|November, 2006 link archive
Wednesday, November 1, 2006A one-page slide prepared for a classified CENTCOM briefing 'Charts Movement of Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos,' and Iraq's PM reportedly 'hands Sadr victory' as the U.S. 'Abandons American Soldier.'
A Christian Science Monitor analysis quotes Anthony Cordesman as saying that 'high troop losses in October' were "almost inevitable the moment the U.S. attempted to stiffen and replace Iraqi forces in an essentially hopeless mission."
Sgt. Ricky Clousing -- 'One Soldier against the Empire' -- would make a fine "peace action hero," says Elizabeth de la Vega, while Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell explores one soldier's death in Iraq.
Attorneys for alleged al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla claim that their client was tortured and force-fed LSD or PCP while held in a Navy brig.
With the GOP's "outrage apparatus" and Fox in "turbo-driven overdrive" over a "botched joke" that Sen. John Kerry has now apologized for, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann summed up the kerfuffle: "Kerry called them stupid and they were too stupid to know he called them stupid."
Carpetbagger dissects the "inane manufactured controversy," and Rigorous Intuition's Jeff Wells argues that "American politics isn't just theatre; it's dinner theatre." Plus: 'VandeHei mitigates Kerry's bungle -- and he ignores Bush's lies.'
In a report on the 'Limited Reach' of the man called "the central issue of campaign 2006" the Washington Post cites one GOP strategist as saying that "He's the problem ... He should stay away," and a lifelong Republican finds that 'This is No Fun.'
Harold Meyerson explains 'How the GOP Lost the North,' where "the Republican moderates ... are boiling mad that the Democrats are going after them" -- while Democrats are accused of waging "the most right-wing campaign in the party's history."
A 'Press Gallery Put Down' by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is described as "more sophisticated and more subtle than the in-your-face tactics employed by the Bush White House ... but ... no less disturbing."
By using 'American Tragedies, to Sell Trucks,' a Chevrolet TV ad is said to have "achieved the impossible: making viewers nostalgic for Chevy's last anthem, Bob Seger's 'Like a Rock'" -- and to invite parody.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
With party control of the Senate said to be "resting ... squarely on the edge of the butter knife," a new Reuters/Zogby poll gives Democrats a shot -- although not in Tennessee, where Bill Clinton is being accused of having 'Pardoned Terrorists.'
After Bush praised the "fantastic jobs" done by Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in an interview with wire services, Andrew Sullivan told CNN that "This is not an election anymore, it's an intervention."
In another interview -- with Sean Hannity -- Bush lamented the "tone" in Washington, saying it "has gotten ugly," and discussed the importance of "getting the number-three guy" in al-Qaeda, "whoever he is when they pop up."
Matt Taibbi sees "nothing mysterious" as 'Mass culture turns on the Republicans,' given the fact that "the real responsibility for the Iraq war lay not with Bush but with the [David] Lettermans, the Wolf Blitzers, the CNNs, the New York Timeses of the world."
With "Hacking Democracy" slated to premier tonight on HBO, Brad Friedman explains in a review why "Diebold really, really doesn't want you" to watch it, while another reviewer finds that the documentary 'Doesn't Crack the Code.'
As "Democracy Now!" interviews the star of "Hacking Democracy," Bev Harris, early voters in one Texas county are reportedly complaining that electronic voting machines are registering their straight Democratic ticket ballots as Republican votes.
Former Rep. Mark Foley has reportedly prolonged his stay in rehab, as a response to the "Call Me" ad -- featuring a little-noted "white man in blackface" -- is coupled with a new appeal to 'Stop the Homosexual Agenda.'
California mourners observed the Day of the Dead by honoring "some 400 John and Jane Does" who died crossing the border, with Reuters noting that "the pace of the deaths has doubled since the mid 1990s."
With two federal investigations reportedly looking into charges that the Bush administration muzzled scientists who tried to speak out on climate change, the New York Times editorializes that a recent British study is "a message aimed at the entire world."
Friday, November 3, 2006
As Bechtel stands down in Iraq, its rebuilding mission abandoned, Paul Krugman concludes that "the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is basically over," a victim of the administration's persistent fight against accountability. And Kroll security is pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
A senior U.S. general depicts the war in Iraq as "a work of art" in progress and plays down the "violence and friction with Iraqi leaders as 'speed bumps' on the road," as 'the PR behind Bush's favorite slogan' is revealed.
The redeployment of a soldier convicted for his role in Abu Ghraib to help train the Iraqi police is reconsidered, while Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq, complains that his career was "a casualty of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal."
Nick Turse adds up the evidence of an emerging 'prison planet,' to find that "the American gulag is so much more than Guantanamo and so much worse," and Britain is accused of pursuing 'a dangerous policy on torture.'
'A nuclear primer,' part of a "vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war" and put on the web "under pressure" from Congressional Republicans," is taken off line in the face of concerns that it might help Iran or other nations build a bomb. Plus: 'Cry, The Beloved Stupid Country.'
With the political wave of the elections looking like "a Republican killer," Billmon advises Democrats to "start thinking about how they're going to handle a very angry, very rejected but still very powerful president," and some Republicans start to pitch rejection as proof of principles.
A cloud of accusations leads to the resignation of megachurch pastor Ted Haggard, who 'admits meth, massage, no sex,' as the gay escort who made the charges reportedly fails a lie detector test, but plans to take two more.
Haggard backed Colorado's anti-gay amendment, but the impact of the scandal on that initiative remains unclear, while Salon finds that the GOP's anti-gay parade is dwindling, "straight talk" notwithstanding.
