NOVEMBER 23-3, 01 Archives

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Doggett Smells a ScamNovember 23, 2001 In case you're fallen a few steps behind the post-Sept. 11 grieving curve, national trendsetters in the Bush administration, Congress, and lobbyist circles say it's time to forgive and forget -- payment of taxes by corporations, that is. General Motors, Boeing, International Paper, and other billionaire behemoths are so emotionally distraught about the tragedies, it seems, that they are asking for repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) -- and many on Capitol Hill feel their pain. Not only do the corporations say they need a $200 billion tax break to feel better again, but also a rebate on taxes they paid during the past 15 years. Despite the country's unstable economic situation, energy and oil corporations -- many based in Texas -- stand to win back millions. According to the nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, Texas Utilities would get $608 million and Enron $234 million. "It's sort of a free-for-all," American League of Lobbyists President James Albertine recently gushed to The New York Times. "It could be a long dry spell before anything like this comes around again."

So Bush Did Steal the White House November 22, 2001 By Robert Parry A  recently uncovered memo shows that the Florida judge in charge of last year's presidential recount was moving toward counting the "overvotes" that heavily favored Al Gore when George W. Bush got five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene to save the day. George W. Bush now appears to have claimed the most powerful office in the world by blocking a court-ordered recount of votes in Florida that likely would have elected Al Gore to be president of the United States.

Are right-wing hate groups behind anthrax terror? Nov. 22, 2001 By Anthony York Nobody knows, because the Justice Department isn't investigating violent militants on the right the way it's monitoring Muslims, critics say. With more than 1,100 people, most of them Arabs or Muslims, detained by the federal government in connection with the Sept. 11 terror attacks, some analysts have begun to wonder whether another suspected threat in our midst - right wing militant groups that have either threatened or carried out terror attacks -- is being dealt with as harshly, especially as evidence mounts that the deadly anthrax letters sent to Democrats and the media last month are the work of domestic terrorists.

The Poster Police A Durham student activist gets a visit from the Secret Service November 20, 2001 B Y   J O N    E L L I S T O N  A.J. Brown, a 19-year-old freshman at Durham Tech, was thanking God it was Friday. It was 5 p.m., the school week was over, and in an hour she'd be meeting her boyfriend to unwind. Then: Knock, knock ... unexpected guests at Brown's Duke Manor apartment. Opening the door, she found a casually dressed man, and a man and woman in what appeared to be business attire. Her first thought, she says, was, "Are these people going to sell me something?" But then the man in the suit introduced himself and the woman as agents from the Raleigh office of the U.S. Secret Service. The other man was an investigator from the Durham Police Department. "Ma'am, we've gotten a report that you have anti-American material," the male agent said, according to Brown. Could they come in to have a look around? Photo By Alex Maness

Hostages November 19, 2001 THIS IS not the time to hold us hostage to additional spending," Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott said the other day in denouncing the Democrats for insisting on added spending as part of the pending stimulus bill. But it is not the time to hold the country hostage to additional tax cuts, either, as the administration, Mr. Lott and his fellow congressional Republicans would do.

Does Bush Deserve Credit for Signing the Airport Security Bill?, On the Contrary November 19, 2001 Maybe we can breathe a little sigh of relief now that we apparently have a reasonably sane airport safety bill. But donŠt thank George W. Bush, who succumbed to the intimidating, bullying of Tom "Exterminator" DeLay and Dick "If I Only Had a Brain" Armey and opposed, until the very end, federalizing airport screeners. As Howard Fineman wrote in a recent MSNBC article, the airport security bill was held hostage by Congressmen Tom DeLay and Dick Armey. Their personal agendas, allegiance to corporate sugar daddies and fear of "federalization," overtook the need for immediate and strong changes to an airport security system rife with incompetence.

The Dawn of a New Democratic Party 11/19/01 William Rivers Pitt A fundamental shift of comprehension has been fermenting within the minds of American citizens since September 11th. All of a sudden, the realization that each and every citizen has a stake in the actions and policies of this country has begun to take root. Simply, if justice fails, the common folk become targets. If economic privation goes unchecked, the common folk become targets. If extremism, American or otherwise, achieves too much power, the common folk become targets. wrp.htm

Smirky's People 11/19/01 By: Lisa Kadonaga  It was dusk, and the man was walking slowly down a sidestreet. His name was George, and the place where he worked was called the Circus. Some said it had this name because it was oval in shape -- others, because strange and illusory things happened there. But really, the main reason was because it was full of clowns. lisa.htm

Congress Fiddles As 'Perfect Storm' Hits Health Care November 19, 2001 Morton M. Kondracke Except for a bioterrorism package, Congress is likely to pass no health legislation this year - despite the fact that major crises are unfolding over health care costs, delivery and quality. Failure to address long-standing problems -plus new factors such as the recession and surging insurance costs - means that "a 'perfect storm' is about to hit our health care system," warns Henry Simmons, president of the bipartisan National Coalition on Health Care.

