Thursday, June 30, 2005

Just have to share...

... this great post from David Sirota:
A new poll out tells us what we already know: though 56 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, more voters have positive feelings about Republicans than Democrats. As pollster Stan Greenberg notes, "Republicans weakened in this poll... but it shows Democrats weakening more" and that decline by Democrats is because people believe Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view."

Most likely, the entrenched Democratic elites in Washington are shocked at this, especially with all the scandals surrounding top Republicans. But then again, these same elites are the ones who have helped run the party into the ground over the last decade – we shouldn't expect them to understand much more than how to protect their own careers in the Establishment.

So in the interest in boiling it down for these people, let's make it very clear as to why America still thinks Democrats stand for nothing:

- When you vote with Republicans for an energy bill that showers huge oil/gas companies with massive tax breaks at a time of record deficits, and that energy bill won't lower the cost of gasoline, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you ignore public demands for a withdrawal/exit strategy from Iraq, and instead vote against legislation requesting the President explain an exit strategy from the war, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you say you are for economic fairness, and then your top leaders start negotiating the elimination of the Estate Tax that falls on the wealthiest 2 percent of citizens, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you deride the fact that the Bush administration lied to the country about the war and about its behavior before 9/11, and then vote to confirm chief liar Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you claim to care about protecting ordinary citizens' economic rights, and then corral corporate lobbyists to help pass a bill allowing credit card companies to gouge those same ordinary citizens, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you say you want workers to be protected in their workplace, and then vote to limit workers' ability to fight for their rights in court, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.

- When you say you oppose unfair trade deals that sell workers out, and then refuse to voice any opposition to the latest corporate-written trade deal that sells workers out, Americans will believe you stand for nothing.
Please read the whole terrific post.

The anesthesia is wearing off...

I spotted snippets of this on Daily Kos and Eschaton, but wanted to read all the gory details. Here's a good part:
In a more significant sign of the weakness of the President’s numbers, more “Red State” voters—that is, voters living in the states that cast their ballots for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004—now rate his job performance unfavorably, with 50% holding a negative impression of the President’s handling of his duties, and 48% holding a favorable view. The President also gets negative marks from one-in-four (25%) Republicans—as well as 86% of Democrats and 58% of independents. (Bush nets favorable marks from 75% of Republicans, 13% of Democrats and 40% of independents.)

Impeachment Question Shows Bitterness of Divide

In a sign of the continuing partisan division of the nation, more than two-in-five (42%) voters say that, if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment. While half (50%) of respondents do not hold this view, supporters of impeachment outweigh opponents in some parts of the country.

Among those living in the Western states, a 52% majority favors Congress using the impeachment mechanism while just 41% are opposed; in Eastern states, 49% are in favor and 45% opposed. In the South, meanwhile, impeachment is opposed by three-in-five voters (60%) and supported by just one-in-three (34%); in the Central/Great Lakes region, 52% are opposed and 38% in favor.

Impeachment is overwhelmingly rejected in the Red States—just 36% say they agree Congress should use it if the President is found to have lied on Iraq, while 55% reject this view; in the “Blue States” that voted for Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry in 2004, meanwhile, a plurality of 48% favors such proceedings while 45% are opposed.

A large majority of Democrats (59%) say they agree that the President should be impeached if he lied about Iraq, while just three-in-ten (30%) disagree. Among President Bush’s fellow Republicans, a full one-in-four (25%) indicate they would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances, while seven-in-ten (70%) do not. Independents are more closely divided, with 43% favoring impeachment and 49% opposed.
Which reminds me that, despite the administration's best efforts, the Downing Street Memo won't die. It was on the front page of the Washington Post Monday. The analysis makes a nice two-fer with news of a general's admission of the secret air war waged a bit ahead of schedule, to soften resistance for the invasion no one had decided on yet.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Same old same old

As you all know by now, the president who doesn't make policies based on polls was trotted out in primetime to make his believers feel better and to stanch the plummeting approval and opinion ratings. Of course, I could not bear to watch or listen to him, so I read the transcript (thus missing out on the fake applause that even Fox noticed). It sounded, I don't know, vaguely familiar? The NYT found the nerve to be less than effusive for a change:
The speech offered no new policies or course corrections, and for the most part was a restatement of the ideas and language that he has been employing for two and a half years to explain the war and assert that it is an integral part of a broader struggle to protect the United States from terrorism.