"Democracy Now!" hosts a debate on 'the most restrictive abortion law in the country,' Wired looks at how science is on the ballot in the midterm elections, and marijuana initiatives in Colorado and Nevada are said to be facing an "uphill fight."
While 'the rich are getting much richer much faster,' according to a study of 'Top Incomes,' experts are "in near agreement that this trend threatens to erode a fundamental American belief about fairness," and the Wall Street Journal finds evidence that raising the minimum wage doesn't curb growth.
As the lack of veterans' services is cited as an example of "America's dismal failure to invest in its future," a vets group names the members of 'F Troop,' 10 legislators who voted "against body or Humvee armor, against health care for National Guardsmen and Reservists, and against funding for Vet Hospitals" -- all of them Republicans.
While the right in Latin America is seen to employ a strategy of fear "to prevent the spread of left/populist governments," Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua divides his campaign between 'appeals to a higher power' and attacks on "savage capitalism."
Saturday, November 4, 2006
As four leading military newspapers editorialize that it's 'Time for Rumsfeld to go,' Mark Benjamin reports that 'There's something happening here' -- inside the military -- despite 'Rumsfeld's Lethal Denial.'
'Wartime Love Story' Maureen Dowd describes the relationship between "two men ... secure in each other's embrace," who are both doing "fantastic" jobs, according to a president who 'Will Say Anything.'
Secretary of State Rice 'Bucks Tradition' -- although not her own tradition -- as she 'Plugs GOP,' doing "12 interviews in 11 days," reports the AP, noting that "Ten of the sessions were with conservative hosts, including some in small heartland markets."
The Black Commentator explores what the Democrats might do 'After the Party,' while Lee Sustar examines the positioning of 'The Obama Myth' "well to the right of traditional Democratic liberal standard-bearers."
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Cursor will be updated at the regular time on both Saturday and Sunday. For more coverage, check out our elections resource page.
In what "may be the closing weekend from hell for the White House," the GOP is reported to be 'glum' about prospects of holding on to Congress, and it's noted that "as Bush travels the country ... support for GOP candidates actually falls."
Borat/Colbert 2006 Reviewing the 2006 midterms, Frank Rich finds the Republicans running a "shell game played with fiction and reality'" and suffused with "artificial realities ... on a scale worthy of Disney, if not Stalin."
Patrick Cockburn observes that the "Potemkin village" Bush and Blair "constructed to divert attention from what was really happening in Iraq is finally going up in flames," although it is now "too late for the Iraqis, Americans and British who died."
On the stump in Colorado, the president is greeted by a truck mounted with a billboard proclaiming, "Stop gay marriage now, so Osama doesn't get away," as 'two guys' insert a two-dimensional Bush into a Pennyslvania campaign.
As 'Arizona becomes the latest piece in Schumer's senate puzzle,' the online poker community's targeting of Sen. John Kyl leads to the suggestion that 'Internet gamblers may determine Congressional majority.'
Polls show that a majority in South Dakota oppose the state's proposed abortion ban, as Justice Kennedy is said to play the pivotal role is the Supreme Court's upcoming review of the constitutionality of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
An abortion provider calls for an investigation of Bill O'Reilly and Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline after the talk show host claimed inside knowledge of medical records which the attorney general had obtained through "a two-year battle that prompted privacy concerns."
Secret war games conducted in 1999 "anticipated that an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue," but that was not the only time 'disaster in Iraq' was 'foretold by experts.'
Ahmad Chalabi complains that "the Pentagon guys chickened out," blames Wolfowitz, and says that if the Iraqis had been put in charge from the beginning, they "could have acted harshly, even brutally, to regain control."
"This baby needs to be strangled in its crib," says Kevin Drum of the recent neoconservative attempts to separate themselves from the architects of the war, as one true believer attempts to hold the line, with what's termed "Monty Pythonesque grandeur." But is it 'The End of the Neocons'?
Bush and Blair's 'Afghan fantasy' is said to be 'costing the lives of civilians and troops on the front line,' as a CIA assessment finds the Afghan president "significantly weakened" and the American Ambassador admits that averting failure will take "multiple years" and "multiple billions."
The Bush administration is reportedly trying to block lawyers' access to detainees, effectively asserting "that the detainees' experiences are a secret," because they "may have come into possession of information, including...alternative interrogation techniques." Plus: 'Fox Sells Waterboarding.'
With the number of dead in Gaza reaching historic proportions, and 27 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old girl, killed in IDF raids over the weekend, Left Eye on the News contends "Make no mistake about it -- it's a massacre."
A portrait of Darwin framed in dripping blood is featured at a kebab shop in Turkey, where creation museums are proliferating, and creationism gains a foothold in the Polish Education Ministry, but in Oklahoma, bulletproof textbooks take the stage.
Monday, November 6, 2006
If voters can "pry his fingers loose from at least some of the levers of power," it will limit "Bush's ability to make deadly mistakes," writes Paul Krugman, who also warns that Democrats need to be prepared for a "cataclysmic fight to the death" over subpoenas.
Recent statements by the vice president appear to indicate that he views the outcome of the election as "an irrelevant trifle" that will have no impact on the conduct of the war, as he also prepares an election-day offensive. Plus: Pro-marijuana ads target Bush and Cheney.
With the election increasingly being viewed as a referendum on the war, Robert Novak quotes one Republican source as saying that President Bush "should have disappeared" from the campaign trail, and another concurs that "He's the problem ... He should stay away.''
Chris Matthews says a Democratic victory will "look bad for the president and world diplomacy," and Sen. Bill Frist claims that "common sense judges" would no longer be confirmed by the Senate, but American Conservative magazine declares that the 'GOP Must Go.'
