Saturday, December 13, 2003

December 13, 2003: A look back at this week's News Stories

December 13, 2003:
A look back at this week's News Stories

There has been so much happening that it has been hard to keep up.
Below are some recent stories (along with a couple older/relevant ones) to summarize 'the week that was'.


The Dow's up over 10,000!
How Come Jobless claims have risen again?
If things are so sunny, why have 378,000 more Americans lost their jobs?
New claims for unemployment benefits are up a second straight week, exceeding analyst estimates.

"....Continued claims, the number of people out of work for a week or more, rose 11,000 to 3.346 million for the week ended Nov. 29, the latest data available, from a revised 3.335 million the prior week.."

Clift/Newsweek: Why some Establishment Dems Hate Howard Dean
"....the inside-the-beltway elites are terrified that Dean will disrupt their power base and consign Democrats to the wilderness for another four years. Last weekend, Hillary Clinton appeared on all the Sunday shows, insisting President Bush did the right thing in Iraq and defending her vote giving him the authorization. Dressed in soft pink, Clinton's tough line on the war made her the rallying point for Democrats unnerved by Dean's anti-war rhetoric....Two days later at a rally just blocks from President Clinton's office in Harlem, Gore stood with Dean to call the Iraq war a colossal mistake and a quagmire.....the endorsement takes on the trappings of an Oedipal clash..."

Gore's Endorsement of Dean Gives Democrats Back Their Voice...and Their Vote!
"....Republican bullying has been met almost inevitably by Democratic cowering, the ruthless will to power by timid retreat. Before this spectacle, Democratic voters have felt themselves unrepresented and voiceless. Until the presidential candidacy of Howard Dean, their burning sentiments lacked expression. Now, Al Gore's early endorsement of Dean dramatically amplifies them and partly explains them...."

Here's An Example of How the Establishment Democrats Have Fallen Out of Touch With So Many of Their Own Party Members:
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has actually boasted about the fact that that he has supported Bush 75% of the time.

Dear heavens! When you look long and hard at many of the radical rightwing policies of this President, you have to ask yourself: What in hell IS Senator Daschle thinking?

The Touch-Screen Vote Debacle: Diebold Says "Charge Maryland out the yin-yang if we're forced to add paper trail!"
"....The Gazette of Maryland reports, "An e-mail found in a collection of files stolen from Diebold Elections Systems' internal database recommends charging Maryland 'out the yin-yang,' if the state requires Diebold to add paper printouts to the $73 million voting system it purchased... The e-mail has been cited by advocates of voter-verified receipts, who say estimates of the cost of adding printers -- as much as $20 million statewide -- have been bloated. 'I find it appalling,' said Del. Karen S. Montgomery (D-Dist. 14), who plans to file a bill mandating a voter-verified paper trail... "

-Send in the inspectors? -
BBC News - 'Scrap nuclear arms' Israel urged

"...."Frankly, I am not happy with the status quo, because I see a lot of frustration in the Middle East due to Israel's sitting on nuclear weapons or [its] nuclear weapons capability, while other parties in the Middle East are committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty," [ElBaradei] said.

September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows - Statement on the Second Anniversary of 9/11

Yahoo! News - Mortars Pound U.S. Headquarters in Baghdad

**You know it's getting bad when you're not even safe in your own fortified enclave.**

CNN - Climate change 'cost $60b' in 2003
"..."Climate change is not a prognosis, it is a reality that is, and will increasingly, bring human suffering and economic hardship," UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said."

ITV News - MP Meacher: 'US bent on world domination'
"...Mr Meacher, MP for Oldham, claimed that "the truth may well be a great deal murkier", citing a document called Rebuilding America's Defences, written in September 2000 by neo-conservative think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which was set up by a group including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby (Mr Cheney's chief of staff). The PNAC plan "is a blueprint for US world domination" which "provides a much better explanation of what happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis", he wrote.
"From this it seems that the so-called `war on terrorism' is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives." He said the PNAC document stated that making the US "tomorrow's dominant force" would be a long process without "some catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbour".

Bush Says He Expects Halliburton to Repay Iraq Overcharges you might expect...
MSNBC - Halliburton denies Iraq overcharge
And, as you might expect, yesterday "shares of Halliburton advanced 75 cents, or 3 percent, to $25.44 in afternoon trading."

Aljazeera.Net - Shia demand UN decides on elections
"..Grand Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's highest-ranking Shia cleric, wants the United Nations to rule if early elections can take place in the country, in a new embarrassment to the US occupation authorities.."

t r u t h o u t - "Been, a long, long time comin..." : McCollum, ERA

United Press International - Global View: China and U.S. symbiosis by Ian Campbell
"...Within the world economy (or indeed any economy) players always rely on one another. That is how economics works. But there are healthy equilibria and unhealthy ones, and for now the equilibrium is unhealthy and dangerous. The U.S. economy has huge imbalances in the fiscal and trade accounts. It needs capital from the rest of the world. The willing provider is the country that is selling a big surplus of goods to it: a fast-developing giant of a country with an unpleasant, authoritarian government, a vast, poor population, ready to work for very low wages, and a banking system that is creaking dangerously..."

YES! Magazine - The End of Empire and the Step to Earth Community; a speech by David Korten
"...Many of us engaged in these struggles have been inclined to think of ourselves as representatives of an alternative fringe. It is a self-defeating way of thinking that is both unnecessary and contrary to fact, for we represent the majority values of the people in America and beyond. Our work is to midwife the birth of an emerging new mainstream."

