recurring part of Bush's persona dating back at least to his days as an 'enforcer' on his father's presidential campaigns."
As "George W's palace ... dwarfs the edifices of Saddam's wildest dreams," an account of "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" describes the predicament of Democrats in the Green Zone, among whom it's said that 'If you know what's good for you, you stay in the closet.'"
Calling media consolidation "a major threat to democracy," Al Gore reportedly told a film festival audience in Scotland that finding cash to fund TV commercials is "the only thing that matters in American politics now."
The Washington Post analyzes 'The McCain Makeover,' from "the alternative to Bush" in 2000 to "Bush's heir" apparent, while noted whistleblowers accuse Sen. Hillary Clinton of "studious avoidance of principled action."
According to firedoglake, an account of Richard Armitage's role in the Valerie Plame leak "does not explain the central question that we've all been trying to answer from day one on this: how did Bob Novak learn that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert operative?"
A New York Times analysis of 'Suspicious Trading' ahead of corporate merger announcements invites readers to "consider Koch Industries' bid for Georgia-Pacific," where anyone with inside knowledge "stood to gain 40 percent in just a few days."
'Angrily Awaiting a Messiah' The Nation's John Ross finds that "U.S. media seem to have forgotten about the imbroglio just south of its border," where a "tiny white elite ... is about to impose its will upon a largely brown and impoverished populace."
A Haaretz columnist reports that Israel's leadership is countering fallout from the war in Lebanon by 'handing out cash' and attempting to generate positive spin, while Alexander Cockburn compares U.S. and Israeli coverage of 'Israel on the Slide.'
The more Brazil's President Lula avoids debates and ignores the press, "the higher he soars in the polls," according to a Washington Post report, while the Los Angeles Times editorializes that Lula illustrates "how quickly power transforms a firebrand."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
As President Bush's claims of progress in New Orleans meet a statistical challenge, a surprise announcement by the Yes Men reignites anger about closed public housing projects in 'a city left to rot.'
The broader lesson of Katrina, according to Chris Mooney, is that decision makers haven't been taking the scientific information they have available seriously, while another analyst finds that the "neoliberal idolatry that the market can take care of everything that needs to be taken care of -- got exposed for the flim-flam that it is."
Naomi Klein considers the implications of the growing "Disaster Capitalism Complex," which feeds off government funds but is beyond the reach of taxpayer control, as another commentator sums up the apparent strategy of the Bush administration as "feed the beast, but blind it."
One of the reasons 'it's not working in Afghanistan,' according to Ann Jones, is "the reconstruction shell game," in which some aid "doesn't even exist except as an accounting item," leading ordinary Afghans to view foreign aid as "something only foreigners enjoy."
The New York Times is observed "adding obscenity to injury and reveling in the spoils" in an article on dirty dancing for the troops in Haditha, amid concerns that massacre hearings "could tarnish the image of the Marine Corps and focus attention on an increasingly unpopular war."
The Independent tallies more than a hundred killings in Iraq on Monday, as a demography professor writing in the Washington Post is caught using misleading comparisons to play down the risks of being a soldier in Iraq and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales visits Iraq to promote "the rule of law."
Four years after he assured VFW conventioneers, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," invoking "Saddam" 29 times, Vice President Cheney joined Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in addressing this year's gathering, before the latter led a charge to the American Legion convention in Utah.
CJR Daily's Paul McLeary describes how "the AP, and sometimes other news organizations, continue to cut the legs out from under their own reporting about the sad carnage in Iraq," and E. J. Dionne predicts that "August 2006 will be remembered as a watershed in the politics of Iraq."
Although 'Everything is always good for the Republicans,' Bloomberg's Al Hunt reports that "Privately, Republican congressional leaders are bracing to lose 20 to 30 House seats ... and to barely hold on to their Senate majority."
In an interview about her documentary, "Mr. Conservative," Barry Goldwater's granddaughter reminds that "Hillary was a Goldwater girl." And Stephanie Miller, whose father was Goldwater's 1964 running mate, tells The Progressive: "I can't even imagine what they'd think today about their party."
With the Bush Administration said to be trying to "immunize past crimes," Thom Hartmann contends that "it's now critical that we reclaim the word 'fascist' to describe current-day Republican policies."
Glenn Greenwald wonders why a right wing blogger who thinks "it would perhaps be understandable if the Israelis started firing on Reuters vehicles" remains on such amiable terms with the media.
Church and State reviews the defeat of a Bush-funded 'conversion for parole program,' and considers its implications for other "faith-based" social service programs, while 'Plan B whoppers from the religious right' are inventoried.