'The Couch Potato's Guide to Election Night' provides a detailed selection of "benchmarks" and "issues to ponder" when following TV coverage of the election, and the New York Times suggests 'Six Ways to Watch the Election.'
'The Idiocracy Vote' Billmon concludes that voters whose "default position is still conservative and Republican" are the reason for the last minute tightening of the polls, as a USA Today/Gallup offering shows Allen and Corker up 3 points and a McClatchy/MSNBC poll indicates newly competitive Senate races in Montana and Rhode Island.
"Democracy Now!" discusses voter suppression in the midterm elections, People for the American Way provides a roundup of problems already documented, and "thousands of lawyers" fan out across the country looking for voting irregularities.
A new automated "twist on push polls" is being used to steer voters to Republican candidates in tight races across the country, including "repeat-call-back robocalls" that are designed to seem as if they are from the Democratic campaign, in order to suppress voter turnout.
Salon pulls together "a litany of Republican wrongdoing" catalogued since the beginning of Bush's second term that the Democrats will have an opportunity to address in the event of a victory, but Tom Tomorrow illustrates the down side of demonizing Republicans.
After the "hell disaster" we have visited on Iraq, "we cannot even claim moral superiority" to Saddam Hussein, Robert Fisk contends, as questions about U.S. complicity in his crimes, and the potential negative social consequences of the 'trial of the century' are raised.
Reacting to the verdict, Riverbend writes, "it is not about the man ... It's the frustration of feeling like the whole country ... is at the mercy of American politics ... feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will."
As a new Iraq law is proposed that "could see thousands of purged Baath Party members reinstated to their jobs," it's reported that the U.S. ambassador to Iraq is likely to be looking for a new job in the coming months.
The Pentagon strikes back, using a Defense Department website dedicated to rebutting claims made by the mainstream media to attack the Army Times editorial that called for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's resignation.
As Daniei Ortega 'heads to Nicaragua vote victory,' NPR's coverage of his campaign is criticized for "turning history on its head," concerning the conflict between the U.S. and Nicaragua in the 1980s.
The lack of detail in the confession of Pastor Ted Haggard made it "a day of tissues, not newsprint," but Christianity Today sees hints of a comeback despite his promise to "never return to a leadership role."
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
A New York Times report on repeat robocalls comes with a recording of NRCC calls targeting House candidate Tammy Duckworth, which appear to break an FCC rule on automated calls by not stating the caller's identity at the beginning of the message.
With the FBI reportedly investigating allegations of voter intimidation in Virginia, conservative radio talker Laura Ingraham encourages listeners to place crank calls to a Democratic voter protection hotline. Plus: Get the latest on 'Meltdown '06' at Brad Blog.
Charlie Cook finds most Republican pollsters "somewhere between fairly and extremely pessimistic," but Karl Rove, who claims to regularly see 68 polls, expresses a "sense of optimism that we'll have a Republican Senate and a Republican House," while warning, "We should be on guard against dirty data."
Following last-minute revelations, and a "technical" delay in releasing a full verdict in the 'Trial of the Century' -- which was reportedly "considered a joke in Iraq" -- Fred Barnes dwells on what might have been.
White House spokesman Tony Snow has assured Rush Limbaugh that "the war is more popular in Iraq than it is in the United States because the Iraqis actually get to see the Americans in action."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann looks for checks and balances, while The Hill editorializes that neither party will be 'Staying the course' in Congress if it loses, but Ivan Eland argues that, win or lose, the White House will be 'Disregarding Democracy.'
As The Hill surveys 'Great Dem expectations,' Fox viewers learn that "one party" has a solid lead, and Rupert Murdoch says of Iraq: "The death toll, certainly of Americans there, by the terms of any previous war are quite minute."
Alexander Cockburn fears that the real 'Message of Campaign 2006' is that "resistance is futile," Joshua Frank puts in a wake-up call, and "what happens on Wednesday morning," argues Jeff Wells, is "likely to be nothing."
The CBS "Public Eye" blog explains how the networks make 'The Call,' and the Wall Street Journal reports on efforts to keep exit poll data from falling into the hands of "ravenous political bloggers." Plus: A red-letter warning on exit polls from the GOP.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
President Bush announces that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is resigning, and will be replaced by former CIA Director Robert Gates. The Washington Post's William Arkin hosts a chat about it, and Think Progress details Bush's lie.
It's argued that Karl Rove and the Republicans may have bought off a landslide, "with their disciplined and well-financed campaigns to drive away voters, but such is the strength of public feeling against them that they could not buy off an actual defeat."
While Glenn Greenwald argues that "Karl Rove isn't all-powerful; he is a rejected loser," Josh Marshall fears that "you're not being imaginative enough," in considering the lengths to which Rove might go to swing the Virginia senate race.
A Los Angeles Times analysis finds that 'GOP ceded the center and paid the price,' which included a "triple setback for conservatives" on ballot measures -- but 'Affirmative action banned' in Michigan.
As one observer brands cable news' election coverage 'nonsensical,' Frank Rich wonders why CNN hosts didn't ask pundit William Bennett, "Which bets did he place on which candidates, what were the spreads, what was the over-under?"
Bennett touted one losing GOP candidate as a grassroots favorite for president, as elsewhere it was noted that "Senator Santorum is now available for a seat on the SCOTUS should one become available."
Thursday, November 9, 2006
An "electoral black eye" for a casual and practiced liar, also accused of being tone deaf, was reportedly "greeted with jubilation around the world," while the GOP's Canadian counterparts may be down to their last bastion.
