May, 2007 link archive

Monday, May 28, 2007

The "complete myth" driving the Iraq debate, according to Glenn Greenwald, is that defunding the war equals abandoning the troops, but even for a White House "stubborner than a donkey," September is looking like a critical month.

Having lost his son to a war he opposes, conservative historian Andrew Bacevich writes about the "messages from patriots" he received blaming him for his son's death, and expresses despair at the failure of democracy to translate popular opposition to the war into action.

The New York Times finds evidence of growing skepticism and disillusionment among GIs in Iraq, leading one soldier to wonder, "Why are we still here?" while the Washington Post looks at growing parental opposition to military recruiting on public school campuses.

Amid strategic reassessments following the failure of Iraq withdrawal efforts, whether the 110th Congress has been making significant progress in other areas depends on how you look at the scorecard.

The Boston Globe highlights the resurgence of discredited links between Iraq and 9/11 in the rhetoric of top GOP presidential candidates, and Paul Krugman argues that this kind of "belligerent, uninformed posturing" ought to be greeted with public ridicule and contempt.

In 'Operation Freedom From Iraqis,' Frank Rich looks at how Iraqis are becoming scapegoats for the failures of the war, arguing that the way the U.S government is "slamming the door" in the face of Iraqi refugees exposes the hollowness of the idealistic rhetoric of "the war's godfathers."

In a commencement address at West Point, Vice President Cheney "heaps scorn on 'enemies,'" links Al Qaeda and Iraq, and finds little use for the Geneva Conventions, while Andrew Card is confronted with a "no honor, no degree" protest at the University of Massachusetts.

Echoing Cheney, Prime Minister Tony Blair pens an op-ed calling for 'stronger UK terror laws' that prioritize security over "the human rights of terrorist suspects, as British support for the Iraq war pushes single digits.

A New York Times report that 'major troop reductions are imminent -- again' -- evokes "Waiting for Godot," but a comparison to South Korea is said to provide the key to "the actual plan."

Details of a pair of shooting incidents in Baghdad involving Blackwater "security contractors" remain 'sketchy,' amid concerns about the anger the incidents had stirred up, as a lawsuit over the deaths of contractors in Fallujah moves "behind closed doors."

The PEJ's first quarter news coverage index found that the war in Iraq dominated news coverage, although to a lesser extent on Fox News than elsewhere, with most of the coverage going to events in Washington and U.S. soldiers rather than what was happening in Iraq to Iraqis.

"They are not letting us cover the reality of war," complains award-winning photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson, adding that "I think this has got little to do with the families or the soldiers and everything to do with politics."

Al Gore, on tour and 'on fire,' laments the "destruction of the boundary between news and entertainment," and decreased ratings in the May sweeps appear to signal a disintegration of the basic business model for TV news.

Although the heated debate over the closing of Venezuelan TV station RCTV is framed in the U.S. media as a simple matter of censorship versus free speech, FAIR points out that the issue is complicated by the station's involvement in an attempted coup against the democratically elected government.

Reviewing Don DeLillo's "Falling Man," Frank Rich concludes that the book provides a "counternarrative to terrorism" that takes us "beyond the hard, anonymous numbers of the dead to retrieve what he called in Harper's, 'human beauty in the crush of meshed steel.'"

Looking on the "bright side" of a "somewhat dark industry," the Wall Street Journal forecasts "a robust outlook" for the three biggest private jailers, a "countercyclical" industry that makes a good "defensive investment" because "When times are bad, more people tend to go to jail."

The New York Times is singled out for giving "equal time to idiocy" in its review of the new Creation Museum, an "uncannily lifelike cow" urges children to "get moooving" at the new Billy Graham museum, and a tell-all memoir explains "The Art of Ted Haggard's Fall."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

As the U.S. and Iran opened a dialogue in Baghdad, 8 American soldiers were among the many fatalities in Iraq on Memorial Day, and it's reported that U.S. military leaders are "seeking ways to redefine success."

While describing "an amazing country," where citizens "have the right ... to say what they think," President Bush is reported to have interpreted public opinion polls as evidence that "people agree with him" on Iraq, where so many 'Achievements' have been touted.

Some Iraq war vets celebrated Memorial Day weekend by staging 'Guerrilla Theater in NYC,' but the "face" of the American anti-war movement tendered her "resignation" and put Camp Casey up for sale.

In a Memorial Day address at Stone Mountain -- birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan -- former Rep. Cynthia McKinney argued that "the Democrats have just now made themselves complicit in impeachable crimes of the Bush Administration."

