Saturday, August 7, 2004

Friday Night TV Cruise -- I tuned into C-SPAN last night and caught the last few minutes of John Kerry addressing UNITY: Journalists of Color. It wasn't the greatest performance I've ever seen, but I caught myself imagining what a different world it would be if this guy was president, instead of the mad dog that's holding the office now. God, what a relief it would be! He actually knew what the questioners were talking about and gave informed, humane answers.

Then when it was over C-SPAN played the clip of Bush signing the $25 billion emergency extension. It was the first time I had seen Bush on TV for more than a sound bite since I started reading Bush on the Couch by Justin A. Frank M.D. (which I am nearly finished with now).

I can't stomach a lot of Bush on TV so I don't tune in to much of it, but now and then when I'm feeling strong I indulge my curiosity to see what the machine is putting out. This was one of those times, and I watched Bush walk out into the room with an intensity I could hardly take in. I don't know if he has changed or if I am just more tuned in to his anger after reading the psychoanalytic evaluation by Franks. Bush seemed to be seething, as though he were about to explode. What's eating him?

He gave a short speech as a prelude to signing the bill. As he spoke, he held an expression on his face that seems to have become his perpetual look. I can't put my finger on it. It's a look of contempt, defensiveness, haughty superiority. It's as if he is saying, "Listen, you assholes, you think you know something, but you know nothing. This is IT! I am telling you. I am the leader of the free world and you are NOTHING!"

He over-enunciates in a threatening, condescending manner, pulls very hard on every syllable as if he's going to hurl it at you. He wags his head a little from side to side like he's about to punch your face. Occasionally a hint of a smile breaks through the hard look, as if to say, "It's so simple, and you are too much of a fool to have seen it before. But now I'm going to set you straight."

Bush's big slip of the tongue, or Freudian slip was remarked on widely because it was obviously not what Bush meant to say, but it may have been closer to the truth than what he did mean to say. ("Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." See CNN, hear it here.) In literal terms he said that the American people are under attack not only by Al Qaeda and its ilk, but also by the Bush administration. And a very strong case could be made for the literal truth of the statement. But turn it around and consider what he apparently meant to say: "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we [stop thinking about new ways to harm their country and their people]." It's really not a lot better when you look at what he meant to say.

The fact is, now we are living in Bush's world, a world in which America, with Bush at its head, is pitted in a life-and-death struggle against the "evildoers". It is rapidly manifesting as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now Iraq really is a hotbed of terrorist activity and hatred of America, though it wasn't before. It was Saddam Hussein who kept Al Qaeda out of Iraq. Now that he's gone, the barrier is down. Now that America has raped the country and tortured its people -- literally -- it really is a breeding ground for terrorist activity against America.

And then there was a segment on C-SPAN with lisping Don Rumsfeld explaining in a professorial manner how brutal Saddam Hussein was, and the conditions of women in Afghanistan before the US attacked. And grim as it was, it sounded very much like Saudi Arabia, where public beheadings still take place, limbs are amputated for theft, and where women are still stoned to death for being suspected of adultery.

And Democracy Now reported that a Saudi prince gave $127,000 worth of gifts such as jewelry to the Bush family last year.

