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June 13, 2003
Going a bit deeper

Okay, let's check some of those headlines.

Over on ABC, that tax reference to "speeders and smokers" covers what states are doing to cover the budget shortfalls caused by the Feds' imprudent tax cuts and the continuing bad economy.

Along with "sin taxes" being enacted all over the place, we read that the Massachusetts Governor has proposed making blind people pay a fee for a certificate saying that they're, you know, blind, or they can't access government services.

I'm awfully glad GWB didn't get hurt falling off of his $5,000 scooter, aren't you?

The cattle prod headline, also on ABC actually involves violence against anti-government protestors.

In some parts of Tehran, pro-government thugs circled knots of student protesters, gunning their motorcycle engines.
I'm glad ABC didn't descend to name-calling and bias. I wouldn't want to think our national media automatically considered pro-government activists as "thugs" and anti-government activists as innocent children or anything. Especially when I read this:
It was the third night of demonstrations against Iran's hard-line clerics, who are locked in a power struggle with reformist President Mohammad Khatami. Hundreds of young Iranians, many in their teens, have taken to the streets around Tehran University and the Intercontinental Hotel to denounce the country's supreme leader, hard-liner Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
If the students are protesting in support of Khatami, they're hardly "anti-government" since he's the President. If said "thugs" are protesting in opposition to Khatami, they're hardly "government" thugs, since Khatami is part of the government, right? They're all "pro-government." They're just 'pro' different parts of the government. (Although, honesty compells me to admit that there are those who want to bring down Khatami for not pushing hard enough for reforms. Which just goes to show how little even the people sometimes accept about their own government's machinations, since a dead or imprisoned President would be of even less use to them.)
Criticism of Khamenei is usally punished by imprisonment, and public calls for his death had been unheard of until this week.
Could Bush, et. al., have been right? Has the overthrow of Hussein sparked revolution in the Middle East?
Exiled opposition groups have been encouraging dissent in Iran through U.S.-based Persian language TV channels. U.S. pressure on Iran, which Washington accuses of hiding a nuclear weapons program and harboring terrorists, may have further emboldened those who hope to see the regime toppled.

This week's demonstrators have also called for the resignation of President Khatami, accusing him of not pushing hard enough for democratic reforms.

Khatami does not have the support of the hard-liners who control the judiciary, the security forces and other unelected bodies. But the hard-liners do not enjoy popular support, leaving the two sides of government in a stalemate.


Over on CBS, that Gen. Bush Slays His Foes headline is just as offensive this time around. He's not a general and abbreviating the word instead of spelling it out, doesn't alleviate the irritation I feel. Still, I understand that 'general' (small 'g') is a popular corporate word when you want to imply a civilian is 'leading his troops' into [economic] battle, so we'll let it pass. The opening sentence of the article, "The man in the White House is the most underrated tactician since Ronald Reagan" is pretty funny, all things considered.

This article claims to have an advance copy of an acceptance speech Bush will give at the Republican Convention in 2004. Leaving aside the fact that this is just untrue (what kind of maniacs write an acceptance speech over a year before an event and when they don't even know what the issues will be?), the speech itself is...nausea-inducing.

“As your president, I was proud to shepherd in the greatest expansion of government health benefits since the Great Society programs of the 1960s. By making sure that Medicare will pay for prescription drugs, we have ensured that America’s seniors finally have the coverage they have been deprived of for so long. And to the millions of ‘baby boomers’ that will retire in the coming decades, I say you will never have to worry about paying for your medicines again. Democrats talked the talk; we Republicans have walked the walk.”

General George W. Bush is about to cut the Democrats off at the pass on the one big issue they thought they “owned” – Medicare. Democrats and their president began trying to expand prescription drug benefits in 1997. They failed. Now Bush is about to take credit for success.

Well, why not? The Democratic leadership is handing it to him on a plate.
Most of his opponents will never admit that because General Bush is inarticulate and nonintellectual. That is Tactical Genius Trick #1. “I am the master of low expectations,” Bush said on the way back from the Mideast summit.
Okay, I think we've identified a legacy. "George W. Bush. Almost but not quite as inept as you thought."

Also, I see they've switched to General Bush. I'm sure the armed forces are thrilled at this promotion of a draft-avoiding civilian.

Also, can we stop pretending all of this policy and strategy genius belongs to GWB? Between Rove and Cheney there's a substantial amount of brains. \Between Bush's ears...not so much. Few people even in the Republican leadership are pretending Bush has anything to do with campaign and policy strategy choices. Let's just drop the pretence.

Okay, finally, over at MSNBC, we check out the, " U.S. backs Israeli crackdown" headline and discover that, in spite of Bush criticisms of Israeli attacks, we're going on record as being on Israel's side.

That's not surprising considering that there are some in the Arab world who have pointed out the hypocrisy of us preemptively invading a country under the guise of "self-defense" while we criticize Israel and Palestine for, you know, actual self-defense.


I check CNN and see, "Bill allows some Head Start schools to base hiring on religion" and feel my blood pressure starting to rise. Head Start, for those not up to speed on this one, is a federally funded program. Allowing religious discrimination is appalling.

But the religion provision, added Thursday by the House Education and Workforce panel on education reform, is the latest to cause a partisan divide over a program that has helped roughly 20 million children develop literacy and social skills.

The bill has an anti-discrimination clause, but it would not apply to groups in hiring people whose religion could affect the organization's work. The idea is backed by a court ruling and intended to keep religious groups from dropping out of the federal program, said Rep. Mike Castle, R-Delaware, the bill's sponsor.

I'm thinking that if they've been taking the government's money up until now, it's a little late to start developing a tender conscience about someone who reads a different version of the bible, okay?

Also, the "above the fold" section on CNN now contains a link to an article on, "Belly dancing: Swivel your way to fitness" and now I decide I'm just not up to reading their coverage today.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:41 AM