|October, 2006 link archive
Monday, October 2, 2006After it comes out that the House leadership had known for a long time that former Rep. Foley, the one-time Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, was a sexual predator, some Republicans issue a qualified call for the resignation of the Speaker and the House Majority Leader.
The GOP struggles to contain the scandal, with stories unraveling so quickly that Josh Marshall calls it "mendacity as performance art," and Speaker Hastert, in a letter requesting an investigation, appears most concerned with finding out who leaked about the cover up.
As Hastert scrubs his Web site of press releases on efforts to "Keep Kids Safe in Cyberspace," White House spokesman Tony Snow attempts to downplay the scandal, telling CNN that "there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails."
"Democracy Now!" interviews Bill Moyers about his upcoming documentary on the Abramoff scandal, which he calls "a swashbuckling spectacle of corruption," the Interior Department's Inspector General critiques its "anything goes" institutional culture, and Democrats try out hypocrisy on abortion as a wedge issue.
Paul Krugman thinks "we're not in Kansas anymore," pointing to signs that the alliance of convenience between "the preachers and the plutocrats" which now holds power in Washington, might just be cracking up, but others caution turnout remains 'the GOP's secret weapon' -- and then there's 'Bush the ATM.'
A July 2001 White House meeting to discuss an imminent attack by al-Qaida, described in Bob Woodward's new book, was never mentioned to the 9/11 Commission, leading a counsel to the Commission to speculate about a cover up, as Secretary of State Rice claims to have 'No memory of CIA warning of attack.'
A Los Angeles Times review of "State of Denial" highlights a "troubling" subplot about Bush's foreign policy tutor Prince Bandar and, with "Kissinger back in the equation," as Woodward emphasizes in his "60 Minutes" interview, the review concludes that Iraq has really been about Vietnam.
The White House musters denials against "State of Denial," and Greg Sargent goes over 'memories of better times between Bush and Bob Woodward,' but questions are raised concerning Woodward's own state of denial about his role in promoting Bush.
Fox rehashes a story about "Gitmo as the ultimate 4 star detention facility," but Moazzam Begg explains how during his years of incarceration, it was 'no holiday in Gitmo,' and 'America's Finest News Source' weighs in on new regulations to limit inhumane interrogation.
In his new book, "The Occupation," Patrick Cockburn paints a picture of a dismal and chaotic Iraq, where "it seemed as if the American military was determined to provoke an uprising," and a veteran of the Algerian war observes that the Pentagon learned little about "why people rebel against occupation" from studying that conflict.
Following the evolution of the "stand up, stand down" formula in Iraq, Thomas Ricks quotes experts who "fear that all the U.S. military is doing is training and arming Iraqis to fight a looming civil war."
A Brookings Institution 'op-chart' in the New York Times that attempts to present a "balance" of good and bad news on Iraq is sharply challenged by Juan Cole, who charges that "many of the statistics" it presents are "phony."
Frank Rich finds the furor over the latest National Intelligence Estimate merely "a sideshow" for an administration to whom "the facts don't matter," and then, in a review of books promoting ideas for Democrats, argues that they have to first "confront their own cave-in to Bush in his rush to war."
While Bush talks up the war in Afghanistan, the Independent reports that British soldiers are dying at "six times the rate" of their counterparts in Iraq," and e-mails and videos from the front lines paint a picture of "the most desperate fighting British troops have seen since the Korean War."
Following up on Borat's attempt to meet with "the mighty U.S. warlord," Maureen Dowd compares the Bush White House to Borat's new movie and finds it "a tossup as to where we can find the most ludicrous, offensive and juvenile behavior." Earlier: NPR interviews the man behind Borat.
September 29 - October 1
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Glenn Greenwald's account of the developing scandal in the GOP finds "the only guy ... who was obviously lying" looking somewhat run down in a CNN interview, and, how much "woulda, coulda, shoulda" can an "over friendly" $100K gift buy?
House Speaker Dennis Hastert dismisses a call by the Washington Times that he resign at once, after the paper editorialized that "either he was grossly negligent ... or he deliberately looked the other way," but other conservative voices blame "today's politically correct culture," and "tolerance and diversity."
There'll be 'No Spinning Past This Scandal,' predicts Eugene Robinson, and it's not quite all quiet in 'La Cage au Foley,' as GOP strategists reportedly express "widespread gloom about the party's prospects," and according to new IM's obtained by ABC News, Foley 'Had Internet sex while awaiting House vote.'
Newsweek's Howard Fineman called the page scandal "a missile aimed straight at the heart of the Republican base," especially in two key constituencies, but another observer warns that 'Foley is a Red Herring.'
Andrew Bacevich describes 'The Cold War Inside the Pentagon,' and a brief excerpt from "State of Denial" quotes CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid as saying in 2005 that "Rumsfeld doesn't have any credibility anymore."
McClatchy reports that 'Rumsfeld, Ashcroft received warning of al Qaida attack before 9/11,' "within a week after then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was told about the threat." Plus: 'Why Did 9/11 Panel Omit "Secret" Meeting?'
As the New York Times reports on a tough battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times recounts a "Night of the Living Dead" in Iraq, during which insurgents "injected themselves with lidocaine, Novocain or adrenaline, allowing them to fight even after receiving mortal wounds."
CJR Daily's Paul McLeary identifies an "alarming trend" of 'Suppressing The Iraq Story,' by "harassing journalists."
An AP report that detainees in Afghanistan have launched a "pre-emptive strike" against President Bush's plan to interrogate detainees, adds that "a judge would have to strike down at least some" of the legislation approved by Congress last week for detainees to prevail.
As Bush says during a campaign swing that 'Democrats shouldn't be trusted,' The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Lieberman has implied that Democratic leaders "risk his defection to the GOP if they strip him of seniority," should he be re-elected.
Following the "surprise passage" of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, as part of a port security bill, the head of the Poker Players Alliance asked: "How could you decide that lotteries are OK, but a game of skill like poker is going to be banned?" Earlier: 'Anti-Gambling Crusade a Bad Bet.'
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
CBS News reports that "while Foley's career ended last Friday, the one in jeopardy now belongs to Hastert," as Republicans reportedly "remain worried that this is a vast moving story." Plus: 'Top GOP staffer forced out for role in page scandal.'
As a 'media battle over predator protection' ensues, Minnesota child safety advocate Patty Wetterling, who is running against 'The Chosen One' for an open U.S. House seat, is airing a TV spot calling for "the immediate expulsion of any congressman involved in this crime and coverup."
After being charged with failing to diversify its guestlist, PBS's "NewsHour" hosts a Pagegate debate between Richard Viguerie and David Frum, with Frum arguing that Hastert has "done a better job of protecting the Democrats than the Republicans."
"Call me old school," says Robert Scheer, "but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment which they have totally botched." Plus: 'What War? We've Got "Pagegate."'
"You do not have to be a Michael Moore-style conspiracy theorist to find it worrisome that a Saudi prince is put in charge of giving a future president his worldview," says one review of "State of Denial," after another concluded that "You don't have to be Michael Moore to find all this unsettling."
Facing South reports that "Unfortunately, we can't fight hurricanes and natural disasters 'over there' so we don't have to fight them 'over here.'"
A Colorado man who spotted Vice President Cheney in a mall, and told him that his Iraq policies were "reprehensible," is suing after being "handcuffed and arrested ... for assaulting the vice president."
