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by Winslow T. Wheeler

In the rare event that a senator asks a real question at a presidential nominee's confirmation hearing, it is often read off or summarized from a staff memo. The senator most often will get a non-answer and then move on to another scripted question. Here's how to break that pattern. (Second of three parts)

Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:23

Peter Michaelson: Waking Up to Iraq

by Peter Michaelson

Dear Santa,

We know you usually creep quietly across our living-room carpet so as not to awaken us, though how you're so quiet with a giant-size bag of presents on your shoulder we'll never guess.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006 05:08

BuzzFlash Mailbag for November 29, 2006


Subject: Who Gave the Iraq Study Group Authority To Decide?

It appears that the U.S. Congress lost another of its exclusive powers under Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, namely: the power to declare war and decide matters of war and peace. Now we find an Iraq Study Group, peppered with its own makeup of neocons, set up to tell us what our alternatives are in order to extricate us from a no-win war.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:33

Insurance Industry Profits At Record Highs in All Sectors

Written by

The Center for Alliance and Justice

Insurance Industry Profits At Record Highs in All Sectors
New Report Confirms Auto Insurers Experiencing "Unprecedented Profitability"


The Repuglicans have already gained control over mainstream corporate media here at home, now they also want to control the Internet! Sounds more like Newtie wants to silence the TRUTH! The Internet is the only opportunity for Americans to access the truth, and the Repuglicans are out to destroy everything that exposes Repuglican plans to turn American Democracy into Fascism! He wants to reduce America's ability to use the Internet and our freedom to speak freely!


Summaries are excerpted from the source articles; the featured article follows the summary section. A recommended "site of the day" will sometimes follow the summaries.

1//Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

As much as the Bush administration is trying to find an "honorable" way out of Iraq, there does not seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, every week the tunnel of the Middle East gets darker for the United States. President George W Bush is desperately trying to formulate a "Sunni front" to confront Iran in Iraq and Lebanon. Lebanon itself is edging toward political collapse. At this crucial moment, the US needs to adopt a radical approach to deal with a new breed of three radical Shi'ite leaders: President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah Party and Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Jaish al-Mehdi (Mehdi Army). ... These three Shi'ite leaders do not follow Washington's political template. They are playing political hardball in which they see only one result - victory. In turn, the US requires an unusual - indeed radical - approach that would recognize the legitimacy of the leaders and allow for their accommodation. Such accommodation would result in the US's quick withdrawal from Iraq. It would mean comprehensive dialogue with Iran, which in turn would help stabilize Iraq in return for carrots, including guarantees against regime change. That US compromise would mean stopping calling Hezbollah a "terrorist" organization, and then negotiating with it directly about stabilizing Lebanon. Above all, it would mean acceptance of a drastic reduction in America's prestige and influence in the Middle East. ... unless the US takes some of these hard choices, the Middle East will be reshaped by the likes of Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah and Muqtada.


President Insists Iraq Is Not In A Civil War

by Tony Peyser

Bush said we're in a "new phase"
In this fighting that has been vile
It doesn't mean less bloodshed
It just means more denial.


How many Americans would be surprised to know that the Iraqi insurgents and also those who are criminals and terrorists have been given the bonus of a whole country, compliments of Bush? Today, there shouldn't be too many in America who have failed to realize that we've been taken for an expensive ride by our own government. Early on, while Bush was concentrating on his grand finale, those in Iraq were just getting started. They weren't gathering flowers to throw at the US, they were gathering their resistance to the US invasion of their country. How many Americans would sit down and allow someone to invade and occupy the US?

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Recently, the leader of a major world power offered a definition of democracy and freedom that I thought our readers might be interested in seeing. It stands in such contrast to the functional definition offered by our very own President, for our very own people, embodied as it is in the Patriot Act and the "Military Commissions Act" which, among other things repeal the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution, and on that sly addition to the "Defense Appropriations" Bill that allows the President to use the Army to deal with "domestic insurrection," however he might define it. And so...

by James Linkin

The maddeningly escalating violence in Iraq has served to maintain at least some of our wavering focus on this tragic part of the world. As much as our nation's commercial interests would like to divert the attention of the American people to the patriotic task of conspicuous consumption this time of year, the daily headlines of hundreds more murdered, abducted, tortured, and even immolated have a way of slicing through the numbness and denial with disturbing regularity. Try as we might this holiday season to inure ourselves to the horror and to the continuing sacrifice of our volunteer military, each of us knows the price of procrastination.

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