August 8, 2004

  • FAA, NORAD: Guilty of Negligence, or Worse -- Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton Senate told the Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) have covered up "catastrophic failures" that left the U.S. vulnerable during the Sept. 11 hijackings. Dayton: "For almost three years now, NORAD officials and FAA officials have been able to hide their critical failures that left this country defenseless during two of the worst hours in our history." NORAD officials "lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication and protection of the American people," Dayton said. According to the official chronology, Dayton said, if the FAA had sent word of the hijackings promptly, the fourth plane may have escaped being hijacked.
  • Iraq's U.S. puppet government closed the offices of Al Jazeera, claiming "national security concerns" -- of course. It's called freedom of information. When too many people know about the crimes of a regime of thugs, it causes trouble. As Orwell pointed out, the growth of tyranny is directly related to the corruption of language. In the report by CNN, we can see so much decay that the story barely means anything at all. The headline "Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office" makes it sound as if the whole country of millions upon millions of Iraqis took this action. In fact, a small group of Iraqis put into their positions and kept there by the U.S. occupation made this decision. "National" security has nothing to do with it, although the security of the occupation may be harmed by a free flow of information about what is happening there. CNN reports that chief thug Allawi said the office was closed after an "independent commission" issued a report. Just how independent could this commission be? This commission's findings were "compelling," Allawi said, in regard to "issues of incitement and the problems Al-Jazeera has been causing." Incitement? Does the U.S. invasion of this country have anything to do with this incitement? "Iraq's prime minister" is in power without any consent of the people and is such a shining example of the kinds of "values" the U.S. is bringing to Iraq after the departure of the Reagan/Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney ally Saddam Hussein, that he recently shot six blindfolded prisoners himself just to make a point. (See Sunday Herald, Sydney Morning Herald.) According to the Herald, "The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement to the Herald, saying Dr Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun. But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence."
  • The Bottom -- Nearly 130 influential U.S. jurists, including 12 former federal judges, eight past presidents of the American Bar Association, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the heads of several U.S.-based international human rights groups, have signed an open letter to President George W. Bush denouncing administration memoranda regarding the treatment of Iraqi and other detainees and accusing their authors of unprofessional conduct. The memoranda, drafted by political appointees in the Pentagon, Justice Department and the White House, "seek to circumvent long established and universally acknowledged principles of law and common decency." The memoranda "ignore and misinterpret the U.S. Constitution and laws, international treaties and rules of international law. The lawyers who approved and signed these memoranda have not met their high obligation to defend the Constitution." Lew Rockwell.
  • Public BS -- PBS continues its oily slide to the right with a new Wall Street Journal editorial show featuring smooth right wing maniacs like Paul Gigot of the Journal's Tyrannosauric editorial page. Variety/Yahoo
  • Scum of the Earth -- The Karl Rove-inspired ads featuring worms who claim Kerry "didn't deserve" his medals are as low as it gets. If Kerry didn't deserve all those medals, it's not his fault. He didn't decide on the medals. He just got wounded and saved lives and the Navy gives medals when military men do those things. The ads are an insult to the Navy, not to Kerry. Besides being the scummiest ever political maneuverings by the unchallenged kings of scummy political mud-slinging, they are just stupid. Now one of the slugs who made the allegations has withdrawn it, and McCain, who got the same treatment from the Bush campaign in South Carolina, where he was about to KO the multi million dollar Bush juggernaut, has denounced the ads publicly. But if they can't do their lowlife dirty tricks campaigns, what can they do to get elected? Asia Times: "The advertisement, paid for by 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth', alleges to be from a group of veterans who seem to have some form of recovered-memory syndrome, since they have only chosen to speak out some 35 years late. They have ties to the Republican Party going back as far as Richard Nixon. But as McCain so subtly implies, they all inadvertently confirm one thing. Kerry was in Vietnam, in combat. In contrast, not even the best investigator's dirty-tricks department can find a single veteran who saw Bush in any military capacity whatsoever in Vietnam. Nor during his National Guard service in Alabama for 12 months from May 1972. Indeed, there are no veterans to dispute the merit of First Lieutenant George W Bush's combat medals or the quality and depth of the wounds that he suffered for his Purple Hearts. Because he was never in combat."
  • Torture Directed from Above -- "A former Army reservist who served with the 372nd Military Police Company in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad provided a detailed account Friday of Iraqi prisoner abuse that he says was directed and encouraged by military intelligence officers." Washington Post, Truthout
  • Rock Against Bush Volume 2.
  • The Anti-Convention -- Two evenings of music protesting the Republican National Convention. All proceeds after expenses will benefit NOT IN OUR NAME. livemusicresearch.com
  • One of the most reliable organs of media in a rapidly declining sector, The Humor Gazette, reports that "The U.S. has received credible "chatter" that al-Qaida may or may not try to attack the U.S. within the next 12 to 1,200 days, perhaps using a plane, a train, acid rain Ö or worse, a giant man-eating pterodactyl. Justice Department wacko John Ashcroft said he has obtained documents showing that Osama bin Laden may have manufactured a genetically engineered Super Terror-Dactyl using prehistoric DNA from Nigeria. Ashcroft denied he was making up the pterodactyl alert to distract Americans from President Bush's inept handling of the war and his trouble using words to communicate. He declined to reveal the source of his information but said it definitely was not Ahmad Chalabi." See "U.S. at risk of attack by giant pterodactyl"
  • Recent beheading video was a hoax, this time admittedly.
  • Bush warns Americans they are "still not safe." This refrain is getting more and more pathetic. Time for a new president, who will do the job. Reuters
  • The Bush Economic Catastrophe Marches on ... Down -- The stock market under what the cable news stations call the "Bush recovery" is now at its low point for the year. Reuters
  • "Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have begun work on a digital scanning apparatus that they believe will be able to reproduce sound from the only known audio recording of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas." Star Tribune
  • Creep Channel -- Hey Clear Channel! Why don't you organize some more CD-stomping events for anti-Bush, anti-war musicians! How about one for the destruction of recordings by Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Jackson Brown, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Pearl Jam, John Fogerty, Beastie Boys, R.E.M., Mellencamp, Ani DiFranco, Prince, Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, Yellowcard, No Doubt, Green Day, Bad Religion, Foo Fighters, Rancid, Radiohead, NOFX, Billy Bragg, Paula Cole, Zach de la Rocha, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lenny Kravitz, Live, Cat Stevens and yes, the Dixie Chicks. What a bash!
  • A vote for Kerry, says Dave Matthews: is "a vote for "a stronger, safer, healthier America. A vote for Bush is a vote for a divided, unstable, paranoid America". Herald Sun.
  • Bucks for Kerry -- The Vote For Change concerts could bring in $44 million for the Kerry campaign. CNN Money
  • Kerry and Edwards drew 20,000 in Kansas City, more than any political event there since the 1976 Republican National Convention.

