Facebook Slider
Optional Member Code
Get News Alerts!

Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended "site of the day" will also appear occasionally following the summaries.

1//The Independent, UK

Smokers, people with alcohol problems and the obese could be denied priority treatment on the NHS if they do not try to change their lifestyle. The Cabinet is discussing the controversial idea as part of a drive by Tony Blair to secure his domestic political legacy by pushing through a final round of public service reforms before he departs next year. Ministers will confront a panel of 100 ordinary people with some of the "tough choices" facing the Government under a consultation exercise giving the public a direct say in the new policies. One question will be whether people whose lifestyle makes them ill should get the same priority as other patients. This would mean changing NHS guidelines saying that people should not be discriminated against "even if their illnesses are to some extent self-inflicted". ... Downing Street sources said no decisions had been taken on whether to change the guidelines and stressed that the public would be asked their views on the issue first. The suggestion is bound to provoke criticism. Forest, the pro-smoking group, has claimed that some smokers have already suffered discrimination. It argues that tobacco revenues, which bring in £7bn a year for the Government, dwarf the cost of smoking-related illness.

by Cindy Sheehan

Gerald Ford, our 38th and first ever un-elected President is dead. All of the networks and cable news are rightfully filled with stories on his legacy and life. The pundits are analyzing his presidency and I have heard comments like: "great sense of humor," "gentleman," and "protector of the Constitution." The first two, are nice, but not such urgent Presidential qualities, and really are objective traits. Being someone who protects the Constitution, as every president swears to do, but few (especially the current resident of the Oval Office) actually do, should be a mandatory item in every president's job description.


If you had tried to write a story ten years ago arguing that the CIA was promoting or practicing torture, you'd be looked at as some kind of reconstructed Marxist or something like that. And now you can read about that every day in the major newspapers. -- Nick Schou

* * *

Nick Schou, an editor at Orange County Weekly, reviews and analyzes the remarkable and tragic story of Gary Webb, an investigative reporter who wrote a shell-shocking, three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News in 1996 about the CIA's controversial connection to Nicaraguan Contras selling crack cocaine in the United States. The mainstream media attacked and vilified Gary Webb for this reporting. Webb left the Mercury News after the paper distanced themselves from the story, and he was never able to find another job in journalism. He killed himself two years ago.

The saddest part is that Gary's story was eventually proved to be true, including admissions by the CIA that the agency did have ties and knowledge of a drug smuggling operation in the United States, but simply turned a blind eye to the drug trafficking operation.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006 03:27

BuzzFlash Mailbag for December 27, 2006


Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here.

Subject: NOT the 'Only President Never Elected'

With the death of Gerald Ford, the mainstream media is claiming that he was the only "president" never elected either president or vice president. That, of course, is completely untrue.

The abomination currently polluting the White House was never elected president, as both the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen.

Joann Olbrich
Staten Island, NY


Get Me Rewrite On This Headline!

by Tony Peyser

"Bush In Texas To Rethink Iraq Course"
Is the headline at Associated Press
Yeah, right, like anybody believes he
Won't lead us deeper into this mess.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:51

Will Durst: 2006 Xma$ Gift Wi$h List

Written by

Bah humbug everybody. Consider that uttered in the spirit of those of us familiar with the soft dark underbelly of the happiest time of the year. The ones regularly washed over by the holiday faucet of red and green bile dreading the solstice celebration as it drips down the drain of melancholy revealing the regurgitated fruit of of our greed and gluttony. But then again, what the hell. Pass me a cookie and another glass of nog and let's just enjoy the whole thing, shall we? And go easy on the nutmeg and heavy on the whiskey, mister. Because its time to just sit back and relax. Xmas is still with us, as we are repeatedly reminded by the television ads partially obscured by the coffee table high wrapping paper detritus. So to honor all you brave and steadfast consumers who set new records this year in your patriotic quest to sink heavily into debt to honor the birth of that Jewish hippie kid, let me offer up to the least deserving of us my annual scathingly incisive yet perennially trenchant ...


Death Toll In Iraq Now Surpasses U.S. Losses On 9/11

by Tony Peyser

I can guess the White House's response
Even in my deepest slumber:
"There's no need for us to focus on this
Move on; it's just a number."


Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:28

Brent Budowsky: Gerald Ford, R.I.P. Reflections

by Brent Budowsky

I was young in Washington, working for Senator Lloyd Bentsen, during the Presidency of Gerald Ford.

It is easy to forget, especially for those who are younger, that American politics in 2006 is not the way it has been, and not the way it should be.

Tuesday, 26 December 2006 07:20

Peter Michaelson: The Cult of the Upper Crust

by Peter Michaelson

Wealth disparity between America's richest and poorest increased again in 2006. This inequality between wealth and worker, Bill Moyers says in a recent essay, "has opened like an unbridgeable chasm" and threatens to undo the republic. He wonders about its root causes.

by Norman Solomon

Competition has been fierce for the fifteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes.

Many can plausibly lay claim to stinky media performances, but only a few can win a P.U.-litzer. As the judges for this un-coveted award, Jeff Cohen and I have deliberated with due care. (Jeff is the founder of the media watch group FAIR and author of the superb new book "Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.")

Page 1238 of 1363