Thursday, October 5, 2006
House Speaker Hastert 'vows to hold on,' looking for Democrats to blame, but The Hill reports that the source who leaked Foley's suspect e-mails was a GOP staffer. And a clumsy attempt to "scapegoat" Rep. Reynolds' Chief of Staff may have transformed an ally into "the John Dean of the Foley scandal."
As Fox News sets up for George Soros, The Daily Howler, recalling "The Standard Old Lie about the pundits' old darling, Monica," discovers that "by Tuesday, that original lie was no longer enough. So Hannity played a new number!" Plus: 'Hot Republican Studds.'
Although CJR Daily finds 'no conspiracy' behind a Fox News' party identification "error," Keith Olbermann notes that the mistake occurred despite the fact that the show was taped in advance, and that there was no correction or apology, while Brad Blog says 'at least AP had the decency to issue a correction.'
David Corn reports on "a list going around ... of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay," which Josh Marshall notes may be part of "the last gambit of the GOP House leadership: blaming "a cabal of gay staffers." Or is 'tolerance' the real target?
With a new poll showing that the U.S. public is 'unwilling to pay for more war in Iraq,' attacks in Baghdad kill 13 U.S. soldiers in three days, the highest three-day toll since the start of the war, and the total number of wounded tops 20,000.
As the Iraqi Interior ministry pulls "an entire police brigade" suspected of "connections to kidnappings and executions" for "retraining," journalist Michael Ware explains that "the death squads have become institutionalized," and agrees with Colin Powell that "staying the course" is no solution.
As "The Israel Lobby" is debated and headed for hardcover, Secretary of State Rice said she told Palestinian President Abbas that the U.S. "would redouble our efforts to improve conditions for the Palestinian people."
Observing the details of what Hezbollah is doing in Lebanon, Nir Rosen finds that the organization's success came from "cultivating a culture of resistance" that doesn't fit the Bush administration's "distorting war-on-terror prism" and concludes that this success "shouldn't worry us."
"Democracy Now!" interviews the author of a study of U.S. reconstruction in Afghanistan who finds "contractors making big money for bad work," Nato takes over Afghan security, and a British charity uses muppets to teach Afghan children 'a land mine lesson.'
Although key senators say it has been outlawed by Congress, the White House refuses to explicitly rule out waterboarding, with the apparent implication that "It still won't state publicly that it won't violate the law," and a former senator decries 'The Waterboarding Republic.'
The Republicans on the National Labor Relations Board vote to define down "supervisor," potentially denying millions the right to organize, as Lou Dobbs asks 'Are you a casualty of class war? Earlier: Stephen Colbert on "forced promotions."
Two FCC public hearings on media consolidation "resembled baseball playoff games," reports the AP, "with attendees whooping, clapping wildly and even booing as the five commissioners sat quietly and listened for more than seven hours." Plus: 'The telecom slayers.'
Harper's gets a preview of an article on the recent tribulations of "Brand Kazakhstan" from 'the world's leading Boratologist,' a church offers visitors the opportunity to walk on water, and a new book takes a tour of the "fictitious parallel history of the United States" constructed by the religious right.
Friday, October 6, 2006
CREW, which first provided the FBI with Rep. Foley's suspicious e-mails, accuses the FBI of trying to cover up its own inaction, as CBS and Fox uncritically echo the bureau's claim that not enough information was provided to pursue the matter. CREW's Melanie Sloan discusses the issue.
Rush Limbaugh suggests that the pages were just egging Foley on, and Matt Drudge calls it a "prank gone awry," but ABC News says the evidence of misconduct is "overwhelming," and an ex-page's lawyer calls Drudge's explanation "a piece of fiction."
As talk of cabals loses official support, pages who want to tell their story have a choice of dueling tip lines, one set up by Speaker Hastert, and the other sponsored by ABC News, through which three more former pages have accused Foley of online "sexual approaches."
David Corn reports that copies of "The List" have been released to a variety of social conservative groups with the aim of sparking 'a GOP civil war,' as gay Republicans are said to face a 'calamity.'
With a Time poll providing evidence that 'the Foley sex scandal has hurt GOP election prospects,' President Bush has logged five 30s in a row, but "a review of broadcast and cable news reports" finds that only the best numbers get serious airplay. Plus: Jon Stewart tries to pin down "the President's job."
A blogger in Iowa notices that Snow's voice is "still selling windows" on the radio, via a commercial he cut for a Christian station that aired his talk show, although it's apparently running without the knowledge or permission of Snow himself.
David Neiwert argues that the Foley scandal "helps distract the press" from the 'other scandal' of the "Bush administration's utter incompetence, before and after 9/11," highlighted by recent revelations about Secretary of State Rice's forgotten pre-9/11 al-Qaida briefing. Plus: Rice promotes "great strides" in Jordan.
"Wearing a helmet and a flak jacket and flanked by machine-gun-toting bodyguards," Rice touches down in Baghdad to tout new signs of progress in Iraq where, Michael Ware reports, she is nonetheless "so far from that reality that she couldn't possibly hope to understand it."
In the ongoing battle for Baghdad, former Pentagon analyst Anthony Cordesman says "Securing Baghdad ... won't win. But losing Baghdad will lose," and a CBS report describes an "assembly line of rotting corpses" unclaimed by relatives for fear of the death squads which control the morgues and hospitals.
Dahr Jamail considers the 'casualties not counted' among the more than 100,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, as "videos showing insurgent attacks on American troops in Iraq" migrate to video sharing sites on the Internet. Plus: 'AP learns Gitmo guards brag of beatings.'
In a signing statement attached to this year's Homeland Security bill, President Bush claims the power to edit reports about whether the Homeland Security Department is obeying privacy rules, and objects to competence requirements as unreasonable limits on his presidential power of appointment.
With the Nicaraguan elections just a month away, "U.S. officials once again parade about making threats to Nicaraguan voters," and Oliver North once again sounds the alarm that "Ortega's backers in the region have learned to use the 'democratic process' -- elections -- to their advantage."
"American employers are waging a successful war against wages," Paul Krugman argues, with major employers like Wal-Mart deciding that "their interests are best served by treating workers as a disposable commodity, paid as little as possible and encouraged to leave after a year or two."
Matt Taibbi contends that the pervasive media myth that workers "just need to try harder" like they do in China, promulgated by the likes of "arch-capitalist spokesmodel Thomas Friedman" is just providing cover for "a full rollback here in America of workers' rights."
Jesus Decamp? The New York Times profiles the fear of a "post-Christian America" haunting groups such as Teen Mania, which express concern that "teenagers are abandoning the faith," and try to counter it with huge "stadium extravaganzas."
Monday, October 9, 2006
North Korea apparently set off a nuclear device that was likely timed to coincide with Monday's expected nomination of a South Korean as the new U.N. Secretary General. Think Progress takes a look back at how we got here, following a warning to 'Prepare for the worst.'
Despite worldwide condemnation of the test and concern that it could spark 'an Asian nuclear arms race,' the Washington Post reports that "a number of senior U.S. officials have said privately that they would welcome a North Korean test, regarding it as a clarifying event."
Assassinated in a suspected contract killing that Mikhail Gorbachev termed 'political homicide,' Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya had been about to publish "a story about torture and kidnappings" in Chechnya."
The London Review of Books hosts a debate on Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israel Lobby," but "delicate pressure" blocks historian Tony Judt from speaking on the topic. Earlier: Judt on 'Bush's Useful Idiots.'
Laura Rozen asks whether the Iranian exile leader that Richard Perle wants America to know about might be the 'Iranian Chalabi,' and Chris Hedges predicts 'a disaster of biblical proportions' if plans for a "callous" war with Iran "conceived by zealots" continue on course.