With the "Recriminatathon" raging, Dick Morris cries 'Off With Their Heads,' Richard Viguerie declares war, and Rush Limbaugh complains that "there hasn't been any ideology" in the GOP "for at least two to maybe four years."
Media Matters wonders whether the media will "revisit" its pre-election focus on the GOP's "stunning" rally-the-base operation and "formidable" turnout machine, following an election that almost 60 percent of Americans sat out.
'Rums Felled' Slate catalogues the outgoing defense secretary's 'Biggest Blunders,' as the media bids farewell to an "omega male" and "consummate insider," who -- "win or lose" -- was going to be a "thumpee."
Following President Bush's 'Come-to-Daddy Moment,' Ray McGovern describes "The Cheney-Gates Cabal,' and Christopher Hitchens calls Rumsfeld's designated successor a "disgrace," whose 'Past Could Haunt Him.'
'Grief turns to rage' as tens of thousands of Palestinians turn out to help bury 18 members of one extended family, including eight children and seven women, who had all been "asleep in their beds" in Beit Hanoun when a "regrettable" Israeli artillery bombardment began.
It's said that on election night, "Wolf Blitzer knew where the real action was."
Friday, November 10, 2006
As Democrats gain control of Congress, the Washington Post reports that 'relief suffuses' Europe and much of the rest of the world, and the Middle East is said to be "largely pleased ... that this 'stupid government of Republicans' got what they deserved." Plus: 'R.I.P. GOP Congress.'
As debate ensues over credit for winning the election, Democrats consider a legislative agenda, a "laundry list" of questions the administration should be called upon to answer is offered to a new majority that is 'set to subpoena,' and Rep. Charles Rangel has designs on a new office.
The president has also announced that he will ask the lame duck Congress to confirm Robert Gates as defense secretary, and John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador, but opposition from Lincoln Chafee, who is now reportedly considering leaving the GOP, appears to leave the Bolton nomination dead.
The push to have 'Contra Gates' confirmed before the new Congress takes over is said to betray "a hint of unease" about whether the nominee's record could stand up to scrutiny, as a list of initial challenges he would face as defense secretary includes his old Sandinista nemesis.
A group of influential conservative leaders planning a comeback blames failure on "leaders who strayed from the movement's basic values," and some GOP officials are reportedly 'furious' about the timing of Rumsfeld resignation.
Donald in the Dock? As human rights groups prepare to file a lawsuit in Germany against Rumsfeld, as one of the primary architects of a "war of aggression," Tony Karon emphasizes that it wasn't just the execution of the war that was a problem.
Although 'Iraqis won't miss Rumsfeld,' Patrick Cockburn finds Iraqis more worried about staying alive, and skeptical about the chances for a major change of course any time soon, while Bechtel's departure is said to leave "many Iraqis feeling betrayed."
Left I on the News counts the errors in an AP report on a new "estimate" of Iraqis casualties in the war which doesn't include Iraqis killed by Americans or by the Iraqi government forces, problems a revision of the article still fails to address.
In the wake of the Ted Haggard scandal, the camp featured in "Jesus Camp" is closing down, and it's argued that "corruption and misuse of funds" in the Bush administration's faith-based initiative could become a target of the Democratic House.
Monday, November 13, 2006
The Defense Department creates a 9/11 background for televised Veterans Day messages from the troops in Iraq, National Guard units for the first time face second tours there, and Sen. Lieberman joins Sen. McCain in calling for more troops.
With the Democrats gearing up to 'push for troop cuts,' and Rep. John Murtha picking up a key endorsement, concerns are raised about the 'Potemkin Iraq Study Group,' and Democratic leaders are urged to consider how to frame the 'tale for a lost war.'
A "global nexus of terrorism," replaces "axis of evil" in "the Bush administration's latest rhetorical assault on Iran," and the U.S. vetoes a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its attack on Beit Hanoun. Plus: Reaching out to the "terrorcrat party."
Lashing out at Democrats, Investor's Business Daily claims that Rep. John Conyers is "in the pocket of the Islamists," and that George McGovern is the "the patron saint of Democratic appeasers," but calls Donald Rumsfeld "a great man."
'Saint Donald' Douglas Feith finds words of praise for his "often misread" former boss, Kenneth Adelman wonders how this could happen to "someone so good, so competent," and neocons find "a new flag to fly."
Conyers, who is slated to become chair of the House Judiciary Committee, says impeachment is "off the table," but this "may not be enough to prevent a constitutional confrontation" as the 'subpoena wars' are previewed.
Democrats are reportedly planning to restore power to a government agency investigating waste and fraud in Iraq, as Congress and the U.N. try to establish accountability for private military contractors.
With President Bush at a near low and a new low, and voters "writing off the rest of Bush's presidency," according to Newsweek, Will Bunch puts on his tin foil hat and considers whether the president and his "evil genius" lost the election on purpose.
Frank Rich finds Sen. George Allen's defeat "the perfect epitaph for an era in which Mr. Rove systematically exploited the narrowest prejudices of the Republican base, pitting Americans of differing identities in cockfights for power and profit, all in the name of "faith.'"
Exit polls showing no significant shift of religious voters to Democrats appear to undermine "the popular myth among pundits that Democrats must increase their share of the evangelical vote in order to win," as a "trial balloon" suggests replacing DNC chair Howard Dean with Harold Ford.
In 'True Blue Populists,' Paul Krugman challenges the "conservative spin" on the incoming class of Democrats, highlighting issues on which they are more economic populists than conservatives. Plus: Pundits fail to note a "shift to the left."
