By John Nichols for The Nation
New York City, Aug. 31, 2004
When US Sen. John McCain took a shot at film maker Michael Moore in his speech to the Republican National Convention Monday night, he had no reason to know that the man who made the controversial documentary "Fahrenheit 9-11" was just a few hundred feet away from him. But Moore was in Madison Square Garden with McCain and thousands of Republicans who, it would be fair to say, do not rank "Fahrenheit 9-11" high on their list of favorite films.
In a speech that was at once a spirited defense of the war with Iraq and a reminder that he is still available for consideration as a 2008 presidential nominee, McCain earned his biggest applause when he rejected any and all criticism of the Bush administration's decision to launch a preemptive war against the Middle Eastern country and disparaged "a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls."
Moore, who was seated in the press gallery of Madison Square Garden, writing for USA Today (see below) pumped his fists in the air and tipped his hat to the McCain and the hooting delegates. Later, the Academy Award-winning documentary maker pointed out that "Fahrenheit 9-11" did not argue that Iraq was an oasis of peace. Instead, Moore noted, his film suggested that the Bush administration stretched the truth when it argued that regime change had to be forced upon Iraq in order to avert the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction that have yet to be found. But he thought the Republicans made a mistake in drawing attention to him. "To bring up the film in the speech tonight, it's not good for the Republican Party," he explained. "It's just going to make more people say: 'I'd better go see this movie.' And when people see it, they don't feel much like voting Republican."
Michael Moore, reporting for USA Today from the Republican National Convention, writes that behind the radical right leadership of the GOP is a plentiful supply of RINOs -- Republicans In Name Only. See the article.
By David Corn of The Nation
From the hard right to the mushy right--within minutes you can experience both in New York, as each extreme fights for a piece of a tent that's not so big. While religious right fanatics confronted anti-Bush demonstrators on the city's avenues, GOPers pushing for gay rights sipped cocktails at a lovely reception off Bryant Park. In language, in look, in priorities, the two bands had little in common. But both are disappointed by Bush. And Bush probably has each in his pocket.
By Nathan Newman
New York City, Aug. 31, 2004
Dick Cheney sat just a few rows in front of me. Thousands of Republicans pumped there fists, yelling "woo, woo, woo" as Rudy Guiliani disgraced the memories of our dead neighbors in his partisan rant -- a skilled rant filled with the lies we've come to expect -- but it was almost a comfort to have any residual positive feelings for Rudy from his unifying role on 9/11 dissolve as he laundered that goodwill into partisan bile.
Having marched with the hundreds of thousands of protesters on Sunday, it was almost surreal to be sitting in the stands at the GOP Convention, courtesy of a press pass from my gig at the Progressive Populist. But heck, it couldn't be stranger than for Michael Moore, who John McCain referred to as a "disengenous filmmaker," leading the crowd to drown him out in roars as they pointed at Moore sitting in the press gallery. Moore smiled and tipped his hat to the crowd, soon leaving for the television interviews that would have to follow.
The lies of the night are that skilled Bushian variety. Any individual sentence is merely exaggerated or bent just a little, but paragraphs are constructed to convey ideas that are complete lies. The classic of the night was of course the endless-- we needed to respond to 9/11. We had to defeat al Qaeda, so we had to go to Afghanistan. And of course we had to fight terror by Saddam Hussein, making a link that has been repeatedly proven to be a lie. Or Rudy's comment that Saddam Hussein was himself a weapon of mass destruction, a way to repeat a lie, refuse to apologize for the lie. See the rest
Poem by Quinn Middleton
Aug. 30, 2004
By Mark Engler
New York City, Aug. 29, 2004
Like many New Yorkers, I am not native to this place. I arrived from elsewhere, and have made the city my home. My extended family lives in the Midwest. They do not understand New York. I have an uncle who labors with an iron work ethic in carpentry and flooring. He gets up every morning at 5 a.m., and I have often seen him working, trying to finish off a floor, after 9:30 at night. My uncle tells me that he could not live in New York City. It's "too busy," he says. I laugh, wondering how he could get any busier than he is in rural Wisconsin.
