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

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"Coup in Haiti." What a long, slow coup it's been -- "a chronic coup," writes Amy Wilentz in The Nation (March 22). And in the 14 years between Aristide's election and his removal to the Central African Republic, the U.S. has been active in the opposition movement, from Clinton's failure to disarm it to USAID's funding of it. W. is the latest in a line of White House occupants clasping hands with the "malcontent career politicians, wealthy businessmen and ambitious power-seekers" of the Haitian elite who Wilentz says wanted Aristide gone. (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040322&s=wilentz)

 

"Interim constitution shortchanges women." The Shiites had a change of heart, and signed; Paul Bremer speaks glowingly of the document. But Human Rights Watch warns that Iraq's Bush-sanctioned interim constitution fails to adequately protect the rights of women. ElectronicIraq.net (March 5) reports that while the document prohibits discrimination based on sex, among other failures it "offers no explicit guarantee that women will have equal rights to marry, [or] within marriage, and at its dissolution." It's shaky footing on which to build the permanent constitution scheduled to be in place less than two years from now. (http://electroniciraq.net/news/1388.shtml)

 

"A Fistful of Peanuts." Bush has started his re-election campaign earlier and with far more money -- $130 million and counting -- than any previous president. But where the hell's all that dough coming from? Harper's Magazine (March) contributing editor David Samuels ventures inside the belly of the beast at a Bush fundraiser at the Houston Galleria, where even many of the nominal faithful don't seem as impressed with what the prez has done as with what he might do for them. (www.harpers.org)

 

"Treasury Department Is Warning Publishers of the Perils of Criminal Editing of the Enemy." Used to be it was secretly placed commies the government didn't want you associating with; now it's misplaced commas. In its zeal to protect us from every possible bit of unsanitized research, scholarship and literature, Bush's Treasury Department is cracking down on the editing of written materials originating in countries under a trade embargo -- a restriction previously applied mostly to stuff like wheat, oil and nuclear reactors. Now, writes Alan Liptak in The New York Times (Feb. 28), while publishers can print material from embargoed countries -- such as Iran -- they could face fines and jail time if they so much as correct a typo. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F11F835580C7B8EDDAB0894DC404482)

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