Although Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld still finds Afghanistan on a "hopeful and promising" trajectory, NATO's top commander there warns that the country is approaching "a tipping point," and critics identify "what is excluded" from Rumsfeld's assessment that points in the other direction.
With U.S. casualties rising in Iraq sharply, the number wounded is said to be "a better measure of the intensity of operations" than the number killed, while hundreds of Iraqi police are poisoned in southern Iraq, adding to sn already heavy toll. Plus: 'Gunmen kill brother of Iraq's VP.'
"It is as if the Bushes and Blairs do not live on this planet any more," writes Robert Fisk, incredulous at how oblivious they remain to the depth of anger their policies have generated, as 'the war room machinations of the White House' are compared to scenes out of "Desperate Housewives."
Vice President Cheney is busy peddling "a grim message" as he works the McFundraiser circuit, headlining 111 fundraisers in the last two years, but according to Bob Woodward, Cheney found time to curse at him about 'State of Denial.'
With support for GOP control of Congress 'crumbling,' according to Congressional Quarterly, and the New Jersey Senate Race growing more critical, the Republican candidate is repeatedly hammered for his ties to the president.
As Sunday talk shows focus on what Paul Krugman calls "paranoid" claims of democratic involvement in the Foley scandal, the right continues its round up of "the usual suspects," and Alexander Cockburn ponders 'Wargasms and Orgasms.'
Contradicting the timeline issued by Speaker Hastert, a congressman acknowledges seeing Foley's inappropriate messages in 2000, a liaison with an ex-page comes to light, and attention increasingly focuses on "Foley's after-hours visit to the pages' dorm."
In the latest of a series of scandals to hit Sen. George Allen, an AP review of his financial dealings finds that he failed to disclose stock options, and a New York Times story suggesting that Republican incumbents like Allen are unlikely to suffer Foley "fallout" among conservative Christians appears to be "missing" something.
As a new Pew poll finds that 52% of American Pentecostals believe "the government should take special steps to make the U.S. a Christian country," the Times reports on how religion trumps regulation, and how legislative and judicial "safe havens ... shield religious employers of all faiths from most employee lawsuits."
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
As questions are raised about the success of North Korea's nuclear test, the French are the first to 'drop the f-bomb on the NORKs,' but Kim Jong Il is credited with creating "a new strategic reality in Asia," which may not, however, have quite the consequences he intended.
Former Sen. Sam Nunn faults the administration for starting "on the wrong end" of the "axis of evil," Sen. Reid finds some choice words for the president, Juan Cole is struck by "similarities" in the way Bush handles crises, and Fred Kaplan looks at 'four scenarios' for the future -- all bad.
Norman Solomon notes that the history of U.S. hypocrisy on the nuclear issue makes words of condemnation ring hollow, and NPR is credited with getting half the story right on North Korea. Plus: When you play Defcon, "everybody dies."
Expressing pleasure at the nomination of Ban Ki-Moon as U.N. Secretary General, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton crows that "the winds of change ... have started to rise," but Ban may not entirely be Bolton's creature and he is apparently not a Moonie, as some had speculated.
The U.N. Special Rapporteur for Torture reports that more than 100 people are being tortured every day in Iraq, and the Iraqi Women's Network describes the emergence of "collateral rape," aimed at "the settling of scores in the sectarian war."
A former NPR reporter who covered the invasion of Afghanistan talks to "Democracy Now!" about her new book and the stories she couldn't tell at NPR, and human rights organizations condemn the murder over the weekend of two German journalists in Afghanistan, where violence against journalists has been markedly increasing.
In the third installment of its series examining the state of church-state separation, the New York Times details how "organizations of all faiths stretch their concept of mission far beyond traditional worship" for tax breaks, as Talk to Action continues its investigation of what 'the pizza man delivers.'
Katherine Harris advertises omens of victory found in a straw poll, Tom Kean turns his back on a mother with a son in Iraq, and Tucker Carlson confesses that "the elites in the Republican Party have pure contempt for the evangelicals who put their party in power."
With no end to the 'drip, drip drip of the Foley-Hastert Scandal' in sight, David Corn suspects that Republicans might be prompted to return to their criticism of "the so-called Velvet Mafia," while John Gibson hopefully suggests that North Korea's test "balances out the bad news" from the scandal.
Almost 60% of respondents to a Newsweek poll "believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam," and a New York Times/CBS poll finds that 83% "thought that Mr. Bush was either hiding something or mostly lying when he discussed how the war in Iraq was going."
As Sen. George Allen and challenger James Webb engage in a 'Slashing, Wide-Ranging Debate,' the AP reports on an "unusual move" that finds the RNC "investing heavily in television advertising in Senate races in Ohio, Tennessee and Missouri in what officials describe as a firewall strategy designed to ... maintain the GOP majority."
After laughing at Rep. Ray LaHood's examples of House Speaker Dennis Hastert's "strong leadership," Bob Schieffer expressed amazement that President Bush would issue a signing statement saying he could ignore minimum requirements for the hiring of future heads of FEMA.
An editor at Reuters suddenly finds himself without a job after his bosses see a copy of "Brainless," his new book on Ann Coulter, but what exactly happened remains unclear. Plus: Ex-CIA operative told "we will have no more books."
"Nothing says 'I am ashamed of you my government' more than 'Stewart/Colbert '08," quips Jon Stewart, dispelling a rumor that he has designs on the Oval Office, even as he continues to garner praise and media attention as a serious journalist.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A new study finding that 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the war, is dismissed by one foreign policy analyst as "politics ... not analysis," but a public-health researcher who reviewed it calls the methodology "excellent."
"I don't consider it a credible report," said President Bush, adding, "I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to -- you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate."
With ammunition "cooking off" in Baghdad and Tuesday's toll including 11 killed in a bakery bombing, McClatchy' correspondents find the story of one street, where only 23 of 140 shops remain open, "emblematic of the collapse of society in Baghdad... where more stores are closed than open on most streets."
Sen. Olympia Snowe calls staying the course in Iraq "neither an option nor a plan," and Slate's John Dickerson contemplates 'Baker's game,' asking, 'Is he hurting Bush now to help him later?' Plus: 'The Peters Principle' and 'Calling Bob in Baghdad.'
As it's reported that the U.S. Army has plans to keep 140,000 troops in Iraq through 2010, the National Security Archive has found that more than one in four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have filed disability claims.
"Like a periodic visit by an especially annoying relative from overseas, Condoleezza Rice was here again," laments Ha'aretz's Gideon Levy, "fruitless talks and flowery declarations, pressure and promises, discussions and decisions - and nothing has happened."
Sen. Orrin Hatch declares that "if Condoleezza Rice says something, you better believe it," and John Nichols recalls comments about North Korea by candidate Kerry that "barely earned a day of attention from the drive-by media."
As 'McCain challenges Clinton on North Korea,' a New Yorker profile speculating on Rupert Murdoch's future political allegiances, cites Lord Palmerston's description of 19th-century England to describe Murdoch's empire: "it has no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies, only permanent interests."
"The Republican leadership is lying when they claim that Democrats have engineered an 'October Surprise,'" says Ken Silverstein. "Harper's was offered the story almost five months ago and decided, after much debate, not to run it here on Washington Babylon." Plus: 'Is PageGate the Midterm Clincher? Not Exactly.'
After it was reported that House Speaker Dennis Hastert met with an evangelist "who is best known as a spiritual adviser to Charles Taylor," and who hoped to persuade Hasert to step down, TPM Muckraker has been trying to make sense of the meeting.