Such feelings about New York are frequently expressed by my relatives. Their judgements aren't based on any real knowledge of the city, its rhythms or its neighborhoods. Rather, my family members use New York as a landmark. For them, it is an imaginary place. The city is some place different from where they live. It embodies a different way of life. When they express distaste for New York, they do not intend to denigrate those who live there. They merely wish to express appreciation for what they have, for the places they have settled.
I respect that. I know that there are many people in this country who feel as they do, and it does not bother me at all. Unlike some of our city's more chauvinistic promoters -- yes, they do exist -- I do not regard New York as the best possible place for all people to live. Yet I will defend New York, as a city and as a way of life, when called to do so. This is a week in which we are called. The Republicans are trying to use New York to advance a social agenda that assaults the diversity and tolerance at the heart of the city, and to promote a fiscal program that starves urban centers. New Yorkers are right in refusing to provide a cheerful backdrop for the Party's week of self-promotion. See the rest
by Charles Cullen
Silja J.A. Talvi of In These Times reports on the terrible and worsening prospects for young black men in America. The statistics are too depressing to list, but too compelling not to, so begin with Talvi, who notes that in 1954 (the year of Brown v. Board) ìan estimated 98,000 African Americans were in prison. Today a staggering 884,500 are incarcerated. "Given current trends," writes Talvi, "one of every three African-American men born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime," which means that African-American men are more likely to go to prison than to serve in the military or earn a bachelor's degree. Many factors play a role in this homegrown human rights disaster, from racist "war on drugs" sentencing practices, to a general rise in the likelihood that any man, black or white, will spend time in jail during his lifetime ("the lifetime risks of imprisonment for all men roughly doubled from 1979 to 1999"), but the vast majority of this risk increase was absorbed by those who "never make it to college," which means that poverty is perhaps the single most important factor in the "mass incarceration" of black men. Talvi is highly critical of the Bush administration, accusing them of adopting a "do-nothing approach to the fact that the imprisonment of underprivileged African Americans has reached epidemic proportions." And even as Bush pandered to the Urban League regarding the fate of the more than 600,000 people (that's not a typo) who are released from prison each year, saying "Let's make sure we're the country of the second chance," he failed to enunciate how we are going to be that country, ignoring the "federally-instituted denial of student loans, public housing, or welfare to any person convicted of a drug crime."
You don't necessarily need a juris doctorate to force corporations to operate within the law, writes Christian Science Monitor's G Jeffrey Macdonald (8/16/04). "When Denny Larson wants to harness the power of law to keep oil companies honest," he simply measures air toxicity downwind from offending factories, gathering evidence that could trigger government investigations resulting in heavy fines. More and more, it seems, citizens without the legal or financial ability to fight misbehaving corporations in court have begun to use reforms in corporate law that allow federal regulators to do most of the fighting for them. Along with tighter regulations and more vigilant federal regulators, laws protecting corporate whistleblowers have become "significantly stronger," according to Tracey Rembert, director of shareholder activism for the Social Investment Forum. Employees who report poor treatment on the job are now protected by the fact that their names cannot legally be revealed to their superiors. Finally greater shareholder and client access to information about corporate behavior may make it financially necessary for a company to behave ethically.
Eric Boehlert writes in Salon.com Aug. 19 that John Kerry has called for the removal of the scathing, but factually baseless Unfit for Command from bookstores. In Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clantonís words, "No publisher should want to be selling a book with proven falsehoods in them, especially falsehoods that are meant to smear the military service of an American veteran." Even some Republicans find the book, a product of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, distasteful and politically unhelpful. "I don't think the Swift Boat Veterans are helping the Republican cause," Conneticut Republican Christopher Shays admitted on CNN. It seems unlikely that the book will disappear, considering it is produced by Regnery Publishing (home to Anne Coulter, and David Limbaugh) and because the book is a bestseller thanks to huge investments of capital from Republican Bush backers). However, Boehlert notes ìthere is a long-standing tradition by reputable publishers of withdrawing titles that prove to be hoaxes or frauds. Just last month Random House's Australian unit was forced to pull an international bestseller after it was determined to be a fabrication.