Using language that infuriates his opponents who say there is no link between the Iraq war and Al Qaeda, he specifically cast the battle in Iraq as part of the bigger conflict that began with the Sept. 11 attacks, which he mentioned explicitly five times and alluded to at others, and invoked the specter of Osama bin Laden.

"We fight today, because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror," he said. "And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our
country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand."

It was, in essence, a repeat of a speech he delivered 13 months ago, when he assured the nation during an appearance at the Army War College that while the job of achieving stability in Iraq would be hard, he had a plan - and the United States had
the will - to see it through.
So he certainly didn't give the speech John Kerry said he should give. And his repeated opposition to setting a time table for withdrawal is amusing, given his conviction while running for president. The five references to 9/11 are desperate and shameful, but RoboScottie McClellan - ever on message - began warming up the audience at his Monday press briefing. So we knew it was coming. In fact, the minions are all over it, everyone apparently forgetting that their boss already admitted there was no connection between Hussein and 9/11 (via Buzzflash). Even John McCain, a Republican I've actually been able to respect from time to time, stuck to the playbook:
Republican Sen. John McCain defended Bush's call to stop terrorism abroad before it reaches the US shore in an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" program. He said those spreading violence in Iraq "are the same guys who would be in New York if we don't win in Iraq."

More to come, in bits and pieces. My stored up notes and links are starting to overwhelm me, but I injured my "mousing" hand during the move, which makes internet perusing a little unpleasant. (A friend wrote to say he was glad to see the blog "humming" again; not sure I would call this "humming," but we're at least lurching along.)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

They're really, really, really opposed to gay marriage

The Revealer liked the well-done-but-tough-to-stomach Russell Shorto NYT Magazine feature on gay marriage opponents. One of our frequent commenters (thanks, 'B') recommended it to me, too, and I did finally read it. I had the same thought I always have when I contemplate this issue for long: "Can't these people turn some of their energy and commitment toward fixing the things that are really wrong with this world?" But to the people opposed to it, gay marriage is emblematic of what's wrong with this world.
(T)he Christian activists aren't vague in their opposition. For them, the issue isn't one of civil rights, because the term implies something inherent in the individual -- being black, say, or a woman -- and they deny that homosexuality is inherent. It can't be, because that would mean God had created some people who are damned from birth, morally blackened. This really is the inescapable root of the whole issue, the key to understanding those working against gay marriage as well as the engine driving their vehicle in the larger culture war: the commitment, on the part of a growing number of people, to a variety of religious belief that is so thoroughgoing it permeates every facet of life and thought, that rejects the secular, pluralistic grounding of society and that answers all questions internally.
Worth reading the whole long feature (with a roll of Tums nearby), if nothing else, for the cultural enlightenment.

Will there be books in it?

I'm having a very hard time getting my head around the concept of a Bush Library.

In case you don't know where you stand...

Via stranger fruit I came across the Political Compass which takes your answers to a series of questions and situates you on a quadrant of Authoritarianism/Libertarianism and Leftism/Rightism. My coordinates were -8.5 on the economic scale and -6.15 on the social scale. So that establishes it, then. I am liberal. Have you read what "the most despicable man on the American political scene" said yesterday about liberals? You can just click through and read it; I don't want to give him the space. When things are going badly for Bush count on Rove to ramp up the 9/11 rhetoric.

Settling in

I really intended for postings to be a bit more regular after school ended and the move was completed, but there's all this unpacking to do! And after things are unpacked, they must find places to live. Various friends who helped with the move have told us that it inspired them to go home and purge. Well, we aim to inspire. It has inspired me to purge, too, but this is a democratic household and votes must be taken on the dispersion of many items, so the going is slow. Anyway, thank you for your ongoing, endless patience, and for checking back in from time to time. Nice to know you're still reading.

Monday, June 20, 2005

"Lying to Congress is a felony."