The National Journal's Charlie Cook sees 'Grim days for the GOP,' Hotline discovers that "Competitive races are popping up in some very surprising places," and just-released lobbying records suggest contacts between Jack Abramoff and Rep. Richard Pombo, who is 'waiting for your call.'
The New York Times reports that a previously unknown group called Americans for Honesty on Issues "is financing television advertisements against nine Democratic House candidates," accusing them "of carpetbagging, coddling illegal immigrants, being soft on crime and advocating cutting off money for troops in Iraq."
The Sunlight Foundation celebrates 'A Red Letter Day for Transparency,' and PressThink's Jay Rosen reviews Sunlight's new tool that "will enable citizen journalists to find out how many members of the House of Representatives have their spouses on the payroll."
As it's argued that "you know an administration by the linguistic company it keeps," Dana Milbank reports back from a "Conference on School Safety," at which President Bush "moderated an hour-long discussion about the rash of school shootings in the past week without once mentioning the word 'guns.'"
Politkovskaya's murder and Google's acquisition of YouTube are invoked to make the case for 'Indispensable Old Media,' and Dangerous Assignments tells the story of an Al-Jazeera cameraman who has been held at Guantanamo for five years without charge or trial.
October Surmise Mike Malloy, who recently resurfaced on MSNBC, said he hopes to be back behind the mic "before the end of the month," and promised to reveal "the backstory to our untimely dismissal from Air America."
Thursday, October 12, 2006
As a U.S. military spokesman acknowledges that violence in Baghdad is at an "all time high," President Bush dismisses the results of the "Lancet" study, scoffing, "600,000, or whatever they guessed at." Plus: 'Top Ten GOP Excuses Regarding the Casualty Estimates.'
"Democracy Now!" interviews one of the authors of the study, another public health scientist concludes that it is "the most reliable information we have about this subject," and Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell wonders why the AP is "playing up the view that the report is nothing but 'politics.'"
Robert Parry says Bush's latest press conference offered "the country a peek into his imaginary world, a bizarre place impenetrable by facts and logic, where falsehoods, once stated, become landmarks and where Bush's 'gut' instinct, no matter how misguided, is the compass for finding one's way."
With the number of deaths already driving toward the carnage Juan Cole had predicted following a U.S. withdrawal, Helena Cobban points out that the numbers have been "growing steeply throughout every year the U.S. has stayed in Iraq," and argues that it is time to break with the "pottery barn rule" and get out.
As "a collector of the dead" pulls unreported bodies out of the Tigris, a Guardian reporter comments that "After a while the numbers no longer seem to matter - only the impact on a society of a steady and encroaching tide of killing."
Bitter "about the tiny percentage of the American population that is shouldering the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," a veteran complains, "I hear people say things like, 'We lost a lot of good people over there.' I sort of snap around and say, 'We? You didn't lose anybody.'"
Looking back at the way the prospect of mass death in Iraq was dismissed by pundits like Christopher Hitchens, Norman Solomon remarks that "journalism like that ends up putting cosmetics on death," as the New Yorker publishes what Alexander Cockburn terms a "fawning" profile of the former leftist's political conversion.
James Wolcott singles out an upcoming book by Dinesh D'Souza that blames 'the cultural left' for 9/11 as worthy of "special mistreatment," as he catalogues its errors of logic and attribution, while The American Prospect's Charles Pierce adds evidence of plagiarism to the critique.
This year's Nobel prize for literature goes to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. The "divisive winner" had recently been tried for "insulting Turkishness" by speaking out about the Armenian genocide. A bill making it a crime to deny that genocide is moving forward in France.
Jonathan Cook dissects the documentary "Will Israel Bomb Iran?", and explores why the BBC would run such a "blatant piece of propaganda ... that may soon propel us towards the 'clash of civilizations' so longed for by Israel's leadership."
The AP headline 'President Bush says U.S. won't attack North Korea,' is criticized for failing to communicate the qualifiers surrounding his statement, and Bush's use of the word "diplomacy" to describe his approach to either North Korea or Iraq is challenged.
Greg Sargent explains how 'talk radio hosts and callers' are 'getting their talking points straight from the GOP,' while TPM Muckraker queries the persistence of an AP writer who roams "the wide ocean of Congressional corruption in a Captain Ahab-like hunt for Reid's ethical missteps."
Media Matters compiles a list of "the top myths, falsehoods, and baseless assertions" of the Foley scandal, Karl Rove is reported to have threatened Foley's future lobbying career if he didn't stick it out in Congress for two more years," and James Ridgeway considers five other scandals that could put Republicans in jail.
A former deputy director in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives who last year wrote about the "snoring indifference" among Republicans to promoting the faith-based agenda, now reveals, in a book scheduled to be released after his interview on "60 Minutes" this Sunday, how Karl Rove's office referred to evangelical leaders as "the nuts."
As 'Democrats aim at the red,' in their attempt to take control of the Senate, Democratic challenger McCaskill attacks Sen. Talent for his support of "President Bush's stubborn foreign policy," and wins a debate according to a local news poll. Plus: Is Talent just a rubber stamp?
Nurses For Governor? "Sandwiched in between a supermodel and a Las Vegas circus act," Arnold Schwarzenegger squeezes in a free campaign stop on the "Tonight Show," where he tried to distance himself from the president, but California nurses 'turn tables' on him.
'Supersize nation' With the U.S. population expected to top 300 million in the next week or so, questions of sustainability are raised, and a professor of demography comments that "we are beginning to be crushed under the weight of our own quality-of-life degradation."
Friday, October 13, 2006
After dropping a political bombshell, in "one of the most outspoken interviews ever given by a serving soldier," General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of Britain's army, says he never meant to signal a rift.
As a bipartisan panel reportedly 'Rules Out Iraq Victory,' co-chairs James Baker and Lee Hamilton appeared on the PBS "NewsHour" to explain why their report won't be made public until after the midterm elections. Plus: 'Beyond the coup rumors, options for Iraq.'
Arguing that 'The numbers do add up' in the latest Lancet study of mortality in Iraq, despite President Bush's "supermarket check-out moment," Daniel Davies notes that "death certificates were checked and found in 92 percent of cases."
'A Soldier's Tale' After traveling to Fort Ashby, West Virginia, the American Prospect's Tara McKelvey is granted the first prison interview with Lynndie England, who offers up descriptions of pre-Abu Ghraib games with "Naked Chem-Light Tuesday" and a cat's head on a soda bottle.
In what is described as "the most deadly attack on members of the Iraqi news media since the 2003 invasion," 'Gunmen Kill 11' during "the first invasion of the offices of a media outlet," although 'U.K. minister urged Al-Jazeera bombing.'
Paul Krugman sees "a huge Democratic storm surge ... heading toward a high Republican levee," but Rigorous Intuition's Jeff Wells muses that "perhaps it's the election itself that distracts Americans ... away from the real war."
After Keith Olbermann reported that David Kuo's "Tempting Faith" quotes Karl Rove demanding, "Just Get Me A F---ng Faith-Based Thing. Got it?", a Los Angeles Times article on the book, quotes the "founding father" of the conservative movement quipping, "If Republicans win, it will prove God is a Republican, since it will take a miracle."
In addition to "targeting the personal lives of Republicans," Democrats are said to be 'poised to capture U.S. House' while 'Inching Closer In The Senate, Too' -- and Richard Viguerie has a new "message for conservatives."