David Moberg of In These Times (8/12/04) reports on the complex future of labor unions and the widespread feeling among members that organized labor has reached a critical point in its history, where prudent decision making could lead to a vast increase in power and size, and the opposite to extinction.
Eric Boehlert laments the sudden drop in media coverage of Iraq even as violence there continues, in his article "War, What War?" (Salon.com, 8/12/04). After the June 28 handover, Boehlert argues, the media put Iraq on the back burner despite continued chaos and a very uncertain future for the new Iraqi government and the Iraqi people. Steven Cook, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, puts it bluntly: "On June 28, my feeling was nothing was going to change because of the hand-over," adding, "There were still going to be car bombings and US soldiers being killed, and that's exactly what's happened. Nothing has changed." Except, Boehlert reminds us, the attention of the media.
Robert Scheer is none too happy with what he sees as a mind numbing mistake by John Kerry when confronted by the question "Knowing all you know now, would you still have voted to go to war?" "Yes" said John Kerry, "No, you idiot!" cries Scheer in the August 17 edition of The Nation. He then goes on to make a compelling case for why John Kerryís refusal to recant his war vote (probably a move motivated by terror of being accused of a "flip-flop") is the kind of political mistake Kerry can't afford to make if he wants to win in November.
MORE NIXON PERFIDY.
Richard Nixon, whose allies delayed a possible Vietnam peace deal in 1968 to enhance his election chances, also delayed withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam past the 1972 election because he and Henry Kissinger feared it would undercut his re-election, newly released tapes show. In an Aug. 3, 1972, White House conversation with Kissinger, Nixon expressed worry about how his administration would be viewed if South Vietnam fell. “We also have to realize, Henry, that winning an election is terribly important,” he said. Kissinger, who in 1971 had argued that the withdrawal would cause political problems, advised Nixon that they could avoid being seen as failures as long as South Vietnam held on for a few years. After beating George McGovern, Nixon agreed in January 1973 to bring the troops home. Saigon fell two years later. Transcripts are due to be released on Sunday, Aug. 8, the 30th anniversary of Nixon's resignation, at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs. (Previously released tapes and transcripts are available.)
By Charles Cullen
As I boarded the last flight from Boston to Atlanta I wondered why I was feeling so confused. Part of it, certainly, could be traced to my accidental two-hour ride on the “T,” where my keen journalistic instincts failed me and, in a fit of blazing incompetence, I took the train away from instead of towards the airport. But part of it was the convention. Certain moments kept returning to me -- talk of resuscitating hamsters (gerbils?), John Edwards’ beatific smile, Kerry snapping a dumb but politically brilliant salute and “reporting for duty.” All the right people had spoken and had stayed, with the momentary (and much exaggerated) exception of Al Sharpton, remarkably on message -- Kerry. Swiftboat. 3 Purple hearts. 2 stars. God. Country. Notre Dame. Strike that last one. But something had been missing -- off.
A secret habit of mine is watching Fox News. I can only stand it for a short period of time but it invariably produces the high of a good laugh or righteous indignation, and sometimes it gives me the idea for an article. On the night I returned from Boston it crystallized the confusion I was feeling and revealed its source with one ugly little word: “hatefest.” As is often the case, Fox’s coverage was diametrically opposed to the truth but as whoever it was repeated their charge that the DNC had been a hatefest I had my epiphany. Where was the hate? There was certainly no shortage of it on the floor of the convention. The delegates wanted blood and went wild at even the most veiled criticism of the Bush administration. But those on the stage staunchly refused to gratify the baser instincts of their audience, which, I’m pretty sure, is unusual behavior in politicians. I was reeling from watching the first rule of politics -- give ’em what they want -- violated by speaker after speaker. Even those who criticized the president directly, and there were precious few, did so with such good humor and restraint that the convention felt like a, well, what’s the opposite of a “hatefest?” “Love-in." See More ...
Lest we forget
Another website documenting George W. Bush's service in the Texas National Guard.