The After Downing Street organizers had a terrific editorial in the Baltimore Sun last week (yes, I'm trying to tidy up and post the links I've been stashing away, after losing a couple days to jury duty). Here's just a bit of it:
The evidence suggests that Mr. Bush has lied to Congress and to the American people about the justifications for war. It includes a formal letter and report that he submitted to Congress within 48 hours of launching the invasion in which he explained the need for the war in terms that appear to have been intentionally falsified, not mistaken.

Lying to Congress is a felony. Either lying to Congress about the need to go to war is a high crime, or nothing is., a coalition of veterans groups, peace groups and other activist organizations, is urging Congress to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry that would require the House Judiciary Committee to hold formal investigations with the power of subpoena. The result would be a determination as to whether the president has committed impeachable offenses.
The NYT's Scott Shane (is this a new guy?) provided fair and decent coverage of Conyer's hearings on Thursday, unlike the Washington Post's Dana Milbank.

Paul Krugman reads the Toledo Blade, too

Krugman on Coingate:
The Toledo Blade's reports on Coingate - the unfolding tale of how Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation misused funds - deserve much more national attention than they have received so far. For one thing, it's an entertaining story that seems to get weirder by the week. More important, it's an object lesson in what happens when you have one-party rule untrammeled by any quaint notions of independent oversight.
Read the whole column. And speaking of Coingate... Call me a cynic, but isn't it convenient that a fellow who is under investigation in the the rapidly growing Ohio Coingate scandal returned from vacation to find that his home had been burglarized and all his expensive, confiscatible collectibles are gone!

Ah ha...

I suppose Biden's announcement explains his shameless pandering to the right-of-center. But the news makes this scathing recent David Sirota post all the more relevant.

Well done good and faithful servant...

While we're on the subject of the White House Department of Science Fiction: the employee who got caught fudging reports of climate change studies in order to downplay their disturbing findings -- the one who suddenly resigned two days after the revelations to "spend time with his family" -- has accepted a position with Exxon...

"There should be a special circle in hell for people who mess with scientific data."

So sayeth Chris Mooney, who is - unlike most journalists - actually on top of these things. See his Prospect story here. But also see this Think Progress summary of the blatant Lysenkoism practiced by this White House. And for the most recent jaw-dropping example, the LA Times has a story on White House manipulations of a study on the harmful impacts of cattle grazing on government lands. It begins:
The Bush administration altered critical portions of a scientific analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands before announcing Thursday that it would relax regulations limiting grazing on those lands, according to scientists involved in the study.

A government biologist and a hydrologist, who both retired this year from the Bureau of Land Management, said their conclusions that the proposed new rules might adversely affect water quality and wildlife, including endangered species, were excised and replaced with language justifying less stringent regulations favored by cattle ranchers.
The original draft of the environmental analysis warned that the new rules would have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife, but that phrase was removed. The bureau now concludes that the grazing regulations are "beneficial to animals."

Eliminated from the final draft was another conclusion that read: "The Proposed Action will have a slow, long-term adverse impact on wildlife and biological diversity in general."

Also removed was language saying how a number of the rule changes could adversely affect endangered species.
The whole story is worth reading, especially if your heart and respiration rates have been sluggish recently. (Reports like these are as close as I get to aerobics on days when I'm caged in my cubicle.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Guest essay!

I've been nabbed for jury duty - or at least, I haven't been dismissed, yet. I'm going to use this downtime to post an essay by a terrific writer/friend, who provides it exclusively for Left At The Altar!
Zeus, Where Are You When We Need You?
copyright, Cristina L. White, 2005

A friend was telling me recently why she had no interest in being remembered in her adoptive father's will, even though he has become a wealthy man. She spoke of being beaten by him till she was " and blue..." and of being left to drown in the pool when she was a toddler. But now, she said, "...he's found Jesus." To him, finding Jesus means that he isn't accountable for his abuse and neglect. He believes, she said, that ".....he's been saved, so the slate is wiped clean."

There it is, the essence of what I find so disturbing about the faith of George W. Bush. It's a very comfortable religion, in which no reflection on one's past mistakes is necessary, and no action in the present is required to compensate for one's sins in the past.