David Sirrota celebrates Lou Dobbs, the 'Pinstriped Populist,' and then, reflecting on the Lamont campaign, rejects the emerging narratives that either fault Lamont's anti-war message or charge that he lost because he went silent on the war.
Glenn Greenwald uses Sen. Russ Feingold's announcement that he will not run for president in 2008 to highlight the failure of the beltway pundits of both parties to comprehend any motive other than partisan political advantage.
Covering 'The Worst Show on Television,' Matt Taibbi observes that "With each passing election season the format for political coverage on TV morphs even further in the direction of sportscasting." Plus: 'A tale of two covers.'
Paul Craig Roberts asks whether Democrats plan to put restoring civil liberties on the agenda, Canadian universities take steps to hide online research from the U.S. government's "prying eyes," and the silence on torture during the congressional campaigns is decried.
Thomas Pynchon fans--and fanatics--are eager to feast on the reclusive author's new novel "Against the Day," which will not be published until November 21, but has already begun to inspire commentary.
In an interview with the Observer, Elton John talks about what it means to be a gay star, and criticizes organized religion for promoting "hatred and spite against gays," while Richard Dawkins reacts to the way dinosaur bones are labeled at Liberty University.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
There was 'No Plan' for control of Iraqi cities post-Saddam, according to the outgoing Marine Corps Commandant, and the president of the Council on Foreign Relations tells Spiegel that 'Iraq is not winnable.'
A report that immigrants arrested in the U.S. "may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts," reveals 'The Military Commissions Act in action.'
On the 50th anniversary of "The Poem That Changed America," it's said to be "no surprise" that another anniversary -- that of 'The Last Antiwar Poem' -- "has been ignored this year, despite the poem's jarring relevance to the current American landscape."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
President Bush acts to ensure that "the Administration will have its own working document" as well as the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, and William Rivers Pitt tours 'The Carlyle White House.'
Responding to a Wall Street Journal op-ed linking progressives with "chardonnay diplomacy," Maureen Dowd argues that "while the Idealists have a point, they also have a problem. Their moral war in Iraq was sold four years ago with two big lies."
The Washington Post reports -- on page A29 -- that the CIA has acknowledged the existence of two 'Interrogation Memos,' one of them signed by President Bush, in what the ACLU calls a "sudden reversal" on secret directives authorizing detention facilities abroad. Plus: 'Spin and Consequences.'
An Iraqi artist's mural depicts Defense Secretary Rumsfeld 'gloating over ruins of Iraq,' while a lawsuit filed in Germany portrays him 'as war criminal,' and the New Yorker's Peter Boyer chronicles his 'Downfall.'
NewsHounds finds Fox News already acting on a now widely-circulated internal memo urging staffers to "be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled Congress."
The Maine lawyer who divulged President Bush's drunken driving record days before the 2000 election, has been charged with terrorizing, reckless conduct and criminal threatening for his Halloween appearance on a highway overpass dressed as Osama bin Laden.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
As analysts warn that 'Sectarian Strife in Iraq Imperils Entire Region,' Norman Solomon finds that "the American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq," while 'Dems call for more urgency' but lack 'consensus.'
A "senior U.S. government official" talks up the possibility of a 'pre-emptive Iran strike,' Israel's ambassador claims that 'Bush will not hesitate to use force in Iran," and Bush himself is said to have given the go-ahead for building a 'Bush Center' in Israel.
A GAO report has "no recommendations at this time" on combatting opium production in Afghanistan, given that "sustainable progress ... will likely take a decade or more," according to CIA head Michael Hayden.
Synergizing his "expose" of 'The Extremist Agenda,' Beck told CNN's Paula Zahn that "the media in general has been this close to criminally negligent on reporting the truth on what's going on." (scroll down)
'Bush Renominates Judicial Picks,' in a move said to have "heartened conservatives" and "outraged liberals." The renominees include Mississippi lawyer Michael Wallace, a unanimous recipient of the American Bar Association's lowest rating.
Watch the debut of Al-Jazeera English, which was greeted with positive reviews, including Timothy Garton Ash calling the channel "one of the most encouraging things to come out of the Middle East for some time."
Bill Berkowitz explores how the Lincoln Group got yet another "$20 million for monitoring the media," and a 'Pentagon PR Blogger' contends that the military isn't "cracking down" on soldier blogs -- "it's mostly monitoring."
News Hounds catches Fox News following the script, Robert Greenwald hints of more memos to come, and Cenk Uygur argues that "it's one thing for Fox to be manipulative, it's another for the mainstream press to get manipulated and be oblivious to it."
Ted Turner says that Rupert Murdoch "is one person I don't like. He gives nothing to charity."
The resurfacing of O.J. Simpson prompts a member of Simpson's "dream team" defense to ask, "Has O.J. lost his mind? I can't imagine anything more ridiculous,'' and "If I Did It" inspires Marty Kaplan to "imagine Rumsfeld writing 'If I Committed War Crimes, Here's How It Happened.'"
Friday, November 17, 2006
Amid speculation that the U.S. may decide to 'unleash the Shiites,' Iraq's Shiite-led Interior Ministry issues an arrest warrant for one of the country's most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics, a move said "likely to stoke sectarian fighting in a city that's already flooded with corpses."
As the "season of non-withdrawal withdrawal gestures" begins with the search for an "exit strategy" that can "salvage U.S. prestige," Salon traces the formation of the Iraq Study Group to 'a secret end run around Cheney and Rumsfeld' by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As it's reported that the Bush administration "is preparing its largest spending request yet for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," Rep. Dennis Kucinich, in an interview about his call to cut off Iraq war funding, argues that "those who favor continuing the war or escalating the war are using the troops as a tool" to further agendas that are not in the public interest.