Max Blumenthal prophesies 'The Coming Gay Republican Purge,' Senate investigators allege that conservative nonprofits "appear to have perpetrated a fraud" by "selling their clout to lobbyist Jack Abramoff," and Rep. Bob Ney pleads guilty to bribery charges.
Jeb's New Niche After Florida's governor reportedly hid in a closet to avoid Pittsburgh protesters while in Pennsylvania to campaign for Sen. Rick Santorum, he announced that it was "actually a boiler room" and that anyway he is "more burly" than the protesters.
The Black Commentator's Bill Fletcher, Jr. analyzes 'Race, the Democratic Party, and Electoral Strategy,' urging progressives not to "miss the moment."
In her 'Final Dispatch,' Novaya Gazeta's Anna Politkovskaya describes the "official conveyor belt" that turns out "heartfelt confessions" in Chechnya -- and the reporter's murder is said to mean that 'Nobody is safe anymore.'
Rolling Stone profiles a 'Killer Reloaded,' after a reviewer notes that "at seventy, he could eat your liver for breakfast, sleep with your kid sister and then burn down your house after a light lunch."
Monday, October 16, 2006
Declaring the pitfalls of the 'Gay Old Party' to be "as irresistible as a Moliere farce," Frank Rich says of the Bush Administration, "it's bad theater, but you can't close it" -- yet P. J. O'Rourke believes that "Republicans should be grateful for their lying, thieving scum."
President Bush is so 'Upbeat About GOP Prospects' in the midterm elections that he is 'Said to Have No Plan if GOP Loses,' as it's reported that "The White House dismissed the premise of a question regarding how Bush might work with a Speaker Pelosi."
Trifecta? GOP hopes of holding the Senate are reportedly focused on Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia, while Congressional hopefuls in 'America's Other War Party' are said to be exploiting a "beauty gap."
After Sen. Joe Lieberman went blank when asked if the country would be "better off" if Democrats regain the House, Paul Krugman argued that "party control is everything." Plus: A GOP rival's 'Breakthrough Interview.'
In an adaptation from "Tempting Faith," which is racing up the charts, Kuo explains why he decided to stop "pretending that our office had been living up to its commitments." Plus: 'Easy marks for a White House con.'
Court Gesture As it's reported that the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein et al will be announced on November 5, the deposed dictator once again takes pen to paper, issuing an open letter in which he declares that Iraq's "liberation is at hand."
Although "making an atomic bomb isn't for dummies -- or for sissies," a New York Times report cites estimates that "as many as 40 more countries have the technical skill, and in some cases the required material, to build a bomb." Or is it only 30 more?
In a debate with ACLU president Nadine Strossen, televised by C-Span, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia warned ACLU members that "Someday you're going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and you're going to regret what you've done."
Brent Budowsky predicts that "Air America or its successor will emerge in a far more powerful and strong position than ever," as a "local" radio host is busted for phoning it in to the Twin Cities from Columbus, Ohio.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
"Everybody Knows" Analyzing the muted press response to recent Iraqi death estimates, Greg Mitchell invokes Leonard Cohen, as White House spokesman Tony Snow says "I don't know" whether the U.S. is winning in Iraq, where it's predicted, 'The worst ... is yet to come.'
The 30 investigators in 'CSI: Baghdad' reportedly visit 10 to 15 crime scenes a week in their efforts to solve 3,000 homicides per month, and American Leftist wonders whether Baghdad Burning's Riverbend is "among the living."
GOP candidate Alan Schlesinger 'Steals the Show' in a Connecticut Senatorial debate, and is said to "beat Joe Lieberman like a drum," while a 'Giant-Killer' can't get asked "one direct question about ... the war in Iraq."
'Conflicting Guesses' on the identity of the '300 Millionth American' include speculation that the new arrival may be an illegal immigrant, and "President Bush has no events planned" to celebrate the milestone.
The nonprofit status of a Minnesota church may be at risk after a campaign speech by Congressional candidate Michelle Bachmann, a self-described "fool for Christ" who wants to "look at the science" on global warming, and who now trails opponent Patty Wetterling, according to a new poll.
"Wake up and smell the burning planet," says Bill Maher, decrying the attention paid to the Mark Foley story and describing America as "A red-herring culture always scared by the wrong things." Plus: "u r starting to creep me out."
Former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford cops a plea, admitting he owned stocks in companies regulated by the agency, from which he resigned just over one year ago, before returning to the private sector.
Vice President 'Cheney Feels the Love' -- and is the object of a 6-year old girl's obsession-- in a New York Times account of a trip to the heartland, while Virginia vets are described as 'Deserting the GOP,' and a predecessor of Cheney's is seen dogging it.
'Bush Moves to Firm Up Support' as 'Talk Radio Wavers' and an 'Unhinged Sean Hannity' "can't take it any more," but Rupert Murdoch predicts that Democratic gains in the midterm elections will have people "watching Fox News like crazy."
Rolling Stone offers a sneak peek at Matt Taibbi's 'The Worst Congress Ever,' Radar goes bi-partisan with its list of 'the 10 biggest Fools on the Hill,' but misses a few, and Gary Leupp offers some tips on 'Debating the Hardcore Deluded.'
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Commemorating 'The Day Habeas Corpus Died,' Human Rights Watch argues that "numerous provisions" of the Military Commissions Act "run counter to the protection of human rights," as the Justice Department moves immediately to dismiss lawsuits.
The Z.O.A. has condemned Secretary of State Rice for giving "the most pro-Palestinian Arab, anti-Israel speech in memory by a major U.S. Administration official." Earlier: 'Chris Wallace ignores 20,000 e-mails demanding he ask Rice about the U.S.S. Cole.'
Kim Jong-il made his first public appearance since last week's nuclear test, attending "a performance of songs praising him," according to North Korea's official news agency. The event was elsewhere described as "reminiscent of the days of the Third Reich." Plus: 'Last U.S. defector in N.Korea feels at home.'
With 'Electricity levels In Baghdad at lowest level since U.S. invasion,' and 'Ten Americans Killed in Iraq in One Day,' Vice President Cheney tells Rush Limbaugh that the new Iraqi government is "doing remarkably well," a comment not widely reported.
Although William Arkin is skeptical of numbers which he says assume that "pre-war Iraq had a better mortality rate than any other country in the Middle East," Xymphora argues that Iraq Body Count, which responds to the Lancet study, "now finds itself helping the right-wingers."
The Army is reportedly considering whether to continue bomb school training for a soldier whose claim -- that both she and her son enlisted after learning that "my daughter had been shot in the back during an IED attack in Iraq" -- appears to have been fabricated.
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller told a Michigan audience that "the American media let the country down in its reporting before the war" -- though it's the Times's current reporting that "may have gone to the wrong state."
With calls for a 'Pink Purge' of the GOP's "big tent" circulating, Corey Robin analyzes the "synergy between national security and conservative anxiety" over "a government bent on making everyone gay."
Maureen Dowd finds the Straight Talk Express "swerving again" after some vodka shots, and a "Ghetto Fabulous" costume party thrown by University of Texas law students elicits some testimony regarding the official response.
With 'Payback Time' approaching, Matt Taibbi suggests that "the young Democrat sitting next to [Rep. Charlie] Rangel who looks at a Republican like a Crip lining up a Blood might be the future of politics generally." Plus: "Cindy, come back."
Anticipating 'What Democrats Would Do' if they re-take the Congress, Harold Meyerson sees "a first tier of legislation they mean to bring to a vote almost immediately." But, are they still capable of 'Snatching Defeat from Victory's Jaws'?
