July 29, 2007

Sunday With Thoughtcrime

Bigger than O'Reilly's personal vendetta, why Rupert Murdoch's News Corp hates the blogosphere. The Devil has overflown his details.

The Pat Tillman lies.

Katrina victims knowingly exposed to formaldehyde in their government-issue trailers. The Bush administration quashed official investigations early on because the didn't want to start the clock on having to correct their egregious mistake. If it was even a mistake. (Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah. I said it. This regime is the embodiment of malicious intent.)

Today's Republican leadership: the second coming of the John Birch Society.

More on why only Democrats have to be 'bipartisan'.

The Surge ... in lower limb amputations in Iraq and suicides among US soldiers.

The people who want to bomb Iran want nothing short of total Armaggedon. Why, oh why, can't I be making that up?

The Republican party has singled out voter registration drives for voter fraud complaints.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee engaged in voter suppression in five states. The Attorney General might have been involved, in fact, this question now seems to be at the heart of the scandal over the firing of the US attorneys.

Nyceve on obligatory care denials by insurance companies. Obligatory? Yes, because as a for-profit, publicly traded enterprise, insurance companies are obligated by their shareholders to keep costs down. When the service they provide is healthcare coverage, guess what that means.

The CIA's "Legacy of Ashes".

The Bush administration prepares to sell more arms to the Saudis. You remember them, right? The government of the people supplying the largest single group of foreign fighters in Iraq, and the ones most likely to be suicide bombers or to attack US troops? The home country of 15 of the 9-11 hijackers? There will probably come a day when this act is regarded as the equivalent of US sales of F-4s and F-14s to the Iranian Shah: an ultimately stupid move that increased tensions in the region and ended up arming people who later became enemies of the United States.

In other hypocrisy news, the Bush administration finalizes its nuclear fuel deal with India, in spite of the fact that India has been completely ignoring international law on the use and development of nuclear arms, and has refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that Iran is a party to. The deal will be allowed stand, at least under the language of the agreement if not US law, even if India tests further nuclear weapons.

The French are concerned that there might be another war in Lebanon.

Syria is, at this time and because of the current administration, not interested in improving ties with the US. In other Syria-related news, and demonstrating that the Bush administration is a threat to public health the world over, the World Health Organization is holding a conference there to address the health needs of Iraqi refugees:

... Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said his country was facing a huge health care burden from the presence of more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees and called for outside assistance.

... Some 750,000 Iraqis have also fled to Jordan and 200,000 to both Egypt and Lebanon, driven out of Iraq by the turmoil that followed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein.

... The host countries have been covering refugees using their national health networks, but the systems have been overwhelmed by the large numbers of Iraqis who continue to flee, estimated by Gezairy to be 60,000 per month. ...

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) tells it to FOX' Chris Wallace like it is on Alberto Gonzales' lies to Congress, illegal government surveillance and Iraq:

WALLACE: So I want to make sure I've got this clear, Senator. If General Petraeus comes in September, issues his progress report and indicates, obviously, not that we have a Jeffersonian democracy, but that things are better on the ground in Iraq, are you willing to change your position, or is your mind already made up?

FEINGOLD: Well, I'll listen to whatever he says. But he's not going to be the only person I consult with. We've heard from the White House and generals before about how there's no civil war, about the insurgency is in its last throes, and time and again it proved not to be true.

So I'll give all the respect to General Petraeus' remarks that are due, but every indication I get and I'm on the Intelligence Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, so I get a lot of information on this suggests that it is virtually impossible that he's going to be able to give the kind of rosy scenario that you've concocted here. ...

Fables of a reconstruction.

The Taliban are going to start killing their S. Korean hostages if Taliban prisoners aren't released. ... Wait a minute. Weren't we done with those Taliban people already?

Rwanda has abolished the death penalty.

Posted by natasha at July 29, 2007 11:22 AM | Recommended Reading | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

I really hope Murdoch doesn't get his hands on the WSJ, although hope is fading fast... The cynic in me says all the talk in the Bancroft family about "principles" was just a ploy for a higher offer, but maybe not.

Regardless, I read this morning that talk has moved from whether it will happen, to price, dissenters notwithstanding.

At least they were able to force a strong buffer between his potential control of the paper and editorial decisions. If he buys it I'm still going to cancel my subscription though.

Whether or not the arguments about balancing the media are fair — I think there is a bit of a point there, to be honest, but not the populist way the game is played — I haven't yet seen a News Corp. entity with a shred of respectability in it. A Murdoch-owned WSJ will likely end as another rag spouting the same nonsense as Fox News, but with the aura of authority. That's dangerous and the mind shouldn't be exposed to it.

Posted by: vsync at July 31, 2007 01:21 PM

P.S. Laying the formaldehyde thing at Bush's feet is a little harsh. He picked incompetents for the job, mishandled everything about that situation he could possibly get his hands on, but there's no evidence he was ever able to get his hands on the formaldehyde evidence. More like someone lower on the food chain doing good-old CYA.

Then again, that "unitary executive" idea does cut both ways, doesn't it?

Posted by: vsync at July 31, 2007 01:27 PM