Appearing on the "Daily Show" to promote his upcoming special on Iran, Ted Koppel comments on President Bush's tour of Asia: "thirty five years ago he joined the Texas Air National Guard to stay out of Vietnam, and now he's going to Vietnam to stay out of Washington."
As U.S. bombing in Afghanistan increases sharply, the U.N. World Food Program warns that shortfalls in donations and funding have exacerbated a winter food shortage that puts millions of Afghans at risk.
The USDA defines away hunger in America, contending that it is more "scientific" to talk about "very low food security," while two new films follow in the footsteps of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." Read an interview with "Fast Food Nation" author, Eric Schlosser.
The Department of Health and Human Services confesses that it doesn't know what "scientifically accurate" means, as the Bush administration appoints an abstinence-only advocate with some unusual theories to oversee federal reproductive rights funding. Plus: Searching for "Schrodinger's fetus."
The Globalist's two-part series 'Inside Guantanamo,' reports what can be seen of current conditions at the camp, but finds that 'a misrepresentative tour' aimed at showing "that the U.S. has learned something new" leaves a lot up to faith.
A video which captures UCLA police repeatedly using a taser on a student for allegedly refusing to leave the library is just the latest in a series of "cellphone videos documenting questionable arrest tactics."
Glenn Greenwald weighs rapidly proliferating 'Beltway attacks on Nancy Pelosi,' and finds them insubstantial, but Doug Ireland raises concerns about some "baggage of money and special interests" the speaker-elect may be bringing to her position. Plus: Rep. John Murtha says, 'Let's Get to Work.'
An editorial by Senator-elect Jim Webb in the Wall Street Journal warning of "our society's steady drift toward a class-based system" leads the Agonist to welcome a 'new class warrior,' and Billmon to review the political evolution of 'Comrade Webb.'
The death of neo-liberal economist Milton Friedman provides the Wall Street Journal with an occasion to celebrate his influence, but Greg Grandin argues that to measure the true cost of his "free market absolutism," you need to look to Pinochet's Chile.
After Bill O'Reilly tried to 'loofah away Fox stench,' O.J. Simpson's publisher and 'master of outrage,' Judith Regan, defended herself in a 'Bizarre Drudge Confessional' that CNN's Jeffrey Toobin called "the single most deranged statement I have ever seen from a ... public figure in corporate America."
Monday, November 20, 2006
In the face of a growing "sectarian bloodbath" in Iraq, the Washington Post reports that a Pentagon review has boiled down U.S. options to "Go Big," "Go Long" and "Go Home," a list which has already been narrowed to just one option, while another assessment finds only 'varying degrees of gloom.'
McClatchy interviews survivors of the mass abduction from the Iraq Ministry of Higher Education who 'recount torture, targeting of Sunnis,' as the kidnapping highlights the 'desperate situation of the educational system in occupied Iraq.' More on 'Iraq's white-collar crime,' and, "Terrible notices of intent to murder."
In an interview with David Frost on Al-Jazeera English, British Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently concedes that western intervention in Iraq has been "pretty much of a disaster," precipitating another disaster.
As 'Iran calls for summit with Iraq, Syria,' Henry Kissinger comes around to the view that victory in Iraq is no longer possible, a top U.N. official suggests that Nato is being too "optimistic" and that it cannot defeat the Taliban by force,' and a new army manual gives the 'Rumsfeld doctrine a rewrite.'
In 'The Next Act,' Seymour Hersh cites evidence that Cheney shouldn't be counted out yet, and that the Democrats' election victory has not derailed the neoconservative notion that an attack on Iran, a "failure forward," is the only way to salvage Iraq.
In an interview on CNN, Hersh discusses the way Israeli intelligence on Iran is bypassing CIA assessments and getting stovepiped directly to the White House, and Scott Ritter in an excerpt from his new book "Target Iran" contends that 'Bush's desire for a conflict with Iran is a crisis made in Israel.'
As Israel's Deputy Prime Minister calls for assassinating the leaders of Hamas, media reports about an aborted Israeli strike on a house in Gaza are faulted for ignoring context in treating this event "as a humanitarian act on the part of Israel, rather than one of Palestinian solidarity."
A former KGB officer is alleged to have been poisoned at a sushi bar in London, "on the direct orders of the Kremlin because of his biting mockery of President Putin," but a columnist for the Independent suggests that it might be a good idea to "handle allegations of poisoning with care."
After a hurried trip to Vietnam in which he was "barely heard or seen" by ordinary Vietnamese, President Bush was met with widespread protests during a curtailed visit to Indonesia that was said to be overladen with 'myths.'
Frank Rich attacks a "fictional story line" about the Democrats "conservative" victory leaving the party deeply divided that has obscured the refusal of the president "to surrender to democracy's verdict at home," and the failure of the Republicans to face up to the urgency of disengagement in Iraq.
The "playbook for the Democrats," according to Ron Suskind, should strike a balance between "pit bulls" like Henry Waxman wielding subpoenas, and "show horses" preparing to run for president in 2008, but on the long list of things to investigate he does not put Iraq first.
Sen. McCain 'flip flops' in his public statements on abortion rights citing "federalism," but his record is said to show that he is no federalist on the issue and in fact 'unambiguously opposes abortion rights,' as Paul Begala advises 'America's Mayor' to 'surrender on abortion.' Plus: McCain gets a new coach.