    August 9, 2004

  • Norman Mailer in conversation with John Buffalo Mailer. Norman on Michael Moore, F911 and Bush: "You donít make your case by showing George H.W. Bush and a Saudi sheikh shaking hands. On a photo op, important politicians will shake hands with the devil. Moore seems to think that if you get people laughing at the right wing, you will win through ridicule. Heís wrong. Thatís when we lose. Back with the Progressive Party in 1948, we used to laugh and laugh at how dumb the other side was. Weíre still laughing, and weíre further behind now. On the other hand, the stuff on Iraq was powerful. There, he didnít need cheap shots. The real story was in the faces. All those faces on the Bush team. What you saw was the spiritual emptiness of those people. Bush has one of the emptiest faces in America. He looks to have no more depth than spit on a rock. It could be that the most incisive personal crime committed by George Bush is that he probably never said to himself, 'ďI donít deserve to be president.' You just canít trust a man whoís never been embarrassed by himself. The vanity of George W. stands out with every smirk. He literally cannot control that vanity. It seeps out of every movement of his lips, it squeezes through every tight-lipped grimace. Every grin is a study in smugsmanship ... Iíve been saying for a couple of years that Bush is not a conservative. Heís what I call a flag conservative, a Flag-Con. Heís not as interested in conservative values as in empire-building. The classic conservative, someone like Pat Buchanan or, to a more complicated degree, Bill Buckley, does believe that certain values in society must be maintained. The classic conservative believes in stability. You make changes grudgingly and with a great deal of prudence. Donít move too quickly, is the rule of thumb, because society, as they see it, is essentially a set of compromises and imbalances that can be kept going only by wisdom and, to use the word again, prudence. So you donít go off in wild, brand-new directions. None of this characterizes Bush." newyorkmetro.com
  • "Kerry's former commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said he had made a 'terrible mistake' in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book, 'Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.' .Elliott is quoted as saying that Kerry 'lied about what occurred in Vietnam . . . for example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back.' " Now Elliot says, "I still don't think he shot the guy in the back. It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here." Boston Globe.

    August 10, 2004

    Ringside at the Brawl

    Paul Krugman met the Kingpin Fox bigmouth bully boor Bill O'Reilly on CNBC with Tim Russert refereeing and it was a knockout. O'Reilly, the king of shouting down opponents, diversion and distortion, intimidation, one of the media's most sour, malevolent human beings versus Krugman, modest, soft-spoken, well-informed and armed with documentation, the brilliant Princeton economics professor whose political columns appear in the New York Times -- a happy accident. It was like seeing a machine of the latest design going up against an ancient, rusting, clattering mowing vehicle.

    Krugman had a moment to discuss his book while O'Reilly sat surly and silent, a predator in wait, pretending for a moment to be civilized. Then when Russert opened his cage door he sprang, flailing away, trying to overcome by volume. Krugman, like a cherub, was unfazed. "This isn't your show, you can't turn off my microphone."

    O'Reilly flared up in a rage at the remark. "That was a cheap shot! I'm not going to take that from you, buddy." It is true, though, O'Reilly does cut off the mike whenever it suits him on his own show.

    When defending the Bush administration was hopeless even for him, he backed away, "I'm not here to defend the Bush administration, they can defend themselves..." He would then slither around the particular point and go back to ... defending the Bush administration.

