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December 12, 2003
The media, politics, profiteering, and more

The media is at it again. Not only deciding for us who is going to get the Democrat nomination, but picking which candidates they're going to pretend they're "covering" between now and nomination day.

I'd sort of wondered why Kucinich, after a strong early showing, was disappearing off the radar. I should have known.

I mean, the media admits it. They've decided who has the best chance of winning, so they're devoting all of their resources to those candidates while, not incidentally, starving the other candidates of fair and equal time and, of course, turning their initial "prediction" into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I don't approve of Kucinich's stance on post-invasion Iraq, but other than that, he doesn't miss by much being the candidate of my dreams. (Unfortunately, foreign policy and certainly the Middle East are just too important these days to overlook a perceived deficiency in a candidate.)

Yes, I wrote to Peter Jennings and the folks at Nightline. I was, I hope, fairly calm but I did tell them in no uncertain words that they were a bunch of idiots. Okay, no, I didn't. It's not the best letter I ever wrote, but I hope I got my point across.

Feel free to call or write yourself.

ABC News World News Tonight - Phone: 212-456-4040 -PeterJennings @ abcnews.com

Nightline 202-222-7000 - nightline @ abcnews.com

Anyhow. Moving on.

I swear I wrote this:

[...] stop treating the upcoming selection of the Democratic nominee like some kind of cheesy "reality show" that you've created in an attempt to sell advertising space.

in my letters to Nightline and ABCNews long before I saw this 2004: One big reality TV script? headline.

The Bush Administration reportedly favors Dean because he's too far to the left for most USofA voters. The mind boggles, but then we remember that they're getting a little desperate.

Al Sharpton would like to see the Democrats return to their liberal roots.

So would the Democrats, Al.

By the way, The Black Commentator has a pretty good piece on Dean, the Republican Party, and race.

Jonathan Rowe says it's important for a candidate not to be a wimp if you want the lorry drivers to vote for you. Apparently, based on the number of people who still support Bush, it's okay to be a lying, sherbet-brained idiot, but that's probably a different subject and anyhow I just remembered that I was going to stop name-calling so I'm sort of sorry I said that except that I feel sort of peevish (big surprise) today and, just to illustrate, take a gander at Dubya citing the disaster of an illegal invasion as a historic achievement, not to mention the "let's leave the problem to our kids" passage of a monstrous Medicare "reform" where the real pain won't kick in until 2006 so that most affected voters won't start hurting until it's either a different president's problem or Dubya is on his way out the door anyhow.

Oh, yeah, he claims to have brought safety and prosperity to the country, a claim I'm sure the millions of unemployed workers and the families of dead soldiers would be glad to discuss with him. Internationally, there are even more people who'd like to discuss Bush's "safety and prosperity" claims with him but, to be fair, he didn't claim to have helped anyone but USofA citizens and, of course, those "good" Iraqis, the ones who didn't die from cluster bombs or from getting too close to the DU shells littering the country. (No doubt, those misguided USofA citizens who felt it was necessary to form a human rights-abuse alert network here in the USofA just don't understand what "safety" really means.)

Halliburton May Have Overcharged Millions. Duh.

But Krugman maintains that profiteering was just a bonus of the invasion, not the whole secret behind it, and I agree. He also thinks the Administration is deliberately sabotaging any chance at reconciling with "Old Europe" and he makes a decent case for it.

If it's still there, the front page of Common Dreams has a good "Now&Then" section today.

NOW: “CDC Director Julie Gerberding said Tuesday in a briefing that the agency is investigating the possibility of buying about half a million doses of flu vaccine from the British plant of U.S.-based Chiron.”

Just weeks ago, the Bush Administration backed the drug-industry and threatened to veto legislation giving seniors access to lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada and Europe. The Administration also opposes recent efforts by states and cities to investigate purchasing lower priced prescription drugs from abroad. The Administration cites "public health reasons" despite the fact it “can't name a single American who's been injured or killed by drugs bought from licensed Canadian” or European pharmacies.

Also then and now, Blumenthal on Gore, although to my mind, the article was as much or more about Congressional Democrats' unwillingness to face the truth about the current Administration as anything else.

If you were looking for proof that Bush's Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad was more than just a cheesy photo op, you probably won't find it. The Soldiers Bush Didn't Visit on Thanksgiving are the ones a visit from the commander-in-chief could have done the most for.

Lookee here. George Will says, "Congressional Republicans must assume they will never be in the minority and vulnerable to payback. They are mistaken." (Told you so.) Anyhow, it's a good column dissecting what's been done to "traditional" conservative values over the last few years.

Dickey gives us " Intention Deficit Disorder" (Why the Bush Administration’s good ideas in the Middle East get such sorry results) and Wolff offers "Clear as Mud" (How the administration’s Mideast policy has become confused, murky and weak ), both interesting columns you should read.

On a lighter note, the Land Institute says that we can't all go on Atkins because the planet can't produce that much animal protein. Of course, they're deluding themselves by ignoring the sheer volume of food, including animal protein, that's thrown away uneaten in the USofA every day, and by disregarding the fact that most of the animal protein you're supposed to consume would be fish or chicken, and not beef or pork. But then, we're told they're from Kansas, so I guess being dumb is practically de rigeur for them.

Chrétien is out and Martin is in in Canada.

This coverage of the World Summit on the Information Society is worth reading.

Here's an update on the astonishing disintegration of the trial of that Army chaplain for supposedly being a terrorist.

The queen knighted Mick Jagger? That's almost depressing. We're getting old, aren't we? And respectable.

Give the snowglobe a shake.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:57 AM