While 'Academia Signs Up' to help the Bush Administration 'Track Down Dissent,' some Texas school children say they are being taught how to "just storm him and start hitting him with stuff" if a school shooter shows up in their classroom.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Baghdad Burning's Riverbend resurfaces to ponder The Lancet study, as it's argued that "655,000 is not a guess" but rather "superb" science from "the world's most prestigious medical journal," whose editor discussed reaction to the story in a podcast.
President Bush 'finally utters the "V" word,' telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos that a column by Thomas Friedman "could be right" and that "the al Qaeda" could be trying to influence U.S. politics with "the jihadist equivalent of the Tet offensive."
With "at least 23 militias" reportedly 'Splintering Into Radicalized Cells,' and the 'Endgame' said to be approaching, a U.S. military spokesman admits that a campaign against Baghdad insurgents has "not met our overall expectations."
As U.S. troops experience "the deadliest month ... since the siege of Fallujah," Vet centers are reportedly bracing for expanding caseloads, "as more and more former troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan ... come looking for help."
'The blue wave of the future is clear,' according to the National Journal's Charlie Cook, who says that it's "worth keeping an eye on" the race between Arizona's Sen. Jon Kyl and challenger Jim Pederson, "if Republican turnout truly goes through the floor."
As Connecticut Senatorial candidates ride the 'Debate Train to Crazy Town,' a new poll foresees 'Big Democratic wins' in the midterms -- 'probably both houses,' says Dick Morris -- but a call comes forth to 'Go For It, Mr. President.'
With Bill Clinton touting "the common good" over "divisive politics," Digby argues that "modern bipartisanship can be simply defined as Democrats repeatedly getting taken to the cleaners by Republicans."
Brad Blog finds the New York Times downgrading potential voting 'Chaos' to 'Woes,' Ohio voters are warned to "get ready" after a voter roll purge, and the AP reports that 'Doubts About Vote Count Strong in U.S.'
A federal judge has given the Bush administration one week to release information about who visited Vice President Cheney at his office and personal residence.
After FBI Director Robert Mueller asked Internet service providers to 'track users,' a Globe and Mail columnist ponders similar efforts to "consider on-line Canadians guilty until proven innocent." And, meet the new flaw, same as the old flaw.
An extraordinary rendition victim from Canada was unable to accept a human rights award in person, because despite having been abducted, tortured and exonerated, he remains on the no-fly list and reportedly 'still fears U.S. arrest.'
Along with Vanessa Redgrave, who accepted the award for Maher Arar, another special guest at the ceremony was heroic Katrina survivor Charmaine Neville, also to be found doing the "Second Line" on a "New Orleans Playground."
Friday, October 20, 2006
With "stay the course" coming to the end of the road, and the alternatives "unpalatable," the temptations of a coup are considered, and Thomas Ricks raises the prospect of Iraqis finding "a younger, tougher, more vicious person than Saddam Hussein, who unites the country under an anti-American banner."
The Independent reports that the "disintegration of Iraq's health service" accounts for as many as half the civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion, with hospitals themselves 'a battleground in the bloody civil war.'
Left I on the News notes that media reports fail to mention, let alone count, any resistance fighters killed by the U.S. military in Iraq, as a report on the 'government death squads ravaging Baghdad' raises questions "over what the U.S. forces have done - or not done - to encourage such killings."
An AP report that "thousands of U.S. troops are being barred from overseas duty because they are so deep in debt they are considered security risks," leads Needlenose to wonder how many soldiers' lives eBay has saved, while Steve Gilliard asks why the families of American servicemen are 'begging for food.'
As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proclaims the Defense Secretary 'inspired by God,' Jonathan Chait recounts how an early wave of "Rumsfeld hagiography" has largely given way to a view of the Secretary as "a figure of diabolical incompetence, a bungler of world-historic proportions."
Jonah Goldberg declares the Iraq war "a worthy mistake," while insisting that this is no vindication of the antiwar crowd and no reason to "bug out," and Robert Kagan produces 'Nothing New, in 3,800 Words.'
John Yoo celebrates of the passage of the Military Commissions Act as a victory over judicial oversight, and the New York Times is accused of wrongly suggesting that the law does not apply to Americans, but a BBC survey of worldwide attitudes toward torture is refashioned into 'The Sheer Damn Decency Index'
According to CBS's Dick Meyer, this is not another "Seinfeld election," but perhaps "a Survivor election," where "a bunch of people will get voted off the island," and if this happens, we may be headed for "a tumultuous couple of years" or even a "constitutional crisis" as "check and balance is introduced for the first time to Bush."
The New York Times highlights the "pre-criminations" of the conservative "blame game," and James Dobson is reported to be having difficulty motivating his followers for the elections," but the GOP still hopes to 'scare up big voter turnout.'
Fox News is accused of repeatedly airing "false and misleading Republican campaign advertisements" that were "deemed inappropriate for use by any GOP campaign," including an anti-abortion ad, funded through America's PAC that calls Black women "hos."
The Bush administration's celebration of "an evolving economy" is countered by stories from "the new world of the middle class--haunted by debt, stalked by layoffs, pinched by vanishing pensions and health benefits, and forced into ever more contingent forms of work as 'real' jobs give way to benefit-free contract work."
In 'Incentives for the Dead,' Paul Krugman contends that recent scandals over backdated executive stock options show that executives were lavished with gigantic paychecks not as a reward for exceptional performance but "for simply showing up at the office," and "in some cases even that wasn't required."
As protests continue to grow over alleged ADL pressure to deny Tony Judt, a prominent critic of Israel, a platform to speak, a manifesto of liberalism calls Judt's critique of American liberal collaboration with Bush's foreign policy, "nonsense on stilts," but questions are raised about the manifesto's own priorities.
The greening of Wal-Mart gets prominent liberals lining up in praise, even as 'Wal-Mart tightens the squeeze on workers,' and unions face major obstacles in trying to organize its workers. Plus: 'The EPA solves global warming.'
House Appropriations Chair Jerry Lewis, who is under investigation for corruption, fires "60 investigators who had worked for his committee rooting out fraud," but the FBI is 'forced to triple' the number of squads investigating lobbyists, "because so much wrongdoing is being uncovered."
'Absurdistan with the Bomb' Kim Jong Il reportedly tells China "sorry about the nuclear test" and says he has no plan for future tests, but North Korea still remains a country whose 5,000 year history has been replaced with "one amnesia-inflicting spell called 'Juche.'"
Bill Berkowitz finds Jerry Falwell in his 70s focused on building "his everlasting legacy" and still wielding "formidable political clout," Marvin Olasky touts "biblical lenses" for journalistic objectivity, and a contest has diverse artists "coloring in" Pat Robertson.
Monday, October 23, 2006
With October proving to be the 'deadliest month' for U.S. troops, and Iraq 'coming apart at the seams,' policy over Iraq appears to have come so "dramatically unravelled," that political leaders are openly considering the possibility that the war is lost, and the zeitgeist in Washington begins to shift.
A State Department official, who has been the 'voice of America' on Arab media, now says he "misspoke" when he told Al Jazeera in Arabic that the U.S. acted with "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq, but Marc Lynch contends that, in context, he was saying exactly the right thing.
In what Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell calls "the most revealing little (eight-minute) video I've seen yet on our country's preposterous position in Iraq," American soldiers are shown "raiding the offices of the Iraqi Army, their allies, the people they are training."
"We've never been stay the course," claims President Bush, even though he used those words repeatedly. He also appears to propose the kind of timetable for the Iraqi government that he forcefully opposed on numerous previous occasions. Plus: 'The end of Maliki?'