    He used all the common, lowlife tricks of argument used by people arguing a meritless position. All, including shouting and physical intimidation. Distracting, sarcasm, name-calling. "I'm sure you know more than I do about this, you know more than everybody," he snarled sarcastically at Krugman.

    When Krugman quoted O'Reilly saying Michael Moore thinks America is an evil country, O'Reilly denied saying it, flying into a histrionic indignant rage. Krugman coolly sifted through a small pile of papers in front of him and read the date of the quote. O'Reilly said it was out of context. Krugman read the context. Nailed in a lie in front of everyone, O'Reilly then launched into a theatrical attack to distract from his embarrassment. "Where did you get that? Who does your research?" It came from Mediamatters.org, Krugman said. O'Reilly seized on that and took off in a tyrade, eyebrows reaching for the sky, eyes wide open -- "Mediamatters? That left wing garbage ... You should do your own research, buddy." Instead of continuing to deny the accuracy of the quote, which was by then useless, he went off on an irrelevant tangent. Mediamatters, by the way, was founded by repented former Republican slimer David Brock.

    As O'Reilly did his flailing number, interrupting and practically covering Krugman, the latter said, "It's difficult to have a reasonable conversation with you." That set O'Reilly off again. "That's another cheap shot, and you know it is, and if you don't know what a cheap shot is, I'll tell you later," he yelled, lip curled in a threatening gesture of contempt.

    Because it wasn't O'Reilly's show, Krugman was actually allowed to make some points. Russert broke up the clinch now and then and restated a question from Krugman that O'Reilly was trying to dodge. "But what about those deficits?" he asked, as O'Reilly was yapping his supply side theory of how the entrepreneurs should be the ones to create jobs, not the government, how Bush wants "smaller government," which is obviously not true in fact, only theory.

    Well? "I don't like them," O'Reilly said, "No one likes them. They're not good for me, not good for anyone. But 9/11 happened. Didn't it? Did it happen? Or not?" Like Bush, he could always hide in 9/11 whenever his position was indefensible.

    It was hard to imagine how anyone could see it and think O'Reilly looked good, made sense, or made any points. But surely there are those who did perceive it that way. To me it was no contest. I wonder what it was like on the set when they cut to a commercial.

    MEDIA ROULETTE

    August 10, 2004

    The Georgey Shuffle

    At the Unity conference Bush was asked by Roland Martin, a columnist for The Chicago Defender, if he would support a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote for Americans. "Mr. President, you remarked in your remarks you said that 8 million people in Afghanistan registered to vote, and as you said, exercised their God-given right to vote." Bush said, "Right." Martin continued, "That may be a right from God, but it's not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. In 2000, an estimated 2 million people, half African American had their votes discounted from Florida and Cook County, Illinois, to other cities. Some on it-- That cuts into other questions. Are you going to order Attorney General John Ashcroft to send federal election monitors to Florida and other southern states and in this age of new constitutional amendments, will you endorse a constitutional amendment guaranteeing every American the right to vote in federal elections?"

    Bush did a classic sidestep:

    BUSH: Yes. First of all, look, I can understand why African Americans in particular -- you know, are worried about being able to vote since the vote had been denied for so long in the south in particular. I understand that. This administration wants everybody to vote. Now, I -- best thing we did was to pass the Helping America Vote Act with over -- I think it's $3 billion of help to states and local governments to make sure that the voting process is fair. I -- you know, it's not just the south. By the way, the voting process needs help all over the country to make sure that everybody's vote counts and everybody's vote matters. I understand that. That's why I was happy to work with the congress to achieve this important piece of legislation. Just don't focus on Florida. I have to talk to the governor down there to make sure it works. But it's the whole country that needs voter registration files need to be updated. The machines need to work. And that's why there's $3 billion in the budget to help, Roland. Obviously, everybody ought to have a vote. What was your other question?

    MARTIN: Should we put it -- guarantee it in the constitution.

    BUSH: I'll consider it. I'll consider it. What's your second question?

    MARTIN: You said it should be guaranteed in Iraq, why not America?

    BUSH: Well, it's not guaranteed in Iraq. People have to show up to vote in the first place. The thing about democracy is people need to step up and decide to participate in the first place. There's no guarantees people are going to vote. They should be allowed to vote, but the problem we have in our society is too many people choose not to vote. We have a duty in the political process, and you have a duty as journalists to encourage people to register to vote, to do their duty. I'm not saying that -- Iím saying that people are choosing. It's not guaranteed they're going to. That's part of the problem that we have in America. Not enough people do vote. You have a duty on your radio stations on your TV stations, to encourage people to register to vote. I have a duty to call them out to vote. Of course, Iím going to try to call them out to vote for me.