Now the Congressional Budget Office has reported that the Social Security system actually is in pretty good shape, debunking the persistent cries of doom from those seeking to privatize the landmark New Deal program. See Roger Hickey's take on Republican efforts to dismantle Social Security at the Campaign for America's Future. Also check out a nice cartoon on Social Security produced by the folks at AARP.
Summer Film Fare
Check out the trailer for Michael Moore's new documentary film, Fahrenheit 911, winner of the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival. A Canadian distributor, Lions Gate Films, and IFC Films has taken over the distribution job after Disney blocked Moore's regular distributor from handling the exposé, but now it is scheduled to open nationwide June 25 and the DVD should be released in October.
Also see the trailer for The Hunting of the President, the documentary by Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry on the right-wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton that brought two special prosecutors, an $80 million probe and an impeachment resolution. The movie, which is based on a book by Joe Conason and Progressive Populist columnist Gene Lyons, is set for a New York release June 18 (delayed a week from the original premiere out of respect for the Late President Ronald Reagan and his family).
The best line in the movie "Troy" is given to Sean Bean's Odysseus, who tells Brad Pitt's Achilles that "War is young men dying and old men talking." Tomorrow we'll get back to arguing about the reasons for our current war, but on this Memorial Day we honor the young men (and women) who gave the last full measure of their devotion to their country, regardless of the reasons they were sent to armed conflict. The Austin American Statesman got it right in its editorial, "Today is not about war; it's about respecting those who died for U.S." And please save some prayers for those who survived the wars and came home.
New media watchdog
Check out Media Matters for America, a Web site "to monitor the media for conservative misinformation – every day, in real time." It's led by David Brock, the former conservative media insider who reprinted with the 2002 best-selling memoir, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative.
Find those lies
Nathan Newman offers an analysis of what is possible and where the Bush administration-negotiated Central American Free Trade agreement, which proposes to expand NAFTA, falls short. The short answer: enforceable labor standards as outlined by the International Labor Organization. "That means free speech, the right to organize and the end to child labor. Any trade agreement without those should be dead on arrival" in Congress, Newman writes. The US can get those standards included in trade deals; the Clinton administration did in a pact with Jordan in 2000. The Bush administration did not bother to include enforceable rights for working people in its CAFTA.
Over the weekend there was a considerable flapdoodle in the big high school that is Blog World over an intemperate remark Kos of DailyKos.com made on someone else's blog. In his comments he said the "security contractors" killed in Fallujah were in fact mercenaries, and concluded, "Screw them."
Kos, a native of El Salvador who actually grew up in a war zone, who later served in the US military in Desert Storm and now lives in Chicago, later explained his remark on his own blog. "I was angry that five soldiers -- the real heroes in my mind -- were killed the same day and got far lower billing in the newscasts. I was angry that 51 American soldiers paid the ultimate price for Bush's folly in Iraq in March alone. I was angry that these mercenaries make more in a day than our brave men and women in uniform make in an entire month. I was angry that the US is funding private armies, paying them $30,000 per soldier, per month, while the Bush administration tries to cut our soldiers' hazard pay. I was angry that these mercenaries would leave their wives and children behind to enter a war zone on their own violition."
Of course that explanation was not enough to satisfy the right-wing nuts who flooded Kos' blog with angry comments, including some racist comments about his heritage and family "and threatening to kick my ass." (Some of this same tribe of wingnuts who are so defensive of the memory of mercenaries in Iraq, by the way, also celebrated the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone in 2002 and gloated over the deaths of UN workers in Iraq last August.)
They also harassed some of the political candidates who were advertising on DailyKos.com, some of whom pulled their advertising rather than find themselves associated with an incendiary statement that wasn't even on the same website. DailyKos.com has become a popular source for news for progressive Democrats, so it was also an attractive advertising venue for Democratic congressional candidates. If right-wing bullies can intimidate Democrats from advertising, they can weaken both the candidates and the blogs, so they will seize on any statement that they can twist out of context to attack the patriotism of liberals. When you're in the opinion business you run the risk of being misconstrued, but the wingnuts are in the business of making mountains out of molehills to distract attention from George W. Bush's disastrous maladministration of the supposed war on terror.