Justice By Geography November 19, 2001 By Sebastian Mallaby In World War II, the United States destroyed Nagasaki without pausing to see whether the first atom bomb, dropped on Hiroshima three days earlier, would induce Japanese surrender. Half a century later, few Americans complain about this incident. In World War II, the United States rounded up Japanese Americans and deprived them of their liberty. Half a century later, this wartime expedient is denounced as heinous. Incinerating a civilian is apparently better than locking him up, if the lockup is at home. Geography is everything. Now consider the Bush administration's decision last week to authorize military tribunals for trying foreigners suspected of terrorist connections.

Where Do We Bomb Next, Alabama? November 18, 2001 By Jonathan D Farley Oxford's ornately decorated town hall was brimming with people. So many people... All of them there to protest against the war in Afghanistan. Well, almost all of them. On my way to the meeting, I had seen a group of students standing outside the hall, one of them draped in an American flag. I didn't think much of them until they came in and sat behind me. There were several men and a few women in their group - Americans, judging by their accents. At the centre of attention was a smiling girl with curly brown locks. She looks a lot like Chelsea Clinton, I thought, but I wasn't sure. Then the meeting began.

The Democratic Party is doomed November 18, 2001 By William Rivers Pitt For most of us on the left, the Democratic Party has been our home for years. I, myself, have been a party member in good standing for 12 years. I have voted Democratic on each and every ballot that has crossed my eyes. I support Democrats with every word I write and

“The O’Sama Factor”: Bin Laden Mimics Fox's Bill O’Reilly November 17, 2001 by Dennis Hans Commenting on O’Reilly’s outburst, the left-leaning media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, said “It’s unclear how O’Reilly is able to reconcile his claim that ‘we should not target civilians’ with his calls for decimating the infrastructures of at least three countries [O’Reilly had tossed in Iraq and Libya for good measure] and starving their populations.”

Military tribunals, monitoring of lawyers: Bush announces new police-state measures November 17, 2001 By Kate Randall In the space of little more than a week, the Bush administration has issued a series of executive orders that amount to the most far-reaching assault on democratic rights in modern legal history. The directives violate protections laid down in the US Constitution and upheld by judicial precedent over many decades.

Not My President and Not Yours Either NOVEMBER 16, 2001  VOLUME ONE - ISSUE THIRTY-NINE - The Myth of the Liberal Media is disproven once again by the way the major news organizations chose to portray the results of the National Opinion Research Center's review of the Florida election. While the data showed that in any scenario where all of the ballots were counted Albert Gore would be our President, they chose to emphasize that the limited recount for which Gore had asked would have resulted in his opponent winning anyway. The purpose of the review was to determine the actual intent of the voters of Florida. It is now known that their intent was the same as that of most of the rest of America, to elect Al Gore President of the United States.

Disunited. A tale of two Americas November 16, 2001 David Teather and Larry Elliott This is the other front line - a charity helping the US jobless. September 11 doubled its caseload. The third of our eyewitness reports. Warrine Pace has started to pound the streets of Chicago. Not for herelf, but for the workless struggling to make ends meet as America's supply of jobs dries up. Ms Pace says she is there to look out for the people who fall through the cracks, and with America's new welfare system the cracks have started to gape.

On Left and Right, Concern Over Anti-Terrorism Moves, Critics Say Administration Actions Threaten Civil Liberties November 16, 2001 By George Lardner Jr  A growing chorus on the left and the right is accusing the Bush administration of ignoring civil liberties while leaving the courts and Congress out in the cold as it aggressively pursues the war on terrorism here and abroad.

Keep it in family? 11.16.2001 What is President Bush up to in his executive order to make it much harder to look at living former presidents' papers? I hope that it it not simply his desire to keep documents from the public eye that might embarrass his father, George H.W. Bush, or Bush family associates, including those when Bush p re was vice president under Ronald Reagan as well as when he was president.

Industrial Output Fell 1.1 Pct in October - Biggest Dive In Nearly 11 Years November 16, (Reuters) U.S. industrial output last month took its biggest dive in nearly 11 years and extended a string of monthly declines that was the longest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) said on

Cheney hides as concern mounts over nukes Nov. 14 (UPI) Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday evening that "he and President Bush are kept apart because the United States fears a decapitation attack by terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction".