As Bush administration officials are reported to have been 'rooting for North Korea nuclear weapons test,' the New York Times contemplates the persistence of 'radioactive nationalism' on the Korean peninsula, and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists weighs advancing the hand on its iconic clock.
Israel now admits using phosphorus bombs in combat during the Lebanon war, but maintains that that the use was legitimate, while a year after its withdrawal from Gaza, Israel is accused of failing to allow the development of "a viable Gazan economy," leaving the population there "living a failure."
Bush's continued optimism about Republican election prospects is not shared by many in his party, or by his own father, with potential losses coming not just in the House and Senate but even, for the first time since 1984, in "the number of state capitals where one party enjoys complete political control."
A contrarian article prompts the observation that "The most obvious way to tell that Barron's has borrowed some of the Ken Mehlman Kool-Aid is their predicted victory for Mark Kennedy in the Minnesota Senate race against Amy Klobuchar."
In a critical Senate race, the RNC uncorks "a sleazy blonde-bimbo" attack ad targeting Sen. Harold Ford Jr., which is then effectively denounced by his Republican opponent, who thus appears to be "above the fray," but this is not the first time Playboy has been invoked--and denounced--in this campaign.
The Los Angeles Times finds that politicians running for office had better run from Stephen Colbert, who has been called 'the perfect spokesman for a political season in which everything is imploding.' Plus: Are yard signs running away from the party?
Paul Krugman urges Democrats not to 'make nice" if they win, arguing that bipartisanship makes no sense "until or unless the GOP decides that polarization doesn't work as a political strategy," but Nancy Pelosi tells 60 Minutes "impeachment is off the table."
Amid growing speculation that Sen. Barack Obama will run for president, Frank Rich cautions that he is not 'a miracle elixir,' and has to move beyond being "all things to all people," and demonstrate some real leadership "before the party of terminal timidity and equivocation changes him." Earlier: 'Obama's Game.'
In the New York Review of Books, Bill McKibben argues that in confronting global environmental catastrophe, "the technology we need most badly is the technology of community," while the 'president struggles to rebrand himself' in response to environmental crisis, and Sen. Norm Coleman proposes redefining carbon dioxide.
A former FCC chair belittles the fight over net neutrality as a battle between "the extremely wealthy" and "the merely wealthy," but a conflict of interest may underlie this characterization, and a current FCC commissioner warns of the dangers of greater media consolidation.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
New polling finds 'Democrats closer to taking Senate control,' but while "the war in Iraq is the No. 1 issue on voters' minds" in all but one of the eight states polled, 'In U.S. election debates, foreign affairs seem far away.'
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad announced that "Iraq leaders have agreed to a timeline," speaking at a Green Zone news conference during which "A power failure ... briefly cut off the broadcast of the remarks." Plus: 'U.S. troops mistakenly kill four Iraqi firemen.'
Robert Parry spells out 'How Democrats Might Blow It,' warning that "nothing motivates the American Right more than the chance of forcing Democrats to choke on their confetti and to gag on their champagne."
A civic organization claims to have hacked Chicago's database of 1.35 million voters, and an op-ed warns of a 'Crisis Waiting To Happen,' although voting problems are said to be "getting short shrift" in media coverage.
As Lyndon LaRouche supporters disrupt Connecticut's Senate debate, the Green Party withdraws its candidate to unseat Rep. Christopher Shays, throwing its support to Democrat Diane Farrell, who also won an important newspaper endorsement.
Eugene Robinson finds the White House manning "a rhetorical Maginot Line that was overrun long ago," while the New York Times acknowledges that the paper's strategy to 'Contain the Iraq Disaster' involves "the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass."
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Contradicting an "unremittingly grim" report on Iraq by a government-funded agency, President Bush said, "Absolutely, we are winning" in Iraq, during a press conference in which he also accused Democrats of "dancing in the end zone."
Dick Morris urges Bush to 'focus on Korea' to "distract the country from Iraq" and "save himself from two years of subpoenas and hearings." Earlier: 'Cold-War Mentality Skews Coverage of North Korea.'
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has complained to the Pentagon that CNN embeds are covering the war in Iraq "as a disinterested observer, as if this was a sporting event." As for the vice chair, 'Stick a Fork In Him, He's Weldon.'
It's claimed that a campaign ad by Michael J. Fox is "as disturbing ... as a hostage video from Iraq," while the intro to a GOP response ad by James "The Passion of the Christ" Caviezel "seemed either garbled or to be in Aramaic." Plus: Rush Limbaugh sends in the Jersey Girls.
Spiegel nominates its candidate for 'Globalization's Loser,' but Reuters reports that "poverty has slipped off the agenda" for the midterm elections, as politicians find it "risky to promote a national goal of helping the poor."
Following "testimony" by Congressional candidate Michele Bachmann, that "the Lord says: 'Be submissive, wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands,'" a letter to the Star Tribune asks: 'Is Marcus Bachmann running?'
Thursday, October 26, 2006
'Afghan skull photos' are said to ''put Germany to shame,' as it's reported that "German intelligence agents personally witnessed the torture of detainees at a secret U.S. prison in Europe two weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks."
As 'Iraq's Fate' reportedly 'Silences Rights Activists' in Syria, Zbigniew Brzezinski foresees the possibility of a "blame and run" strategy if the 'Benchmarks' mentioned 13 times by President Bush in his press conference aren't met.
Sidney Blumenthal argues that Bush's press conference was a "preemptive repudiation" of a post-election report from James Baker's Iraq Study Group, citing the views of Richard Haass as "a surrogate for Baker's." Plus: 'Rove would never allow it.'
Acknowledging that the U.S. has employed water-boarding, Vice President Cheney calls it "a no-brainer for me," after an interviewer characterized the technique as "a dunk in water." And Paul Craig Roberts asks: 'If Enron's Skilling gets 24 years in prison, how many should Bush and Cheney get?'
Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell eavesdrops on 'Bush Among Friends,' as the White House releases a transcript of the meeting, during which Bush said of the war in Iraq: "I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back."
With active duty U.S. troops mounting 'An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq,' MSNBC's Keith Olbermann interviewed a U.S. Marine Sergeant about the effort, which was initiated by a Navy seaman stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
The 'Furor' over one campaign ad, which "makes the Willie Horton ad look like child's play," and 'belittles Canada as a global freeloader,' is said to have put RNC chairman Ken Mehlman "in a difficult position." Plus: Dan Savage offers up a suggestion for how Rep. Harold Ford Jr. should respond.
With Senate candidate Bob Corker now pounding the jungle telegraph, and a new RNC ad on Ford's "Hollywood Values" meeting with resistance in Tennessee, ABC News strikes a blow for pre-emptive balance in its coverage of negative GOP campaign ads.
As Republicans try "a new tack on stem cells," read what 'Jeff Suppan: Stem Cell Expert' says about "the 2,000 words you don't read," and find out what's "every bit as bad" as legitimizing Rush Limbaugh.
The 'Ohio GOP smears Al Franken in press release with doctored photo, fabricated quote,' Mystery Pollster analyzes the latest polls on the big three Senate races, including the World Series effect on polling in Missouri, and the Washington Post chronicles 'An ascent shadowed by questions on race.'
A ruling hailed as an 'Equal marriage victory in New Jersey' is seen by Doug Ireland as "a half-a-loaf victory for gays, if it helps motivate increased religious right turnout by even a couple of points."
