June 17, 2003

Democratic Rumblings

  • The uprising against the move by the Republican board members controlling the FCC to turn over practically all of the public airways to a few corporations was so strong, the Senate Commerce Committee has voted to roll back the rule change and restore the ban on monopoly of the airwaves. See Dow Jones and Mediareform.net. This is an impressive move. The outpouring against the move did not sway the FCC, and it was just as dramatic before they made their decision as it was after. But they felt invulnerable to such a nuisance as public opinion. The Senators seem a little more inclined to pay attention to their constituents. It's a clear case of grassroots democratic power having a dramatic effect. The arrogant Michael Powell has been defied. Let's see where this goes next.
  • Cynthia Cotts in the Village Voice suggests that the widespread accusations that Bush and Blair used faked evidence to launch an endless military occupation could be lead to the next Watergate. There is a momentum building. Whether it grows to critical mass or not cannot be predicted for sure. But it is looking more and more like a possibility. See "Reason to Deceive".
  • Guess who's negotiating with the Taliban now?"Remember back when the Taliban was evil? Sure you do. George W. Bush used that tough frontier talk of which his speechwriters are so fond, the press swooned and every decent American was made to understand that the Bush administration, unlike its morally rickety predecessor, would never give an inch to such people. So guess who's negotiating with them now?" See American Prospect.
  • Now we get to see how our fabulous US media polls work in Iraq. According to a CBS poll, the Iraqis dig the US occupation. If the polls of a major media corporation say so, it must be true. They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true. Goshdarn. You'd think those Iraqis would get a little upset, so many of them getting killed and all, their country "bombed back to the stone age." Guess not. According to the CBS poll, 65 percent would prefer the US troops stay till law and order is restored. As usual, it's what questions are asked that determines the outcome of the poll. If there is any validity to the numbers at all, it probably means people would like to be protected by some law enforcement body rather than fall to pure anarchy.
  • My Favorite Republican: Ralph Nader. Yahoo.
  • Oil is to die for, says Derrick Z. Jackson in Boston Globe. "More to the point, oil is precious enough for the government to send off your children, your husbands, your wives, your partners, your brothers, and your sisters to die for. That is a rapidly escalating conclusion as American soldiers continue to die at the rate of one a day in Iraq without any major perturbation in Congress or disturbance from the American people. No weapons of mass destruction have been found."

    June 17, 2003

    Beers on the House

    Rand Beers, whom the Washington Post calls "a [former] top White House counterterrorism adviser," quit five days before the attack on Iraq, then went to work as an advisor to John Kerry in his campaign against Bush. Now he's talking. "They're making us less secure, not more secure," he says in the Post article. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out." He was in the National Security Council under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. He's a pretty conservative guy. He disagrees with Bush only from the standpoint of making the country less secure instead of more. "Counterterrorism is like a team sport. The game is deadly. There has to be offense and defense," Beers said. "The Bush administration is primarily offense, and not into teamwork." You could like everything about Bush, and still consider that he must go if you came to believe he was making the country more vulnerable to terrorist attack. Replacing Bush with such a moderately different point of view as Beers and Kerry might be a bit too timid a change, when we are in such an out-and-out emergency. On the other hand, anyone would be an improvement over Bush.
  • The Republicans are so evil! The House has voted to end the right to file class action lawsuits. The corporate-owned government has taken over the US and is dismantling rights one by one while the plutocrat class legislates more privileges for itself. See the Observer.
  • Hillary Gulps. AOL, the news window you get involuntarily if you use the AOL service, the lowest common denominator of news services, shows Hillary Clinton with a caption pulled out about her "gulping for air" when her hubby told him the bad news about the intern. (See Times of India.) AOL is the ultimate trivialization of anything. AOL makes obscenity out of whatever it processes. But Hillary Clinton! Does anyone believe this scene about her "gulping for air" is anything but a cheap fabrification? She "gulped" for air, when Bill told her? Come on, was it not at least the 90th time she'd been through that routine? Did she even ask him anymore? How does one gulp for air, by the way? It doesn't seem like it would work, gulping for air. You'd get the air in your stomach. It's a soap opera scene created by a not very good fiction writer, to try to inject the right kind of drama into a public confession that is a political document and nothing more. Hillary Clinton could not make a move that was not a political act. Her response to the Monica nonsense was a political act. With her double-talk to justify her voting for Bush's war, her royal refusal to acknowledge the grievances of her constituents, her use of the Senatorial job as a temporary base and launching pad in her political career have all contributed to her being a terrible disappointment as a senator. But, don't underestimate her. With this latest wave -- her phony biography slash debut as a presidential hopeful -- she outdoes herself. She may actually be hokey enough to be president.
  • Amazing the power of an idea, even a lie. An absurdity, if hammered hard enough, becomes socially accepted as truth. How conveniently it all seems to work out for the Bush clique and the oligarchy that owns it. The war is over, the air was knocked out the the anti war movement, there are no anti war protests because the war is over. But fighting is still going on in Iraq, many people are getting killed, some American. There is still war going on in Afghanistan and now the Bush administration is negotiating with the Taliban again to give them a role in the new government -- if they meet certain conditions set forth by the U.S. But the Taliban rejected the first condition right up front, the insistence they replace their top man. So now we are in a position where the Taliban is declining offers from the Bush administration to put it back in power. I'll retire to Bedlam.

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