Jobs are lost from coast to coast November 14, 2001 The Guardian The two months since the attacks on New York and Washington have seen sweeping job cuts across a range of US industries and the biggest rise in unemployment for two decades.

Florida Black Ballots Affected Most in 2000 Uncounted Votes Common, Survey Finds November 13, 2001 By Dan Keating and John Mintz An examination of 175,010 Florida ballots that were not counted in the 2000 presidential election provided further evidence that the ballots of voters in the state's black neighborhoods were most likely to go uncounted last November.

One Year Later, Election Reform Remains Elusive Changes Come in Only Handful of States November 13, 2001 By Edward Walsh and Dan Balz Under intense pressure, state legislators in Florida -- ground zero in the disputed 2000 presidential election -- acted earlier this year to avoid a repetition of that vote counting debacle. Lawmakers eliminated the much criticized punch-card voting system, allocated $24 million for new voting machines and mandated uniform ballot design and vote counting procedures.

Conservatives Denounce Dissent November 13, 2001 by Patrick Healy Published on Tuesday, in the Boston Globe A conservative academic group founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, fired a new salvo in the culture wars by blasting 40 college professors as well as the president of Wesleyan University and others for not showing enough patriotism in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

The Dream That Was America  Nov. 12, 2001 by William Rivers Pitt It is all finished now. Today in America, it is dangerous to speak feely. Officers of the government may enter private homes without notice and perform invasive searches of personal property. Officers of the government may listen to private conversations between client and attorney, thus tearing the shroud of privilege and thus the guarantee of zealous representation. Individuals are being held without charge or trial, their fates to be determined by secret courts.

Gore's Victory November 12, 2001 By Robert Parry So Al Gore was the choice of Florida’s voters -- whether one counts hanging chads or dimpled chads. That was the core finding of the eight news organizations that conducted a review of disputed Florida ballots. By any chad measure, Gore won.

Ballots Cast by Blacks and Older Voters Were Tossed in Far Greater Numbers November 12, 2001 By FORD FESSENDEN Black precincts had more than three times as many rejected ballots as white precincts in last fall's presidential race in Florida, a disparity that persists even after accounting for the effects of income, education and bad ballot design, The New York Times found in a new statistical analysis of the Florida vote. The analysis of 6,000 precincts uses far more definitive data than previous studies and shows a strong pattern of ballot rejection in black precincts that is not explained by socioeconomic differences or voting technology. Similar patterns were found in Hispanic precincts and places with large elderly populations.

Lost Jobs, Ragged Safety Net November 12, 2001 By ROBERT B. REICH The economic fallout from terrorism is hitting some Americans much harder than others, and we need to respond. Last year, when the slowdown began, layoffs and pay cuts hit hardest at manufacturing workers, white-collar managers and professionals. But since the terrorist attacks, consumers have cut their spending, and now a different group is experiencing the heaviest job losses: the mostly low-paid workers in America's vast personal-service sector. With retail sales down, there's less need for sales clerks. Half-empty hotels don't need nearly as many cleaners and bellmen. Vacant convention halls have no use for platoons of custodians and staffers. Unfilled restaurants can't keep waiters and busboys busy. And so on through all the workers who attend, drive, pamper, launder, polish, clean, prepare and otherwise make life more pleasant for the people who pay them.

Missing Person 11.01.01 by Ryan Lizza In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, the country wondered, "Where's W.?" Now the story is anthrax, and the question is the same. The only memorable thing the president has said about the topic that has dominated public discussion for the last three weeks is, "I don't have anthrax." Says one former Clinton White House press secretary, "What they want to do is just associate him with a few popular things and completely disassociate him from anything that's controversial or difficult.

Pro Patria, Pro Mundo November 12, 2001 by William Greider A recent New York Times headline asked an insinuating question: "After the Attacks, Which Side Is the Left On?" The Times should find the nerve to put the same question to the major players of business and finance. Which side is Citigroup on? Or General Electric and Boeing? Where does loyalty reside for those American corporations that have rebranded themselves as "global firms"? Our resurgence of deeply felt patriotism, with official assurances that Americans are all-in-this-together, raises the same question. At a deeper level, the patriotic sense of unity collides with familiar assumptions advanced by the architects and cheerleaders of corporate globalization. The nation-state has been eclipsed, they explain, and no longer has the power to determine its own destiny. The national interest, they assert, now lies in making the world safe for globalizing commerce and capital.  