PZ Myers takes former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson to task over his promotion of 'the new Republican alibi for crippling stem cell research,' and the proliferation of new state 'fetal homicide laws' is examined.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's support for a more Christian EU constitution sparks protest, as the pope prepares to 'embrace the theory of intelligent design,' and the Vatican's chief exorcist discusses Pope Pius XII's attempt to exorcise Hitler.
'Is this the cable news we deserve?' asks the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten, describing how Larry King "paused during an interview with JonBenet's dead mother's sister, looked into the camera and asked: 'Do you think there's a media frenzy?'" Plus: 'Karr cleared ... after media frenzy.'
Listen to an interview with the directors of "Brothers of the Head," a mockumentary about conjoined twins fronting a 1970s punk band, which was a big winner at the Edinburgh Film Festival, and read how a "Documentary will pay you $5,000 to start your own religion."
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Juan Cole argues during a "NewsHour" appearance that a sectarian clash in Diwaniyah is not a sign of a stronger Iraqi army but of "a very dangerous trend towards militia-on-militia violence," as 'a flick of a lighter kills scores of gas-looting Iraqis,' at an unguarded pipeline.
Mother Jones unveils 'Lie by Lie,' chronicling the march to war in Iraq, while the Washington Post reports that growing numbers of "sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq's Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed."
With the Director of the Baghdad Museum fleeing in the face of a conservative Shiite takeover of the Iraqi antiquities department, it's argued that efforts to preserve Iraq's ancient heritage, long a source of national pride and unity, may be in vain, but the London Times reports that one historic building could become a new museum.
The 'Secretary of name calling' lashes out in a speech that, it's observed, "wasn't delivered from a position of strength," but as part of what's termed "a Rovian language campaign of tarring all opponents as supporters of Islamic fascism." Plus: "Rummy won't play with Ted."
In 'United States of Cheney,' Robert Kuttner advises the press to focus more on a vice president whose "power is matched only by his penchant for secrecy," and whose official biographer is a connecter of 9/11 and Iraq. Plus: 'Dissecting Dick Cheney"s brilliant mind.'
A lawyer for Richard Armitage has admitted that his client was "the original leaker" of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA officer, but Liberal Oasis reviews what we know about Plamegate and emphasizes "two tracks of leaks."
Although President Bush has rejected a challenge from Iranian President Ahmadinejad to bring it on ... TV, in a head to head debate, Jimmy Carter has accepted an overture to host talks with former Iranian president Khatami.
Reading over old headlines, Michael Winship is struck by the way the hopes of last year have turned to ash, as "Gaza is heading down the tubes," cut off and struggling to survive but overshadowed by Israel's second front.
Helena Cobban highlights an article in Haaretz, which offers up 'Nasrallah for Prime Minster - of Israel,' venturing that "Nasrallah, as opposed to, say, Olmert, is a leader who, when he's made an error in judgment, can openly admit to it."
As President Bush awaits a subpoena "for a wide range of information relating to NSA wiretaps recently ruled illegal, the Senate Judiciary Committee is reported to be preparing a bill to expand wiretapping authority, and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff chides the EU for limiting U.S. access to European airline passenger data.
After the New York Times 'rolls over' and decides to selectively block access to its story on bombing-plot suspects to comply with British law, the paper explains why it made the best possible decision, but there is always a work-around.
As President Bush speaks of his "ek-a-lek-tik" reading list, the 'Bush-the-bookworm narrative' appears to be becoming more aggressive, and more desperate, and David Corn senses that "more and more conservatives are unnerved by Bush's stewardship of the war they wanted."
'The Photograph That Haunts George Allen' documents the senator's relationship with a "hate group" that "went beyond poses and portraits," as he falls behind in the polls, in what is already being touted as "a very, very good chance of a Democratic pickup."
Due to Target's threat to halt expansion in Chicago if the city passes a "living wage ordinance," it is speculated that "Tar-mart,'' might start to receive some of the negative publicity more often directed at rival Wal-Mart, especially given other similarities in company policy.
The "most sensational complaint" against broadcast chief Kenneth Tomlinson, according to the Washington Post, might be that he potentially violated federal embezzlement laws by using government resources "to support his stable of thoroughbred racehorses," one of which was named Karzai.
Spiegel finds growing numbers of conservative politicians and figures on the religious right asking, "What would Jesus drive?," and Bill Berkowitz notes that organizations with signers of a Interfaith Stewardship Alliance report downplaying climate change received funding from ExxonMobil.
A GAO report concludes that "a $1.4 billion anti-drug advertising campaign ... might have convinced some youths that taking illegal drugs is normal," the DEA denies politicking against a Colorado marijuana initiative, and Kenneth Starr leads a team of lawyers pursuing the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus case."
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