November 1, 2003
November ComethAnd oh how glorious it is in the Northeast, a bright, warm, brilliantly colorful autumn day. Thank God we are able to enjoy it in peace, unlike those poor souls whose lives are made undendurable day after day by the evil cabal that rules Washington.
Meanwhile the world goes on...
There will be no Dubya boom, barely any recovery, except for the rich. Ask the real economists, like Joseph Stiglitz. "Dealing with the deficit will absorb the US political economy for years to come," he says. "We're back to the Reagan era." See Observer. See also Daniel Gross, and again, Paul Krugman. Now more Americans have died in the occupation than in the invasion, the line between which is drawn by Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner, which he now claims to have had foisted upon him by gleeful soldiers. The Guardian. And if you count the deaths that fall beyond the narrow definition of combat deaths, the numbers are much higher. See mediainfo.com. Bush says the more people die in Iraq the more it is a sign of how much "progress" the U.S. is making there. See Maureen Dowd, "Eyes Wide Shut". Chomsky surfaced in mainstream media via a Reuters story that appeared on Yahoo. He warned that Bush needs to manufacture a threat to the U.S. to cover up the disaster he has made of everything. The picture showed Chomsky with Castro at a Latin American sciences conference in Cuba.
Sunday, November 2, 2003
Connecting the Dots -- According to the Washington Post on Sunday, November 12, 2000, "Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County ... called the county elections department [at 10 p.m.] and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters." At the time of the article (a much more innocent time in history) the problem was attributed to a "glitch", that is "faulty memory cards." But now the research being done by Beverly Harris of blackboxvoting.com has uncovered that the real source of the "glitch" is traceable to the corruptable Diebold voting machines. See Scoop for details. According to John Nichols, in See Madison Times, Vietnam Vet Tim O'Brien, author of Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried, "suggested that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and members of Congress ought to ship out to Iraq, or ship their children off to the front lines. Officials who declare and support wars ought to be afforded an opportunity to back up their rhetoric with a physical commitment, O'Brien explained. Or they could send their sons, daughters and grandkids. The prospect that presidents, vice presidents, defense secretaries and members of Congress might - along with their loved ones - be suiting up for combat would, the author allowed, lend a very different flavor to the discourse." Mark Morford, writing in SFGate.com, brings straight talk into the relative mainstream of journalism. His latest column is titled "The Incredible Lying BushCo This just in: More irrefutable proof that Dubya's is the slimiest administration in 100 years". He says, "George W. Bush and his entire senior administration lied, and continue to lie, flagrantly, openly, knowingly, with full intent, about the need to drive this nation into a brutal and unwinnable and fiscally debilitating war, one that protects no one and inhibits no terrorism and defends nothing but BushCo's own petrochemical cronies and political stratagems." War and the economy -- catching up to Bush in the heartland. See St. Louis Dispatch.