Alongside reports that "an exceedingly narrow social stratum" is pouring 'hundreds of millions' into the 2008 presidential race, antiwar voices argue that it is 'Time to Leave the Democratic Party' -- and to stop funding Democrats.

The "only candidate on the ballot" wins another term as president of Syria, where the New York Times spotlights the 'Sex Trade,' in which 'Desperate' women who fled Iraq as refugees have been forced to seek employment.

After discovering how to take a virtual tour of 'The Colossus of Baghdad,' Tom Engelhardt wonders whether personnel at the American 'Mother Ship' in the Green Zone will have to wear flak jackets and helmets while playing tennis or enjoying the pool house.

New measures on Sudan are announced by President Bush, and it's noted that "saving Darfur has become a powerful political cause, not only among human rights advocates but also among religious groups, including some of the Christian conservatives who make up Mr. Bush's political base."

"Small incidents" of "cops being cops" are "accumulating by the tens of thousands" in New York City, says Bob Herbert, while in many states, criminal backgrounds are reportedly no obstacle for "rent-a-cops" seeking to become low-wage "protectors of the homeland."

Of the 814,073 deportation cases filed in federal courts thus far by a self-styled "central player" in the "war on terror," only 12 were reportedly related to terrorism, and the 'Biggest Catch To Date Is Guy Who Didn't Kill JonBenet.'

A bipartisan effort to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for the coal industry is seen as an effort to establish liquid coal as "the king of alternative fuels."

As the subject of immigration "dominates talk radio and cable TV ... big business, unaccustomed to losing in Washington, finds itself playing defense," while a Senate 'Lightning Rod' catches heat from the right, though not for any "high-minded refusal to demagogue."

Newsweek probes 'Bush's Monica Problem,' finding "strong suggestions that he was an active presence" -- at least by telephone -- in former Attorney General Ashcroft's hospital room, and in seeking 'Justice by a Lower Standard.'

Paul 'Wolfowitz blames media' for his resignation as president of the World Bank, and Richard Perle has 'No regrets.'

In his account of 'The Republican Implosion,' the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg finds Karl Rove "among those being blamed," and Newt Gingrich touting himself as the American Sarkozy, as a 34-state conservative group takes an 'Early stab' at Rudy Giuliani.

Sen. Barack Obama, identified in one poll as "the top 2008 presidential contender," unveiled his plan for universal health care, and is said to be measuring his campaign's success by the size of the crowds he is drawing in places like northern New Hampshire.

Due to a server problem, our May archive, before Monday's Memorial Day Edition, was wiped out. Hopefully it can be restored, but those damn servers do cost money!

May 28

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

USA Today reports that the "surge" in Iraq has killed 219 U.S. troops in April and May, but "Tuesday's carnage" suggests that the effort has not created a "safer security environment," and UPI's Martin Sieff explains 'Why more U.S. troops will die,' as Diyala tops Al Anbar.

The 'Exit From Iraq Should Be Through Iran,' suggests Ret. Gen. William Oden, as 'Turkish army build-up ... on Iraq border'' raises fears of an imminent incursion, and Senator Joe, in full battle gear, hails "progress."

"Vichy Democrats" are accused of spreading 'The Innocent Bystander Fable,' and the distinction between leading the antiwar movement and exploiting it for political benefit while 'Folding to Mr. 28 Percent' is articulated.

"Democracy Now!" devotes an hour to excerpts from "War Made Easy," a new documentary by Norman Solomon, who tells Amy Goodman that the current "spin cycle for war" includes "preposterous, yet accepted, media messages."

Although 'Media Give President A Win in War Funding Debate,' GOP voters are said to be 'Souring on Iraq,' and it's reported that "some Democratic lawmakers and aides are frustrated with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and feel whatever they do would not be good enough."

As experts maintain that interrogation techniques used by the U.S. since 2001 are "outmoded, amateurish and unreliable," Andrew Sullivan argues that "the very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn't-somehow-torture ... is a term originally coined by the Nazis."

President Bush selects a 'Family Man' and likely nominee for the "Neocon Hall of Fame" to replace Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank president, and Sidney Blumenthal delivers a meditation at 'Wolfowitz's Tomb.'

Bill Berkowitz chronicles Wolfowitz defender 'Andy Young's long march away from MLK Jr.,' whereas Margaret Kimberley marvels at how Rev. Jerry Fallwell came to be "resurrected as a benign theologian" in the media, after the "segregationist ardor" he displayed as a spokesman for 'Savage Christians.'

After a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court made it harder for workers to sue employers over pay driscrimination, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, inviting Congress to overturn the decision.

