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The Last Bastion of America's Liberal Media

10 Nov, 2003

Turd of the Week

Richard Perle, your rebuke of Saddam's 11th hour desperation offer of inspections and democratic elections has come to light, just when Americans are wishing for an easy way of the whole mess.

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Blabbering Bush Head

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Iraq War Cost
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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?

screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!

Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!

We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!

Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...



Aren't We Getting a Little Ahead of Ourselves?
Did anybody else catch Bush's speech about the post-democratic-Iraq plans for the middle east? If we didn't have so many American lives, influence and dollars invested in Iraq, the whole thing would have been hilarious. It was clearly the speech that was in the can from long before the hangover of invasioneering began pounding our skulls - reading the riot act to the supposedly terrified Syrians, Iranians and other Arabs about unleashing the burgeoning democratic impulse that lay just beneath the surface, with the veiled threat of American military action looming just offshore...

What a difference an ill-advised imperialist thrust into anarchy makes.

What could have been merely the height of American nation-building hubris, now comes off as a pathetic pretense of pandering to the dwindling patriotism relegated to bumperstickers and the right-wing yahoos who don't have family in the military. The speech came off as a threat that we'll impose Iraqi-style anarchy if folks don't embrace US-defined democrapitalism. Ooh, that's scary!!!

The Arabic reaction is unanimous disgust. Here Bush is turning Iraq from cruel dictatorship into an arbitrary anarchy and he has the balls to speak about the next chapter? Somehow, we've managed to simultaneously be the most maniacally feared regime on the planet and the laughingstock of the world. Sigh...

Professor Pissed - Disgust from Across the Pond

Sad -- at least we can mourn, if not protest
Another copter downed in Iraq. Another anthrax scare closes down post offices in Washington. Wouldn't you think the American people would start to stage massive protests against this "war on terror," which is obviously causing more problems than it is solving (well, actually, it hasn't solved any, unless you consider getting rid of Saddam and Osama's Taliban -- only momentarily, of course -- and replacing these regimes with total chaos a solution).

Two stories about Iraq should give all Americans (and Brits, for that matter, as Blair follows Bush blindly into the endless hell of another Vietnam) great pause. One, reported internationally, makes note of the Bush administration's off-hand rejection of Saddam's appeals for peace last March, just before the war. Not surprisingly, seeing as how the administration sent neo-conservative war-monger Richard Perle to "negotiate," the efforts were in vain. (Let me be clear here: it's not that I am naive enough to believe that the US should have trusted these efforts, or that they were necessarily made in good faith; but it was worth looking into beyond a summary dismissal -- with such political gyrations, it is always possible that war can be avoided, even if concessions are made for the "wrong" reasons -- ask the American, not to mention Iraqi, families of the war's victims what they think).

The second item worth knowing -- the Pentagon has renewed an order for absolutely no media coverage of the military mausoleum at Dover, Delaware. So if Americans are oblivious to the continuing deaths of American soldiers (today: at least six in the downed helicopter) it is in part because the Bush administration wants it to be so. In the late 1960s, early 1970s there would have been massive national protests (the networks were just figuring out that they could televise the war in Vietnam; now, the politicians in power have figured out how to silence the media, and -- every since the Gulf War -- the media seems to be completely acquiescent).

Ultimately the passivity of the citizens of the US has to do with the collapse of both public education and of the informed (rather than sensationalizing, right-leaning, and sycophantic-to-the-powers-that-be) media that support and are supported by an educated public.

Gee, what a coincidence that it has consistently been Republicans (viz., the state of California) who have gutted public school systems (California's used to be in the top five across the country; now -- from the erosions due to Republican-backed Prop 13 and other factors -- it is in the bottom five). Call me paranoid. But all the acts and efforts of the Republican party seem to lead to one goal: enriching the rich (a category that happens to include a high percentage of Republicans) at the expense of everyone else; increasing ignorance in order to increase their own power.

Of course, the Democrats are almost as culpable. They don't seem to have the slightest clue of how to fight back (with an exception of a few voices in the wilderness such as Howard Dean... no wonder he inspires passionate support among many, though perhaps not enough to win him the election). Next election, I'd vote green, or purple, or chartreuse. Except I can't -- if you vote absentee in the State of California, you have to pay full state income taxes, even if you don't live there anymore. Hummm.... I wonder who's idea that was?

Although she's surrounded by British political messes, the good professor still can't stop rubbernecking at the car wreck that is American policymaking.

Dean and the Sons of the Confederacy
Poor Howard Dean is stuck in the silliest kind of political mess - caught in the crossfire of his own party's sniping. The GOP must be loving it - all the seven dwarves competing for most outraged umbrage taker at Dean's gaffe-laden supplication to the Jeff Foxworthy demographic.

Of course, everybody knows Dean is about as comfy with Dixie values as Orrin Hatch at a backstage party with Ice Cube, but that doesn't stop the other Dems from stepping right into the flaming bag of dog poop. Of course it was a stupid thing to say, but to suggest that somehow Howie is soft on racism is petty, ridiculous and playing right into Karl Rove's hands.

Get over it and get back to supporting whatever it takes to dethrone King Georgie.

Environmental Plunder Agency Drops Charges
Good news for polluters! Over 50 major violators of the pre-Bush Clean Air Act have been given a get out of jail free card. Yup, the government's cases against these prime air foulers have been dropped, despite the persistent and flagrant issuing forth of tons of illegal biotoxins into the atmosphere. The Bush EPA is holding past violators of federal laws accountable to a far lesser standard - namely the paper tiger that is the flimsy vestiges of the Clean Air Act - the Bush Hellish Skies Initiative. Wait for a Republican President and all the sins you waged on Mother Earth are forgiven. Just 3 Hail Marys and a $50,000 cheeseburger at the Bush fundraiser.

Yet the environmental damages don't end there. Nope, the House just passed legislation exempting the Defense Department from complying with the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Yep, the Al Qaeda / Narwhal conspiracy can finally be brought to its knees.

Shut Up Jessica, and Let Us Make You a Hero
Some people are born ingrates. The White House concocts tales about the heroic adventures of everybody's favorite blonde POW, perfect for bumperstickers, action figures and podium sharing, and Jessica starts complaining about its factual drift. She could have just sucked it up, allowed the White House and its complicit professional media partners to create her legacy and lived high off the hog endorsing pickup trucks and Hamburger Helper.

But no! She questions the accuracy of her alleged abuse at the alleged hands of her alleged captors. She claims she wasn't slapped, raped nor did she fight off her attackers as Rummy would have you believe. NBC's docudrama splits the difference between Rove-spin and reality. While still playing loose with the facts and characters to add the all-important ratings oomph to an otherwise tawdry tale, they managed to portray the incident with equal parts Washington cynicism and heroics.

In the end, Jessica throws water on the ready-made fire of heroine by claiming, "From the time I woke up in that hospital, no one beat me, no one slapped me, no one, nothing. I'm so thankful for those people, because that's why I'm alive today."

Hmm... Willing to expose a truth that flies in the face of the White House's bullshit machine, even at her own financial peril? Sounds like a hero to me.

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