Following a charge that the 'O.J. sewer leads right to Murdoch,' a "Don't Pay O.J." campaign, the 'Dixie Chicking' of Fox and pushback from some affiliates, News Corp. has canceled its O.J. Simpson book and interview.
John Ross follows the path of Halliburton's involvement in Mexico and its interest in Chiapas, Honduras is seen as the key to U.S. military presence in Central America, and the dissonance that Daniel Ortega's victory creates, "deep in the recesses of the neocon psyche," is diagnosed.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reviews a book on 'Imaginary Weapons' that uses the story of how U.S. government agencies were deluded into spending millions of dollars on "the hafnium bomb" as a "template" for understanding how junk science infiltrates public policy.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
After a U.S. air strike in the slums of Sadr City prompts a cry of "Where is this loser government?" from a dead child's relative, a new survey is said to find that "the Iraqi people want the U.S. to exit their country" and "approve of attacks on U.S. forces."
One of two Iraqi TV channels that were shut down for inciting violence is reportedly 'back on the air' and "bloodier than ever," but a popular comedian is "another sacrifice on the altar of this slaughtered country."
In releasing documents providing 'New details on Pentagon spy files,' the ACLU calls on Congress to "investigate the widespread surveillance of political and religious groups by the Defense Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security."
In a new survey, travelers ranked the U.S. as having "the world's worst" border entry process, "by a margin of more than two to one over the next-worst."
A former UCLA officer of the year is identified as 'Officer in Taser case' -- which the victim's attorney says was "kind of like a rape." Before the incident In These Times reported 'Stunning Revelations' of Taser-related deaths.
It's 'Welcome to the OJ Schadenfreude,' with the New York Daily News' Mike Lupica asking Rupert Murdoch, 'What Took You So Long?', and speculating that Murdoch pulled the plug "because the mud he likes on other people ended up on him this time and he didn't like it." Plus: 'News Corp. accused of hush money offer.'
Director Robert Altman died Monday at the age of 81.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The assassination of Lebanon's Pierre Gemayel 'stresses the dilemma Syria poses for the White House,' reports McClatchy, while analysts tell the Washington Post that "the bullets that raked Gemayel's car also fired on U.S. policy."
As the BBC rounds up 'Press outrage at Gemayel killing,' Robert Fisk accuses U.N. ambassador John Bolton of weeping "crocodile tears for Lebanon's democracy -- which he cared so little about when Israel smashed into Lebanon this summer ... while desperately avoiding the use of the word Syria."
A review of Al-Jazeera English suggests that "one reason for its absence from American TV screens ... may be that the global range and scope of its reportage, were it to find an audience here, could prove an embarrassment to the relative parochialism of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, et al."
'Muslim imams call for boycott after US Airways flap,' Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff outlines his "chilling vision" for the future, and signs of problems with 'Contracting Procedures' at Homeland Security reportedly include the inability to locate 33 of 72 files selected for review -- by a contractor.
After her publicist denies reports that Heidi Fleiss is 'Pimping Mike Tyson,' Dave Zirin argues that although "the SportsWorld has spent the last decade poking him with a stick ... the tragedy is that Tyson is no animal."
As it's reported that the O.J. Simpson project was "a source of heated internal debate at Fox," Simpson says that "If I Did It" was not a confession and the title wasn't his idea, adding that "I'm taking heat and I deserve it. But Murdoch should not be taking the high road either."
Friday, November 24, 2006
"America is not controlling events in Iraq," observes Alexander Cockburn, adding that "If the Shia choose to cut supply lines from Kuwait up to the northern part of the country, the U.S. forces would be in deep, deep trouble."
Pressed by Chris Matthews on "Hardball" to explain why sectarian violence in Iraq represents "some jihad against the West," retired Major General John Batiste said, "What do you think the attack on 9/11 was?"
Dave Lindorff says that the first thing Democrats should do in January is to 'Terminate the 2001 AUMF,' as GlobalSecurity.org's John Pike tells "As It Happens" that he believes the Bush administration will use the AUMF to bomb Iran before the end of 2007. (First interview in Part 2.)
"The only problem with the Republicans losing," writes Ken Silverstein, "is that the Democrats won" -- meaning 'Exit B-1 Duncan, Enter B-2 Ike' on the House Armed Services Committee.
The WSWS finds that "there are many reasons to suspect all sorts of people for being responsible for [Pierre] Gemayel's death -- and quite a few of them enjoy the editorial support of the New York Times."
Paul Krugman is "shocked at how little national attention the mess in Sarasota has received," and E. J. Dionne Jr. can hear 'An Electronic Canary' singing through the vote count "meltdown in Florida's 13th."
After 'ads trump news' in campaign coverage on local TV, and O.J. outscores global warming 8-1, Eric Alterman finds the MSM facing "a kind of existential crisis" over how to cover "an inveterate liar."
While Ellen Goodman maintains that "the Democratic margin of victory" was provided by women, who "drove the agenda," Judge Roy Moore argues that the GOP lost because the party 'Strayed from the course.'
Monday, November 27, 2006
Returning from Iraq, CNN's John Roberts says the situation is worse than the media shows, CNN's Michael Ware reports from Baghdad on the deteriorating conditions facing ordinary Iraqis, and Nir Rosen talks to "Democracy Now!" about 'Iraq's Descent into Chaos.'
With Sen. Chuck Hagel advocating "a phased troop withdrawal," as a way for the U.S. to "extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq," John Nichols asks whether the Democrats are being outflanked on Iraq.