After President Bush takes on his conservative base in a Georgia speech, House Republicans are said to be plotting a move to "stop the ... immigration bill in its tracks," whatever the merits of 'Truth, Fiction and Lou Dobbs.'

Sen. Ted Kennedy 'Gets a Little Republican Respect' on immigration, and gives some back to Bush, who tells McClatchy in an interview that he is "deeply concerned about America losing its soul."

As 'Fitzgerald Again Points to Cheney,' it's established that Valerie Plame was a covert agent when her name was leaked in July 2003, casting new light on a Fred Thompson speech in support of "Scooter" Libby.

A New York Times profile of Neil Bush as entrepreneur fails to mention that, as previously reported, the 'Bush Brother Spreads His Vision' of computerized instruction "with the help of the Saudi Royal Family, a former junk bond dealer, a Russian mobster, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and mom and dad."

'Jeff Gerth, meet Judith Miller' Eric Boehlert wonders how "the definitive book" about Sen. Hillary Clinton could be written by a reporter who, "once President Bush came into office ... seemed to lose his investigative zeal."

A New York Sun editorial lauds Rudy Giuliani's 'amazing restraint' in responding to criticisms of his performance on 9/11, but Carpetbagger argues that "If ever there was a media myth in need of scrutiny, this is it."

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly being advised on counterterrorism by science fiction writers, and CNN has announced the hiring of a new reporter to cover "the Britney, Lindsay, Michael Jackson memorabilia beat."

May 29

Thursday, May 31, 2007

As it's reported that the 'Military lets soldiers with missing limbs return to active duty,' and that the government doesn't keep data on suicides among Iraq war veterans, Fort Lewis becomes the latest base to announce that it "will no longer conduct individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan."

'Iraq Occupation...Forever' Asked to elaborate on "the Korean model," White House press secretary Tony Snow said that the question of whether the U.S. would be in Iraq for more than 50 years is "unanswerable."

In contrast to Bush's 'Killer Iraq Talking Points,' which were employed to "back down the Democrats," a new poll reveals 'What Americans Would Like to Tell Bush About Iraq," including the 1 in 4 who would like for him to stay the course or even "be more aggressive."

Although David Broder foresees the 'Endgame Ahead,' Brent Budowsky explains 'Why Democratic Political Consultants Love the Iraq War,' and why GOP consultants "are no better," on issues pitting "America versus Washington."

Some U.S. soldiers in Iraq were evidently "not amused" by a visit from G.I. Joe.

According to U.S. officials, a Gitmo detainee is the fourth to die in the past year by committing "asymmetric warfare" -- motivated by a desire to "garner negative publicity for the detention facility."

'Profiting from torture' A Boeing subsidiary, whose corporate slogan is "Making Every Mission Possible," is the target of an ACLU lawsuit "alleging that the airline service provider knowingly supported direct flights to secret CIA prisons."

Although "Wall Street shot higher Wednesday," the rest of the economy has reportedly been experiencing its 'Worst Growth' in over four years, and Stan Collender calls myth busters.

It's feared that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, after a year in office, has started a "creed stampede," as biologists and other Fish and Wildlife employees get the memo.

An "excessive amount of time" spent in trying to help Indians vote in Minnesota reportedly put one U.S. attorney, who was otherwise a 'Good Soldier', on the "chopping block list" -- as the probe expands to include the hiring process, and Murray Waas dusts for thumbprints on 'The Scales of Justice.'

While President Bush's new HIV/AIDS plan is receiving "broad support" in Washington, with rock star Bono "standing up and applauding the president," Rep. Barbara Lee reportedly "took issue with the Bush program's emphasis on pre-marriage sexual abstinence," not the only aspect seen as 'Hypocritical.'

Sen. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney lay out their foreign policy visions, and Rep. Tom Tancredo offers himself as 'A lightning rod on immigration.'

After Sen. Sam Brownback reveals his "thinking" on "atheistic theology posing as science," Tristero probes 'The Bad Pun At The Heart Of Creationism.'

Fred Thompson, the "aw-shucks savior" and "down home antidote" to what ails the GOP, after "keeping a high profile in conservative circles," is said to be "likely to cut into support for a prominent real-life ex-prosecutor, Rudolph Giuliani."

Dick Meyer explains "why Al is out and Fred is in," James Pinkerton takes 'A look back at the GOP 2008 victory, and Henry Kissinger argues that 'The lessons of Vietnam' can 'make the war more manageable for the next president.

NBC is accused of playing the 'Shame Game' with its "To Catch a Predator" series, with critics citing its "unethical" and continuing reliance on a group known as Perverted Justice, which is said to have listed Google among "aggressive corporate sex offenders."

May 30

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