W. does not reflect on past mistakes. He can't remember making any mistakes. Not even one.

I may be so struck by this because I have the opposite problem; the ways in which I have hurt others, whether intentional or not, stays with me until I can find some way to mend those torn places in the universal fabric. I may not succeed, but it seems important to make some effort toward balancing the books.

This wrestling with one's conscience goes with the territory when you grow up Catholic. Even though I parted ways with the Catholic Church many years ago, I accept that in some ways I will always be Catholic. Some might contend that a good therapist could take care of this for me, but I am certain that many of my more compassionate choices are borne out of the same dark places where thoughtlessness and pettiness once reigned. The other side of the same weighted coin.

We have a man in the Oval Office who seems to have no weight to him at all.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in his previous role as White House Counsel, seems to have made a point of telling the President that he can't be held accountable for the prisoners at Guantanamo, and that he needn't heed the Geneva Conventions -- those "quaint" and out-dated rules of conduct. According to Gonzalez, it's all right to torture people who might be terrorists, it's all right to imprison them without filing charges against them, because you, George W., are the President, and this is war.

In Bush-World, this line of reasoning must makes perfect sense. It follows naturally from being saved. Not only is the slate wiped clean for W., it seems to stay clean day-to-day. While the sons and daughters, fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters of others die for a war that W. lied us into, while those same people kill thousands of Iraqis for Born Again Bush, the man who believes he was chosen by the Lord Almighty to be President suffers not at all, neither do any of his friends suffer.

This comfort zone W. dwells in leaves him free to do as he likes unchecked, and almost unchallenged. I find myself in an America that grows ever more frightening, where the consequences of the choices this President makes grow ever more dark. In his decisions about war, our civil rights, the economy, and the environment, W. is setting about creating a ruined American landscape. In no way are my concerns reflected in his agenda, his priorities, or his concerns. Worst still, he has no interest in hearing opposing views, no interest in what the other half of America might want, care about, or need. He grabs hold of a slim margin of victory in the last election, calls it a mandate, and strides forward into a world made-by-him, where the wealthy are made ever more wealthy, while the rest of us are left to scramble for the crumbs of this Bush-fashioned "freedom and democracy".

When I feel helpless against the onslaught of his agenda, I remember the Greeks. In the Greek system of checks and balances, the arrogance of George W. Bush would inevitably lead him to a mighty fall. At some point, he would certainly feel the pain brought on by so much hubris. I take some comfort in watching the slow descent of his approval ratings. But if Zeus and Company were around, we would witness a more spectacular tumble. And I would be glad.

These are not sentiments you are likely to hear from a more evolved being. But I have already admitted to my faults. I like to think that maybe, if W. were shaken from his very comfortable presidential perch, he might, on occasion, be able to recognize and admit his mistakes and failings.

I know, it isn't likely. But, being a mere mortal and fallible, I also can continue to hope.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

An AIDS "recovery boom"???

I've been stewing over David Brooks' column from last week, trying to decide what bothered me most about it, and how to combat it.

Let's start with his ending, in which he spins out his bizarre "Silicon Valley in the early 1990's" analogy (implying that regional clinics are awash in President Bush's AIDS Initiative money) to declare "We could be on the verge of a recovery boom." Yessirree! Would we expect a compassionate conservative to view a monumental human tragedy as anything but a metaphorical business opportunity?

But more damaging is an overall rose-tinted impression he leaves that diminishes the scale of suffering. Repeatedly, he sites precisely one illustration of scenes he then implies are commonplace --
Here in Windhoek, Namibia's capital, you run into people like a 6-year-old who was born to parents who were both H.I.V.-positive. They gave her the name Haunapawa, which reflected their mood at the time. It means, "There is no good in the world." But the parents are both still alive, and the girl, once racked by pneumonia, is thriving on the medicine.

You run into scenes like the one I saw at Oshakati Hospital in northern Namibia, by the Angolan border, where a young Zimbabwean doctor, Gram Mutandi, works at his clinic. Patients can wait for eight hours to receive treatment and counseling.
The whole misleading piece, save for one throwaway paragraph --
Obviously there's a long way to go. You can still go out and visit children in mud huts who are raising themselves because their parents, aunts and uncles are all dead. Only a small fraction of those who need treatment are getting it. At the Lutheran Hospital in Onandjokwe, Namibia, the staff tested 858 women in the first quarter of this year, but could get only five of their male partners to even come in for testing.
-- has the aura of having been written over cocktails in the air-conditioned lounge of an upscale safari lodge while flipping through a glossy brochure or glancing at a promotional video from some pharmaceutical company.