November 3, 2003
The Republican National Committee is trying to force CBS to let it censor its series on Reagan. CNN. Fifteen more Americans dead in Iraq on Sunday. How many more? The administration, of course, strengthens its resolve to "stay the course" to disaster. (See The Age.) A reign of terror will probably follow, leading to more and more death. What gives? When a population is constantly subjected to more and more pressure, what gives? One incident that seems to be a sign of the stressful times under Bush: A woman under so much stress that she "snapped" drove her car with three children in it into an arena where Bush was supposed to have been speaking. CBS. Maureen Dowd puts her finger on something in her recent piece about con men. She quotes Leon Wieseltier, the New Republic's literary editor, who was conned by reporter Stephen Glass, who fabricated many of his stories, saying, "The reason that con artists get away with elaborate deception is that most people refuse to live in a world in which cynicism is the rule. We're mentally prepared for honest mistakes. And everybody lies. But most people lie because they're afraid, not because they get pleasure out of deceiving or because they have contempt for people and standards of probity." Dowd concludes: "It's hard to protect yourself from the big lie." Dowd goes ahead to make the unavoidable connection with the foulest arch-scammer sociopath con man on the scene today, George W. Bush. The big advantage the Bush administration has had over its opponents is its utter cynicism, its worshipping of power over all other things and its lack of moral restraint. And it will run out on them. Looks like Hillary has filed as a presidential candidate for 2004. See Rense.com. More evidence that the more TV you watch, the less you know. See Asia Times. Military discontent is boiling up and could become a political threat to the Buschists. See Washington Monthly.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
November 4, 2003
Attacks increase pressure on Bush. The Washington Post quotes Peter D. Feaver, a former National Security Council staff member who teaches political science at Duke University: "It is damaging not only because of the tragic human toll, but also because it looks like a dramatic escalation in lethality and therefore begs obvious questions: Are all helicopters at risk now? Are we losing the initiative? Who is winning? If the attacks get interpreted as evidence that the Baathist holdouts are winning, then attacks like this can be as lethal for public support as they are for the soldiers involved." he said. According to Andrew J. Bacevich, a retired Army colonel who teaches international relations at Boston University: "While resolutely denying that it is doing so, the Bush administration is looking for an exit," said "With the political season approaching, this terrible loss will only increase the urgency felt within the White House to find a way out." Cronkite on rigging elections The Denver Post White House holds course. The Guardian: "Mr Bush was at his ranch in Texas but a spokesman traveling with the presidential group said: 'Our will and resolve are unshakable.' The defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said: 'In a long, hard war we are going to have tragic days. But they are necessary. They are part of a war that is difficult and complicated.'" situation in Iraq deteriorating The Guardian: "The attack was without any doubt a disaster for American forces. With 15 personnel reported killed and many more injured, it was the deadliest such incident since the war officially ended last May. But its significance will be greatly magnified by its context. The perception, in America itself and abroad, is that the security situation in Iraq is deteriorating, rather than improving as President George Bush claims. US-led coalition forces are now being subjected to an average of over 30 attacks daily. Hardly a day passes without news of one or more US fatalities. Far from being accepted as routine, this toll appears to be convincing more and more ordinary Americans that Mr Bush and his officials are not in control of a situation that they, uniquely, created... Donald Rumsfeld, who was the chief architect of the Iraq campaign and is still, surprisingly, the US secretary of defence, said the shooting-down was a tragedy. 'Your heart goes out to the families.'" Notice how he didn't claim his heart went out to them. "More than the failure of the United States to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, now it is the mounting death toll that is posing a political threat to Mr Bush. But the poll found that 54 per cent of Americans were still satisfied that it was worth going to war against Saddam Hussein. At the same time, the Washington Post-ABC News pollshowed 87 per cent of voters were concerned that the US would find itself bogged down in Iraq, while 62 per cent said they believed America had already suffered an unacceptable death toll." The Independent
November 5, 2003
Inevitably the effects of the war deaths are penetrating deeper and deeper into America. One individual story: a Delta Force captain who used to march with his parents in anti-war marches is among the dead. Heraldnet.com Republicans are hyping the hell out of the recent quarter report from the government in which economic growth was said to be at a higher rate than any one quarter since 1984. They are going to make the most of it because it may be the last bit of good economic news they have for a while. If the treasury secretary of the bogus administration says the economy is improving, Tom Paine asks: Which economy? Jobs are being lost at a higher rate than any time since dear Herbert Hoover was president, and that was, you may recall, the onset of the Great Depression. If the stock market is rolling, Halliburton and Brown & Root the oil companies and the many and varied defense industries are gleeful as pigs in pools of excrement, it's fairly apparent that a lot of money is being made by some people. This does not make "good economic news". Sorry. There are millions of the rest of us who are not big stockmarket players who need basic subsistence and that's pretty much impossible without a job and virtually no sustainable alternative in terms of a social safety net for those who fall into unemployment.