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A Modest Roundup of (Im)pertinent Media about the Current Administration

"Under the Banner of the 'War' On Terror." Time for a refresher course, courtesy of William Greider in The Nation (June 21): Terrorism is a strategy -- a tool -- not an enemy you can defeat. The White House has launched a perpetual war by playing on fear, a commodity of which it is adept at always manufacturing more. The Pentagon's budget spirals out of control; privacy and civil liberties are sacrificed on the altar of terror. What's worse, Greider writes, many Americans seem to find strangely agreeable the self-pity Bush's fear-mongering rhetoric generates. Regime change at home, Greider argues, starts with seeing through that fog of "war" talk.


"No Praise for Reagan." Even so-called Democrats are giving Ronald Reagan credit for everything but curing your Aunt Betty's rheumatism. But few have been more fulsome with misguided praise than official eulogizer W -- not unexpectedly, given how many pundits compare the 43rd president to the 40th. On The Progressive Web site (June 9), editor Matthew Rothschild recaps why the legacy of the death-squad-dealing, apartheid-backing, AIDS-ignoring, union-busting and tax code-shredding chief executive is hardly one to celebrate. www.progressive.org/webex04/wx060804.html


"When do workers get their share?" While the White House touts job growth and rising paychecks, according to the Economic Policy Institute (May 27) it all depends on whose paycheck you're talking about: True, corporate profits have soared by more than 60 percent during the past 12 quarters, but private wage and salary income has actually declined. Both numbers are way out of whack (and in the wrong directions) for lengthy recoveries. And not only is such an unbalance unfair, EPI argues -- it also bodes ill for a sustainable recovery. www.epinet.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_05272004


"Contracting Justice." If you want to break domestic and international law and get away with it, it seems that one sweet job is as a private contractor interrogating imprisoned nationals in W's Iraq. While military courts have already sentenced U.S. soldiers to prison time in the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal, none of the civilian contractors involved has been charged with any crime. With the Bush administration increasingly relying on private firms to do what was once the military's work, Nonna Gorilovskaya reports in Mother Jones (May/June) why it might take a new law to close loopholes that let overseas civilian contractors get away with criminal behavior. www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2004/06/06_513.html



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