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Loot the Vote: The Bush Faction’s Future Victories are Already in the Bag

This is a slightly expanded version of my column in the Jan. 20 edition of The Moscow Times.
Things are looking a bit grim for the Bush Faction these days. Their chief bagman, Jack Abramoff, is in the clink, naming names. Their top congressional enforcer, Tom Delay, is in the dock, sinking fast. Their “war of choice” in Iraq has stalled in murderous quagmire. Their poll numbers are plummeting , as scandal after scandal — corruption, despotism, torture, incompetence, deceit — turn the American people against them. What then will be the fate of these brutal, bungling,

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Marching to Persia

Simon Jenkins speaks clearly through the din of bloodthirsty jibber-jabber now overwhelming the debate about Iran. From the Guardian: The West has Picked A Fight With Iran That it Cannot Win. Kevin Sites also has several insightful reports on Iran this week at The Hot Zone; well worth checking out. Meanwhile, here are some excerpts from Jenkins:

Nothing I have read or heard in recent weeks suggests that fighting Iran over its nuclear enrichment programme makes any sense at all. The very talk of it – macho phrases about “all options open”

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The Imperfect Storm

Wise man Robert Parry says it all here, in Alito Hearings: The Democrats’ Katrina. There’s not much to add to Parry’s blistering truth-telling, except to concur in the strongest terms. I have never in my lifetime seen the Democratic Party so weak and spineless and pointless; these guys make Michael Dukakis look like Ghengis Khan. As I noted yesterday, they will not stand up for the Republic, not even now, in its hour of greatest peril. They are content to let it die, while, as Parry says, they preen

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Posthumous America: Spies, Lies and a Republic in Ruins

Good story in the NYT today about the pathetic ineffectiveness of Bush’s illegal wiretap program in fighting terrorism – the ostensible reason offered for the scheme. But the story completely ignores what has rapidly become the most important aspect of this scandal (aside from its inherent – and impeachable – illegality): the fact that Bush ordered the illegal, warrantless, widespread wiretapping of American citizens MONTHS BEFORE the September 11 attacks, as the ever-intrepid Jason Leopold revealed last week: Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11.

Leopold’s bombshell has yet to penetrate the

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Army warns soldiers going to Iraq that if they’re killed wearing body armor they bought themselves,

Army warns soldiers going to Iraq that if they’re killed wearing body armor they bought themselves, their next of kin won’t be eligible for death benefits This is nothing more than a case of someone very high up with a vested financial interest in seeing this body armor be fully integrated in the military for now and the future. The soldiers were ordered to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action. …a secret Marine Corps report that determined that 80% of the 401 Marines

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Blows Against the New Old World Order

When the man is on, he is on fire: Justin Raimondo takes down bloodthirsty Brit Niall Ferguson, the comfortably coddled cheerleader for imperial “severity,” in this post from World War IV: A Realistic Scenario. You should read the whole thing, but here’s a quick excerpt:

If Ferguson wants to talk about “the twilight of the West,” perhaps he will consider the $2 trillion price tag Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz has put on the Iraq war – which will seem like a big bargain compared to the cost of the coming war

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The New Black (Shirt)

Think fascism went away? No, it just mutates, like a virus, into new forms, seemingly more acceptable, the better to lure its targets into infection – such as the “centre-right,” bread-and-circus, crony capitalism of Silvio Berlusconi. But its true colors eventually emerge, when the hard-Rightists think they are secure enough in power. Witness these excerpts from The Guardian story, Row Over Mussolini’s Nazi Army Opens Old Wounds:

The soldiers of Benito Mussolini’s Nazi puppet republic should be accorded the same status as wartime resistance fighters and regular combatants, the Italian government will argue in a

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Back From the Hack

The site has been under heavy fire today from the right-wing Cheeto Commandos who periodically try to close it down with various acts of cyber-terrorism — all in the name of freedom, of course. But now we’re back again. This may happen more frequently as the site gets more readers; so if you ever come by and find yourself locked out, do keep checking in until we’ve flushed the Bushlickers from the system. We’ll try to make it worth the wait.

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Samuel Alito and the Gangster State

Here’s a blast from the not-so-distant past: a story of electoral theft, mysterious death and the ruthless determination of the Bush gang to do anything — anything — to stay in power. A revisit seemed appropriate during this week when it is becoming ever more apparent that the spinally-challenged Senate Democrats are going to kid-glove the handmaiden of presidential dictatorship, Samuel Alito, into a pivotal seat on the Supreme Court, where he will be able to further his master’s authoritarian ambitions while also advancing the agenda’s of Bush’s double-barrelled “Base”: religious extremism and rapacious corporatism. There will be more about

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The Big Fix: Smoking Guns and Sudden Death

Orginally published in The Moscow Times, April 8, 2005

Let’s face facts: the game is over and we – the “reality-based community,” the believers in genuine democracy and law, the heirs of Jefferson and Madison, Emerson and Thoreau, the toilers and dreamers, all those who seek to rise above the beast within and shape the brutal chaos of existence into something higher, richer, imbued with meaning – have lost. The better world we thought had been won out of the blood and horror of history – a realm of enlightenment that often found its best embodiment in the ideals and

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