    Bush turned it around so that he was saying, "We can't guarantee that everyone will vote." When the question was not guaranteeing that they will vote, but guaranteeing that they can. It was similar to the way Condi Rice dealt with the 9/11 Commission. Just blab a lot until the time is up and hope that by then everyone forgot the question.

    With Afghans, the right to vote is God given, he said. But when it comes to guaranteeing it to Americans, he said, "I'll consider it." Does that mean Bush puts Afghans above Americans? Or does he put himself over God? Or both? See Democracy Now.

  • Alan Keyes is out there! He said Barak Obama's views on abortion are "the slaveholder's position." The bewilderingly deluded Black conservative said Obama's vote against a bill that would have outlawed a form of late-term abortion denied unborn children their equal rights, hence "the slaveholder's position". Keyes goes on to say, "I would still be picking cotton if the country's moral principles had not been shaped by the Declaration of Independence." He said Obama "has broken and rejected those principles he has taken the slaveholder's position." What a leap! What an artful distortion! Keyes is the idiot savant of Black against Black. ABC
  • Iraq on the edge -- "The new Iraq was on a knife-edge last night as violence and political instability confronted the regime of Iyad Allawi, the interim Prime Minister." The Independent
  • Whoa! This is big! "A federal judge on Monday upheld subpoenas to compel testimony of journalists at NBC News and Time magazine in a special prosecutor's probe into whether Bush administration officials illegally leaked a covert CIA officer's name to the news media." maconareaonline.com
  • Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern on the intention of the administration to call off elections, see Buzzflash
  • Bush: "Sovereignty is when you are sovereign". NY Daily News
  • Stern can move some votes -- seattlepi
  • The National Annenberg Election Survey run by the University of Pennsylvania showed last week that 42 percent of the independent voters prized by both candidates think Kerry is more optimistic, while 30 percent think Bush is. The same group's poll taken before the Democratic convention had Bush leading the optimism derby with independents by 41 to 34 percent." Washington Post

    MEDIA ROULETTE

    August 11, 2004

  • Reagan and the Supply Side Deception -- makethemaccountable.com
  • Bush's appointment to head the CIA, Porter Goss, is said to be a "former" CIA man. Is there such a thing? Does anyone ever leave the agency? Does anyone ever leave the Mafia? Washington Post
  • This time there will be foreign monitors of the US election: Washington Post Reuters.
  • "Al Qaeda mole row reveals disarray" -- Reuters
  • Bush told a Virginia crowd that high taxes on the rich are a failed strategy because "the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." Daily Press
  • The American Bar Association issued a statment criticizing what it called "a widespread pattern of abusive detention methods" at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo that it says "feed terrorism by painting the United States as an arrogant nation above the law." Associated Press
  • Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush, by Jim Rassmann. "John Kerry saved my life. Now his heroism is being questioned." Vote for him or don't vote for him based on policy, or something legitimate, even personality. But not on the basis of lies cooked up in a smear campaign. Wall Street Journal via Truthout
  • Bush thought he had Kerry cornered, challenging him to make clear his position when he voted for the war. Kerry said, yes, he would still make the same decision now, knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction. He voted to give the president the authority to move forward to protect the country, if indeed there was a threat. Ascertaining that threat required certain explicit steps, which Bush then failed to take. "I believe it's the right authority for a president to have," Kerry said. "My question to President Bush is, Why did he rush to war without a plan to win the peace? Why did he rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do the hard work necessary to give America the truth? Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war? Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order to support American troops in the way that we deserve it and relieve a pressure from the American people?" Oh well. So much for that tactic.
  • Big Business = Big Brother Wired