But I merely stewed over it because I didn't have the stats and specs to counter it with, nor the time to find them. Well, here's a good start, a necessary counterpoint to Brooks' dewy and ultimately dangerous paean to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief:
The president's AIDS initiative, like his invasion of Iraq, is a go-it-alone affair that ignores the clear global consensus on how to fight AIDS. In launching his own initiative, Bush has shifted the bulk of U.S. money away from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international organization that has funded projects in 128 countries and is widely recognized as the best way to distribute AIDS funds. "Bush is starving the fund," says Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance. "It's despicable, frankly."

In addition to shortchanging international relief efforts, Bush is using AIDS funds to place religion over science, promoting abstinence and monogamy over more effective measures such as condoms and sex education. Before overseas groups can receive U.S. funding, for example, the Bush administration requires them to take a "loyalty oath" to condemn prostitution -- a provision that AIDS workers say further stigmatizes a population in need of HIV education and treatment. Brazil recently became the first country to rebel against the oath, announcing in May that it was rejecting $40 million in AIDS grants from the administration. "What we're doing is imposing a really misguided and ill-informed ideology on top of a public-health crisis," says Jodi Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Bush's plan calls for an "ABC" approach to HIV prevention -- which stands for abstinence, "be faithful" and condom use -- but the administration is stressing the "A." In its first year, PEPFAR spent more than half of the $92 million earmarked to prevent sexual transmission on promoting abstinence programs. Studies show that such programs actually increase risk by discouraging contraceptive use. What's more, focusing on abstinence and monogamy ignores the reality facing young women and girls in Africa and other impoverished regions, who are often infected by wandering husbands or forced to have sex in exchange for food or shelter. Among fifteen- to twenty-four-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa, studies show, more than three times as many young women are infected with HIV as young men.

"It's only a matter of time before the impact of abstinence-only programs can be measured in needless new HIV infections," says Jonathan Cohen, an HIV/AIDS researcher with Human Rights Watch.
Please read Geraldine Sealey's whole piece before you let Brooks convince you of a "recovery boom."

Two things we all need to do today

Please sign the Moveon.Org petition to save funding for NPR and PBS (it's for real; not the ancient one that keeps lurching to life on the internet). Congress wants to end funding altogether within two years. This is a right wingnut vendetta; help stop them.

Then call your senators, who will be taking up the latest monstrosity of an energy bill today, and tell them to support the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. You can do this via links on Faithful America's site.

More later.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Proud to be a Big Brass Blog

Just so's you know... We've added our humble blog to the Big Brass Alliance, "a collective of progressive bloggers who support After Downing Street, a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups formed to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war."

At least one member of the press appears newly animated by the growing hue and cry over the Downing Street Memo. Walter Pincus describes a second memo in the Sunday Washington Post:
The eight-page memo, written in advance of a July 23, 2002, Downing Street meeting on Iraq, provides new insights into how senior British officials saw a Bush administration decision to go to war as inevitable, and realized more clearly than their American counterparts the potential for the post-invasion instability that continues to plague Iraq.
Read the whole Post story before the White House's New York Times plant, David Sanger, gets to you. The poor guy wants so badly to let Bush off the hook.

Yes, yes, it's too much to dream of impeachment proceedings while Republicans corrupt control Congress, but perhaps 2006? While we wait, the Left Coaster has some good suggestions for John Conyers to follow up on when he opens his policy committee hearings this week:
I’d like to suggest that Conyers focus on three issues and call these individuals as possible witnesses next week in his efforts to build a case that the decision had already been made in the summer of 2002.

