Saturday, January 14, 2006

Impeachment. There, Was That Hard to Say?

New Zogby Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping
By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bush Policies Still Getting No Love From Blacks

Several interesting findings in the latest Pew poll. Among the most interesting: In the two cases where they broke out responses by race, we see:

  1. African Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the govenrment's spying on Americans without a warrant.
  2. African Americans overwhelmingly want the US troops home from Iraq ASAP -- even more than self described "liberal Democrats" do:

Now It Gets Interesting

Now the government will have to actually make its case:

MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who was held for more than three years as an "enemy combatant," pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal charges alleging he was part of a secret network that supported violent Muslim extremists around the world.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

One-Color Magazine

Steve is right about this. There is no good excuse for a liberal magazine like The Nation, located in New York City, to have so few people of color on its editorial staff.

The way the Columbia Journalism School graduate was treated by Fitness magazine in the linked story is purely racist. It speaks to a mentality -- probably quite prevalent in the New York publishing world -- that non-whites simply lack the facility with the written word to be successful contributors in the publishing world.

Iraqi Civil War: Step 3

The Sunnis were against the Iraqi constitution drafted in September because it divided most of the national power into regional and tribal sects. The Sunnis, small in number and occupying the central, oil-poor section of the country, would be left with little power under this structure.

So a "compromise" was brokered, whereby the constitution could be revisited and possibly amended to give more power to a centralized government once the newly-elected National Assembly was seated this year. All the Sunnis had to do was drop their opposition to the constitution, which a handful of them naively did.

Well, that plan, predictably, is on its way out the window. The Sunnis will soon have little stake in the new Iraq. And when a people have little stake in their own land, they often lash out against its government...with violence.

BAGHDAD (AP) — The most influential politician in Iraq issued a veiled warning Wednesday to Sunni Arabs that Shiites would not allow substantive amendments to the country's new constitution, including to the provision that keeps the central government weak in favor of strong provincial governments.

[SNIP]

Sunni Arabs place great stock in their ability to change the constitution, one of the reasons Sunni politician urged the minority to turn out in large numbers during the Dec. 15 parliamentary election.

[SNIP]

To win their support for the new constitution, which was approved in an Oct. 15 vote, Sunni Arabs were promised they could propose amendments to it during the first four months of the new parliament's tenure. The new parliament is expected to be seated around the end of February. Amendments need two-thirds approval in parliament and a majority in a national referendum.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jack Abramoff and the Media

Not just buying politicians, but buying news commentators as well. This guy Abramoff was a full-service pimp.

It's a story that has grown familiar. Exactly a year ago, after disclosures that the Bush administration had slipped a columnist and broadcaster named Armstrong Williams $240,000 to plump for its education policies, I suggested in a column that the oped pages of a typical newspaper were an ethical brothel. It's where outside experts, analysts and wordsmiths strut their stuff, claiming to be driven by love and principle, rarely admitting publicly that they're getting paid under the sheets for their ardor.

In the Abramoff affair, a prominent figure has been Doug Bandow, a syndicated columnist with Copley News Service and a senior fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute. Bandow had been a favored scribe for causes dear to Abramoff's clients, and he admitted accepting money from the lobbyist -- up to $2,000 a pop -- for 12 to 24 columns published since the mid-1990s.

Bandow has been remorseful. Other members of Abramoff's brain trust have been less so. Peter Ferrara of the conservative Institute for Policy Innovation told BusinessWeek Online that he too took money from Abramoff for opinion pieces. ''I do that all the time,'' Ferrara said. ''I've done that in the past, and I'll do it in the future.'' While Bandow was fired by Copley and Cato, Ferrara's boss defended him and said critics were applying ``a naive purity standard.''

Sunday, January 08, 2006

First You Steal the Money, Then the Evidence

Gee, could the troops be any more blatant?

American troops in Baghdad yesterday blasted their way into the home of an Iraqi journalist working for the Guardian and Channel 4, firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife and children.

Ali Fadhil, who two months ago won the Foreign Press Association young journalist of the year award, was hooded and taken for questioning. He was released hours later.

Dr Fadhil is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated.

The troops told Dr Fadhil that they were looking for an Iraqi insurgent and seized video tapes he had shot for the programme. These have not yet been returned.