The New York Times previews a draft version of the Baker-Hamilton Commission report that recommends "direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawal," while Glenn Greenwald finds the range of views on the Commission "anything but centrist."
With Iraqi Shiites pelting Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's motorcade with stones, Tom Hayden discusses negotiations between U.S officials and Sunni armed resistance and the possible replacement of al-Maliki's government.
A Newsweek cover story naming Muqtada al-Sadr, "the most dangerous man in Iraq," is criticized for focusing on "a one-man enemy in a country where clearly there is a whole lot more to the problem," but CNN hosts keep asking whether it's time to "take him out." (scroll down)
Reviewing "key moments in Cheney's career," Charlie Savage suggests that Democrats "should not expect the White House to cooperate when they demand classified information or attempt to exert oversight in areas such as domestic surveillance or the treatment of terrorism suspects."
The former commander of Abu Ghraib alleges that Donald Rumsfeld wrote "Make sure this happens!," on a memorandum that specifically "approved techniques that violated Geneva (and hence the War Crimes Act)."
Newly declassified documents showing that President Bush's nominee for secretary of defense, Robert Gates, advocated bombing Nicaragua in 1984 are said to raise questions about his judgment and his extremism.
The decision of the National Science Teachers Association to reject 50,000 free DVDs of Al Gore's film about global warming prompts suspicions that the Association has "abandoned its search for truth and is now looking for a good sugar daddy." Plus: 'Documentary Films Rattle Business World.'
Thomas Edsall's New York Times op-ed urging Democrats to "discard major tenets of liberalism," before "rigor mortis sets in" is faulted for failing to face up to the Democrats' triumph, but Edsall insists that he is only suggesting that victory is "potentially fragile."
A ratings increase at MSNBC is credited to the "no-holds-barred excoriation of the Bush administration" by Keith Olbermann, who discussed the support he has received from the network in an online chat at Firedoglake.
Editor & Publisher notes a war protester's public suicide that went unnoticed by the mainstream press, as a homeowner's association attempts to levy fines for displaying a holiday wreath peace symbol, which some interpret as being "anti-Christ."
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
As the dominoes fall in what some are describing as a "Walter Cronkite moment," a McClatchy report cites "a growing number of Middle East analysts, who say that Iraq's cascading civil war has spun out of Washington's control."
An AP report finds the 'Iraqi Army Not Ready to Defend Fallujah,' while a classified Marines' assessment is said to conclude that "the U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there."
In an excerpt from her hypothetical indictment of the president, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega accuses George W. Bush of committing a fraud "far worse than Enron."
Speaking in New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich reportedly suggested that the U.S. should "reexamine freedom of speech ... before we actually lose a city," and in a new column, he advocates a "victory or death" approach to iraq.
Thanks to "rudeness" and 'yelling and screaming" on television, argues Richard Dreyfuss, "we confuse the melodrama of incivility with how public issues are discussed."
Pink Tide With a 'victory for the left' in Ecuador seen as "yet another feather in the cap for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez," and as part of "an irreversible shift in power," apparent winner Rafael Correa says that Ecuador will seek to rejoin OPEC.
With polonium-210 reportedly detected at the London offices of exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, and for sale on the Internet, it's argued that "the bastards are not omnipotent, but they are omnivorous."
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Harold Meyerson argues that the U.S. has run 'Plumb Out Of Mission' in Iraq, and the WSWS maintains that Bush White House is seeking 'to intensify Iraq war,' which is "only possible because of the essential agreement of the Democrats and the media establishment with its agenda."
In "a major strategic shift," the Pentagon reportedly 'Considers Moving Troops From al-Anbar Province' -- where "at least 1,055 Americans have been killed" -- and redeploying them to "join the fight to secure Baghdad."
Discussing his new book on "The NewsHour," Carter observed that "there hasn't been a day of negotiation orchestrated or promoted by the United States between Israel and the Palestinians in six years."
With the White House reportedly "still debating what to call the war in Iraq," a pre-emptive assault on 'Baker's Sellout Plan' charges that the co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group was "never a friend of Israel."
The Pentagon is reportedly preparing an emergency spending request of 'at least $127 billion,' amid claims that "about $2 billion worth" of equipment "is wearing out or being destroyed every month in Iraq and Afghanistan."
A report on Iraqi Armenian refugees to the U.S. notes that handwritten death threats in Baghdad are being replaced with "generic, computerized threats," in which "only the name of the victim is written by hand."
Pakistan's foreign minister is described as "basically asking Nato to surrender and to negotiate with the Taliban" in Afghanistan, where "yesterday's warlords are today's bureaucrats." Plus: 'The new Taliban codex.'
Editor & Publisher spotlights the work of Leonard Cohen, media critic.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
A news conference, at which President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki were said to have "barely looked at one another," was also found to have inspired laughter on the set and to have shown that "things could get worse."
The Iraq Study Group has reportedly decided to call for "a gradual pullback" with no timetable, after finding time to pose for "a class photo" shot by Annie Leibovitz, while Newsweek strikes a 'Bust in Bakersville.'
Anthony Cordesman is said to see "a real crisis for American society," associated with the "high-risk, high-cost strategy" for Iraq outlined in his new CSIS report. Plus: 'Cordesman to Bush Administration: "Stop Lying."'
The Black Commentator's Carl Bloice argues that by reopening the "can of worms" surrounding Vice President Cheney's energy task force, Congress "could shed important light on why the United States invaded Iraq."
A GOP congressman claims that "twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens," while a legal immigrant who tried to help rebuild New Orleans reportedly spent "13 months in three different Louisiana prisons without ever speaking to a defense attorney."
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