All three of these supporting arguments have already been covered here at the Left Coaster:

First and most damaging to me, as we first reported back in October 2003, why would the White House see a need to build a strategic information campaign using White House staff to manipulate media coverage in favor of a war months in advance of going to the UN, Congress, and the American people if the issue and decision had not already been made?...
Second, none other than Bob Woodward himself in his wet-kiss book “Bush at War” reported that Bush authorized Rumsfeld to move approximately $700 million from Afghanistan reconstruction to the establishment of a logistical infrastructure to support an Iraq invasion, without the required congressional notice and authority. When did this happen, as Woodward notes with a great deal of risk of legal problems for the White House? It happened in July 2002, at about the same time as the Downing Street Memo was written saying the decision had already been made by Bush, within a month of the Downing Street Memo. Perhaps Conyers can call Bob Woodward as a witness to testify about what he found in researching his book on this congressionally-unauthorized transfer of funds from Afghan reconstruction to Iraq war planning during the Summer of 2002.

And lastly, it has been reported that Bush dropped in on a White House meeting in Condi Rice’s office in March 2002, and blurted to the three startled US senators Rice was meeting with “Fuck Saddam, we’re going to take him out.”

Perhaps Conyers can call the three senators as well as Michael Elliott and James Carney of Time Magazine to confirm what Bush said and did, three months before the Downing Street Memo said that a decision had already been made.
Read the whole post for more details and the many hyperlinks.

This explains a lot...

Friday, June 10, 2005


Whenever I visit family in Northwestern Ohio, I pick up the scrappy Toledo Blade for actual news. It is so much more satisfying and nutritious than the RNC newsletter known locally as the Findlay Courier. So I just love it when the Blade gets kudos, as they did for their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Tiger Force, and as they are receiving now for untangling the knot of corruption that is the Ohio GOP. Read their ongoing coverage of "coingate" here.

That Blade story contains links to their previous installments, but you can also find some good stuff - as usual - within the Daily Kos diaries, where volunteer diarists do the sleuthing that journalists are getting paid for. See also the Swing State Project coverage. If you're just picking up on this story, here is a tidy summary of what you need to know...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Long overdue sidebar update

I have finally updated links on the sidebar --- for the first time in a very long time. These are blogs and sites that I check regularly and highly recommend. I've also added the blogroll for the Progressive Christian Blogger Network, of which we're a proud member. Dig in!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Long time no blog

Helloooo... Anyone left?

I've been checking those Sitemeter blog traffic reports every week and watching sadly as everyone wandered away ("nothin' to see here"), but the long dry spell could not be helped. School, work, moving...

However, my papers are turned in, the grant deadline at work has come and gone (and the portion on which I've been working feverishly for the past few months turned out not to even have been necessary at this juncture; but I'm not bitter...), and the Ten Year Move (that's how long we lived in the old place) has mercifully come to a close. The move, in fact, took 10 long days; isn't that symbolic? And it would have taken even longer were it not for the assistance of some of the best friends in the world - who gave up their long holiday weekend in order to help us (including my co-blogger, abc): unending, eternal thanks to all of them! The new house looks a bit like we backed a dump truck up to it and poured the contents in through the roof, which - come to think of it - is more or less what we did. But these wonderful people even tried to help us organize. Many, many thanks to all of them!

The forced news abstention during this too-busy time has been quite good for the soul, I must say, but I've saved up a few things that simply must be shared. I promise also to update and clean up the links over on the sidebar this week.

First, I thought this Eric Alterman post was one of his best in a long time:
...Call me shrill, ideological, or whatever you like, but I think we’re losing our Constitution, our civil liberties, and in many significant respects, our country. When future historians look back on this period, they will wonder, most of all, I think, how we let it go without a fight.
Please read it all!

Second, I suppose the media will shrug off this news just as blithely as they've shrugged every administration attack on science and health realities.

Third, it has been fascinating to "watch" as the Downing Street Memo revealed by the UK Times was so effectively buried by our Braindead Media (Think Progress is probably letting them off a little too easily with this tagline; some of this is outright complicity). When I "googled" it the other day, there wasn't a single major news outlet linking to the story -- all of the first hits linked to blogs and activist sites! The Christian Science Monitor virtually pronounced it dead on arrival in the U.S. But it lives. Go here and help keep it alive!

Finally, via Sirotablog, Bernie Sanders wonders what outrage means anymore. It's good stuff.