    August 12, 2004

  • Amazing look at the election on Daily Kos. "I've been on record since May 2002 to the effect that Bush is unelectable. Of late, I've pegged the second week of August as National GOP Panic Week -- the point when this realization starts to sink in. August 8-15 is Panic Week, and today is Hump Day. At this writing, political sportsbooks had Bush at even money, but notable right-leaning pol-watchers made him a near write-off."
  • "How Far Will Bush Go?" -- "Remember the Weapons of Mass Destruction? And all the collaboration between Saddam and Osama? The neo-cons sold us those lies, for our own good, to be sure. They're now selling Iran. William Kristol, editor of the neo-con Weekly Standard, feels the same about the torture and sexual humiliation of those we capture. We're the good guys. At least some of them are bad guys. And whatever we're doing to them, we're getting the information we need. So don't obsess." Truthout
  • There's a new video allegedly of a CIA agent being beheaded. At least now, the press bothers to say the authenticity cannot be verified, thanks to a hoaxster. Chron.com
  • The Plame case may end up in the Supreme Court with several reporters in jail... Editor & Publisher
  • Discussion of the Plame case with David Corn on Democracynow.org
  • An addition to the file of Killer Bush, check out this amazing clipping of young Bush slugging an opposing football player in the face: bobharris.com

    Friday, August 13, 2004

  • Some people were taken in by Bush's allegation that Kerry said he would have supported the war even knowing what he now knows. That wasn't what Kerry said. He said he would have voted the same as he did, which was to give the president the authority to use force if he first exercised all diplomatic options and second let the inspectors complete their work in searching for weapons and third formed an international consensus on the issue. If Bush had kept his word and done those three things, there would have been no war.

  • Nixon: "I am not a crook." Bush: "I know what I'm doing."
  • Cheney says Kerry (decorated war veteran) is "unfit to be commander in chief". Bush, who flaked out of his National Guard duty, is more "decisive" (simple-minded, dogmatic). MLive.com
  • Rep. Ron Paul: Police State USA -- Antiwar.com
  • U.S. misstep in Najaf could bring more resentment News analysis by Barbara Slavin and Steven Komarow, USA TODAY The U.S.-led battle to put the Shiite Muslim city of Najaf back under the control of Iraq's new government is a high-stakes operation that could provoke wider resistance, even if it's a military success. USA Today
  • Heat of Battle Takes Toll on US Forces LA Times
  • Morford: "There are signs and indicators. There are feelings and intuitions. There is that undeniable tang in the air, that clenching of the cultural colon, that cringe in the collective soul. Something has got to give. A national shakeup is more than imminent -- it is desperately, urgently needed. And Bush is just about finished. Don't you feel it? The sensation that the country cannot continue to careen down this ultraviolent, antihumanitarian path much longer without implosion and desperation and a massive increase in sedative prescriptions for anyone with an even slightly intuitive sense of justice and future and long hot sighs of hope? You're not alone."
  • SF Gate
  • No one reports on the war dead anymore. Why? Informationclearinghouse.info
  • Kerry pulls ahead in polls in Michigan M Live
  • Thom Hartmann, brilliant piece on fascism, Henry Wallace, Sinclair Lewis, Mussolini, etc. Common Dreams
  • Voters unmoved by terror alerts -- Time

    August 14, 2004

    [Editor's Note: I will be moving to an undisclosed location for the next week or so. I will attempt to update the site. If I fail, I should return in a little over a week. But I expect to be able to continue.]

  • New Book about Bush: Deserter: George W. Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past by Ian Williams. Read a sample here, Order here. As Nobel Prize laureate and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Bobby Muller said: "Williams describes a President who inhabits a world where the soldiers are tin, where our brave men and women are reduced to photo opportunities in service not of their country's security but the President's warped political and foreign policy agendas. As a veteran I cheer Williams's courage even as I lament the exploitation of our troops." Articles by Williams are here.
  • Najaf Officials Resign in Protest of US Attack -- "Sixteen of Najaf's 30-member provincial council resigned in protest at the US-led assault on the Najaf as fighting between the al-Mahdi Army loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and US occupation forces entered its eighth day. 'We have decided to resign due to what has befallen Najaf and all of Iraq from the hasty US invasion and bombardment of Najaf,' the council said in a statement to the press." " Al Jazeera
  • In the Battleground of Ideas, the Right Loses Without a Fight. When it comes to generating hate, the Bushies are the all-time champions. Gail Sheehy writes, "Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11." One of the 9/11 widows, Mindy Kleinberg, said, "Two planes hitting the twin towers did not rise to the level of Rumsfeld's leaving his office and going to the War Room? How can that be?" Sheehy: "The fact that the final report failed to offer an explanation is one of the infuriating holes in an otherwise praiseworthy accounting. Rumsfeld was missing in action that morning ó 'out of the loop' by his own admission. The lead military officer that day, Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield, told the commission that the Pentagon's command center had been essentially leaderless: 'For 30 minutes we couldn't find' Rumsfeld." LA Times

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