Kos may have gone overboard on his original comment, but his suspicions about the use of mercenaries and private military contractors in war zones such as Iraq are well placed. Their roles in that troubled region should be closely examined.
Liberal Radio on the Air
Air America Radio debuted Wednesday, March 31, in 5-1/2 media markets with a full lineup of liberal talkers. Al Franken got the headlines with his noon-to-3 p.m. show opposite Rush Limbaugh, but other hosts include Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes, rapper Chuck D, Marty Kaplan and Laura Flanders. Outside of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, LA and Portland you can pick up the signal via XM satellite radio or by the Internet at airamericaradio.com. The opening day streaming over the Internet was spotty, particularly during Franken's show, with long stretches of dead air as the streaming link apparently was overloaded, but later in the day Air America appeared to have the most of the kinks worked out.
The lineup is:
Morning Sedition, with Marc Maron, Sue Ellicott and Mark Riley, weekdays 6am-9am
Unfiltered, with Lizz Winstead, Chuck D, and Rachel Maddow, weekdays 9am-noon
The O'Franken Factor, with Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher, weekdays noon-3pm. Repeat: 11pm-2am
The Randi Rhodes Show, weekdays 3pm-7pm. Repeat: 2am-6am
So What Else Is News? with Marty Kaplan, weekdays 7pm-8pm
The Majority Report, with Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder, weekdays 8pm-11pm.
The Laura Flanders Show, Saturdays 7pm – 10pm; Sundays 6pm – 9pm
Stations so far include:
New York - WLIB 1190 AM
Los Angeles - KBLA 1580 AM
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA - KCAA 1050 AM
Chicago - WNTD 950 AM
Portland, OR- KPOJ 620 AM
Minneapolis MN - WMNN 1330AM
Or XM Satellite radio Channel 167.
Stations in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., to be announced.
Also, Clear Channel, the radio broadcasting giant known for its right-wing predilection, is giving Rev. Jesse Jackson a one-hour weekly broadcast from WGCI-AM (1390) in Chicago. The program, which will initially be heard on five other Clear Channel stations, including WWPR-FM (105.1) in New York, will air live from 8 to 9 a.m. Eastern time on Sundays and be titled, "Keep Hope Alive With the Rev. Jesse Jackson." Clear Channel also owns KPOJ in Portland, which airs Air America, as an experiment to see if liberal news talk pays off.
Save Bob Edwards!
With just eight months to go before his 25th anniversary as anchor of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" news program, Bob Edwards was informed that he would be removed from the anchor's position and reassigned to the position of senior correspondent on April 30.
In the past five years with Edwards, "Morning Edition"'s audience has grown 41%, making it the most popular morning radio program in the country. He trails only Rush Limbaugh for national listeners, but instead of being congratulated he's being eased into the pasture at age 56. Linda Ellerbee, the former TV news anchor, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that NPR appeared to be acting on the theory "if it's not broke, break it."
Now it turns out the move was demanded by some station managers, "to remain competitive in an increasingly demanding and crowded news marketplace, according to the New York Times Sept. 30. But the announcement of Edwards' demotion has generated more than 17,000 calls and email messages to NPR from angry listeners and a website, savebobedwards.com, has generated more than 6,500 signatures as of mid-day March 30.
Some managers at NPR member stations called the timing callous and clumsy, the Times reported, coming just eight months before Edwards's 25th anniversary as host and, perhaps more importantly, at the start of spring pledge drives at stations nationwide. Some critics of the move argued that public radio should be immune to the ratings-driven pressures that often prompt such personnel shifts in commercial broadcasting.
Criticism of Edwards' performance apparently started after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when New York-based TV networks cut immediately to live coverage after the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. Edwards starts work at 2 a.m., tapes the news program from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., Eastern time and updates it for western time zones. The taped broadcast was being replayed when the first airplane hit the tower at 8:46 a.m. NPR broke into the program with bulletins and began special programming at 10 that morning and went on to win several awards for its coverage.
