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Bush League

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

"The Big Squeeze." That W -- such a man of the people! Except when the people's interests conflict with those of big corporations. Which is always. "[T]he government," writes David Sirota in The American Prospect (September), "is now a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America." W's gifts: costlier and less widely available health care; prescription drug prices perpetually hiked by taxpayer-subsidized pharmaceutical companies; myopic energy policies favoring Big Oil over anything smarter; and a shrinking-paycheck economic recovery. Most generous of all, there's his feed-the-rich tax policy, making it clear that this "war president" points his artillery at the middle class. www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=8344


"Kristol's War." Dick Cheney's favorite newspaper -- he no doubt summarizes it for his "boss" -- is The Weekly Standard, which led the conservative media's charge for an invasion of Iraq. But even now, with some of his top pundits agreeing that the war was a mistake after all, über-hawk editor William Kristol sticks to his rusty guns -- still pursuing links between Saddam and Osama, for instance, and sounding an awful lot like a certain Bush administration. Scott Sherman calls Kristol out in The Nation (Aug. 30/Sept. 6). www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040830&s=sherman


"Appalachia Is Paying Price for White House Rule Change." A big under-reported story is Bushie backdoor deregulation of the environment -- the White House doesn't make new laws, it just "clarifies" existing rules to, say, "reclassify" selected toxins out of regulatory purview. In West Virginia, such changes have meant a boom in the environmentally ruinous coal-mining practices of mountaintop removal and obliterating streams with mining waste. In The Washington Post (Aug. 17), Joby Warrick reports the cost in vanished towns, blasted landscapes and polluted waters. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6462-2004Aug16.html?referrer=email


"Evolving Empire: Chalmers Johnson on Bush's Major Troop Realignment." Were the White House to actually carry out its newly announced plan to recall up to 70,000 troops stationed in Europe and Asia, says scholar and author Chalmers Johnson on Democracy Now! (Aug. 17), it would be a good thing. But it might well not happen: W's speeches left out such complicating factors as likely resistance within the U.S. military to closing existing bases, new bases opening (14 in Iraq alone), and the growing Congressional "firestorm" over domestic military post closures. www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/17/1354236 (The radio version of Democracy Now! airs at 8 a.m. weekdays on WRCT 88.3 FM. The TV version airs at 8 a.m. weekdays on Pittsburgh cable station PCTV-21.)

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