DESPERATION CENTRAL: David Brooks Calls Bush's clumsy bungling of foreign policy "Honesty"and "Candor", then rips Al Gore a new one for backing the Democratic candidate of his own free choosing.

NY Times - A Deliberate Debacle by Paul Krugman
"... James Baker sets off to negotiate Iraqi debt forgiveness with our estranged allies. And at that very moment the deputy secretary of defense releases a "Determination and Findings" on reconstruction contracts that not only excludes those allies from bidding, but does so with highly offensive language. What's going on?.....In the end the Bush doctrine — based on delusions of grandeur about America's ability to dominate the world through force — will collapse. What we've just learned is how hard and dirty the doctrine's proponents will fight against the inevitable."

Josh M Marshall: Incompetent White House Blows off Its Allies, then Begs Them to Cancel Iraqi Debt
"....."Read this lede from an article in the Times and tell me with a straight face that these guys have any idea what they're doing: 'President Bush found himself in the awkward position on Wednesday of calling the leaders of France, Germany and Russia to ask them to forgive Iraq's debts, just a day after the Pentagon excluded those countries and others from $18 billion in American-financed Iraqi reconstruction projects. White House officials were fuming about the timing and the tone of the Pentagon's directive, even while conceding that they had approved the Pentagon policy of limiting contracts to 63 countries that have given the United States political or military aid in Iraq.' I mean, it defies ridicule (what will I do?). The tone? How were they supposed to sugar-coat it? And you wonder why they're bringing Jim Baker into the mix? Forget about Rove's phone records. I want the last month's phone records between Dubya and Pops." - Feeling The Sting by David Corn
".... How can one act reasonably or rationally in a situation borne of delusion? Some things broken cannot be repaired. Yes, moaning will not make things better (unless, of course, it leads to Bush's replacement). And non-delusional minds ought to try to find a path out of this mess. But it never should be forgotten that Bush waged an elective war based on a phony rationale, that he did not prepare for the easy-to-foresee aftermath, that he rushed in with his stick, and that the unleashed hornets are his fault..."

DEXTER FILKINS/NY Times: "Tough New Tactics by U.S. Tighten Grip on Iraq Towns"
"....As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire..."

The Atlantic Monthly - A Post-Saddam Scenario by Robert D. Kaplan
*see my comments to blogger Anonymoses about Mr. Kaplan*

Washington Post - Is Dean Doomed? by Howard Kurtz
"...He will be, in a word, McGovernized. Smart primary candidate, but no chance of winning. Too liberal, too northern, too angry, too antiwar, too blunt, too short, too whatever.
But what if that's wrong? "

TIME Magazine - Operation February by Karen Tumulty
"....Confident about winning Iowa and New Hampshire next month, Howard Dean is already setting his sights on the rest of the nation.." - A Populist Tide by Steven Rosenfeld
"....there is something going on in the country's political psyche that is being tapped by these various and seemingly diverse political insurgencies. They are all prompting new and fervent participation in politics—and it is participation driven by a perception that these campaigns will restore governance that's in line with core and defining principles.."

Yahoo! News - AP: U.N. May Have to Abandon Afghan Effort
"....Lakhdar Brahimi said his team could not continue its work unless security improves.." - More Presidential Deficit Deceit
"...Because the President has decided to focus on dishonest rhetoric - instead of action - the deficit now sits at $374 billion - the highest in history.."

Medford Mail Tribune - Panel Boss: Muslims Hurting French Values By John Leicester
"..."Secularism has worked until now," said Monsignor Jean-Michel di Falco, auxiliary bishop of Gap, in southeastern France. "In my opinion, a law risks making this problem even harder to manage."
About 7 percent of France's 60 million people are Muslims; Jews make up 1 percent of the population...."

‘The System Needs Significant Changing’
by Jonathan Darman

"..With Kerry and Dean opting out of public financing, is the idea dead? One activist says no."

Village Voice Defies Media Blackout of Ellen Mariani's 9-11 Lawsuit Against Bush
I read this at
"James Ridgeway of the Village Voice is the first major reporter to discuss the RICO lawsuit against Bush filed by Ellen Mariani, widow of Louis Neil Mariani, who was aboard Flight 175 when it hit the south tower on 9-11. As written by attorney Phil Berg, "The suit claims [Bush & Co.] 'abetted the murder of plaintiff's husband,' so he is suing the Bushies, under the RICO Act, for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and wrongful death. The suit documents detailed forewarnings from foreign governments and FBI agents, what it calls the unprecedented delinquency of our air defense, and the inexplicable half-hour dawdle by Bush himself at an elementary school after hearing the nation was under deadly attack. Berg's suit also notes the administration's incessant invocation of national security and executive privilege to withhold documents and accuses the government of obstructing the investigation." How will the Bush-controlled corporate media scrub this historic lawsuit? Stay tuned..."

International Herald Tribune - Afghanistan's stories, in a ripening voice
"....Akbar's two broadcasts side by side is to witness the evolution of a young man thrown into a situation that would be unimaginable for most Americans - a cauldron of old grievances, precarious accords and surprise attacks. Akbar exudes both overconfidence (refusing to get vaccines because Afghans don't have them) and wide-eyed wonder (gaping at a loaded AK-47 in a host's living room)..."

HYPOCRISY CENTRAL: For all his talk of democracy,( as so many shiny-eyed Bush lovers have babbled on about since his November 6 National Endowment for Democracy Speech), Taiwan doesn't seem to be on Bush's democracy-in-reality-list.
Taiwan Leader Rattles Bush With Referendum
"...."No democratic country should describe Taiwan's efforts to realize democracy as provocation."
-Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian -

Transcript: Howard Dean on Fox Sunday Dec 7