But some station managers renewed long-running discussions about the way the program should be run and the need for a host who is more of a reporter than an anchor, the Times reported. The network has recently acquired the financial freedom to overhaul its programming and expand its news coverage, thanks to a $200 million bequest last November from the estate of Joan B. Kroc, the philanthropist and widow of Ray A. Kroc, chairman of the McDonald's Corporation. Jeff Hansen, program director for KUOW in Seattle, and an independent coordinator for news-focused radio stations that carry NPR programs, said there was "probably wide agreement in the public radio system that it is time for an evolutionary change."
But replacing Edwards during pledge week apparently is more evolution than some had considered necessary. “I’ve kind of polled the managers in California, and nobody is fine with this,” the Los Angeles Times quoted Frank Lanzone, general manager of KCBX-FM in San Luis Obispo and KSBX-FM in Santa Barbara, which have been in fund drives since last Monday.
“NPR is suffering a severe credibility loss because of the inexplicability of this management move,” said Michael Titterton, who oversees four stations as president and general manager of Honolulu-based Hawaii Public Radio, to the LA Times. “There is no rational explanation to anyone else outside National Public Radio as to why this should be done.”
Public radio listeners who think Bob Edwards has been doing a good job as the voice of "Morning Edition" can contact NPR to express your concerns (for addresses and phone number see here), but if you want to get the attention of NPR affiliate station managers who apparently are the driving force behind this coup you should call them during the station's fundraising drives, which are going on this week, and tell them you are withholding your support for NPR until they annouce their support for Edwards. For more information about the effort to save Bob Edwards' job, including a list of NPR stations that are supporting Edwards, see savebobedwards.com.
The Wrong War
George W. Bush is running for president mainly on his "war on terror," since his economic record is so poor. But if anything he ought to be impeached for botching the war on al Qaeda and invading Iraq under false pretenses.
Richard Clarke is the latest Republican to poke holes in the image of Bush as Anti-Terror Warrior. "I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism," Bush's former counter-terrorism chief said. "He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11 ... I think he's done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."
In his new book, Against All Enemies, Clarke expands on allegations made by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who wrote in his own memoir that Bush was obsessed with toppling Hussein practically from the day he got in the Oval Office. But Clarke scored a direct hit with his insider account of the Bush White House pre- and post-9/11, and the Bushites have gone ballistic in attempts to refute and smear him. [See the rest of the 4/15/04 editorial.]
Call their hand
The Bush administration has concentrated on smearing former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke instead of addressing his criticisms of the administration's response to the al-Qaeda threat. Condoleezza Rice says she can't testify to the 9/11 commission but that hasn't stopped her from appearing on talk shows trying to knock down Clarke's allegations. As long as she doesn't have to raise her right hand, she's willing to talk.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist seemed to be channelling the ghost of Joe McCarthy on March 26 when he accused Clarke of perjury and profiteering off 9/11. Shortly after Frist, in a speech on the Senate floor, accused Clarke of inconsistencies between his testimony to the 9/11 commission and his 2002 testimony to Congress, the GOP leader admitted that he didn't know what he was talking about:
“Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath,” Frist said in a speech from the Senate floor, alleging that Clarke said in 2002 that the Bush administration actively sought to address the threat posed by al-Qaida before the attacks.
Frist later retreated from directly accusing Clarke of perjury, telling reporters that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between Clarke’s two appearances. But he said, “Until you have him under oath both times, you don’t know.”
As Josh Marshall wrote at TalkingPointsMemo.com, "I never cease to be amazed at these guys' ability to outpace my ability to impute bad faith to them."
A cynic might suspect that Frist called for the declassifying of Clarke's 2002 testimony, knowing that the White House would not declassify it, which would attach the "perjuror" taint to Clark without actually having to prove it.
The trouble for the GOP is that Democrats on the Intelligence Committee say there were no inconsistencies and have joined Clarke in calling for the White House to declassify Clarke's entire testimony to clear the matter up. Until then, we will presume that Frist is a scoundrel.
Until the 9/11 commission gets Condi Rice, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney under oath, they won't know either.
UPDATE: The White House has bowed to the demand that Rice testify under oath and in public. But it also reportedly is looking at the possibility of releasing only selected portions of Clarke's congressional testimony that put his current testimony in the worst light.
