Dick Cheney: Champion of Torture

The Senate recently passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill (by 90-9, by the way) “prohibiting the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by any U.S. personnel,” in spite of a White House veto threat. That’s right: Bush, who has never vetoed a single bill while in the White House, has picked this […]

The Miers Fiasco

Last Friday, on my favorite morning newscast, The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel made the prediction that the Harriet Miers nomination was going to be scuppered, and that the excuse used would be that the Senators were insisting on seeing the documents of her work at the White House. Rachel credited a piece by conservative Washington […]

The Open-Source War

John Robb, a software executive and former Air Force counterterrorist operative, makes an interesting analogy between the open-source software movement and the Iraq insurgency in a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times: Like software developers in the open-source community, the insurgents have subordinated their individual goals to the common goal of the movement. He […]

‘I Swear, I Swear I’ll Have Revenge’

Knight-Ridder has been doing some amazing reporting lately, and as just another example of this, here’s a story from Iraq that you could have cut up into a bunch of little parts, and any one of them would still be important: The Bush administration’s exit strategy for Iraq rests on two pillars: an inclusive, democratic […]

A Polling Free-Fall Among Blacks

NBC / Wall Street Journal polls on Bush’s approval rating among African-Americans: A few months after 9/11: 51% Six months ago: 19% Today: 2% Two percent! And to be fair, with a margin of error of 3.4%, the actual approval percentage might be anywhere from 5.4% to, well, negative 1.4%, which would mean, I suppose, […]

Say it Again, Yeah

Britain’s The Telegraph reports the first-ever authorized adults-only episode of… The Smurfs!: The short film…opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom- shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky. Tiny Smurfs scatter […]

Trapped by Moon Light

The Chicago Tribune has a horrifying series of articles this week about impoverished Nepalese workers being lured to Jordan, supposedly for relatively good jobs available there, only to find that they are in fact being sent to Iraq (earning half as much money as promised) to work for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of […]

The Best Damned Fascist State The World Has Ever Seen

In Harper’s Magazine this month, Lewis Lapham takes a list of ideas held in common by fascist states, compiled by Umberto Eco in 1995, and uses it as the starting point for satire that draws blood. Let’s start with Eco’s list of fascist precepts, as quoted by Lapham: The truth is revealed once and only […]

At Least Caligula’s Horse Had a Track Record

Speaking of the post-Brownie era, Bush today nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court – a woman who has never once served as a judge, though she has impeccable credentials as a Bush crony. David Frum, former White House speechwriter for George W. Bush, posted this on his blog at The National Review on Thursday: […]

Let the Fraud Begin!

On top of reports of U.S. forces attacking large numbers of Sunni-majority towns in the last few weeks, dislocating tens, if not hundreds of thousands of residents (a group who would be more likely, on balance, to vote against the proposed constitution rather than for it), the Shi’ite majority has now effectively scuttled the Sunnis’ […]