A stroll through 'The worst political Web sites' finds Texas Rep. Kay Granger's recipe for "Easy, Killer Margaritas" and a Nevada Libertarian's revelation that his incumbent opponent "is under the same astrological sign as Adolf Hitler."
Friday, October 27, 2006
With "stay the course" in its last throes, Jonathan Schell contends that the leaders of the Republican party consciously decided to try "to turn the election into a referendum on torture, which they favored." Plus: 'White House Denies Cheney OK'd Torture.'
Peter Bergen argues that withdrawal from Iraq now "would give al-Qaida's leaders what they want," but critics respond that he has misread the group's intentions, and misjudged U.S. capabilities. And CNN's Michael Ware details who the U.S. is fighting in Iraq.
In an interview with Spiegel, Ron Suskind says that U.S. foreign policy is "running like a headless chicken" in its war against al-Qaida, and in a combative interview with the Montreal Mirror, Seymour Hersh 'discusses civilian casualties, American ignorance and leading questions.'
Tom Engelhardt observes that, echoing Vietnam, the specter of a bloodbath-to-come is being used to justify the bloodbath in progress, it's argued that "stability first" is 'Newspeak for the rape of Iraq,' and the "Biden plan" for a tripartite division of Iraq is taken apart.
In 'The Arithmetic of Failure,' Paul Krugman finds that "unless we give up our futile efforts in Iraq," we are on track to lose not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan as well. Plus: the BBC ponders the ethics of talking to the Taliban.
Responding to a Salon article profiling two retired generals who are now "openly endorsing a Democratic takeover of Congress," Paul Hackett charges that Gen. Batiste is not only a year late in "leading the charge" but continues to "parrot this administration's talking points" on Iraq.
Democratic party leaders are reportedly "rushing to repudiate" former President Carter's upcoming book on the Middle East, which accuses Israel of maintaining an apartheid system in Palestine. Plus: Israel readying to bomb again?
Democrats worry about how to turn out the Black vote in the face of increased skepticism, especially high in the Black community, about the integrity of the voting process, while Republicans try to use a court ruling on gay marriage to "rally dispirited conservatives to the polls."
The Washington Post presents "a carnival of ugly, especially on the GOP side," where the NRCC is "spending more than 90 percent of its advertising budget on negative ads, according to GOP operatives, and the rest of the party seems to be following suit."
CBS News reports that 'Rove Protege' Scott Howell produced the RNC ad that targeted Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and kept professor John Geer busy. Howell also does ads for Sens. Jim Talent and George Allen, who told the Washington Times that he picked Howell because "I like to keep it positive."
Can't Hack It The America's Pac Web site has displayed a "Maintenance Message" since at least October 17, when the New York Sun reported that the group is spending nearly $1 million on ads, including an anti-abortion spot that calls black women "hos."
The IRS announces a delay in collecting back taxes from Katrina victims until after the election, a move former IRS commissioners call "improper and indefensible," while Mother Jones provides 'Tales of a Push Pollster' as a sample of 'what's in the Swift Boat crowd's last minute bag of tricks.'
Joshua Holland thinks Republicans are running away from Bush because "his excesses threaten to expose the fact that the whole ideology's a sham," and a "scandal scorecard" helps track members of the 109th Congress under investigation by the federal authorities.
In addition to being the target of an FBI influence peddling probe, Rep. Curt Weldon is now accused of violating House ethics guidelines by calling Navy employees seeking statements that might impugn his Democratic opponent, retired Rear Admiral Joe Sestak.
Monday, October 30, 2006
It's suggested that October might prove the 'tipping point' for supporters of the war in Iraq, where the chaos and the level of violence encountered lead Anthony Shadid to conclude that "civil war was perhaps too easy a term, a little too tidy."
As the U.S. death toll for October tops 100, Frank Rich contends in 'Dying to Save the GOP Congress' that American soldiers are being "held hostage by the White House's political imperatives," and predicts that after the election "adults in Washington will step in, bow to the obvious and pull the plug."
One of the highest ranking U.S. military officers is said to have recommended removing all American troops from Baghdad, and Rep. John Murtha says that "there is no question" the U.S. military is turning against the war, as some officers reportedly "fear the administration may be trying to shift responsibility their way."
The U.S. military has failed to properly track "hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces," according to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, who also reports that Halliburton is misusing the "proprietary" label to hide "details of its contract performance in Iraq."
Newsweek wonders whether Osama bin-Laden will "weigh in" on the midterm elections, the way he did in the last election, as Saddam Hussein's lawyer "accuses the White House of trying to time the verdict before the midterm elections." More from 'The October Surprise Watch.'
A Los Angeles Times article detailing how Karl Rove 'taps government resources to boost candidates in need' is called a "truly priceless moment of Rove hagiography" for lauding him as a "virtuoso" even if the Democrats win both houses. Plus: Do the Republicans stand a prayer?
As the GAO head issues dire predictions about the direction of the economy, Paul Krugman tracks the 'Bursting Bubble Blues,' amid suspicions that third quarter GDP growth was manipulated upwards because of the coming elections.
"Under pressure from black leaders and union groups," Wal-Mart axes the GOP producer of the controversial "call me" ad targeting Rep. Harold Ford Jr., but it's noted that the ad "continues to air as part of any Fox coverage" of Ford. Plus: 'The debate and liberal discontent with Harold Ford.'
The Washington Post picks up the story, promoted by Matt Drudge and seized upon by Sen. Allen's campaign, about the sexual scenes in Jim Webb's Vietnam novels, but it's asked when the major dailies will 'do stories on Allen's divorce and warrants.'
Republicans roll out a new "sound-bite" in defense of the Bush administration that leads Wolf Blitzer to call out Lynn Cheney for sniping at his patriotism, and David Letterman to tell Bill O'Reilly: "You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head."
Amnesty International issues a "call to bloggers" to stand up for freedom of expression on the Internet ahead of this week's Internet Governance Forum, at which "the" Google is expected to defend its facilitation of censorship in China.
Nicaragua is told that U.S. aid "could become limited" if the Sandinistas win the country's upcoming presidential election, which has been marked by unusual alliances and the passing of a total ban on abortion, with support from the Sandinistas.
As a Bush political appointee is accused of rejecting staff scientists' recommendations to protect endangered species, federal spending for all energy R&D is reportedly "less than half what it was a quarter-century ago," and has failed to keep pace with the urgency of the environmental challenge.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
A new Zogby poll finds a Democratic takeover of the Senate 'Still Plausible,' and is among several polls that show James Webb leading in 'The strangest Senate race of the year,' which has now seen a physical assault on Mike Stark of Calling All Wingnuts.
The Bush administration "is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs," reports USA Today, quoting HHS's Wade Horn as saying: "The message is 'It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children.' The only 100% effective way of getting there is abstinence."
Amid chants of "Death to Bush! Death to Musharraf," the scuttling of a regional peace deal between Pakistan and the Taliban reportedly "lends credence to the possibility" that it was U.S.-led and not Pakistani-led forces that bombed a religious school.
With President Bush's characterization of "the Democrat approach" echoing on CNN, David Gergen tells Larry King that a GOP victory would lead to "some type of escalation in Iraq to get this finished."
Glenn Greenwald hears 'all you need to know about the national media' in a radio interview with "the living, breathing embodiment" of it -- and "he has interns from Bob Jones University." Plus: 'ABC memo reveals Air America advertiser blacklist.'
Activist Judges! A Salon/CIR investigation finds that 'dozens of federal judges gave contributions to President Bush and top Republicans who helped place them on the bench.'
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