NBC reported on 3/29/04: "U.S. officials told NBC News that the full record of Clarke’s testimony two years ago would not be declassified. They said that at the request of the White House, however, the CIA was going through the transcript to see what could be declassified, with an eye toward pointing out contradictions."
Josh Marshall commented, " You know something's wrong -- when an administration is truly out of control -- when they discuss their dirty tricks on background."
See Marshall's "Talking Points" for more on the unusual demands made by the White House in order to clear the way for Rice, Bush and Cheney to testify. (The White House stipulated, among other things, that Bush and Cheney will testify in tandem, in private, and no other White House officials will be called to testify.)
What's that smell?
A Treasury of Bush Documents
See the O'Neill files, some of the 19,000 documents that crossed Paul O'Neill's desk when he was secretary of the treasury during the first two years of the Bush II presidency. O'Neill gave reporter Ron Suskind the documents to research his book, "The Price of Loyalty," dealing with O'Neill's experiences with Bush & Co.
See our new feature, Forever Dada, an animated political cartoon created by California artists Louis Dunn & Steve Campbell. Published every Monday.
Alternative News Sites
See these web sites with breaking news and commentary from progressive writers and publications around the world:
• Buzzflash, the left's answer to Matt Drudge
• Common Dreams News Center, with selected articles from newspapers and periodicals. See also the concise list of national and international news services, newspapers and periodicals.
• The Nation, liberal weekly has daily updates.
• Salon.com (requires a subscription to read many articles).
• Working For Change
And you never know what will turn up on
For international news which the US media such as the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post might not see fit to print:
• Globe and Mail of Toronto, for Canadian news and perspectives on its southern neighbor.
• Toronto Star, a liberal Canadian newspaper.
• The Guardian, a liberal newspaper in London (formerly the Manchester Guardian). See its running reports on George Bush's America.
• The Independent, a liberal newspaper in London
• Daily Mirror, liberal tabloid in London.
• New Statesman, British Socialist weekly.
• BBC World News
• Al Ahram, English-language weekly based in Cairo, for Arab perspective on Mid-East
• Dawn, of Karachi, centrist English-language Pakistan daily.
• The Frontier Post of Peshawar, Pakistan, for news from the front lines of the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.
• Ha'aretz, Israeli liberal daily with English language edition
• International Herald Tribune, Paris-based daily operated by the New York Times.
• Le Monde Diplomatique, English language monthly digest of the French daily newspaper.
• Mail and Guardian, daily web edition of South African liberal weekly.
• Mexico City News, the English language daily in our neighbor to the south.
• South China Morning Post, independent Hong Kong and Pacific news (registration required).
• Sydney Morning Herald, for news from Down Under.
• World Press Review, a monthly magazine with analyses and English translations of articles in the international press, as well as an excellent directory of publications by nation, with ideological leanings.
A Few Good Weblogs
to keep you from getting your work done:
• Eric Alterman's Altercation
• The American Prospect
• Center for American Progress
• Daily Kos (politics)
• Eschaton by Atrios (politics)
• Iowa Opinion what's up in the Hawkeye State.
• It's No Accident labor notes by John Lacny
• Liberal Oasis
• Maxspeak (populist economics)
• Media Matters for America
• Nathan Newman (mainly labor law)
• The New Republic
• Progressive Review Undernews
• Political Wire by Taegon Goddard
• Raw Story
• Romenesko's Media News (journalism scuttlebutt)
• Salon's War Room
• Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall
• Talk Left, the politics of crime.
• This Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow
• TomPaine.com, A.K.A. The Dreyfuss Report on foreign policy.
• Washington Monthly, by Kevin Drum (formerly Calpundit)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words; well, here are some good cartoon sites:
Forever Dada, an animated political cartoon created by California artists Louis Dunn & Steve Campbell. Published every Monday.
This Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow. (And he has a pretty good links page.)
Ted Rall, our cartoonist/columnist.
Tom the Dancing Bug, by Ruben Bolling
See presidential campaign web sites