Why Are We Hiding bin Laden? November 11, 2001 By ROBERT H. GILES, New York Times Editoroal CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Why can't we watch Osama bin Laden on American television? White House officials called on network executives last month, after a videotaped statement by Mr. bin Laden was widely broadcast on Oct. 7. The administration persuaded the networks that self-censorship was necessary to the war effort. The tapes of Mr. bin Laden were merely propaganda, it was suggested. Besides, he might be using the tapes to send hidden messages to terrorists, although no evidence was offered to support this notion. Network officials agreed to treat future broadcasts with care.

Self-serving secrecy 11/11/2001 In wartime, there is little more vital to government than its ability to work in secret. Secrecy can save lives, both at home and on the battlefield. But when that need is used as an excuse to avoid political embarrassment — as President Bush did recently in thwarting the release of old presidential records — public trust is lost. Hiding behind a bogus claim of expanding openness, Bush issued new rules that will greatly complicate the Presidential Records Act, a post-Watergate law intended to ensure the release of administration records 12 years after a president leaves office — in this case, those of the Reagan administration.

U.S. Reports Sharp Rise in Greenhouse Gas Emissions November 11, 2001 by Associated Press Heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions jumped 3.1% in the United States last year, the biggest one-year increase since the mid-1990s, the Energy Department reported Friday.

DEA Marijuana Madness November 11, 2001 By David S. Broder Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican representative from Arkansas now serving as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a reputation as a straight shooter.

Another Useful Crisis November 11, 2001 By PAUL KRUGMAN Remember California's energy crisis? It illustrated, in particularly stark form, the political strategy of the Bush administration before Sept. 11. The basic principle of this strategy — which was also used to sell that $2 trillion tax cut — was that crises weren't problems to be solved. Instead, they were opportunities to advance an agenda that had nothing to do with the crisis at hand.

Bin Laden Has Nuclear Arms, He Tells Al Qaeda Paper November 10, 2001 By TIM WEINERPESHAWAR Pakistan, A leading Pakistani newspaper published an interview with Osama bin Laden today in which he said, "We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent and if America used them against us, we reserve the right to use them.

Corporate Patriotism by Ralph Nader November 10, 2001 U. S. corporations aren't even subtle about it. Waving a flag and carrying a big shovel, corporate interests are scooping up government benefits and taxpayer money in an unprecedented fashion while the public is preoccupied with the September 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan.

A Strange Way To Die November10, 2001 The medical examiner is the referee in the investigation of suspicious deaths. If he concludes that a death is accidental, then investigation stops. If he concludes that a death may not be accidental, then investigation by law enforcement authorities proceeds. So, when on July 20, 2001, at 8:10 AM, the body of Lori Klausutis was discovered on the floor of the North Fort Walton Beach office of retiring Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough of Florida, one might have expected an intensive

School Girl Gets The Boot November 7, 2001 By Michael Colby Civil liberties are often the first casualties of war, just ask the 15-year old sophomore from Charleston, West Virginia who wanted to start a high school club that opposed the U.S. war on Afghanistan. Katie Sierra, a self-described anarchist, not only wanted to start a club to spread her views against the bombing but she also went to school wearing this message on her t-shirt: "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America."

Idling on Airport Security November 7, 2001 Subash Gurung certainly made a mockery of Tom DeLay's airport security plan. Over the weekend Mr. Gurung easily made it through security at O'Hare Airport in Chicago with several knives, a stun gun and a can of pepper spray in his carry-on luggage. The private contractors hired by United Airlines to work at the checkpoint missed these weapons, even though they found two pocket knives on his person. It is hard to believe that Mr. DeLay, the House Republican whip, is still trying to sell the idea that passenger and baggage screening should be left in private hands.

Democracy 0, Terrorism 1 The Bush Administration's Secrecy Policies 11.6.01 by John Prados At the height of the Cold War, the United States argued that the truth would set people free. In fact, many scholars have attributed the growth of democracy in some foreign countries precisely to the free flow of information. We have touted the impact of the Internet on China and Russia because that information flow is presumed to have a liberating effect. Yet one of the consequences of the September 11 attacks in our own country has been the attempt to halt the free flow of information.

My 9 Innings With Ari Fleischer November 03, 2001 By BILL HUTCHINSON As I stood there in my pajamas, I thought this had to be a joke. Here we are in the middle of a war, there's anthrax from Boca to Brokaw, the World Trade Center is still smoking, and Ari Fleischer of the White House is calling me about whether the commander-in-chief will or will not cheer for the Yankees.

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