December 10, 2004

News from inside Iraq
Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.

There are links to hard news, images, weblog, and more.

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Kerry and the Gift of Impunity
by Naomi Klein

"Iconic images inspire love and hate, and so it is with the photograph of James Blake Miller, the 20-year-old Marine from Appalachia who has been christened "the face of Falluja" by prowar pundits and "The Marlboro Man" by pretty much everyone else. Reprinted in more than a hundred newspapers, the Los Angeles Times photograph shows Miller "after more than twelve hours of nearly nonstop deadly combat" in Falluja, his face coated in war paint, a bloody scratch on his nose, and a freshly lit cigarette hanging from his lips."

"...outside US borders, it is, of course, a different Marine who has been awarded the prize as "the face of Falluja": the soldier captured on tape executing a wounded, unarmed prisoner in a mosque. Runners-up are a photograph of 2-year-old Fallujan in a hospital bed with one of his tiny legs blown off; a dead child lying in the street, clutching the headless body of an adult; and an emergency health clinic blasted to rubble. Inside the United States, these snapshots of a lawless occupation appeared only briefly, if at all. Yet Miller's icon status has endured..."
more

December 9, 2004

Following are excerpts of Remarks made by Governor Howard Dean on the Future of the Democratic Party. Given at The George Washington University on December 8, 2004.

"The pundits have said that this election was decided on the issue of moral values. I don't believe that. It is a moral value to provide health care. It is a moral value to educate our young people. The sense of community that comes from full participation in our Democracy is a moral value. Honesty is a moral value."

"We should not hesitate to call for reform -- reform in elections, reform in health care and education, reforms that promote ethical business practices. And, yes, we need to talk about some internal reform in the Democratic Party as well, and I'll be discussing that more specifically in the days ahead."

December 8, 2004

Ohio election fraud uproar blasting to new level. Reported in the Free Press out of Columbus, Ohio: "....new computer tabulation errors - first reported locally after Election Day - have resurfaced, and are of a magnitude suggesting Bush‚s margin over Kerry---now 118,775 votes or 2 percent of the total votes cast in the state, according to Blackwell---could easily have been manipulated."  

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Democratic Representative John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan, ranking Minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, (held) a hearing on Wednesday 08 December 2004 to investigate allegations of vote fraud and irregularities in Ohio during the 2004 Presidential election.

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This hearing was broadcast along with listener comments on KPFA Radio and other Pacifica stations. 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM EST. Check to see if it is archived.

December 7, 2004

Framing the Social Security Debate
By Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post

Initial signs suggest that the White House's campaign to add private accounts to Social Security will hinge on getting the public to embrace two bold but disputable assertions.

One of those assertions is that the estimated $1 trillion to $2 trillion in new government spending required to create these private accounts is in fact not a cost but a savings.

Don't try that at home.

The other is that the Social Security system is in crisis -- $10 trillion short -- and that private accounts alone will entirely resolve the problem.

But the crisis is not imminent.....more

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Allen Sloan writes: "You can actually make the case that the president's marketing of his Social Security 'reform' has been brilliant. Why? Because it has diverted people from asking a basic, simple question. Which is this: Wasn't Social Security designed to be a safety net for old people? When did it change from something designed to keep you from being poor into something to supposedly help make you rich?"

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Inventing a Crisis
By Paul Krugman

"Privatizing Social Security - replacing the current system, in whole or in part, with personal investment accounts - won't do anything to strengthen the system's finances. If anything, it will make things worse. Nonetheless, the politics of privatization depend crucially on convincing the public that the system is in imminent danger of collapse, that we must destroy Social Security in order to save it."

December 6, 2004

As of a few minutes ago, the National Priorities Project estimated the cost of the war to be $148,625,000,000.

NPP's Latest Publication: Americans Pay High Cost for War: State-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists and National Guard troops on active duty are presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions on national security policy.

December 5, 2004

The Ohio recount is going to go on. John Kerry's campaign has (finally!!!!!) joined a lawsuit by third-party presidential candidates seeking a recount in Ohio. An earlier ruling against the recount said that if Kerry had been a party to the suit that there would be more evidence of irreparable harm.

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Federal Judge Rules That Ohio Recount Will Go Forward in All Counties. Cobb campaign is confident that a full and complete recount will take place.

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Narrower Bush Win Seen in Ohio President Bush's margin of victory in the all-important battleground state of Ohio appears to have been closer than previously believed.

December 4, 2004

The pricks are on the outside - the late Rep. Mo Udall explaining how a cactus differs from a caucus.

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Fears for 200,000 who fled Falluja
"MORE than 200,000 people who fled Falluja before the US offensive have been unable to return and many are in desperate need of aid, with temperatures in Iraq heading towards freezing, according to a UN emergency report. Its figures show 210,600 people, or more than 35,000 families, took refuge in towns and villages around Falluja in the build-up to the US assault, launched on November 8. Nearly all remain outside the city, where the population was estimated at 250,000-300,000 before the attack..."

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  The United States is using napalm in Falluja. So far, the military has denied the allegations, but the proof is mounting. On Nov. 28 The Daily Mirror‚s political editor, Paul Gilfeather filed a report stating: „US troops are secretly using outlawed napalm gas to wipe out remaining insurgents in and around Fallujah. News that President George W. Bush has sanctioned the use of napalm, a deadly cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel banned by the United Nations in 1980, will stun governments around the world.š

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No War in Iraq march.
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